Double-whammy in Miami: The first 2020 Democratic presidential debates
June 26, 2019 6:00 PM   Subscribe

Three senators, four current or former representatives, a mayor, a governor and a former Cabinet secretary all walk onto a stage ... followed the next night by a former vice president, four senators, a congressman, a former governor, a mayor and a pair of entrepreneurs. It's not a joke set-up, it's the first Democratic primary debate, split into two nights, starting tonight, Wednesday, June 26, 2019.

The DNC laid out the criteria for participation in this first debate, and how they would split the debates, in February (CBS News), capping the debate at 20 candidates, ten per night. Each candidate must have at least 1 percent support in three separate polls from a list of reputable state and national polling outfits determined by the committee. Candidates must also meet two fundraising thresholds: donations from at least 65,000 individuals, and 200 unique donors from at least 20 states. Of the 25 people who have announced their candidacy (Wikipedia), 20 made the cut.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 1. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 2. Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, 3. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, 4. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, 5. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, 6. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, 7. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, 8. Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, 9. Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, 10. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Thursday, June 27, 2019 11. Vice President Joe Biden, 12. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 13. California Sen. Kamala Harris 14. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg 15. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, 16. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, 17. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, 18. California Rep. Eric Swalwell, 19. Writer and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson, 20. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang

The criteria will tighten up by the 3rd debate, scheduled for Sept. 12 and 13, 2019 (U.S. News). To make it onto the debate stage in September, Democratic candidates will be required to reach at least 2 percent in four national or state polls approved by the national party or garner 130,000 individuals donors, with a minimum of 400 donors from at least 20 states. The DNC has also capped the third debate at 10 candidates per night.

• Guide Round-up:
The Democratic Debates, Night One: Political Dynamics to Watch (NYT) • The First 2020 Democratic Debate Is Tonight. Here’s Everything You Need to Know (TIME)
What You Need to Know About the First Round of Democratic Debates (NYMagazine)
Breakouts, Burns and Zingers: What to Watch in Dem Debates (AP)
The Issues—The most comprehensive guide anywhere to the issues shaping the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. (Politico)
(Wired)
Jay Inslee is going to get a presidential debate focused on climate change.
Inslee, the governor of Washington state and one of two dozen candidates vying for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, has been agitating for such a single-topic debate for months. Other candidates have signed onto the idea, and activists within the party have amplified the message. But Tom Perez, chair of the Democratic National Committee, said nuh-uh. “I concluded the DNC could not allow individual candidates to dictate the terms of debates or limit the topics discussed,” Perez
wrote in a post on Medium.
posted by Rhaomi (687 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
Waited till the last second and didn't see anybody else go for it, so I went ahead and posted what was on the wiki. This is 100% not my post (apart from the title), all credit goes to the fine folks on the MeFi wiki for this great round-up.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:02 PM on June 26 [11 favorites]


Beto starts speaking Spanish. NBC/YouTube Captions:

[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:07 PM on June 26 [49 favorites]


Beto out the gate with the untranslated Spanish.
posted by box at 6:07 PM on June 26


Anyone that rambles without answering the question shouldn't be called on again.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:08 PM on June 26 [14 favorites]


Julian with the ERA.
posted by box at 6:12 PM on June 26 [10 favorites]


Whoever thought it was a good idea to have a slowly waving flag background should be immediately executed. I'm dizzy and I'm not even on my second beer yet.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:13 PM on June 26 [12 favorites]


I kinda hate debate format but it's interesting seeing everyone trying a new strategy straight out the gate
posted by emjaybee at 6:13 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


I'm so tired, already.
posted by odinsdream at 6:14 PM on June 26 [15 favorites]


Shouting at the camera about their working-class cred? That's a new strategy now?
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:14 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


It would be super fresh and new if some of these candidates actually answered the DAMN question they were asked.
posted by sallybrown at 6:15 PM on June 26 [9 favorites]


Are they going to... debate is probably the wrong word, but, uh, interact in any way? Or is this just a very awkward cattle-call-style job interview that's being aired live for some reason.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:18 PM on June 26 [16 favorites]


Subjecting Warren to this is cruel and unusual.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:19 PM on June 26 [23 favorites]


I had no idea who the bald white man was who was talking about how he was different from everyone else on the stage.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:19 PM on June 26 [8 favorites]


Good thing Miami has strong building codes to resist all that blowing hot air...
posted by nickggully at 6:19 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Warren is on her own level here. I can’t wait until the lineup gets winnowed down to one night.
posted by sallybrown at 6:20 PM on June 26 [25 favorites]


All foam and no beer, man.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:21 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


2nd debate is same qualifiers as the first one. 3rd one - September, I think - has tighter qualifiers that would get it down to 8 or 9 candidates.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:22 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


2020 debates!? That's a lot of... oh, right, it's a year. Truly, we are living in the future.
posted by sfenders at 6:26 PM on June 26 [8 favorites]


If anything more people qualify for second debate (I think already 21?) so there will be tiebreaker rules. Could be slightly different set of people, but will definitely be another 20 person debate unless a ton of people drop out (not likely).
posted by thefoxgod at 6:26 PM on June 26


This needs some sort of in-debate winnowing. Don't answer two questions and a trap door opens, you're out. Till we get down to 3-4 for the second hour.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:28 PM on June 26 [45 favorites]


I had no idea who the bald white man was who was talking about how he was different from everyone else on the stage.

I know of John Delaney because he has been posting campaign jobs on progressive job boards since, like, early 2018, waaaaaaay before any other candidate. He has money and a dream and he's going for it, bless his heart.
posted by schroedinger at 6:29 PM on June 26 [6 favorites]


Drink every time the moderators have to say "Senator" to interrupt someone.
posted by odinsdream at 6:29 PM on June 26 [5 favorites]


Inslee should be gone after the next commercial.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:29 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


"Your time is up. Here's ten more seconds to follow up. Now, everyone just start talking at random for awhile."
posted by Burhanistan at 6:29 PM on June 26 [8 favorites]


@normative: “Can’t we just talk about our wonderful objectives & stop fussing about how they might get achieved?”

Most of the candidates' health care plans in a nutshell. Far easier to yell about how bad drug companies are than to have an actual plan.
posted by zachlipton at 6:30 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


"Let's not forget our friends in the trans community..." *immediately calls trans men "trans females"*
posted by odinsdream at 6:31 PM on June 26 [34 favorites]


FFS, sound engineering is designed in a way that you can cut out every mic besides the one you want to hear. Why are we allowing debates where candidates go over their time and speak over someone during their time? (Long time frustration for me.)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:32 PM on June 26 [32 favorites]


CNN’s fact-checking the debate live, but Trump’s tweets about criminal justice reform and Australia’s immigration policies could use some attention.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:34 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


So, did Inslee really say he is more women's right's than the women on the stage?
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:35 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


Cheering crowds back from the commercial, eh? Might as well put a bit wheel o'topics to spin to choose questions.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:36 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


I think he said he was the only one to pass a law.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:37 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: BORING!

This came right as the candidates were being asked about a dead parent and child at the border, if he's watching live.
posted by zachlipton at 6:38 PM on June 26 [24 favorites]


What's the Spanish word for pandering?
posted by uosuaq at 6:39 PM on June 26 [4 favorites]


I mean, a man *can* be better on women's rights than a woman - Phyllis Schlafly comes to mind. But it's not going to be true with this group.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:39 PM on June 26 [17 favorites]


pretty sure it's pandejo
posted by adept256 at 6:40 PM on June 26 [51 favorites]


I think he said he was the only one to pass a law.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:37 PM on June 26 [+] [!]


Correct. But it sure seemed to demean the work those ladies on stage have done for women's rights and women's health. Pretty disingenious/shitty thing, imo at the least.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:41 PM on June 26 [7 favorites]


This is like going out on the floor of the children's museum where I work, on a rainy day. Chaos and folks just talking over each other. I had to turn it off after about 3 minutes. Fucking shitshow.
posted by sundrop at 6:45 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


Warren way ahead on time speaking, according to the people who count such things.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:45 PM on June 26


@davidmackau: de blasio doing a great job representing new yorkers shouting over people

I do not want him to be President, and I do not understand why he keeps getting to talk without being called on, but he's surprisingly good at this. Since he's not really a serious candidate, he has the freedom to take whatever positions he wants without needing actual plans to back them up, and he's good at being loud and cutting through BS.

Unfortunately, those are literally his only skills, as he possesses none related to actual governing, but he's well suited for this moment.
posted by zachlipton at 6:46 PM on June 26 [32 favorites]


I truly appreciated Klobuchar forcefully stating the strong premise that we should let in refugees because they might make us money
posted by Automocar at 6:48 PM on June 26 [13 favorites]


Bill De Blasio should be the Trump stand-in in the eventual debate practice for whoever wins the nomination—he’s a great shameless interruptor!
posted by sallybrown at 6:49 PM on June 26 [9 favorites]


Unfortunately, those are literally his only skills

He's a good guy to have around if you have things on high shelves.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:49 PM on June 26 [23 favorites]


He's a good guy to have around if you have things on high shelves.

Woah, you're forgetting his intense animal magnetism
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:52 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


He has money and a dream and he's going for it, bless his heart.

Delaney sent us a fucking Christmas card (along with every other registered Democrat in Iowa).

Bless his heart, indeed.

#nopenis2020
posted by Big Al 8000 at 6:53 PM on June 26 [15 favorites]


It is unfortunate but its pretty clear everybody on the stage except Warren needs to go home and sit down? Has anybody really done anything to get their numbers above 2%?
posted by Justinian at 6:54 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


It is unfortunate but its pretty clear everybody on the stage except Warren needs to go home and sit down? Has anybody really done anything to get their numbers above 2%?

I've really liked Castro and Inslee, actually, and they don't get a lot of time otherwise. So I think it could move the dial for some people.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:56 PM on June 26 [8 favorites]


Well, O'Rourke was already above 2% (5.1% according to 538 average) Of course, it's possible he could go back down to it...

(Technically Booker was at 2.6%...)

Of the 1%'rs Castro seems like he might be able to raise his profile a bit?
posted by thefoxgod at 6:57 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Has anybody really done anything to get their numbers above 2%?

Google Trends: Julian Castro has spiked +2,400% in search since the #DemDebate started.
posted by waitingtoderail at 6:57 PM on June 26 [10 favorites]


It's hard for me to not Monday morning quarterback this. I think I would handle these questions better.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:57 PM on June 26


A lot of people pointing out that Warren went to the Homestead facility today but wasn't given a chance to say anything on immigration, even as certain white guys were jumping in.
posted by zachlipton at 6:57 PM on June 26 [14 favorites]


Castro seems to be the only one up there that Warren pays a lot of attention to.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:57 PM on June 26 [5 favorites]


It's so reality-tv-feeling. They agree with each other on the overwhelming majority of everything, and are thrown into this space where they're expected to fight each other but also not too hard and also put themselves forward but not too grossly and ugh, it's a dispiriting spectacle of public dys-discourse.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:59 PM on June 26 [10 favorites]


From this debate, I am leaning hard towards Warren as P, Julian Castro as Sr. Senator in Texas (taking Cornyn's seat) and then letting Beto go for the Jr. seat against Cruz again.

But, that's like choosing favorites for the Super Bowl having only watched one half of a the first pre-season game.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:59 PM on June 26 [15 favorites]


It's clear who MSNBC wants to be president: Elizabeth Warren. They're giving her more time than all the other candidates combined. They aren't giving any time to Tulsi at all. -V (Tulsi's sister)
6:44 PM · Jun 26, 2019

The gloves are coming off!!
posted by BeginAgain at 7:02 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


This herd needs to be thinned, and fast.
posted by sundrop at 7:03 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


Mic issues cause unscheduled cut to commercial; Dems in disarray.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:04 PM on June 26 [7 favorites]


Delaney sent us a fucking Christmas card (along with every other registered Democrat in Iowa).

ahahahahaahahahahahaahahaha

(what a joke of a person)
posted by schroedinger at 7:04 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


>t's clear who MSNBC wants to be president: Elizabeth Warren. They're giving her more time than all the other candidates combined. They aren't giving any time to Tulsi at all. -V (Tulsi's sister)
6:44 PM · Jun 26, 2019

The gloves are coming off!!


Thing is, can definitely see it come off that way - she's gotten first answer for 3 questions?
posted by litleozy at 7:05 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


They aren't giving any time to Tulsi at all

That might be good for Tulsi. Wouldn't want anyone asking her about the history of Islamophobia or her distaste for LGBTQ+ rights.
posted by schroedinger at 7:05 PM on June 26 [35 favorites]


WTF is going on in the NBC control room?
posted by Wretch729 at 7:05 PM on June 26


Is this political Numberwang?
posted by delfin at 7:05 PM on June 26 [29 favorites]


Warren/Castro 2020, Inslee for Energy Secretary.

Tulsi Gabbard for contrarian kinda-Democrat Fox News pundit, probably.
posted by duffell at 7:06 PM on June 26 [31 favorites]


this debate was tailored for me (as well as the rest of metafilter, liberals, progressives, lefties etc.), but I watched 2 random minutes of discussion, and my gag reflexes forced me to turn it off.
I know it's a TV event, not a political give & take, but holy smokes, it was shallow.
Yiiiikes.
posted by growabrain at 7:06 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


I know what you mean but I'm not sure that's fair to the candidates, to call it shallow. Not much they can do in a crappy crowded format with hardly any time.
posted by Glinn at 7:12 PM on June 26 [4 favorites]


Tulsi Gabbard for contrarian kinda-Democrat Fox News pundit, probably.

RT, without question. She's already in the payroll system.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:12 PM on June 26 [31 favorites]


Not a great format, but Warren has the best combination of directness and clarity by far. Her strength is policy and DATA people. She just next to get past having to tolerate Trump interrupting her and bloviating next year so she can get shit done in office.
posted by freecellwizard at 7:16 PM on June 26 [11 favorites]


I don't love Tim Ryan but I am dead certain this is the first time someone has name-checked Social and Emotional Learning in a presidential debate. That made me very happy.
posted by duffell at 7:16 PM on June 26 [9 favorites]


Does nobody else at least find it refreshing that there are serious presidential candidates advocating for things like a 70 percent marginal tax rate, Medicare for all and breaking up big tech companies during a prime-time debate? That would have been unthinkable four years ago.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 7:17 PM on June 26 [99 favorites]


Maybe if Chuck Todd would ask his questions in a concise manner, more candidates would have time to speak...
posted by sallybrown at 7:19 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


Marianne Williamson's verified twitter account: I need to learn Spanish by tomorrow night at 9.

Trapdoor. Don't even need to see the stage tomorrow.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:20 PM on June 26 [10 favorites]


Wow Chuck Todd is RUDE.
posted by all about eevee at 7:21 PM on June 26 [5 favorites]


Castro has a brother who is angling for Cornyn's seat, unless I have them mixed up again (they're twins).
posted by muddgirl at 7:23 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


Well done to Inslee for actually giving a policy stance in answer to the Mitch McConnell question.
posted by Wretch729 at 7:24 PM on June 26 [10 favorites]


I thought I was the only one to take Warren's answer as a criticism of Obama, but no, that seemed purposeful.

@daveweigel: Both Delaney's and Warren's answers were lowkey Obama criticisms. Warren described a permanent political movement, a la the one the left says Obama dismantled in 2009. Delaney said the great policy achievements had bipartisan support; that was exactly none of Obama's achievements

Also, this is true:

@RobStutzman: Trump’s gotta hate that McConnell is dominating this debate.
posted by zachlipton at 7:24 PM on June 26 [12 favorites]


muddgirl: "Castro has a brother who is angling for Cornyn's seat, unless I have them mixed up again (they're twins)."

IIRC he's already said he's running for re-election in the House again. MJ Hegar will be running, though.

I'm disappointed that in all the talk of McConnell fuckery nobody pointed out that he's on the ballot in 2020 and will likely be up against a pretty great candidate in Amy McGrath.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:26 PM on June 26 [11 favorites]


Joaquin Castro has said that he won't run for Cornyn's seat; I'm not sure there's a Dem candidate for that race yet.

I know this format is absurd, but I actually like all of them a little more after watching. It's so nice to hear better ideas treated like they're possible.
posted by gladly at 7:27 PM on June 26 [10 favorites]


Not in the next election but eventually. Julian has been uninterested in the legislative branch.
posted by muddgirl at 7:28 PM on June 26


The moderator bloke just misrepresented what took place in the Australian election, or at the very least absurdly oversimplified it down to a single factor. Climate change was far from the only or deciding issue and that shouldn't require a deep familiarity with our politics to recognise.
Encouraging stuff.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 7:29 PM on June 26 [5 favorites]


That might be good for Tulsi. Wouldn't want anyone asking her about the history of Islamophobia or her distaste for LGBTQ+ rights.

Too late!
posted by The Hamms Bear at 7:30 PM on June 26 [5 favorites]


Delaney said the great policy achievements had bipartisan support

No, he didn’t. He said all great policy achievements have massive public support (recognizing that the ACA was the product of one party) and then pivoted to his bipartisan hobbyhorse.

He says results will stoke bipartisanship from the GOP. I say he’d make a great VP choice for Biden.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 7:32 PM on June 26 [5 favorites]


Glinn: "I know what you mean but I'm not sure that's fair to the candidates, to call it shallow. Not much they can do in a crappy crowded format with hardly any time."

Twitterati are impressed at content-heaviness, actually. It's obviously not people reading white papers, but we're not getting any stupid horse race questions.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:32 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


I know this format is absurd, but I actually like all of them a little more after watching. It's so nice to hear better ideas treated like they're possible.

I'm just dispirited by how unable we are to have a reasonable conversation about really important shit without blowing up small differences and/or fighting retrograde fascist idiocy.

I want the mods to ask them a question about public discourse.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:33 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Just freed up to tune in and Warren is FIRED UP
posted by yoz420 at 7:33 PM on June 26 [6 favorites]


muddgirl: "Not in the next election but eventually. Julian has been uninterested in the legislative branch."

I don't know, he has the flavor of one of those guys who is supposed to be The Next Big Thing and then never goes very far with it.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:34 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


Joaquin Castro has said that he won't run for Cornyn's seat; I'm not sure there's a Dem candidate for that race yet.

I think MJ Hegar?

I am exhausted for a variety of reasons. I would prefer Julian or Beto, but would definitely vote for Hegar.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 7:34 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


Too late!

V (Tulsi’s sister) is regretting that tweet now.
posted by BeginAgain at 7:34 PM on June 26 [4 favorites]


beto isn't part latino?
posted by brujita at 7:35 PM on June 26


Beto is a nickname. He's white.
posted by duffell at 7:36 PM on June 26 [4 favorites]


Here's the 538 liveblog, icymi.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:39 PM on June 26


Beto is a nickname. He's white.

and at least one latinx (me) finds it annoying
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:41 PM on June 26 [11 favorites]


(his nickname, not the mistake, which is understandable)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:41 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


@LemieuxLGM: Tim Ryan is apparently there as a curve for Gabbard to grade herself on

It really takes a uniquely awful performance to make Gabbard not awful.
posted by zachlipton at 7:41 PM on June 26 [20 favorites]


I'm really upset that these people are making Gabbard and DeBlasio look good and reasonable.
posted by armacy at 7:43 PM on June 26 [7 favorites]


Man, some of my favorite responses tonight are coming from people I don't otherwise care for all that much and wouldn't ever support in the primary. Seeing Gabbard take Tim Ryan to school about Afghanistan was delicious.

Still no signs of life from De Blasio, though.
posted by duffell at 7:43 PM on June 26 [7 favorites]


FWIW "Beto" is something his own family has called him since he was a kid; it's not something he adopted just to help him in politics.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:45 PM on June 26 [32 favorites]


Maybe it’s because I’m southern but I’m finding DeBlasio’s affect super irritating.
posted by freecellwizard at 7:45 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Everyone finds DeBlasio irritating. See my post about him! New Yorkers disapprove, too!

(Just in case, I am sure that not everyone finds him irritating, but a lot of people do.)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:47 PM on June 26 [7 favorites]


Sorry but what do any of these people plan to do about China, if they're all that worried about China as a threat? Start a trade war? Regular war? Nothing?
posted by AnhydrousLove at 7:49 PM on June 26


Wow, so he really can bring America together, then.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:50 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


I don’t even want to commit that former congressman’s name to memory.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:51 PM on June 26


aw man Delaney stole Joe Biden's closing statement for tomorrow right off the teleprompter. what's he gonna do now, just list off the names of all his favorite racists for 45 seconds?
posted by Kybard at 7:51 PM on June 26 [9 favorites]


@jameshohmann: MINUTES SPOKEN SO FAR, at 10:47 p.m. [before closing statements]
Booker-10.0 minutes
O’Rourke-9.4
Warren-8.3
Castro-8.0
Klobuchar-7.5
Ryan-6.7
Gabbard-5.7
Delaney-5.6
de Blasio-4.8
Inslee-4.0

@ChloeAngyal: Tomorrow, everyone will talk about Warren as if she spoke the most. As is usually the case when women are talking, that's not what the data shows.
posted by zachlipton at 7:53 PM on June 26 [84 favorites]


Tim Ryan: "There's nothing worse than not being heard, nothing worse than not being seen, and I know that because I'm polling at like 0.1% right now guys, plz help."
posted by Rhaomi at 7:53 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


538 on who spoke the most. Booker said the most by a good margin, then Warren, Castro, O'Rourke, and Klobuchar were all about the same, and lastly the rest were all grouped together at about half that.

So Booker really grabbed at it tonight.
posted by Justinian at 7:54 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


nb to Tim Ryan:

I don't think that Elizabeth Warren has forgotten her origins.
posted by brujita at 7:54 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


The order in which they’re cueing the parting shots seems to be in direct proportion to each proverbial snowball’s chance.
posted by armeowda at 7:54 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


did gabbard really just say that america's founding was about ending involuntary servitude? that is a serious question, did she say that?
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:55 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


Note that 538 was looking at words spoken not time spoken. Booker clearly spoke more quickly than everybody else.
posted by Justinian at 7:55 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


but in terms of actual horse-racing or whatever, and I guess the word counts bear this out, I thought Castro did by far the best job of those who came in here not already a national name

and tonight was really the best opportunity for those folks; tomorrow is going to be swallowed whole by Biden and Bernie
posted by Kybard at 7:55 PM on June 26


Amelia Thomson-Deveau at the 538 liveblog:
I’m uncomfortable with the Trump prosecution talk too, Perry. If you’re criticizing Trump for undermining the independence of the Justice Department, promising to prosecute Trump when he leaves office is not where you want to go next.
I can't watch the actual debate, but were candidates saying they would prosecute Trump? And if so, who was saying that?
posted by Jpfed at 7:56 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


You know who I don't miss? Jim Webb.
posted by duffell at 7:57 PM on June 26 [13 favorites]


God, Chuck Todd sucks so hard

He just sucks so damn hard
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:59 PM on June 26 [15 favorites]


You know who I don't miss? Jim Webb.

He killed a man once for saying that.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:01 PM on June 26 [22 favorites]


Without sucking would Chuck Todd be on TV? That's his job.
posted by downtohisturtles at 8:01 PM on June 26


I think Castro (especially) and Booker might have helped themselves some tonight. Warren did good, of course, and will remain by far the most viable of anyone in this debate.
posted by thefoxgod at 8:02 PM on June 26 [10 favorites]


Tim Ryan sounds good too. Am I the only one that thinks that?
posted by yoz420 at 8:02 PM on June 26


No, I dislike Chuck Todd more than you (dislike him).
posted by Burhanistan at 8:02 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


promising to prosecute Trump when he leaves office is not where you want to go next.

There's a 400 page report that says the only reason he wasn't already charged is because he's the president. It's not radical to say he will be charged as soon as he stops occupying that office. The rule of law demands it. The radical thing is looking forward, not backwards, again.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:03 PM on June 26 [38 favorites]


Am I the only one that thinks that?

I'd prefer Chuck Todd over Tim Ryan based on tonight's performance.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:05 PM on June 26 [7 favorites]


Initial gut reactions: On a zero-sum level, this debate was bad for Warren and good for everyone else, in aggregate.

Bad for Warren simply because she is already polling so far ahead of everyone else, but she didn't stand head and shoulders above the crowd as you might expect from someone in that position. No specific mistakes, per se. (Her closing statement was good though.)

I don't see this performance helping Booker, Beto, or Klobuchar. Each of them already has a decent support network and they didn't say anything substantially outside expectations for them.

I think it did help some very marginal candidates like Castro and Ryan, and the "yelling white man" candidates overall. I was genuinely impressed with Castro (after having basically written him off, personally), and the white guys probably connected on their respective issues and they were willing to talk over everyone else to get more airtime. Sigh.

BTW I say all this as a die hard Warren supporter. Maybe I'm wrong entirely; maybe I'm right but the effects will be small and all the leaders will stay leaders.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 8:05 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


It's not radical to say he will be charged as soon as he stops occupying that office.

Right, but the answer should be "I would expect my Justice Department to prosecute all those who can be proven to have committed a crime, without regard to politics."
posted by Justinian at 8:05 PM on June 26 [21 favorites]


The question isn't whether it's radical; the question is whether it's the would-be president's call to make. The correct answer isn't "yes" or "no"; the correct answer is "I will not interfere in the administration of justice as my DoJ sees fit.".
posted by Jpfed at 8:06 PM on June 26 [11 favorites]


I thought Jay Inslee was interesting, but in an “I want to read an article about that guy” way, not an “I want to vote for that guy for President” way.
posted by sallybrown at 8:07 PM on June 26 [8 favorites]


but in an “I want to read an article about that guy” way

Vox's climate change analyst David Roberts has so got you covered
posted by Jpfed at 8:10 PM on June 26 [9 favorites]


Chris Matthews also sucks, not in the same way as Chuck Todd, but in a completely separate but no less awful way
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:13 PM on June 26 [7 favorites]


Dem candidates as Airplane! cast members

Not super familiar with the rules here, but only one candidate can come out of the Angry White Guy regional, correct?
posted by tonycpsu at 8:13 PM on June 26 [9 favorites]


I will just state for the record that I find it very dismaying that there does not seem to be a clear path for getting Don out of the White House.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:13 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


The debate format was a giant waste and only helps Biden overall. It also hurt Warren that she ended up in this one with no great opportunity to shine, and I agree this probably hurts her slightly if it has any effect. On the other hand, I think the moderators actually did a fairly decent job of working with what they had: though no one got much of a chance to develop their ideas, the moderators did try to target each candidate with a mix of questions that played to their greatest strengths and their greatest weaknesses. Warren got a question on the economy where she could shine, Castro got more attention on immigration, and even Gabbard got to make her case about Afghanistan, horrible as she is otherwise. They also hit Warren on guns, asking for a plan from the plan candidate who replied with nothing but dodging and pabulum (which I say as a Warren supporter!), and similarly asked fairly sharp questions of a number of the other candidates that poked at their weaknesses. So terrible format, mic errors, cross-talk, and the Todd notwithstanding, I actually think the moderators did a decent job both focusing on issues Democrats in particular care about, and targeting their questions fairly decently at the specific rogues gallery before them. Not that it matters much when there's only time for 7.3 minutes of speech per person...
posted by chortly at 8:16 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


Booker and Castro probably helped themselves the most.

Inslee outperformed my expectations. He’ll make an excellent Secretary of the Interior or EPA Chief.

Warren had her shit together, as usual. Time to get on an E(lizabeth)-ticket ride? Maybe so.

Klobuchar really, really loves Minnesota. Do you know why all the trees in Iowa lean north? Because Minnesota sucks. As did her underwhelming performance.

O’Rourke talks pretty but i didn’t get any sense how that translates to action.

Gabbard needs to be able to say LGBTQ faster to convince LGBTQ people she’s on their side. Sorry but AA players don’t cut it in The Big Show.

DiBlasio and Delaney need to go away because nobody is interested in what they’re saying.

I didn’t know who Tim Rice was before the debate and afterwards I honestly don’t care to find out.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 8:18 PM on June 26 [9 favorites]


Chris Matthews also sucks, not in the same way as Chuck Todd, but in a completely separate but no less awful way

Chris Matthews is falling over himself to praise Bill DeBlasio right now. What an embarrassment.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:20 PM on June 26 [3 favorites]


David Corn (Mother Jones):
Warren: Bolstered standing, stole Bernie voters
Beto: Didn't gain
Booker: Netted out, good finish
Klobuchar: Not change much
Castro: Sharp performance
Gabbard: Could entice non-interventionists?
Ryan: Not ready for this
Inslee: Had moments
de Blasio: Strong, but?
Delaney: Meh
posted by chris24 at 8:20 PM on June 26 [5 favorites]


As did her underwhelming performance.

I thought (6 months ago) that Klobuchar would be a formidable candidate. She is... for Senate in the upper Midwest. But she's not ready for the national stage.

Castro did well despite my earlier "nobody belongs on stage but Warren" snark but I really think his ceiling is too low to be a contender. Ditto with Booker even though he was good. Both opinions subject to revision if they get decent bounces post-debate. But I'm still not convinced Joe Q. Public is paying attention yet.

Beto. sorry bud.

Go away de Blasio. Just... go.
posted by Justinian at 8:24 PM on June 26 [4 favorites]


Big Al 8000: "I didn’t know who Tim Rice was before the debate and afterwards I honestly don’t care to find out."

Tim Rice wrote the lyrics for Jesus Christ Superstar.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:24 PM on June 26 [36 favorites]


de Blasio: Strong, but?

He's a sharp politico, no question. There's a reason he wins even though everyone hates him. That won't get him close to the nomination though. So, yeah: Strong, but?
posted by Justinian at 8:25 PM on June 26


Justinian: "I thought (6 months ago) that Klobuchar would be a formidable candidate. She is... for Senate in the upper Midwest. But she's not ready for the national stage."

I have to say, I've been really surprised at the performances (so far) of Klobuchar and Gillibrand. I figured them to be pretty formidable, but neither has really caught fire so far. Shows what I know, I guess.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:26 PM on June 26 [4 favorites]


> David Corn (Mother Jones): [...]

My first thought here was that a tweet-length debate review is a perfect microcosm of nonsense political punditry in 2016.

My next thought was that Twitter isn't going to get us out of a problem that it largely got us into by giving Trump a platform to attack Obama with birther nonsense.

My final thought was: fuck it, ~280 characters is about 200 more than this debate deserved.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:28 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


Tim Rice wrote the lyrics for Jesus Christ Superstar.

When the lyricist for a 50 year-old rock opera sticks in my head instead of the guy who just got done talkin, you know your candidacy is doomed.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 8:29 PM on June 26 [21 favorites]


If Inslee had done the exact same hammering on points that he did tonight with all of the "I am the only candidate who..." chest bearing removed, we'd be calling his night a terrific showing. Going straight to unions and climate change? Fuck yeah, man. Mansplaining women's rights to three Dem women? Criminy, dude.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:35 PM on June 26 [21 favorites]


Tim Ryan sounds good too. Am I the only one that thinks that?

Didn't watch the debate, but as an Ohio resident who has been bombarded with Tim Ryan emails, he's the Third Way Young Gun - he would've been a viable follow-up to Clinton in 2000, had he been old enough, but now he's just Biden 2.0. For all his talk of locavore practices and emotional labor, his actual policies and ideas are rooted in "straight white males know best, everybody just calm down and we'll get around to fixing your problems eventually."
posted by soundguy99 at 8:38 PM on June 26 [9 favorites]


Given tonight, I think either Castro or Booker would make a great VP for Warren or Harris. Yeah I'm putting the cart before the horse but that's what you guys pay me for.
posted by Justinian at 8:39 PM on June 26 [28 favorites]


Or we can just cut out the middle-men and go for Warren/Harris. (or Harris/Warren but I'm trying to be at least slightly realistic...)
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:41 PM on June 26 [22 favorites]


Yeah, I feel like Inslee and Ryan are the two guys at the party who’d seem mostly OK until the third drink/toke, and then they’d start bogarting the cheese tray and raving about evo psych.
posted by armeowda at 9:04 PM on June 26 [11 favorites]


Yes I just said “toke” and “bogart” and I’m like several days older than Buttigieg.
posted by armeowda at 9:06 PM on June 26 [17 favorites]


I thought Jay Inslee was interesting, but in an “I want to read an article about that guy” way, not an “I want to vote for that guy for President” way.

How about in an "interesting enough to donate $1 to his campaign to help him reach the 130,000 donor threshold by the end of August to keep him in the game a little longer" way? :)

I think of that $1 as saying "climate change is important and I want it represented on stage", rather than necessarily "he's my top choice for president". Bernie Sanders demonstrated in 2016 that a primary campaign can have powerful influence even if it doesn't win, and I would love to see more influence from Inslee's platform.

I was tremendously disappointed that Tom Perez torpedoed the climate change debate. But, then, I guess disappointment is par for the course for the DNC.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 9:20 PM on June 26 [19 favorites]


[One comment removed. Reminder, this is a thread specifically for the current dem primary debates happening tonight and tomorrow; general US political discussion should stick to the current politics catch-all thread.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:36 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


As a perennial reader and participant in the megathread I like to think of myself as pretty well-informed about US politics so it concerns me when I don't know who at least a third of the debate clown car occupants are.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:37 PM on June 26 [11 favorites]


I thought Stranger Things didn't start til next month?!
posted by evilDoug at 9:41 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Someone on MSNBC talking heads time a few minutes ago said Castro was for "open borders", that's such a Republican dogwhistle, did he come across that way to anyone else? I just thought he was for decriminalizing people crossing the border who weren't, ya know, actual criminals.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 9:43 PM on June 26


I am a dual citizen with an Australian father and an American mother. I did not know that I could vote in US elections but my sister has has found out that we can as long as we have our mother's last address in the state that she resided in, and proof that we are dual citz and her daughters, so am watching this election cycle closely.
posted by PollyWaffle at 9:46 PM on June 26 [18 favorites]


Canadian, watching on a live stream, STUNNED at the number of anti-Medicare for all ads that are running.

I mean, really? If they're spending that much money fighting it already, maybe there's a chance for you guys this time.

And I love Rachel and MSNBC but jesus I'm going to punch the demo-Republicans on that panel. I want Chris Matthews to stop screaming about appealing to the center.
posted by jrochest at 9:50 PM on June 26 [12 favorites]


Yes, you can vote, Pollywaffle. For you or any other American citizens living outside the US, Democrats Abroad can help (especially if you are missing some of your data). Also they have local committees and meetups, including for debates (ok maybe not all of the debates) in many countries around the world.
posted by nat at 9:55 PM on June 26 [6 favorites]


I thought it was notable what you didn't see on that stage. Almost everything everyone said was, as a first order of approximation, reasonably true, or at least a matter of not utterly absurd opinion, to the extent that CNN didn't bother to put Daniel Dale on the air to do fact checks because everything was too factual. There were no demands that we must all fear terrorists and gang members. Not one person insulted Rosie O’Donnell. Everyone agrees that climate change is real, even if plans to lesson it and mitigate its effects are lacking. Everyone was capable of speaking in coherent sentences, and nobody endorsed torture. All the candidates seemed to generally believe in human rights and equality. Nobody admitted any felonies or said they would commit them in office.

I'm not going to say it was a good debate, because it was a mess, but the contrast was astonishing.
posted by zachlipton at 10:03 PM on June 26 [91 favorites]


Chuck Todd really is terrible. He was barely tolerable back when he only did "numbers" stuff, analyzing polls and election returns, but in anything requiring interaction with actual human beings, like hosting "Meet The Press" or moderating a debate, he is embarrassingly inept.

As for the candidates, Warren was fine. I don't know if she gained any supporters, but she avoided gaffes and did not hurt herself. Castro and Booker may have gained a little ground tonight. I wish Inslee had gotten more time to speak, as to me, he's the most potentially interesting of the lower-polling candidates. Beto and Klobuchar were both OK, but I don't think this debate helps either one all that much.

Delaney, Ryan, Gabbard, and DeBlasio all can go away now, I don't need to see any more of them.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 10:11 PM on June 26 [4 favorites]


As usual, the Democrats disappoint! In order for a Democrat to succeed, they must come prepared to deliver flawless, well-rehearsed, detailed policy proposals in a calm and steady voice that is within traditional parameters of the accepted dynamic frequency range, and not say anything remotely unusul....

...but also, they must really stand out from the pack and talk like a normal person, create some viral moments -- shit on a photo of Trump, slap Joe Biden in the face, SOMETHING to make yourself interesting!
posted by Chronorin at 10:53 PM on June 26 [4 favorites]


Given tonight, I think either Castro or Booker would make a great VP for Warren or Harris


Ditto. I’m solidifying on Warren for President, with either Harris, Castro or Booker as Veep. Each brings different strengths as a running mate.

But I swear, if Harris isn’t on the ticket, then I want her as Attorney General. Because there’s some corrupt people that need to metaphorically be torn a new asshole — for justice — and Kamala is just the person to do it.

Pretty disappointed to hear that Bernie declined to commit to endorsing the Dem candidate if it wasn’t him, and that he was claiming “some say” he could have won the 2016 primaries “if they weren’t rigged.” Not trying to re-litigate 2016, but just observing that it’s a toxic thing for him to be saying now.
posted by darkstar at 11:20 PM on June 26 [48 favorites]


Sadly it isn't re-litigating if he said it today. Which he did. In Trumpian fashion.

I don't think either Biden or Sanders can quite come to terms with the fact that the times have moved past them. Biden because the party has moved away from him, and Sanders because the other candidates have co-opted much or most of his message. In a way Sanders has won but he can't take yes for an answer if it doesn't involve him personally.

There's gotta be a metaphor with Moses dying within sight of the promised land but not making it there himself here somewhere but I'm not quite getting to it.
posted by Justinian at 11:28 PM on June 26 [41 favorites]


Not trying to re-litigate 2016, but just observing that it’s a toxic thing for him to be saying now.

I liked Bernie at first and later was always on the fence on whether he was more clueless or malevolent in 2016, independent of his nastier followers, and his behavior lately has really solidified which of the two he was.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:29 PM on June 26 [14 favorites]


Although for a guy who is out of step with the party Biden is still polling very well. If his support is gonna move away I think you'd expect to see some cracks start to form after tomorrow's debate. We'll see?
posted by Justinian at 11:31 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


Twitter is pointing out that nobody really had a plan for dealing with McConnell and the Senate. "Then a miracle occurs" isn't really a plan.

That's because nobody has an actual plan but "I can do literally nothing about McConnell unless we manage 50 seats in 2020 and so no matter which of us is elected we will pass zero bills not renaming a post office" isn't an answer you can give on live TV and hope to get elected.
posted by Justinian at 11:36 PM on June 26 [16 favorites]


Bernie just doesn't see any of the other candidates as an improvement over Trump. There's no other way to read it.
posted by xammerboy at 11:39 PM on June 26 [8 favorites]


Twitter is pointing out that nobody really had a plan for dealing with McConnell and the Senate. "Then a miracle occurs" isn't really a plan.

Declare war on the sun and get congressional authorization? It's the most plausible course of action I can think of... Believe it or not, I try and assess whether or not I think the candidates are capable of the crazy, because I think we'll need it.
posted by xammerboy at 11:52 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]




@FiveThirtyEight:
Cory Booker spoke the most words tonight.
Beto O’Rourke was second.
Elizabeth Warren was third.
Chuck Todd, one of the debate’s moderators, spoke just 4 words less than Warren and more words than 7 of the candidates on stage.

---

How the fuck does Chuck Todd have a job.
posted by chris24 at 4:08 AM on June 27 [33 favorites]


Tulsi is the most-searched Democratic candidate after the debate started, according to Google
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 4:20 AM on June 27


Beto's problem last night wasn't with himself it was with the format. I've seen him speak at rallies & he tends to be longwinded. He tells stories that illustrate the point he's trying to make & humanize them, tie them to specific people with names & other details. But you can't do that in a 60 second lightning round debate format.

He did get fired up a couple times, which is a thing he's good at so it's good he got to do it. But for a guy who has such an encyclopedic memory of the people he's met & likes to tell stories based on their stories to him, the format just sucked.
posted by scalefree at 4:21 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Picture's worth a thousand words. This is the one that won the night.

@jessalynsays
hermione, and i cannot emphasize this enough, granger energy
[GIF - says it all]
posted by scalefree at 4:24 AM on June 27 [50 favorites]


Biden's first presidential debate was 32 years ago on a special episode of William F. Buckley Jr.'s ''Firing Line.'' The other candidates were Paul Simon, Bruce Babbitt, Michael S. Dukakis, Dick Gephardt, Jesse Jackson and Al Gore.
posted by octothorpe at 4:57 AM on June 27 [13 favorites]


Tulsi is the most-searched Democratic candidate after the debate started, according to Google

How easily could a metric like that be gamed, though? Like an online survey.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 4:59 AM on June 27 [6 favorites]


and that he was claiming “some say” he could have won the 2016 primaries “if they weren’t rigged.”

Do you mean like Elizabeth Warren, because she's one of the people who said it was rigged against him
posted by windbox at 5:11 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


Tulsi did really well last night, frankly. She was very charming and very believable on both her weak issue (LGBTQ rights) and on national security. I don't like her positions so she's not moving the dial for me, but I'm not surprised if people got interested after her performance.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:14 AM on June 27 [6 favorites]


I could be wrong, but was Elizabeth Warren the only candidate who nodded vigorously at times when she felt others on stage were right on the money? My partner noticed that and found it as likable as anything she actually said.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:21 AM on June 27 [58 favorites]


Pardon my tinfoil hat, but ... a few factoids to consider in tandem:

1) There are reports that Putin apologists have mobilized for Tulsi Gabbard.
2) Putin's election interference is said to include an army of bots and online influencers.
3) Gabbard went in with lower recognition and less of an established base.
4) Few, if any initial reactions here or elsewhere had Gabbard as doing much better than blandly okay.
4) Gabbard is crushing many of the "Who won the debate?" polls.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:31 AM on June 27 [47 favorites]


What stuck out most for me was Tim Ryan advocating for continuing a deeply unpopular, inhumane, and ineffective war. Is he campaigning for the nomination in 2004? Christ.
posted by entropone at 5:44 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


I would buy it if Gabbard were involved in something shady but also...she really killed it in the exchange with that one guy about withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. Just mopped the floor with the dude, was on her shit, and came across as extremely competent and difficult to rattle. And personally, military service is not a plus, but a lot of Americans love that whole thing and she did a good job of bringing it out.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:51 AM on June 27 [8 favorites]


Pardon my tinfoil hat

No need to apologize. It's inevitable that Russia is going to promote lower tier candidates to fracture and divide us.
posted by diogenes at 5:57 AM on June 27 [10 favorites]


It seems to me it might be a little counter-productive if everyone is going around believing that whichever candidate they don't like and gets any sort of upward swing is just the beneficiary of Russian meddling, and has no real support.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 6:01 AM on June 27 [7 favorites]


It could be nothing. Absolutely. But it remains the case that the candidate with the friendliest stance on a country flagged for election interference experienced a largely unanticipated surge in online support last night. Even if you don't want to connect the dots the same way I am, it has to at least be a combination of things you note going forward.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:05 AM on June 27 [20 favorites]


it has to at least be a combination of things you note going forward.

Naw. You do you, but I personally feel like the Russian thing is overblown and sort of xenophobic considering the actual level of impact compared to, say, Fox News.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:07 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


I mean it when I say you do you, too, like, if you want to care about this that is fine and I don't think it's wrong or anything, but I don't think everyone has to care.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:08 AM on June 27


If Gabbard if winning the polls with 41% of the votes, such as at the Washington Examiner, then something is rigged.
posted by Manic Pixie Hollow at 6:24 AM on June 27 [18 favorites]


For more useful polling of the debate outcome, 538/Morning Consult has a group of respondents that they’re polling repeatedly before and after the debate to see how their perceptions change. I think they’re also polling them again a few days later to see how the post-debate analysis affects the polls, too.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:29 AM on June 27 [4 favorites]


It seems to me it might be a little counter-productive if everyone is going around believing that whichever candidate they don't like and gets any sort of upward swing is just the beneficiary of Russian meddling

It's absolutely counter-productive to have to consider that possibility. That's why Russia is going to do it!
posted by diogenes at 6:29 AM on June 27 [7 favorites]


The Examiner!? The EXAMINER!?

You’re concerned about an online poll on a right wing mouthpiece website?

Jeesus, people. I can’t even.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 6:30 AM on June 27 [11 favorites]


Even if you don't want to connect the dots the same way I am, it has to at least be a combination of things you note going forward.


Is it even possible to win an election, local or national, without the support of Russians? Of course, unless it's the candidate you like.

If Gabbard if winning the polls with 41% of the votes, such as at the Washington Examiner, then something is rigged.

I don't think it's a surprise that Gabbard would be the least unappealing candidate to a conservative audience.
posted by Mirax at 6:30 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


A friend of a friend described Beto as "didn't do the reading but wants class participation credit so he's still talking" and that feels like the best description of him that's maybe possible.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:31 AM on June 27 [36 favorites]


I don't think it's a surprise that Gabbard would be the least unappealing candidate to a conservative audience.

Dunno, my Dad doesn't like her because of her skin. (He doesn't like Beto because of his arms).

DISCOURSE!
posted by armacy at 6:32 AM on June 27 [4 favorites]


I personally feel like the Russian thing is overblown

I'm going to accept the US intelligence community's assessment that it's a significant and ongoing threat.
posted by diogenes at 6:34 AM on June 27 [52 favorites]


Well, if online polls on conservative sites thought Gabbard won, liberals did not.

Alex Seitz-Wald (NBC)
NEW: @IndivisibleTeam ran an SMS flash poll of their membership last night asking who “impressed” most. Results:

Warren 56%
Castro 15%
Booker 10%
Klobuchar 6%
De Blasio 3%
Gabbard 3%
Inslee 3%
O’Rourke 2%
Ryan 1%
Delaney 0%
posted by chris24 at 6:51 AM on June 27 [21 favorites]


[Couple comments removed: let's not make the merits of the US intelligence community the main focus here.]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 6:52 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


All Warren needed to do to win was to continue to radiate competence and not get dragged into any side fights by minor players looking to make a splash. She did that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:53 AM on June 27 [13 favorites]


There are mountains of evidence that Russia was involved in election interference. It's not just coming from US government agencies. It is a belief shared by the election security community, the Russian political studies community, the national security defense community, and the cyber security community. Like, all the communities. Calling it a "belief" is a bit of a disservice--much like calling climate change a "belief", it suggests that the facts are a matter of opinion rather than, y'know, facts. If someone has issues with it, I would ask whether they read the Mueller report and what specific criticisms they have of the evidence in there. If you didn't read the Mueller report, then accept that you have chosen to draw your conclusions without considering the full picture. Which is your right to do so. This is not because the Mueller report is a religious text, but because it provides the most comprehensive report of all of the evidence against the Russians and is the easiest method of ensuring that you have covered all your bases.

I wish literally any of these candidates had a plan for the Senate, but I am not surprised nobody really brought it up because it implicitly leads to uncomfortable questions about why some candidates are going after the Presidency instead of a Senate seat and what to do about the continued Democratic obsession with executive over legislative offices, especially on the national level.
posted by schroedinger at 7:04 AM on June 27 [31 favorites]


Someone on MSNBC talking heads time a few minutes ago said Castro was for "open borders", that's such a Republican dogwhistle, did he come across that way to anyone else? I just thought he was for decriminalizing people crossing the border who weren't, ya know, actual criminals.

Vox: Why Julián Castro started a Democratic debate fight over repealing “Section 1325”
MoJo: Julián Castro and Beto O’Rourke’s Fight Over Section 1325, Explained
WaPo has a history of Section 1325 which will surprise no one:
The provision of federal law criminalizing unlawful entry into the United States — which some Democratic presidential candidates now want to undo — was crafted by an avowed white supremacist who opposed the education of black Americans and favored lynching, which he justified by saying, “to hell with the Constitution.”
posted by peeedro at 7:10 AM on June 27 [18 favorites]


While I'm aware that there's plenty of evidence for Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and I do think that they're still meddling (and that the US is likely meddling in their elections as much as possible)

Evidence of that interference is not the same as evidence that Gabbard's swing in a couple of polls is tied to the same.

Unless I'm mistaken, because I didn't read the whole thing, the Mueller report did not provide precognitive evidence for the specific accusations of meddling seen today, accusations that I think will become only more prevalent throughout the 2020 election process.
posted by AnhydrousLove at 7:18 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


I saw an...unusual amount of support for Gabbard on a Facebook post by New Hampshire Public Radio a few weeks back, but then again, I've also seen a couple of Tulsi bumper stickers and billboards in person here, compared to pretty much nothing for the other lower tier candidates.
posted by damayanti at 7:19 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


There are mountains of evidence that Russia was involved in election interference.

Yes, I just do not think it is particularly important when compared to domestic bad actors and domestic issues. The focus on Russian "manipulation" of social media is a particular non-issue in the upcoming election.

At some point, people --- Democrats, particularly --- need to accept that sometimes people have different opinions about things without Russia being involved. I am not trying to be hyperbolic. This is a real thing that people need to try to remember going forward.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:21 AM on June 27 [6 favorites]


Obviously you have an opinion about it, but yours isn't backed up by facts and evidence. I don't like the fact that Russia's troll farm apparently works well, either, but it does.
posted by odinsdream at 7:25 AM on June 27 [19 favorites]


Tulsi was also the (let's be brutally honest here) most attractive, youngest female candidate on stage. Whatever the male gaze equivalent of Hanlon's Razor is applies here.
posted by so fucking future at 7:28 AM on June 27 [10 favorites]


The embarrassing thing for Beto isn't even that he went in with a tired shoehorn-a-personal-anecdote-into-every-answer-even-if-it-doesn't-apply plan. It's that even after it wasn't working and he ended up flailing and called out by moderators for off-point non-answers, he didn't have the chops to pivot to another approach.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:30 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


If Gabbard if winning the polls with 41% of the votes, such as at the Washington Examiner, then something is rigged.

Even if printed in China by Russians, I just want the bumper sticker

SurferGirl 2020


 
posted by sammyo at 7:51 AM on June 27


I think Beto was thrown off by the lack of dining table or kitchen counter on which to perch.
posted by duffell at 7:52 AM on June 27 [8 favorites]


Beto did just fine in his debates in Texas with Cruz, who is one of the preeminent debaters of his generation (no joke). It’s not that he’s just generally bad at debating. I think he lacks a driving purpose behind his run and he’s questioning himself about it. Warren is like a happy warrior up on that stage because she knows why she’s there, same with Inslee (even with his remote chances, he had no hesitation in his answers).
posted by sallybrown at 7:54 AM on June 27 [29 favorites]


Beto was too busy stifling the urge to make that constant arm chopping wave motion he does with his right arm for punctuation.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:10 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Per Henry J Gomez

@TimRyan is still upset with @TulsiGabbard. "I personally don’t need to be lectured by somebody who’s dining with a dictator who gassed kids," he told reporters after the debate. "I know what I’m talking about. I’m right, and we can’t let these areas be wide open."

Then why didn't you say that last night? Instead you bumbled your way into giving Tulsi "Worst Choice on this Stage" Gabbard an opening to look good and didn't have a come back.

Also the Venn Diagram of folks who call Russian interference xenophobic but have no problems with railing on Israel or Saudi Arabia for their influence is a circle.
posted by asteria at 8:25 AM on June 27 [4 favorites]


So...it seems that Warren, Castro, and Booker were impressive. Conclusion: Who needs the white guys? Especially the indistinguishable randoms. Booker or Castro would make a great VP for Warren. (So would Kamala Harris, but she wasn't part of last night's debate.)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:32 AM on June 27 [6 favorites]


What stuck out most for me was Tim Ryan advocating for continuing a deeply unpopular, inhumane, and ineffective war. Is he campaigning for the nomination in 2004? Christ.

That's odd considering he made his name as a fiery critic of Bush and the Iraq War at the time.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:43 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


If Warren comes out with the nom, I think her debates with Trump will be amazing. Because she shows a marked focus on using the debates to relay her plans and thinking and feelings in a positive way, rather than just trying to score points.

If she can keep that up, I don't think Trump will have the slightest idea how to counter that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:02 AM on June 27 [16 favorites]


Trump will counter it with sadism and bullying, of course. Prior to 2016 I would have believed that wouldn’t work.
posted by argybarg at 9:09 AM on June 27 [10 favorites]


I live in a highly Bernie-centric zip code, and Gabbard being Bernie’s VP is a sticking point among a small but tireless crowd.
posted by argybarg at 9:11 AM on June 27 [4 favorites]


donald trump will 'counter' warren by grinding up some adderall immediately before the debate and then snorting it into his human nostrils. he will then proceed to turn redder than he usually is and then shout disjointed abusive phrases and if possible twitchily loom behind warren in a way that suggests his eagerness to perform acts of extreme physical violence.

also, this is donald trump's 'counter' to any candidate the democrats put up.

i guess this is to say that i distrust candidate selection metrics that focus on that candidate's ability to play the game of televised debate. we're well past the era wherein televised debate between fascists and nonfascists was a potentially productive activity. the debates will be an intolerable shitshow and probably shouldn't exist. i feel deeply sorry for whichever democratic party candidate wins the nomination and has to subject themselves to being in the same room as our president.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:14 AM on June 27 [44 favorites]


Obviously you have an opinion about it, but yours isn't backed up by facts and evidence.
So, can you share these facts and evidence about Gabbard winning due to Russian meddling?

I don't really care for Gabbard for many reasons and I'd love to read more about this.
posted by Ouverture at 9:16 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


I mean sure, we know what he'll do. But how it will play against what our person will do is the interesting thing to speculate on. HRC's "This fucking guy, right?" approach had mixed success. I wonder if a positive person letting his bullshit roll right off will do better. Assuming that is even what Warren would do.

What I'm saying is, I can talk myself into thinking it would work. There were none other people up there that had varying merit, but it's hard for me to imagine any of them not getting ground up.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:18 AM on June 27


So, can you share these facts and evidence about Gabbard winning due to Russian meddling?

Experience seems to indicate that if this is happening, we will get carefully worded, mostly non-actionable findings on this sometime around 2023.

In the meantime, we have been urged by the US intelligence community to be wary. So we're wary.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:21 AM on June 27 [12 favorites]


So, can you share these facts and evidence about Gabbard winning due to Russian meddling?

Personally, I am not arguing that they were involved in this Gabbard thing. For reasons listed above, I can see why she'd appeal to people who don't know anything about her. I'm countering the argument that concerns over Russian election interference are overblown in general.

Frankly, I think it is healthy for people to keep the possibilities of interference in mind when considering the origin of a bunch of Twitter followers, or a Facebook ad, or a Facebook group, or an RT story, or what-have-you. 2016 suffered from a lack of skepticism and a willingness to believe whatever nonsense one's own side spewed as long as it lined up with one's own beliefs.
posted by schroedinger at 9:22 AM on June 27 [19 favorites]


Experience seems to indicate that if this is happening, we will get carefully worded, mostly non-actionable findings on this sometime around 2023.

In the meantime, we have been urged by the US intelligence community to be wary. So we're wary.


So...there are no facts and evidence. Just "you have to trust us because we say so" from...the US intelligence community, who have always been correct about everything, especially people of color.

Gabbard's ties to Hindu nationalism is more than enough to make her a complete non-starter for me. I was just hoping there was more here than centrist cold warrior fever dreams.
posted by Ouverture at 9:28 AM on June 27 [6 favorites]


Russian social media manipulation is something you should only keep an eye out for if you are conservative and have low media literacy. This doesn’t apply to anyone here. People here should be concerned with think-tank driven research with a professional veneer and “experts” who are fundamentally biased but presenting themselves as neutral. I mean, to the extent that anyone here needs to be “wary” at all, which I’m not convinced of when it comes to social media.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:29 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


There are plenty of great reasons not to like Gabbard of her own accord, for sure.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:31 AM on June 27


Although for a guy who is out of step with the party Biden is still polling very well.

I can't tell whether this was intended to be ironic or not. So far at least, Biden is by far the most popular candidate among Democrats. I hope this changes but that's the facts so far.
posted by JackFlash at 9:31 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


The question is issues vs individuals. Voters are aligned with Bernie/Warren which is why everyone is veering leftwards as quickly as they can. But Biden polls well. Although not better than Warren/Bernie combined indicating that when one of them pulls ahead they’ll be very competitive with him (if not before).
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:33 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


As a Harry Potter obsessed nerd I noticed Warren's delightful Hermione energy a while back and it made me love her so much. I am very happy that I'm not the only once who thinks so and the comparison is catching on. Who doesn't want a Hermione Granger president!? Can we please start referring to her that way all the time?

I was curious as to whether JK Rowling had heard about this yet and what she thought of it. Googling didn't find me an answer to that question, but, I DID learn that apparently Moaning Myrtle's full name is (she says coincidentally) MYRTLE ELIZABETH WARREN.
posted by robotdevil at 9:37 AM on June 27 [16 favorites]


So...there are no facts and evidence. Just "you have to trust us because we say so" from...the US intelligence community

We're talking about facts and evidence for massive Russian influence operations. If you don't think that's a real thing, you might get a better reception somewhere less familiar with that evidence.

(Nobody claimed to have facts and evidence for Gabbard's momentum being driven by Russian manipulation. It's too early for that. It's just a plausible theory worth considering.)
posted by diogenes at 9:37 AM on June 27 [13 favorites]


and if possible twitchily loom behind warren in a way that suggests his eagerness to perform acts of extreme physical violence. ....and I hope that she will be able to say "back off you creep!" in front of the debate audience the way HRC should have.
posted by brujita at 9:37 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


I see no reason to believe “voters are aligned with Bernie/Warren.” Centrists really do exist.

The ideologically pure left always overestimates how many people agree with them.
posted by argybarg at 9:39 AM on June 27 [7 favorites]


I see no reason to believe “voters are aligned with Bernie/Warren.” Centrists really do exist.

Bernie and Warren are functionally centrists when compared to the US electorate. Maybe not Bernie on foreign relations. But otherwise, Medicare for All, $15 minimum wage --- these have majority support.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:42 AM on June 27 [16 favorites]


I find it telling, and horrifying, that for the Democratic Party taking part in a climate change debate will result in automatic exclusion from all future official Democratic Party events but refusing to pledge to support the eventual nominee does not.

Go talk about climate change? The Democrats will nail your ass.

Be Bernie Sanders and refuse to commit to endorsing the eventual nominee even if it isn't you? Welcome to the debates Sen. Sanders!

All his blathering about the process being rigged against him runs up against the hard facts that the Democrats are permitting him, not even a member of the party, a guy who is leaving open the option of running independent and handing the election to Trump, to take place in their debates.

I voted for Sanders in the 2016 Texan primaries, and I wish I could take that vote back.

In order, the people I least want to be the nominee are:

1) Biden

2) Yang

3) Beto

4) Bernie

5) Buttigieg

And Bernie would be higher on the list except that I hate billionaires trying to buy their way into politics with a burning passion, and Beto is a flat out guaranteed failure because he's too nice and a true believer in bipartisanship (not to mention a traitor who sabotaged a fellow Democrat's campaign because he was all buddy buddy with the Republican scumfucker that Democrat was running against).
posted by sotonohito at 9:42 AM on June 27 [17 favorites]


I’m really hoping that tonight we see someone eloquently eviscerate Marianne Williamson’s (and to a lesser extent Pete Buttigieg’s) wishy-washy comments on vaccination. I want a total stemwinder.
posted by sallybrown at 9:46 AM on June 27 [4 favorites]


Watched it with my mom and kids (well, the kids were mostly PRESENT but not especially watching.) My older son Milo got into it a little bit and then asked, "When do they start getting rid of some of them?" and I told him, you know, hard to say - if we're lucky some of them might drop out in the next few weeks. He was very annoyed. He thought it was like a game/reality show, and that as people failed to inspire they should get yanked off the stage, in real time. I'm not sure he's wrong.

For me this debate was basically: Elizabeth Warren participates gamely while a bunch of scrubs try to show they're as legit as she is. Booker and Castro succeed in this endeavor, Beto does not, the rest don't move the needle either way.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:50 AM on June 27 [13 favorites]


Also, re: the scrubs. They were all pretty good and should any of them miraculously end up as The One there'll be a sign with their name on it in my yard.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:52 AM on June 27 [4 favorites]


internet fraud detective squad, station number 9, I used to think similarly that "Russian social media manipulation is something you should only keep an eye out for if you are conservative and have low media literacy." You may have higher media literacy than me, sure, but I was surprised by how many of the memes produced by the Russian Internet Research Agency I'd seen. They've been gathered and released by the US House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence here: https://intelligence.house.gov/social-media-content/social-media-advertisements.htm - you can learn more about them and see some summaries via that link. There's also some online "Bot or not" challenges. I was surprised at how poorly I did on some of them. That convinced me that everyone needs to keep an eye out for social media manipulation, and generally up critical reading and thinking skills online. Even here.
posted by another_20_year_lurker at 9:57 AM on June 27 [46 favorites]


All his blathering about the process being rigged against him runs up against the hard facts that the Democrats are permitting him, not even a member of the party, a guy who is leaving open the option of running independent and handing the election to Trump, to take place in their debates.

TBH I assume his main function right now is to draw fire from the conservative Dem circular firing squad and generally give Warren room to emerge as a palatable candidate, so if you like Warren, I would not be too pressed about his involvement at this point.

So that my bias is clear, I also just do not think he'd run third party, at all.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:03 AM on June 27


How centrist or not the American public is has less to do on how they answer some vaguely-worded polls and more on how they vote and what they'll advocate for. By those metrics, Bernie and Warren are to the left.
posted by asteria at 10:10 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Russian social media manipulation is something you should only keep an eye out for if you are conservative and have low media literacy. This doesn’t apply to anyone here. People here should be concerned with...

My personal susceptibility doesn't have anything to do with how concerned I should be. If a million bots and a warehouse full of Russian trolls are directed to say nice things about a particular candidate, that is going to have an impact on our discourse and how the primaries play out. That's true whether or not I personally retweet a meme that originated in a troll factory.
posted by diogenes at 10:18 AM on June 27 [19 favorites]


@semicloclastia: Beto O'Rourke is like if gentrification was a person.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:19 AM on June 27 [3 favorites]


We'd have reasonable gun control, universal healthcare, and a whole host of other goodies if people voted with what they answer on the polls. But they don't. They vote with their emotions and their identities. The white identity politics that dominated 2016 is a perfect example of this. Messaging works inasmuch as it resonates with someone's identities and if a certain politician is resonating with deep enough identities it doesn't matter what that politician says, that person is going to believe the politician believes what they themselves believe.

So that my bias is clear, I also just do not think he'd run third party, at all.

I don't think he'd run third party, but I think he'd drag his feet and sulk until the very end, and do nothing to push back against any venom coming from his camp, and if he's not the nominee he will do as little as possible to encourage his supporters to support the actual nominee. I think if he's not the nominee he's going to ascribe it to the machinations of a shadowy Democratic Establishment cabal, irrespective of how delegates shake out or who wins.
posted by schroedinger at 10:26 AM on June 27 [10 favorites]


If she can keep that up, I don't think Trump will have the slightest idea how to counter that.

The sad truth is that he doesn't have to counter it. The US media will do it for him.

What I've seen the US media do since Bush v Gore in debates is:

- Play right along with the narrative put out by the Republican team that the Democrat is a fierce debater, someone who could have stood shoulder to shoulder with the greatest of Roman and Greek philosophers and politicians; therefore, the Republican not getting absolutely destroyed from beginning to end means "He held his own," showing that he's cleverer than the mean ol' Democrats and the press think he is.

- Declare a Republican victory if the Democrat comes out with flat affect (Obama v Romney in, I think, the 2nd debate; requiring a particularly powerful speech from Bill Clinton to "save" his Presidency), or exhibits any strange behavior (remember the big deal made over Gore's sighs and eye rolls?) or stumbles over any question at all.

- Refuse to declare a Republican loss no matter what and instead simply say "Both candidates certainly threw some red meat to their bases." This is what they will say whenever Trump speaks passionately on immigration and Iran regardless of how wrong or vile or devoid of facts he is; it'll also be their excuse when the Democrat offers thoughtful responses on healthcare, the economy, and climate change while Trump offers empty slogans/blames Obama/blames Pelosi/talks about something else all together. "He really connected with his supporters there!"

I hope that the Dem nominee's team watches game film from all the contests since Gore v Bush and starts working the refs (the media) early and often, just like the Republicans. I greatly fear that they'll go in expecting good faith from the media -- just like they still expect it from the Republicans, even McConnell -- and then be all surprised and confused and hurt when they get played yet again.
posted by lord_wolf at 10:28 AM on June 27 [30 favorites]


We'd have reasonable gun control, universal healthcare, and a whole host of other goodies if people voted with what they answer on the polls. But they don't. They vote with their emotions and their identities.

There are a lot of reasons why we don't have policies that have majority support, and "people don't actually care" is not the first one I would point to (or the second, or the fifth.) In fact, I find that assertion that people don't care about issues to be baffling.

As just one example, gun control is a federal courts thing. The courts are not elected and the (anti-majoritarian) US Senate is in charge of judicial nominations. Trump didn't even win the popular vote so the people nominating judges do not represent a majority of voters, and the guy signing off on them doesn't, either.

That is just one example, before you get into gerrymandering, systemic disenfranchisement, etc. And I'm not even getting into the Duverger's law structural stuff that happens in a two-party, first-past-the-post voting system or lobbying or the influence of money on politics or or or.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:50 AM on June 27 [9 favorites]


Regarding debates once we're down to Whichever Democrat and Trump: what's the upside to even having a debate with him? He's got no substantive policy to discuss, just vicious vitriol and red meat for his base. Throw in the media's desperate horse-race "both-sides are equivalent", and what's the benefit? The Dem candidate should refuse to debate Trump, point out that he is unqualified for the Presidency and just double down on policy points that are never well made in a debate format as it is. Of course, they'll be called cowardly, but will anyone who would vote for the Democrat even care at this point about the Republicans bloviating? It seems like there's less to lose with a no-debate strategy than with a debate. Maybe less to gain as well, but it's worth considering.
posted by dellsolace at 11:19 AM on June 27 [17 favorites]


debating with donald trump validates donald trump as an important person who is worthwhile to speak to, listen to, or respond to, and so therefore should be avoided. i’m down to support any of the candidates, even the scrub candidates, who announces that they’ll gladly debate someone with real decisionmaking power in the current administration — someone like steve miller — but that there is no reason to debate with the figurehead donald trump.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 11:29 AM on June 27 [6 favorites]


debating with donald trump validates donald trump as an important person who is worthwhile to speak to, listen to, or respond to, and so therefore should be avoided.

Like it or not, he's the President of the United States. We're past the point of worrying about validation.
posted by Uncle Ira at 11:31 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


Marianne Williamson's comment in her CNN town hall on debate strategy with Trump is honestly the best I've heard from a candidate so far:

"Let's not pretend he would debate me. He would insult me, he would bait me, but he would not debate me. So, what do you do with a child, how do you treat a psychopath? I would not go in expecting a reasonable conversation, I would be open to a reasonable conversation but I would not go in expecting one.

My conversation is with the American people. I think we're so exhausted. I don't think the American people need me to tell them who Donald Trump is or what Donald Trump is. I want to tell the American people what America could be and what it will be if they elect me President."
posted by BeginAgain at 11:34 AM on June 27 [46 favorites]


Declining to debate Trump would be a high-risk move, surely. Like a confident Defense Attorney in a jury trial who, after the Prosecutor has rested their case, simple decides to rest, as well, citing the Prosecution’s failure to make a case. It happens in real life occasionally, but when the jury (or electorate) is made of human beings — a notoriously squirrelly and irrational lot — you can’t always tell how they’re going to take it.

Not to mention that the media, having been cheated of a spectacle and its associated ad revenue, have a vested interest in heaping scorn on a candidate that declined to debate, so as to keep it from happening in the future.

Anyway, I feel the need to retract part of my criticism about Bernie upthread when I said:
Pretty disappointed to hear that Bernie declined to commit to endorsing the Dem candidate if it wasn’t him, and that he was claiming “some say” he could have won the 2016 primaries “if they weren’t rigged.” Not trying to re-litigate 2016, but just observing that it’s a toxic thing for him to be saying now.
As was pointed out in the POTUS thread, the “some people say that the 2016 primaries were rigged” phrasing was directly echoing the interviewer’s question, which was then omitted from subsequent reports to make it look like Bernie had come up with that phrasing himself. Clearly an example of an interviewer trying to sow discord by picking at an old wound.

As for him not being willing to commit to supporting the Dem candidate, my criticism of that still stands.
posted by darkstar at 11:35 AM on June 27 [5 favorites]


Just set terms that sound reasonable to anyone who'd be up for an honest debate.

- Mics switched off until their time is started, mics cut again when time elapses.
- Failure to address the question within the first 15 seconds of an "answer" gets pushback from the moderator.
- Participants may not walk further than 3 feet from their podiums, and must remain seated/behind the podium during their opponents' allotted time.

If the Trump campaign won't agree to these terms, push back aggressively and publicly asking why he feels the need to stalk the stage like a predator, or why he lacks the patience and discipline to wait his turn, or why he won't agree to answer questions in a debate.

The key isn't "we won't debate him," but "he won't agree to an honest debate."
posted by explosion at 11:36 AM on June 27 [24 favorites]


Here is what happened in the first debate, as seen by me (Alexandra Petri, WaPo)
Here is what happened, roughly, at Wednesday’s debate, where a gathering of 10 candidates all better than President Trump argued to prove who was LEAST better.

LESTER HOLT: Good evening. Our one definite goal for tonight was to put as many people as humanly possible on this stage. That is why I am here with not one but TWO other moderators, Savannah Guthrie and José Díaz-Balart, but don’t worry, there will be more. Not everyone will be able to speak on every topic, although that will only SOMETIMES be because of time constraints.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Senator Warren, you have so many plans. And yet, the economy is doing well without any of your plans. Explain why your plans will not make the economy upset.

ELIZABETH WARREN: The economy is doing well? What are you, a large corporation? If I wanted something to turn out well only for a thin slice at the top, I would overcook a tray of brownies on Instagram Live.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:40 AM on June 27 [27 favorites]


While it is possible to imagine right now some of the broad outlines of next year's prospective debate(s) - yes, the media will "both sides" everything, and yes, the content will be insubstantial, as would any debate involving Individual 1, by definition - but a big unknown is, what will be the status of I-1's cognitive and language abilities and emotional control a year from now?

He already has trouble putting together two consecutive coherent sentences, and based on what I've seen in recent interviews, he's clearly getting worse. The call-in thing the other day with Maria Bartiromo was at least 50% total gibberish. (Even if you can't stand the sound of I-1's voice, watch one or more of the clips with the sound off, or look at some still photos, just for the "WTF?" expression(s) on her face.)

The point being, I think there's a non-zero possibility that by this time next year, he could be goaded (by Warren or Harris, ideally) into a complete meltdown on live TV, which could have real electoral consequences.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 11:42 AM on June 27 [6 favorites]


Internet Trolls Are Raving About Tulsi Gabbard’s Debate Performance—and They’re Calling Her “Mommy”:
The internet far-right thinks Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard stole the show during Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate.

High profile right wing and alt-right internet trolls like Jack Posobiec, fellow Pizzagater Mike Cernovich, and Infowars’s Paul Joseph Watson praised Gabbard on Twitter for her performance alongside nine other candidates on the Miami stage.
[...]
Users on the notoriously racist and sexist message boards 8chan and 4chan, which both serve as internet hubs for far-right trolls, voiced their support for Gabbard on debate night. In 8chan’s overall discussion thread for the event, Gabbard was mentioned far more than any other candidate. Users on 4chan also made several discussion threads dedicated to Gabbard’s night at the debate, affectionately referring to her as “mommy.”
posted by peeedro at 11:47 AM on June 27 [8 favorites]


There are a lot of reasons why we don't have policies that have majority support, and "people don't actually care" is not the first one I would point to (or the second, or the fifth.) In fact, I find that assertion that people don't care about issues to be baffling.

The median American's political identity is formed based on one or two issues, and more often than not, those one or two issues aren't deeply examined. Steve likes guns when he turns 18, so he becomes a Republican because he knows they're pro-gun. Gary loves his gay uncle, so he becomes a Democrat because he knows they're pro-LGBTQ. And then Steve and Gary form most of the rest of their political beliefs based on "Well, I'm a Republican, so I guess I don't like public schools" and "Other Democrats are very worried about abortion being legal, so I suppose I must be in favor of that" (obviously, they don't think these things out loud, it just sort of percolates into their brain).

But every now and then, when they have to break apart all of their individual issue stances, they aren't quite as committed to all that other stuff, so Steve tells a pollster that he's okay with abortion staying legal despite mostly voting for people who want to outlaw it. Plus that thing where one side (cough) tends to straight-up lie about how, for instance, a reasonable restriction on firearm accessibility for domestic abusers is really just a slippery slope to confiscation, so Steve has never voted for any Democrat despite being absolutely in favor of not letting his sister's shithead ex-husband have a gun.

Yes, yes, you're smarter than that, and you arrived at each and every one of your individual political opinions based on a clear-headed assessment of the pros and cons of each issue, and they generally fit into your particular moral framework, because you're a rational actor.
posted by Etrigan at 11:55 AM on June 27 [15 favorites]


Iowa Starting Line: Something interesting to note - we only went out to neutral/county party debate watch parties. Warren’s team held their own watch events all over the place, and still most of the people our reporters met at the neutral ones were leaning toward Warren

Article here.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:57 AM on June 27 [11 favorites]


What is with the right wing adopting baby talk and other baby adjacent things?

Remember a few years ago the highly intellectual and logical people at Turning Point USA thought the best way to prove that Democrats were bad was to dress up in diapers and baby clothes and act like actual infants? They were, apparently, genuinely surprised and shocked that the rest of the world didn't instantly recognize this as biting wit that made Democrats look foolish.

Then on reddit for a while there was a despicable group of alt right types using baby talk terms as part of an effort to promote white nationalism, white supremacy, and the murder of people they didn't like.

Now the trollfarms are calling Gabbard "mommy"?

I mean, I know some people have a fetish for diapers and all, but it seems bizarre to me that so many people on the right have this obsession with adopting childish tropes.
posted by sotonohito at 11:57 AM on June 27 [9 favorites]


CNN Business reports a healthy sign of democracy: More than 15 million viewers tuned into the first Democratic debate of the 2020 race
The Nielsen ratings reflect enormous interest in the presidential race -- with millions of people tuning into NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo to size up the candidates who want to beat President Trump next year.

And these ratings don't even include streaming viewership on YouTube, Twitter and other sites.

The 15.3 million total from Nielsen combines the viewership on the NBC broadcast network, MSNBC, and the NBC-owned Telemundo network, which carried the debate in Spanish.
These numbers almost surpassed the record-breaking numbers for the first primary season debate between Hillary and Bernie in 2015. Tonight’s are likely to those.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:01 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


What is with the right wing adopting baby talk and other baby adjacent things?

It helps with their "Geez, I'm obviously only kidding! How could you possibly take this seriously?" fallback strategy. (see also "Let's make the OK sign into the White Power sign")
posted by Etrigan at 12:04 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Now the trollfarms are calling Gabbard "mommy"?

It's an internet fandom thing, not a right wing thing specifically - I've heard it mostly in reference to drag queens and Kropotkin (bread mom), for instance.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:06 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


re:Gabbard, I think her online bump is partially Russian astroturfing, but with a significant soupçon of Bernie bros (who revere her as his protégé for being the only one to endorse him in 2016) and moderates/conservatives genuinely curious about an attractive, unknown military veteran. The former are well-versed in righteously brigading online polls, and the latter are going to be overrepresented on sites like Drudge and basic research like Google searches where she's seeing the biggest impact.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:15 PM on June 27 [11 favorites]


The Inescapable Challenge of Talking While Female (The Atlantic)
The gender dynamics at last night's debate were familiar: The women waited for their moments. The men butted in.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:55 PM on June 27 [11 favorites]


How easily could a metric like that be gamed, though? Like an online survey.

Well, it's based on search queries, so you'd have to have an extensive botnet in a number of states (but not in other states?) that could query for Tulsi in a sufficient and believable volume (i.e. relative to searches for other candidates) and plausible pattern (i.e. that Google did not filter out as spam) at certain times. In other words, it would be very difficult to spoof.

I mean, unless you think a Russian botnet is also generating hits to her Wikipedia page, it seems like a more plausible theory is that Americans are just interested in her at the moment.
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 1:09 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Yes, yes, you're smarter than that, and you arrived at each and every one of your individual political opinions based on a clear-headed assessment of the pros and cons of each issue, and they generally fit into your particular moral framework, because you're a rational actor.

I am quite smart, thanks, but my argument is not that I'm rational and other people are rational and everyone is rational. I don't believe that I used that word. My argument is that US policy, as enacted, does not reflect the genuine will of the majority on a number of issues because the US government is structurally anti-majoritarian.

If you think that the US government is a good reflection of the majority's genuine policy desires, despite the fact that the Senate is in no way proportionately representative, despite the fact that the Supreme Court strikes down democratically enacted gun laws, despite the fact that the president was not even elected by a majority of the people voting, despite the fact that certain groups are systematically disenfranchised from voting...if, given all of that, you think that US policy is a reflection of the true will of the majority on every issue, then I really do not know what to say.

If your issue is, instead, that people, when forced to pick between two candidates, will almost inevitably have to prioritize some issues over others, well, yeah. (They also think about things like electability in a primary.) That's what I meant when I mentioned the distorting effect that first-past-the-post voting has on policy outcomes. It is also why I originally distinguished between how voters feel about issues vs. how they feel about candidates. You're explaining my own point back to me.

I mean, look, I would be happy to chat about preference strengths and Arrow's Impossibility theorem etc. etc. forever, but the basic point is actually pretty simple: US policy does not necessarily reflect the will of the majority.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:12 PM on June 27 [10 favorites]


Marianne Williamson's comment in her CNN town hall on debate strategy with Trump is honestly the best I've heard from a candidate so far:

"Let's not pretend he would debate me. He would insult me, he would bait me, but he would not debate me. So, what do you do with a child, how do you treat a psychopath? I would not go in expecting a reasonable conversation, I would be open to a reasonable conversation but I would not go in expecting one.

My conversation is with the American people. I think we're so exhausted. I don't think the American people need me to tell them who Donald Trump is or what Donald Trump is. I want to tell the American people what America could be and what it will be if they elect me President."


Marianne Williamson for president...ial debate coach!
posted by duffell at 1:15 PM on June 27 [14 favorites]


The best Marianne Williamson quote I've seen is from this WaPo coverage of her campaign:
“I had thought naively that I would have my 15 minutes, like they gave to Herman Cain or Ben Carson — they’ll give me my 15 minutes, and I’ll do so much with those 15 minutes,” she said, referring to candidates who flared and faded in previous presidential contests. “But they have not given me even that.”
So, yeah, here's a celebrity "high priestess of pop religion" complaining that she's not getting her 15 minutes of fame and comparing herself to other very serious presidential candidates. Look for her trying to create some of that outsider candidate magic tonight.
posted by peeedro at 1:25 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


There are some terrific quotes from Marianne Williamson, but that antivax shit needs to be killed with fire and I just don't give a good goddam what the rest of her platform is, not even a little, both in and of itself and because it feeds into the metastasizing tumor of a cultural belief that scientific consensus is just another opinion.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:32 PM on June 27 [34 favorites]


3 million more people voted for the candidate who supported gun control and universal health care in 2016. In 2018, 10 million more people voted for reps belonging to the party that, according to the platform, supports gun control and universal health care.

People are voting their policy preferences. There are systemic reasons why it's not taking.
posted by zachlipton at 1:38 PM on June 27 [25 favorites]


I had thought naively that I would have my 15 minutes, like they gave to Herman Cain or Ben Carson

Cain and Carson both earned their 15 minutes by being tokens for the Republican Party to use as shields against allegations that they're racists. The Democratic Party does not feel the need to promote Williamson as a token woman or token Jew as they have Warren and Sanders as legitimate front-runners, and aren't the party of white supremacy.
posted by explosion at 1:41 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


And Bill de Blasio's 15 minutes have expired a bit early: De Blasio quotes Che Guevara in rally with Miami International Airport union workers

"Hasta la victoria siempre" is not something you want to say in Miami.
posted by zachlipton at 1:44 PM on June 27 [12 favorites]


I actually liked that de Blasio butted in and started mixing things up. For me, the times when people went head to head against each other, like when O'Rourke and Castro got into it, or even when Gabbard and Ryan did, were the most illuminating and interesting parts of the debate. By far.

Anyhow, I think that was more about de Blasio being a New Yorker rather than about him being rude. Assertiveness is a good thing! I had way more issues with Amy Klubachar going on and on about how immigrants have won the Pulitzer, while totally missing the point, and generally playing Ms. Mid-West out there. If we're going to talk about cultural issues.

I went into it expecting Warren to do better than she did. Honestly, she seemed to stick to her usual talking points, and then faded into the background of the debate like halfway through. I guess she kept waiting to be called on but it's like, just get into it, Warren! Don't wait for other people, lead this circus! She didn't, though.

In all, I thought Booker and especially Castro did great. They were passionate and knowledgeable, and Booker managed to stay very positive. He seemed to really be enjoying himself, too, and riding high afterward, which was fun to see. He's been winning me over with how he always focuses in on the human cost and the human benefit of different policies, and centering compassion, and he brought that same attitude last night. So I wound up giving a little money to his campaign this morning, to try and help give him whatever post-debate bump he can get. I'm not big on Castro being the actual nominee, because I have listened to too many uninspired interviews with him in the past, but he rose way higher in my estimation last night, for sure. If from now on, he can be the guy he was last night when he was wiping the floor with O'Rourke and answering unequivocally that he supports women's right to choose and just generally being who he was all through the debate, than he's a much stronger addition to the field than I'd been thinking!

I was watching on MSNBC, and in the punditry immediately after the debate, people were talking about how maybe O'Rourke can bounce back (which they hope) and what they thought about de Blasio's style (which they hated) and about Klubachar's "folksy" schtick (which they liked and thought was electable), and about basically everyone and everything except how Booker and Castro led the night, which, honestly, I found racist. If O'Rourke in particular had had the performance that either one of those other men did last night, those same pundits would be falling at his feet with hearts in their eyes and saying he had the nomination in the bag. So that aggravated me. But maybe that perspective is skewed *shrug*

I'm kind of dreading round two tonight, I'm sure there will be lots of candidates lecturing us on this or that hobbyhorse. But even so, I hope the moderators aren't stricter as an overcompensation for all the moderation issues they had yesterday. I like when the candidates are confronting and challenging each other, they do a better job of it than the TV show hosts anyway (no offense to the TV show hosts). In fact, they do a pretty awesome job! It's a hidden benefit of having such a large field of candidates on stage together, apparently!
posted by rue72 at 1:44 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Look for her trying to create some of that outsider candidate magic tonight.

Well, hopefully she does it by being the only person on the stage who will make a case for reparations!

(I agree the anti-vax statement was awful but considering her whole vibe... I can't pretend I'm shocked.)
posted by BeginAgain at 1:50 PM on June 27


I think Warren is fully aware that it's early days and she doesn't have to waste her energy taking out people who aren't going to be at the next debate round. She's ahead and she's gaining; she mostly has to not blow it by some giant gaffe/scandal at this point. Let the B teams scrap it out and see who drops.

She came across as passionate, prepared, and loaded for bear, surrounded by a lot of Johnny-come-latelies, plus Julian Castro. The September debates will be a harder fight with tougher opponents
posted by emjaybee at 1:56 PM on June 27 [12 favorites]


Watching the feed after things wrapped up, I think I learned a valuable life skill from Cory Booker. Instead of letting a million randos take awkward pics with him and then post them on social media, he--without fail--takes their phone from them and makes sure he gets the shot that flatters him: the angle high to minimize weight issues and with an expression he has practiced and knows looks fine snapped on cue.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:00 PM on June 27 [23 favorites]


de Blasio has the very specific problem that the press is extremely New York-centric and many of the reporters who cover the White House came out of the NYC City Hall press room. These reporters (except Chris Matthews, who I presume is driven everywhere in a champagne beige 1993 Cutlass Supreme of the sort you'd get if you requested the most bland car possible) have been stuck in the subway and are familiar with the run of horrible people de Balasio has hired for his communications staff.

Of course they hated him on MSNBC. They have to live with him. And he manages to be the only candidate somehow underwater on favorability.
posted by zachlipton at 2:07 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


zachlipton That explains a good deal of the various prejudices and pre-judgements, I'd say. It's also the reason that the NYC media hates Trump: they've lived with him and dealt with him, so they know his bullshit, and can't believe that it's been accepted at face value by a good portion of the electorate.

Matthews isn't a horrible person, he's just perpetually stuck in the Clinton administration, for good or ill. In this case, it's ill.
posted by jrochest at 2:13 PM on June 27


I think Warren is fully aware that it's early days and she doesn't have to waste her energy taking out people who aren't going to be at the next debate round

She came across as passionate, prepared, and loaded for bear, surrounded by a lot of Johnny-come-latelies, plus Julian Castro. The September debates will be a harder fight with tougher opponents


I disagree that she did or even could simultaneously write off an early-cycle debate as somehow beneath her while also coming to it passionate, prepared and ready for bear.

Personally, I didn't see either of those two stances in her attitude last night anyway, I don't think she'd either written the debate off or come looking to throw elbows. I think she's just wonky and had normal wonky person troubles up there on the stage. I wasn't really feeling it, and she did drop somewhat in my estimation -- but that's totally subjective. In my opinion, it's cool to be a wonk, but that's not all or maybe even most of what the presidency is about. To me, she made a very good case last night to be a cabinet secretary, but not a particularly good case to be president. Mileage, as ever, will vary.

I also wouldn't underestimate how important these debates are. This is our first chance to compare the candidates side-by-side, and that's what the contest ultimately comes down to. They're going to cast a long shadow over my decision for sure, and I doubt I'm the only one.
posted by rue72 at 2:24 PM on June 27


1. When Amy Klobuchar said "where I'm from we call that all foam and no beer" the other candidates were overly entertained by the joke, which entertained me, so ultimately I did laugh at it
2. I read on twitter that Warren texted Castro to tell congratulate him on doing a good job, so I am pre-emptively celebrating Warren/Castro 2020
3. I will not be watching tonight's debate because I don't care to see Biden or Sanders pointing in that way they do
posted by Emmy Rae at 2:49 PM on June 27 [18 favorites]


like when O'Rourke and Castro got into it

That moment when Castro suddenly interrupted O'Rourke was obviously a rehearsed strategy that he was just waiting for the trigger to act. Weirdly, that seemed about the only planned move anyone made beyond prepared opening/closing remarks. It seemed overplayed, and I was kind of disappointed to see them pointlessly clash when they could be both running for positions in Texas instead of playing ego games.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:59 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


I'm down for Warren/Castro 2020! I think that would be a great ticket.

Last night's debate, while it didn't feature any OMGbringthehousedown! performances (though Warren, Castro, and Booker all did very well) it also didn't feature any career-ending gaffes. No Rick Perry oopses. The worst was probably Beto being lukewarm and an obvious White Guy Who Failed Upwards and needs to run for Senate instead. But while there wasn't much that really made most people stand and cheer, nobody had a "they're soooo toast" moment either.

I hope Gillibrand and Harris do well at tonight's debate. (I will always maintain that Gillibrand was wronged.) Meanwhile, maybe there can be a drinking game: "take a drink every time Biden or Sanders wags a finger." We'll be flat on the floor in no time.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 3:04 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


538 did a quick poll re-contacting Democratic respondents who were surveyed before the debate. I'm far from convinced that's meaningful, but the topline number is a big boost for Warren, and overall favorability boosts for Warren, Booker, and especially Castro. Biden lost support, but wasn't on the stage.

More respondents have an opinion about Bill de Blasio now, but that opinion continues to be about a 0 on net favorability. People continue to have nothing really to say about John Delaney, with nearly 60% of respondents not even willing to give their impression of him after watching the debate.
posted by zachlipton at 3:56 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


NBC: Trolls target online polls following first Democratic presidential debate. Users from pro-Trump communities on 4chan and Reddit implored fellow members to vote for lower-polling candidates, specifically Tulsi Gabbard and Bill de Blasio.

Buzzfeed: Tulsi Gabbard Is Having A MAGA Moment After Her Debate Performance. “I think a lot of people would vote for her over Trump,” Mike Cernovich said. “MAGA people.” Ann Coulter is considering it.
posted by peeedro at 4:07 PM on June 27 [10 favorites]


A reminder that Joe Biden, groping racist cretin, is still polling in the top 3. If I were Sanders, I wouldn't commit to endorsing the eventual candidate no matter who they were either.
posted by kafziel at 4:09 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


A reminder that if Biden is the nominee, he'll be running against Trump and this time we know exactly how terrible he is.
posted by octothorpe at 4:18 PM on June 27 [15 favorites]


I am sooooo not for Biden but I will fucking run to the polls to vote for him and work my ass off to get others to as well if he wins the nomination. He’s not great, probably not even good, but he is light years better than Trump and anyone who doesn’t endorse him if he wins the nomination is complicit in Trump and Rs destroying democracy in this country.
posted by chris24 at 4:34 PM on June 27 [30 favorites]


Tulsi Gabbard is Having a MAGA Moment

Gabbard's a practicing Hindu who married a younger man in a ceremony largely conducted in Sanskrit.

No Trump supporter is switching to Team Gabbard. The right is so much better at media manipulation, it's astonishing.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:35 PM on June 27 [10 favorites]


[Folks, I feel like "would it be better to vote for a Democratic candidate than for Trump" isn't exactly a big point of contention in political discussions on MeFi; let's try to avoid just lapsing back into it whenever there's a lull and retreading the same ground yet again.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:37 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


[THREE MINUTE WARNING]
posted by Rhaomi at 5:57 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Watching the feed after things wrapped up, I think I learned a valuable life skill from Cory Booker. Instead of letting a million randos take awkward pics with him and then post them on social media, he--without fail--takes their phone from them and makes sure he gets the shot that flatters him: the angle high to minimize weight issues and with an expression he has practiced and knows looks fine snapped on cue.

Beto runs picture lines after his events. You hand off your phone to a staffer, pose with him & they snap for you. Mine came out diagonal & cut his head out of the shot which completely pissed me off as I was wearing my cDc shirt.
posted by scalefree at 6:01 PM on June 27 [6 favorites]


Joe Biden looks so smug on stage.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:05 PM on June 27


Mi malfermos en esperanto. Esperanto, perdintoj!
posted by kirkaracha at 6:05 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


Where is that trap door for not answering a question?
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 6:06 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


I continue to like a lot of Sanders' policies, but by 2019, I really don't think it's unreasonable to expect that he have a clear answer for what kind of tax rates he thinks we should have (which yes, also comes with explaining what services, including health care that costs less, we get in return for those taxes). He's been asked this question for years now and always dodges; I honestly want to know what he thinks a fair tax code looks like.

Biden, on the other hand, just talked about taxes for the wealthy without mentioning corporations, so ugh.

Harris isn't playing around though and goes straight for asking why "how will you pay for it?" didn't stop the Republican tax cuts.
posted by zachlipton at 6:08 PM on June 27 [13 favorites]


"OMG SOCIALISM" Hickenlooper.

Must be worth a shot or bingo square for those playing along at home.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:09 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Do you think they'll ask Joe about growing up as the son of a Welsh coal miner?
posted by Chrysostom at 6:10 PM on June 27 [9 favorites]


"Trump is a phoney, a pathological liar, and a racist"—Sanders, just now. Coming out big, coming out swinging.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:10 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Both last night and tonight, I can’t stop thinking that I never wanted to see all these people’s teeth in hi-def clarity.
posted by sallybrown at 6:10 PM on June 27 [14 favorites]


I read on twitter that Warren texted Castro to tell congratulate him on doing a good job, so I am pre-emptively celebrating Warren/Castro 2020

She's been comfortable supporting him for a bit: she endorsed his immigration plan, naming him when she did. I don't know what it means, but it's good news to me.
posted by gladly at 6:12 PM on June 27 [8 favorites]


Is anyone getting vertiginous with the bouncing camera on the candidate close-ups?
posted by Fritzle at 6:13 PM on June 27


Fritzle - I glanced at my iPad and wondered for a moment why Bernie is snickering so much that he is bouncing up and down rapidly.
posted by shortfuse at 6:15 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Swalwell has the exact same debating cadence as Marco Rubio, and it's weirding me out.
posted by zachlipton at 6:17 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


Is he taking drinks of water?
posted by Chrysostom at 6:20 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Wow, this is shouty. Last night, Delaney was the only one banging the "I'm not a Communist, and I'm actually a Republican" drum last night. I'm realizing this debate is gonna be a lot more annoying. The Obamacare experience should've radicalized every person in politics -- Hickenlooper's anti-socialism comment was absurd. Of course Republicans are going to call any Democrat who runs socialist; they've been doing it for decades.

Swallwell's Biden nudge was much better than any of Rubio's anti-Trump attempts.
posted by grandiloquiet at 6:20 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


I want Bernie v Biden drama, opposite ends of the spectrum.
Takes are bound to be hottest in chat.
posted by Marticus at 6:21 PM on June 27


Wait, did only two people raise their hand for M4A?
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:21 PM on June 27


Luckily for Biden, the rest of them seem to be treating Sanders as the front-runner to be brought down. But the effect is sort of a reverse-Sandersism: if you don't want Sanders, they almost imply, why stop with Gillibrand when you can just go all the way to Biden?
posted by chortly at 6:21 PM on June 27


Yeah tonight kinda sucks compared to last night. I was feeling more hopeful then and this debate is ehhhhhhh so far
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:22 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Harris shutting them all down was glorious, I thought.
posted by carsondial at 6:22 PM on June 27 [12 favorites]


Me, Right Before Senator Harris dunks: Why isn't Kamala saying anything? Is she biding her time?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:23 PM on June 27 [8 favorites]


a non mouse, a cow herd: "Wait, did only two people raise their hand for M4A?"

Yup, Sanders and Harris. Williamson (who has yet to speak) looked like she was going to then transitioned to a smooooth nose scratch.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:23 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


For abolishing private insurance, which is not necessarily the same as Medicare For All.
posted by thefoxgod at 6:23 PM on June 27


Might have been to Warren's advantage to be on the JV night.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:23 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


having a public option is an adverse selection problem waiting to happen; it's an awful idea

Sen. Harris did pretty good
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:25 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


Might have been to Warren's advantage to be on the JV night.

Weirdly, I think this is JV night
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:25 PM on June 27 [10 favorites]


Harris shutting them all down was glorious, I thought.

And that smile while she let everyone talk all over each other while the "moderators" got things back in control... for her to only keep the other candidates stone cold silent while she spoke. ooof!
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:26 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


I die a little inside every time one of these third stringers finishes their time with what their timing clearly indicates their prep team told them was an applause line... and... CRICKETS.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:28 PM on June 27 [14 favorites]


Omg - is she veering toward anti-vax already?
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 6:28 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


In the polling, for example, a majority of Americans like "Medicare For All" (56% support, slide 10). However, only 37% support it if you say it eliminates private insurance (slide 12). Slide 14 shows that most people think they would be able to keep their current insurance under a Medicare For All plan.

This is why just saying Medicare For All is not terribly useful, and they do need specifics. So asking questions like "will there still be private insurance" is useful.

That said, it's pretty extreme to actually say you would abolish private insurance. Even Britain has private health insurance. It's not a requirement of having a national health plan / service.
posted by thefoxgod at 6:29 PM on June 27 [10 favorites]


Same problem as last night's debate. They (the moderators and the candidates alike) are sitting around pretending that this election will be decided on the nuances of health policy or whatever and that's not where we are at as a country.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:29 PM on June 27 [14 favorites]


Wow, what a circus. I agree that spending all the time debating whether we should have a public option or medicare for all is time that could have been spent reassuring the public that universal healthcare is a good thing period.

I'm mostly waiting around to hear what they have to say about global warming, if we ever get there...
posted by xammerboy at 6:37 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Yang and Williamson have each only spoken once, right? What's the point of this new debate format if moderators don't call on everyone?

(I don't want either Yang or Williamson to be prez, but it was really interesting to hear Yang and I would love to hear him talk about anything beyond his central plank to see if he's just devoted to that single issue or he can speak with authority in other areas.)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:37 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Is Williamson high or is she just always like this?
posted by armeowda at 6:40 PM on June 27 [9 favorites]


I heard Yang talk at a Lovett or Leave It taping - he Underpants Gnomes a lot.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:41 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


I dunno who this Marianne Williamson person is but I do appreciate that someone in this country is willing to say on TV that there are state-sponsored crimes happening on the southern border.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:43 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


Biden's "that person should not be the focus of deportation" instead of a simple "no" was incredibly evasive and awful.
posted by zachlipton at 6:49 PM on June 27 [12 favorites]


he also keeps messing up his sentences and is coming across as addled. Meanwhile Bernie is giving strong old guy yelling at clouds vibes. Kinda shocked at how bad people are coming off besides Kamala Harris.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:51 PM on June 27 [17 favorites]


Harris and Buttigieg look even more polished foiled against Statler and Waldorf in the middle, there.
posted by armeowda at 6:54 PM on June 27 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I have a feeling Harris will be taking a sizeable bite out of Biden's support after tonight.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:54 PM on June 27 [19 favorites]


Probably a lot of older black voters tuned in to see Biden and going to walk away impressed with Harris. She really was the winner of the random draw.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:00 PM on June 27 [23 favorites]


HALFTIME!

Harris is looking awesome. All the white males seem unimpressive. There are a couple (Swalwell immediately comes to mind) who sure look like they are out of the contest each time they open their mouth.

I'm hearing a lot more of platitudes tonight vs. last night. No one seems to have the depth of policies that Warren has. (That is, here is how we do this, steps a-z AND how we fund it. It's a lot of We will get this done on day one b/c something something.)

I am kinda down with switching to a triumvirate a la ancient Rome in order to avoid this whole Trump debacle in the future. I will gladly start with Warren/Harris/Castro.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 7:01 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


After last night’s pontificating, I am astonished that no one decided Chuck Todd was coming down with a cold and had to stay home.
posted by tautological at 7:03 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


I'm surprised Buttigieg didn't point out he's not legally allowed to fire the officer in response to Swalwell's needling.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:04 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


Both triumvirates turned out pretty bad, though.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:04 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


Isn't the trimverate Pres/VP/AG? I'd totally support a Warren/Castro/Harris ticket respectively. I think Harris, with her experience as a prosecutor, would help push the DoJ towards a less punitive and more rehabilitative direction. Castro can work with the Senate and House directly to implement his pet projects and Warren ... she's the Hermione Granger of US politics. No more needs saying.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 7:05 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


Harris is taking some very deliberate pauses to clear the air before she speaks, and it's working incredibly well; she's cutting through this very crowded space in a way that stands out incredibly well. She just shifted the entire tone from Swalwell opining on the South Bend police chief to a hell of a speech on race and bussing, and it all started with that pause.
posted by zachlipton at 7:06 PM on June 27 [37 favorites]


@Chrystosome stop squashing on my pie in the sky dreams.

unrelated: Joe needs to STFU.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 7:06 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


KAMALA YEEEEEESSSS KAMALA KAMALA YES

trying to be calm but thank god.

Based on their debate performance Harris, Booker, and Castro all obviously have been getting such short shrift in this race that it's kinda shocking.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:06 PM on June 27 [20 favorites]


For my money, Gillibrand is tonight's Inslee: not coming off as especially presidential, but passionate and knowledgeable enough that she seems like a clear cabinet favorite. I don't know enough about her full platform to be 100% confident in that, so apologies if she's got red flags I don't know about yet.

But yeah, Harris is winning the heck outta this thing. I am about twenty minutes behind live, so hopefully she didn't shit the bed since 9:48 Eastern.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:07 PM on June 27 [6 favorites]


Biden is sounding all "states rights" with his bussing bs.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 7:08 PM on June 27 [21 favorites]


Nothing like getting Biden to say he didn’t think the federal government should be involved in ending segregation.

Harris destroyed Biden there.
posted by chris24 at 7:10 PM on June 27 [24 favorites]


This Harris v Biden is way better than the Sanders v Biden I had been expecting.
posted by thefoxgod at 7:10 PM on June 27 [8 favorites]


Aaaaaaaaand Bernie has learned nothing from his last foot-in-mouth about “identity politics.”
posted by armeowda at 7:10 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


... yesterday I said Harris/Warren was unrealistic. Today I’m not so sure!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:11 PM on June 27 [14 favorites]


Biden is sounding all "states rights" with his bussing bs.

Folks figured out decades ago that you talk about "local control" because "states rights" is even more blatantly racist.

And now Sanders is talking about class in response to a question about race, because of course he is.
posted by zachlipton at 7:11 PM on June 27 [12 favorites]


Does Bennet always sound punch-drunk?
posted by Weeping_angel at 7:12 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Does Bennet always sound punch-drunk?

Yup, it's part of his charm (seriously) he has a sort of...casual bro-ishness about him that plays really well in CO. Ditto with Hickenlooper. Doesn't play great on a national stage tho
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:13 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


Harris destroyed Biden there.

And her campaign had the social media ready to go right after that moment.
posted by gladly at 7:13 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


Biden said at the beginning of the debate that he wasn't going to pass the torch to the next generation. Harris just reached out and snatched that torch out of his hand.
posted by Uncle Ira at 7:14 PM on June 27 [28 favorites]


It seems clear to me that Warren and Harris are the two strongest candidates and I’d love a pairing. Though Warren doesn’t make sense as the VP with the way Mass replaces Senators and her age.
posted by chris24 at 7:14 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Does Bennet always sound punch-drunk?

I’ve been trying to articulate that same thought all night. Thank you.
posted by armeowda at 7:14 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


@erumham: I’m crying Kamala just called Biden a racist and Biden called her a cop they did our job for us y’all

This is what representation of the twitter-addicted looks like?
posted by zachlipton at 7:20 PM on June 27 [9 favorites]


I honestly can’t believe Harris got Biden to admit he still thinks he was right about federally-enforced integration through busing. I mean I can. But I can’t!
posted by sallybrown at 7:20 PM on June 27 [29 favorites]


Hickenlooper would like you to know that he is a scientist.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:22 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


I feel like the MSM is going to give Mayor Pete way too much credit for being a shiny, polished middling white man.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:22 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


"Please, Dr. Hickenlooper is my creator."
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:24 PM on June 27 [15 favorites]


Harris supports busing today, which is important as school segregation continues to get worse today, 65 years after Brown.
posted by zachlipton at 7:24 PM on June 27 [12 favorites]


To be fair, they stuck Hickenlooper next to the lady who called vaccines Orwellian.
posted by tautological at 7:24 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Biden wants the President to "corral" the rest of the world on climate change. Bernie's taking the same line.

I don't think... we're... a leader... on this?
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:25 PM on June 27 [8 favorites]


Williamson: “if I keep rambling eventually they will cheer...”

*crickets*
posted by armeowda at 7:26 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


The first thing Biden would do as President is... defeat Donald Trump.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:28 PM on June 27 [9 favorites]


Jane Krakowski needs to play Marianne Williamson
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:29 PM on June 27 [20 favorites]


Well, my impression of last night's debate has shot way up.

Chuck Todd is SO awful.
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:30 PM on June 27 [8 favorites]


They were all somehow even worse than last night at giving a concise 1- or 2-word "first priority" answer, but Williamson's really made me lmao.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:30 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


Was Swalwell literally the only one who answered the 'one issue' question as intended? Everyone else either trotted out their signature slogans or tried to one-up each other? That was absolutely bonkers
posted by jpolorolu at 7:31 PM on June 27


What Bernie Sanders was talking about in terms of rotating judges off the Supreme Court: How to Save the Supreme Court by Profs. Dan Epps and Ganesh Sitaraman
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:32 PM on June 27 [8 favorites]


I know that Clinton beat Trump in the debates and PV, but her EC loss has prompted some to think a woman can’t beat Trump. Harris (and Warren yesterday) is saying fuck that.

Dave Weigel (WaPo)
One reason that Kamala exchange with Biden matters: Dem voters need to be convinced that a woman can face Trump onstage and take him apart. That moment got her a long way.
posted by chris24 at 7:33 PM on June 27 [35 favorites]


Like I can just imagine Earth-597 or whatever where President Williamson's first official act is to make really catty jingoistic phone calls to random countries.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:33 PM on June 27 [11 favorites]


Swallwell sounds like bizarro Rubio. As in literally has the same voice and speech patterns.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:34 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


A lot of candidates were just asked what their top priority is, and didn't even manage to get out a coherent answer. Also, many others didn't even mention global warming. Kamala mentioned 6 or 7 things, none of which were global warming.
posted by xammerboy at 7:35 PM on June 27 [6 favorites]


Jane Krakowski needs to play Marianne Williamson

Bernadette Peters!
posted by sallybrown at 7:35 PM on June 27 [9 favorites]


Williamson does not in any way belong here, and much of what she's saying makes little sense and is going nowhere, but she is the only one approaching this from a place of vision rather than policy (I think Warren effectively framed her policies around a vision very effectively last night, and Sanders has one but has said it so many times it's easy to tune out). And as a huge nerd, that's distressing to me, but it's also hard not to appreciate it a little. Donald Trump ran on rage, racism, and fear. He just generically promised "the best health care" and (abetted by a press that ate it up) went with it, not needing to anchor his plans to any kind of actual reality because nobody forced him to and his voters didn't care.

Williamson brought crystals to a knife fight, but the general election is going to be fought on emotion and not a rigorous debate over policy.
posted by zachlipton at 7:36 PM on June 27 [9 favorites]


Kamala, y'all. She's winning both nights.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:37 PM on June 27 [6 favorites]


Oh yeah, and these debates have proven that global warming cannot be addressed in these multiple subject debate forums.
posted by xammerboy at 7:38 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


Well, climate change is only an existential threat to civilization, not anything serious.
posted by Marticus at 7:40 PM on June 27 [14 favorites]


Did Biden just absolve the NRA of any responsibility?

Good hell, he really is my uncle after all.
posted by armeowda at 7:42 PM on June 27 [24 favorites]


These fucking people. ONE OR TWO WORDS.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:42 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


Honestly, if we lose Williamson before Yang or Hickenlooper or almost anyone on the stage last night, I'll be so mad. She's a rare and unexpected source of delight. Keep her in until we're down to 8 other candidates...as long as we have 20 people running it's gonna be a clown show anyway.
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:43 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


This lineup is WAY wackier than last night. I would love to see Warren’s facial reactions to Williamson.
posted by sallybrown at 7:45 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


Joe Biden stumbles over his words. I think people are going to notice that he's ten years older than he was in 2008.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:45 PM on June 27 [16 favorites]


Trump will destroy Biden in a debate.
posted by chris24 at 7:46 PM on June 27 [15 favorites]


I admittedly saw Biden live last December and even then he wasn’t this thick-tongued.
posted by armeowda at 7:48 PM on June 27


ONE OR TWO WORDS.

"China-we-need-to-cooperate-with-them-on-climate-change-AI-and-other-issues - North-Korea."
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 7:48 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Williamson calling for reparations with the affect of someone complaining about the temperature of caviar was truly peculiar.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:48 PM on June 27 [7 favorites]


I was really disappointed that climate change didn't crack Harris's top priority list, and we absolutely need a climate debate.

One fear I've had for a while is that, if we're somehow lucky enough to be in a position to do any kind of governing ever again, we're headed toward a reckoning for whether climate change or Medicare for All/universal health care comes first (the GND's answer of both is unrealistic; there are specific pieces of legislation that have to be written and debated in one order or the other, and both require significant change that involves literally everyone in this country). I just don't know how to reconcile the immediate changes we have to make on an emergency basis with the incredibly slow pace of change this country seems capable of absorbing (the ACA, which wasn't even that big of a change, was passed a decade ago and a substantial number of people are still committed to ending it).
posted by zachlipton at 7:49 PM on June 27 [8 favorites]


The old guys are not coming off well on this stage alongside the rest of the group. Especially Biden.

Cross your fingers the convo tomorrow agrees.
posted by notyou at 7:51 PM on June 27 [8 favorites]


Were there any statements beginning with "I am the only candidate who..." that weren't cringey?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:51 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


@Olivianuzzi:
A source close to the Biden campaign tells me his staff is “freaking out” about his poor performance tonight.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:52 PM on June 27 [28 favorites]


This debate stinks
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:52 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Can't Bennet just wedgie Hickenlooper and tell him to go for Gardner's seat
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:53 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


There's no way that Marianne doesn't own every product sold on GOOP.com
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:54 PM on June 27 [16 favorites]


Biden: "My time is up, I'm sorry."

If only.
posted by JackFlash at 7:54 PM on June 27 [25 favorites]


Twitter consensus:

Winners: Harris. Mayor Pete pretty good, too.

Losers: Biden. Bernie bad night, too, just less so.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:54 PM on June 27 [14 favorites]


I was really disappointed that climate change didn't crack Harris's top priority list, and we absolutely need a climate debate.

I’m hoping Jay Inslee and his magnetic eyes make it to the single-stage-debate level.
posted by sallybrown at 7:55 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


What wakes me up at 3am (literally, unfortunately) is climate change.
posted by pinochiette at 7:56 PM on June 27 [12 favorites]


Well, a love harness sounds like a pretty good thing for M4A to provide.
posted by notyou at 7:56 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


Pretty rich for an old guy to ask all the younger candidates why nothing ever changes.
posted by armeowda at 7:57 PM on June 27 [12 favorites]


I have been watching for two hours and there are legit three white men on stage I still cannot tell apart.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:58 PM on June 27 [19 favorites]


we're headed toward a reckoning for whether climate change or Medicare for All/universal health care comes first

This is an important question. My own thinking is that the pain we collectively suffer from shitty health care is basically constant, but the pain we will suffer from climate change will grow over time until we do something (and even then it will take time for our interventions to work). Eventually the linear (or superlinear, thanks to the feedbacks that await us as climate change worsens!) term beats the constant term. These dynamics seem to point to climate change being more urgent to tackle than universal health care.
posted by Jpfed at 7:58 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


I wonder if Biden felt any cognitive dissonance at all when he knocked Trump for "comparing racists to decent people" (or something close to that).
posted by Rhaomi at 7:59 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


I have been watching for two hours and there are legit three white men on stage I still cannot tell apart.

The struggle is real.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:59 PM on June 27 [10 favorites]


I think what irritates me about Biden and Sanders is that they feel they're entitled to the nomination and have contempt for it being a process and contempt for anyone challenging them.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:00 PM on June 27 [39 favorites]


Watching Biden like, "Why did they invite that Republican to the debate?"
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:01 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


@Olivianuzzi:
A source close to the Biden campaign tells me his staff is “freaking out” about his poor performance tonight.


More in that thread from Nuzzi:
The source said that internally, field staff says the campaign-organized debate watch parties in early voting states have been “awkward” and that Biden isn’t playing well to those who attended. According to Biden’s staff, he isn’t listening to his debate prep and he’s “set in his ways,” the source close to the campaign tells me.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:02 PM on June 27 [14 favorites]


Bernie's going to fade after tonight I suspect and it's probably time even though I'm a big supporter. I will certainly miss having a major candidate who is so explicitly unsentimental. The schmaltzy stories that are pretty much a constant in these things wear me out.
posted by dreamlanding at 8:02 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


I have been watching for two hours and there are legit three white men on stage I still cannot tell apart.

L to R: Ed Muskie, Henry Clay, Harold Stassen
posted by Chrysostom at 8:03 PM on June 27 [23 favorites]


I feel like we would have all been better served if there were three nights of debate with the third being "Chuck Todd's Debates For Special Boys" that rounded up all the nebulous, mediocre white dudes with wildly overreaching opinions of themselves and, I dunno, had the debate in a shipping container on the way to Abu Dhabi or something.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:03 PM on June 27 [57 favorites]


No cameras, just Pringles cans taped to shoe boxes.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:04 PM on June 27 [30 favorites]


Biden was far less impressive than even my low expectations. He was tripping over his words in his closing statement, which should be a totally smooth rehearsed set-piece, and had a number of places where the words coming out of his mouth just didn't make sense. I don't know if he was just thrown by what happened or what, but setting aside the points he was making, he was surprisingly ineffective just at the basic task at hand.

They already announced this morning that Biden won't be going to the spin room tonight, and if you're passing up a chance to have Chris Matthews rehabilitate you, that's pretty sad.

Harris cleaned up, but I want climate to be a priority from her. Sanders kind of stayed out of the fray and was entirely predictable, could have just spliced in tape from his past appearances, but didn't really help or hurt himself. Buttigieg perhaps over-performed, Gillibrand really pushed hard but left little impression, and everyone else voted present. Yang has his one thing and managed to not even talk about it in his closing, surprisingly a non-entity at all for someone who supposedly is running in order to say something.

Final time check:

Biden - 13.6
Harris - 11.9
Sanders - 11
Buttigieg - 10.5
Bennet - 8.1
Gillibrand - 7.5
Hickenlooper - 5.2
Williamson - 5.0
Swalwell - 4.3
Yang - 3.0
posted by zachlipton at 8:05 PM on June 27 [12 favorites]


Mostly, Biden just seemed angry. Not the kind of angry like "how did America get like this?" but the kind of angry like "Why are you asking me all these questions, and who are all these damned upstarts on the stage with me?"

I hope he wraps this up soon, but that seems pretty unlikely until at least after the Iowa caucuses.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:08 PM on June 27 [17 favorites]


The source said that internally, field staff says the campaign-organized debate watch parties in early voting states have been “awkward” and that Biden isn’t playing well to those who attended. According to Biden’s staff, he isn’t listening to his debate prep and he’s “set in his ways,” the source close to the campaign tells me.

Electable Joe Biden currently polling poorly with... *checks notes* people who voluntarily attended a Joe Biden debate watch party.
posted by duffell at 8:08 PM on June 27 [76 favorites]


Marianne Williamson is going to be a sensation, but not in the way she probably wanted.
posted by sallybrown at 8:08 PM on June 27 [9 favorites]


Mostly, Biden just seemed angry. Not the kind of angry like "how did America get like this?" but the kind of angry like "Why are you asking me all these questions, and who are all these damned upstarts on the stage with me?"

That's also how he sounds when anyone under 40 dares to open their mouth in his presence.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:10 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


According to Biden’s staff, he isn’t listening to his debate prep and he’s “set in his ways,” the source close to the campaign tells me.

Kinda early in the game for staff to be blaming the candidate/sending out resumes, isn’t it?

But then it’s Joe Biden and his track record in these things is to flame out early so maybe it’s just routine.
posted by notyou at 8:11 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


Compare and contrast

Iowa Starting Line: Something interesting to note - we only went out to neutral/county party debate watch parties. Warren’s team held their own watch events all over the place, and still most of the people our reporters met at the neutral ones were leaning toward Warren

with

field staff says the campaign-organized debate watch parties in early voting states have been “awkward” and that Biden isn’t playing well to those who attended.
posted by Jpfed at 8:12 PM on June 27 [9 favorites]


I’ve posted about this before in the main thread, but again Biden bragged about getting fleeced and thank god some white guy on stage called him on it.

Brian Beutler (Crooked)
Mitch McConnell picked Joe Biden’s pocket in the fiscal cliff fight, and the fact that Biden doesn’t recognize that is like a storm siren.
posted by chris24 at 8:13 PM on June 27 [18 favorites]


Oh my god. Sanders asked why Pelosi lost her caucus today on child prison camps: "I've been preoccupied with other things today."

That was jaw-droppingly bad.
posted by zachlipton at 8:16 PM on June 27 [22 favorites]


And the tone of it was even more dismissive than the words.
posted by chris24 at 8:16 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Sanders was a no-show in the critical Senate vote yesterday.
posted by JackFlash at 8:18 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


As were all the running for President Senators.
posted by notyou at 8:19 PM on June 27 [14 favorites]


Pretty rich for an old guy to ask all the younger candidates why nothing ever changes.
posted by armeowda


Shouting this right next to the first female black senator, an openly gay mayor and Asian-American entrepreneur.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:19 PM on June 27 [13 favorites]


First female black Senator was Carol Moseley Braun, elected in 1993.
posted by thefoxgod at 8:28 PM on June 27 [39 favorites]


(Harris is the second, meaning there was a 24 year gap between the first and second being elected, so not trying to underplay her accomplishment either of course)
posted by thefoxgod at 8:30 PM on June 27 [22 favorites]


Tweeted at 10:36pm Eastern, three quarters thru the debate.

@GoogleTrends
.@KamalaHarris is actually the top trending topic in search on all of Google in the US right now
posted by chris24 at 8:31 PM on June 27 [15 favorites]


Sanders was a no-show in the critical Senate vote yesterday.

A ninth no vote on emergency allocations to pay for more ICE raids and more already-overfunded concentration camps, without oversight or requirements that the money be used to improve a quality of care that is torturous by design and not the result of a resource deficiency, would have done nothing. There was no "critical" senate vote to be missed.

It passed 84-8 anyway.
posted by kafziel at 8:32 PM on June 27 [6 favorites]


Perhaps that vote discussion belongs in the main politics thread.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:34 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Just made another donation to Harris. She was already my favorite, but had been a little worried she wasn't getting the traction I had hoped for. I'm feeling optimistic tonight will be a big boost for her.
posted by thefoxgod at 8:34 PM on June 27 [8 favorites]


Oh, apologies. I was watching NBC and heard them say that unless I misheard. I didn't think to fact check it which figures.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:35 PM on June 27


First female black Senator was Carol Moseley Braun, elected in 1993.

I vividly remember watching her in a Presidential debate nearly 20 years ago and wondering what it was like to run for President knowing you wouldn’t win because you were a woman. Tonight we had enough women in the debate that they spanned the spectrum from winner of the debate to viral sensation of the debate. (Braun was also coincidentally a former Ambassador to New Zealand...)
posted by sallybrown at 8:41 PM on June 27 [8 favorites]


According to Biden’s staff, he isn’t listening to his debate prep and he’s “set in his ways,” the source close to the campaign tells me.

Jeet Heer (Nation)
I love that Biden's staff is already preparing their, "hey, I tried to warn him" post-defeat narratives. It's a good sign!
posted by chris24 at 8:45 PM on June 27 [16 favorites]


Harris really precisely broke down how Biden’s perspectives on bussing were wrong in her post game show interview with Chris Matthews just now. She was really the only one on stage that held my attention, though I’m happy with Gillibrand being AG or really any cabinet position so long as her senate seat would stay blue.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:49 PM on June 27 [9 favorites]


Ezra Klein (Vox)
To take a step back on this, Biden's Iraq answer showed a huge problem with his candidacy. He's not running as Obama's heir. He's running using Obama as a shield. He's not the candidate on stage who sounds most like Obama, he's the candidate hiding behind him.
posted by chris24 at 8:50 PM on June 27 [41 favorites]


Shouting this right next to the first female black senator, an openly gay mayor and Asian-American entrepreneur.

[just go ahead and take the little handclap emoticon between the words as read okay?]

more black attorneys general refusing to prosecute big banks
more gay mayors covering for murdering cops
more asian silicon valley vampires

[thanks]
posted by entropicamericana at 8:51 PM on June 27 [14 favorites]


more old white men wagging their fingers at people
posted by schroedinger at 8:56 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


Biden’s campaign put out a statement about Kamala’s evisceration saying she’s doing exactly what Trump wants.

Fuck him.

Her response to Chris Matthews? I don’t think speaking out against segregation is wrong.
posted by chris24 at 8:56 PM on June 27 [21 favorites]




Already seeing comments that Harris was a "bully" and unfair to Biden . . . Oh look, it's a new litmus test for white people.
posted by schroedinger at 9:01 PM on June 27 [15 favorites]


Matthews is now talking to one of the white guys -- Bennet? -- who is claiming a generational win over Biden and Bernie.

Not that it sounds like he actually *did* much, but you know, when a woman has a win, a man can always claim it...
posted by jrochest at 9:04 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]




@Dennis_Kucinich
Attack on @JoeBiden over racial issues dramatic — and false #DemDebate2 didn’t he serve as#VicePresident Biden for eight years under #PresidentObama America’s first African American President? Wake up. Keep #race politics out of these debates!

Love to see my old heroes ditch the lefty mask and reveal themselves to just be contrarian scumbags.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:08 PM on June 27 [43 favorites]


Hey y'all, are you still thinking about New Zealand too? Like that was weird. I can't shake it.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:08 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


He has black friends is what you're saying Dennis?
posted by chris24 at 9:10 PM on June 27 [17 favorites]


@edokeefe: Another Biden aide describes VP’s performance as “solid overall” and calls the Harris attack re: busing and his work with segregationist senators “a low blow.” Senior aide adds: “It’s kinda hard to imply someone is racist when the were the VP to the first Black president.”

Biden all but yelled "states' rights" on stage tonight, and now his staff is basically doing "my black friend."
posted by zachlipton at 9:10 PM on June 27 [31 favorites]


OnTheLastCastle: "Hey y'all, are you still thinking about New Zealand too? Like that was weird. I can't shake it."

Pod Save America's Twitter has the video of that whole godawful line of answers, including the NZ one, for posterity.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:11 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


I think after 2016 I have lost the ability to be delighted by obviously unfit wacko candidates running vanity campaigns so my reaction to Williamson is a sort of panicked laugh. Can we just not, please?
posted by emjaybee at 9:17 PM on June 27 [21 favorites]


Williamson randomly digging on a woman thirty years her junior with twice the C.V. is some next-level Cool Girl.

Bernie explaining triumphantly that there are numbers higher than one is the Actually to end all Actuallies.
posted by armeowda at 9:20 PM on June 27 [9 favorites]


Swalwell is now doing the generational 'time to pass the torch' thing with Matthews.

Seriously, dudes, if the only distinguishing mark you have is the generation you were born into, park it now.
posted by jrochest at 9:23 PM on June 27 [9 favorites]


Long ago I was in the Barcelona train station and came across The Housemartins' Now That's What I Call Quite Good, which was a double album post-breakup best-of. (The Housemartins made two albums, which aren't the same as the double album best-of.)

The liner notes cited the New Zealand chart positions for their singles, like so:

"Think for a Minute": 120 copies were sold in New Zealand.
"Sheep": It sold 80 copies in New Zealand.
"Happy Hour": The single sold a staggering 450 copies in New Zealand.
"Flag Day": In New Zealand meanwhile sales reached the prestigious "60" mark.
And so on.

The band were from Hull in the north of England, not New Zealand, and didn't write songs about New Zealand.

Anyways, that's my all-time favorite New Zealand non sequitur. But this is the second.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:35 PM on June 27 [19 favorites]


Just in time for Pride, Marianne Williamson's performance in this debate is God's gift to drag queens around the country. If someone doesn't do an impression of her on the next season of Drag Race I'll eat a sequined gown.
posted by en forme de poire at 9:38 PM on June 27 [11 favorites]


Biden all but yelled "states' rights" on stage tonight, and now his staff is basically doing "my black friend."

Isn't Biden's entire campaign "my black friend" with him trying to claim the best possible black friend?
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:40 PM on June 27 [29 favorites]


Warren crushed this last nite, tonite...

@aseitzwald:
NEW: Kamala Harris crushed @IndivisibleTeam's flash poll of its members. n=4,500

Harris - 65%
Buttigieg - 15%
Biden - 7%
Sanders - 7%
Gillibrand - 2%
Bennet - 1%
Swalwell - 1%
Williamson -1%
Yang - 1%
Hickenlooper - 0%
posted by chris24 at 10:07 PM on June 27 [17 favorites]


Matt Yglesias, A quiet Joe Biden debate moment that deserved more attention, in which nobody really paid attention to Michael Bennet's attack on Biden because nobody really paid attention to Michael Bennett, but a point was made
This all lacks the emotional punch of a school busing or Iraq War dispute.

But it speaks to a very real concern progressives have with Joe Biden, which is that his talk of bipartisanship and getting things done isn’t just unrealistic — it’s actively pernicious.

What if, in a desire to show he’s getting things done and healing the country post-Trump, Joe Biden agrees to advance a lot of bad bills? Just today, for example, a clutch of seventeen moderate House Democrats sent a letter to bank regulators urging a laxer approach to derivatives regulation. And this kind of thing happens all the time where some kind of corporate interest legislation manages to attract the support of a dozen or two House Democrats who have ties of one sort or another to the interest at stake.

The Obama White House mostly — though not universally — pushed back against this stuff.

But if they’d decided not to, they would have “gotten more done.” There would have been less fighting and more dealmaking in Washington. And they could probably even have gotten a progressive priority or two through in the mix. They could, in short, have seen the fiscal cliff deal as a model rather than as a weird one-off. And that’s potentially how Biden sees it and how he plans to govern — a much more important point of contrast with his more progressive rivals than speculating about the differences in hypothetical health care plans.
Bonus content for those worried about New Zealand—@RosieGray: asked Marianne Williamson in the spin room about her New Zealand comment, she said she wants the US to be the best place in the world to raise a child but that it's "fine for New Zealand to be as good."
posted by zachlipton at 10:07 PM on June 27 [18 favorites]


Well, thank goodness she's backpedalled and avoided war with New Zealand.

On another topic, I predict that Saturday Night Live will go back to their Tina Fey/Palin strategy and just do a straight-up re-enactment of this part of the debate.

BIDEN: "I think you're underestimating Barack Obama, who's a friend of mine"

SANDERS: "Well, actually, there is MORE THAN ONE problem in the world!"

WILLIAMSON: "The first thing I would do is start a fight with the Prime Minister of New Zealand."

EVERYONE ELSE: "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!"
posted by mmoncur at 10:25 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Harris - 65%
Buttigieg - 15%
Biden - 7%
Sanders - 7%
Gillibrand - 2%
...


And that’s probably where the cutoff should be for the next round of debates, too.

Let these five have a stage to themselves, so they can get more in-depth. Do the same with the top five from last night. Or mix the groups up so it’s two separate groups of five.

But for goodness’ sake, winnow out some of these vanity candidates so we can start to have serious interactions and comparisons between the real contenders for the job.
posted by darkstar at 10:28 PM on June 27 [13 favorites]


Yeah, I'm fine with Warren, Harris, Bernie, Biden, Buttigieg, Booker and Castro for the next debates after these two nights. Nobody else adds that much or has a real chance to rise. And honestly you could cut Booker and Castro if need be though they did have good nights.
posted by chris24 at 10:36 PM on June 27 [5 favorites]


Matt Yglesias, A quiet Joe Biden debate moment that deserved more attention, in which nobody really paid attention to Michael Bennet's attack on Biden

So Biden basically handcuffed the Obama administration in 2012 by giving away too much leverage to McConnell?
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:37 PM on June 27 [1 favorite]


Ashley Feinberg, The Weirdest Three Minutes of the Second Democratic Debate, breaking down the "what's your first issue?" cattle-call.
Kamala Harris
What she said:
So, passing a middle-class and working families tax cut. DACA, guns, [laughing/unintelligible].

What she meant:
“It really doesn’t matter what I say right now, because I just murdered Joe Biden on live TV.”

Marianne Williamson
What she said:
My first call is to the prime minister of New Zealand, who said that her goal is to make New Zealand the place where it’s the best place in the world for a child to grow up. I would tell her, “Girlfriend, you are so wrong, because the United States of America is going to be the best place in the world for a child to grow up. We are going to have—

What she meant:
Marianne Williamson meant exactly what she said, which is that the only way to fix what’s wrong in this country is to immediately declare war on New Zealand. Reader, say hello to your next president.
posted by zachlipton at 10:48 PM on June 27 [12 favorites]


posted by Going To Maine at 10:51 PM on June 27 [3 favorites]


Here are some true — and maybe true — statements about Marianne Williamson (Alexandra Petri, WaPo)
  • Marianne Williamson’s first act as president would be to call the prime minister of New Zealand, who once said that New Zealand was the best place to grow up, and tell her YOU’RE WRONG, GIRLFRIEND! It is America!*
  • If Donald Trump is watching the debate, she wants to speak to him directly. She knows that he has reached into the psyche of America and filled America with hate. He has harnessed hate for political purposes. The only thing that can cast out hate is love. That is why she is running. She is going to use love to cast out hate. She will harness love for political purposes. She will meet him on the field and love will win.*
  • She knows that JFK did not say “I have a plan to put a man on the moon.”*
  • She hates plans, in general.
  • The dream that Marianne Williamson caught in her dreamcatcher was the American Dream.
  • We are all dreams in the mind of Marianne Williamson. If she stops believing in us even for a second, we will all vanish.
*True
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:57 PM on June 27 [14 favorites]


It's too early for polls, but FWIW betting market PredictIt currently has the Dem nominee odds as a rough three-way tie between Biden, Harris, and Warren all at ~20%, with Sanders and Buttigieg at ~15% each. Protip: the site by nature has a lot of techbro types, who are currently (IMHO) way overvaluing Yang at about a ~10% chance of winning. Betting against him is a surer ticket to free money than his basic income plan.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:59 PM on June 27 [11 favorites]


HuffPost, Kamala Harris Says She Misunderstood Question About Eliminating Private Insurance [UPDATE]
Kamala Harris claimed after Thursday’s debate that she had misinterpreted a question about eliminating private health insurance in favor of a government-run health insurance plan. Instead of indicating her support for eliminating private insurance in general, Harris told a reporter she favored enrolling in a government-run health care plan herself.
So that sounds makes her sound terrible, but the exact question Lester Holt asked was "Who here would abolish their health insurance in favor of a government-run plan?" Which does literally mean would you, personally, change your own plan and not would you abolish all private health insurance for everyone in the country. Which is a pretty bad question.

Harris has been vague and all over the place on a health care plan, but this all seems like a weird own goal on a great night for her. I'd like her to actually have a semi-detailed health care plan, but it's understandable if she's not ready to come out with one. But in the meantime, not pratfalling through multiple health care plans every time she's asked to speak on the question would be nice.

This is not a new phenomenon for her either. I was at her town hall two years ago when she proudly announced support for "Medicaid for all," with later clarification that she meant Medicare coming from staff.
posted by zachlipton at 11:06 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]


I don't particularly want Williamson but her success would satisfy the small bitter part of me because it would drive so many left commentators who hate the democrats absolutely wild in ways that I cannot begin to conceive of. Anyhoo, time to go to bed knowing that, like covfefe, this mania will pass.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:06 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Weird that Harris is getting all this praise for going after Biden's history of racist legislation. She built her entire political career on viciously enforcing that exact racist legislation, at all costs, regardless of the human toll on the people she was supposed to represent.
posted by kafziel at 11:06 PM on June 27 [19 favorites]


Trump weighs in on the debate:

@realDonaldTrump: All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited healthcare. How about taking care of American Citizens first!? That’s the end of that race!
posted by xammerboy at 11:32 PM on June 27


Speaking as a New Zealander, I for one will NOT welcome our new Williamson overlord.
posted by vac2003 at 11:36 PM on June 27 [14 favorites]


Harris’ background as a prosecutor is definitely a source of concern. It’s why, ultimately, I don’t feel as comfortable proposing her for the top spot on the ticket. I feel Warren has a pole star guiding her principles, which are firmly in alignment with progressive values, and I trust her more in setting the tone and direction.

Harris strikes me as being equally passionate, and a probably a much better “enforcer” than Warren, but perhaps with not as strong a progressive impulse. This is backed up by the two Senators’ voting records, as well.

At this point, I’m all ready to pull the lever for a Warren/Castro ticket, with Harris as AG. Or a Warren/Harris ticket, with Klobuchar as AG would be equally great, too.

I know it’s good to have time for them to gain recognition and hone their campaigning skills before the General, but I just want to vote now and get it all over with. I thought 2016 was a drain, but this is going to be one seriously long-ass primary season, isn’t it?
posted by darkstar at 11:36 PM on June 27 [11 favorites]


I am disappointed that the hero has backed down but I know she is just playing the game.

Rosie Gray: asked Marianne Williamson in the spin room about her New Zealand comment, she said she wants the US to be the best place in the world to raise a child but that it's "fine for New Zealand to be as good."
posted by Going To Maine at 12:03 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


That Trump tweet sounds like Scavino, so I guess they gave the old guy some quaaludes.
posted by SakuraK at 12:08 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


I don't particularly want Williamson but her success would satisfy the small bitter part of me because it would drive so many left commentators who hate the democrats absolutely wild in ways that I cannot begin to conceive of.

As a leftist who hates most Democratic politicians, I'm... not sure what this means? How will this make me crazy?
posted by Ouverture at 12:10 AM on June 28 [8 favorites]


this is going to be one seriously long-ass primary season, isn’t it?

You know that thing about an event horizon, where you're always seen to be falling closer closer but never crossing? Zeno's Paradox, but with hard radiation and massive gravitational shear?

It's going to be that, but with more radiation.
posted by aramaic at 12:12 AM on June 28 [16 favorites]


can't wait for de blasio to get spaghettified
posted by Rhaomi at 12:22 AM on June 28 [11 favorites]


I like the earlier proffered idea of the Dem candidate skipping debating Trump, but maybe with the proviso they send a random attack dog in their place? Could Warren, for example, maybe send Courtney Love to rip a hole into Trump for a few hours?
posted by riverlife at 12:55 AM on June 28 [7 favorites]




Speaking as a New Zealander, I for one will NOT welcome our new Williamson overlord.

She'll go home when she realizes there are no Na'vi
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:23 AM on June 28 [13 favorites]


Weird that Harris is getting all this praise for going after Biden's history of racist legislation.

You’re right but also someone needed to call his ass out and she did a fantastic job.

He is still anti-bussing! That needed to come out, period.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 3:35 AM on June 28 [19 favorites]


She'll go home when she realizes there are no Na'vi

October 2017

Marianne Williamson:
If you want a simple explanation for what's happening in America, watch AVATAR again.
posted by chris24 at 4:29 AM on June 28 [10 favorites]


Facepalm.gif

@MarkHarrisNYC:
Both the NYT and WaPo lead with Harris's confrontation with Biden over busing; in neither lengthy story do the writers note that she backed him into insisting busing was a states' rights issue. "That little girl was me" wasn't her point--it was the springboard to her point! >
posted by chris24 at 4:38 AM on June 28 [7 favorites]


I thought CNN did better, even concluding with Biden saying his prophetic "My time is up."
posted by mmoncur at 4:57 AM on June 28 [7 favorites]


Weird that Harris is getting all this praise for going after Biden's history of racist legislation. She built her entire political career on viciously enforcing that exact racist legislation

I just had a weird flashback to 2016 of people complaining they could never vote for Hillary because she’s a war hawk who kills innocent children.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 5:43 AM on June 28 [25 favorites]


There should be a thing before the "Post Comment" button that says something like "people are allowed to have preferences and/or opinions without you accusing them of electing Trump"
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:48 AM on June 28 [22 favorites]


though I’m happy with Gillibrand being AG or really any cabinet position so long as her senate seat would stay blue.

Same for me - I think Gillibrand was robbed, and I honestly had no idea there were so many people who still dissolve into warm, pulsating puddles of fannish goo when Al Franken is mentioned. Especially since his seat is safe blue since Tina Smith won re-election in 2018. I would love to see Gillibrand have a good Cabinet post, and I doubt New York is going to elect a Republican as Senator any time soon.

Marianne Williamson - I still like her better than Tulsi Gabbard. Which isn't saying much, considering my deep dislike of Gabbard. For that matter, I like her better than Andrew Yang, because at least Williamson isn't trying to cater to alt-righters and incels.

Kamala is a million flavors of awesome and I am so proud she is my Senator. I would love a Warren/Harris ticket because fuck white men and fuck """electability""" but I truly think Harris would be a dream AG.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:01 AM on June 28 [9 favorites]


There should be a thing before the "Post Comment" button that says something like "people are allowed to have preferences and/or opinions without you accusing them of electing Trump"


Similarly, I feel like if some people who say they “could never vote for whomever the ultimate Dem candidate is because reasons” could also own up to the fact that not voting for the only other viable candidate in the race makes it more likely that Trump gets re-elected, then we could have a much more intellectually honest debate with each other.

It’s fine to stick to your principles. Just don’t try to hand-wave away the consequences.
posted by darkstar at 6:39 AM on June 28 [14 favorites]


Harris is going to have to reckon with her record as a prosecutor, and she's going to have to come up with a much better answer than "I was a progressive" when she very, very much, was not. That can't continue being her answer when we now live in a world where Larry Krasner and Tiffany Cabán are showing us what a progressive prosecutor really looks like, and its the opposite of Kamala Harris. And Harris is as defensive and dismissive as Biden is when she's challenged on this.

If Biden was sharper, or not as deeply compromised on the same subjects, that bussing line could've been easily flipped around on her to come after her "tough on crime" past. Some other candidate is going to make that connection after last night and hit her hard with it.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:41 AM on June 28 [17 favorites]


Similarly, I feel like if some people who say they “could never vote for whomever the ultimate Dem candidate is because reasons” could also own up to the fact that not voting for the only other viable candidate in the race makes it more likely that Trump gets re-elected, then we could have a much more intellectually honest debate with each other.

Right, if they are even in a swing state where their vote actually matters, I hereby propose that people start using signatures to describe exactly how third-party-spoiler they really are

Mefi Poster, Esq.
God never gives us more than we can handle ---Wayne Gretzky ---Micheal Scott
~~~JILL STEIN IN THE FLESH AND PROUD~~~
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:48 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]


My personal grudge in that vein is against Williamson, who kept coming after Warren for having plans. She's a goof so people are letting her off easy, but it really sucked and I am mad at her for it.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:54 AM on June 28 [15 favorites]


Agreed. It’s even more aggravating considering one of the criticisms leveled at Hillary was that “she didn’t talk about her policies enough.” Which is just flat out wrong: she was always talking about them, but the media had other narratives they wanted to push.

Now Warren is widely viewed as being a policy factory, and it’s a fantastic thing to know a presidential candidate can actually think about things with some semblance of object-permanence, and make cogent, rational plans — unlike the current Toddler-in-Chief.

Instead, Williamson is leaning in to the whole cult-of-personality, anti-elite, anti-intellectualism that the Republicans have been cultivating hard ever since Reagan.
posted by darkstar at 7:02 AM on June 28 [14 favorites]


Instead, Williamson is leaning in to the whole cult-of-personality, anti-elite, anti-intellectualism that the Republicans have been cultivating hard ever since Reagan.

She really is the most Trumpian candidate on the Dem side, by a long shot, at least in terms of her rhetorical style and overall coherence.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:07 AM on June 28 [5 favorites]


Rhetorical style and overall coherence, I agree.

But in terms of just how they see the world--the I-alone-can-fix-it, the opinions fully formed 30 years ago, the inability to acknowledge error or change their mind--the most Trumpian candidates on the Dem side are Biden and Bernie.
posted by box at 7:16 AM on June 28 [12 favorites]


My daughter (14, fairly average in her political activity) could not believe how many indistinguishable white men there were each night. Every time a Ryan/Delaney/Bennet/Hickenlooper spoke up, it was like a couple of old people who just came into the theater because there was air conditioning and stumbled into Avengers: Endgame. "Wait, have we seen this guy before? Is he new? Are they just adding people now? Where did he come from? Is that the guy from before?"
posted by Etrigan at 7:19 AM on June 28 [22 favorites]




I really want to snark about Andrew Yang's sartorial indifference, but instead I'll point out how poorly executed his closing gimmick was. Here is the nut of his closer with annotated hand gestures:
I can build a much broader coalition to beat Donald Trump. It is not left [points to viewer's right]; it is not right [points to viewer's left]. It is forward [points at viewer]. And that is where I'll take the country in 2020.
The incongruous words and gestures were off-putting. That's Toastmasters level shit; if you're talking about the left, point to the audience's left. Maybe talk to a speech coach or community theater actor about how to connect with your audience, bro. Or just blame NBC for turning your mic off.
posted by peeedro at 7:21 AM on June 28 [13 favorites]


Andrew Yang’s performance wouldn’t have won him a high school presidential contest, let alone a national one.
posted by sallybrown at 7:34 AM on June 28 [5 favorites]


It is not left [points to viewer's right]; it is not right [points to viewer's left]. It is forward [points at viewer].

But tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!
posted by diogenes at 7:44 AM on June 28 [42 favorites]


In one of my laboratory classes, we have a thermochemistry experiment in which students must constantly stir a dissolving salt while measuring its temperature. Every time I’ve taught that experiment — dozens of times now — I always remind them to “keep swirling, swirling, swirling towards freedom!”

Rarely do any of my students get my jokes.

posted by darkstar at 7:51 AM on June 28 [20 favorites]


Andrew Yang’s performance wouldn’t have won him a high school presidential contest, let alone a national one.

I'm enormously frustrated by the narrative being pushed on Twitter that Yang was somehow "silenced" by allegedly having his mic turned off.

He. Is. Not. A. Viable. Candidate.

Dudes. Come on. "You cheated and we were robbed." is not a good look for any primary campaign.
posted by anastasiav at 7:53 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


Harris is going to have to reckon with her record as a prosecutor, and she's going to have to come up with a much better answer than "I was a progressive" when she very, very much, was not.

No more concerning than Elizabeth Warren who was a stalwart Republican and supporter of Ronald Reagan and GHW Bush right up through her mid-forties. She didn't become a Democrat until mid-way through the Clinton administration.
posted by JackFlash at 7:56 AM on June 28 [5 favorites]


Warren has been a dedicated lefty for a long, long time. And she is more than talk. She has put her money where her mouth is on countless occasions, even when it wasn't politically popular. She was contributing to policy reform on behalf of consumers even before she was an elected official. That is totally different from Harris deciding to defend her record one day, then call herself "progressive" the next.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:59 AM on June 28 [34 favorites]


Similarly, I feel like if some people who say they “could never vote for whomever the ultimate Dem candidate is because reasons” could also own up to the fact that not voting for the only other viable candidate in the race makes it more likely that Trump gets re-elected, then we could have a much more intellectually honest debate with each other.

I would like to see literally any other candidate get the nomination than Harris (well, maybe Biden, then Harris) but for the first time in my life I live in a swing state, and I'm damn sure I'll push the button for Harris if it comes to that.
posted by Automocar at 8:08 AM on June 28 [5 favorites]


She didn't become a Democrat until mid-way through the Clinton administration.

23 years ago! She's been a Democrat for longer than approximately a third of Americans have been alive. And speaking only for myself, she's been a Democrat longer than I have, so I'm hardly going to judge her on that. Indeed, I'll give her all the more credit for coming around somewhat later in life. That displays an ability to follow the evidence where it leads and admit that you were previously wrong that is too often lacking in American politics—and completely absent from the current administration.
posted by jedicus at 8:13 AM on June 28 [55 favorites]


zachlipton: "So that sounds makes her sound terrible, but the exact question Lester Holt asked was "Who here would abolish their health insurance in favor of a government-run plan?" Which does literally mean would you, personally, change your own plan and not would you abolish all private health insurance for everyone in the country."

The exact question was, in fact, "Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan?" Vaughn Hillyard incorrectly transcribed the moment in the debate and left out the crucial word 'private.' This was also the exact same wording as in the first debate, so I really think Harris has no excuse.
posted by crazy with stars at 8:22 AM on June 28


The important difference is that Warren admits that she was a Republican, admits that she changed perspectives, and admits that she was *wrong* in the past.

Harris maintains that she was in the right, and is campaigning on having been California's Top Cop. She isn't saying anything to the effect of "I made mistakes, and I've learned, and here's what I'd have done differently."
posted by explosion at 8:26 AM on June 28 [13 favorites]


That displays an ability to follow the evidence where it leads and admit that you were previously wrong that is too often lacking in American politics.

Warren will probably be fine, but I feel a bit queasy thinking about a highly educated 40-year-old Harvard law professor who thinks the stuff Reagan was doing was just swell. What was going on in her head?
posted by JackFlash at 8:29 AM on June 28


My personal grudge in that vein is against Williamson, who kept coming after Warren for having plans.
Yeah: "We're not going to win this with policy! Trump wins 'cause he has the passion; we need the passion!" WTF? Love and killer PR can prevent measles and global ecosystem collapse.
posted by Don Pepino at 8:29 AM on June 28 [4 favorites]


Warren will probably be fine, but I feel a bit queasy thinking about a highly educated 40-year-old Harvard law professor who thinks the stuff Reagan was doing was just swell. What was going on in her head?

Warren has said that Ford was the last Republican president she voted for.
posted by chimpsonfilm at 8:35 AM on June 28 [16 favorites]


I can build a much broader coalition to beat Donald Trump. It is not left [points to viewer's right]; it is not right [points to viewer's left]. It is forward [points at viewer]. And that is where I'll take the country in 2020.

It is getting harder & harder to parody this timeline every day. The Onion must be such a depressing place to work.

“We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom.”
posted by scalefree at 8:36 AM on June 28 [6 favorites]


Warren will probably be fine, but I feel a bit queasy thinking about a highly educated 40-year-old Harvard law professor who thinks the stuff Reagan was doing was just swell. What was going on in her head?

"In 1980, she said, she was a registered independent living in Missouri City, Texas, and cast her vote to re-elect Carter.

When Reagan won, she wasn’t happy but not crushed the way she was on election night in 2016. “I was disappointed and didn’t like him, but I wasn’t deeply worried for the country, not anything like when Trump was elected,” she explained. If she could go back in time, she said, she would tell herself “this was a far more pivotal historical moment than you understand.”
(The Intercept)
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:41 AM on June 28 [33 favorites]


Once upon a time, the Democrats were the party of Jim Crow, and there were progressive Republicans who opposed the Dixiecrats' racism. This was only several decades ago. We need remember that. Most of the racist Democrats switched to the Republican Party as part of the Republicans' 'southern strategy', and a lot of the progressive wing of the Republican Party eventually started voting for Democrats.
posted by nangar at 9:23 AM on June 28 [15 favorites]


Maybe when someone switched parties long enough ago that their party affiliation is old enough to vote, we can stop saying "Yeah, but they used to be on the wrong side!"?
posted by Etrigan at 9:23 AM on June 28 [35 favorites]


Warren will probably be fine, but I feel a bit queasy thinking about a highly educated 40-year-old Harvard law professor who thinks the stuff Reagan was doing was just swell. What was going on in her head?

I'm going to recycle my previous comment here until people people stop posting shit like this: That was 24 years ago. Approximately 24 years before Barack Obama started his campaign for the 2008 election, he was trying cocaine.

I'm not saying doing cocaine is worse than being a Republican, but really, sins can be forgiven, and people can experience personal growth and change.
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:25 AM on June 28 [12 favorites]


My mom voted for Dubya twice. She grew up in a community where being Republican equated with being respectable and serious, and you did not talk about politics because it was inappropriate. These identities get hammered into us. I do not have words to describe how far she's swung since then. The things she says about Trump and Republicans now, wowzers. She's in her late sixties now. My point is that it is possible for people to change at any age.

If someone has been open about how they've changed, open about their mistakes, and obviously done the work that's proved they changed . . . I have a lot of respect for that. I think the acknowledgement of one's own fallibility is invaluable in a leader. Frankly, it is not a trait I have seen from Sanders.
posted by schroedinger at 9:30 AM on June 28 [40 favorites]


I know we’ll revisit this about 987 times between now and November, but I want to say that the Warren party affiliation backstory information that people have posted has been legit helpful to me, and I appreciate it.

I could have looked all this stuff up, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet and you’ve brought it to me, so thanks!
posted by Huffy Puffy at 9:30 AM on June 28 [9 favorites]


Maybe when someone switched parties long enough ago that their party affiliation is old enough to vote, we can stop saying "Yeah, but they used to be on the wrong side!"?

I guess people here are pretty young? I remember these Republicans of yore, and how clearly and evidently horrible they were at the time, and how baffling it was that anyone could support their horror, or even be tempted by it. I am still baffled and dismayed at anyone now who supported them then, unless they have a truly impressive story of a benighted childhood and eventual self-discovery. I do forgive Warren because she does have a fairly decent and detailed story and is obviously on the right side now, but that doesn't mean the past crime of supporting those goons is expunged or forgotten, and it certainly doesn't mean that none of it matters just because it was a long time ago and lots of people don't know how evidently and obviously horrid Reagan, Ford and Nixon were.
posted by chortly at 9:30 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


the past crime of supporting those goons is expunged or forgotten, and it certainly doesn't mean that none of it matters just because it was a long time ago and lots of people don't know how evidently and obviously horrid Reagan, Ford and Nixon were.

She voted against Nixon and Reagan!
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:37 AM on June 28 [29 favorites]


that doesn't mean the past crime of supporting those goons is expunged or forgotten, and it certainly doesn't mean that none of it matters just because it was a long time ago and lots of people don't know how evidently and obviously horrid Reagan, Ford and Nixon were.

I do not have words to express how tremendously toxic and insufferable the "if you weren't perfect from birth then you're a criminal" attitude is to building movements. I do not know how you expect to find allies and instigate change if you're unable to move on from someone's past mistakes.
posted by schroedinger at 9:38 AM on June 28 [66 favorites]


Reagan won in a landslide (apparently without Liz Warren's vote) so it's not like being a Reagan voter is some kind of weird fringe thing. My mom voted for Reagan twice and then a couple decades later voted for Obama. I mean, you can come for Reagan voters all you want, but you're going to be busy.
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:39 AM on June 28 [33 favorites]


No more concerning than Elizabeth Warren who was a stalwart Republican and supporter of Ronald Reagan and GHW Bush right up through her mid-forties.

Maybe I missed a piece on this, but my understanding is similar to what others have posted above, that she voted against both these candidates twice and was a registered Independent* during their runs. It sounds like she compared her level of upset at Reagan winning to her level of upset at Trump winning to say the latter was greater than the former (for whom would this not be true on Election Night 2016?). Is there something else she did that makes her a stalwart supporter?

*I am a pretty cookie cutter Democrat in policy terms but I do really miss being able to register as an Independent/Unaffiliated (not an option in my current state). I don’t feel great loyalty to Democrats as a party organization.
posted by sallybrown at 9:42 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


I just had a weird flashback to 2016 of people complaining they could never vote for Hillary because she’s a war hawk who kills innocent children.

I'm not sure how successful a 2020 candidate would be with 2016 messaging around being tough on crime and selling cluster bombs to the Saudis.

Who does that work on other than David Frum?
posted by Ouverture at 9:50 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


Sorry -- I can't seem to find any good primary sources on Warren's voting record, though I'll certainly believe her when she says she didn't vote for any Republicans for president besides Ford, just Republicans for lower office. The best discussion I could find was this politico article, which mainly shows how little she herself discusses it. They do quote various (supportive) friends who recall that when she was young she was "a diehard conservative in those days" or an "ice-cold Republican" -- but those were very early days, and the rest seem to describe her as a somewhat apolitical, doctrinaire "moderate conservative" of the sort dominant in economics and finance at the time.

I do not have words to express how tremendously toxic and insufferable the "if you weren't perfect from birth then you're a criminal" attitude is to building movements. I do not know how you expect to find allies and instigate change if you're unable to move on from someone's past mistakes.

This seems like a willful misreading of my previous post, and certainly far more incendiary language than what it is attacking. Allies are built across difference: the past matters, but the present matters more. The fact that she supported Republicans does matter, but it also matters that she has changed. That's the whole point of acknowledging past mistakes. You don't get to just say that because it was the past, it's gone; but it's also the case that if you have a good story and actions to back it for coming around, you are now an ally. This seems fairly straightforward and common-place, and I don't think it significantly damages the movement to point out that, when it comes to supporting Warren or Harris, it matters what they did in the past, and it matters that one of them has explicitly repudiated it, while the other is still working on it.
posted by chortly at 9:54 AM on June 28


She didn't become a Democrat until mid-way through the Clinton administration.

Hard to take this as anything other than in gratiutous bad faith. My point was, backed up by all the other commenters, that Harris has not offered a sastifying defense of her actual record, instead she falsely hides behind describing herself as a progressive prosecutor. Warren has spent most of her professional career building a consistent and coherent narrative, which yes, incorporates her early upbringing as a Republican, and transition away from that party to today. Harris has built none of that, and cherrypicking one part of Warren's story without the context she provides in all of her speeches, ain't great.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:55 AM on June 28 [9 favorites]


it certainly doesn't mean that none of it matters just because it was a long time ago ... The fact that she supported Republicans does matter

Just to probe, in what sense does it matter? What's something that we should do or think differently based on what someone was doing 30 years ago? In what scenario should this affect my decision to do any particular thing?
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:58 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


instead she falsely hides behind describing herself as a progressive prosecutor

For me, it's fair for her to call herself a progressive prosecutor because compared to most prosecutors she has a progressive record. Not perfect, but she used her authority to make broken things work better for more people. If you're comparing "progressive prosecutor" with "progressive activist", of course she's going to look bad, but that's a misguided comparison.
posted by peeedro at 10:01 AM on June 28 [9 favorites]


Just to probe, in what sense does it matter? What's something that we should do or think differently based on what someone was doing 30 years ago? In what scenario should this affect my decision to do any particular thing?

Well, roll it forward a bit: in 2032 will it matter if a candidate once voted for Trump? I can certainly imagine a good story of coming around and seeing the light, but yeah, it will still matter. We spend quite a lot of time arguing about what Sanders did in the 70s, what Harris did as a prosecutor, what Booker did in his earlier career, how people voted on Iraq, etc, etc. That stuff all matters, and if they have a good story of change, that's different than if they were always on the side of right because I at least remember what it was like then, and how screwed up your mind had to be to do the wrong thing, and it's important to know how that changed. Does it change how I vote? Probably not in most real cases, though it certainly would if I was choosing between two people who currently have the same position but who differed only in their past. And it matters specifically in Warren vs Harris, eg, where their attitude and development vis a vis their past matters for immediate decision-making.
posted by chortly at 10:07 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]


in 2032 will it matter if a candidate once voted for Trump?

It seems like the last we know of Warren voting for a Republican Presidential candidate was for Ford in 1976, which was 43 (?!) years ago. The comparable comparison would be a Trump voter running for President in 2060 or so. But I consider Trump sui genesis in evilness (I know many disagree). For me, to make a fair comparison, I’d say, would I care that a candidate for President in 2047 voted for GW Bush in 2004 (the election night I thought I would drown in my own tears!)? In abstract, yes, I would want to know this, but I would also say it gives the candidate a really good opportunity to tell me what changed her trajectory. I want to know the backstory there. I say that as someone who thought GWB was the devil when I voted against him at age 18.
posted by sallybrown at 10:17 AM on June 28 [8 favorites]


It really doesn't matter at all. Someone could make fantastic executive decisions as president irregardless of any dumb shit they did or voted for 5, 10, 30 years ago, or last week. Biography is just another slice of the liver from which we attempt to read the candidate's future actions, but when we start trying to justify and prioritize these subjective predictions we're Doing Punditry, which makes all the gods and angels cry.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:20 AM on June 28 [6 favorites]


I voted for Bush in 2000 at 33. Obama was the first D I ever voted for. I grew up in South Dakota in an evangelical household and went to a Christian college in Texas. People get trained for lack of a better word to think and believe one way. Their whole social circle typically thinks the same way. People grow as they learn more about the world and experience new things and meet new people. We should be more accepting of people who change otherwise what's the use in trying to convince people of our beliefs if we hold it against them for coming to our side.
posted by chris24 at 10:26 AM on June 28 [65 favorites]


In 2008 I caucused in a primary, and voted in the general, for a candidate that didn't support full marriage equality.
In 2004 I voted for someone who voted for the Iraq war.
In 2000 I voted for someone that wanted to spend Social Security dollars to pay down the national debt of all things.

I hope history can forgive me.
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:31 AM on June 28 [12 favorites]


It really doesn't matter at all. Someone could make fantastic executive decisions as president irregardless of any dumb shit they did or voted for 5, 10, 30 years ago, or last week.

I think this really takes it too far. I think that character matters and that what people do tells you a lot about who they are. There are some difficult comparisons, sure, but sometimes the difference is stark.

I mean, I know you're not saying this, but this is basically the argument for trusting Mitch McConnell if he says "trust me." We wouldn't, because we know what he has done in the past.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:35 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]


And here is what happened in the second debate, as seen by me (Alexandra Petri, WaPo)
MODERATOR: Hello, again! You may feel as though we have already done this, and that is because we have. But this time, Joe Biden is here! And so is Marianne Williamson! And someone you loved last time is back: Bernie Sanders! Bernie, will the middle class pay more under your presidency?

BERNIE SANDERS: UNDER MY PRESIDENCY WE WILL FIX WHAT IS WRONG WITH AMERICA, AND THE WRONGS ARE SURELY LEGION! WE WILL HAVE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL — GOOD, UNDENIABLE HEALTH CARE! EVERYONE WILL GAIN, AND THREE PEOPLE WILL NOT HAVE MORE MONEY THAN … ALL PEOPLE!

MODERATOR: This all sounds lovely, but I did have a specific question about the middle class paying more.

SANDERS: yesisupposetheywould BUT THEY WOULD PAY LESS IN HEALTH CARE, AND IT WOULD BE MUCH BETTER! TO ALMOST AN UNIMAGINABLE DEGREE!

[At the end podium, MARIANNE WILLIAMSON starts to imagine. This levitates her up above her lectern, where she remains, hovering majestically.]

JOE BIDEN: Uh, hi, everyone. I look forward to being the next president and continuing my uninterrupted lifetime of doing nothing that seemed to anyone to be a problem, ever. Heh, heh, no debates till you’re 30!

MODERATOR: Gov. Hickenlooper, you criticized socialism before and were booed before. Do you care to repeat that experience?

JOHN HICKENLOOPER: Colorado did for real all the things that socialism just promises to do! Such is the power of Colorado.

WILLIAMSON: [Silently, with her mind.] Compared with the power of Love, the power of Colorado is nothing.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:37 AM on June 28 [16 favorites]


We all just cheered last night as Harris attacked Biden for his busing policy from decades ago, and most said that if he had just outright repudiated it, that would have been a lot better, though still not as good as a good conversion story backed up with decades of more subsequent liberal policy. In fact, in calmer moments, the latter is what he indeed says, pointing to all his work with Obama since then. Whether that is sufficient is exactly what he and Harris were arguing about last night, and what continues in more careful ways into all the articles today. So yes, the past always matters, including the more recent past of what they have done between then and now.

Pointing out these past actions and thinking through their implications is not an attack on the movement, on all people who have changed their minds, on the candidate, etc. I've supported Warren here from when it was quite unpopular, and Metafilter is not Twitter: discussing here the potential cons of a candidate or (what I'm more interested in) the broader role of the past in judging the present is not going to materially hurt the candidate, or pave the way to purism and fractured movements. But I'm happy to drop it if mild critiques of our (including my) preferred candidate in the name of exploring interesting questions of past actions is too inflammatory.
posted by chortly at 10:40 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


Just like voting for a candidate as a citizen is different from making law as a federal elected official, disagreeing with someone’s point is different from telling them to be quiet. A lot of people disagree on the import of Warren voting for Gerald Ford, but I don’t see many, if any, people saying we shouldn’t discuss it at all.
posted by sallybrown at 10:46 AM on June 28 [4 favorites]


The New Republic: Take Marianne Williamson Seriously
If the superficial version of “Democratic Trump” resembles him aesthetically, the proper version would be closer to his opposite: Not just female but powerfully and unabashedly feminine, aiming her message not at the raging car dealer dad but the anxious Wellness Mom.

The ideal version of this is, of course, Oprah, but Oprah the person is too smart and comfortable to want to do something as disruptive and potentially brand-destroying as run for president. Marianne Williamson might represent the next-best thing. Compare the pre-2019 followings of Marianne Williamson—who is more likely to appear on the popular Goop Podcast than some niche TV show like Morning Joe—to that of small-town Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and tell me which one is the fringe candidate.

And while it is fun to scoff at her hokey spiritual woo and self-help bromides, it is easy to forget that hokey spiritual woo and self-help bromides are extremely powerful and popular among a massive subset of Americans, many of whom represent the exact sort of voters who decide Democratic primaries.

I’m not saying Marianne Williamson will be president someday. But I am saying that 2012 me, like “everyone else,” thought Donald Trump was a joke. As a wise woman once said: “From a mind filled with infinite love comes the power to create infinite possibilities.”
posted by chappell, ambrose at 10:50 AM on June 28 [9 favorites]


chris24: "Yeah, I'm fine with Warren, Harris, Bernie, Biden, Buttigieg, Booker and Castro for the next debates after these two nights. Nobody else adds that much or has a real chance to rise. And honestly you could cut Booker and Castro if need be though they did have good nights."

That's pretty much what it's going to be, notwithstanding the meteoric rise of Joe Sestak:
2nd set of debates: July 30/31. 1% support in three qualifying polls OR at least 65,000 individual donations from a minimum of 200 different donors in at least 20 states. (same as round 1)

3rd set of debates: Sept 12/13. 2% support in four qualifying polls AND at least 130,000 unique individual donations from a minimum of at least 400 different donors in at least 20 states. unique donors.
I would bet we get ten or fewer qualifiers for September. That's probably also when we see people start to drop out.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:50 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


I'm happy to drop it if mild critiques of our (including my) preferred candidate in the name of exploring interesting questions of past actions is too inflammatory.

If they’re genuinely “mild,” then they’re probably not “inflammatory,” but it seems to me that most of the disagreement is with the significance you’re assigning to it.
posted by armeowda at 10:56 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]


I think we have to remember that Metafilter is considerably to the left of the mainstream - even those of us who aren't really that far left by the standards of this site. The controversies around Warren's claims of her ethnic heritage, and her voting for Gerald Ford, probably won't register with most mainstream Democrats. Cultural appropriation is not a topic near and dear to most Americans' hearts, most people outside of Native communities do not have much knowledge of Native issues, and many, many people have switched political allegiance in their time. Most people - even committed DSA members! - were not overflowing with wokeness and consciousness from their infancy.

Likewise, I don't know how many mainstream Democrats are buying into the "SheezaCop!" rhetoric around Harris, because most white people, at any rate, don't care that much. And I would argue since district attorneys aren't going away, we need better, not fewer, good people in law enforcement and prosecution.

I don't want President Biden - probably few of us here do - but he still has a lot of people on his side, old and relict of the bygone days notwithstanding. For example, Keisha Bottoms, mayor of Atlanta, just endorsed Joe Biden. Biden has racked up a lot of endorsements from a lot of powerful people, including many in the African-American community (and yes, so has Harris). I do want President Warren or President Harris, like, I surmise, most of us here do. But we're kind of to the left of most people in America, especially the not-really-online.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:59 AM on June 28 [23 favorites]


Re: the news story above posted by zach about Kamala Harris changing her answer about healthcare, I did notice during the debate that multiple candidates seemed to have difficulty hearing the questions -- Yang, Williamson, Harris, maybe Biden (?) all at certain times asked for clarification or seemed unsure if they were being personally addressed. I guess that could have been a stalling tactic but it's also possible that there were some audio mishaps going on.
posted by rogerroger at 11:02 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


Chris Christie Has Had Enough Of Chuck Todd: ‘The Guy Is Just A Complete Ass’
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie offered his assessment of who deserves the boot after the Democratic debates concluded on Thursday evening. While there were a few key candidates who the former governor and 2016 presidential candidate mocked for poor performance, Christie’s main vexation was with a moderator, not a candidate.


“Please God, can we say goodbye to Chuck Todd?” Christie said during an interview with CBS’ Stephen Colbert Thursday, before ruthlessly dragging Todd for balding and being a “complete ass.”

“I mean, the most, the most pretentious know-it-all on network news. The guy is just a complete ass,” he said. “You see that Chuck Todd hair … What’s he doing that for? Just comb it back, give in, it’s over. It’s over!”
posted by cybertaur1 at 11:06 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


The healthcare question was incredibly confusing. "Who here would abolish their private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan?" "Abolish" would imply that it's about getting rid of private health insurance altogether, but "their" suggests it's about their personal choice to give up their personal private health insurance. I'm definitely sympathetic to not understanding the question, even though it was asked identically the night before.
posted by chortly at 11:07 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


And I would argue since district attorneys aren't going away, we need better, not fewer, good people in law enforcement and prosecution.
Agreed, but there is a massive world of difference between Harris and Cabán/Krasner.

This isn't a theoretical gap or one of unreasonable leftist purity or whatever. This is the difference between poor people and people of color in prison vs. not.
posted by Ouverture at 11:07 AM on June 28 [5 favorites]


Just like voting for a candidate as a citizen is different from making law as a federal elected official, disagreeing with someone’s point is different from telling them to be quiet. A lot of people disagree on the import of Warren voting for Gerald Ford, but I don’t see many, if any, people saying we shouldn’t discuss it at all.

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that I was being shut down. I'm sure it's not too much for the rest, I just can't take the heat myself because I'm a wimp and can't sustain any argument that's one-against-all.
posted by chortly at 11:15 AM on June 28


Chris Christie Has Had Enough Of Chuck Todd: ‘The Guy Is Just A Complete Ass’

Heartbreaking: The Worst Person You Know Just Made A Great Point
posted by explosion at 11:23 AM on June 28 [24 favorites]


I'd really like to know more about who was spewing out the "Kamala Harris a fake black person" message last night. Don Jr. even retweted one of them before deleting it. This is a pretty strange set of tweets.

I'm aware that Black Critics of Kamala Harris and Cory Booker Push Back Against Claims That They’re Russian “Bots” and some of this is what real people think, but as Malcolm Nance notes, there's something about much of the #ADOS twitter activity and #BLEXIT stuff that looks to be pushed by bots and trolls.
posted by zachlipton at 11:52 AM on June 28 [13 favorites]


Despite her claims of sympathy toward “innocent men framed,” Harris seemed to work hard to keep many of them behind bars, or on death row, unacceptable behavior for any prosecutor, in any era. After a man was exonerated by the Innocence Project and had his conviction overturned, Harris challenged his release, after 13 years in prison, claiming that the man had not produced evidence of his innocence fast enough. In another case, where a prosecutor had falsified an interview transcript to add an incriminating confession, Harris tried to argue that because the false confession was not obtained by force, it did not violate the defendant’s constitutional rights. The judge disagreed. In another case, a prosecutor lied to a jury, and a panel of federal judges asked why such prosecutors were not being charged with perjury, threatening to release names if Harris’s office continued to defend them. Harris only backed down when video of the hearing was released and embarrassed her office. When a “bombshell” report revealed a long-running and unconstitutional jailhouse snitch program and prosecutorial coverup, Harris’s office appealed the removal of the Orange County district attorney’s office from a death penalty case. [C.J. Ciaramella / Reason]

In 2010, a memo surfaced showing that Harris’s deputies in the district attorney’s office knew that a police laboratory technician had been accused of “intentionally sabotaging” her work and stealing drugs from the lab, but withheld information about it from defense lawyers. A judge condemned Harris’s indifference to the injustice, and Harris accused the judge, whose husband was a defense attorney, of bias. Harris lost, and more than 600 cases handled by the corrupt technician were dismissed. In one death row case, based on extremely shaky evidence, Harris opposed a motion for DNA testing that could exonerate the possibly innocent man. (After a New York Times exposé went viral, she reversed her position.) [Lara Bazelon / New York Times]
The Daily Appeal: Kamala Harris was a tough-on-crime prosecutor in a Black Lives Matter era
Harris defended California’s uniquely cruel three-strikes law, the only one in the country which imposed life sentences for a third “strike” that was any minor felony. She urged voters to reject Proposition 66, a ballot initiative that would have reformed the harsh law by making only serious or violent felonies trigger life sentences.

Harris promised that if voters rejected the initiative, she would put forward her own, different reform. But Harris’s proposal was a tepid half-measure: it simply eliminated some third strikes. Harris would later support a different ballot measure that was identical to Proposition 66, but continued to allow anyone previously convicted of murder, rape, or child molestation to receive life sentences for relatively minor third strikes (though it did also allow those with non-serious third strikes to petition for re-sentencing).

Harris’s bullishness on three strikes was unusual. When she ran for attorney general, her Republican opponent actually ran to her left on the issue. In fact, four years earlier, as the Los Angeles County district attorney, he had proposed a reform of the law. Harris had not supported it.

[…]

Harris’s commitment to harsh punitive measures wasn’t limited to the three-strikes law. For all her recent concern about the incarceration of women and its economic effects, as district attorney, she successfully championed a statewide version of an anti-truancy law she had put in place in San Francisco that threatened parents of chronically truant children with as much as a $2,000 fine and a year in jail. By October 2012, two mothers had been imprisoned under the law.

“We are putting parents on notice,” she said in her inaugural speech as attorney general. “If you fail in your responsibility to your kids, we are going to work to make sure you face the full force and consequences of the law.”
Branko Marcetic, The Two Faces of Kamala Harris

And much more in the two articles provided.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 12:12 PM on June 28 [11 favorites]


Biden, during a speech trying to clean up his remarks from last night on his record on race, says “We have to recognize that kid wearing the hoodie, may very well be the next poet laureate, and not a gangbanger.”

This is like a time machine back to the early 90s. Has he engaged with any writing on race in America in the last two decades? Met with any activists? Stopped and listened to any younger thinkers and writers of color who’ve pushed the national dialogue?
posted by sallybrown at 12:12 PM on June 28 [37 favorites]


To add to that—the thing that I really miss about Obama, that I don’t see in Trump or in Biden (or in a lot of politicians with very long careers as elected officials) is curiosity. That’s not to say curiosity is all you need (I’m sure Marianne Williamson is a curious person.) I’ll always remember reading an Atul Gawande article about health care pricing in the New Yorker and wishing I had a magic way to send it to him, and then hearing a couple days later that he had read it and sent it to aides as something to look into. I miss that.
posted by sallybrown at 12:21 PM on June 28 [24 favorites]


But I consider Trump sui genesis in evilness (I know many disagree).

I will disagree. Perhaps it is recency bias or perhaps you weren't even alive back then, but I lived through the Reagan era. Reagan was just as evil as Trump except Reagan had a competent cabinet and competent advisors to implement his evil.

Everything you recognize in the Republican Party today had its birth in Ronald Reagan. It is literally a turning point in American history. The racism, the voter suppression, the greed, the income inequality, the Wall Street dominance, deregulation, privatization, tax cuts for the rich, the coarseness, the demonization of liberals - all turned around with Reagan. He is still the sainted godfather of today's Republicans.

Which is why I can't give a complete pass to someone who supported Republicans in the 80s. The side of evil was just as apparent and clear cut then as it is now. And we are not talking about your Aunt Mary in Peoria who had a change of view. We are talking about someone who was on the faculty of Harvard and surrounded by some of the best minds in the country.

I think it is fair to ask what in someone's character could have blinded them to the absolutely clear evil of the Republican Party back then. Today they are running for president. It's not disqualifying but it sure merits some side-eye.
posted by JackFlash at 12:42 PM on June 28 [9 favorites]


NYMag: Live Polling of the Debates: Good News for Harris, Warren, Biden, and Substance
...a group of 210 voters convened by leading party pollster Stanley Greenberg offered their live impressions, answering poll questions and participating in dial-testing to indicate their feelings about what was going on onstage, as it happened.
Highlights:
  • Warren easily won the first night with 44% (though Booker won with white millennials)
  • 36% thought Harris won the second night, though she was even with Biden among white unmarried women (and Biden+Yang among white millennials)
  • Everybody HATED the crosstalk fight early on last night, but loved Harris's "food fight" rejoinder
  • There was strong positive response among black voters+college-educated women (and relative coolness from everyone else) to Harris's criticism of Biden, though Biden saw some black support as well in his response
  • After night 1, Warren/Booker/Castro ate into Biden among black+Latino voters, though he actually gained among non-college white women
  • Biden gained some black+Latino support when defending Obamacare, and had an overall increased rating at the end
  • Harris saw significant boost in black+Latino support but failed to ding Biden's approval
  • Warren was the overall winner in win % and shifting of support, powered by black voters and unmarried/college women
  • All candidates saw increased favorability, moreso the first night. Biggest gainers (20+ points) were Booker, Klobuchar, Castro, de Blasio, Gabbard.
  • In the end, Warren/Booker and Biden/Harris had the highest favorables.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:49 PM on June 28 [8 favorites]


The New Republic: Take Marianne Williamson Seriously

Made me think of another large, often ignored group whose views on religion get little to zero attention from the candidates: the Nones. It's a group larger than white evangelicals now.

It was overshadowed by everything else, but Mayor Pete did something remarkable last night. He directly attacked the evangelicals. The ex-evangelical groups and ex-religious groups I follow were completely electrified by this. Finally, a candidate had the courage to call the hypocritical assholes out. Buttigieg swung many of their votes last night.

Considering how widely hated evangelicals are, and how many "nones" there are, it'll be interesting to see if Pete continues this line or if anyone else jumps on it.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 12:58 PM on June 28 [19 favorites]


Just received this email from our school district (BUSD), in case it's interesting to anyone:

The History of Integration in Berkeley Elementary Schools and Senator Harris

We have received multiple requests from media about Senator Kamala Harris and her experience with the Berkeley Public Schools. Senator Harris is correct in describing her experience in 1969 as the second year of the busing integration program. All Berkeley elementary schools were integrated through an innovative two-way busing plan, which was implemented voluntarily by our district beginning in 1968.

There has been some confusion in the media and social media around the Berkeley schools and integration due to the fact that our high school was already “integrated”, as evidenced, for example, by high school yearbooks which show children of many race/ethnicities at school together prior to 1968. In Berkeley, we only have one comprehensive high school, so it was integrated by default (de facto). Our elementary schools, however, reflected the racial composition of our neighborhoods, which like many neighborhoods across America reflected the history of segregation stemming from policies which restricted the opportunities of non-white residents.

posted by JenMarie at 1:01 PM on June 28 [13 favorites]


I think it is fair to ask what in someone's character could have blinded them to the absolutely clear evil of the Republican Party back then.

As has been noted several times already in this very thread, she has said she voted against Reagan. If you're trucking all the way back to support for Gerald Ford -- who was literally only running because he was selected by Congressional Democrats to be appointed Vice President -- as even side-eye-worthy evil in 2019, maybe you're looking for an excuse rather than a reason.
posted by Etrigan at 1:02 PM on June 28 [25 favorites]


JackFlash, I asked earlier in this thread in response to one of your comments—how did Warren support Republicans in the 80s? She voted against Reagan and GHWB and said she was dismayed by Reagan’s election, just to a lesser degree than Trump’s. Is there something specific you’re referring to that the rest of us haven’t seen?
posted by sallybrown at 1:05 PM on June 28 [3 favorites]


Since it seems people have heard "she was a Republican" but haven't read the very good article previously linked here:

Elizabeth Warren did vote for Ford in 1976, but she voted for Carter in 1980. She voted for Dukakis in 1988.

She registered Republican in Pennsylvania very likely (she admits she doesn't recall why) because she supported Arlen Specter. He later (2009) became a Democrat.

She voted for Bill Clinton in 1992.

People are imagining the engaged, high-information Elizabeth Warren of today, but Republican. In fact, she was a somewhat cloistered academic raising two children and making it out of one marriage and finding her now-husband.

That, and it's hard to remember how much less connected we were back then. The Internet lets us find out a lot of stuff at an instant now that may never have come to light if you didn't know the right people. It's a credit to her character that she realized she was wrong, and honestly it seems she only ever was a Republican in Name Only.
posted by explosion at 1:06 PM on June 28 [37 favorites]


Maybe when someone switched parties long enough ago that their party affiliation is old enough to vote, we can stop saying "Yeah, but they used to be on the wrong side!"?
Just a reminder that Vermont has voted Republican for President more than any other state. Just not in the last 30 years.
posted by MtDewd at 1:11 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


As has been noted several times already in this very thread, she has said she voted against Reagan.

You say this with authority but how do you know? When the Daily Beast in an interview asked her if she voted for Reagan, she declined to answer.

"I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets. I think that is not true anymore," Warren said. "I was a Republican at a time when I felt like there was a problem that the markets were under a lot more strain. It worried me whether or not the government played too activist a role."
posted by JackFlash at 1:13 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


I don't generally think it's useful to worry too much about how Trump will attack this or that candidate in the general election, but the discussion about Harris and Warren's past has me thinking. Trump will (shamelessly and hypocritically) slam Harris for her record as a prosecutor, and those attacks will be echoed by Fox news and Russian botnets. I think those attacks would be effective to some degree, driving down enthusiasm. With Warren, what's he going to say? "This woman is so bad she used to belong to the party that elected me!"? And Trump himself has pretty openly changed his party affiliation over the years, so I don't think an attack on that line would stick either.
posted by jomato at 1:15 PM on June 28


To add to that—the thing that I really miss about Obama, that I don’t see in Trump or in Biden (or in a lot of politicians with very long careers as elected officials) is curiosity

My ultimate favorite version of that is the time the White House hosted a science fair, a kid made a marshmallow cannon, and Obama shot it off. Because the part I remember most about that is his enthusiastic "let's try it" after asking the kid if the marshmallow would stick to the wall (of the State Dining Room, naturally). The kid isn't sure what will happen, and Obama's immediate reaction is to say we have to find out. And after shooting the thing off, he immediately wants to go see what happened to the marshmallow. Because he's a naturally curious person. Who is interested in asking questions to find things out.

I miss that.
posted by zachlipton at 1:16 PM on June 28 [45 favorites]


You say this with authority but had do you know? When the Daily Beast in an interview asked her if she voted for Reagan, she declined to answer.


From The Intercept

So we asked her: Is it true? Is it possible the champion of the regulatory cops on Wall Street voted for the man who made deregulation a hallmark of his presidency?

No.

In 1980, she said, she was a registered independent living in Missouri City, Texas, and cast her vote to re-elect Carter.

posted by avalonian at 1:16 PM on June 28 [12 favorites]


To my ears, "but she was a prosecutor" and "but she was a registered republican" is just "but she was a Goldwater Girl" all over again.
posted by peeedro at 1:20 PM on June 28 [27 favorites]


That Intercept article notes Warren says she also voted against Nixon and for McGovern in her first Presidential election. So her R votes were once for Gerald Ford in 76 and then once for Arlen Spector for Senate in 92.
posted by sallybrown at 1:22 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


To my ears, "but she was a prosecutor" and "but she was a registered republican" is just "but she was a Goldwater Girl" all over again.

You keep banging this drum, but one of these things is not like the other. H. Clinton and Warren both clarified and publicly moved away from these positions, and admitted that they were misinformed and wrong.

Harris has attempted to excuse her policies as prosecutor, rather than admitting that she was wrong. That's fine, but it's not "in the past" if she currently says she agrees with her choices in the past.

Having been a tough-on-crime prosecutor isn't going to disqualify her in the eyes of many, many voters, but stop telling us that our criticisms of Harris's recent work as prosecutor are the same as criticisms of Warren's 30-40 year old voting records.
posted by explosion at 1:34 PM on June 28 [12 favorites]


Personally, I think Warren could make a lot of hay by talking up her Republican past. Frame it about how attractive their stated positions of small government and individual freedoms are and then talk about how, as she furthered her academic studies, came to realize those positions are really just smokescreens for corporate greed and theft from the individual.

I really believe that could resonate with a lot of people who wouldn't otherwise call themselves progressives.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 1:41 PM on June 28 [47 favorites]


The second half of Five Thirty Eight's debate poll is in, and the results have all been combined. This was a multi-party survey, where panelists were polled before and after the debates.

Harris, Warren, and Castro most overperformed, with Sanders and Booker doing well but more in line with prior opinions. A big messy chart shows Biden losing support, but his overall favorability wasn't much impacted, still overwhelmingly positive after the debates.
posted by zachlipton at 1:51 PM on June 28 [3 favorites]


The problem isn't that Harris was a cop, the problem is that she is proud of the work she did as a cop, and the work she did was undeniably shitty and mean.
posted by graventy at 1:51 PM on June 28 [5 favorites]


Chuck Tingle:

after candidate MARY ANNES WILLIAMSON i am glad to see canidates from alternate timelines who are not afraid to harness magic i will reserve my vote but i understand this unique way
posted by robotdevil at 1:57 PM on June 28 [29 favorites]


To my ears, "but she was a prosecutor" and "but she was a registered republican" is just "but she was a Goldwater Girl" all over again.


To my ears, it sounds like the very valid concerns of leftist people of color are being dismissed as identitarian prejudice all over again.

That said, there is a big difference between being a tough-on-crime prosecutor or a war crime enabler vs. being a registered Republican 30 years ago.
posted by Ouverture at 2:00 PM on June 28 [8 favorites]


Agreed, but there is a massive world of difference between Harris and Cabán/Krasner.

And there is a massive world of difference between being a "progressive prosecutor" in 2004 and being one in 2019.

Harris's reforms led to the first implicit bias training program for police officers. She pioneered rules regarding body cameras and other reforms that were later echoed in the DOJ's report on Ferguson. She was integral in 2005 in creating prisoner re-entry programs and drug offense diversion programs that no one else in the country was doing.

What people interpret as "defending her record" isn't the same thing as Biden defending his prior position on busing. A prosecutor, and even the attorney general, is still a lawyer. Lawyers have clients (the State, in her case), and have to follow the laws as they exist. There is some room for push-back on certain issues, and not on others. She has on a number of occasions taken responsibility for doing things she personally disagreed with because it was required of her.

Her record is by no means perfect, and people have to vote for the candidate with whom they are comfortable, but it's incorrect to imply that she was gleefully rounding up black people and throwing them in jail.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 2:08 PM on June 28 [30 favorites]


I dunno, she seems pretty gleeful about it here.
posted by joedan at 2:13 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


The second half of Five Thirty Eight's debate poll is in, and the results have all been combined. This was a multi-party survey, where panelists were polled before and after the debates.

Holy shit, this is interesting stuff.

If these polls are taken at face value, Warren and Sanders are the ONLY two candidates whose unfavorables decreased after the debates (Warren more so than Sanders--and her unfavorables started out lower than his, too).
posted by duffell at 2:17 PM on June 28 [3 favorites]


Harris appealed a federal judge’s ruling that the death penalty was unconstitutional. As late as June 2016, she was defending the constitutionality of bail in court. She failed to support Proposition 47, a ballot initiative that reduced low-level felonies to misdemeanors. When the Supreme Court decided that California's overcrowded prisons were cruel and unusual punishment, Harris fought a ruling ordering the state to release some of its prisoners. [Branko Marcetic / Jacobin] In her crusade against Backpage and support for SESTA, Harris showed that she was no friend to sex workers.
from The Justice Collaborative's "The Daily Appeal"
“Getting Smart on Crime does not mean reducing sentences or punishments for crimes,” she explains in her book. As her website outlines, “Kamala believes that we must maintain a relentless focus on reducing violence and aggressively prosecuting violent criminals.” Fittingly, when she became San Francisco DA, the felony conviction rate rose from 52 percent to 67 percent in three years.
Charlie Peach, Kamala Harris’ Career as AG, was built on Truancy and Separation of Black Children and Families #SeparatingFamilies

posted by Ahmad Khani at 2:17 PM on June 28 [5 favorites]


A big messy chart shows Biden losing support, but his overall favorability wasn't much impacted, still overwhelmingly positive after the debates.

What Biden lost, more than his approval, was potential approval. If you call 100% - (approve + disapprove) someone's "undecided" score, the debates moved a fair number of people from his undecided column to his disapprove column. He's got great approval, don't get me wrong, but started out without much room to grow and this debate wasted some of it.

(I compulsively spreadsheeted this, looking at what happens if, for each candidate, you change undecideds to "approve" or "disapprove" in proportion to their existing approval or disapproval; call this their "eventual approval". Warren and Harris are tops by this measure; Castro had the biggest jump.)
posted by Jpfed at 2:24 PM on June 28 [5 favorites]


A really excellent series of tweets from journalist Jonathan Allen explaining the import of Biden’s comments last night that he opposed federal government intervention in integration through busing. Making the point that (a) Biden brought this issue on himself by bringing up of his own volition the segregationist Senators he worked with on this issue, and (b) how, at the time Biden opposed federally-mandated busing, that stance was just the latest in a much larger pattern of resistance to integration in education by Congress and white Americans.
posted by sallybrown at 2:28 PM on June 28 [8 favorites]


And there is a massive world of difference between being a "progressive prosecutor" in 2004 and being one in 2019.

Unfortunately for her, she's running in 2020 and not 2004.

What people interpret as "defending her record" isn't the same thing as Biden defending his prior position on busing. A prosecutor, and even the attorney general, is still a lawyer. Lawyers have clients (the State, in her case), and have to follow the laws as they exist. There is some room for push-back on certain issues, and not on others. She has on a number of occasions taken responsibility for doing things she personally disagreed with because it was required of her.

Just as Biden is rightfully criticized for voting for the Iraq War when he was under no obligation to do so, AGs have considerable leeway in terms of how they follow the laws as they exist. Harris herself demonstrated when she refused to defend Prop 8 in 2013.

Harris can't take credit for the legitimately good things she did as AG while also evading accountability on all the legitimately bad things she did as well.

I mean:
Consider her record as San Francisco’s district attorney from 2004 to 2011. Ms. Harris was criticized in 2010 for withholding information about a police laboratory technician who had been accused of “intentionally sabotaging” her work and stealing drugs from the lab. After a memo surfaced showing that Ms. Harris’s deputies knew about the technician’s wrongdoing and recent conviction, but failed to alert defense lawyers, a judge condemned Ms. Harris’s indifference to the systemic violation of the defendants’ constitutional rights.

Ms. Harris contested the ruling by arguing that the judge, whose husband was a defense attorney and had spoken publicly about the importance of disclosing evidence, had a conflict of interest. Ms. Harris lost. More than 600 cases handled by the corrupt technician were dismissed.
posted by Ouverture at 2:42 PM on June 28 [6 favorites]


This is like a time machine back to the early 90s. Has he engaged with any writing on race in America in the last two decades? Met with any activists? Stopped and listened to any younger thinkers and writers of color who’ve pushed the national dialogue?

I mean, this is big-picture stuff (and so maybe not quite appropriate to this thread . . .), but I am thoroughly convinced that a lot of the reason we're in the trouble we're in right now is because a bunch of the white Silent Generation and Boomer left managed to instill and reinforce a "We Fixed Racism!!" cultural narrative - Freedom Riders, marched with MLK, protests in the streets, etc etc etc. And of course they did good and important work, but in the process of congratulating themselves and cementing their place in history, their own perception of racism ossified - hence Biden's (and so many others') attitude of "You young whippersnappers can't tell me anything about racism I didn't already know before you were born!" Plus of course if you take it as a historical given that Racism Got Fixed between about 1962 and 1971 then that just opens the door for the right to gain traction with their claim that since racism is no longer a Serious Problem then anyone talking about it in the 80's, 90's, 00's, or now is just angling to game the system for personal advantage.

I'm 50, and as far as I can recall all of my history books and classes up to and including college treated the Civil Rights Movement like the Civil War - a thing that happened in the past, before I was born, that was terrible at the time, but ended up with better outcomes for everybody. Not a hint of a mention that a major social and political movement that happened in my lifetime was not finished, not a hint that getting rid of the most obvious signs of racism might only be the beginning of the beginning of addressing a centuries-long problem.

Biden clearly feels his legacy is at risk, which is exactly why he shouldn't be running.
posted by soundguy99 at 2:59 PM on June 28 [34 favorites]


The second half of Five Thirty Eight's debate poll is in, and the results have all been combined. This was a multi-party survey, where panelists were polled before and after the debates.

Here's my quick take on that data. The approve / disapprove ratio is the number of people who approve of the candidate divided by the number of people who disapprove, so at the top Harris and Warren have about 5 people who approved for every 1 that disapproved, while down at the bottom de Blasio and Williamson have a 1:1 ratio between approve and disapprove.

Clear winners are Harris, Warren and Castro; Buttigieg, Biden and especially O'Rourke (and Yang) are the losers, and Sanders and Booker basically tread water. Note this survey is of likely Democratic primary voters, so the candidates are (mostly) much more approved of than disapproved of. The big messy chart they have is hard to read, because they have three data points (before, between the debates, and after) and while it's cooler, it's not all that relevant past the weekend that Warren gained support after the first debate from the people who weren't there, then she gave it back the next night.

More interesting is just the share of the total (ie share of the respondents who picked them as their first preference) before and after:
Biden: 41.5% before, 31.5% after: -10.0%
Sanders: 14.4% before, 17.3% after: +2.9%
Warren: 12.6% before, 14.4% after: +1.8%
Harris: 7.9% before, 16.6% after: +8.7%
Buttigieg: 6.7% before, 4.8% after: -1.9%
Booker: 3.0% before, 2.8% after: -0.2%
O'Rourke: 3.6% before, 2.2% after: -1.4%
Castro: 0.7% before, 1.7% after: +1.0%

Harris killed it, and Biden did very poorly indeed.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 3:00 PM on June 28 [8 favorites]


Mayor Pete did something remarkable last night. He directly attacked the evangelicals.

Mayor Pete may or may not understand governance, but he does understand positioning. I thought his "we need to fix our Democratic institutions first" answer was very interesting. A lot of Bernie supporters see the system as fundamentally broken, and Buttigieg's messaging will appeal to them. I find it appealing too.
posted by xammerboy at 3:06 PM on June 28 [7 favorites]


Alex Pareene in The New Republic: "Take Marianne Williamson Seriously"

Alex Pareene feeling terrible would get me through at least four years on pure sadistic glee come onnnnn.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:45 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


Unfortunately for her, she's running in 2020 and not 2004.

And she, or whoever is the nominee, will be running against Donald Trump. I hope anyone who can vote will vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is. The lesser of two evils is less evil and Trump is really fucking evil.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:13 PM on June 28 [9 favorites]


"Take Marianne Williamson Seriously"

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. It's the year 2020, and the first general election debate is about to begin: Donald Trump, Marianne Williamson, Howard Schultz.
posted by duffell at 4:14 PM on June 28 [3 favorites]


And she, or whoever is the nominee, will be running against Donald Trump. I hope anyone who can vote will vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is. The lesser of two evils is less evil and Trump is really fucking evil.

Lesser evils are still evil and there is no reason for us to have to settle for evil at this point.

After all, I'm sure we'll all vote for Biden if it comes down to it, but I'm also sure most of us would rather prefer that not happen.
posted by Ouverture at 4:28 PM on June 28 [5 favorites]


I hope anyone who can vote will vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is. The lesser of two evils is less evil and Trump is really fucking evil.

People who refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils exist but I think pretty much everybody who participates in these threads will vote for whoever might win the primary, no matter how personally repellant or ideologically unacceptable. Having voted Democratic for the last 20 years, for me this is by now a familiar act of self-abuse so sure, why not do it again for old times' sake.

There's not a voter left in the country who will be swayed by "you gotta vote blue no matter who, the other guy's bad bad bad." Those who are constitutionally incapable of voting against rather than for won't be convinced by these pleas; they've had it shouted at them for years or decades and if they aren't motivated to do so on their own by Trump and the other current obvious signs and symptoms of civilizational collapse, then no badgering will do the trick in the absence of candidates that they like and that make the cases they need to hear. At this point "you gotta vote even if you hate the guy! you gotta!" are words that only serve to comfort yourself with the knowledge that you spoke them into the void.
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:48 PM on June 28 [5 favorites]


it's the methodical, months-long building of vituperative arguments against potential democratic frontrunners that troubles me, not the possibility that any given individual might flounce off at the ballot box. I feel like the constant slagging on Clinton from the left probably moved the needle a bit in 2016, but hey I could be wrong who knows.
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:53 PM on June 28 [15 favorites]


We're still in the first part of the primary stage. The primaries are where you vote your heart. Don't hold your nose in the primaries, though be aware that your candidate might not win. Nobody is making you (generic "you") vote for Harris, or Biden, or anyone else. Vote for Marianne Williamson for all I care.

The primaries are a vetting and winnowing process. If enough people really think that Harris' background disqualifies her, well, they won't vote for her in the primary. If enough people think Biden or Sanders are too old, ditto. Enough people who think that Kirsten Gillibrand is a castrating meanie or Marianne Williamson a flake? Guess what. We damn well want all the scandals and doubts coming out in the primary, so we can unite behind a candidate - even if they aren't our first choice - in the general.

That was part of the problem in 2016, we didn't have much of a choice between Clinton, Sanders, and some miscellaneous nonentities. The vetting and winnowing didn't happen as it should have, so with emails and Comey and tarmac meetings and and and happened, the Democrats were left to do damage control. It's better if people decide that Harris' prosecutorial background is a dealbreaker now, in the primary, than in October 2020 when the die is cast.

Not that I don't roll my eyes when people get all principled and say that no-one less than Polly Pureheart, a saint since birth, will get their vote. Such a candidate does not exist.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:01 PM on June 28 [17 favorites]


well that was terrible. (just completed youtube record of second night). lemme just say that i think warren is the best of them. several of the other senators contend for next-best prospect for president (which i am not ready to concede as necessarily the most weighty of qualifications for vice pres). a lot of the non-senators were pretty impressive, too. but i am intensely uncomfortable with the prospect of one or two of these excellent experienced senators leaving the senate given the uncertainty about party control of that house.

there was not a nonsenator there that i thought would be a better president, now, than any one of several of the able senators. most are too green, i think, but show promise for future races; the rest are old white also-ran guys, that motivational-speaker lady, a tech bro, some of whose input was good to have put into this forum. i really liked castro & buttigieg; enjoyed inslee's & swalwell's performances; can imagine that other governor as president, but only with benson and clayton running the country from the back office; i was underwhelmed by o'rourke who seemed to be deliberately affecting the bearing and the tripping lilting cadences of former president obama -- has o'rourke always talked like that? delighted by gillibrand. frustrated by biden, gabbard, delaney, sanders. sanders didn't even ever encourage me to vote for him, but instead called for me to resist the man, whom i've been resisting so long already it feels like darvo to me, so i probably won't. ...vote. for him. unless he's the nominee to oppose the incumbent atrocity.

overall, i'd prefer a bit more "i'm gonna accomplish x by a, b and c'ing," a little less "we should/must y" and a lot less "i did z." we have the resources to learn what you did; we're here to hear what you want and intend and, indeed, plan to do.
posted by 20 year lurk at 5:23 PM on June 28 [4 favorites]


Republicans Revel in Biden’s Debate Troubles, but See a New Threat in Harris (NYT)
Privately, people close to the White House said they viewed Ms. Harris as “very dangerous” and the hands-down winner of the debate on Thursday. Others said they hoped the debate would serve as a warning for Republicans — including those in the president’s inner circle — who have been too dismissive of Mr. Biden’s less seasoned rivals.
The five long minutes when Harris owned Biden (Politico)
Harris seized her starring moment out of nothing about halfway through Thursday’s debate, validating supporters who believe her debating prowess would be a powerful weapon against President Donald Trump in a general election. As questions to other Democrats about race and policing devolved into cross-talk, Harris raised her voice over the crowd: “As the only black person on this stage, I’d like to speak on the issue of race.”

Taken aback, the moderators granted Harris 30 seconds after cheers and applause from the audience died down. Then, after a few words of introduction, she turned that time on Biden.
Kamala Harris Has Been Gearing Up for a Biden Showdown (NYT)
Ms. Harris’s team has stressed that her shift in recent months to more Trump-centric rhetoric was not a panicked reset of her campaign, but part of a natural evolution. They have cast the Miami debate performance as an attempt to show voters that she could take on Mr. Trump without fear.
posted by Little Dawn at 5:42 PM on June 28 [14 favorites]


Warren is my heart in these primaries. Harris is my heart AG.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:59 PM on June 28 [8 favorites]


> Alex Pareene in The New Republic: "Take Marianne Williamson Seriously"

Counterpoint: Do Not, Under Any Circumstances, Take Marianne Williamson Seriously
The larger point here is that there's no evidence that Democrats want a Trump of our own -- a standard-bearer who flaunts ignorance (or a belief in misinformation) as a middle finger to "the elites." We like people who know stuff. Even when we've rallied around a candidate with a relatively short political résumé -- Barack Obama, Bill Clinton -- we've wanted that person to demonstrate knowledge and a sophisticated understanding of ideas. Among the politicians in the current field, Beto O'Rourke is losing favor precisely because he doesn't seem to have a firm grasp on the issues, while Pete Buttigieg has gained ground because he seems to know what he's talking about. Democrats don't like know-nothings. Unlike Republicans, we don't believe that supporting a know-nothing is the best way to smite our enemies.

Pareene writes:
And while it is fun to scoff at her hokey spiritual woo and self-help bromides, it is easy to forget that hokey spiritual woo and self-help bromides are extremely powerful and popular among a massive subset of Americans, many of whom represent the exact sort of voters who decide Democratic primaries.
You know who decides Democratic primaries? Older black women. New Age nostrums aren't what they're looking for in a candidate. Even in Williamson's home state -- California, the epicenter of "hokey spiritual woo" -- she could do no better than fourth in a congressional jungle primary. She's not going to be a contender in this race.
Pareene, meanwhile, who I generally enjoy reading but who couldn't bring himself to endorse a candidate in the 2016 primaries and couldn't be bothered to cast a vote for Hillary (or even against Trump) in the 2016 general election, has forfeited his right to invoke Trump as a cautionary take in his facile horse race analysis.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:23 PM on June 28 [24 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump: All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited healthcare. How about taking care of American Citizens first!? That’s the end of that race!

Why did they ask candidates whether or not they would give healthcare to illegal immigrants? This question and a couple others were misleading for many Americans. It would be cheaper for taxpayers if illegal immigrants are given insurance. On the other hand, if you're really proposing denying emergency care completely, the United States would be the only industrialized country in the world to be so callous. Now we have to explain this to all our Republican friends.
posted by xammerboy at 7:46 PM on June 28 [5 favorites]


@jenmariewilde
I’m nervous to talk about this because of what people will think or who might come for me, but it’s important.
So about ten years ago, during a really tough time, I got sucked into the new age community that Williamson is part of.
The kinds of things she said last night? It wasn’t new to me. I’ve heard all that before from people like her.
When you’re going through a hard time, they promise love is the answer & that you can find inner peace. I ate that shit up - even though my anxiety just got worse.
There’s so much pressure in that world to be Perfect, do all the juicing and cleansing and saging and healing and positive thinking. To buy all the books and the courses and the crystals and the meditation tracks.
And if it doesn’t work for you? If you try it all but you’re still struggling? It’s on you. You didn’t open your heart enough or raise your vibration enough or feel your pain enough.
It goes on with more details, too long to post but worth reading.
posted by scalefree at 9:17 PM on June 28 [13 favorites]


Ms. Harris’s team has stressed that her shift in recent months to more Trump-centric rhetoric was not a panicked reset of her campaign, but part of a natural evolution. They have cast the Miami debate performance as an attempt to show voters that she could take on Mr. Trump without fear.


It was a clever turn and I bet a few middle tier candidates are kicking themselves they couldn’t or weren’t able to do it. Warren and Sanders will battle it out for the progressive wing, those of us who think Harris is a “cop” and no way she’d capture those voters. Everyone thought Biden had locked up the center and the money and the Can Beat Trump constituency. Last night she demonstrated: 1. she’s not a bomb-thrower, she’s a Centrist; 2. Biden is not a battler and he Can’t Beat Trump; 3. She Can.

I’m a terrible prognosticator, but I think it’s going to come down to Warren on the left and Harris in the middle and how great is that?
posted by notyou at 9:37 PM on June 28 [12 favorites]


> Alex Pareene in The New Republic: "Take Marianne Williamson Seriously"

This is the stupidest fucking thing I've ever read, and this person gets paid to write for a living.

It can't be said enough, Trump didn't come out of nowhere and suddenly win the Republican nomination, he was never a "fringe" canidate like Marianne, he was the leader in 2011 when he flirted with a run, and he lead from the very moment he came down the escalator screaming about the Mexicans till election day. Because Republicans desperately wanted a candaidate that screamed the quiet white nationalist parts out loud. There's absolutely no evidence of a Democratic counterpart. None. Zero. It's not even remotely similar. And Pareene should either know better, or be out of a job. Do better for fucks sake. We all do this amateur pundit thing for free on this site and a comment making this point would be deleted or laughed off the page.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:58 PM on June 28 [27 favorites]


the Democrats were left to do damage control.

If they're not going to go on the attack against Republicans, ( e.g.: Hearings on Doe v. Trump and Epstein, where the preponderance of evidence shows that in 1994, Donald J. Trump raped a 13 year old girl ), the Democrats have nothing but damage control -- against flat out lies, actually.

This is really what bothers me. There's so much material that the House could just hold hearings on which would suck the air out of the room, and put the Republicans on the defensive. ( Which in reality is just attack the messenger, isn't it? But if they're busy doing that, they can't advance other agendas )
posted by mikelieman at 1:20 AM on June 29 [6 favorites]


Bret Stephens further tarnishes the New York Times with an amazingly racist and classist diatribe against the mild inclusiveness of the debates:
Here’s what: a party that makes too many Americans feel like strangers in their own country. A party that puts more of its faith, and invests most of its efforts, in them instead of us.

They speak Spanish. We don’t. They are not U.S. citizens or legal residents. We are. They broke the rules to get into this country. We didn’t. They pay few or no taxes. We already pay most of those taxes. They willingly got themselves into debt. We’re asked to write it off. They don’t pay the premiums for private health insurance. We’re supposed to give up ours in exchange for some V.A.-type nightmare. They didn’t start enterprises that create employment and drive innovation. We’re expected to join the candidates in demonizing the job-creators, breaking up their businesses and taxing them to the hilt.
posted by octothorpe at 5:38 AM on June 29 [7 favorites]


If Bret Stephens is mad, then “we” are doing something right. Part of why I find Warren so effective is her pragmatism refuses to accept this sort of “us”/“them” framing crap from the right. I think she’ll skip any focus on Harris’s status as a prosecutor and instead keep pounding the question “what did you do or not do with your time and power in the past.” It’s not about Harris’s choice of job but about what she accomplished or failed to accomplish with it. And similarly, that’s how Warren will rout Sanders. You can say what you want, but what did you actually do.
posted by sallybrown at 5:47 AM on June 29 [12 favorites]


Dems, Please Don’t Drive Me Away
The dynamic pulling the party leftward.
Opinion: by David Brooks

I'd extract a pull quote but you already know everything about it you really need to know.
posted by scalefree at 5:49 AM on June 29 [22 favorites]


Trump’s responses to being asked about the Harris/Biden busing debate are truly beautiful. As relayed by Eli Stokols on Twitter:
“I will tell you in about four weeks.”
and:
”It has been something that they've done for a long period of time. There aren't that many ways of getting people to schools.”
posted by sallybrown at 5:56 AM on June 29 [12 favorites]


Trump didn't come out of nowhere

Right. 45 is a classic segregationist, like Perez, Wallace, Thurmond, etc. I suppose Segregationists were traditionally "Boss" style democrats, and the corporate press has always called him a 'populist' for whatever reason, but I mean, c'mon, you think the guy thought of attacking the 14th Amendment all by himself?

I think the continual lack of connection comes from the press being so centered on New York, DC, and LA that they don t know enough US History.
posted by eustatic at 7:22 AM on June 29 [4 favorites]


They broke the rules to get into this country. We didn’t.

This is a bit disingenuous, considering; I don't know when Stephens' ancestors arrived in the US, but up until 1875 there were no rules for immigrating to the US, you just showed up. Up until 1924, if you came from a European country and weren't a criminal, tubercular, syphilitic or insane? You got in. Easy to not break the rules when there weren't any.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 8:07 AM on June 29 [30 favorites]


They broke the rules to get into this country. We didn’t.

This is a bit disingenuous

Plus there are those who were refused entry and died as a result. Often this is easy to dismiss as hypothetical because the fates of most people refused entry aren't tracked and reported in a prominent manner, but there's no shortage of examples that have been reported nonetheless. You've also got widely-reported and dramatic cases like this ship of Jewish refugees from 1939 Germany who were denied entry and sent back to Europe. Sometimes rules being broken isn't the worst possible or most important thing.
posted by trig at 9:24 AM on June 29 [14 favorites]


As usual, the op ed comes as close as possible to being factually wrong and the nytimes still publishes it. Illegal immigrants pay taxes. Health insurance for illegal immigrants would be cheaper. Illegal immigrants are illegal because, for the most part, we don't have a legal process. Like most conservative opinion pieces, this one leans in toward common misunderstandings and myths. It's worse than lying.

Where is the media on conservative op eds that claim the jury is still out on global warming, or decry late term abortions without context? What if during the debates CNN had asked how many candidates were for saving Americans hundreds of millions of dollars by insuring unauthorized immigrants? Whether they are insured or not makes absolutely no difference except in the amount of money tax payers will pay for their emergency care.

Do you hate them that much? Will you refuse care to anyone without two forms of identification? Will you turn away children that have been hit by a car from the hospital? Will you even stop to think beyond your knee jerk response that no one should get anything for free? Apparently not. These conservative writers in the Times, who absolutely know better, and absolutely know that what they write is misleading, are perfectly happy to help push this country over the edge into fascism.

I just read an opinion piece in the Times that says we should turn people away from hospital care because, among other things, they speak Spanish?
posted by xammerboy at 9:24 AM on June 29 [13 favorites]


When Bret Stephens started writing for the NYTimes I had no idea who he was. Sometimes I just click on headlines on the main site and don't really notice who the author is unless something particularly good or bad stands out - kind of like reading a long metafilter comment and not knowing who the writer is until you reach the end. Anyway, I got to know who he was pretty quickly because I kept scrolling up to see who had written the more-than-usually disingenuous argument I was reading.
posted by trig at 9:34 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]


I don't care if anyone broke the rules to get into this country. This country has not followed the rules with regard to Latin America, ever. We have trashed so many of their democratic governments like we owned them. We have repeatedly taken away their right to determine what their lives would be like. We have a corresponding responsibility to take care of Latin Americans in extremis like they are our own citizens, regardless of some bloodless immigration "rule."
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:58 AM on June 29 [34 favorites]


Furthermore, if people speaking Spanish bothers you so much, and you love paying your own way so so so so much and don't like handouts, then stop asking the government to pay for your stupid idiosyncratic prejudice. Why don't you take your rugged American individualism and make a Spanish-free life happen for yourself? Nooo, instead you want to whine and complain and make it everyone else's problem. Freeriding assholes. Fund your own goddamned hatred.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:23 AM on June 29 [10 favorites]


I'm not really understanding how the NY Times continues to hold onto its credibility. Bummer to hear Bret Stephens is still there, I am one of those many who quit paying or reading them when he was hired (and I don't really even follow this kind of stuff as much as many of you).

But I recently finished What Happened? (It is a great book. I would never have believed it but there is hope in there. You should read it or better, let her read it to you.) But anyway, Hillary Clinton, even after detailing in bright and painstaking fashion all the ways they failed the country, and her campaign in particular, and their damaging false-equivalency-both-siderism (which continues!) and her fekking emails*, she still went out of her way to praise this paper. What? Why? Ugh.

*I would just like to point out a little thing I learned in the above-mentioned book, and that is, some Republicans actually READ the fekking emails, and they came away with a warmer feeling toward Hillary because most of the emails are personal exchanges between friends and holy crap, she really is a kind and caring friend. I surely hope Warren/Castro or Harris win this thing and then spend a lot of time giving Hillary Clinton credit where it is most certainly do.
posted by Glinn at 11:25 AM on June 29 [10 favorites]


When the rules are explicitly racist, demanding conformity is an obvious tell.
posted by Etrigan at 11:26 AM on June 29 [7 favorites]


*due. omg.
posted by Glinn at 11:37 AM on June 29 [4 favorites]


They willingly got themselves into debt. We’re asked to write it off.

I genuinely don't know what Bret Stephens means by this. Undocumented immigrants frequently can't get bank accounts or credit cards, which is why disgustingly predatory check cashing places thrive in areas where they live. It especially makes no sense because one of the biggest debt write-offs in history was the banking housing crisis, caused by Wall Street Bankers who still managed to take home their million dollar bonuses. And then there's Donald Trump, the king of debt and stiffing contractors. Or any number of prominent conservatives, like Newt Gingrich, who wrote off $4.6 million debt from his 2012 campaign. Racking up big bills and making someone else pay is practically a religion for the right.
posted by bluecore at 11:37 AM on June 29 [8 favorites]


I think that Stephens is talking about student debt with that line.
posted by octothorpe at 12:13 PM on June 29 [3 favorites]


Dems, Please Don’t Drive Me Away

Brooks is winding up to endorse Howard Schultz's revived spoiler campaign when Biden doesn't win the nomination. Brooks would much rather see 4 more years of Trump than Warren raise all his Republican friends taxes.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:44 PM on June 29 [10 favorites]


But at the same time, Brooks doesn't want to dirty himself by actually endorsing Trump.
posted by octothorpe at 12:47 PM on June 29 [3 favorites]


I'm not really understanding how the NY Times continues to hold onto its credibility.

It's expensive to hire journalists, and they hire a lot of them. If the cost of living were lower, if people could go to the doctor without employer-provided health insurance, if they weren't burdened by student loans...maybe journalism could be a more diversified profession.

As is, there are a lot of good amateur and citizen-journalism efforts that rely on cheap speech platforms to get their work out (like twitter, reddit, blogs, etc.). But the kinds of dedicated, months-to-years long investigations that require a living wage are really expensive, and journalism is often constrained by the interests of the wealthy as a result.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:24 PM on June 29 [6 favorites]


Is there any reason at this point not to move this discussion back to the main thread? I feel like we've gotten pretty far from post-debate takes and analysis.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:00 PM on June 29 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I think we’ve chewed over this first round of debates plenty, here.

I will say: I’m grateful to have the debate discussions hived off into their own subthread, so the main POTUS thread doesn’t get filled up with our Primary punditry.
posted by darkstar at 2:03 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


Re Bret Stephens, David Brooks et. al, it's worth mentioning again that these fuckers keep pounding on the Dems to go more right wing (i.e. "centrist") but never will they dedicate a column to urging their own party to veer left.

I think a large part of that is just their fundamental dishonesty and hypocrisy, but some of it is because, truth be told, the Democratic party is already the centrist party. For now it gets my support as the antitrump party, but in the long run the nation will be better served by a having a top-tier bona fide leftist party alongside the centrist and far right nationalist parties we already have.

Until that happens, the "independent"-leaning edge of the Democratic party will always keep trying to push the party rightward.
posted by xigxag at 3:29 PM on June 29 [9 favorites]


They speak Spanish. We don’t.

Bret Stephens has adopted a fascinating definition of "we" that apparently actually means "other people." Because, uh:
"Having spent his childhood in Mexico, he is fluent in Spanish"
The guy who writes that "we" don't speak Spanish, well, speaks Spanish. And he's telling on himself with that. He's writing fanfic based on a group of voters he's dreamed up, and he's decided to insert himself right in the middle of them despite knowing it's all bullshit.

Here's what he said right after he said he speaks fluent Spanish in a 2017 interview I won't link because Bill Maher is also bad:
My mother was a refugee. She came to this country with $7.00, and in the space of the generation...but it's nice to know that in the space of a generation you go from refugee to quote elite and that's what this country ought to be about and people who don't understand that and want to build walls to the refugees to the indigent to the people who are desperate to come to this country they're the ones who have no place in it.

Bret Stephens' own story doesn't turn him into a stereotypical middle-aged white guy in an Ohio diner, so he's just decided to use the redefine the word "we" and hope nobody notices.
posted by zachlipton at 3:53 PM on June 29 [24 favorites]


He not only speaks Spanish, he grew up in Mexico City.
posted by rainydayfilms at 5:16 PM on June 29 [4 favorites]


Slate’s Guide to the Presidential Candidates Everyone’s Talking About This Week has a very interesting take on underlying problems with Biden's campaign in the context of his debate performance:
My colleagues and I have several pieces of content for you to enjoy regarding Joe Biden’s rickety debate performance Thursday night. But one thing that caught my eye in the debate’s immediate aftermath, because it’s becoming a recurring problem, was a “source close to the Biden campaign” telling reporter Olivia Nuzzi that Biden wasn’t listening to debate prep and was too “set in his ways.” This is now the third time I’ve noticed Biden staffers trash-talking their boss when the going gets rough. After Biden changed his position on the Hyde Amendment, staffers bragged to the Atlantic that they had to sit the old man down to get him to change his ways. During last week’s controversy over Biden’s relationships with segregationist senators, certain Biden staffers told CNN that they had warned him not to use that anecdote, but he was too stubborn to listen. What all this tells me is that there are staffers on the Biden campaign who only signed up because of his early polling strength, and if that polling strength dissipates, their first move will be to cover their own asses. But more to the point, at least some of Biden’s mercenaries don’t believe in him. It speaks, much like Thursday’s debate performance, to the wobbly foundation on which his front-runner status rests.
Maybe Biden's staff aren't as leaky as Team Trump, but going off record to the press to complain about the boss is never a good sign.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:05 PM on June 29 [10 favorites]


I'm just still sitting here can't believe they're bringing back the busing storyline, like, are they gonna do "Raise your hands if you support federally mandated busing" on the next debates? And then Donald Trump doesn't even know what busing is, almost a freebie, except some other Republican is gonna remember and tell him.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 6:22 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


I've never seen the need for debates. They can help a certain kind of stunt-friendly candidate (starting with Lincoln, who followed his opponent around, heckling him from the crowds until Douglas agreed to the unprecedented debate stage.) But otherwise my impression is that they simply encourage an illiterate attitude toward candidates.

A couple thoughts:

My dad watched the last 5 minutes of the debates without knowing any of the candidates. He said, no, no, no, no, will be back, no, will be back, will be back, and got up and left. The will be backs were Kamala, Buttigieg, Biden. So I think the initial debates help weed out candidates that clearly aren't ready for prime time, so to speak.

-----

I'm glad you mentioned that sometimes good candidates perform stunts. I thought what Kamala did when she mentioned the food fight, and later when attacking Biden were stunts of sorts. Both interactions were clearly planned. Still, she executed them well, and she showed that Biden is easily rattled. I don't mind seeing that a candidate has some chops in this regard, but neither am I basing my vote on it. It was risky but paid off. I would have liked to see more candidates take similar risks.

------

Yes, the whole debate format needs to be rethought. Some of these issues require brief explainers before they are even talked about. I'm still not even sure most people are aware of / understand the basics of global warming :-(
posted by xammerboy at 7:26 PM on June 29


I don't particularly want Williamson but her success would satisfy the small bitter part of me because it would drive so many left commentators who hate the democrats absolutely wild in ways that I cannot begin to conceive of.

As a leftist who hates most Democratic politicians, I'm... not sure what this means? How will this make me crazy?

Of all the candidates who participated in these debates, exactly one has appeared personally on Chapo Trap House and it's Marianne Williamson.

(her popularity with extremely online lefty people is 90+ percent as a meme/irony candidate but if she actually won it would presumably be a major embarrassment for the Democrats so it kinda feels like you have this thing backwards)
posted by atoxyl at 8:51 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]


up until 1875 there were no rules for immigrating to the US, you just showed up.

You know, seeing as the idea of "Immigration" was foreign to The Framers, and authority over "Immigration" never delegated to the Federal government, it seems possible that all "Immigration" law is unconstitutional.

Which makes sense, since it started with the "Chinese Exclusion Act"
posted by mikelieman at 8:58 PM on June 29 [7 favorites]


John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts.

(And then came to regret it.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:01 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]


I recall in my women's studies class learning that single women immigrants who arrived without a sponsor or future husband waiting in the US were often turned away if they were from Southern or Eastern Europe, because of fear of unaccompanied, unsupervised women becoming prostitutes. (Single women from Britain, Ireland, or the Scandinavian countries were, somehow, OK for entry.) But on the whole the rules for immigration, such as they were, were arbitrary and not codified into law, and there was no such thing as an "illegal" or "undocumented" immigrant.

Re the debates: A little herd-thinning might happen if a rule was "President is not an entry-level job." Requiring a candidate to have held an executive (mayor, governor) or federal-level (representative, senator) office would have eliminated Yang and Williamson who, I think, are not real contenders. (Seriously. None of the woo and woo-adjacent people I know, including myself, even those who are Williamson fans and have her books, want her as President. People do draw a distinction between spiritual and political. The most pagan spiritual person I know is all aboard the Harris train. WILLIAMSON IS NOT CONSIDERED A SERIOUS CANDIDATE BY DEMOCRATS, ALEX PAREENE.)

Warren and Harris are still my #1 picks but if Biden is the one who gets the nomination, I'd live with that. What does feel good is to have TWO terrific women who I am having trouble choosing between. It's a new and good feeling, being spoiled for choice like this. I also like Kirsten Gillibrand and thought she did well, despite all the Patricias on sites like Daily Kos clutching their pearls and going "Tsk tsk, MANNAHS!" because she was rude and interrupted and wasn't ladylike.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:29 AM on June 30 [7 favorites]


UGH I'm suddenly worried if it's Warren, Harris and Bernie or Biden, that the white guy will scrape through even though a majority would prefer Warren or Harris.
posted by Glinn at 10:41 AM on June 30 [2 favorites]


My fantasy is that Biden's family and/or aids will stage an intervention and convince Joe that he's just not up to the job at his age. I mean, there's obviously no talking him out of this but I wish someone would try.
posted by octothorpe at 11:03 AM on June 30 [4 favorites]


My fantasy is that Biden's family and/or aids will stage an intervention and convince Joe that he's just not up to the job at his age.

"Does this look like a man who has eight years of presidenting in him?"
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:13 AM on June 30 [3 favorites]


"doesn't he look tired"
posted by gerryblog at 11:25 AM on June 30 [8 favorites]


snuffleupagus: "John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts. "

The first law regarding citizenship was the Naturalization Act of 1790 (Washington as president). The first law concerning immigration proper was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. The Supreme Court found this Act (and related laws) to be constitutional in several late 19th century cases.

Of course, as we've seen, whatever five justices say is or is not constitutional is what goes, but I don't think I've seen any analysis suggesting there's any real consensus that Congress does not have the power to control immigration.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:38 AM on June 30


One specific aspect of the Chinese Exclusion Act was found to be unconstitutional in 1898 in United States v. Wong Kim Ark, amazingly just a couple of years after an almost identical Court delivered Plessy v. Ferguson which declared segregation constitutional. From Wikipedia:
The Supreme Court considered the "single question" in the case to be "whether a child born in the United States, of parent[s] of Chinese descent, who, at the time of his birth, are subjects of the Emperor of China, but have a permanent domicil and residence in the United States, and are there carrying on business, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under the Emperor of China, becomes at the time of his birth a citizen of the United States." It was conceded that if Wong was a U.S. citizen, "the acts of congress known as the 'Chinese Exclusion Acts,' prohibiting persons of the Chinese race, and especially Chinese laborers, from coming into the United States, do not and cannot apply to him."
So crucially, the Chinese Exclusion Act could not be applied to U.S. citizens even if they were also Chinese citizens.
posted by XMLicious at 1:34 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


So, reaffirmation of jus solis, right? That's all well and good, but not very reassuring to the tens of millions of us who are naturalized US citizens.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:18 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


I think it may be counted as one of the initial affirmations, if not the initial affirmation, of constutional jus solis just a few decades after the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified. But I'm 0% lawyer so I don't know whether or how the decision applied to naturalized citizens.

(But obviously, even if it did apply, since naturalization can be revoked as with 20th-century German Nazis and mafiosi and such I imagine it still wouldn't be comprehensively reassuring.)
posted by XMLicious at 7:56 PM on June 30


Warren and Harris are still my #1 picks but if Biden is the one who gets the nomination, I'd live with that.

I've been thinking about how electrified I am for Warren and Harris, and how that will translate into how active I'll be in GOTV efforts and just generally boosting for their candidacies. During the debates, I teared up during Warren's closing remarks, I was just so moved by it, and then Harris was just so kickass. I will donate! I will attend rallies! I will wear campaign T-shirts! I will chat people up and post comments all over this website expressing my enthusiasm and support!

I've also been thinking about how while of course I can't currently imagine a universe where I don't vote for the Democratic nominee, I won't have any enthusiasm for Biden, and I won't be the only one. The best I may be able to do is bite my tongue, lest my ennui undermine his candidacy worse than his own campaigning already has. I worry that while many may tolerate Biden, unenthusiastic tolerance isn't going to translate into what will be needed to actually defeat Trump.
posted by Little Dawn at 11:22 PM on June 30 [16 favorites]


I got an ad for a survey from one of the candidates with an actual chance. They wanted to know what issues I cared about. It was a laundry list of good ideas, but I left them all unchecked and under 'Other' wrote, "I am a single-issue voter. I want a candidate that will commit to the prosecution of all perpetrators of and accessories to crimes against humanity being committed in this country, including profiteers, as well as the prosecution of the entire Trump Crime Family and all their accomplices in all three branches of government."

I'm not holding my breath.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:51 AM on July 1 [19 favorites]


This fact checking the debates from the Washington Post is just jaw-dropping. I know Bernie is pretty unpopular here, but these are some pretty rough fact-checks:

“Three people in this country own more wealth than the bottom half of America”

—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

This snappy talking point is based on numbers that add up, but it’s also a question of comparing apples to oranges. Sanders is drawing on a 2017 report from the left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies, which said that three billionaires — Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos (who owns The Washington Post) and Warren Buffett — had total wealth of $248.5 billion, compared to $245 billion for the bottom 160 million of the United States. The wealth of the three men has gone up even more since then.

But people in the bottom half have essentially no wealth, as debts cancel out whatever assets they might have. So the comparison is not especially meaningful. We once gave Sanders Three Pinocchios when he asserted that the six wealthiest people had more wealth than the half of the world’s population. That was an even more problematic comparison, and we said at the time it was better to focus on inequality within a country.

“Well, President Trump, you’re not standing up for working families when you try to throw 32 million people off their health care that they have and that 83 percent of your tax benefits go to the top 1 percent. That’s how we beat Trump: We expose him for the fraud that he is.”

—Sanders

This is misleading. Sanders is referring to the tax cuts that will result by 2027, not under the Trump presidency.

In 2018, most U.S. taxpayers can expect some kind of tax cut, according to just about every analysis. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that initially more than 80 percent of taxpayers would get a tax cut, with less than 5 percent getting a tax increase.

Since the wealthy pay most of the income taxes, they end up with most of the tax cuts. The TPC report shows that in 2018, the top 1 percent would get 20.5 percent of the tax cuts; the top quintile would get 65.3 percent. In other words, that’s not nearly as lopsided as Sanders asserted.

In 2027, the study shows, 82.8 percent of the tax cuts will flow to the top 1 percent. The top quintile actually receives 107.3 percent of the tax changes — because taxes actually increase for the folks in the lowest, second-lowest and middle quintiles.

What happened? The individual tax cuts expire over the course of the decade. Republicans structured the tax cut this way to keep the whole package — especially the corporate tax cut — in a budget box that allowed only for a $1.5 trillion increase in the federal deficit over 10 years.



I really can't even figure out what point the first fact-check is even making. It isn't comparable because the poor are so poor they have negative wealth so it isn't fair? Do the rich not get to count their debt against their assets? I'm completely genuine in that I do not understand what they are saying.

As for the second fact-check. The taxes line is misleading because the tax cuts that Trump and the Republicans passed don't count as Trump's because the part that everybody will hate will take effect after Trump is out of office? This seems like the Washington Post is doing PR work for the Republicans, helping them distance themselves from things they've done.

Maybe I'm reading this through Bernie-colored glasses, but it seems like the Washington Post is dinging Sanders because what he is saying is true, but inconvenient for those in power.
posted by Regal Ox Inigo at 3:23 PM on July 1 [19 favorites]


The Vulnerability of Biden (and Bernie) (David Leonhardt, NYT Opinion)
[...] two research firms — Gradient Metrics and Survey 160 — recently asked Democratic donors from the 2016 campaign, many of whom are giving money again in this cycle, what they thought of the 2020 candidates. [...] The survey was conducted before last week’s debates, so it’s reasonable to think the numbers for Harris and Buttigieg may have risen.

What about Biden?

Only 26 percent of donors said they were considering him. Even among Hillary Clinton’s 2016 donors — presumably a more moderate group of Democrats — Biden came in fourth. [...] Obviously, Biden can still win the nomination. He still has time to release a detailed agenda, and he remains popular among rank-and-file Democrats. But he is struggling to generate excitement among the most engaged Democratic voters, including many moderates. Democrats who follow politics closely don’t seem energized by Biden’s candidacy.
Biden plummets, Harris vaults to second in major poll (Politico)
The CNN/SRSS poll, which was released on Monday and conducted entirely after the first two Democratic presidential primary debates last week, has Harris, the California senator in second place, among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who are registered to vote, at 17 percent.

Harris' surge places her firmly within the top tier, which now consists of four candidates. Biden still sits at the top of the pack with 22 percent, but his once-commanding lead has eroded significantly. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is in third with 15 percent, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 14 percent.

Both Harris and Warren saw sizable jumps in their support over a previous CNN national poll, taken at the end of May. Harris went up 9 points, from 8 percent in May, and Warren rose by 8 points, from 7 percent in May.

The largest drop came from Biden. He was at 32 percent in the May poll, 10 points ahead of where he polled now. Sanders slipped slightly by 4 points, which is within the poll’s margin of error. [...]

Biden is particularly hurt in the horse race polling with young voters. Just 13 percent of voters under 45 pick him as their choice to be the nominee. Sanders leads with voters under 45 with 21 percent, followed by Harris' 18 percent and Warren's 17 percent.
posted by Little Dawn at 3:38 PM on July 1 [9 favorites]




That poll establishes pretty clear tiers.

A) Biden, Harris, Warren and Sanders at one level (mid-teens thru low-20s percentage support);

B) Buttigieg, O'Rourke, Booker and Klobuchar at the next (polling a low but non-negligible percentage); and

C) everyone else who needs to go away quite quickly, please.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:14 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


It makes me feel good that opinions/support for Marianne Williamson declined after her performance went viral, as it should be in a reasonable world, and we’re not going to get some weird repeat of 2016 where the guy who uses his debate time to insult Rosie O’Donnell ends up winning.
posted by sallybrown at 6:04 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


speaking of "They speak Spanish/we don't", apparently all of the speaking-of-Spanish came across like a stunt, and I guess it is but I wanna note that it also isn't. Cory Booker has been speaking his awkward Spanish for years.

https://twitter.com/UniNoticias/status/1091316528908251137

https://www.usatoday.com/story/onpolitics/2013/07/16/cory-booker-spanish-senate-ad/2521193/

He didn't pick up the Rosetta Stone just for the campaign; he picked it up years and years ago for his own reasons. Same with Buttigieg. Beto is honestly fluent in Spanish. Tim Kaine and Jeb Bush are honestly fluent in Spanish, for that matter. For all of these people, speaking Spanish on stage may be a pander but it's also an honest part of who they are.

idk, this is not the place for my personal essay, not least because I'm very white and not Hispanic, so I will just link to this wikipedia article, Spanish language in the United States. and I'll link to this census bureau data table from 2016. Out of citizens 18 yrs and older (in other words, the electorate), 9% speak Spanish. Out of the total population (5 yrs and older) 13.5% speak Spanish. The way I see it, Spanish is not a foreign language in this country. It's a minority language. Or a regional minority, or however you want to put it. Because of our history, our past and our present, Hispanic people and their languages are a native (minority) part of this country.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 6:13 PM on July 1 [5 favorites]


Spanish was the first European language spoken in the United States, and St. Augustine, Florida, (founded by the Spanish) was the first European settlement in the United States. St. Augustine was founded on September 8, 1565, 42 years before Jamestown was founded in 1607 and 55 years before the Pilgrims founded Plymouth Colony in 1620.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:39 PM on July 1 [6 favorites]


This fact checking the debates from the Washington Post is just jaw-dropping. know Bernie is pretty unpopular here, but these are some pretty rough fact-checks

The Post really, really hates Sanders.
posted by chortly at 7:09 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


> “Three people in this country own more wealth than the bottom half of America”
> WaPo Fact Check: ... People in the bottom half have essentially no wealth, as debts cancel out whatever assets they might have. So the comparison is not especially meaningful.

Yeah, no, the WaPo Fact Checker is failing basic arithmetic here.

Of course it's meaningful that the net worth of 160 MILLION people is less than the net worth of just THREE rich people. What's wrong with comparing total net worths?

But literal guillotines have come out on the street for less than this, and honestly, maybe that's what the Fact Checker is worried about, that saying this too loudly might incite some ... unhappiness among the masses.
posted by RedOrGreen at 7:37 PM on July 1 [10 favorites]


Yeah, no, the WaPo Fact Checker is failing basic arithmetic here.

As in denying the existence of negative numbers. That's pretty basic.
posted by JackFlash at 8:00 PM on July 1 [4 favorites]


Worth reminding yourself who owns the Washington Post. Hint: His name is in that list of three people.
posted by kafziel at 9:04 PM on July 1 [18 favorites]


Cancelled my Washington Post subscription for a while and told them it was because of the hit job "fact checks". I can't trust them to not run the same shit in the general election.
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:49 PM on July 1 [2 favorites]


...St. Augustine, Florida, (founded by the Spanish) was the first European settlement in the United States. St. Augustine was founded on September 8, 1565...

kirkaracha, San Juan, Puerto Rico was also founded by the Spanish -- decades earlier, in 1521.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:50 PM on July 1 [7 favorites]


Beto was the first candidate to respond to a question partially in Spanish. He was asked a question about taxes and responded by reciting some platitudes about the economy, starting with "We need an economy that works for everyone". He then repeated the same platitudes in Spanish, but his Spanish paraphrase was wordier than necessary, like he was just trying to fill up time.

I don't think he scored any points with bilingual Democrats by not answering the question in two languages.
posted by nangar at 6:14 AM on July 2 [4 favorites]


It would be great if people would remember that, all the horse-race bullshit aside, RIGHT NOW IN THIS COUNTRY PEOPLE ARE BEING TORTURED BECAUSE THEY ARE LATINX. I don't speak for all Latinx people on this one but my general feeling is that normalizing Spanish, showing respect for the fact that Americans speak Spanish, and doing whatever possible to continue to humanize Latinx people in the face of violent xenophobia is morally correct. Even if does not win anyone's vote, Beto is 100% doing the right thing.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:27 AM on July 2 [9 favorites]


(Also, I say the above as someone who is not a big Beto fan...he's right on this one and I hope he keeps it up.)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:31 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


Booker briefly and very bluntly condemned the administration's immigration policies in Spanish, and then elaborated on his answer in English so everyone could understand what he was saying. Beto used Spanish to evade a question question about taxation. I don't think Beto gets any points here for having a better accent.
posted by nangar at 7:00 AM on July 2 [4 favorites]


You really have your finger on the pulse of the Latinx electorate, huh? Okay, well, Booker gets points as well, because one important issue in this election is whether or not candidates are basically supportive of the right of Latinx people to exist.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:38 AM on July 2


I was in a room with a few hundred of Des Moines, IAs most active democrats on June 8 (Pod Save America podcast tour) and the audible intake of breath and grumbling when Biden's name was mentioned was real. Warren, Harris, Buttigieg were met with loud cheers. These people will all be at the caucuses guaranteed so that is why I am mentioning it. The enthusiasm for Biden I have not observed in any actual Iowan, but a clear antipathy I have.

I have been on the Harris/Warren train just so you know my own bias.

Also, one person screamed MARIANNE randomly, and the whole room broke out laughing.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:27 AM on July 2 [6 favorites]


Voters give Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren top grades in debate (Politico)
Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren earned the highest marks among voters who watched last week’s Democratic presidential primary debates, according to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.

More voters gave Harris and Warren [...] “excellent” marks than any of the other candidates, the poll shows. More than 1 in 4 debate-watchers, 27 percent, said Harris did an “excellent” job, while 23 percent said Warren did an “excellent” job.

[They] are the only candidates for whom more than 20 percent said they did an excellent job. The [candidates] who entered the debate as the polling front-runners, former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, were both rated as “excellent” by 16 percent of debate-watchers. But 23 percent of viewers said Biden did a “poor” job, more than the number of viewers who said Harris (16 percent), Warren (19 percent) and Sanders (20 percent) did a poor job.
posted by Little Dawn at 9:11 AM on July 2 [4 favorites]


I'm starting to wonder if this won't come down to Harris and Warren.
posted by asteria at 9:24 AM on July 2 [2 favorites]


In which case they should just join forces.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 9:30 AM on July 2 [6 favorites]


I would be totally, 100%, fine with a primary that's between Warren and Harris with every white man simply pushed to the side.

Either one would be fine.
posted by sotonohito at 9:35 AM on July 2 [10 favorites]


Oh please oh please oh please election deities, let this come down to Harris and Warren. I can't even tell you how great it would make me feel to have two terrific, top-tier women dominate the Democratic race.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 9:44 AM on July 2 [10 favorites]


I've always thought Biden and Sanders' leading the polling was mainly due to name recognition and they'd start to fade as people actually started paying attention.

Harris is my favorite and my wife loves Warren, so seeing them on the rise is great!
posted by kirkaracha at 9:51 AM on July 2 [2 favorites]


If you control for name recognition, Biden and Sanders tank, yes. Though the exact numbers I saw were about a month old on that.

Look at the bottom here where there's pre- and post-debate favorable/unfavorable with unknown in the middle. You see clear upticks for them. https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/democratic-debate-poll/

edit: my original gut but serious prediction was Harris/Klobuchar but that was before I knew Klobuchar had those staffing... issues. Been Harris/Warren ever since. I want it.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 9:55 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


I liked Klobuchar too at first, but she hasn't performed as well as Harris and Warren have.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:07 AM on July 2 [1 favorite]


OnTheLastCastle: "Also, one person screamed MARIANNE randomly, and the whole room broke out laughing."

Maybe just a fan of the French Revolution?
posted by Chrysostom at 11:40 AM on July 2 [2 favorites]


Indivisible polled their members about their voting preferences after the debates (this was a web poll, and is distinct from their "flash polling" above, which I believe were conducted via text).

Warren and Harris are the clear favorites. One set of questions allowed respondents to select ALL of the candidates they're considering voting for in the primary, along with ALL of the candidates they are not considering voting for. The only candidates with "net positives" (% considering voting for them, minus % not considering voting for them) were, in descending order:

​Warren: 80%
Harris: 75%
Buttigieg: 46%
Castro: 29%
Booker: 22%

On the "net support" metric, Marianne Williamson appears to be tied for last with -76%. Can we stop talking about her candidacy now? (I've been as guilty of this as anyone, but seriously.)

Then there's this: "If the primary was held today, who would you vote for?" (only one selection allowed)

Warren: 35%
Harris: 31%
Biden: 10%
Sanders: 9%
Buttigieg: 8%
Castro: 1%
Klobuchar: 1%
Booker: 1%
Inslee: 1%
Gabbard: 1%
O’Rourke: 1%
Everyone else: 0%
posted by duffell at 11:41 AM on July 2 [9 favorites]


Suffolk/USA Today:

Biden 24%
Harris 16%
Warren 13%
Sanders 9%
posted by Chrysostom at 12:13 PM on July 2


Quinnipiac:

Biden 22%
Harris 20%
Warren 14%
Sanders 13%
Buttigieg 4%
posted by Chrysostom at 12:22 PM on July 2 [4 favorites]


That Quinnipiac poll is a huge deal, as it places Biden and Harris within the margin of error. (Usual disclaimers about not taking individual polls too seriously.)

And it's particularly significant in that Quinnipiac had Harris at 7% in its most recent poll (June 11). That's one hell of a bump.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 12:26 PM on July 2 [5 favorites]


Source

Regardless of how you intend to vote in the Democratic primary for president, which candidate do you think has the best policy ideas?

Warren 31%
Sanders 18%
Biden 11%
Harris 8%
Buttigieg 3%
Booker 2%

(Quinnipiac U. Poll, Democrats/leaners, 6/28 - 7/1/19)


People like leftist policies. Now if only we could get them to stop voting/thinking like pundits.
posted by dreamlanding at 3:47 PM on July 2 [5 favorites]


Biden, Harris in virtual tie after dramatic shift in black support, poll shows (NBC)
In the latest poll, Biden's support among black Democratic voters shrunk to 31 percent from 48 percent in the June poll. Harris, on the other hand, saw her support among black Democratic voters grow to 27 percent, from 11 percent in the June poll.
posted by Little Dawn at 4:52 PM on July 2 [5 favorites]


ABC/WaPo:

Biden - 29%
Sanders - 23%
Harris - 11%
Warren - 11%
Buttigieg - 4%
Castro - 4%
posted by Chrysostom at 6:58 AM on July 3


I'm calling Warren/Harris. I think Biden will continue to show more tears at the seams and Sanders will execute a grand bargain to get Warren to inherit his support when he tops out. Everyone else is mostly irrelevant for the top jobs. Cabinet secretaries maybe.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 7:05 AM on July 3 [3 favorites]


Sanders will execute a grand bargain to get Warren to inherit his support

hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

I agree that Sanders will eventually drop out of the race, and he may very well make an endorsement (whether full-throated or half-assed remains to be seen). But I expect that to come far too late to make an appreciable difference in the dynamic of the primary. I just don't think he understands--or is willing to accept--that his time is in the past.
posted by duffell at 7:11 AM on July 3 [12 favorites]


That is to be seen. The issue with Sanders (whose policies and overwhelmingly support), is that he has a high floor and a low ceiling. Unlike even Biden, I just don't see his poll moving up and down that much. But primaries and caucuses have very different effects with multiple viable candidates versus just two. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a four-way battle during the Iowa caucus where he comes in 3rd and Warren comes in 2nd that he realizes that both of them are splitting the left vote.

Who knows though—running for the presidency is a hell of a drug and people take a massive amount of contrary evidence to drop out.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 7:17 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]


Don't forget that a number of states have moved away from caucuses. Those were Sanders's strong suit.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:23 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]


Reuters/Ipsos:

Biden 22% (-8)
Sanders 16% (+1)
Harris 10% (+4)
Warren 9% (+1)
O'Rourke 3% (-1)
Buttigieg 3% (-2)
posted by Chrysostom at 7:26 AM on July 3


I have no idea at all why the next round of debates doesn't just cut off everyone under 3%. The clown car BS needs to end ASAP, hopefully in time for some of the egomaniacs running for President to register for a downticket race where they can do some good.
posted by sotonohito at 7:36 AM on July 3 [10 favorites]


This is going to sound weird but I think the semi-proportional delegate allocation rules and the large field will tend to encourage candidates with delegates to stay in the race. It takes a majority of delegates to win at the convention, and you only really control your delegates if you’re still in. So if a deal gets made, it only happens at the convention, which means you can’t make it if you’re out.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:38 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]


> I wouldn't be surprised if there was a four-way battle during the Iowa caucus where he comes in 3rd and Warren comes in 2nd that he realizes that both of them are splitting the left vote.

Delegates in democratic party contests are allocated by proportional representation.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:29 AM on July 3


More details on the delegate allocation rules (source: 270towin.com) and the numbers (and types) of delegates per state (source: ballotpedia.org)
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:47 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]


Delegates in democratic party contests are allocated by proportional representation.

They are proportionally allocated but you need to hit 15%. So you're going to see everyone but (at most) the top four or five drop out after IA/NH/SC/NV.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:10 AM on July 3 [2 favorites]


@jmartNYT:
NEW IOWA poll from @davidbinder , via @linkiowa pro-ethanol group, shows a wiiiide open caucus after the first debate:

WARREN: 20
HARRIS: 18
BIDEN: 17
SANDERS: 12
PETE: 10

note: N = 600, which is as big as some of the Dem samples in public polling *national* samples.
Trendlines on this poll here; Biden dropping sharply.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:35 AM on July 3 [10 favorites]


Where Kamala Harris's Voters Came From (and where Joe Biden's voters went) (538)

The summary is that, after the second debate, Biden lost about a third of his supporters, and about a third of those switched to Harris. Conversely, Harris more than doubled her number of supporters after the second debate, and almost a quarter of those new supporters previously supported Biden.

They also include a graph to show who gained favorability after the debate (Warren, Sanders, and Harris in the first tier; Booker, Buttigieg, and Castro in the second; small bumps for Klobuchar, Gabbard, and de Blasio) and who lost it (the rest of the participants, with the sharpest drops for Biden, Beto, and Williamson).

This matches pretty well with both pundit commentary on debate winners and losers and the broad notion that some of the candidates will benefit from people becoming more familiar with their histories, personalities, and platforms (I'd put both Warren and Harris, among others, in this category, but then I'm definitely biased), and others will, after a closer look, not seem as appealing (I'd put Beto and Buttigieg in this group, but then ditto).
posted by box at 9:43 AM on July 3 [5 favorites]


Oh please oh please oh please election deities, let this come down to Harris and Warren. I can't even tell you how great it would make me feel to have two terrific, top-tier women dominate the Democratic race.

In my deep depression after 2016, I predicted it would be another 32 years before a woman presidential candidate would be nominated. I am utterly thrilled at the prospect I could be so completely wrong. Especially because both Harris and warren are incredibly qualified and dynamic.

And for what its worth, I'd rather have this thread not be folded into the POTUS thread. I'd rather have an easy to read thread on its own.
posted by happyroach at 2:02 PM on July 3 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I earlier felt that folding the Primaries discussion into the larger megathread would help streamline things. But on further reflection, it’s nice to have all the polls and horse race stuff in this thread, insulated a bit away from the Trumpster Fire thread, and more topical to the Primaries.
posted by darkstar at 2:51 PM on July 3 [1 favorite]


So, I just got around to watching the night 1 debate, and re-reading the comments here, and had to re-read one to make sure I wasn't misinterpreting it:

[Gabbard] was very charming and very believable on ... her weak issue (LGBTQ rights)

I couldn't disagree more regarding her answer on LGBTQ rights, particularly on her earlier views. Oh, she said the right words, but she said them so unenthusiastically it was like watching a high school student who had memorized by rote the answer to the question she knew the teacher would ask but didn't care one whit about the question beyond that.

More generally, here is my ranking of the first-night debaters, with the caveat that this is heavily colored by my own views and is not any sort of objective measure:

Hell Yes: Warren, Inslee
Also Good: Castro, Booker, Klobuchar
Meh: de Blasio, Gabbard, O'Rourke, Ryan
Dear God No: Delaney
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:56 PM on July 4 [3 favorites]


Though Biden is far from my preferred candidate, there are a LOT of older Democrats that like him. The kind of Democrats that vote in large numbers.

Here in AZ, where we have a statistically large number of seniors, Biden is (as of May) whipping Trump’s ass. Predictive Insights polling had them in a statistical tie in February. Three months later, in May, Biden is ahead by 5 points.

As of May, Biden was the only candidate beating Trump in AZ. I’m eager to see whether the debates move any of the Dem candidates’ numbers in either direction.
posted by darkstar at 9:19 PM on July 5


Watched the second night debate, and I'll rank these ten into the same four categories I used for the first night, again with the caveat that this is purely my personal opinion:

Hell Yes: [none]
Also Good: Harris, Buttigieg
Meh: Biden, Sanders, Bennet, Gillibrand
Dear God No: Williamson, Yang, Hickenlooper, Swalwell

So, after both nights, given that Inslee doesn't have a snowball's chance in a California wildfire, I'm on the Warren train for now, and she wasn't even in my top four before watching. Inslee as Secretary of Energy, please and thank you.

Side note: I'm pretty sure I would rank Rachel Maddow above at least eight of the ten on the stage in the second debate. I won't suggest she run because the field is too crowded already and there are at least a few stronger candidates in the field, but she'd be a good sight better than most of them.

I'm surprised Buttigieg didn't point out he's not legally allowed to fire the officer in response to Swalwell's needling.

Swalwell wasn't even saying Buttigieg should fire the officer involved, he was saying Buttigieg should fire the police chief. "Not legally allowed," even if true, is not a strong response, but I was hoping for a "we will not rush to judgment" type response there.

A lot of candidates were just asked what their top priority is... Kamala mentioned 6 or 7 things, none of which were global warming.

A reminder: many candidates tried to name two or three (or more) top priorities [night 2] or greatest threats to the US [night 1] when asked for their top one. Warren, on night 1, named climate change as the one and only top threat.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:37 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]


Interesting article in Huffpo re the decriminalization of immigration that Castro proposed: There’s A Democratic Civil War Brewing Over Decriminalizing Migration, which is a follow-up of sorts on What You Should Know About Julián Castro’s Proposal To Decriminalize Border Crossings.

What's interesting is the broader contextualization within the Democrats. Among the candidates, at least 12 support decriminalization, with the only notable exceptions being O'Rourke (hence the argument) and Biden, who has dodged the question, presumably because he doesn't support decriminalization. More broadly, the follow-up article enumerates the many Obama administration folks who have since then publicly argued against decriminalization, including Juliette Kayyem (DHS), Cecilia Muñoz (domestic policy director), Jeh Johnson (Homeland Security), and the Pod Save America folks. The general argument by most of them is that you need criminalization (not just deportation or civil penalties) as a deterrent; that the next Democratic president will immediately roll back the Trump policies so decriminalization is not needed for that; and that it's so unlikely to ever pass that it's a waste of time discussing it. The idea of what is just, independent of what is plausible or politically strategic, isn't really in their wheelhouse, nor is the idea that we need to officially decriminalize in order to tie the hands of the next non-Democratic administration. In any case, I see the arguments on both sides, but what's more interesting here is seeing how in this case it's not just that Biden wraps himself in the Obama mantle; many of the criticisms from the left that implicitly critique Obama policies engage a lot of the old guard, with the Pod Save America folks rallying strongly around O'Rourke in his disagreement with Castro.
posted by chortly at 9:13 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


"Pardon my tinfoil hat, but ... a few factoids to consider in tandem:
1) There are reports that Putin apologists have mobilized for Tulsi Gabbard."


'There are reports' - is that like Dear Leader's "many people are saying"? Is "Putin apologist" the new version of 'commie lover'?

Saying rah rah Military wins elections, magnetic ribbons, mission accomplished banners, various 1st person shooters, and a reflexive "than you for your service" is stated when the words "I'm a veteran" are uttered shows how deep this pro-military violence worship is. This worship is in such denial the bulk of the "guns are evil" crowd is not willing to implicate the military spending as a factor casing the problem.

But the Quakers exist. So did people like Justin Raimond of antiwar.com. And Tulsi is making the same claim Trump did - she wants to end the various armed conflicts the US of A is up to their eyeballs in.

To claim a Trump voter won't make a shift to the Democrats or Tusli is projecting into the future but Clinton hating Mike Rivero has pages upon pages about supporting Trump due to his claims of getting out of the armed conflicts. He's on record as voting FOR Obama because of the claims to get out of armed conflict and had, at one time, claimed he'd pick Tusli. Then there is Tom Kiely of INN World report who's claimed he's voted Democrat for the top slot in the past and voted for Trump this last time. He pulls on one of his ex-INN buddies (Joe Calhoun) and the 2 of them went on and on about how Trump was gonna put an end to the armed conflicts. No claimes about who they ARE going to vote for in the last few shows I went and listed to, but they did express a desire for Tusli to advance.

Then you have Ron Paul saying Tulsi is the 'very best' Democratic candidate.

Are the Ron Paul leftovers who were there due to an anti-war stance along with ending the US of A sticking its nose in others business "Putin apologists"? Or, because Ron Paul was on RT (per the link above) he's now a "Putin apologist"?

In the 1960's if you felt the Russians bringing up how poorly African-Americans were treated in the US of A was correct you were labled as commie-loving. And if you thought a few of the ideas of the Communist party in the 1920's were good ones and adopted them does that make you a practicing communist? (or a TL; DR version of the same idea https://www.catholicamericanthinker.com/communist-manifesto.html )

Where is the line on "Putin apologist"? Because the "oppose the Commie" past has people actually opposing the civil rights laws because it would show the Commies are right and now-corpse George Gordon or still alive Vic Biorseth's lines of thinking.

Google search terms are not votes. Nor are they money into a campaign. The large corporations who make bank off of supplying the Military and their executive class are a big source of campaign donations. Why would those people and their money support Tulsi? And without that redirected taxpayer money - Tulsi is not gonna make the final cut. Too bad - because Chalmers Johnson ain't wrong and no one seems to want to address it.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:38 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


Warren and Harris Rise in Democratic Primary, Challenging Male Front-Runners (NYT)

While they have distinct political bases, Ms. Warren and Ms. Harris are both relying on the support of women and educated liberals to propel their candidacies.

....

A new poll in Iowa showed that voters who list either woman as their top choice list the other as their most common second-choice preference.
posted by box at 8:23 AM on July 8 [4 favorites]


'There are reports' - is that like Dear Leader's "many people are saying"? Is "Putin apologist" the new version of 'commie lover'?

No, it isn't - or more to the point, there's a reason why a good number of Western communists who were happy to wallpaper over the brutality of the Soviet Union earned the epithet "useful idiot", and we're seeing the same dynamic with portions of the left today regarding Putin. The reality is that Russia is currently working to destabilize the West to enable their autocratic state, and even if you have issues with how Western society is run, the behavior of Russia should give you pause in seeing them as allies.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:47 AM on July 8 [12 favorites]


Swalwell's dropping out of the race this afternoon.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:15 AM on July 8 [2 favorites]


You must see how 'there are reports,' without any explicit links to those reports, is the very weakest kind of appeal to authority.
posted by crazy with stars at 4:53 PM on July 8


Meanwhile, in Mike Gravel news, he has over 61,000 individual donors, closing in on the 65,000 required to enter the next debates.

And he's running an anti-Biden ad on MSNBC today.
posted by box at 7:34 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]



No, it isn't - or more to the point, there's a reason why a good number of Western communists who were happy to wallpaper over the brutality of the Soviet Union earned the epithet "useful idiot", and we're seeing the same dynamic with portions of the left today regarding Putin.

I have yet to see any real and serious leftist saying that they love Putin or see him as an ally. The influence of, for example, Fox News, dwarfs any kind of Russian action by...10x, 100x, maybe more. Yet every five seconds we have someone talking about how Russia is terrible and therefore we need to regulate regulate regulate. It's an anti-speech, anti-left scare tactic that many pro-speech, (mostly) pro-left people take far too seriously because they are in denial about what America is really like: 42% of Americans approve of Trump, and our anti-democratic system gives them an outsized amount of power. Russia is a drop, a smidgeon, a minor smudge of a problem compared to the fundamental, structural sickness of right-wing media control and racism in the US.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:44 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


The influence of, for example, Fox News, dwarfs any kind of Russian action by...10x, 100x, maybe more.

Yes - which is why (as was revealed just this week) the Russians used Fox News to amplify their falsehoods into the public discourse:
The conspiracy claims reached their zenith in May 2017 — the same week as Mueller’s appointment as special counsel in the Russia probe — when Fox News’ website posted a sensational story claiming that an FBI forensic report had discovered evidence on Rich’s laptop that he had been in communication with WikiLeaks prior to his death. Sean Hannity, the network’s primetime star, treated the account as major news on his nightly broadcast, calling it “explosive” and proclaiming it “might expose the single biggest fraud, lies, perpetrated on the American people by the media and the Democrats in our history.”

Among Hannity’s guests that week who echoed his version of events was conservative lawyer Jay Sekulow. Although neither he nor Hannity mentioned it, Sekulow had just been hired as one of Trump’s lead lawyers in the Russia investigation. “It sure doesn’t look like a robbery,” said Sekulow on Hannity’s show on May 18, 2017, during a segment devoted to the Rich case. “There’s one thing this thing undercuts is this whole Russia argument, [which] is such subterfuge,” he added.

In fact, the Fox story was a “complete fabrication,” said Sines, who consulted with the FBI about the Fox News claims. There was “no connection between Seth and WikiLeaks. And there was no evidence on his work computer of him downloading and disseminating things from the DNC.”
Russian disinformation is a real problem, and calling the pointing out of this fact "an anti-speech, anti-left scare tactic" shows a dismissal of what has been revealed.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:28 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


That is one of approximately a billion (okay, fewer, but close) misstatements, fabrications, and outright lies that are on Fox News (and right-wing radio, etc.) every day. Trump and the media system that supports and enables him is an American problem.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:14 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Aaaaand, Gravel hit his mark. It’s up to how the random drawing falls now, but I’m hoping we get to see an 89-year old white man with zero chance of winning the nomination shit all over Joe Biden.
posted by box at 5:45 PM on July 12 [7 favorites]


Are there measures in place in these debates to ensure none of the candidates are actually a couple of edgelord high schoolers in a trenchcoat?
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 5:02 AM on July 13 [6 favorites]


Just five candidates have already qualified for the September debate, and a few more are getting close. (Geoffrey Skelley, FiveThirtyEight)
posted by mbrubeck at 7:09 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that Gravel won't make it - if they've reached capacity of 20 candidates, qualifying on polls beats qualifying on donations, and there are already 20 poll qualifiers.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:00 PM on July 15


Are there measures in place in these debates to ensure none of the candidates are actually a couple of edgelord high schoolers in a trenchcoat?

I went to congress today. I did a politics.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:57 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]


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