Debaters adroit and maladroit in Detroit
July 30, 2019 4:30 PM   Subscribe

It may feel like we just did this, but it's time for the second set of Democratic presidential primary debates in Detroit, with the first round starting at 8 p.m. ET tonight, July 30th. The largest field of any political party's presidential candidates hopes to make their case to the American electorate—and to voters in the crucial 2020 swing state of Michigan.

The lineup:

Tuesday, July 30: 1. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, 2. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 3. Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, 4. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, 5. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, 6. Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, 7. Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, 8. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 9. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 10. Author Marianne Williamson

Wednesday, July 31: 1. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, 2. Former Vice President Joe Biden, 3. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, 4. Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, 5. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, 6. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, 7. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, 8. California Sen. Kamala Harris, 9. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, 10. Businessman Andrew Yang

Read the debate rules.

With the debate schedule taking August off and tighter qualifying standards set for the September debate, these debates may be the last hope for struggling candidates (NPR).

Next stop: the third set of debates on September 12–13 and CNN and MSNBC-hosted candidate forums on climate.

Debate guides: Live quick reactions and chatter are welcome in MeFi Chat (featuring a new politics room) and #us-politics on the unofficial PoliticsFilter Slack.

Thanks to Doktor Zed for helping to create this thread.
posted by zachlipton (884 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
 
ty 4 µthread x)
posted by j_curiouser at 5:01 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Ugh, this CNN framing—progressives at center stage, defending their ideals! Heartland values on display! Steve Bullock in his first debate! Washington outsider Marianne Williamson! Okay, let’s do this.
posted by box at 5:02 PM on July 30


That opening was kinda eerie. I get the point of using VFW members but it was still rifles marching through the room and stomping boots in silence...
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:11 PM on July 30 [9 favorites]


Yeah why were they marching with a gun?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 5:13 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Sure do enjoy these two white dudes I've never heard of telling me about how the stupid ideas I like are going to get Trump reelected.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:17 PM on July 30 [40 favorites]




Pod Save America youtube second screen yt

oh boy now you can have TWO simultaneous screens of condescending rich white dudes telling us how m4a could never work

what a time to be alive
posted by entropicamericana at 5:22 PM on July 30 [55 favorites]


Pro tip for those of you like me browsing the thread and watching that PSA second screen linked by T.D. Strange above on a single monitor: in Chrome (or Chromium browser) double right click a youtube video and hit "Picture in Picture" to have it in a resizable overlay in a corner that fits neatly in the mefi margin.
posted by aranyx at 5:23 PM on July 30 [6 favorites]


CNN's framing is weird af.

I loved Warren hugging Bernie. Yeah, be nice to each other!! It's wholesome.

Good for Buttegeig on the climate change stuff but he's a little schmoozy. Ah well.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:23 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


You're Wrong! Sometimes I really do like Bernie.
posted by octothorpe at 5:26 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


Everything about the 25 minutes it took to get to the first question, from Delaney's stupid purple tie to Sanders immediately shouting "you're wrong" as his first answer, could just be on SNL unedited.
posted by zachlipton at 5:27 PM on July 30 [13 favorites]


GO WARREN !!!! She's bringing it tonight. I love the hell out of her.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:29 PM on July 30 [42 favorites]


The moderator is really intent on getting the candidates to say that they're going to raise taxes.
posted by octothorpe at 5:33 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


Bernie came to play, man.
posted by kevinbelt at 5:34 PM on July 30 [6 favorites]


It's interesting CNN is driving so hard on "M4A = TAX HIKES, YES OR NO?!" when their own pre-debate polling shows viewers thought climate change was the most vital issue. Wonder how many commercial breaks until that even gets mentioned.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:35 PM on July 30 [13 favorites]


Asking complicated policy questions and then interrupting people over and over in the midst of complex responses to the exact question at hand after 15 seconds is maddening. CNN is pretending to do policy. What on earth do they think can be said in 15 seconds?
posted by chortly at 5:36 PM on July 30 [23 favorites]


Warren had the right line: why are you framing this using the Republican talking points (taxes on insurance).
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 5:37 PM on July 30 [52 favorites]


I'm obsessed with the Bernie / Warren tag team. Republican talking points! You're wrong! I LOVE IT SO MUCH
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:38 PM on July 30 [13 favorites]


I'm SO glad Bernie and Warren are here to fight for M4A.
posted by BeginAgain at 5:38 PM on July 30 [24 favorites]


Delaney: I'm the only one with experience in the health care business.

Bernie: IT'S NOT A BUSINESS!
posted by kevinbelt at 5:39 PM on July 30 [88 favorites]


Delaney: I'm the only one with experience in the health care business.

Who on earth thinks this is something to brag about
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:41 PM on July 30 [36 favorites]


All in all, I think Williamson has no business on this stage, but as someone who involuntarily laughs when directly addressed on a sharp topic, I felt a moment of empathy.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:41 PM on July 30 [12 favorites]


Who on earth thinks this is something to brag about

Yeah I laughed out loud at that.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:42 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


This debate is very poorly framed by CNN so far. I hope the questions move beyond trying to provoke candidate-on-candidate attacks and things a Republican candidate would say at a debate.
posted by sallybrown at 5:42 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


Everybody take a shot any time you hear, "Thank you, Senator/Congressman/Governor" and you won't have to worry about health insurance at all. You would be dead in, like, 5 minutes.

I stand by my comment from the last debates where they should just cut the mics off when time is up, albeit the times for speaking are ridiculously short.

Can we share our mods for one debate? I am sure we would get better results.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:42 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


Maybe if Jake Tapper would stop cutting the candidates off after their most surface responses we’d actually make it to interesting, substantive details.
posted by sallybrown at 5:44 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


ryan man idk if you're really getting the union vote over bernie and warren. Just not sure about that positioning
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:44 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


These zero-poll schmucks attacking M4A over and over using Republican talking points really feed into the narrative that their only purpose here is to try to bring the left flank down and make some space for the only centrist who has a chance. Giving 15 seconds to everyone means that the 7 meaningless centrists together amount to far more time than either of the candidates on the stage who have more poll points than all of them put together.
posted by chortly at 5:47 PM on July 30 [47 favorites]


^^^^^they're absurd, honestly. Really sickening to watch someone like Delaney making up some nonsense about rural hospitals.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:48 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


excuse me for not paying attention to the three dozen indistinguishable white dudes in the campaign before tonight but god damn what sort of a lovecraftian third-way thinktank did ryan and delaney ooze out of and how soon will they slither back?
posted by entropicamericana at 5:49 PM on July 30 [32 favorites]


I’m not a tv screamer but Delaney claiming that paying at the Medicare rate would lower quality of care had me YELLING.
posted by sallybrown at 5:50 PM on July 30 [14 favorites]


"These zero-poll schmucks attacking M4A over and over using Republican talking points really feed into the narrative that their only purpose here is to try to bring the left flank down and make some space for the only centrist who has a chance"

I don't know. They're giving Bernie and Warren a lot of opportunities to look damn good.
posted by kevinbelt at 5:51 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


Bullock is good on his feet, I hate it
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:54 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Can we share our mods for one debate? I am sure we would get better results.

I've got enough accumulated contempt for the dumb framing and soundbite-chasing mess of these TV debates that I'm struggling to imagine a scenario where they wouldn't be cutting to a We're Having Technical Difficulties placard and muting my mic within five or ten minutes as I holler at everyone about what the fuck we're even doing here.
posted by cortex at 5:54 PM on July 30 [78 favorites]


I don't know. They're giving Bernie and Warren a lot of opportunities to look damn good.

Sanders and Warren are (by my biased lights) crushing them. But I don't think that was the intention of those who pushed for 20-person debates, of CNN, or of the zero brigade.
posted by chortly at 5:55 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


This Tapper performance is a real strong argument for the Democratic party to refuse any further CNN debates if he's involved, every single question is framed as a gotcha written by the RNC/Trump 2020 campaign, and he cut off Bernie for mentioning it. This is shameful, and a preview of CNN's 2020 plan to get Trump reelected at all costs.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:55 PM on July 30 [46 favorites]


Tapper is a hack. Lemon is ehh.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:57 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


"But I don't think that was the intention"

I don't think so, either, but it's backfiring. The cream rises to the top.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:02 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


There are leading questions about problems that have been intractable for years and demanding answers in 15 seconds.

With Moscow Mitch in control of the red Senate appointing red Sanhedrin judges it's all academic anyway. And until people are able to transcend fears and propaganda it will stay that way.

I wish, wish, wish they would talk about campaign finance reform - dark money is the HIV of American government.
posted by lon_star at 6:02 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


Bullock is good on his feet, I hate it
Not on the gun question he wasn't. The dark money issue is important but has nothing to do with the question.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:04 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Can we also get rid of the interchangeable white guys

I say this as an interchangeable white guy, but I just can't remember which is which
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:06 PM on July 30 [16 favorites]


As much as I have issues with Bernie sometimes as like a person, I agree with like 90% of his policies and boy howdy am I enjoying him tonight. I know he’s too old and too white sometimes but Warren/Sanders or Harris/Sanders if Warren/Harris or Harris/Warren doesn’t work out would suit me ok I think.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:06 PM on July 30 [25 favorites]


"We're Having Technical Difficulties placard and muting my mic within five or ten minutes as I holler at everyone about what the fuck we're even doing here."

Rick James had the same experience when cutting a record for Motown in 1966.
posted by clavdivs at 6:09 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


I say this as an interchangeable white guy, but I just can't remember which is which

Delaney is the one auditioning as the next president of the American Hospital Association; while Ryan is the one auditioning as the next president of CivicCore (that's the new name of the Corrections Corporation of America). See the difference?
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:10 PM on July 30 [11 favorites]




Fuck that was good. Ok. Sanders/Harris if it has to be that way. But DAMN.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:12 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


@sallybrownMaybe if Jake Tapper would stop cutting the candidates off after their most surface responses we’d actually make it to interesting, substantive details.

I totally agree with you and should have phrased it differently. My main frustration is that the candidates should have more than one minute to talk. Because that was the rule, they are trying to break it because how much can you explain in a minute? But, if you put a time limit on the answer you really need to enforce it because otherwise one candidate says they let other people speak longer than most, blah blah blah.

I hate it. What I have seen of both rounds of the debates so far has been.... bad. And did I see they want to do approximately ten more rounds? Ugh.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:14 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Beto: "I can win Texas"

Ron Howard: "He lost Texas."
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:18 PM on July 30 [55 favorites]


"I don't know why anyone would run for President of the United states just to talk about what we can't do and shouldn't fight for." – Aunt Liz.
posted by tommyD at 6:19 PM on July 30 [114 favorites]


Warren just basically did the @internethippo "Just got back from the centrist rally. Amazing turnout. Thousands of people holding hands and chanting “Better things aren’t possible”" tweet live on stage at Delaney, and it was glorious.
posted by zachlipton at 6:20 PM on July 30 [50 favorites]


she is soooooo good. I don't want to say this a dozen times but SHE IS SO GOOD

SHE IS SOOOO GOOD

REPEAT 100000X
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:22 PM on July 30 [34 favorites]


why is Delaney talking so much?! it's truly absurd.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:24 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Why is Delaney getting so much time? He has about the same chance as Williamson, no?
posted by sallybrown at 6:24 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


Jinx! But seriously, though, he basically bought his way onto this stage, he's a joke
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:25 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Tapper is using him as a Biden stand-in.

Also there's a pretty good chance he's about to drop out and take over as CEO of a CNN advertiser.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:27 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


Delaney is every kid who ever got pity-invited to a birthday party and played a “song” on his recorder as a “gift.”
posted by armeowda at 6:27 PM on July 30 [9 favorites]




Delaney is a small man possessing a small mind full of small ideas.
posted by Justinian at 6:27 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


please get rid of all these mediocrities so that we can watch two hours of sanders and warren agreeing with each other on everything.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:28 PM on July 30 [25 favorites]


"Here's a criticism of Sanders or Warren you've made, no-name-centrist-X. How do you think this criticism is correct?" x100.
posted by chortly at 6:29 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Jesus Fucking Christ the headline on CNN.com right now is: "Moderates and progressives clash"

Juuuuuust in case anyone had any doubts about the major media treating this election like a motherfucking horse race again.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:30 PM on July 30 [43 favorites]


Forgive my ignorance, but why the fuck aren't they doing Grown-Ups Table/Kids Table by now anyway?

Make Warren debate your "electability" candidate already, you cowards.
posted by Arson Lupine at 6:30 PM on July 30 [16 favorites]




As a former resident, it seems really.... weird... that a Colorado governor would say anything about climate change that was not "FIX IT NOW!" It's been a couple of decades, but....ski resorts? rafting? hiking trails?

Did I miss the memo where Colorado no longer cares about tourism?
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:31 PM on July 30 [6 favorites]


> Jesus Fucking Christ the headline on CNN.com right now is: "Moderates and progressives clash"

Juuuuuust in case anyone had any doubts about the major media treating this election like a motherfucking horse race again.


"Democrats in Disarray During Detroit Debate"
posted by tonycpsu at 6:32 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


I really wish CNN would put their names below them when they’re talking.
posted by Weeping_angel at 6:32 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Consistently.
posted by Weeping_angel at 6:32 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


My take on the debate so far is similar to Matt Yglesias:
It would be good to have the left-wing alternatives to Joe Biden *debate Joe Biden* on these topics rather than a range of people polling at 1% but holding similar views.
posted by Justinian at 6:33 PM on July 30 [27 favorites]




Oh, here is Elizabeth Warren sitting Delaney the eff down like Edmure Tully.
posted by Justinian at 6:37 PM on July 30 [32 favorites]


question about Flint ---> DARK PSYCHIC FORCE

but it got a lot of applause, so, well
posted by Countess Elena at 6:38 PM on July 30


Bullock is kind of a strange guy. I’d like to see him face off against Williamson about the nature of love or something.
posted by sallybrown at 6:39 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


"Make Warren debate your 'electability' candidate already, you cowards."

I really don't understand how she isn't. The Democratic party is weird.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:41 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


Mayor Pete has a mustache face, but no mustache. He needs to grow a mustache.
posted by zardoz at 6:42 PM on July 30 [10 favorites]


Oh lord, I just read TD Strange’s comment as saying John Mulaney instead of Delaney, and consulting my wife, she said he’s just the candidate we need, being properly cynical.

Help
posted by JoeXIII007 at 6:42 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


to get a little blue on The Blue... @WhitfordBradley
This feels like a West Wing episode fucked an auction.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:43 PM on July 30 [32 favorites]


Oh lord, I just read TD Strange’s comment as saying John Mulaney instead of Delaney, and consulting my wife, she said he’s just the candidate we need, being properly cynical.

I hear he has STREET SMARTS!
posted by aranyx at 6:44 PM on July 30 [10 favorites]


(Bradley Whitford having played Josh Lyman for those less obsessed with TWW)
posted by Justinian at 6:44 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Healing racisms with jade eggs and crystals
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:44 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Well. You all know my feelings about... Her.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:45 PM on July 30


Healing racisms with jade eggs and crystals

Marianne calling racism a dark psychic energy is a lot more grounded in fact than Hickenlooper saying he can get Republicans to believe in climate change.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:47 PM on July 30 [70 favorites]


marianne williamson is a quack but she is making some goddamn excellent points tonight.
posted by JimBennett at 6:47 PM on July 30 [10 favorites]


She really tapped into passion about reparations, tbh
posted by Countess Elena at 6:47 PM on July 30 [6 favorites]




I never know how to feel about Williamson. She seems smarter and nicer than most of the people up there, and braver, too. But everything she says goes through some kind of English-to-prism translator
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:49 PM on July 30 [85 favorites]


An ad for Russell Crowe as Roger Ailes in a movie about Fox? Hell, I'm not watching that until I know we've all survived Fox News as an entity
posted by Countess Elena at 6:50 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


I like this summary from Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff):
RYAN: You don’t know
SANDERS: I wrote the damn bill
RYAN: [sweats through eyeballs, somehow]
posted by rather be jorting at 6:50 PM on July 30 [26 favorites]


My take on the debate so far is similar to Matt Yglesias:

They need the leftists squashing the easy centrists as warm-up so the training montage for the general has more scenes.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:52 PM on July 30 [12 favorites]


that reparations answer was excellent.

i have bagged on marianne williamson so many times but fuck it, she's doing great work up there. while all the mediocre men try to sabotage the democratic party, marianne williamson comes in all "i'm a spooky witch and i'm gonna drop a witchy truth bomb on you."

and, like, it turns out to be actually a truth bomb? go williamson.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:54 PM on July 30 [69 favorites]


Why did they give Delaney so much time tonight?
posted by octothorpe at 6:57 PM on July 30 [6 favorites]


sanders' apology when he talked over warren was actually kind of cute.

those two are running together. that's a warren/sanders ticket up there.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:58 PM on July 30 [25 favorites]


Is it me or are they ignoring Pete?
posted by Increase at 6:58 PM on July 30


Why did they give Delaney so much time tonight?

For real. I just started screaming first at Delaney then at Tapper then at Warren to keep talking. Something really strange about what they are doing with this.
posted by Stilling Still Dreaming at 6:59 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]




The Times is tracking candidate speaking time live. The numbers don't really feel like how it seems subjectively, but the objective numbers feel odd because several of the candidates are identical and polling at 2%.
posted by zachlipton at 7:01 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Why did they give Delaney so much time tonight?

He's the establishment stand in, essentially. Tapper is a creature of the establishment.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:01 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


lmao at the look on Warren's face when the moderator mentioned Delaney's eight-figure net worth re: her proposed wealth tax.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:03 PM on July 30 [10 favorites]


omg warren's smile when delaney was asked about her wealth tax
posted by entropicamericana at 7:03 PM on July 30 [21 favorites]


Forty loaves of bread a day is my dream.
posted by sallybrown at 7:07 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


Breaking news, per Bernie Sanders: we apparently need a political revolution.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:09 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


dammit williamson stop making me love you i don't know what to do with this feeling
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:09 PM on July 30 [23 favorites]


like, i honestly didn't expect there'd be someone up there outflanking sanders and warren from the left but it's happening and i love it.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:10 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


Wow I am. Really. Really impressed by how many of the candidates (Sanders, Warren, Williamson, etc.) are absolutely bringing it on the socialism. Klobuchar needs to retire. What the fuck.
posted by odinsdream at 7:11 PM on July 30 [9 favorites]


Ok, I kinda love Ms Williamson. "Why are some of you up here running as Democrats?" I have this same question.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:11 PM on July 30 [54 favorites]


That eruption of applause when Williamson finally asked what's on everyone's mind: "I don't understand why some of you are Democrats?? When you're afraid of using the government's powers for HELPING PEOPLE??"

Damn, can't suppress that, CNN.
posted by odinsdream at 7:13 PM on July 30 [86 favorites]


Hickenlooper: I can make America safe, I just need those Glengarry leads! I'm a closer, I can feel it!
Bullock: I would also like the Glengarry leads
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:14 PM on July 30 [45 favorites]


Sanders and Warren being disinclined to attack each other could almost give me faith in politics again. The awful CNN moderators must be so sad.

I don't trust my judgement on Williamson, because I already loved her when she was being loopy during the last debate.
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:15 PM on July 30 [6 favorites]


Guys can we please not run a new age cultist against the reality tv nazi
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:19 PM on July 30 [115 favorites]


In all seriousness, Williamson is not it. I don't fear her the way I feared Trump. Trump was also a ridiculous long shot, but he had dark forces--real ones, Russian and American--willing to use him as a figurehead. I don't see Williamson finding anybody like that. She's just unserious.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:20 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


Williamson is the stealth Oprah candidate
posted by Apocryphon at 7:21 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


I am in love with Warren on this nuclear statement issue: ABSOLUTELY we should have a policy that we never use nuclear weapons first. Whoever the fuck this white guy is she's arguing with is so pathetic and weak.
posted by odinsdream at 7:22 PM on July 30 [25 favorites]


governor whatshisname is actively putting us in danger right now. jesus christ. shut your mouth, mediocrity. you realize that people can hear your mouth words? people all over the world? sheesh.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:23 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


> Guys can we please not run a new age cultist against the reality tv nazi

she has witch powers they're real they cannot be denied.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:23 PM on July 30 [11 favorites]


And Jake Tapper! Somehow implying that it's nutty to declare that we're not going to be launching preemptive nuclear attacks! Depressing time, wtf.
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:24 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


Tapper: You wouldn't nuke anybody? really? Well that's no fun
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:25 PM on July 30 [15 favorites]


Warren (who is killing it) should have brought up the radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons... That's an excellent reason the US shouldn't use them first... It's cruel to generations...
posted by Schmucko at 7:26 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


“Should America slap itself in the face and piss on our own flag by saying we won’t fire off a nuclear weapon anytime we damn please?”
posted by sallybrown at 7:27 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


Remember that Bullock is governor of a state that is part of the Senate ICBM Coalition that keeps us from reducing the nuclear weapons stockpile. I don't know what that has to do with the first use doctrine, but I imagine he's used to pounding the table a little bit when someone dares question the glory of fast fission.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:27 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


As if I could help but stan anyone who will get on a debate stage and do the compound interest math on forty acres and a mule. Sorry bout it!
posted by BeginAgain at 7:28 PM on July 30 [6 favorites]


Uh, shouldn't that be, "The US wouldn't use nukes first again"? Kinda noticed no one on stage pointed that one out. That's relevant.
posted by FJT at 7:29 PM on July 30 [19 favorites]


No first use doesn’t eliminate deterrence either.

And really it’s more of a posture than a promise. Considering that if you really have to break the promise not to start a nuclear war the consequences are....starting a nuclear war.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:30 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


I think Bullock is literally having a seizure!????
posted by odinsdream at 7:30 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


I'm not watching. Can someone please enlighten me about HOW WE EVEN GOT ON THIS TOPIC?
posted by schmod at 7:31 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


A witch did it.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:31 PM on July 30 [13 favorites]


This is brilliant.
posted by odinsdream at 7:32 PM on July 30


Williamson is directly responsible for a lot of dead gay people during the AIDS crisis. She made her name as a faith healer, convincing them that they could cure their AIDS if only they visualized themselves being cured and loved God enough, and abandoned all medical treatment because taking medicine was to lack perfect faith. She's not some witchy prophet, she's not speaking truth to power, there is nothing cute or funny about her getting a national stage. She's a monster.
posted by kafziel at 7:33 PM on July 30 [103 favorites]


I will end divisiveness by putting you all to sleep, thank you. Do not tax my $100 million.
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:34 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


"I want every American to imagine you are facing life-threatening surgery tomorrow." Uh...okay.
posted by zardoz at 7:36 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


"my fellow americans. as a young boy, i dreamed of being a baseball. but tonight i say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!" -john delaney, tim ryan, john hickenlooper, steve bullock, et al
posted by entropicamericana at 7:36 PM on July 30 [31 favorites]


Hickenlooper: You wouldn't give away your health insurance to a doctor, ya dummy. For your health!
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:36 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


i take that back, huge gil the salesman energy coming off hickenlooper's closing speech
posted by entropicamericana at 7:37 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


Weird that the candidates who are not pushing universal health care are...invoking the medical professionals so much!
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:37 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


Imagine having as little self-awareness as Tim Ryan, someone I still can't distinguish from several other candidates on stage, thinking he captured anyone’s imagination tonight.
posted by zachlipton at 7:38 PM on July 30 [9 favorites]


I am so goddamn tired of the word "divisiveness" ... As if there's a LEGITIMATE POINT to the disaster that is the Republicans.
posted by odinsdream at 7:38 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


oh beto, sit down, sweetie—you couldn't even beat ted cruz
posted by entropicamericana at 7:40 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


Hickenlooper thinks telling me I’m facing life-threatening surgery tomorrow is going to put me in the mood to vote for him?
posted by sallybrown at 7:42 PM on July 30


Williamson is the stealth Oprah candidate

I predicted three years ago that Oprah would be the lefty Trump, and Williamson is Oprah-adjacent, so I guess what I'm saying is you all need to do what I say
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:43 PM on July 30 [9 favorites]


okay but what if the choice is between facing life-threatening surgery or being stuck in a room with john hickenlooper?
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:44 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


so now that that's over, how bad do y'all think kamala is gonna mop the floor with diamond joe tomorrow
posted by entropicamericana at 7:44 PM on July 30 [12 favorites]


Williamson is amusing but she doesn’t have anything approaching Oprah’s magic.
posted by sallybrown at 7:45 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


I can't fucking wait.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:45 PM on July 30


> Williamson is amusing but she doesn’t have anything approaching Oprah’s magic.

but also she did the 40 acres/mule compound interest math on stage and called out all the mediocrities for being fake democrats and that goes a hell of a long way in my book.

i don't want her to win and i take the solid critiques of her seriously (especially w/r/t the faith healer shit) but also i want her up there shoving the debate as hard as possible to the left on the stuff where she's to the left.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:47 PM on July 30 [41 favorites]


Warren, Bernie and Pete are the only ones we should see again after tonight.

Unfortunately we're going to get Klobuchar ...and Williamson.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:48 PM on July 30 [7 favorites]


look can we just skip the next year and a half or whatever and wake up to find that the warren/sanders ticket is in the white house?

i would also be happy with the sanders/warren ticket, provided there's nothing in the rulebook that says a vice president can't also be secretary of the treasury.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:53 PM on July 30 [11 favorites]


I kind of miss the terrible CNN focus-group trendline graphs from yore. Yes, they shouldn't be broadcast, but at least it conveyed the idea that some statements actually objectively resonate more with watchers. Without that, all we have are minute counts, where the fact that Delaney and the rest spoke a lot and articulately in defense of moderate positions means that they and moderates did well. But what if the content of what they said wasn't particularly appealing? Then it doesn't matter if they spoke 10 times as long, if people actually like what Sanders and Warren are saying more. By dispensing with measurement of responses (except for Luntzified focus group soundbites after the fact), we are left with the impression that content doesn't really matter and thus the 538's of the world spend half their time counting minutes and the other half pontificating unempirically just like any other pundit. But there is actual objective truth to this, and it can be measured at the statment level, not just by looking at the coarse polling shifts after the debate. It's a shame to lose that since debates are one of the few places where huge numbers of people are watching a huge array of different policies being presented before them in real time. Content does matter, but it seems like the assumption that it doesn't feeds into the tendency to not bother to measure it.
posted by chortly at 7:54 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


"Warren, Bernie and Pete are the only ones we should see again after tonight. "

I can't argue with that.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:54 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


Warren and Sanders make a good team.

Just saying.
posted by The Whelk at 7:56 PM on July 30 [12 favorites]


Ah that glorious time ever 4 years when people remember Michigan exists and for reasons other than the latest ecological disaster / humanitarian crisis.
posted by zerolives at 7:56 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


Warren and Sanders make a good team.

oh my god can you imagine
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:57 PM on July 30 [8 favorites]


Boring reminder that 3rd debate qualifiers are stricter and that only (I think) 7 people have qualified so far.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:58 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


Re Warren/Sanders: I would prefer a ticket that isn't all white.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:59 PM on July 30 [16 favorites]


Warren/Oprah
posted by j_curiouser at 8:01 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Warren and Sanders make a good team.

Nah. I like them both, but that would mean one of them would be stuck in the vice president doldrums for 4/8 years. We need them on the front lines, both of them. At this point, anyway, I am for either of them getting the nomination (though I lean Bernie), but I don't think either of them would be interested in vice president; they are both leaders.
posted by zardoz at 8:01 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


let's just pretend we already had the fight where i say harris is a cop and you say it's more nuanced than that and i agree but also point out that a lot of her policies are weird and bad and we go around and around for a little while then we both admit that the other has good points and agree to enjoy the hell out of it when she just absolutely lights biden up tomorrow.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:02 PM on July 30 [85 favorites]


Re Warren/Sanders: I would prefer a ticket that isn't all white.

So would a lot of us, but the only non-white candidate that's not a washout is Harris. So, hard fucking pass.
posted by kafziel at 8:02 PM on July 30 [18 favorites]


We’ll see what happens tomorrow, but I wouldn’t call Castro a washout, nor does the VP pick have to be someone who ran for the Presidential nomination. A Warren/Stacey Abrams ticket would be monumental.
posted by sallybrown at 8:04 PM on July 30 [44 favorites]


Considering we had a Vice President during the Bush years who was basically president and the role of VP is pretty much what you want it to be, you could construct a more robust Co-Presidency role if you wanted.

There are also cabinet positions to figure out, in case of either, hey doesn’t Insee want a new Climate Justice chair sounds like something cool.
posted by The Whelk at 8:05 PM on July 30 [6 favorites]


I never know how to feel about Williamson. She seems smarter and nicer than most of the people up there, and braver, too. But everything she says goes through some kind of English-to-prism translator

When she first entered the race, I looked up her policies page & thought "wow, there is some really good shit in here that I completely agree with," but I feel like if I admit this to anybody they're going to shoutily accuse me of being a jade-vagina-egg-loving antivaxxer. Feels shitty.
posted by taquito sunrise at 8:05 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


> Considering we had a Vice President during the Bush years who was basically president and the role of VP is pretty much what you want it to be, you could construct a more robust Co-Presidency role if you wanted.

okay but seriously is there any rule that says the vp can't be secretary of the treasury?
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:05 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Boring reminder that 3rd debate qualifiers are stricter and that only (I think) 7 people have qualified so far.

And somehow one of them is Beto.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:08 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


Warren and Sanders make a good team.

I tried to register warrensanders.com and sanderswarren.com in late 2016 but someone had already beat me to them.
posted by dobbs at 8:08 PM on July 30 [9 favorites]




I think the VP could serve as a Cabinet secretary, but I'm skeptical that would get Senate approval.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:13 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


i'm sticking to my theory that the sanders and warren camps understand that:
  1. they're both social democrats who agree on everything of substance, even though warren sometimes postures as a liberal and sanders sometimes postures as a democratic socialist
  2. democratic party primary delegates are awarded by proportional representation rather than first past the post, meaning that (for example) if biden picks up 30% of the vote, warren 20%, sanders 20%, warren and sanders combined get more delegates than biden
  3. warren can pick up votes that sanders can't and sanders can pick up votes that warren can't
  4. if they go into a contested convention with a majority of delegates between them, blam, they're the ticket.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:13 PM on July 30 [15 favorites]


The problem with that is the 15% bar (by state or district). If Biden has 25%, Warren 14%, Sanders 14% (and everyone else less) in place x, they don't combine for more than Joe, he gets *everything*.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:16 PM on July 30 [6 favorites]


yup. hopefully they both start consistently crossing the 15% threshold, or else whichever one fails to keep up as the field gets winnowed down drops out asap.

(i honestly believe that either of them would drop their campaigns if their numbers fell into the hopeless range and if dropping out would help the other. anyone who runs for executive office is by definition kind of an egomaniac, but — call me naïve — neither of them seems to be a dangerous egomaniac.)
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:19 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


I think the VP could serve as a Cabinet secretary, but I'm skeptical that would get Senate approval.

While I agree this will not happen, the precedent is now that the President simply bypasses the Senate by using acting Secretaries.
posted by Justinian at 8:22 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


well also my other crackpot theory is that california's new status as an early primary state is going to make a serious difference. the mediocrities who can't pick up delegates out of the giant pool there will wake up on march 4th with the knowledge that they've been more or less mathematically eliminated.

this has been tonight's episode of crackpot theories with reclusive novelist thomas pynchon stay tuned for the zachlipton and chrysostom news report followed by the games roundup with fizz and then a very special episode of johnny wallflower's pets 'n' poop show.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:23 PM on July 30 [24 favorites]


Iowa's February 3rd, I predict we see a fair number of dropouts prior to that.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:26 PM on July 30


and then a very special episode of johnny wallflower's pets 'n' poop show.

*twitches*
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:27 PM on July 30 [6 favorites]


I am watching MSNBCs post-debate coverage and I just want to set all of these pundits on fire.

And I generally *like* these pundits, but so far Joy Reid is the only one who isn't arguing that there's too much SOCIALISM in here so let us all praise Delaney...
posted by jrochest at 8:31 PM on July 30 [3 favorites]


if they go into a contested convention with a majority of delegates between them, blam, they're the ticket.

They won't be the ticket, though! They're both too old, too white, and too ideological and geographically similar to be the other's VP. It would fly in the face of everything we think we know about how this works.

Of course... Trump. So who knows anymore I guess.

Still, even if they can get over the hurdles of being super old and super geographically and ideologically adjacent the sheer blinding whiteness of the ticket is a big problem.
posted by Justinian at 8:36 PM on July 30 [6 favorites]


Sanders and Warren sure cleaned up tonight.

Terrible job by Tapper and CNN—which is par for the course, I suppose.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 8:36 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


My favorite thing about Williamson is when she told people with AIDS it was all bad vibes and stop being so negative.

Also, the memes.
posted by asteria at 8:37 PM on July 30 [10 favorites]


Iowa's February 3rd, I predict we see a fair number of dropouts prior to that.

God dammit. It's not even August yet.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:39 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


They're both too old, too white, and too ideological and geographically similar to be the other's VP.

I'm not sure geographic balance is really a thing anymore, though.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:42 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


It would fly in the face of everything we think we know about how this works.

Which is part of why either might find it appealing to name the other. It lets them double down on their message while thumbing their nose at the establishment Democratic Party that expected them to pick a "safe" VP.

The Democratic Party is cynical, but they're not stupid. They'll be willing to play the heel if it gets their candidate into the White House and provides down-ticket support.
posted by explosion at 8:55 PM on July 30 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure geographic balance is really a thing anymore, though.

Also picking a VP to court broader appeal among voters, cause the American system is designed to work with broad parties with geographical caucuses - not ideologically fixed parties that never compromise with the other side. That’s what we have now, one party is in complete lockstep and willing to trash every norm or standard to get what they want and other party in current civil war between its centrist and progressive wings. In this situation, if you agree the goal is to bring more democracy and more people who don’t vote, you might want to double down on that message, not try to pander to the rapidly vanishing ring wing of the party.

People like you when you say what you’re for.
posted by The Whelk at 8:56 PM on July 30 [9 favorites]


Yeah maybe, but it was only 10 years ago when Obama picked Biden as his VP and got more votes than anybody in history. That was purely an old-style broad-coalition pick.
posted by Justinian at 8:58 PM on July 30 [5 favorites]


10 years ago might as well be 100
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:59 PM on July 30 [22 favorites]


got more votes than anybody in history

Because the US population in 2008 was over 300 million. Obama/Biden got 52% of the vote (a lower popular vote margin than LBJ, FDR, Nixon, etc).
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 9:05 PM on July 30 [11 favorites]


I believe in coalitions but the big gain in the Obama coalition was young people and people who did not previously vote, not conservative democratic voters.
posted by The Whelk at 9:08 PM on July 30 [19 favorites]


> Yeah maybe, but it was only 10 years ago when Obama picked Biden as his VP and got more votes than anybody in history. That was purely an old-style broad-coalition pick.

well but also obama picking biden for vp in 2008 is what gave us the threat of biden for president in 2019, and i'm not the only one who's pretty salty about that. let's not saddle 2031 with a bafflingly popular o'rourke campaign or whatever.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:35 PM on July 30 [16 favorites]


What was up with the "will you tax people more for healthcare - yes or no?" The framing seemed designed to mislead people into thinking they would be paying more under the future plans.

Wasn't crazy about Mayor Pete answering his global warming question with "I'm a war veteran and Trump is not" answer. Please don't dodge global warming.

Warren and Bernie cleaned up tonight. I would say it's unlikely they will be on the same ticket, but actually I could see Bernie going that route.

In a lot of ways, the debate seemed engineered to take down Warren and Sanders. Instead they came out on top. It's time to admit both candidates have serious chops.
posted by xammerboy at 9:54 PM on July 30 [4 favorites]


The answer to "how will you pay for health care" should be "it will be paid for with economic growth". If that bullshit works for the Republicans I don't see why we shouldn't use it.
posted by Justinian at 9:57 PM on July 30 [35 favorites]


I think a better answer for "how will we pay for health care" would be "hold some billionaires upside down by their little hind hooves and shake them until enough change falls out of their pockets" but YMMV
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:01 PM on July 30 [60 favorites]


Because the US population in 2008 was over 300 million. Obama/Biden got 52% of the vote (a lower popular vote margin than LBJ, FDR, Nixon, etc).

Thank you! I fucking hate it when people don't adjust for population growth.

It's like movies. Avengers: Endgame is the highest-grossing movie ever!
In 2019 dollars. Gone with the Wind is still the champ with a staggering $3.7 billion in 2019 dollars.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:03 PM on July 30 [17 favorites]


What was up with the "will you tax people more for healthcare - yes or no?" The framing seemed designed to mislead people into thinking they would be paying more under the future plans.

The answer is yes, we will tax the fuck out of rich people.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:04 PM on July 30 [12 favorites]


Rust Moranis: "I think a better answer for "how will we pay for health care" would be "hold some billionaires upside down by their little hind hooves and shake them until enough change falls out of their pockets" but YMMV"

Speaking of which...
posted by Rhaomi at 10:08 PM on July 30 [2 favorites]


justinian’s answer to the healthcare question is right for the situations where the candidates need to mask their power level. everyone else’s answer is right for when they need to show that their power level is over 9000.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 10:35 PM on July 30 [11 favorites]


HICKENLOOPER: I'd like to ask every American to imagine that you are facing life-threatening surgery tomorrow.

WARREN: I'd like to ask every American to watch while John Delaney's campaign faces life-ending surgery tonight.
posted by mattdidthat at 11:43 PM on July 30 [19 favorites]



I think a better answer for "how will we pay for health care" would be "hold some billionaires upside down by their little hind hooves and shake them until enough change falls out of their pockets" but YMMV


One good answer -- good because it's the truth, anyway -- is that we already spend more per capita than any other nation in the world. We spend notably more public money per capita than Canada (with its single payer) or the UK (with its NHS), about as much as Norway and the Netherlands and Sweden.

And then we spend another $4-5k per capita of our take-home money on health care. On top of taxpayer money. And there are lots of people to whom that probably sounds low, maybe because it's an average taken down by the number of uninsured and some spending is probably hidden behind employer subsidies idk.

We. Are. Already. Spending. The. Money. We just don't spend it as wisely as other countries so we waste a lot of it. We get less for what we spend because we put maximizing opportunities to make big profits before maximizing health care outcomes.

If we could spend as efficiently as Canada, we might be able to cut everyone's premiums in half, not raise taxes a dime, and still spend more money on care than they do.

I don't know which part of this is the right soundbite for a debate, but there's gotta be something in there somewhere and I hope it starts finding its way out there.
posted by wildblueyonder at 11:59 PM on July 30 [86 favorites]


CNN's Debate Fail [American Prospect]
posted by benzenedream at 12:59 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Steve Bullock is the megaphone for every mansplaining, golfing, bros before ho's, asshat in America. I got so sick of hearing his condescending bullshit last night.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 4:17 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Screaming at NPR for their framing while driving to my MRI appointment this morning. "Well Warren really dodged the question Whether medicare for all would raise taxes didn't she?" To be fair, the other commentator basically said "no she didn't you goober."

MRI was canceled because my massively efficient private insurance couldn't get it approved in time and apparently spent the whole day calling me on an outdated work number. While the couple next to me left with the woman in tears when they were told they had to pay 5000 up front. Good Lord.
posted by Cocodrillo at 4:47 AM on July 31 [58 favorites]


you can hold me to this: if it turns into a warren / sanders ticket (in that order) i will make volunteering for that campaign my third job next summer.

if it's anyone else i will make it my 2.5th job
posted by lazaruslong at 5:47 AM on July 31 [13 favorites]


grandiloquiet: Weird that the candidates who are not pushing universal health care are...invoking the medical professionals so much!

When we got healthcare up here in Canada, the biggest opposition came from medical professionals.
posted by clawsoon at 6:02 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Why did they give Delaney so much time tonight?

In behaviorism, it’s called an extinction burst.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 6:04 AM on July 31 [18 favorites]




Uh, shouldn't that be, "The US wouldn't use nukes first again"? Kinda noticed no one on stage pointed that one out. That's relevant.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were atomic weapons, not nuclear weapons. The difference in scale is massive. Nukes are much, much, much, much worse, which is why Warren was goggling when Bullock argued that we needed to be able to use them pre-emptively.
posted by mightygodking at 6:22 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


I thought both fission and fusion weapons counted as nuclear. The much more powerful fusion weapons are often called "thermonuclear" to differentiate them from the much small, merely nuclear fission, Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs.
posted by clawsoon at 6:25 AM on July 31 [11 favorites]


I thought both fission and fusion weapons counted as nuclear.

They do, but referring to the early fission weapons as "atomic" rather than "nuclear" is fairly common in the field. (Some do prefer the nuclear/thermonuclear division instead.) In any event, referring to the Japan bombings as a first strike is probably semantically wrong anyway, because they happened at the end of a war rather than initiating one, which is the point of first strike in a modern context.
posted by mightygodking at 6:33 AM on July 31 [9 favorites]


Ella Dawson (@brosandprose):
Marianne Williamson has implied that people who take antidepressants are weak, that you can cure cancer and HIV with love, and that fat people need to pray more. She’s a heinous wind chime of a human and I’m losing a lot of respect for people praising her right now.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:34 AM on July 31 [36 favorites]


I think that most people, like me, had no idea who Williamson was and only know her from this campaign.
posted by octothorpe at 6:37 AM on July 31 [12 favorites]


When we got healthcare up here in Canada, the biggest opposition came from medical professionals.

Bevan famously had to “stuff [consultants’] mouths with gold” in order to create the NHS. (Lots of other good quotes in that blog post, too.)
posted by chappell, ambrose at 6:38 AM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Speaking as the person who warned MeFi in 2015 that Trump could very possibly win:

Don't worry about Marianne Williamson.

Williamson has no constituency, unlike Trump, who spent the election playing to pro-welfare-state social conservatives (one of the least served factions in American politics). Williamson's celebrity is minor, compared to Trump, who literally everybody knew. There is not going to be a movement of Dem voters from other campaigns peeling off to Williamson, because Dem voters value different things than GOP voters - most notably competence in governance - and because the things we would generally consider negative about Williamson's history will be considered negatives by the Democratic electorate. The masses will not gravitate to her, regardless of how many Alyssas Milano attend her fundraisers, and the elites will not kowtow to her.

She might stick in the campaign for as long as Iowa and New Hampshire, but that is probably it.
posted by mightygodking at 6:44 AM on July 31 [19 favorites]


The AMA was long one of the biggest opponents to national healthcare here in the US and killed Truman's initiative on it in the '40s.
posted by octothorpe at 6:44 AM on July 31 [8 favorites]


When we got healthcare up here in Canada, the biggest opposition came from medical professionals.

I was referring to the closing statements telling us that we were about to go on the operating table or whatever. As a regular person, when I am asked to imagine that I need serious medical treatment, the absolute first thing I think about is how much it will cost. It's interesting imagery to invoke for candidates who don't seem to think we have a problem with our health care system...we all like to think we'd get one of the best doctors, but realistically the non-superrich who actually have medical coverage can only hope to get someone that the system (med school, certification, internships, hiring, threat of malpractice) has adequately vetted.
posted by grandiloquiet at 6:56 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


"I think that most people, like me, had no idea who Williamson was and only know her from this campaign"

I had heard of her before, and thought of her as a quack, which is why her debate performance was so surprising. This comment hit home for me: "I never know how to feel about Williamson. She seems smarter and nicer than most of the people up there, and braver, too". But yeah, I don't see how anyone would actually consider voting for her, especially when there are actual great candidates in this field.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:57 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


I've had reason to speak with many doctors, nurses, and business people about universal healthcare. There's more support than there is among the public at large, but it's as controversial in the healthcare industry as it is anywhere else. A lot of doctors got into doctoring to make bank, and many are afraid universal healthcare will mean they will be robbed from the payday they deserve after 10+ years of grueling education and training.
posted by xammerboy at 7:04 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


pro-welfare-state social conservatives

I have no idea who this might be, unless you mean the vast number of white Christian people who believe there should be lots of welfare for people like themselves and much less or none for everyone else.

Dem voters value different things than GOP voters - most notably competence in governance - and because the things we would generally consider negative about Williamson's history will be considered negatives by the Democratic electorate.

Meh. I feel this is assigning a level of interest and engagement to the Democratic electorate that is probably not quite that strong - plenty of D's regularly and consistently vote D for a variety of vague and tribal reasons.

Valuing competence in governance mostly exists in contrast to the other party who have been spending the last 50 years - in the words of PJ O'Rourke - claiming that government doesn't work and then getting elected and proving it.

Williamson has no constituency, unlike Trump

Exactly - there's an order of magnitude difference between "is popular with certain segments of the populace that lean Democrat & has some vague platitudes that resonate with Dem voters" and "pushes all the standard Republican policies and beliefs and attitudes only louder and ruder and cruder."
posted by soundguy99 at 7:08 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Williamson and Trump are both enticing because part of their larger message is that we can power through our problems without paying attention to the minutia or going through the long slog of slow-paced work on an issue. That they have a magic solution. Right now many of our systems are held together with spit and gum because Trump is actually governing this way. If Williamson got in (and she won’t) she wouldn’t have the faintest clue how to actually govern.

Warren is the opposite almost—enticing because she seems to relish the small tasks of hard work that no one else really wants to do. You could see this flare in her eyes when Delaney tried to get into it over Medicare payment rates and quality of care...Warren would have loved to have ten minutes to be able to explain how Medicare payment rates are negotiated and set, how that affects private payment rates, how that differs from actual procedure cost, how we make sure quality of care stays above a certain level...etc. Obama loved that stuff too but he didn’t emphasize it, you got the sense that his aides told him not to play it up. Warren probably falls asleep at night dreaming of the guidance she’d want to give some obscure team within an obscure division of a less-well-known government agency. That presents its own problems but it sure is refreshing, and for those of us sick to death of worrying about all these smaller government functions, it would feel so restful to have someone at the wheel who cares about all of it.
posted by sallybrown at 7:10 AM on July 31 [32 favorites]


Paying for M4A

When you count taxes and insurance premiums paid by corporation and individuals, America pays roughly double per insured compared to other countries, and insures roughly half its population. Some particular taxes might go up but other things will go down and overall it's a wash.

Williamson

I would like the eventual Democratic ticket to somehow incorporate her message of love but of course leave out the woo.
posted by M-x shell at 7:12 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


I have no idea who this might be, unless you mean the vast number of white Christian people who believe there should be lots of welfare for people like themselves and much less or none for everyone else.

That's exactly who I mean, yes. They voted GOP because the meanness was the most important thing, but they also wanted their own social welfare guaranteed and other peoples' taken away, and Trump was the one promising that.

I feel this is assigning a level of interest and engagement to the Democratic electorate that is probably not quite that strong - plenty of D's regularly and consistently vote D for a variety of vague and tribal reasons.

Certainly Dem voters have their own tribal allegiances, but with that tribal allegiance comes the characteristics the Dem tribe values in their leaders, and "competence" or at least the appearance thereof is one of them. Williamson has niceness, or at least the appearance of niceness (setting aside her personal history) but so do plenty of the other candidates, so there really isn't that much to distinguish her from the rest of the field other than outsider cred, which Dem voters have never really valued.
posted by mightygodking at 7:15 AM on July 31 [7 favorites]


While the couple next to me left with the woman in tears when they were told they had to pay 5000 up front [for an MRI]. Good Lord.

This is an especially gross example of profit-taking in the US medical industry. When I had to get an MRI for a neck injury about a decade ago, it was $3200 before insurance and they recommended I get a follow up one a couple months later. Well, around that deadline I was already in Thailand for other reasons, so I walked into a hospital, no appointment and no insurance, to request an MRI and it cost me $300 out the door. I just took the CD ROM of images to my doctor at home.

The necessary cost of an MRI is basically whatever it takes to cover the cost of the machine - which to be fair is pretty expensive but they also last for decades. There is no excuse for it costing multiple thousands of dollars per image; the radiation labs are set up to act as a profit center and it's just that simple. This is one way that government-run health care could help so much - the federal government could set up 1,000 MRI machines across the country, distributed according to population, and run the images at cost, and it would literally save thousands per year for each affected family. There's many other examples but this one is so basic and so obvious.

I hope this is on topic enough given the health-care focus last night.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 7:21 AM on July 31 [47 favorites]


Why did they give Delaney so much time tonight?

USA Today: John Delaney's Wikipedia Vandalized to Say He Died At the Democratic Debate

Seriously, though, Delaney sounded like a sore loser during his post-debate Fox News interview: Delaney Says Warren’s Put-Down Of Him On the Debate Stage Was ‘Dishonest’ And ‘Lazy’ (WaPo)
Delaney didn’t get a chance to respond on Tuesday night, but he did so Wednesday morning during an appearance on Fox News — a network that Warren has characterized as “a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists.”

Presented with a clip of Warren’s line from the night before, Delaney shot back: “That’s the response when someone really can’t defend their plans,” he said.

“It’s a dishonest, kind of lazy response,” Delaney continued.

Delaney, who has struggled to get traction in the Democratic race, said Warren’s response was indicative of what’s wrong with “the extreme left of the party.”

“When I point out that the things she’s proposing are either impossible promises or fairy-tale economics, she says, ‘Oh, you’re not being ambitious enough,’” he said. “I think it’s just kind of lazy and a dishonest response.”
Maybe Delaney's strategy of positioning himself as the preferred Democratic candidate for Republicans will keep his campaign afloat for as long as he wants to fund it. For instance, the WaPo's conservative opinion writer Jennifer Rubin thinks Delaney had "a good night".
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:27 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Delaney did have a good night, insofar as no one had ever heard of him before this.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:30 AM on July 31 [17 favorites]


I have no idea who this might be, unless you mean the vast number of white Christian people who believe there should be lots of welfare for people like themselves and much less or none for everyone else.

That's exactly who I mean, yes. They voted GOP because the meanness was the most important thing, but they also wanted their own social welfare guaranteed and other peoples' taken away, and Trump was the one promising that.


Ah, yes, I see - it was the "least served factions" that was confusing me, because the Republicans have certainly been actively courting them for decades. Although I suppose by their lights they haven't been served, as R politicians have often had a tendency to downplay, ignore, or slow-roll their agenda (relatively speaking) once they've gotten their votes.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:31 AM on July 31 [1 favorite]


many are afraid universal healthcare will mean they will be robbed from the payday they deserve after 10+ years of grueling education and training.

And here is the sweet spot where free college + M4A overlap! I would also support programs that allowed more qualified people to go through medical school more cheaply so they did not have monster loans, and so that we had more doctors, period.

Not to mention that doctors benefit from M4A too. I know it was shocking to me to find out that employees of hospitals/doctors did NOT get free/cheap healthcare as a benefit. They pay the same shitty premiums we do.

And if they have a practice, they are spending a ton of their money hiring people to manage billing and constantly having to renegotiate with insurers. M4A gets rid of most of that too.

So if we could make their education cheaper + give them healthcare + greatly reduce the effort for biling, they can in fact come out ahead. Not to mention that demand for doctors is going to go way up, so there will still be competition to hire them/job security.
posted by emjaybee at 7:31 AM on July 31 [29 favorites]


Apparently, Williamson was the most Googled candidate during the debate in 49 out of 50 states.

The outlier - Montana, where the top Googled candidate was...Steve Bullock.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:36 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


I would also support limitation of liability for malpractice as an incentive for M4A. Of course the Democratic base of trial lawyers will nix it. But if a grand bargain needs to be made, that's a decent-sized poker chip.
posted by M-x shell at 7:37 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


I would say my biggest concerns with Warren is that she's staked out some policy positions that will be difficult to explain to voters. Doing away with private insurance completely will be a hard sell. I'm not saying it's the wrong move, but if your argument depends on "every country in the world does this", there aren't many that do that. It's like trying to sell the idea of immediately sending all kids to public schools. There's going to be some serious resistance.
posted by xammerboy at 7:40 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


A lot of doctors got into doctoring to make bank, and many are afraid universal healthcare will mean they will be robbed from the payday they deserve after 10+ years of grueling education and training.

A lot of [highly paid professionals] got into [prestigous profession] to make bank, and many are worried [alleviating a major injustice that makes those professionals rich] will mean they will be robbed from the payday they [want] after 10+ years of [the kind of exploitation that's supposed to only be experienced by poor people].
posted by Reyturner at 7:40 AM on July 31 [41 favorites]


The Democrats do themselves a disservice by ceding religiosity to the Christian Right. Marianne Williamson has a better vision than any of them, but some "wonkiness" is needed - you have to be grounded. Ideally, she would drop out and become a speechwriter/coach for Elizabeth Warren or perhaps Pete Buttigieg, the only other candidate to bring any sort of spirituality to the forefront, by quoting Proverbs.
posted by seed at 7:43 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


we prooobably don’t have to worry about williamson pulling a trump and somehow winning the nomination and the election, but if she does i’ll really really regret spending an hour last night looking at dank memes from the williamson subreddit.

they call her orb mom. or sometimes 🔮 rb m🔮m.

but yeah. if she starts to get real traction (she won’t) we can take her seriously as a threat, until then we can enjoy that finally someone’s talking about reparations in exactly the right words (and also a goofy midatlantic accent) without worrying too much about her taking power, declaring us all unmutual, and then sending us off to ⛏️toil⛏️ in her 🔮🔮💖 crystal🔮🔮💖 💖 ⛏️🔮mines ⛏️🔮💖
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:51 AM on July 31 [19 favorites]


Delaney did have a good night, insofar as no one had ever heard of him before this.

He had a better night than Seth Moulton, who again took over a local karaoke night to join in the debate. (satire)
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:27 AM on July 31



A lot of doctors got into doctoring to make bank, and many are afraid universal healthcare will mean they will be robbed from the payday they deserve after 10+ years of grueling education and training.


A lot of [highly paid professionals] got into [prestigous profession] to make bank, and many are worried [alleviating a major injustice that makes those professionals rich] will mean they will be robbed from the payday they [want] after 10+ years of [the kind of exploitation that's supposed to only be experienced by poor people].
and if you talk to lawyers or college professors, they'll tell you that they didn't even get the benefit of some higher moral cause when the market for their labor collapsed, just a big old bunch of capitalism going ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by bl1nk at 8:33 AM on July 31 [18 favorites]


Delaney didn’t get a chance to respond on Tuesday night, but he did so Wednesday morning

L'esprit de l'escalier: the witty retort you should have made — but you didn’t come up with until it was too late.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:33 AM on July 31 [13 favorites]


I'm not at all concerned Williamson will win anything. I'm just concerned I'm going to have to keep hearing about her from people who haven't spent ten seconds of Googling.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:35 AM on July 31 [8 favorites]


I'm just concerned I'm going to have to keep hearing about her from people who haven't spent ten seconds of Googling.

It's possible to know that she sucks overall and still agree with a sentence or two.
posted by diogenes at 8:43 AM on July 31 [12 favorites]


As far as MRIs and ballooning costs, my scans 20 years ago in America were $1300 a pop, so you’re seeing some extreme inflation on the cost there.

Meanwhile, I went to a hospital this morning with no appointment, had a ct scan and blood test and got an IV for some dehydration issues while I waited for the results, and paid ¥15000, or about $140, and grumbled about how expensive it was to Mrs. Ghidorah.

Japan’s system isn’t perfect, but I got a ct scan with no appointment. Yes, it took up almost my entire day, but it didn’t bankrupt me. One of the standard republican talking points is long waiting lists for treatment, and, well, bullshit, at least as far as I’ve experienced in almost twenty years of socialized healthcare.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:56 AM on July 31 [34 favorites]


It's possible to know that she sucks overall and still agree with a sentence or two.

Especially when they are addressing a grave moral and material harm; especially when they correctly identify it as the fault of the US; especially when they say that it must be fixed in order for justice to be done.

It is incredibly important that when asked about how to "heal" racism in this country, someone tells the truth about the mendaciously-termed "divide": it is not a divide, it is an ongoing injustice. Slavery and subsequent racialized terrorism against the descendants of enslaved African-Americans facilitated the theft of much of this country's wealth, theft from from the very people who built this country.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:21 AM on July 31 [41 favorites]


Sarah Vowell: When Senators Warren and Sanders dismissed legitimate critiques of their similar health plans, particularly the radical proposal of abolishing private health insurance, as “Republican talking points,” I was enraged to a degree that I cannot adequately describe in a family newspaper. An apology would be nice.

Impressive how the NPR-sphere demonstrates an ability to become enraged beyond all comprehension by universal health care advocacy but not by child concentration camps. Gotta respect how much control they demonstrate in their opposition.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:29 AM on July 31 [55 favorites]


**Please oh please fewer purity tests this time!**
posted by SoberHighland at 9:44 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


It is increasingly clear the the world might actually be better if the NYT didn't exist. Whatever "good" reporting they do could be done by others (for much less money) without all the absolutely garbage analysis and opinion. People like Vowell and Douthat and Stephens are given a massive, deeply trusted platform that's much more harmful to mainstream opinion than any dozen Hannity's preaching to their choir.
posted by lattiboy at 9:46 AM on July 31 [20 favorites]


From the same article, about John Delaney:
Jamelle Bouie (1/10) — As God is my witness, this man was snapped in half.
As a fan of some of Sarah Vowell’s early writing, I found her takes weirdly different than I’d expected, though.
posted by snortasprocket at 9:53 AM on July 31 [12 favorites]


In this morning's Today show recap, former Senator Claire McCaskill said that people would be unhappy with Medicare for All because it would take away their choice of private insurance plans. How much do people really care about choice of plans versus choice of doctors?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:54 AM on July 31 [9 favorites]


I have literally never in my life thought about a private insurance plan without a combination of fear and anger.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:56 AM on July 31 [64 favorites]


In this morning's Today show recap, former Senator loser (now replaced in the Senate by an actual fascist) Claire McCaskill says people will be sad to be unable to choose between going bankrupt and dying in the gutter at the hands of an evil corporation and going bankrupt and dying in the gutter at the hands of another evil corporation
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:59 AM on July 31 [8 favorites]


And what is this “choice” anyway? What % of Americans feel they are exercising a choice in terms of their insurance plans?
posted by amanda at 10:00 AM on July 31 [19 favorites]


What % even want one?
posted by Reyturner at 10:03 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


it would take away their choice of private insurance plans

Who the hell has a choice of insurance plans? I have the insurance my employer foists on me. If I don't get insurance through my employer, I guess I have a choice of plans, but realistically I'm choosing the one that is least expensive. Or, sometimes, I'm choosing the single one that will insure me.
posted by anastasiav at 10:04 AM on July 31 [33 favorites]


Yeah, I really don't understand how health insurance became sacred in this country. I don't know anyone who wants health insurance or really cares about their health insurance company. What we care about is health care. And the part where health insurance has anything to do with one's employment status, and even the place of one's employment and whatever arbitrary plan that company offers, makes it even crazier.

I would imagine very few Americans enjoy our current system of employer-sponsored health insurance coverage except for the few who are lucky enough to pay little out of pocket for premiums and have a low deductible. I would love to no longer have to worry about my health insurance ever again and just have whatever money was going into my premiums go toward a single-payer plan.
posted by bananana at 10:05 AM on July 31 [13 favorites]


Who the hell has a choice of insurance plans?

Rich people, such as former Senators.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:06 AM on July 31 [13 favorites]


Not only do I have a "good" insurance plan but I work for a division of that same hospital/insurance organization that provides the insurance and I'd be deliriously happy to give that up. I'm currently trying to figure out a bill I got from a debt collector for services rendered by my own employer that:
a: Was apparently not paid by the insurance that's from my own employer for services also rendered by my own employer
b: Was also never billed to me before it was sent to a debt collector.
The amount of the bill doesn't match up to any services that I've gotten from anyone in the last year so I have no idea who it's from. I'd love to give up all this nonsense.
posted by octothorpe at 10:08 AM on July 31 [24 favorites]


Y'all know that Canadians have private insurance, too, right? That's one thing that confuses me about the "ban all private insurance, just like Canada!" stuff. The difference is that our private insurance only needs to cover things that the main system considers extras - private rooms in hospitals, dental care (unfortunately), physiotherapy, extra disability payments, medications, stuff like that.
posted by clawsoon at 10:08 AM on July 31 [13 favorites]


(I should've added another "unfortunately" after "medications" - universal pharmacare is something we're still debating.)
posted by clawsoon at 10:14 AM on July 31 [5 favorites]


How much do people really care about choice of plans versus choice of doctors?

People typically do care about plans from a brand perspective, but only because they assume the brands they know are more trustworthy; a smaller group cares about brand because they think the nonprofits are kinder, gentler versions of the for-profit behemoths, when in fact the most well-known group of nonprofit health insurers is just another Big Bad.

People who are not currently accessing Medicare or Medicaid tend to have lower opinions of them and think they are cut-rate versions of non-government health plans, when in fact the government plans are excellent, efficient, and well-run.

If we did get close to a Medicare for All system, we would see absolutely brutal attempts at takedown from private insurers, like nothing we’ve seen yet. These companies play very dirty.
posted by sallybrown at 10:16 AM on July 31 [13 favorites]


These companies play very dirty.
Indeed. For example, investing to the tune of billions in the fast food industry.
posted by Harry Caul at 10:21 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


There is also so much tangled inefficiency currently in the system because of how it’s been pieced together and jerry-rigged to be profitable for all the players through the changes in how we get and pay for medical care over the last hundred years, that cleaning it up to pare it down to a Medicare for All system would be a fraught process. It genuinely would. That doesn’t make it a bad idea, far from it. But each little step in the current system is full of weirdness (for example, how the same procedure at every hospital in your area will be priced wildly differently) and all of that is going to be exposed to the light, and trying to wipe the gunk off each of the pieces of this antique system is going to mean taking money away from some people (not just CEO types but all kinds of employees) and giving it to others, which always creates drag on a reform effort.
posted by sallybrown at 10:22 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]


I think the scare mongering over choice of plans is less about people really loving their choices today, more insinuating that not having private insurance as a choice will leave the relatively wealthy stuck getting the same care as the riff raff, which certainly will not do. Having a choice in that sense is tied to the idea that spending money that others can't entitles you to something better, even if that "better" thing is only a brand identity and not an improvement in actual product.
posted by gusottertrout at 10:23 AM on July 31 [16 favorites]


Former Republican, nuclear and Russia expert, hater of people who take their shoes off on planes, and professor at the Naval War College Tom Nichols has had a strong dislike for Warren. Right up until the nuclear question last night. Today he had a great Twitter thread about why she is right. You can disagree with Nichols on a lot of his views (I do!) but he sure knows his stuff on this topic.

Replicated below:

"I can see we need a “no first use” #nuclear explanation. Because Warren was right. So, heads up, #expert explainer incoming. The United States does not reserve a first use option because of a possible attack on the United States. That misunderstands where all this came from. It comes from being conventionally outnumbered by the Soviet Union 40 years ago.

NATO warned the USSR that conventionally overwhelming us in Europe, which they could do easily, could trigger a nuclear escalation, and eventually a central nuclear exchange. Basically, we said we will do it if we are losing. We did not reserve to ourselves a “just in case“ nuclear option against the Soviet Union. We debated among ourselves how fast we should launch our retaliation if we knew we were under attack. That’s a different question.

We never took the position some conservatives seem to be taking now, which is reserving the right to use nukes just because we feel like it. That’s koo-koo pants stuff that we didn’t even do during the Cold War.

We never formally adopted “no first use” because we did not want to encourage the Soviets to attack Europe. We are now the conventional a superior power, so it’s a historical hangover that no longer makes any sense. There is no longer any reason to avoid a “no first use“ declaration. Warren is right, her critics are wrong. Here endeth the lesson."

It's honestly fascinating to see how his view of Warren has changed over the past 24 hours because of this one exchange during the debate. I think he'd be willing to take M4A so long as he could get "No First Use" out of it.
posted by rednikki at 10:30 AM on July 31 [36 favorites]


Just anecdotally, Warren has been collecting fans among my acquaintances when they hear her plans on whatever issue they know the most about. They might think her other positions are bad or weird, but when she gets to their area of expertise they go “oh wow she really got X and Y right when usually politicians don’t.”
posted by sallybrown at 10:43 AM on July 31 [45 favorites]


“I have good employer insurance. No kids, generally healthy. My hcare premiums are 3.7% of my income. Under M4A I would be paying 4% of my income, for a .3% diff, which is easily recouped through co-pays and med costs. I'm in the ideal situation pre-M4A and M4A is still better” @eliyudin
posted by The Whelk at 10:47 AM on July 31 [26 favorites]


I could see the "no first strike" issue becoming a big deal. Americans have been so conditioned to believe we must always be tough and strongest, biggest dick-waving country possible, regardless of consequences. And we have been (generally) so far removed in space and time from real suffering and actual consequence of war. FFS, endless, galaxy-wide civil war and destruction is a DISNEY property these days. Kids admire Darth Vader and Storm Troopers parade through America's Vacation Destination™

I 100% agree with her, just saying I do not think that perfectly practical and sensible position will be even remotely popular. And it could be used as a club to beat her campaign with.
posted by SoberHighland at 11:01 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


> I 100% agree with her, just saying I do not think that perfectly practical and sensible position will be even remotely popular. And it could be used as a club to beat her campaign with.

alternately maybe when americans are finally at long last exposed to the idea that it's bad to die in a nuclear holocaust, a majority of us will agree.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 11:07 AM on July 31 [10 favorites]


To some extent, though, being president means being courageous enough to do the right thing when necessary. I respect that she has shown that courage throughout her career, continues to show it during her campaign and, God willing, look forward to seeing her using it in all of our best interests as President.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:08 AM on July 31 [15 favorites]


> alternately maybe when americans are finally at long last exposed to the idea that it's bad to die in a nuclear holocaust, a majority of us will agree.

We are nowhere near that point in July, 2019. We are much closer to "We WILL die in a nuclear holocaust unless we strike first"
posted by SoberHighland at 11:13 AM on July 31


Yes, the "no first use" issue is not being covered adequately in media AFAIK. It's not "Trump accidentally hits the nuke button instead of the tweet button". It's the Pentagon moving to "limited battles with tactical nukes are good and easy to win." This article covers it pretty well. It's the normalization of nuclear weapons and the new assumption that their use is not a civilization-ending or even war-ending event.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:15 AM on July 31 [14 favorites]


> We are nowhere near that point in July, 2019. We are much closer to "We WILL die in a nuclear holocaust unless we strike first"

leadership isn't measuring the opinions of the nation and then matching them. leadership is changing the opinions of the nation. no one is going to change their minds when steve bullock gets a public hardon about destroying the world. but people will change their minds when someone finally says that destroying the world is crazy.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 11:19 AM on July 31 [17 favorites]


leadership isn't measuring the opinions of the nation and then matching them.

centrism on the other hand...
posted by Reyturner at 11:39 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Do any comparable countries actually ban private insurance? Canada and the UK are the two big single payer countries and both have private insurance. Countries like Germany and Japan have universal coverage where private insurance plays a part (not single payer, more like what the ACA was supposed to be before they watered it down). I assume a fully Communist country might not, but do those even exist anymore?

It seems like a fairly extreme position even if you really like single payer.
posted by thefoxgod at 11:42 AM on July 31 [2 favorites]


My understanding is that the issue is that private insurance can't be an option; everyone has to be on the public option. If there are additional insurances, I mean, I guess that would be fine. But allowing the private insurance industry to continue to exist means that there will be little to no cost savings in terms of overhead from billing etc., there will be horrendous adverse selection problems (all the sickest people will get on the public option), and generally, it will prevent the public option from working as intended.

This is really just my understanding, though, I don't know if that's what Warren/Sanders think.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:47 AM on July 31 [3 favorites]


I have gotten health insurance through work for the past seven years, and in that time - across only three jobs - I have been on seven different insurance plans. The HR departments change them almost every year because they all suck and they're all expensive and the good ones constantly change or vanish.

I'm 31 and I haven't had a long-term primary care doctor since my pediatrician. How could I? I have zero reason to believe that a doctor I see this year will be able to see me next year. It's maddening.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:52 AM on July 31 [41 favorites]


I know focusing on appearances is not really fair, but when your response to being rightly schooled by Elizabeth Warren is to blink and weirdly smile like either a hapless child Muppet or a Carol Burnett Show Tim Conway character... that does not inspire the kind of confidence you want in a leader.
posted by blueberry at 11:56 AM on July 31 [4 favorites]




internet fraud detective squad, station number 9: But allowing the private insurance industry to continue to exist means that there will be little to no cost savings in terms of overhead from billing etc., there will be horrendous adverse selection problems (all the sickest people will get on the public option), and generally, it will prevent the public option from working as intended.

Adverse selection doesn't have quite the same effect if everyone is taxed anyway for the public option, and those taxes are the main source of funding. Medicare as it exists (which most people supplement with private insurance) is a good illustration. Nobody says "I'm a healthy 70-year-old" (or "I will be one") "and therefore I choose to stay out of Medicare because the savings work out in my favor", the way a healthy 20-year-old (in the pre-mandate world of 2007 or whatever) might rationally choose to.

The simple reason is that you can't choose to not pay for Medicare (if you make enough money) throughout your adult life, though I suppose there are continued payments even when you're on the program. Generally, if almost every single retiree decided to burn their Medicare cards out of some kind of nonsensical free-marketeerism, and chose to only use private care systems, that wouldn't cause a death spiral for the program, but rather the opposite (an under-used, overfunded service).

Of course, under the scheme I'm describing, sticking with private insurance would be the irrational choice. Hence it is what would suffer a death spiral instead, becoming solely the domain of a shrinking group of rich/healthy people whose marginal members defect over time to relying strictly on the M4A public system. This would be all to the good, but it's the sense in which "choice" would go away -- not at all unlike the way the ACA affected the industry such that certain (lousy) choices of insurance did in fact disappear because they didn't adapt to the new regulations.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 12:06 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


The TRULY unrealistic health care plan is one which assumes that health insurance companies will just nod and smile and skip blithely along with a viable public option that actually gives people a good, affordable, robust alternative. It'll never happen!

Or, to quote the Wire: If you come at the king, you best not miss. Obamacare missed, and we're all paying the price today.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 12:08 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


My understanding is that the issue is that private insurance can't be an option; everyone has to be on the public option. If there are additional insurances, I mean, I guess that would be fine.

That's my understanding too, which could certainly be off, but even people on Medicare today have the option of adding additional coverage to pick up what Medicare doesn't cover. If that is the case, then saying, sure, private insurance would still exist for the extra costs and for any people who aren't content with anything less than platinum level coverage, pre-heated stethoscopes, designer hospital gowns, in room performances by Celine Dion, or whatever, private insurance could still be an option, but the main level of coverage is shared by all.

I'd also think there might be some way to imply that any employers who previously offered higher level health care coverage as part of their employee enticement should then be expected to increase pay or provide other benefits as replacement when Medicare for All is in place.
posted by gusottertrout at 12:12 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


In this morning's Today show recap, former Senator Claire McCaskill said that people would be unhappy with Medicare for All because it would take away their choice of private insurance plans.

The only choice I want is which dance to do on the graves of Anthem and ExpressScripts. Which is more choice than I've ever had in private insurance plans.
posted by Foosnark at 12:34 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


Obamacare missed, and we're all paying the price today.

Well, except for the millions of folks who now have health care who didn't have health care before Obamacare, many of whom would have died.
posted by Justinian at 12:48 PM on July 31 [36 favorites]


As of November 2018, 27% of Americans think their health care coverage is excellent, and an additionally 42% think their healthcare coverage is good. So lots of people like their healthcare coverage, but maybe they don't exist on metafilter.
posted by chernoffhoeffding at 12:49 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I have literally never in my life thought about a private insurance plan without a combination of fear and anger.

Me too, which is why I keep being surprised that one of the M4A candidates hasn't effectively nudged the framing of "do you want to get rid of people's hard-earned private insurance?" toward something like "should private insurers be allowed to become billionaires by denying you and people like you the health care that you thought you paid for?"
posted by entropone at 12:53 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


So lots of people like their healthcare coverage, but maybe they don't exist on metafilter.

My healthcare coverage is very good. I am very happy with the coverage. That's not the point. I pay 15% of my salary for it, plus whatever we pay out of pocket. And as I noted above, I'm at the whim of the folks in HR who choose the plans, so 'choice' is not really a thing for me, except that my employer offers a full coverage and a less full coverage plan.

My healthcare coverage could be just as good and a heck of a lot cheaper. Even if I was paying 10% of my pre-tax salary as a tax for M4A, I'd have more money in my wallet than I have now.

Ask people if they think their healthcare coverage is affordable, or even a good value for the money they spend, or if they think they get fair coverage for what they spend. You'll get very different answers.
posted by anastasiav at 12:53 PM on July 31 [26 favorites]


I am lucky and have a choice between employer plans.

It does me essentially no good. I have an ongoing health issue that means biweekly or weekly shots. My current insurance covers the cost of the shot but charges a copay for each interaction; the copay is more than the uninsured cost for the interaction. I have tried to figure out which of the other plans might cover the interaction, or at least not want to charge me more than the nurse does for it, but lack of price transparency means I cannot get this information.

So, sure, I can choose between plans, but it’s an essentially random choice— and I have more information than most people because I know what my largest ongoing medical cost is likely to be! I just can’t for the life of me figure out how much it will cost through a given company. Oh and let’s add on that my mother worked in medical billing, and so I know the terminology involved. And I have a fucking PhD in theoretical physics, so I can do the math involved even in a complicated system. I have the *best possible situation*, and I still cannot get the information necessary to make a meaningful choice.
posted by nat at 12:54 PM on July 31 [41 favorites]


Tim Ryan is selling some new stickers.
posted by theodolite at 12:57 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Well, except for the millions of folks who now have health care who didn't have health care before Obamacare, many of whom would have died.

Obamacare was better than the alternative but it did not go far enough, which was my point, not that we should have let everyone die. Although people are still dying because they lack health care.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:00 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Tim Ryan is selling some new stickers.

I think "lol why u mad people are just dying lol come on this is just politics calm down lol" is a really great and not at all infuriating look so he should really just go for that

(This is sarcasm btw)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:02 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]




"Tim Ryan is selling some new stickers"

Huh, I thought most print shops had a minimum order. Never knew you could do one or two at a time.

I'm sure his extended family is excited.
posted by kevinbelt at 1:13 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


I have a choice of health insurance plans. There's one that everyone uses because it's 15 dollars a month and sort of covers everything but not well, the one that no one uses that costs 50 bucks a month and can leave you bankrupt if any doctor out of network so much as breathes on you, and the one that no one uses because it costs 500 dollars a month and will leave you broke but not bankrupt if any doctor out of network so much as breathes on you.

what choice! yay america!
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 1:18 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


I... assume you're joking about the 15/50 dollar per month stuff?

*stares at his $800/month for one person premiums*
posted by Justinian at 1:26 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


*stares at his $800/month for one person premiums*


Canadian here. Just a reminder that my monthly premium… is $0.

For everything.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:32 PM on July 31 [12 favorites]


Williamson is the stealth Oprah candidate

I have a suspicion that Williamson is a clown candidate that the media puts in, 50% to show how little regard it has for democracy and for the public, generally, and 50% to get you to stick around and watch ads.

Even after cleaning up after the messes Trump has made, the next president will have a serious set of problems on their plate, and I'm not sure we really have the time for this person's new-age nonsense.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:33 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]




I guess it's a measure of how striated people have become if left leaning folks think Delaney sounded like a republican. He's calling for a public option and advocating for health care for everybody. Those really aren't republican talking points.

He's also right that unions who negotiated platinum level insurance plans when they couldn't get more salary will not be thrilled to see all of that negotiation work flushed down the toilet in favor of a government run lowest common denominator plan. In the long run killing private insurance would be better for the country, but I doubt it would be better for those union members, and dems rely on union members to get elected.

Warren and Sanders also think that taxes to pay for this will be off-set by money not paid into premiums. The tax cuts didn't trickle down to the employees though, and I don't think the premium cuts are likely to trickle down either. This makes me think that Warren's answer that middle class folks will pay less over-all seems naively optimistic. That said, I don't think she's naive, and I haven't read the M4A plan. Maybe they have a mechanism to tax the employers instead of the general public to pay for this, but it doesn't sound like it based on their answers.
posted by willnot at 1:46 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


I have a suspicion that Williamson is a clown candidate that the media puts in, 50% to show how little regard it has for democracy and for the public

"We need to recognize that when it comes to the economic gap between blacks and whites in America, it does come from a great injustice that has never been dealt with. That great injustice has had to do with the fact that there was 250 years of slavery followed by another 100 years of domestic terrorism."

"This is not just about a plan to do it — it’s a philosophy of governing. And I’ve heard some people here tonight, I almost wonder why you’re Democrats. You seem to think there’s something wrong about using the instruments of government to help people. That is what government should do. All policies should help people thrive. That is how we will have peace; that is how we will have prosperity."

Maybe we need more clown candidates if this is how one talks on the debate stage? Maybe the clown candidates are some of the centrists on stage that can't even look honest or courageous in comparison to a self-help new-age author and got outshined?
posted by BeginAgain at 1:50 PM on July 31 [21 favorites]


yes but also i'm just gonna leave this here and then get off the internet forever .
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 1:53 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Maybe we need more clown candidates

America elected a clown candidate in 2016, and we're seeing the effects of that grotesque decision play out each and every day. I'll respectfully suggest that we need more than memes to dig us out of the hole we're in.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:56 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


You pay premiums to a private insurance company right now in your paycheck. Your company does, too, but that doesn’t matter as much. With universal public insurance, that is money that you don’t have to pay. Instead you would pay higher taxes, but that comes out of your check too and you can just compare.

Unions aren’t stupid. If their fancy insurance plans get superseded, they can negotiate for supplemental insurance or they can just ask for more money.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:58 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


> I... assume you're joking about the 15/50 dollar per month stuff?

*stares at his $800/month for one person premiums*
posted by Justinian at 1:26 PM on July 31 [+] [!]


there is power in a union.

i mean not as much power as i'd like. but there is power.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:00 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


Has anyone noticed how much glowing praise Williamson is getting from right-wing news outlets after the debate? Is this just a RT pivot from Gabbard?
posted by FakeFreyja at 2:02 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


A question for the business owners of America: how much money, time and labor do you expend on providing health coverage for your employees? Imagine not having to do that at all, and instead focusing on whatever your business actually does. That's right: M4A is a pro-business policy.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:03 PM on July 31 [25 favorites]


> Has anyone noticed how much glowing praise Williamson is getting from right-wing news outlets after the debate? Is this just a RT pivot from Gabbard?

i have faith in the ability of america's trolls to catch up with and surpass russian trolls. i mean yuri gagarin may have been the first man in space, but gosh darnit neil armstrong was the first man on the moon.

you may ask how i'm posting this, given that i got off the internet forever a little while ago. the answer is that i am doing astral projection from 30 minutes in the past. all hail the orb queen i love you m🔮mmy
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:07 PM on July 31 [21 favorites]


You pay premiums to a private insurance company right now in your paycheck. Your company does, too, but that doesn’t matter as much. With universal public insurance, that is money that you don’t have to pay.

Yes, but on average, employers are paying 80% of the premiums and employees are paying 20%. If I get to keep 20%, and even if my employer gives me a 20% raise out of their share, if taxes are even 50% of the premiums they were, that means I pay 10% more.
posted by willnot at 2:08 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I seriously doubt anyone's taxes would go up 40% even if we adopted a version of M4A that included pony rides.

edit: dang it I got stealth edited
posted by FakeFreyja at 2:11 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Has anyone noticed how much glowing praise Williamson is getting from right-wing news outlets after the debate? Is this just a RT pivot from Gabbard?

Right wing news outlets praising someone who is advocating for reparations just might hold a world record for flimsiest cover for ulterior motives.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:11 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


That's right: M4A is a pro-business policy.

M4A is capitalist in more ways than one. M4A is not single-payer, but its purchase power would be vast simply by scale: By representing so many users of its service, it can bargain much more effectively with providers for the price of care.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:12 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


if taxes are even 50% of the premiums they were, that means I pay 10% more.

And in return I never have to look at or pay a medical bill, make a co-pay, figure out if a doctor is in my network, or argue/negotiate with an insurance company about whether something should have been covered? Take my 10%.
posted by schoolgirl report at 2:19 PM on July 31 [47 favorites]


Yes, but on average, employers are paying 80% of the premiums and employees are paying 20%. If I get to keep 20%, and even if my employer gives me a 20% raise out of their share, if taxes are even 50% of the premiums they were, that means I pay 10% more.

You know what? If my insurance premiums going up 10% meant that I could receive healthcare anywhere at any time without worrying about what is in network or out, or if I get injured what happens when I'm taken to the "wrong" hospital and operated on by the "wrong" doctor, and on top of that I get to rest easy knowing that everyone is getting coverage, then yes take an extra forty bucks a month please.
posted by FakeFreyja at 2:20 PM on July 31 [33 favorites]


Margaret Sullivan, The debate format is an embarrassment. Here’s how to make it better.

My idea: Give every candidate two buttons on their lectern. One says "Discuss" and one says "Dispute". They can press each of them once during the debate. When they press "Discuss", they get an extra 90 seconds to talk about that topic in more detail. When they press "Dispute", they get 45 seconds to rebut or attack the candidate that is speaking right now, but that candidate gets another 30 seconds to respond.

CNN wins because they get to build more tacky shit and turn it into a bigger gameshow.
The horse-race commentariat wins because they get another strategic detail to ruminate on ad infinitum; who should dispute who, who should have discussed what and so on.
And people hoping to learn about the candidates win because everybody else gets a little more uninterrupted time, and they can use it to talk where they are strongest, and/or to call out others where they are weakest.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 2:21 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


>> That's right: M4A is a pro-business policy.
> M4A is capitalist in more ways than one.


Yeah, exactly. Responding to an earlier comment - I have a choice of (2? 3?) health insurance plans from my employer, they are both pretty generous as far as I understand them, and I live in terror of the day that I don't have my current job, because my disabled son will lose the coverage gets through me. Yes, he'll get picked up by Medicaid, and eventually we will reconfigure his care so that it all works out. But meanwhile, I can't wait to pay more in taxes today if that means I don't have to worry about my kids losing healthcare coverage in future.

In that sense, our current system is tremendously anti-entrepreneur. Even if I have an awesome business idea, no way can I take a chance and leave my current job. They are golden handcuffs, sure, and I am so far better off than so many people, sure. But they are still handcuffs.
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:23 PM on July 31 [14 favorites]


Thank you to the OP and all who have commented thus far. My nervous system cannot handle watching the debates in real time. I just read your comments. They provided all the information I need, plus entertainment that made me laugh out loud in a couple of cases. Yay,

I don’t give a fuck if most Americans love their insurance plans. I don’t believe it’s true but even if it were true, that is not the point. The point is that private insurers are soulless ghouls feasting off the bodies of people with disabilities, disease, and Injuries by denying them the care they deserve. By overcharging them. By lying to them. All of this shit has been documented over decades.

One of my closest friends died of pancreatic cancer a few years back. Shockingly, he and his wife were able to win a lawsuit against their private health insurer because—even more shockingly— my friend lived an exceptionally long time for his particular type of cancer. His insurance company did what it could to shorten his life by denying treatment that he was entitled to. Luckily, one of his closest friends was a physician who gave him guidance and he was able to hire a consulting physician to help him fight for the treatment he needed. That payment, which was tiny under law, was small consolation for the possibility that his life might have been saved had he received certain treatment sooner.

There are many many many examples of people with health insurance who have gone bankrupt because of medical costs or died or something horrible in between because of the leeches known as insurance companies. Of course it will be painful to kill this blood-sucking industry, which will fight back with all of its might. That doesn’t make it wrong, it just makes it a challenge. Someone close to me recently had an operation for cancer. In Sweden. He just got the bill for his overnight stay. The total was 200 SEK or just under 21 USD.

TL;DR: thank you for saving my sanity by allowing me to skip the debates but still get the highlights. Fuck the private health insurance industry. Go M4A.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:23 PM on July 31 [34 favorites]


Looks like Sanders has a few ways he might pay for M4A. If critics are right that he only covers half the real cost then it could be 2+ of these ways.
  • 7.5 % payroll tax paid by employers
  • 4% straight income tax increase (surprisingly regressive for Sanders)
  • A more progressive tax rate that gets billionaires to pay for it
  • Increased Estate taxes
  • Etc.
I don't think republicans will vote for it, but to the extent swing voters shift negotiating ala ACA, I imagine there will be pressure to have individuals have skin in the game, so the 4% income tax seems most likely to me. A Waren or Sanders may be more resistant than Obama was to republican manipulation, but Obama had 60ish votes in the senate and that would be an amazing result if Warren or Sanders did too.
posted by willnot at 2:37 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


yes. A million times what Bella Donna said.

I work for Upenn which is an Ivy League university and also a world class health system. My insurance for me and my spouse is pretty damn good, and about $400 a month for both of us which is awesome.

But I have a lot of health issues and some serious “pre-existing” conditions and I’m going to school here full time while working full time so I can reskill into computer science instead of working in a restaurant for my whole life. I don’t know what will happen when I leave this insurance, I don’t know really how to navigate the system because this awesome insurance is my first consistent coverage in my adult life (at age 35!) and I’m terrified.

I didn’t get some pretty major heart surgeries for years until Obamacare because I couldn’t afford the half a million it would cost out of pocket since being born with a shitty heart means you can’t get insurance.

I’m terrified of this country’s attitude towards my life. I feel like everything, life itself, is all in service to maximizing profit for shareholders. And I plan on getting the fuck out of here as soon as possible after graduating in 2021, assuming I survive. Might sounds like hyperbole but I’m sitting around waiting on blood and X-ray results as I type so no not really.

If a truly leftie President actually implements massive structural changes to my garbage country then maybe that changes, but we will see.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:39 PM on July 31 [22 favorites]


I ... think?... that I used to be one of those platinum-health-plan union employees. And in some ways I was very very glad to have that health plan; I had no premium, low co-pays, a negligible deductible. I was able to get affordable therapy.

But, at the same time, it was a nightmare trying to find doctors who accepted my insurance. I would make a dozen phone calls in a row and not find a single doctor who was accepting new patients. Maybe three quarters of the therapists on the insurance web site were sketchy Russian guys selling diet pills.

Oh, here's my AskMe from a while ago when I was trying to decide whether to switch to a different health plan. Why's this relevant? Because in ANY REASONABLE SYSTEM, I would have been able to make sense of this question without having to ask strangers. I would have been able to figure out how the choice would affect what doctors I could see, and what I would pay.

So my point is
a) even those platinum union health plans are not necessarily all they're cracked up to me (although possibly I would've been able to get a really good one if I'd had enough disposable income, but I definitely didn't!)
b) I would definitely want to pay more in taxes to be able to count on a good health plan, and not have it feel like a terrible risky gamble. And that's not even considering the freelance or contractor or "full-time freelance" people I know with high-deductible high-premium health plans, who I'm more worried about than my own self.
posted by Jeanne at 2:39 PM on July 31 [14 favorites]


"even if my employer gives me a 20% raise out of their share, if taxes are even 50% of the premiums they were, that means I pay 10% more."

It's a good point-- but the stat that always back to me-- and I always find it weird to articulate because it's so strange sounding-- but in the UK they pay (in taxes that are directed to healthcare)-- about $3500 a year per person living there. For that you get full coverage, no questions, you get hurt, you get fixed, no cost-- you never see a bill, and your prescriptions where they aren't covered are incredibly cheap compared to the USA.

Today, in the USA you each already spend about $3400 a year (1.1Trillion dollars / 327 million people) on health care. I'm not including private health-care, I literally mean the federal system (medicare, chip, veterans, some aca vouchers(?)). Whether or not you participate in it, you're paying it. For most of you, that means you're already paying what the UK pays per person, but for that expenditure instead of getting universal healthcare, you're getting nothing.

So, again, UK pay ~$3500 a year and be fully covered, US pay ~$3400 and not be covered. In the US you need to add, on average a $6600 private plan to it, to possibly get coverage to gets you to a system that still often leaves you with out of pocket expenses and the looming threat of ruining your entire life.

Which is a long way of saying-- holy shit your system is inefficient. With private healthcare included-- you're each averaging out at spending nearly $10,000 a year. There are vast, vast savings to be had while still dunking on the funding other countries manage to bumble along with.
posted by Static Vagabond at 2:52 PM on July 31 [39 favorites]


Delaney didn’t get a chance to respond on Tuesday night, but he did so Wednesday morning

L'esprit de l'escalier: the witty retort you should have made — but you didn’t come up with until it was too late.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:33 AM on July 31


The Jerk Store calls that a Costanza ;)
posted by HyperBlue at 3:05 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Tim Ryan, Who Believes Medicare for All Will Ruin the Democrats, is Co-Sponsoring a Medicare for All Bill
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) spent a good chunk of Tuesday night’s presidential debate warning that Medicare for All would politically ruin Democrats. The day after, he predicted that the ambitious health care proposal would prompt an electoral bloodbath for the party in November 2020.

But there’s just one problem with Ryan’s role as the Democratic Party’s Nostradamus: He’s currently a co-sponsor of a House bill pushing a single-payer health care system.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:33 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Maybe we need more clown candidates if this is how one talks on the debate stage?:

"This is not just about a plan to do it — it’s a philosophy of governing. And I’ve heard some people here tonight, I almost wonder why you’re Democrats. You seem to think there’s something wrong about using the instruments of government to help people. That is what government should do. All policies should help people thrive. That is how we will have peace; that is how we will have prosperity."


I really like this statement from Williamson. It resonates with my values. It's a powerful statement in part because of that: it's a values banner and it can call people that it resonates with to stand next to the person waving it. Democrats of all stripes need to learn how to do it better.

But I think ultimately sallybrown's comment above has Williamson's number. Sure, it's not *just* about a plan to do it. Values matter. But everybody knows good values -- good intentions if you will -- are not enough, and they can even pave a road to hell. Particular expertise and thoughtfulness that informs good plans is especially necessary for the difficulty or scale of problems that end up at the feet of national governments.

If the field was just a few status quo center-right conservatives and Williamson leading a countercharge, then I might be tempted to stand where Williamson waves her values banner.

But it's not. Warren and Sanders are clearly entirely unafraid to wield public policy as a tool to benefit everyone, and they're well beyond Williamson's league in terms of actually being able to do the work of figuring out ins and outs of good policy. Compared to them, she... looks clownish, even if at times her heart is in the right place.
posted by wildblueyonder at 3:44 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]


I think Williamson is a stunt candidate in the end - just there to stand up and argue for a better Democratic Party. I pray every night we nominate one of the qualified candidates instead of her.

Her talking point last night about Flint was really striking though, especially in contrast to her record of encouraging gay people to pray and die for it. Hoping someone throws that in her face if she ends up on the stage in the next debate, and ends the charade of her candidacy.

Also, thanks to last night, I can now impersonate Bernie, much to the chagrin of the Trumpist family I am staying with. I find it absolutely hilarious. We'll see what hilarity unfolds tonight!
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 3:49 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


The National Observer’s Caroline Orr notes about Williamson:
Marianne Williamson is on @TheBeatWithAri trying to link modern vaccination schedules with increased chronic childhood illness. When pressed, she pivoted to "big pharma" and suggested we need more research on vaccine safety.

This is straight out of the anti-vaccine playbook.

[…]And she knows how to talk about it without coming across as a completely science-denying conspiracy theorist, which makes it even more dangerous. It’s the PC version of anti-vax fearmongering.
The sooner her stunt candidacy is over, the better.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:07 PM on July 31 [30 favorites]


The amount of press RT is giving her should be a red flag (in literal and figurative senses).
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:16 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]


Chris Matthews: "Joe Biden put the apostrophe in Obama, making him a regular guy"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:23 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


People have been saying that since 2008, yeah. He was the racist old white shithead, tacked onto the ticket to convince racist old white shitheads in the Democratic Party that things weren't actually that scary and there wasn't anything to worry about.

This is not, actually, a good thing. Or in any way to his credit.
posted by kafziel at 4:30 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Yes, but on average, employers are paying 80% of the premiums and employees are paying 20%. If I get to keep 20%, and even if my employer gives me a 20% raise out of their share, if taxes are even 50% of the premiums they were, that means I pay 10% more.

It's been said above, but seriously: universal healthcare isn't a new idea. It works, and has been working for decades, in all sorts of variations, in every single other developed country in the world. Seriously, every one. Despite the American idea that people in those countries pay much higher taxes than in the US, that's not true in many cases, and in (all?) of those countries taxation is more or less progressive, such that what you pay is by definition going to be reasonable. In all (no question mark) of those countries healthcare costs per person are lower than in the US, not by a little but by ridiculous factors. In most of those countries they're so much lower that you could pay out of pocket for a specialist consultation or an ER visit and even that would be affordable for most people, because the entire healthcare industry is tightly regulated and the costs are predefined. In many of those countries people can pay for universal insurance plus supplemental insurance if they feel like it, and the prices still don't begin to approach US levels.

It's a fucking solved problem. Maybe no country has a perfect system, but they're pretty damn close. Most of the developed world just doesn't have to worry about healthcare costs, the amounts paid in the US seem literally unreal in comparison (as in, people there look at you like you're crazy when you tell them), and it's really not something to be afraid of. It seriously just does not make sense to argue against. Especially if that hypothetical, and frankly unlikely, 10% is something you can afford. You can think of it as poverty insurance, paying for a system that will let you see the best doctors you even if you lose your job or your assets.

The only caveat is if you've got a democracy so dysfunctional that it allows industry to dictate the rules and create something that is fundamentally different than what every other country has managed to set up. Or if you've got a government ideologically bent on defunding itself regardless of consequences. And granted, both of these things describe the point we're starting from in the US today.
posted by trig at 4:35 PM on July 31 [42 favorites]


Also, minor point but nobody needed to “put an apostrophe” in Obama’s name, the man is part Irish himself. As a lot of people in Ireland enjoyed telling me in 2010.
posted by sallybrown at 4:35 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Your point is well taken but Obama is part Irish the way a massive number of Americans are part Irish; I believe he has one great-great-great-grandfather from Ireland. That's... a lot of remove.
posted by Justinian at 4:54 PM on July 31


Well it's the top of the hour, sooo ~25 minute warning till the first question if you need time to go grab a bite to eat or something.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:01 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


It's been said above, but seriously: universal healthcare isn't a new idea.

I agree, but my comment(s) weren't about whether Universal Healthcare would work.
posted by willnot at 5:03 PM on July 31


Did Biden and Harris say something to each other? Like did he say, "how you doing, kid?" I'm just listening, I can't tell
posted by Countess Elena at 5:05 PM on July 31


@kylegriffin1: As Joe Biden and Kamala Harris shook hands, you could hear Biden say, "Go easy on me, kid." #DemDebate

This is extremely not a good start. What the hell?
posted by zachlipton at 5:06 PM on July 31 [12 favorites]


But there’s just one problem with Ryan’s role as the Democratic Party’s Nostradamus: He’s currently a co-sponsor of a House bill pushing a single-payer health care system.

No, he's Nostradamus. He was a guy who made up a bunch of bullshit that did not actually come true.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:08 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Did anyone else see that brutal anti-Biden ad???
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:13 PM on July 31


No ads when you're watching online.
posted by octothorpe at 5:13 PM on July 31


The cnn.com live stream is mercifully commercial free!
posted by dbx at 5:14 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


try restructuring New York, my dude, I hear the subways are pretty rough
posted by Countess Elena at 5:15 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


I think Bennet took a handful of benadryl
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:15 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


I didn’t, but I want to.
posted by box at 5:16 PM on July 31


Did Bennett pop a few benzos before coming onstage? He's the very definition of soporific.
posted by Superplin at 5:16 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


No, I was on the CNN livestream and an anti-Biden ad played during the break. Thanks, though, interesting that other people didn't see it
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:17 PM on July 31


Did anyone else see that brutal anti-Biden ad???

Did you catch who paid for it?
posted by trig at 5:17 PM on July 31


NO!!! I was hoping someone else did.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:18 PM on July 31


jay inslee is definitely my favorite of all the mediocre white men running for president and i hope president warren creates a cabinet-level post for him.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 5:19 PM on July 31 [15 favorites]


I’m watching on TV, and I can tell you they didn’t do an ad buy in Arkansas.
posted by box at 5:20 PM on July 31


Not to discredit Castro, but he excellent at channelling Obama's cadence and diction
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:22 PM on July 31


Were they saying baa ram ewe
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:23 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


What are they chanting?
posted by Rumple at 5:23 PM on July 31


What are they yelling at Booker?
posted by Superplin at 5:23 PM on July 31


Major interruption during Booker's opening speech. Any idea what they were saying? Couldn't quite make it out
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:24 PM on July 31


Sounded like "Buy a pencil mayo" but that couldn't possibly be it.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 5:24 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Dave Weigel: "I think the people shouting in the crowd are saying "fire Pantaleo," ie the cop who got off in the Eric Garner case."
posted by rabbitrabbit at 5:26 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Sounds like the chants were Fire Pantaleo.
posted by aranyx at 5:26 PM on July 31


unrelated to the chants over booker, i feel compelled to note that i immediately assumed that the technical difficulties harris had at the start of her statement was the result of biden's ratfuckers messing with her mic.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 5:26 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


The mics are still too hot.
posted by Weeping_angel at 5:30 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Sounds like the chants were Fire Pantaleo.

Sounds like what I heard.

Can someone page soundguy99? Quiet mic and then a lot of reverb during her intro speech. Sounding better now, but doesn't sound as good as any of the others. wtf. (not really hoping anyone tonight moves on, so I'm not being biased towards Harris.)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:31 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


in the interest of not turning this into a chat room / liveblog, just assume that I'm shouting TEAR HIS FACE OFF EAT HIS SKIN RIP OUT HIS HEART MAKE HIM REGRET HIS OWN BIRTH every time harris interacts with biden.

because that's what i'm doing
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 5:32 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Harris speaks softer than the yelly white dudes. She's a sound tech's nightmare.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 5:33 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Apparently there is a group planning on disrupting Biden during the "immigration section." This is according to the NYTimes Live Analysis. One writer accidentally posted a message saying as much, clearly unintended for public consumption and meant for their internal live chat—all lowercase, typos, etc. Message was immediately removed. Didn't get a chance to see who wrote it; the message disappeared as quick as it appeared
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:34 PM on July 31


Gillibrand is officially running for Vice President
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 5:35 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Seriously. Acoustics in here are like a cold bathroom. Are they trying to one-up the clowns from NBC’s tech booth in round 1?

Sounded like "Buy a pencil mayo" but that couldn't possibly be it.

This is my kind of mondegreen. Amusingly, Mr. Armeowda was just referring to several candidates as jars of mayonnaise.
posted by armeowda at 5:36 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


I really think the Harris idea of a 10 year transition is a significant misstep on at least policy grounds. Imagine if Obamacare had a 10 year transition? Or even a 5 year one? It never would have been enacted because the Republicans would have killed it in its crib. The only reason they ever-so-barely failed to do that in 2017 was because it had already been in effect for years and its incredibly more difficult to take away something people are relying on than to stop it from coming in to effect in the future.

A 10 year phase-in on Harris' plan means there is no plan, in effect.
posted by Justinian at 5:39 PM on July 31 [22 favorites]


obamacare did have a long slow phase-in, though. and it sucked.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 5:40 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Not anything like what Harris is proposing. It was more or less fully in effect by the time Obama was out of office... except for the Cadillac tax on luxury health plans. Guess what the Republicans were able to kill and likely will never come in to effect? Yeah, the Cadillac tax. Because it hadn't yet come in to effect.

Harris' plan would not be in effect even if she served 2 full terms and passed the thing on the first day of her administration, which obviously wouldn't happen.
posted by Justinian at 5:43 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


These guys make a convincing argument for GOP policies
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:43 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


FFS. Why not do M4A and then have the insurance provided by companies as a "perk" from your job? When ACA was required to be enacted, the company I was working for made it the absolute shittiest possible health insurance they could find. I was working at a restaurant for a national restaurant chain at the time. "Benefits" package was handed to me at the beginning of my shift and I was pressured all day by the Manager on Duty to just sign it and get it done with.

That insurance plan was basically, "Broke your arm? Here is a bandaid. Don't like it? Go to arbitration where we choose the arbitrator and you cannot sue."

So, when Biden says people don't want to give up their private insurance under ACA, there is a whole big slice of the picture he is ignoring. Those companies who begrudgingly offered insurance and those who felt stuck at a job (huh. Harris said that as I was typing) to keep insurance.

rant over. I think I am preaching to the choir, anyway.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:44 PM on July 31 [10 favorites]


is anyone keeping an obamas-per-minute tally for biden cause i think i might start one if not
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 5:49 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Biden clearly realized after the first debate that he couldn't just sit back without any energy. Regardless of what you think of his actual policy he's showing some fight which I think he has to do.

So is Harris, of course, but we knew that she would already.
posted by Justinian at 5:49 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


So cool to have a democrat attacking New York and California
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:50 PM on July 31 [16 favorites]


Okay, it’s just ridiculous to have everyone fighting about Bernie, who is not here. We need to get down to ONE debate, quick.
posted by Weeping_angel at 5:50 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Lemon: “Let’s move now to immigration, please.”
posted by box at 5:51 PM on July 31


Also, minor point but nobody needed to “put an apostrophe” in Obama’s name, the man is part Irish himself. As a lot of people in Ireland enjoyed telling me in 2010.

That's not what it means, though. It doesn't mean "make Obama Irish", it means "make Obama palatably white". Because, white mom or not, neoliberal policies or not, he wasn't.

It has been put best, by others smarter than I, that whiteness is most accurately defined by the lack of any quality, racialized or otherwise, that would make a person non-white. That is why Obama is black, and is not white, regardless of technically being mixed-race.
posted by kafziel at 5:53 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]


Maybe Bennett and Delaney can hold their own debate where all they do is argue about who could accomplish the least possible amount of change in current policy while President.
posted by Justinian at 5:54 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


do not cut harris off while she's talking about the concentration camps do not cut her off when she's legit crying about the concentration camps shut up and sit down, moderator, someone better than you is speaking.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 5:55 PM on July 31 [15 favorites]


Okay, it’s just ridiculous to have everyone fighting about Bernie, who is not here. We need to get down to ONE debate, quick.

Not to double-reply, but Sanders and the left define the shape of the election. We're too present, our voices too loud, not to. Sanders and Warren are shoved off to Tuesday to have a platform against the health insurance industry's paid lobbyists, and Wednesday was always going to be the Preferred Candidates having a 90 minute rebuttal time.
posted by kafziel at 5:55 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


... the debate lineups were chosen randomly. Like, we saw it happen live on tv.
posted by Justinian at 5:57 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Kudos to the protestors interrupting Biden with "Three million deportations! Three million deportations!" Happy to see him getting pushback from activists on the national stage.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 5:58 PM on July 31 [19 favorites]


Astead Herndon
National Politics Reporter

8:57 PM ET
That disruption was Movimiento Cosecha, an immigrant-advocacy group that came to target Biden for deportations under Obama.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:58 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


People shouting “three million deportations” over Biden’s immigration response.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 5:58 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


c'mon yang you gotta show more big orb energy if you wanna hang on to the meme vote
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:00 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]


Biden: "People crossing the border is illegal; people should wait in line"

just go and run for the republicans you chucklefuck
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:00 PM on July 31 [38 favorites]


Joe is going to represent the bank that it took to put him where he is. He shows up, talks to industry etc; in comes his bank; and he takes their message to the stage.
posted by buzzman at 6:00 PM on July 31


I think, weirdly, the lesser candidates like Gabbard and Yang are making some good answers simply by virtue of not being pitted against each other by the moderators like the more popular candidates are.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:00 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


biden's "let's pick the good ones and let them in!" crap is fucking terrifying. he is a bad man and people who support him are bad. every third word out of his mouth is obama, but the other two words are always fascist. it's deep down disturbing and it fills me with despair.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:05 PM on July 31 [31 favorites]


The sad part is the Biden-standins yesterday did a better job articulating centrist policy arguments than Doddering Uncle Joe is right now.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:06 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Biden is really terrible tonight.
posted by octothorpe at 6:06 PM on July 31


I’m also getting sick of his numbered points. He comes across as a lecturing grandpa.
posted by Weeping_angel at 6:07 PM on July 31


In a just world this one-two combo by De Blasio and then Booker would be the end of Biden's campaign
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:07 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


I didn't expect DeBlasio to attack Biden so viciously, but I am LOVING it.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 6:08 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


people who support him are bad

I'm glad we've finally identified the true enemy: neoliberals. I had thought we'd forgotten that somewhere in 2017. But no!
posted by Justinian at 6:09 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


that is not just neoliberalism he's doing. he looked over at yang and told him that his folks are some of the good ones. and that's not even the worst thing he's said today. completely unacceptable.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:10 PM on July 31 [31 favorites]


Right at the end there, Gillibrand thought for a full two seconds about tearing Biden a new one, or her chances for VP. Then she said a bunch pabulum.
posted by chortly at 6:10 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


I wonder how many viewers that don't often follow politics missed the context of Booker's "shithole countries" comment.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:13 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


...no one who missed shitholegate is subjecting themselves to a six hour debate.
posted by grandiloquiet at 6:14 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


Do you think that viewers who don’t often follow politics are watching?
posted by Weeping_angel at 6:15 PM on July 31


Biden, retire, bitch.
posted by odinsdream at 6:15 PM on July 31 [14 favorites]


you wrote the crack/coke disparity into law in the first place you... you... you scoundrel.

biden is a scoundrel.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:15 PM on July 31 [18 favorites]


barack plz give him a phone call tell him to stop running collect your boy.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:17 PM on July 31 [13 favorites]


where's harris in this law and order stuff?
posted by anadem at 6:18 PM on July 31


This is neither here nor there, but there's a rabbinic scholar who has been livetweeting the debate last night and tonight, and I just barely get it but it makes me smile.

In the #DemocraticDebate, the Bachur says that he was able to reverse the terrible piskey din of the old Assistant Rabbi.

In the #DemocraticDebate, the Bachur says, "You are dipping into the chummus, and you don't even know the flavor!" #KiddushSmackTalk
posted by Countess Elena at 6:19 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


This second night is a much angrier, more negative vibe than the first. The moderators are certainly trying to stir it up with their questions; I'm wondering what else is leading into it. The hype about the Harris-Biden Rematch is certainly part of it, what with Biden declaring his intent to mix it up right at the beginning. I have to say I'm not liking it.
posted by dbx at 6:19 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Aren’t the Seattle PD still awful? And Seattle is... in Washington?
posted by Weeping_angel at 6:20 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Castro always throws down and always impresses.

Warren/Castro, Sanders/Castro 2020
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:20 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


ps acab
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:21 PM on July 31 [12 favorites]


Biden: "Everybody is talking about how terrible I am on these issues"

RIP

What a soundbite.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:22 PM on July 31 [18 favorites]


+1 Yang.
Basic income would prevent imprisonment and crime.
posted by buzzman at 6:23 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


harris sure has been silent since i tuned in
posted by entropicamericana at 6:23 PM on July 31


This has been bad for both Biden and Harris.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:26 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Harris is mostly just repeating her critique of Biden from the first debate.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 6:26 PM on July 31


Biden is catastrophically bad tonight oh my god.
posted by odinsdream at 6:27 PM on July 31


> This has been bad for both Biden and Harris.

wonka.gif alt="oh no that's terrible"
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:27 PM on July 31 [13 favorites]


Maybe Biden's strategy of giving the audience oppo homework isn't the best idea?
posted by aranyx at 6:28 PM on July 31


Biden on the death of Eric Garner and what happened (or did not) in the Obama/Biden administration to seek justice:

"These things occurred a long, long time ago."

I am calling that as the end of Biden's candidacy.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:29 PM on July 31 [24 favorites]


i'm picking up strong robot assassin from the future energy off of gabbard. she's sending out some cylon vibes.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:29 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


harris sure has been silent since i tuned in

She was hoping to hide from everyone attacking each other's criminal record, then Gabbard found her and bodyslammed her.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:30 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


This second night is a much angrier, more negative vibe than the first.

Because Biden will walk to the nomination if he isn't knocked down, which necessarily requires attacking him.
posted by Justinian at 6:31 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Bennet's uppers are kicking in
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:31 PM on July 31


"and now, a question for this very plump round white potato: how will you, sir, heal the racial divide in this country?"

Potato: *sort of drops mic, more like knocks it over*
posted by odinsdream at 6:31 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


Bennet and Gabbard looking oddly strong this evening
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:32 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


representative gabbard, what's your stance on snapping the fragile necks of human babies
representative gabbard, what is your response to the rumors of your secret relationship with louche superscientist gaius baltar
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:33 PM on July 31 [15 favorites]


"anti-diluvian"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:34 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Bennet and Gabbard looking oddly strong this evening

Generally speaking its easier to look strong when you're polling at 1% because nobody bothers attacking you.

Which is what makes Bill de Blasio's unprompted attack on Bennet earlier so weird. The moderators offer him a free shot at any of the other candidates and he chooses the guy polling within a margin of error of 0%? Weird flex but ok. To his, I guess, credit de Blasio later went after Biden pretty hard.
posted by Justinian at 6:35 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Why do I like Jay Inslee so much? I don’t even know. The rest of this night is full of baaaaaad vibes.
posted by sallybrown at 6:35 PM on July 31 [12 favorites]


Castro always throws down and always impresses.

He'd make a great VP pick for Warren, Harris, or Gillibrand. (The latter was robbed, IMO. She's great. She's acquitted herself well in the debate. People need to get over their himpathy.)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:36 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Moderator: "Mister business man, how will you solve the racial divide?"

Business man: "money!"

Moderator: "Surprising!"
posted by odinsdream at 6:36 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


I could do four years of Jay Inslee if he has one of those skinny game show host mics from the 70s.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:36 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


you like him so much because he's a genuinely good guy. that's my guess, at least.

i look at him and think "if he had been born a few hundred miles farther north that man could be one of the best prime ministers canada ever had"
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:37 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]


Gillibrand making the weird argument that because she’s a white woman of privilege, she can explain systemic racism to suburban white women better than people of color could.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 6:38 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Inslee just has some kind of cool Pacific breeze blowing off him.
posted by sallybrown at 6:38 PM on July 31 [12 favorites]


Representative Gabbard, isn't it time to admit you guys never really had a plan?
posted by kirkaracha at 6:39 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Gillibrand making the weird argument that because she’s a white woman of privilege, she can explain systemic racism to suburban white women better than people of color could.

White Mom's Burden.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:40 PM on July 31 [28 favorites]



Inslee: "Mr Vice-President, I heard you say the plan has to be realistic"

Biden: "No, I didn't say that"

[…]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:42 PM on July 31 [12 favorites]


If Sanders and Biden were low energy in the first debate and came out swinging in the second, does that make them look strong or erratic? Warren seems most consistent so far of the leading contenders.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:42 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


yangmentum

yangnertia

yangway, everybody
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:43 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Yang wants to move our people to higher ground. Oregon Trail 2.0.
posted by sallybrown at 6:43 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Gillibrand jokes about the Clorox, but you know that there's a perceptible funk of flop sweat and old grease in that place
posted by Countess Elena at 6:43 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Gillibrand making the weird argument that because she’s a white woman of privilege, she can explain systemic racism to suburban white women better than people of color could.

I think this is unfair. She’s saying it’s not just black people’s duty to fight racism, that white people need to do the work to help fix it because it’s caused by white people.

Kyle Griffin (MSNBC)
Gillibrand: "I don't believe that it's the responsibility of Cory and Kamala to be the only voice that takes on these issues of institutional racism ... As a white woman of privilege who is a U.S. Senator ... it is also my responsibility to lift up those voices."
posted by chris24 at 6:45 PM on July 31 [28 favorites]


Those ellipses are doing a LOT of work there.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 6:47 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


The takes that This Debate Is The End of Biden's Candidacy!!!!1!11eleven don't seem right to me. Nate Silver seems to think so too:
The people #onhere who are like "OMG all these candidates are KILLING Biden" are the people who don't get why he's still 16 points ahead of everyone else in the polls.
as does Josh Barro
Are the analyses of Biden's performance being run by the same frames that are baffled by Biden's persistent poll lead?
Basically I think the people who think Biden is getting wrecked are the people who were never gonna support him in the primary anyway? He's getting attacked from all sides, yes, but that's because he's the front runner. It was inevitable.
posted by Justinian at 6:54 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


Interestingly (or perhaps not), Gabbard has a tremendous amount of support from 'alt-right' Trump supporters on Twitter
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:54 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


People can see her whole debate statement here.

Kirsten Gillibrand
It can’t be the responsibility of people of color alone to fight institutional racism in this country.
VIDEO
posted by chris24 at 6:55 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


"democrats lost michigan because of vote suppression targeting black people" is a damn good answer to that question. i would be very happy if booker ended up rising to the top of the centrist lane.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:55 PM on July 31 [29 favorites]


I'm actually surprised in a good way about how the climate portion went. They actually called it out at the correct level of alarm? Which I totally wasn't expecting.
posted by odinsdream at 6:56 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


I kind of figure that white fragility means that it is important for white folks to fight racism among fellow white people in part by explaining privilege because a lot of them have never heard of it and also are racist. So they may not be as open to learning about it from IBPOC, which is fucked but true. So I guess I do not understand what the problem was with what Gillibrand said. If what she said was racist or flawed in some other way and you are willing to explain in more detail, even privately, I would love to hear it. I want to understand. Thanks.
posted by Bella Donna at 6:57 PM on July 31 [13 favorites]


@CrimeADay: 43 USC §1733 & 43 CFR §8365.1–1(b)(2) make it a federal crime to have an unauthorized garbage fire on public land.

this tweet is not about the debate.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:57 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Those ellipses are doing ALL the work there.

Seeing Kamala's defense against Gabbard clearly stating her record as AG was ... disheartening. She never answered the accusations, and instead pivoted to the great things she did, which I believe makes her weaker as a candidate. I do think that she's LEARNED from those mistakes, and would make a great AG but I don't think she has what we need for President.

Warren/Castro or Sanders/Castro, with Harris as AG, Gabbard as SecDef, and Booker as SecState please. I think all of them would be replaced with fine D freshman, getting some fresh blood in the Senate and giving us some people who have government experience in those positions.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 6:59 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


I'll bold the part of Gillibrand's statement that rubbed me the wrong way:

"I don't believe that it's the responsibility of Cory and Kamala to be the only voice that takes on these issues of institutional, systemic racism in our country. I think that as a white woman of privilege who's a US senator running for president of the United States, it's also my responsibility to lift up those voices that aren't being listened to. And I can talk to those white women in the suburbs who voted for Trump and explain to them what white privilege actually is."

I read that as her saying she's uniquely positioned to fight systemic racism because she can convince white women to believe it exists, because she's a white woman. I think that's a weird tack to take, and I also don't think her positionality as a white woman will particularly help her convince racists not to be racist.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 7:02 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


The US economy is not doing well.

Yet CNN opens the economy segment saying otherwise, presenting Republican talking points and calling the current economy unprecidented.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:02 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


biden's tpp answer reminds me of uk tories claiming they'll renegotiate the brexit agreement.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:04 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Biden announces he is now opposed to the TPP.

He was a huge proponent in office, of course.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:04 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


"I am no longer down with TPP. Yes, you know me."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:07 PM on July 31 [10 favorites]


Donald Trump is a strong opponent of TPP and that should tell you everything you need to know. It should cause opponents on the left to seriously think about the policy.
posted by Justinian at 7:08 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Yang's got one damn idea and he's going to answer that to every single question no matter what it is.
posted by octothorpe at 7:09 PM on July 31 [11 favorites]


The TPP sucks, and just because Trump opposes it from the right doesn't mean I can't oppose it from the left. Its insane extension of copyright alone should be reason to drop it.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 7:10 PM on July 31 [19 favorites]


Our friend Justinian:
The takes that This Debate Is The End of Biden's Candidacy!!!!1!11eleven don't seem right to me. Nate Silver seems to think so too:
and
Basically I think the people who think Biden is getting wrecked are the people who were never gonna support him in the primary anyway? He's getting attacked from all sides, yes, but that's because he's the front runner. It was inevitable.
I think Biden is tripping over his own two feet. I can't recall a real time in this debate where he has been attacked or fallen into a trap like the Harris/bussing issue. Talking about a dead black kid killed by a cop who was initially investigated under the Obama/Biden admin and just weeks ago was cleared by Bob Barr? That's not old news.

I think this whole "debate" form for this primary is ridiculous, but Biden is not looking good with the words I have heard. That is entirely independent of what others have said of him (besides what he has been baited into answering? Everyone has so little time I can't keep track.)

Point is, Biden seems to be having some mental mistakes saying things he should not say both on the old age front and old views front. I saw a tipping point. Maybe I saw it too early.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 7:11 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


"i don't know what's happened." -joe biden
posted by entropicamericana at 7:12 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


What is it that he said to Gillibrand that made her say "I respect you deeply" (i.e. "Fuck you")?
posted by Countess Elena at 7:13 PM on July 31


Yang's got one damn idea and he's going to answer that to every single question no matter what it is.

It's an appealing idea
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:14 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Opposing TPP because of the copyright issues when that means handing economic leadership of the Pacific region to China is cutting off your nose to spite your face. Well, except it's more like cutting off your entire head because you got a bad zit.

That Trump hates TPP obviously doesn't mean one can't also oppose it, but you should ask yourself how many policies Trump is correct on. Given that he is wrong on virtually every single policy, his position should be taken as the wrong one unless proven otherwise.
posted by Justinian at 7:14 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


I think he said "i don't know what you're doing but you're not running for president." In a super patronising way.
posted by odinsdream at 7:15 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


To put it another way: The alternative to TPP wasn't a better treaty, it was no treaty and China.
posted by Justinian at 7:15 PM on July 31 [6 favorites]


Biden was complaining about how he spoke for Gillibrand when she was running for office and now she’s criticizing him only because she’s running for President. That’s why she said she still respects him deeply.
posted by sallybrown at 7:18 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


I appreciate that both Harris and Booker made unifying digs at Trump and that Harris talked about how any of the candidates on stage would be a huge improvement over Trump. I think it is a fine thing to remind viewers about from time to time.
posted by Bella Donna at 7:19 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


why are they saying that iran "breached" an agreement that the united states already withdrew from

is this debate being broadcast from the upside down
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:19 PM on July 31 [16 favorites]


Wasn't the most egregious copyright stuff in TPP put in by the US?
posted by Marticus at 7:20 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Yeah he said “I don’t know what’s different, except now you’re running for President.” To her, but also regarding the field taking pot shots on his record on social issues.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:20 PM on July 31


Is it me or has Castro been given really short shrift on speaking time?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:20 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I feel like Biden is really tempting Obama to tell him to stop talking about what happened in meetings in the White House. Maybe they have a specific arrangement about what Biden can’t and can say?
posted by sallybrown at 7:21 PM on July 31


Is it me or has Castro been given really short shrift on speaking time?

NYT is again doing live tracking of time spoken for candidates and yes, he is indeed down there.
posted by aranyx at 7:23 PM on July 31


OMG finally talking about Trump the Crook.
posted by Bella Donna at 7:24 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Interestingly (or perhaps not), Gabbard has a tremendous amount of support from 'alt-right' Trump supporters on Twitter

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but in my little relatively conservative corner of New Hampshire, the only lawn signs out at the moment are for Gabbard.
posted by schoolgirl report at 7:25 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


NO ACTUALLY IMPEACHING TRUMP IS THE THING WE WANT

REALLY! TRY IT, YOU’LL SEE
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:26 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


It's a shame Gabbard has such strange connections (and Assad weirdness), because she's doing pretty well here.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:26 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Somebody get Bennet to read the megathreads re: impeach or don't. It's frustrating to see actual presidential candidates who aren't as familiar with the ins and outs of these arguments as we are here!!
posted by dbx at 7:27 PM on July 31 [16 favorites]


The most obnoxious Bernie supporters I know absolutely insist on Gabbard as the VP. One told me that her history of homophobia was “fabricated” by mainstream media because she threatens their corporate overlords, etc. etc.
posted by argybarg at 7:29 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


There are a small number of weirdos who still want a Sanders - Gabbard ticket because she rode hard for him in 2016, but the mainstream of Sanders supporters can't stand her. And that makes sense, because she in no way fits into socialists' or the DSA's ideological and pragmatic priorities.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 7:31 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Gah! It’s not just the obstruction in the Mueller Report. There’s a million other things that merit impeachment. Say so!
posted by chris24 at 7:31 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


While I think Gillibrand, Booker, Castro, and Inslee have all been under-rated and I wish people liked them more - because I think all four are really smart, experienced people who would do well as President - I have come to the conclusion that Elizabeth Warren > everyone else on both nights. #Warren2020

Castro or Booker would make fine VP's for Warren, Kamala Harris as Attorney General, Inslee, Gillibrand and whoever isn't VP of Booker or Castro in Cabinet positions. (Or Gillibrand on the Supreme Court, just to make the himpathy crowd cry.)

Bernie is too old and Tulsi Gabbard, homophobe and Assad apologist, should be no-where near the Cabinet. (I'd love to say Jeanne Shaheen for Sec of State, but since Republican Daddy Sununu would appoint her replacement, I'm sure there's someone else that will be good and won't cost us a Senate seat.)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 7:33 PM on July 31 [15 favorites]


The Hawaii LGBTQ community doesn't believe Gabbard has really evolved in her stance (Facebook link). Furthermore, she's not yet supporting impeachment. She's screamed SCREAMED homophobia into the faces of some of my friends. Gabbard shouldn't be in Congress, much less the oval office.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:34 PM on July 31 [42 favorites]


Bennet: You can play 36 holes on it in the afternoon, take it home and just get stoned to the bejeezus-belt on this stuff
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:34 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


I would love to see Warren and Inslee build on each other’s plans for using climate change to drive new jobs and a stronger economy.
posted by sallybrown at 7:35 PM on July 31 [10 favorites]


Feel like Harris really faded into the background of this debate
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:36 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


how about we keep the nice democratic senators and congresspeople where they are, except for the nominee for president and MAYBE the nominee for veep, and populate the cabinet with people from academic and the non-profit sectors
posted by entropicamericana at 7:36 PM on July 31 [18 favorites]


Bhaskar Sunkara @sunraysunray
3m

Debate grades:

Michael Bennet: Inc.
Kirsten Gillibrand: F
Julián Castro: D-
Cory Booker: D
Joe Biden: F
Kamala Harris: F
Andrew Yang: D
Tulsi Gabbard: C
Jay Inslee: D-
Bill de Blasio: C+
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:38 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


how about we keep the nice democratic senators and congresspeople where they are, except for the nominee for president and MAYBE the nominee for veep, and populate the cabinet with people from academic and the non-profit sectors

Have you MET the people from the academic and nonprofit sectors?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:39 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


What a weird closing statement made even more weird by this.

Will Stancil
Gabbard's spiel about how American belligerence is going to cause WWIII and nuclear holocaust is quite literally a Russian propaganda talking point that shows up in RT and so forth. I mean, it's not subtle. RT VIDEO
posted by chris24 at 7:40 PM on July 31 [31 favorites]


"I'm a progressive AND a moderate so I'm even more centrist than y'all" is a new take.
posted by brook horse at 7:42 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Yep, that was bonkers and that's certainly both her crowd and source of information
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:42 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Yang: i am literally buying your vote. Please.
posted by odinsdream at 7:42 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


Can someone page soundguy99? Quiet mic and then a lot of reverb during her intro speech. Sounding better now, but doesn't sound as good as any of the others.

Hey don't look at me I was setting up stages at the Cleveland Zoo all evening.

;-)

(In fact I'm still here waiting for a truck to arrive from another gig so I can set another stage up. I'm counting on this thread to give me the lowdown.)
posted by soundguy99 at 7:42 PM on July 31 [14 favorites]


Castro stood out for me more this debate than the last one, presumably because I wasn't busy making heart eyes at anyone else (Elizabeth Warren).
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:43 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


Everyone hyping their websites (and I get why they’re doing it) reminds me of the old days of American Idol where the contestants begged for call-in votes (“press 6, remember, please press 6!”)
posted by sallybrown at 7:43 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


I applaud Yang’s closing statement. He should not be president but his comments were spot on. Booker too.
posted by Bella Donna at 7:43 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Bhaskar Sunkara @sunraysunray

I just can't take this seriously. Sanders-backing Jacboin writer gives every other top tier and viable candidate an F. I couldn't write a better parody!
posted by Justinian at 7:44 PM on July 31 [15 favorites]


Yang: i am literally buying your vote. Please.

He's paying good money for it, though
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:44 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Can't wait for the 'you know who won the debate and wasn't even there? Donald Trump' hot takes
posted by Ahmad Khani at 7:44 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


Gabbard: Your children are dead! That's what I would be saying, had I not just solved world peace through my awesome diplomatic skills.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:46 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


I've made fun of Yang a lot, and fairly so I think, but some of the Discourse on Marianne Williamson has made me realize that Yang is the only other person taking about mental health.

Strong closing statement for Kamala Harris, poor performance overall. I'd like to bottle that "predators prey on the weak" and send a case of it to Congressional Democrats.
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:47 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


Biden wants us to go to... Joe 3 0 3 0? To avoid 8 more years of Trump? The dementia's coming out.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 7:47 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


Damn; I had $5 on Joe keeling over or passing out. Pff.
posted by buzzman at 7:48 PM on July 31


Oh my god Joe reading his website oh my god my sides.
posted by odinsdream at 7:48 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Joe30303, did I hear that right? WTF?
posted by Bella Donna at 7:48 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


See you in a thousand years, Joe.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 7:49 PM on July 31 [13 favorites]


dean scream. that was a dean scream.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:49 PM on July 31 [10 favorites]


From here it sounds like a pizza jingle. Don't forget which number to dial! Joe3030!
posted by clawsoon at 7:49 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


What a final statement by Biden -- "four more years of Trump would be an aberation, eight more years would be a disaster for America" -- 8 more years implying, of course, that Trump will have successfully claimed emperorship of the US to ignore the two-term limit.

And then he follows it up with a stumbling reading of some distant teleprompter -- "go to Joe THREE... OH THREE... THREE.. OH" as his brain slowly realizes what his mouth just did.
posted by Theiform at 7:51 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Is it for texting? Should he have said text 30303?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:52 PM on July 31


Eight six seven
Three oh three three ohhhhh
posted by sallybrown at 7:52 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


I assume he meant to say text “Joe” to 30330 but he echoed the language everyone else was using to hype their website and looked old and out of it.
posted by chris24 at 7:52 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I am so baffled by Joe 3030. What is that about? Meanwhile, one of the NYT reporters doing the live analysis says, “Biden cleared a bar the height of a credit card and I expect him to get full credit for it, since he was so bad in the first debate.”
posted by Bella Donna at 7:52 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


i love thinking about the staffers frantically trying to register whatever gibberish address it was he just spouted. and i love how they deserve whatever shit they get for this fuckup due to them having made the mistake of working for joe biden.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:53 PM on July 31 [25 favorites]


If a rule of public speaking is that an audience pays the most attention to the first thing said and the last, between Marianne's closer in the first debate and Biden's closer in this one, Dems as a whole aren't leaving a great impression.
posted by Theiform at 7:53 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


Joe: Hit up my SoundCloud to download my new track "Joe 30330" with Dan the Automator and Del The Funky Homosapien
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:53 PM on July 31 [20 favorites]


30330 seems to be the SMS short code for his campaign. eg

So, yeah... he totally flubbed that.
posted by jammer at 7:54 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


I mean, if someone isn't buying up joe30330.com right now, they totally should
posted by 23skidoo at 7:55 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


I was heartened to see multiple candidates talk in this debate about how women’s work isn’t just undervalued compared to men in the same positions, but also that women-dominated fields like teaching and women’s traditional labor like child rearing is under or unpaid.
posted by sallybrown at 7:55 PM on July 31 [14 favorites]


Discourse on Marianne Williamson has made me realize that Yang is the only other person taking about mental health.

No, Inslee said clearly that mental health care needs to be just as important as any other kind of health care.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:58 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


I mean, if someone isn't buying up joe30330.com right now, they totally should

Apparently Mayor Pete did
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:00 PM on July 31 [2 favorites]


> I mean, if someone isn't buying up joe30330.com right now, they totally should

Someone got it.
posted by brook horse at 8:00 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


I typed Joe 30339 into Google by mistake and got directed to Guaco Joe’s. Sounds like a win.
posted by sallybrown at 8:02 PM on July 31


Headline for tonight's debate:

ATTACK ON BIDEN
posted by FJT at 8:02 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


God bless redirects.
posted by Bella Donna at 8:03 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


Apparently Mayor Pete did

There's so many variations of what he said (30330? 3030? 3033?) that multiple people are having a field day!
posted by brook horse at 8:03 PM on July 31


Found one more!
posted by brook horse at 8:07 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


I found a listing for joe30303 that is a porn user ID. 4chan has also noticed. I think our fellow MeFite above may have called it. For people under 50, that was definitely a Dean scream. Sorry, on my phone so cannot give full credit. It’s past 5 AM here so I am off to bed. So happy there will be fewer candidates next time.
posted by Bella Donna at 8:16 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


My ranking of the candidates after the second round of debates — not entirely based on their debate performance — with +/- indicating changes from the ranking I gave them after the first round:

Hell Yes: Warren
Also Good: Inslee(-), Sanders(+), Buttigieg, Booker
Meh: Castro(-), Ryan, Klobuchar(-), Harris(-), O'Rourke, Biden, Gillibrand, de Blasio, Gabbard
Dear God No: Williamson, Hickenlooper, Delaney, Bullock, Bennet(-), Yang
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:17 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


I don't know if the Joe flub will have the same long-lasting impact as the Dean scream, since our current POTUS accuses his predecessor of fucking with the HVAC system in the White House and it doesn't make the news
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:20 PM on July 31 [5 favorites]


ooof, joe30030.com redirects to joebiden.info, which seems to be a rather anti-biden website
posted by 23skidoo at 8:23 PM on July 31


Just one more thing: I heard Democrats speak about voter suppression and the importance of black women voters. About white privilege. About babies in cages. About the importance of women and how they are being short changed. About the threat to our survival presented by climate change. I heard the annoying guy who used to run New York City or maybe still does talking about taxing the rich. I heard one of the candidates talk about the craziness of the filibuster and another explain the value of impeachment and how any failure to convict Trump in the Senate could be pinned on Moscow Mitch.

I didn’t hear the whole debate but based on what I did hear, I think Democrats can be proud of how the party as a whole was presented. For me it made the differences between the two parties very clear but then, I’m a progressive Democrat who prefers babies in laps rather than cages so it was pretty obvious to me already. I hope it made the difference more clear to other people as well.
posted by Bella Donna at 8:28 PM on July 31 [51 favorites]


Biden won the boomer at your office who has to call IT 30330 times a week to reset her password vote tonight.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:43 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


The next debate is September 12! With good fortune perhaps 2/3 of the field will fail to qualify. Though more realistically it will be around half.
posted by Justinian at 8:58 PM on July 31


I am a SICK, self-hating person who thinks there should be a debate in August; September is too far away.
posted by grandiloquiet at 9:04 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]


> The next debate is September 12! With good fortune perhaps 2/3 of the field will fail to qualify. Though more realistically it will be around half.

I'd be thrilled to see the field get narrowed down by even 50%, because it would mean, among other things, 50% more Warren, 50% more Harris, and 100% less Tim Ryan.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:05 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


And it will mean Warren in the same debate as Biden. Ooh that will be fun.
posted by chris24 at 9:08 PM on July 31


Deltron/Joe 3030
posted by weed donkey at 9:13 PM on July 31 [14 favorites]


I'm glad someone finally called out Harris and her record as AG. She should not even be AG at a federal level, much less President of the United States.

Looking forward to Warren push through to the next level. Going after Wells Fargo alone should have earned her a Nobel Prize in economics.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:16 PM on July 31 [4 favorites]


My impressions tonight. Armchair punditry ahead!

Gabbard came prepared with the talking points against Harris' record, and as much as we are against her as a candidate (parroting RT talking points is CUHREEEEEPY!!!), I'm glad she hit Harris over the head with that chair. Harris needs to answer publicly for the real impact of her record, not the polished version she presents.

Biden showed his age. Booker had the line right - he trots out Obama when it's convenient, and puts him away when the darker sides of Obama's time in office come to light. Just retire dude, and quit embarrasing yourself by being unable to read a teleprompter. Hilarious that the fallout from the debate is that all these domains are registered and some direct to places Biden ... he doesn't want people looking.

Castro, I support wholeheartedly as VP pick or in the Cabinet. He's well spoken, linked immigration with a host of other issues, and managed to do that without too much of the attack dog look. And he's quite handsome!

Yang, dude, you're buying our vote but the catch is, he's right - a UBI would do incredible things for our economy. I don't see him addressing climate change though, so please just be a stunt candidate to shift the Overton window on that issue

Gillibrand is the most white person up there. I say this believing that she means well, understands systemic racism ... but grrrrrl, you ain't the one to dismantle that system because you actually DON'T totally get it because you've never been targeted by it the way Booker and Harris have. Get off the stage yo!

Inslee has the only pitch we should be pitching IMHO. Beat Trump because life as we know it on the planet depends on us getting this right, and he ain't gonna do it for us. And hey, new jobs and shit for everybody yo! (I feel like we should solve this, and then talk about UBI in terms of priorities). I don't think he quite weaves all the issues together the way Warren does though.

Overall, I stand by my Warren/Castro/Harris for AG/Booker for SecState picks, but drop Gabbard for SecDef in favor of ... someone not spouting RT talking points.

Who here is starting the Fantasy Presidential League (to go with Mueller She Wrote's Fantasy Indictment League)? Do I need to get on that?
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 9:18 PM on July 31 [7 favorites]


There is absolutely no doubt that if Biden somehow snags the nomination, he will join the historic lineup of Hillary, Kerry, Gore, Dukakis, Mondale, McGovern, Humphrey, Et al.
posted by growabrain at 9:41 PM on July 31 [34 favorites]


Gillibrand is the most white person up there. I say this believing that she means well, understands systemic racism ... but grrrrrl, you ain't the one to dismantle that system because you actually DON'T totally get it because you've never been targeted by it the way Booker and Harris have. Get off the stage yo!

Again, I honestly don’t get this sentiment. Charles Blow (1, 2, 3, 4) and others on Twitter and elsewhere will often say white people need to step up to solve this because white people invented it and POC can’t do it alone. And shouldn’t be expected to. As Blow says “Asking the oppressed to fix the defect in the oppressor is yet another oppression.” Why should the oppressed have to justify their humanity to their oppressors.

Medium (Tariq Moosa): It Is Not The Job Of The Oppressed To Sit With Our Oppressors - It should never be the oppressed who must manage the pain of an oppressor realizing his wrongfulness.
posted by chris24 at 9:44 PM on July 31 [25 favorites]


Warren is still my #1, but these debates have shown me that part of my heart still belongs to Bernie. This is in part due to my increasing angst about the future. In part due because of an increasing hatred of the fearful must-maintain-the-status-quo-at-all-costs Democrats. But really, it's largely because of all the angry shouting. Bernie sounds like I feel. As a wise cat once said, "CAPS LOCK IS HOW I FEEL INSIDE"

I'll probably come to my senses later, but this is how I am right now. Hope the righteous anger gets him a rebound in the next set of the eternal polls.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 9:46 PM on July 31 [9 favorites]


The big winner was Warren. The talking heads on CNN kept talking about her when analyzing tonight's debate. If you're dominating the discussion when you weren't even debating, that's a great sign.

Harris failed to take advantage of her momentum. Biden failed to prove himself an adept fighter. Inslee came across well, but has failed to make climate change a defining issue in the race. Yang jumped the shark saying 1000 dollars for everyone will fix climate change. Everyone, somehow, failed to adequately state the case against Trump.
posted by xammerboy at 9:58 PM on July 31 [18 favorites]


Current third debate qualifiers:

IN: Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Harris, O'Rourke, Sanders, Warren

Has donors, but not polling: Castro, Yang

Has polls, but not donors: Klobuchar
posted by Chrysostom at 10:05 PM on July 31 [8 favorites]


Who here wants to pay a $1000 co-pay when visiting their doctor?
posted by xammerboy at 10:13 PM on July 31 [1 favorite]


> Yang jumped the shark saying 1000 dollars for everyone will fix climate change

on the one hand I'm solidly in favor of everyone getting 1000 yangbux every month,1, and do indeed think that a real ubi2 would fix a remarkably broad range of problems, maybe even making a contribution to fighting climate change. no work, no commute.

but on the other hand, christ, yang. i never would have thought the candidate who proposed the "legion of builders and destroyers" could be so boring. you make me snooze, bro. and that one joke you have?, the good at math joke? it was sort of funny the first time but you are running it into the ground. yes yes you don't wear a tie so edgy so fresh and new.

alright all of that was throat-clearing for the serious thing i actually want to say about yang:

dude is a misogynist. straight up ice cold misogynist. every time he opened his mouth to say something about women he said something that revealed that fact. like, oh, you told your wife you were running for president? that's what you did? you told her?

and his signature joke? the "who could be more the opposite of trump than an asian man who's good at math" joke? oh i don't know, a woman maybe? perhaps? guess women are just sort of off your radar tho aren't they.

yeah bro i bet you have "first-hand experience" with discrimination against women in the tech industry. in fact i'm pretty fucking certain of it.

tl;dr: so long andrew yang, i'm going to marianne for my meme needs from here on out thank you very much.

1: one of my favorite things about these debates are the moments the zany candidates say things that are absolutely 100% undeniably true and right. yang citing mlk's statements about the need for a minimum income was one of those moments
2: not the crap "here have your yangbux in exchange for giving up the entire social safety net" version of the ubi that yang's pushing

posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 10:30 PM on July 31 [16 favorites]


Chris24, you have a good point. My comment made it sound like POC absolutely need to be the ones to dismantle the system we have made, which wasn't my intention ... my intention was to point out that Gillibrand is clinging to this one conversation she had with this one constituent as an answer to a systemic problem. I think Warren, Buttegieg, Booker, and Harris all have much more comprehensive ideas about how to dismantle the systems that have created these racial, economic, and gender inequities. Owning the super dismissive tone of the last comment, hope that clarifies, and I'm gonna lay low with my armchair punditry now.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 10:57 PM on July 31 [3 favorites]




this is a weird off-topic but Japan's healthcare isn't socialized. (someone upthread said it was.) It's predominantly private insurance with a public option. Patients pay something like 30% out of pocket, up to a cap, with exceptions. They have universal coverage and good outcomes through tight regulation. Samesies for Germany afaik.

If you dig into policy there are a lot of actually good questions to be asked about M4A. It's true that "every other developed country manages to do this." It's also true that every other developed country does this in different ways, and not all through classical socialized medicine. Even a strong public socialized system (like Australia has) can coexist with a private-sector healthcare industry (which Australia also has).

and if you dig into policy there are a lot of centrist policies we could crib off of other countries to improve our healthcare system, and they're somehow not on the table. The centrist position in this debate is somehow just the status quo. with nonspecific "improvements". M4A is not the only way to improve things, but it's the only one on the table; centrist politicians who don't like it could propose all sorts of fucking things, but they're not.

and the questions being asked at these debates sound an awful lot like they were chosen by TV producers who don't know or care what kind of healthcare anyone has. that's really my point.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 12:19 AM on August 1 [20 favorites]


Wait, what? I've lived in Japan for eleven years, and it is absolutely 100% normal for everyone to pay into what is literally called "social insurance," and to use that for their main coverage. Social insurance is what pays the 70% share. Unless this is some sort of gotcha trick-question phrasing, Japan absolutely makes no attempt to hide the fact that it's socialized health insurance. I don't think I know a single person who has additional private health insurance in Japan.
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:14 AM on August 1 [10 favorites]


Unless this is some sort of gotcha trick-question phrasing, Japan absolutely makes no attempt to hide the fact that it's socialized health insurance.

Maybe this is a conflation of the fact that while Japan does have socialized health insurance, it doesn't have single-payer health insurance like Canada or the UK.
posted by Strutter Cane - United Planets Stilt Patrol at 2:20 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


wikipedia link about health insurance in japan

yeah, I just got mixed up and wildly misinterpreted "Employees Health Insurance," which sounds like it's employer based but is, regardless, administrated by the government. There's a whole list of different health insurance programs that are all government/socialized healthcare. It's confusing.

here's another wikipedia link on two-tier healthcare aka public-private mix. my rant generally stands, i think, i'm just wrong about japan
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 2:40 AM on August 1 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: My rant generally stands, I’m just wrong about Japan.

:-)
posted by Bella Donna at 5:09 AM on August 1 [13 favorites]


After sleeping on it, I conclude: My heart still belongs to Elizabeth Warren. She is hands down better than anyone else on both stages, both nights. Plus she stomped Chris "Tweety" Matthews when he kept asking her "but the buuudddgetttt!" There's always enough for war toys, right, just not health care or child care or any of that woman stuff.

- Bernie and Biden are too old. Maybe there should be age cutoffs for the Presidency? We have enough political talent that isn't over 70, and the nice thing about being a Democrat is that we are getting bright and talented young people and not just grifters.

- If you have to choose between being a homophobe and an apologist for a murderous dictator, or a principled feminist calling out a """precious national treasure""" who just happens to be """lovably clumsy with big ol' hands,""" then be the homophobe and dictator apologist. People will like you more.

- I'm glad Kamala Harris ripped into Tulsi Gabbard. Gabbard is a disgrace and really ought to be primaried, but that's up to the voters of Hawaii.

- Klobuchar (on the first night) and Gillibrand, Castro, Booker and Inslee (on the second) deserve to be doing better. They're all smart and with good ideas and I think would make good Presidents. But there's always the Cabinet and Supreme Court. Inslee, in particular, would be a good Secretary of the Interior or Secretary of Energy. Or "Climate Czar" or whatever that is called.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:28 AM on August 1 [14 favorites]


If there's a sign that the voters are much farther left than a stage full of current Democratic candidates, it's protesters interrupting their debate multiple times. Good times.
posted by Harry Caul at 5:36 AM on August 1 [11 favorites]


They're all smart and with good ideas and I think would make good Presidents. But there's always the Cabinet and Supreme Court.

The more debates we have, the more pissed I am that most of these people aren't running for the Senate.
posted by Etrigan at 5:57 AM on August 1 [25 favorites]


The more debates we have, the more pissed I am that most of these people aren't running for the Senate.

Yes, definitely, but YSMMV (Your State Mileage May Vary). Gillibrand, Klobuchar, and Booker are set for life in their Senate seats. In particular, New York and New Jersey aren't going red anytime soon, and if Bob Menendez could keep his seat, well, Booker isn't likely to be primaried out. It's also highly unlikely to impossible that Gillibrand or Klobuchar face (successful) primary challenges.

Washington has no governor term limits, so if Inslee doesn't snag a Cabinet post, he can (and should) run for governor again. In any case, neither Murray or Cantwell are going anywhere.

Now Castro, Buttigieg, O'Rourke - they definitely need to run for some local office or a Senate seat if possible. Their states need more Democratic representation. Texas could be flipped - it's inching towards purple. If Indiana is too solidly red for Buttigieg to get a toehold there, he could do what Andrew Gillum is doing in Florida and work to strengthen his party by getting out the vote, building up the Democratic infrastructure, etc.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:09 AM on August 1 [17 favorites]


I kicked in $5 for Inslee. I so hope he makes the next debate. He is a calming, strong, practical presence on that stage.
posted by sallybrown at 6:34 AM on August 1 [8 favorites]


The more debates we have, the more pissed I am that most of these people aren't running for the Senate.

Bullock could be running against Daines in 2020, with an excellent chance of beating him. The fact that he chose instead to cram into the presidential clown car in exchange for .01% of the vote, a chance at a book deal and a couple MSNBC appearances destroyed my opinion of him and made me recalibrate my idea of how much a lot of elected Democrats actually give a shit about saving the country.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:59 AM on August 1 [17 favorites]


Current third debate qualifiers:

IN: Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Harris, O'Rourke, Sanders, Warren

Has donors, but not polling: Castro, Yang

Has polls, but not donors: Klobuchar


The poll released by Yougov this morning is Castro's fourth with 2 percent, so he's in. Yang has three of four polls and odds are he'll get the fourth sometime in the next month because the Yang Gang is nothing if not fanatical. I would expect Klobuchar to make it - organizing small donors is easier for a campaign to do than to goose polling in your favour, so she's already done the hard part, and she only needs another 10,000 donors or so to get in.

That would make ten. Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer are the other two candidates who have an outside shot based on current trajectories (Gabbard has one of four polls qualifying her and only needs another 16,000 donors, and Steyer has two polls and "expects" to hit the donor mark, which means he probably will). Everybody else needs to hope they go viral somehow from the debate and with the faintly possible exception of Inslee, that seems very very unlikely.
posted by mightygodking at 7:12 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Did anybody do "A noun, a verb and Barack Obama" yet
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:28 AM on August 1 [7 favorites]


"The more debates we have, the more pissed I am that most of these people aren't running for the Senate."

I think some of them are, and are just using the presidential campaign to raise their visibility. Beto, in particular - I like him, I don't see him having much shot at actually winning the nomination, there are stronger VP candidates, and he doesn't seem technocratic enough to be a Cabinet pick. But he was competitive in a Senate race the last time around, and would probably be even more so against Cornyn. I think his goal is to raise his profile enough to put him over the top. I'm pretty sure Tim Ryan sees himself as a senator, and maybe Bullock might be interested, too. This is an easy way for them to increase name recognition and associate themselves with higher office in the minds of voters.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:47 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Beto’s profile was as raised as it’s going to get in TX already. I was down there most of October and it was Betomania even in more remote corners of the state way outside of the cities. I do think he has a chance if he has time to enter the TX Senate race still (?) but he risks looking like an ungrateful son for whom the Senate seat was a second choice (bad in most places but especially a place like Texas).
posted by sallybrown at 8:06 AM on August 1 [9 favorites]


But he was competitive in a Senate race the last time around, and would probably be even more so against Cornyn

Might be a snag there because the filing deadline for the TX Senate race is December 9, 2019 and the Iowa primary isn't until March 3. I think that may be by design so candidates can't try to sit in two stools at one time.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:06 AM on August 1


IN: Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Harris, O'Rourke, Sanders, Warren

I think the floor is too low and these are the only people that should be included (and maybe not even Buttigieg or O'Rourke. If someone isn't polling higher than 3% after two nationally-televised debates, it's not happening for them.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:18 AM on August 1 [6 favorites]


My senate complaints are mostly Hick related. I think he would have had a chance at Senate in Colorado, I am not sure who else can run but Gardener needs to go, and I think he has done nothing with his candidacy except indicate that a Colorado office isn’t his goal. Which reduces his chance of Senate success.
posted by nat at 8:19 AM on August 1 [4 favorites]


Eh, my Senate complaints are mostly *not* Hickenlooper. Colorado has a good Dem bench, and Gardner isn't super popular, so it's not like we needed Hick to be the chosen one.

Bullock, on the other hand, is pretty much the only Dem who could win Montana (I think Rust Moranis overestimates his chances, but he'd have a decent shot). And Beto would have at least been a plausible shot in Texas. But I think it's too late to change targets now. Rubio did it last time, but he was already an incumbent.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:53 AM on August 1 [8 favorites]


Bullock, on the other hand, is pretty much the only Dem who could win Montana (I think Rust Moranis overestimates his chances, but he'd have a decent shot)

Daines's approval is 50%. Bullock's approval was 60% (+26) earlier this year which places him at #5 in the Popularity Above Replacement Governor rankings. In any case probably no point in arguing whether he would have had a decent shot or a great shot of beating Daines, now that he's thrown the possibility of an all-Democratic MT Senate delegation into the Berkeley Pit.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:02 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Finally catching up on the two nights in Detroit.
Beto: how I wish he were just going after Cornyn. The presidential run, while dramatic, just doesn't make sense at this point. I saw him almost every time he came through Austin, and the electricity was real, and true. Is he the right person to be president now? Nope.
Bennet? DeBlasio? Gillibrand? Klobuchar? : why the fuck are you doing this?
Biden? : Jesus, dude. Hang it up.
Bernie: Keep agitating, but keep it at that, stay in the Senate, and don't do 2016 again.
Warren: can you please just run things? Like all of them? Pretty please?

All the health care stuff: Are you kidding me? Who has choices? Who likes what they have? Not me, and not anyone I know. I haven't had health insurance for a year and a half, since I was laid off, and whatever I had through employers was health care in name only, and I can't afford to pay whatever it might be every month for something that I'd still have to pay more than I can afford for like anything. It just seems like so much time wasted by people who don't have to worry about this shit arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It just pisses me off so much.

Most of the people on this stage: thank you for bringing up all the things that are being talked about. From mental health, racial and social justice, social/emotional development, to being united in the need to get rid of the current state of affairs. I was talking with my partner about how completely different this is from even ten years ago; I don't know how much actual impact this has on people who haven't been megathread-deep for the last three years. But let's ackowledge how far the conversation has come, when these things are talked about in a nationally-televised thing.

It's a mixed bag.
posted by rp at 9:44 AM on August 1 [11 favorites]




Joe Biden Is the Product of a Democratic Party That Was Terrified of Ronald Reagan

I've been thinking/talking about this a lot recently! It really does seem to me like a lot of our older legislators were permanently broken by his tenure and are still broken by it 30-odd years later. Meanwhile, I was two years old when Reagan left office. Jimmy Carter is a historical figure to me (yes I know he's still alive, but...). And when I see legislators so convinced that they have to keep acting like they live in Reagan's America, I'm just like... how much time have you actually spent outside of Washington in the past few decades? We are not the same country anymore.

I just checked to see how much time elapsed between FDR's last year in office and Reagan's first year. 35 years. Not much more than the space between us and Reagan's last year. It's time to move the fuck on.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:01 AM on August 1 [35 favorites]


I semi-listened to a couple of post-debate Youtube videos from NPR political correspondent Asma Khalid and political editor Domenico Montanaro while getting ready this morning, which got me interested in checking out the NPR Politics Podcast episodes for Night 1 and Night 2 on my commute.

For once, NPR didn't make me sleepy! I thought both episodes were fairly engaging. Perhaps because this is one of the rare instances where I'm actually hearing from political correspondents around my age who are BIPOC? Granted, I haven't looked much in the area of audio political commentary because I process information better through reading, but thought I'd link the episodes in case others are interested in hearing (physically) from something other than the typical Vowell & co NPR-sphere.
posted by rather be jorting at 10:06 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


(One of the NPR Politics Podcast comments that had me rolling was when they declared the winner of the 2nd night's debate: "Elizabeth Warren!")
posted by rather be jorting at 10:08 AM on August 1 [14 favorites]


Sounds like the chants were Fire Pantaleo.

Gothamist coverage confirms this.

Oh, de Blasio. At this point it's clear you're sick of being mayor and are using this primary as a job interview for bigger and better things. I only hope you get an offer so that you can resign and we can get a mayor who actually wants to be the mayor.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:13 AM on August 1


I liked the Graun's caption for Joe Biden confuses debate viewers with bizarre 'website' plug – video:
Delivering what must have been one of the most cryptic gaffes of his career, Joe Biden caused mass confusion during the final moment of the latest Democratic debate, after he apparently urged viewers to visit a website that does not exist. Biden laid out his 2020 vision before telling those watching: 'If you agree with me, go to Joe 30330.' He had in fact meant to refer them to a phone number
posted by rather be jorting at 10:16 AM on August 1


I just checked to see how much time elapsed between FDR's last year in office and Reagan's first year. 35 years. Not much more than the space between us and Reagan's last year. It's time to move the fuck on.

I do think that US politics tends to get sort of locked into paradigms for thirty or forty years. We're at the end of the age of Reagan, before that was the age of the New Deal.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:16 AM on August 1 [6 favorites]


More pertinently re Biden's gaffe, though (via The Guardian):
In closing, he asked viewers to “Go to Joe 3-0-3-3-0 and help me in this fight”. Other candidates had just promoted their websites in a bid for donations; but Biden, rather than direct people to his campaign site, accidentally read the number individuals can text to get involved in his campaign. And in doing so, he failed to explain where exactly people should go to support his candidacy.

For a brief moment, it looked as though Pete Buttigieg’s campaign had bought the Joe30330.com URL. But later the domain redirected to a previously unheard of and self-described “Gen Z’er” known as Josh.
posted by rather be jorting at 10:23 AM on August 1


rather be jorting, if you liked hearing from Asma and Domenico, I definitely recommend listening to the NPR Politics Podcast more! At least the weekly roundup. I also like It's Been a Minute - Sam Sanders was on the NPR Politics Podcast in 2016, and as far as I can tell, burned out hard after that campaign trail for pretty understandable reasons, and created his own show. It's another good, conversational podcast hosted by a POC and often centering POC perspectives. I don't watch TV news, and I often don't listen to as-broadcast NPR, but I think those two do a good job of giving an overview at a tolerable frequency.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 10:29 AM on August 1 [5 favorites]


For a brief moment, it looked as though Pete Buttigieg’s campaign had bought the Joe30330.com URL. But later the domain redirected to a previously unheard of and self-described “Gen Z’er” known as Josh.

No, it was Joe3030.com that went to Pete (and still does), Joe30330.com always went to Josh.

Joe did snatch Joe33030.com, though.
posted by brook horse at 10:31 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]


My family has had 1 job change in the past 5 years, but we are on our 7th insurance provider. Its maddening. Single payer can't get here fast enough.
posted by Manic Pixie Hollow at 10:57 AM on August 1 [15 favorites]


Here's a source I haven't seen shared around here before: the WGHB politics podcast, The Scrum, also discussed the first debates on their June 28 episode, and last night shared some (written-not-spoken) reactions to the second debates.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:01 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


and maybe not even Buttigieg or O'Rourke. If someone isn't polling higher than 3% after two nationally-televised debates, it's not happening for them.

Buttigieg has been polling in the 5-7% range.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:26 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


That would make ten. Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer are the other two candidates who have an outside shot based on current trajectories

That might be a blessing in disguise. I'd rather see two debates with six candidates each than one with ten.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:28 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


Kinda funny seeing very disparate opinions of how the second night of debates went. Moira Donegan of The Guardian goes IN with this op-ed: Joe Biden was appallingly mediocre. Sadly his opponents were, too.

The whole thing's worth a read, but I had to excerpt the below because this is the first time I've seen much of any commentary on Bennet:

"The Colorado senator and Elmer Fudd lookalike Michael Bennet seemed intent on chastising his fellow candidates that no policies that could help Americans were possible. His intellectual contributions to the debate were few, but his effort to demoralize the electorate was persistent. He was especially passionate in his opposition to Medicare for All, arguing, nonsensically, that Democrats would ensure a second Trump term if they embraced a policy designed to ensure health, security and dignity for all Americans."
posted by rather be jorting at 11:29 AM on August 1 [11 favorites]


Kamala Harris should address her record directly. I can only see the accusations increasing. These accusations directly question her moral compass and throwing shade and attacking the messenger can only get her so far. Warren seems to be really separating herself from the rest and hopefully can clinch the nomination sooner rather than later.
posted by asra at 11:40 AM on August 1 [8 favorites]


> That would make ten. Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer are the other two candidates who have an outside shot based on current trajectories

i've gone deep on believing that gabbard is a putin catspaw1 and am terrified that her boss is going to tell her to get the green party nomination. i'm not sure if keeping her around as a marginal democratic party candidate for as long as possible helps defend against that or makes it more likely.

1: like when i call gabbard a cylon i'm not sure i'm even making a joke
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 11:58 AM on August 1 [15 favorites]


I hope Kamala Harris addresses her past, apologizes, and promises to use the same aggressive prosecutorial zeal against everyone in [Trump's] government and business who is criming.
posted by benzenedream at 12:22 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


Joe Biden Is the Product of a Democratic Party That Was Terrified of Ronald Reagan

Yeah the electoral maps (1 2 3) were visually traumatizing I swear. I think it also seeded some dark dreams in Republican minds too, like their deep feelings of entitlement to power and the idea that any democratic president must be fundamentally illegitimate.
posted by fleacircus at 12:24 PM on August 1 [6 favorites]


Also, If someone is interested in doing a Gabbard FPP I for one would like to see it. I see a lot of people on this site saying she's an RT/Putin shill and would appreciate a rundown of the evidence.
posted by benzenedream at 12:24 PM on August 1 [9 favorites]


My heart still belongs to Elizabeth Warren.

I may invite
a bunch of light
candidates to debate in a forum
but for nominee
there's just one for me
my heart belongs to Warren.

So I want to warn our quorum
though I think you're perfectly swell
that my heart belongs to Warren
because she treats it so well.
posted by wildblueyonder at 12:25 PM on August 1 [15 favorites]


Yang has three of four polls and odds are he'll get the fourth sometime in the next month because the Yang Gang is nothing if not fanatical.

That's not great news. Despite his solid closing statement (which I suspect is driving more interest in him than his actual performance during the debate), he's as unsettlingly unqualified as Marianne Williamson or Tulsi Gabbard.

Gizmodo: Andrew Yang Is the Most Dangerous Democratic Presidential Candidate
Wednesday night’s Democratic presidential debates revealed many things, but I want to focus on what was easily the most chilling moment of last night: Andrew Yang talking about climate change.

In 30 second, Yang offered a mix of ill-informed defeatism about our ability to thwart the worst effects of a changing climate and an ill-conceived adaptation plan that would require individuals to do the heavy lifting that only a government can. Add in his climate plan explicitly calls for geoengineering, and it’s clear Andrew Yang isn’t just bad at climate politics. He has the most dangerous ideas about climate in the entire Democratic field.[…]

“We are 10 years too late” is the absolute shittiest climate messaging I could imagine a presidential candidate using. Yes, it’s even worse than Donald Trump’s braindead climate denial, which is transparently stupid as opposed to Yang’s veneer of science-backed wisdom.

But the real issue is, it’s also breathtakingly, dangerously wrong. If humanity had started reducing emissions 10 years ago, the lift to get to net-zero emissions by mid-century required to avert 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming would’ve been easier. Instead, global emissions have increased over the past decade, and now the lift becomes harder, but it doesn’t mean we’re too late.
NYMag examines his online appeal to ask: Is Andrew Yang the Doomer Candidate?
[…]Yang’s vision of the coming century is not always articulated as the gleaming futurist paradise that a shallow reading of his campaign would suggest. In most cases, Yang frames his UBI as an initiative to revitalize forgotten or left-behind communities, but his answer on climate last night cast it less as policy intended to catapult America into an internet-age Elysium and more as a way to mitigate a Yang-prophesied dystopia, in which artificial intelligence and automation puts Americans out of jobs just as rising waters swallow their homes.[…]

Of course, Andrew Yang isn’t going to be president, and doomers and anti-socialists, for their part, constitute a tiny fraction of people, let alone voters. What worries me more than a few thousand too-smart-for-their-own-good sad sacks on Instagram, rigging internet polls to make Yang appear popular, is the way their climatological fatalism and every-man-for-himself egoism is echoed among some of the tech industry’s wealthiest and most prominent people.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:34 PM on August 1 [7 favorites]


I like UBI, but Yang's comment that everyone will have to run for higher ground and wouldn't that be easier with a thousand dollars in one's pocket was depressing. I hope he meant it as a joke, but snarking on global warming is disappointing. Here he is laying down some truth about the coming robot revolution, but he let the opportunity to tell the truth about global warming go. I have yet to hear to the scientific consensus about what happens if we don't stop global warming be stated flatly. Will anyone mention that if we don't stop global warming large parts of the planet will become uninhabitable? I get that no one wants to be accused of scare-mongering, but, if anyone could, Yang could have risked it.

I thought the benefit of having some fringe candidates on stage would be that they could risk some truth telling. Oddly, for the most part, they're the most middling of all.
posted by xammerboy at 12:52 PM on August 1 [3 favorites]


Is Andrew Yang the Doomer Candidate?

With his "the sea will consume all coastal cities anyway, just move inland and collect your $1000/month" last night, Yang presented himself as the friendly face of ecofascism. Expect to see more and more of it, and not just from him. The other face, one of a fortress state allowing or overseeing the genocide of much of the global south, will be less visible from the inside.

(The three most trusted institutions among Democrats are Amazon, Universities, and the US military. The three most trusted institution among Republicans are the US military, the police, and Amazon. Expect them all to merge eventually to fully uphold Yangist thought.)
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:52 PM on August 1 [12 favorites]


“We are 10 years too late”

I'm pretty sure that's what Michael Mann would say.
posted by M-x shell at 12:54 PM on August 1


Oh, and I should mention that Hillary considered running on UBI for 2016, but ultimately felt the issue was too complicated. Of course, no one brings that up. They won't even mention her name.
posted by xammerboy at 12:55 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


The problem I have with giving everyone $12,000 per year is rents will go up $12,000 per year. You need more than UBI, you need price controls to go with it.
posted by M-x shell at 12:55 PM on August 1 [17 favorites]


You don't get credit for considering an issue, without even talking about it. They do bring up George McGovern, at least.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:58 PM on August 1 [4 favorites]


Harry Enten on why a strategy of attacking Obama's legacy in a Democratic Primary (from the right or left) is... questionable at best:
Last poll on which I could run a crosstab (2017 Pew)... Obama's favorable rating among black Democratic voters: 99%. Unfavorable rating: 0%. (1% was undecided.)
Good luck winning the primary with "actually, a lot of stuff Obama did wasn't good".
posted by Justinian at 1:03 PM on August 1 [3 favorites]


It's working for Ilhan Omar, isn't it? For all of the pressure from Democrats who want to make this election into simply returning to the ante-45 status quo, there are those who want to go further, to fix the mistakes of the Obama administration that engendered the rise of the current incumbent in the first place.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:08 PM on August 1 [10 favorites]


> Good luck winning the primary with "actually, a lot of stuff Obama did wasn't good".

@jonfavs: I’m pretty sensitive to unfair Obama criticism, but I didn’t feel like there was any “incoming about Barack” last night. I thought there were legitimate debates about our immigration and trade policies.

@HarlemFlipper: I watched the whole debate and didn't know anyone was attacking Barack Obama last night until I heard about it on Morning Joe today
posted by tonycpsu at 1:09 PM on August 1 [16 favorites]


> The problem I have with giving everyone $12,000 per year is rents will go up $12,000 per year. You need more than UBI, you need price controls to go with it.

let's pretend we've already had the conversation where i say "well that's why we index the ubi to inflation" and you say "good lord that would lead to hyperinflation" and i say that demand-driven inflation, even demand-driven hyperinflation, is a good thing because it wipes out debt, functioning as effectively a jubilee, and because the working class and middle class benefit from price stickiness (since there will always be a gap between when demand increases and when supply increases costs to keep up) and then you mention what demand-driven hyperinflation would do to people on fixed incomes (pensioners, etc) and then i say that well i suppose we'll have to massively expand social security and welfare programs and then you'll say well then this is just a stalking horse for a massive wealth-redistribution scheme tantamount to seizing the means of production and then i grin like a maniac while humming the internationale and you nervously glance around the room to make sure there's no sharp objects within my reach.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 1:11 PM on August 1 [55 favorites]


It's working for Ilhan Omar, isn't it?

You can't compare one district in one place to the Democratic primary electorate as a whole.
posted by Justinian at 1:27 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


Also, If someone is interested in doing a Gabbard FPP I for one would like to see it. I see a lot of people on this site saying she's an RT/Putin shill and would appreciate a rundown of the evidence.

If Gabbard is going to qualify for the next round of debates, I may be interested in collaborating on one. She's been on my radar ever since she was sucking up to Putin's pal Bashar al-Assad and spouting Russian propaganda about the Syrian civil war. The Kremlin's propaganda machine and Putin's apologists have been returning the favor by boosting her campaign. (Similarly, skeptics about Russian interference at the Nation, the Intercept, and Jacobin have been pushing back against criticism of Gabbard.)

Before the debates, Wired contributing editor accurately warned in a useful thread about online disinfo for the 2020 election: "Prediction for Facebook users: certain lefties are going to see the zone flooded with Tulsi Gabbard comms—and attacks on Kamala Harris—that will look weird and may not be exactly...homegrown." And observed: "A hashtag making the rounds: TulsiOrTrump. As in, to some interested parties, Gabbard and Trump are equally compelling. It’s hard to imagine an American who sees the world this way."

And now the morning after the debates, former FBI counterterrorism agent turned GWU cyber-security fellow Clint Watts notes: "And what’s top story at RT (Russia Today) this morning after #DemDebate? Of course, what everyone saw right? social media going wild for Tulsi Gabbard, populist, after she went after establishment Dem Harris who happens to be on Senate Intel Committee (Russia Investigation)".

It doesn't seem like a coincidence that this afternoon Gabbard released a video statement about how "Mueller reported Trump did not collude with Russia to influence our elections. Now we must put aside partisan interests, move forward, and work to unite our country to deal with the serious challenges we face."—emphasis added, because this is not only a misrepresentation of Mueller's findings, but also a Kremlin talking point.

Gabbard is 2020's Jill Stein, except she's running in the Democratic primary.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:30 PM on August 1 [38 favorites]


> Gabbard is 2020's Jill Stein, except she's running in the Democratic primary.

and unlike stein she appears to be at least to some degree an active participant in the game instead of just a useful dupe.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 1:33 PM on August 1 [4 favorites]


also she's coming into it as a member of congress instead of... whatever stein was... and so she seems on the face of it to be relatively more reputable.

and also — and for reals don't underestimate the value of this — she looks like a sexy murderbot instead of like your daffy aunt.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 1:35 PM on August 1 [5 favorites]


If she's going to be running for the presidential election regardless, I think I'm OK with the idea of a "2020 Jill Stein" running from within the Democratic party as opposed to being the third party "protest" vote. That could have made 2016 look quite a bit different.
posted by MysticMCJ at 1:37 PM on August 1


yeah, that's why i am scared to death of some recent rumblings (tbf, nothing particularly reputable) about gabbard going third party after she's out of the debates
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 1:38 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


The problem I have with giving everyone $12,000 per year is rents will go up $12,000 per year.

That's just not true any more than rents have remained stable because wages have remained stagnant.

Rents are determined by the market. If half the landlords decide to raise their rents, and half the landlords decide to keep them stable, all the "stable" landlords will have tenants, and all of the rapacious landlords will have vacant units.

Obviously it's more complicated than that, and increased income will increase demand (previously homeless may actually be able to afford to rent, for example!), but there's no way landlords will be able to unilaterally raise rent by that full $1000/month, for the same reason your landlord doesn't now raise the rent when they hear that you got a raise: competition.
posted by explosion at 1:42 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


i grin like a maniac while humming the internationale and you nervously glance around the room to make sure there's no sharp objects within my reach.

Good lord, man, I just want to keep peoples' UBI away from the rentiers.
posted by M-x shell at 1:42 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


Gabbard 2020 is a bit like Rand Paul 2016. She was posed to be a rising star, partly because of the elder statesman she was connected to, but has been lost among the current of the primary flood. Gabbard might have had more of a memorable performance at the debates than Paul ever did, but any grassroots momentum to run her as a third party candidate has been captured by Yang, Williamson, and even Sanders. If Bernie loses the primary once again, expect the thunder and fury to be even louder than it was back then. He wouldn't run third party, but there'd be greater interest in him doing so than in Gabbard.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:43 PM on August 1


yeah, that's why i am scared to death of some recent rumblings (tbf, nothing particularly reputable) about gabbard going third party after she's out of the debates

I think the odds of Gabbard going third party are somewhere between zero and zero.
posted by Justinian at 1:47 PM on August 1 [3 favorites]


The problem I have with giving everyone $12,000 per year is rents will go up $12,000 per year. You need more than UBI, you need price controls to go with it.

This is an underappreciated and underdiscussed point for UBI.

For a lot of situations, including rent, where there's an actual underlying scarcity we've just allowed economic privileges to determine who does and doesn't get to have a place to live or whatever else that's scarce.

Distributing a baseline income will extend access at the margins, but where genuine scarcity is the issue (as housing is in some municipal and most metro areas) more money chasing the same pie will mean prices inflate.

Price controls can moderate that, but they can't fix the scarcity, and what that probably means is some other form of privilege other than economic will determine who does and doesn't get a place to live. Anyone who's known a rent controlled apartment to pass down through a social circle or generations of family has seen this in action.

So UBI is not a magic wand. UBI + price controls are not a magic wand. There's a whole host of other things government needs to do to make current supply more accessible for its utility rather than speculative or accounting value (vacancy tax!) and bring further supply online in the service of more than luxury and profit.

On preview: Either that or we hum the internationale along with RNTP, which is why any remaining intelligent capitalists that aren't actually working to bring the Dark Enlightenment to pass understand the Republican party is no longer a reasonable place to be. If you aren't going to do real policy that saves capitalism from itself by making it work for everyone as well as possible, then the only choices left are going full feudal or full socialist.
posted by wildblueyonder at 1:48 PM on August 1 [4 favorites]


Nate Silver on the weirdness of people not being able to figure out why Biden polls highly:
If you're a pundit and can't figure out why real, actual people like Biden, you're not good at your job. He talks about the middle class a lot, he talks about Trump a lot, he represents the continuation of the very popular (among Ds) President Obama, and people think he can win.
[...]
Oh, and by the way: Biden's policy positions are pretty close to those of the average Democratic likely voter, if you look at polls and so forth.
posted by Justinian at 1:52 PM on August 1 [9 favorites]


Fox News Women Condemn Lahren For Suggesting Harris Slept Her ‘Way To The Top’

Pretty rare to see any sign of disunity in the ranks over at Fox News outside of the hermetically-sealed chamber where they keep Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:01 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


...then again, the protests from McHenry and Timpf may just be kayfabe, with Lahren as the designated heel.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:03 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


If Rep. Gabbard wants to stay on the Armed Services and Financial Services committees, she will not be joining a third party to run for President.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:05 PM on August 1 [5 favorites]


I just returned from a family reunion back east (in Georgia and Alabama) and was surprised to discover that a whole branch of my very conservative extended family refused to vote for Trump in 2016, and are more adamantly opposed to him now. Sadly, they voted Libertarian, but I’ll take what I can get.

In a subsequent conversation with other members of the clan, however, I was chagrined to learn that although they call Trump “a clown” and “a buffoon”, they still intend to vote for him again. The arguments they made were based on outrageously false information. I mean, at the “he caused the economic recovery” and “he’s good at foreign policy” level of falsity.

When they asked me who I was voting for (they know I’m a progressive), I told them, “Frankly, anyone who is running against him.” After further discussion, they said they could see themselves maybe voting for Biden.

RON HOWARD NARRATOR: They would never vote for Biden.



Obligatory reminder: any of the Democratic candidates would be an improvement over the Shambling Mound of Corruption, Bigotry and Incompetence currently infesting the White House.

Nevertheless, I’m hoping I get a chance to vote for someone like Warren who actually embodies and champions many of the progressive ideals I also hold dear.
posted by darkstar at 2:14 PM on August 1 [11 favorites]


If Rep. Gabbard wants to stay on the Armed Services and Financial Services committees, she will not be joining a third party to run for President.

She's getting primaried already by Kaiali'i Kahele, a popular young state senator, and there's a decent chance she loses that primary (which will be on August 13). If she's losing her seat anyway, I could very easily see her deciding to jump to the Greens.
posted by mightygodking at 2:19 PM on August 1 [11 favorites]


darkstar, were either of those conservative branches of your family Obama-Trump voters or have they all been straight Republican ticket people until Trump?
posted by Justinian at 2:21 PM on August 1


to fix the mistakes of the Obama administration that engendered the rise of the current incumbent in the first place

I'd say it was the mistake of the American people for not electing enough Democrats in 2016.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:23 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


Historically straight Republicans, I’m afraid. So they’re not a good sample for evaluating whether the Obama factor might entice folks back to voting Democratic if Biden were on the ticket.
posted by darkstar at 2:25 PM on August 1


Thanks, that was what I was getting at. I don't think Biden has a chance of winning over straight Republican ticket Trump voters, they are consumed by their hatred, but I think he has a shot of winning back the Obama-Trump people if he wins the nomination. And I was hoping for some anecdotal evidence either way which is of course the best kind of evidence.
posted by Justinian at 2:27 PM on August 1 [4 favorites]


When they asked me who I was voting for (they know I’m a progressive), I told them, “Frankly, anyone who is running against him.” After further discussion, they said they could see themselves maybe voting for Biden.

RON HOWARD NARRATOR: They would never vote for Biden.


I have bad news about whose opinion the party establishment's going to prioritize, Ron.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:27 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


The problem I have with giving everyone $12,000 per year is rents will go up $12,000 per year. You need more than UBI, you need price controls to go with it.

With one major exception: If you're no longer tied to a big-city job market, you can move to a smaller town where rents are lower.

The main reason that big-city rents are going up so much is because most of the job market has moved to the big cities, and we're living in a precarious-employment society. There's a lot of financial pressure on me to stay in the city, because if I lose my job there's a much, much better chance of finding a new one in the city than in a small town.

I've worked at nearly a dozen companies over my career, so this isn't an academic question for me. I'd love to have a reasonable option to live in a community of 10,000-20,000 people that has everything I need plus low rent, but the one thing those communities don't have right now is a way for me to support myself and my daughter and save for retirement.
posted by clawsoon at 2:30 PM on August 1 [12 favorites]


I'd argue that we don't need a UBI just yet - there is plenty of work to be done if we resurrected the WPA and enacted (some form of) a Green New Deal. We also need some kind of a "social capital WPA" to educate our children, care for the sick and disabled, help addicts recover, and do something about our deteriorating collective mental health. Lots of people need therapy, few can access it. Lots of people need a social worker and maybe supportive housing, but there are long waiting lists.

There's work for all, and I think that would take some of the pressures off the larger cities - as clawsoon points out, right now people are living in cities because that's where the jobs are. A WPA + social capital WPA + Green New Deal = jobs out the wazoo at all skill levels.

I'm all for making disability benefits more generous and less onerous and humiliating to get; same with reinstating AFDC and making it more generous and the application process less humiliating. Some people can't work, or can't work and still have a quality of life; others are working as caregivers to children or elderly parents. They should be compensated and not have to run a humiliating gauntlet to get benefits.

But I'm not in favor of "just give everyone $1000 and wish them well" - that's going to solve our problems how? Yang came across as the opposite of Warren - she has a plan for everything, he just wants to give up. Besides, President is not an entry-level job, as Trump is proving every day.

The more I see all the other candidates, the more I love Elizabeth Warren.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 2:43 PM on August 1 [23 favorites]


Dylan Matthews, The presidential debates wasted too much time talking about stuff only Congress can do

This has become a real problem, in that everything gets focused on the presidency while McConnell sits on 219 bills that have passed the House and are going nowhere in the Senate (ok, some of those are appropriations bills that will move).

What I can't reconcile is the steadfast refusal of a substantial and controlling minority of the country to change one damn thing with the desire to do so much. Biden's climate plan, the one everyone agrees is weak-sauce and inadequate, net-zero emissions by 2050 would still be "the biggest collective thing humanity has ever accomplished" (read that thread, it's good). It's not clear that Biden even realizes that——probably not or he wouldn't be saying it——, because surely he'd be railing about how impractical it is to even think about turning off almost everyone's natural gas in the next 30 years if he knew what he was proposing. Like, let that sink in for a second, the "moderate" climate plan of Joe Biden, if executed, is the biggest collective thing humanity has ever accomplished. And that's just decarbonization; we're not even discussing climate adaptation, revamping the 18% of GDP that is the health care system, college, child care, a new immigration system, or anything else.

As Matthews writes:
But we haven’t seen a real debate about why each of these different priorities should come first. Both expanded health coverage and action to fight climate change have good cases for coming first — why not debate that? Why not ask Warren and Sanders to debate whether the corruption bill or Medicare-for-all is the best first step?

An even better debate would be about the kind of institutional prerequisites needed to pass these plans.
There are some real hard questions here. In the event we're maybe lucky enough to pass one piece of Democratic legislation before chunks of Miami are underwater, is it a health care bill or climate that goes first? If not, what are the candidates going do by executive action? On institutional prerequisites, the closest we've come is discussion on abolishing the filibuster, which still assumes 50 Senate votes.

But regardless, the policy portion of the debates has largely consisted of members of Congress discussing the legislative proposals they're unable to get enacted today. Why have a fight over how long Harris or Sanders thinks it should take to phase-in a M4A plan when it's the chairperson of the Ways and Means committee who actually gets to decide that should push come to shove.

Mostly, I fear there's a further corrosive effect: if candidates spend the next 15 months talking up legislative proposals that don't come to fruition should they take executive office, people will continue to ignore the legislative branch and blame the president, further souring on the idea of political change. I don't know what the answer is. "As President, I will have my ass handed to me by Mitch McConnell on a daily basis" is a slightly uninspiring campaign message. Getting blamed for not delivering when it's McConnell's fault achieves nothing and threatens the party if not democracy. Making sure everyone knows whose fault it is seems to have no actual effect; McConnell is phenomenally unpopular and it changes nothing. It all sucks.
posted by zachlipton at 3:30 PM on August 1 [20 favorites]


An even better debate would be about the kind of institutional prerequisites needed to pass these plans.

This debate would never happen in a million years on a major network. That said, yes, making sure there are systemic changes to prevent an unrepresentative Senate from holding everyone hostage is a good thing. Plans to set up statehood for DC and Puerto Rico at the very least.
posted by benzenedream at 3:37 PM on August 1


This debate would never happen in a million years on a major network.

And this is why the Democratic party should stop giving control of the nominating process to networks who have zero incentive to give one single fuck about democracy's continued existence. The DNC could put on debates themselves, steam it online, and invite all the networks to cover and submit moderators. And only take 1 corporate backed moderator from the networks at a time, along with party representatives and subject experts.

There's no reason to keep allowing Jake Tapper to frame every question as a Republican operative would, and keep allowing CNN's advertisers to pre-frame the entire debate in terms of what's best for their profit margin.

Unless the party's real goal is to prop up those same profit margins too.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:53 PM on August 1 [41 favorites]


The presidential debates wasted too much time talking about stuff only Congress can do

This happens every election. As a public we demand that presidential candidates lie to us, to say they can do things they can't do themselves. Candidates need to do a better job of saying we need both houses of Congress along with the presidency to make things happen.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:05 PM on August 1 [5 favorites]


As a public we demand that presidential candidates lie to us, to say they can do things they can't do themselves. Candidates need to do a better job of saying we need both houses of Congress along with the presidency to make things happen.

The trouble is, much of the public either can't grasp this, or thinks that if only the President tried hard enough, they could get Congress to do what they wanted. "Why doesn't Obama lead?" was the cry, and I heard it right here on Metafilter. "He needs to use the bully pulpit!" "Remember FDR and Johnson?" Never mind that both FDR and Lyndon Johnson had Congressional majorities! That's how they were able to exercise their leaderly leadership!

I wish the general public could see what many of us more informed types can, and either vote in a majority Democratic Congress or at least not blame the President for not acting like a benevolent dictator, but that's going to be a slog. That's why we need a better civics education and for longer (as in brush-up courses for adults, I think!).
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:13 PM on August 1 [17 favorites]


> If you aren't going to do real policy that saves capitalism from itself by making it work for everyone as well as possible

the problem with trying to make capitalism that works for everyone is that an economy that works for everyone breaks capitalism. for capitalism to be capitalism (rather than some kind of socialism-with-market-components) you have to generate enough misery to suppress wages and increase profitability. you can generate the misery locally (define a particular group as outcaste and hyperexploit them), you can generate the misery globally (establish imperial outposts, make life suck there), but by hook or by crook you have to manufacture misery or the whole thing comes tumbling down.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 4:24 PM on August 1 [8 favorites]


The DNC could put on debates themselves, steam it online, and invite all the networks to cover and submit moderators.

And don't for a second consider structuring it for TV slots and ad breaks. I want debates that go on for hours and into detailed tangents, with candidates getting tired and exasperated. Talk about this stuff like real people, not PR machines.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:30 PM on August 1 [10 favorites]


"Why doesn't Obama lead?" was the cry, and I heard it right here on Metafilter. "He needs to use the bully pulpit!" "Remember FDR and Johnson?" Never mind that both FDR and Lyndon Johnson had Congressional majorities! That's how they were able to exercise their leaderly leadership!

Yes, this is all true. You need seats to do things. But it's also true Obama built the biggest organizational infrastructure in history to win in 2008...only to immediately abandon it forever and leave every other down ballot Democrat to fend for themselves for the next 8 years. Obama For America was mobilizing voters, especially younger ones, directly, much like Trump 2016, 9 years earlier, then stopped caring once he was in office. He could've just...kept that up and turned it to helping build the Democratic movement to implement the change he ran on. And didn't.

The Obama hagiography today has been really overwhelming. He might still have a 90%+ approval rating, but clearly he didn't do everything perfectly or 2010, 2014 and 2016 wouldn't have happened like they all did, and riding his non-existent coattails has never been a proven strategy apart from 2008, so why should we think it would be when he's not even in office or even still a participant in American politics.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:32 PM on August 1 [26 favorites]


I want debates that go on for hours and into detailed tangents, with candidates getting tired and exasperated.

Gladhands on a Hard Body
posted by cortex at 5:01 PM on August 1 [13 favorites]


If we tie this point about Obama not promoting coattails (which I half-agree with and half don't) back to the original point about getting the public to understand how the president can't do it all... then it seems perhaps a presidential candidate should say "If you vote for me, I will work to increase the number of people voting for my party as a whole, because I can't do it alone". Which isn't a bad message! It's just interesting how self-referential that gets.

That's why we need a better civics education and for longer (as in brush-up courses for adults, I think!).

This isn't wrong, but another problem is that civics alone isn't quite enough. It almost seems like the country is divided between people with low civics awareness (who support generic populism while grumbling about how "politicians" are all the same and a lone hero should fix everything) and high civics awareness (who trust the system with its "checks and balances" and genuinely expect Congress to solve problems by working together). Both types are spread among both parties, albeit with the former currently skewed somewhat red and the latter blue. So what the public is less primed for is grasping asymmetric polarization. It needs to become more normal to recognize a party as "good" (or at least miles better) without that making you naive, and another party as "bad" (or really, downright horrific) without that making you narrow-minded.

It's tempting to say that, per that asymmetry itself, Republicans do allow themselves to believe this and Democrats don't, but I don't think that's quite the case. It's more that the Republican party line is to revel in low-civics bad faith as a virtue ("You think we're so innocent?"), and just assert that the other guys are vastly worse (or equally bad/hurtful, but against the "wrong" people). You don't hear a lot about Republicans deserving your vote because of the positive values they represent; it's all fear and anger, all the time. Whereas the Democrats are torn between two subgroups: people recognizing this general reality, and the high-civics-oriented "They are only somewhat worse, there's no huge gulf (both sides are trying their best, or both sides suck, etc)" and/or "No matter how bad things get, we can't defect from some degree of cooperation, because no alternative is even conceivable".
posted by InTheYear2017 at 5:20 PM on August 1 [3 favorites]




The whole coattails thing also would've been helped if the entire party hadn't bought James OKeefe hook, line, and sinker, and willingly destroyed its most effective voter registration affiliate for no reason. The work ACORN used to do has never been replaced.
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:53 PM on August 1 [28 favorites]


I'm gonna need someone more credible than Tulsi to keep calling out Kamala's awful record.
posted by BeginAgain at 5:57 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


The presidential debates wasted too much time talking about stuff only Congress can do

See also: Why which Democrat wins the White House is so much less important than any Democrat winning the White House.
posted by Justinian at 6:01 PM on August 1 [5 favorites]


The work ACORN used to do has never been replaced.

I reckon ACORN could have registered 80,000 voters in the Midwest.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:12 PM on August 1 [10 favorites]


If the Democrats don't win the Senate, there's not much a president can do. But if the Democrats do win the Senate, I want a president who will at least try vociferously and vividly every day to browbeat the centrist Democrat senators into ditching the filibuster and passing a pile of bills with bare majorities. I don't know what if anything would work, but I want to see primary threats, barn-burner speeches, blacklisting, committee freeze-outs, pressure on lobbyists and corporations never to hire these folks after they retire, efforts to ruin their public legacies, horse-heads in beds, etc, etc. Perhaps none of this would work on a Lieberman, who knows; but I want someone who will at least try, not shrug their shoulders and say Oh well, that's democracy, what are you going to do, let's at least try to get some $1 billion legislation passed. In 2021 there will be absolutely no disadvantage to pillorying Manchin, Jones, Donnelly, Nelson, etc, if they stand in the way, up to risking or ruining their chances for re-election. That doesn't mean that without the filibuster a president will be able to pass anything she wants -- those feckless Dem votes will still be necessary -- but to get even that far will require enormous public pressure plus a president who will really go all-out in all the ways itemized above, regardless of whether the ridiculously over-confident pundits tut that none of that stuff ever works. Even though the finer points of M4A variants have almost no direct effect on what can actually be passed, the extremity of the positions the candidates take now is a good measure of how strenuously they are likely to attack the feckless centrists in their efforts to bully them into abandoning the filibuster and passing real legislation. Whether or not it works, I want someone who will vociferously and publicly try, and I think their positions on idealistic legislation are a decent measure of how hard they will pursue that and thus how likely they are to pass anything substantial at all.
posted by chortly at 7:02 PM on August 1 [15 favorites]


One problem with that is that it wouldn't be enough to get those Senators to ditch the filibuster; they'd have to support the bills too. You bring up Lieberman which is a good example. Even if you knock the requirement for legislation down to 50+1 you can't pass something like M4A because you would never get 50 votes for it. You likely can't get 40 votes for it. Ditto with some of the other big promises from some of the candidates.

We'll be very, very, very lucky if they can even manage to pass something shoring up Obamacare. Biden's plan, for example, isn't the best plan for America in the long run but it's probably the only one of the major candidate's plans that has a shot in hell of becoming law in any way.
posted by Justinian at 7:41 PM on August 1 [3 favorites]


But it's also true Obama built the biggest organizational infrastructure in history to win in 2008...only to immediately abandon it forever and leave every other down ballot Democrat to fend for themselves for the next 8 years.

Ugh yeah that was hard to watch. There were a few house parties early, and then ???. What series of decisions led Obama et al to just let it fizzle away?
posted by notyou at 8:01 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


Oh, by the way...David Brooks endorses Marianne Williamson.

Because of course the only Democrat he can support is the one that has no actual policy substance, and who enjoys an approximately zero percent chance of being the actual nominee.
posted by darkstar at 8:07 PM on August 1 [16 favorites]


I'm getting the feeling this Brooks fellow might not actually be very interested in the Democrats fielding a competitive nominee.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:26 PM on August 1 [25 favorites]


the root likes andrew yang.

america might be ready for real talk about automation and jobs i guess? i'd like it better if that real talk came from like inslee or someone else who's not a tool, but.

god though. yang really is totally equivalent to williamson. both candidates have a signature issue that's genuinely super important and that we absolutely positively can't not talk about, but that everyone mainstream has been pointedly ignoring. but also, they're both total nutbars on literally everything else.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:26 PM on August 1 [15 favorites]


One problem with that is that it wouldn't be enough to get those Senators to ditch the filibuster; they'd have to support the bills too. You bring up Lieberman which is a good example. Even if you knock the requirement for legislation down to 50+1 you can't pass something like M4A because you would never get 50 votes for it... Biden's plan, for example, isn't the best plan for America in the long run but it's probably the only one of the major candidate's plans that has a shot in hell of becoming law in any way.

I agree that Biden's plan has one of the best chances of actually becoming law, but Biden's plan only has a non-zero chance if the filibuster is eliminated and a huge amount of public and presidential pressure is brought to bear on the centrist Democratic senators. And Biden's not going to do that. So my logic is that one of the firebrands has a better shot at passing Biden's bill than Biden himself does.
posted by chortly at 9:11 PM on August 1 [6 favorites]


The worst part about Yang for me is that I actually agree with him that (in fiscal policy terms) UBI needs to come first or nearly so. Not because it's more important than climate change or any of the other issues, but because financial security will make people less resistant to many of the necessary changes that may have a temporary impact on their job prospects.

Between monopoly rents, sky high health care, and the enormous amount of completely useless waste (as opposed to the jobs program waste) in the Pentagon, we're paying more than enough already, but getting from here to there is going to be disruptive because we've locked ourselves into disruption from climate change already. The best that can be done is to make the coming transition less difficult than barreling headlong into the wall at full speed as we are currently on track for.

Even if, by some miracle, we manage to keep more places above water than currently appears possible there will be massive disruption simply due to the scale of the problem. That scale also means lots of work in the short term, but reorienting an economy always makes real trouble for at least some people while they adjust and people/families just don't have the resilience they once did thanks to being beaten down and having their resources drained away for the past 40 years.
posted by wierdo at 9:13 PM on August 1 [4 favorites]


the problem is i can't see any of the other candidates offering yangbux,1 not even mom and dad warren and sanders, but i absolutely cannot abide yang. the only candidates worse than yang are biden, gabbard, and the indistinguishable pile of mediocre white men that i guess i'm gonna call hickendelaneblasibenneryanlock.2

1: whoever actually gets the ubi through is gonna have to put up with people calling the payments yangbux. the aca is obamacare, the ubi is yangbux, that's not going to change, everyone get over it.
2: congratulations beto you have just barely kept yourself from being pushed into the mediocre white man blob. please stop running for president tho or i'm gonna have to put you in the blob. i'll do it. you're basically asking for blobbification every day you stay in the race.

posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:25 PM on August 1 [11 favorites]


Beto must know he isn't going to win the nomination so I think he may be running for VP. Texas is sooooo close to being in play.
posted by Justinian at 9:29 PM on August 1 [6 favorites]


Eh, Yang is like; uh; the Dem version of Perot. Way too much reality, numbers, and doomsday to be electable. Very scary.
posted by buzzman at 9:36 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


I was going to say the thing that chortly said but then they said it first.

We are not going to be able to adequately address any of the crises from climate change to corruption to wealth disparity to healthcare to *all the other things* if the filibuster isn't smashed on the first day that 50+1 democratic votes exist in the Senate.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:38 PM on August 1 [9 favorites]


> Texas is sooooo close to being in play.

... cornyn's senate seat, maybe...
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:41 PM on August 1 [4 favorites]


Several House seats, yes. Possibly the TX House. Statewide for pres, probably not.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:50 PM on August 1 [6 favorites]


TX doesn't have anyone aiming for Cornyn's seat. (sure, there's a candidate? I guess?) This is, IMO, an unforgivable failure on the Dems. Why Beto isn't here killing it is an enormous failure on his part. There are still yard signs for him here. Stickers on cars. Maybe people keep them as some badge of honor.
It's great that Beto went to Flint and met some friends of mine. Getting out of TX is good for him. But, goddamn dude. Get back here and make it stick. Make it work. That he's not here, and bringing others up with him, is an enormous failure.
posted by rp at 11:05 PM on August 1 [21 favorites]


Statewide for pres, probably not.

I do think it's a couple cycles before it happens but Chris Hayes says on Twitter that a senior TX GOPer has told him the Presidential race is a toss-up this cycle and he doesn't think the guy is BSing. Wasserman says the same thing as you, that this may be true in terms of House seats but statewide not yet... and Chris Hayes replies that both anecdotally and based on his reporting there is genuine freakout occurring in TX statewide.

Like I said I have to believe we're still a couple cycles short of flipping the state but Hayes seems confident in his sources that the GOP, at least, is quite concerned both for House seats and statewide.

p.s. admit it you're dave wasserman
posted by Justinian at 12:43 AM on August 2 [6 favorites]


I'm gonna need someone more credible than Tulsi to keep calling out Kamala's awful record.

I just saw this because YouTube recommended it, and then I went on reddit to see people's differing responses.

The thing is, it doesn't matter if Tulsi's accusations were true or not. The key is to watch Kamala's response, and Kamala's response was to belittle people for not being in her position as Attorney General. This is a typical ideological reaction of "If you were in my position (of authority/power), you wouldn't be making such complaints". In other words, empathize with me! My powerful job was hard! Critics are just backseat drivers!

I think any leader who's mindspace is there, is kind of fucked up.
posted by polymodus at 12:49 AM on August 2 [7 favorites]


What makes anyone think that Mitch and Senate Republicans would ever let Yang’s plan become reality, at least without various poison pills that aren’t worth $1K a month? (Social Security “reform” for Gen X and younger comes to mind.)

It’s not as though Yang gets elected and suddenly the checks start arriving. It’s his one big thing, so the GOP will do whatever it can to prevent him from accomplishing it. More likely the program never materializes and a Yang administration doesn’t have much to do after that but attend its own TED talks while it waits to be turned out of office by the next nativist.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:08 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


And while Beto might consider a VP or cabinet role I think as much as anything else he’s just trying to solidify himself as permanently prominent politician on the national level, in a generational way.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:19 AM on August 2


Several House seats, yes. Possibly the TX House. Statewide for pres, probably not.

Probably not is probably right, but making Rs spend tens of millions to defend Texas is huge regardless.
posted by chris24 at 3:39 AM on August 2 [11 favorites]


I found it morbidly humorous that Yang's advice on climate change for higher ground actually echoed Obama's advice to his staff on how to weather a Trump era. According to Ben Rhodes.
posted by Harry Caul at 4:17 AM on August 2


On the issue of Medicare-for-all and health insurance plans that was being discussed above, the Washington Post has an editorial arguing that "proposals should meet a baseline degree of factual plausibility — a bar that, for example, the Medicare-for-all plan that Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren favor does not clear" — and here’s a twitter thread* by Heide N. Moore taking it down bit by bit because "It's important not to boost bad work but this is an editorial in one of the nation's most significant newspapers, with ample reach into government, so it's not only worth pushing back, it's necessary. Even editorials have to meet a standard of factual argumentation and rigor."

*[sorry but apparently twitter threads by people doing much-needed media criticism are more interesting and accurate than editorials lately - this one is the same author of this other much-cited thread about the failures of journalism on the Mueller report]
posted by bitteschoen at 6:12 AM on August 2 [11 favorites]


sorry but apparently twitter threads by people doing much-needed media criticism are more interesting and accurate than editorials lately

That's because it's really expensive to print editorials and people with $$$$$ have different interests than the rest of us! God bless Twitter :)
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:56 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


Eh, Yang is like; uh; the Dem version of Perot. Way too much reality, numbers, and doomsday to be electable. Very scary.

Yang's campaign site should just me one big whyareyoubooingmeimright.jpg.

On the issue of Medicare-for-all and health insurance plans that was being discussed above, the Washington Post has an editorial arguing that "proposals should meet a baseline degree of factual plausibility — a bar that, for example, the Medicare-for-all plan that Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren favor does not clear"

This really does make my blood boil. I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. This is a solved problem. It is successfully implemented nearly everywhere in the developed world. Realistic plans for funding it are proposed, many more are being considered, and more still are completely self-evident. Real, actionable answers are being yelled every single day and yet the pundits and the neolibs plug their ears, pretending not to hear.

By the way, I've said it before and I'll say it again; Creepy Uncle Joe's plan for healthcare reform will be to make medical debt undischargable in bankruptcy. I am not joking.
posted by FakeFreyja at 7:00 AM on August 2 [26 favorites]


The problem I have with giving everyone $12,000 per year is rents will go up $12,000 per year.

Note that this is also an argument against raising the minimum wage. The minimum wage increase has a knock-on effect of raising rents across the board, so by this standard raising the minimum wage to $15.00 will increase rents. At the least any landlord who knows their tennents are low income will massively raise their rents.

I look forward to the follow-up arguments for lowering the minimum wage. To $3.00/hr perhaps.
posted by happyroach at 7:05 AM on August 2


proposals should meet a baseline degree of factual plausibility

Cool! Now do tax cuts and trickle down.
posted by chris24 at 7:07 AM on August 2 [16 favorites]


What makes anyone think that Mitch and Senate Republicans would ever let Yang’s plan become reality,

That argument could be applied to 98% of what any of the Democratic candidates are proposing - at least, of proposals that require legislative action. I think there are reasons to be critical of Yang's proposal, but that's not one of them. That way lies nihilism. ("Mitch & Co. won't let anything proposed by any of these candidates pass, so why even bother?")
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:12 AM on August 2 [4 favorites]


We've seen that public sentiment can change dramatically based on a politician's merely stating their case. Sometimes someone like AOC merely has to mention taxing rich people reasonably for the country to see there is actually massive support for a policy position everyone thought would be political poison. I would hate to think we do not have universal healthcare because no one wanted to put forward the argument.

Make the case, convince the people, move sentiment as far as you can and then take what you can get. If Obama had not argued that universal healthcare was a right, would we have even gotten Obamacare, a program Obama himself said he hoped would just be a start leading to a more robust universal healthcare system in the distant future?

I'm not sure how the future president will address things like global warming or healthcare with a Republican Senate. I expect they will have to seriously argue that we are war with nature and claim wartime powers. They will have to do what Trump is doing and put the power of the military solely behind transforming our infrastructure. If they want to save the planet, they may have to do things that will make Trump's authoritarian actions look small by comparison. These are scary times.
posted by xammerboy at 7:37 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


That argument could be applied to 98% of what any of the Democratic candidates are proposing - at least, of proposals that require legislative action. I think there are reasons to be critical of Yang's proposal, but that's not one of them. That way lies nihilism. ("Mitch & Co. won't let anything proposed by any of these candidates pass, so why even bother?")

I think it goes beyond nihilism; if you're basing your primary vote on what Republicans will pass, you are in fact actively electing a Republican.
posted by FakeFreyja at 7:50 AM on August 2 [22 favorites]




Those maps are excellent, and the individual breakdown maps at the end reinforce that certain candidates should really focus on politics at the scale of their heatmap. (eg, Klobuchar, O'Rourke, and Butigeig should stick to being a state rep or senator, Tim Ryan may want to consider local politics, etc)
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 8:24 AM on August 2 [5 favorites]


Bernie, Warren and Biden are the only ones with any real national reach.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:32 AM on August 2 [5 favorites]


Note that this is also an argument against raising the minimum wage. The minimum wage increase has a knock-on effect of raising rents across the board, so by this standard raising the minimum wage to $15.00 will increase rents. At the least any landlord who knows their tennents are low income will massively raise their rents.

Good point, for similar reasons. Did you see the next sentence where I advocated for rent control?
posted by M-x shell at 8:38 AM on August 2


Just to be clear, I am FOR universal basic income and raising the minimum wage. I just want to help the poor keep that money instead of having it flow right into the wrong pockets.
posted by M-x shell at 8:41 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


Also, If someone is interested in doing a Gabbard FPP I for one would like to see it. I see a lot of people on this site saying she's an RT/Putin shill and would appreciate a rundown of the evidence.

I have a whole FILE of Gabbard links and would be happy to turn them into an FPP. I'll send Doktor Zed a MeFi mail about a collaboration. But the elevator speech version I have developed goes like this:

She interviewed for a position in Trump's cabinet. She was endorsed by Steve Bannon, Richard Spencer, and David Duke. Now she is being promoted by Russian media. She is anti-refugee and pro-dictator. She called for bombing Syria and endorsed torture...

She is not an anti-Trump candidate. She is Trump, re-packaged to appeal to Democrats. It seems clear to me that Putin feels like his best strategy is to have BOTH major party nominees be his puppets. Failing that, I do believe the plan is for Gabbard to run as a Jill Stein-style spoiler.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:55 AM on August 2 [41 favorites]




I wish there would be some discussion of fully funding the public sector before talking about UBI.

Public health and social services are underfunded just about everywhere in this country. And there are plenty of cities and towns that could use more maintenance workers on the streets and in the parks, more teachers in the classroom, more firefighters and EMTs ready to respond, more cops on the beat, more people looking after seniors and little kids in day care, and so on.

I'm not opposed to UBI as a concept, but there is plenty of useful work that still needs doing, but isn't getting done now because no one's willing/able to pay for it. So if the government is going to greatly expand payments to individuals, maybe some of that undone work could be a priority?
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 9:02 AM on August 2 [6 favorites]


So far, all the Gabbard supporters I know personally (only a handful) do share one trait: They're all people who see themselves as being much smarter/savvier than all the rest of us dopes, but who in fact are not.

Make of that what you will.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 9:06 AM on August 2 [11 favorites]


I mean Yang’s proposal isn’t even a UBI, it’s a meager supplement.

As always I say a UBI is a good after ...after we’ve done all the other public sector funding and social support services. A labor movement that can push a UBI into existence is one that can do a hell of a lot more first.
posted by The Whelk at 9:07 AM on August 2 [9 favorites]


But the elevator speech version I have developed goes like this:

Which is all horrible enough, but doesn't even get into her vileness towards LGBTQ folks.

Oh, and just this week after the debate, she again refused to condemn Assad.
posted by chris24 at 9:23 AM on August 2 [19 favorites]


So far, all the Gabbard supporters I know personally (only a handful) do share one trait: They're all people who see themselves as being much smarter/savvier than all the rest of us dopes, but who in fact are not.

Gabbard/Dunning-Kruger 2020.
posted by chortly at 10:06 AM on August 2 [8 favorites]


Where 2020 candidates have the most donors (NYT)

Also including an "excluding Sanders donors" map to make it look a little busier
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:08 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


I saw someone at a DSA event in a Tulsi shirt and I was so shocked I couldn't even form a coherent sentence. I guess there are trolls in real life too but I just never encountered one before?
posted by last_fall at 10:25 AM on August 2 [1 favorite]


I mean Yang’s proposal isn’t even a UBI, it’s a meager supplement.

Supplemental Security Income for 2019 is $750 for an eligible individual, $1,125 for an eligible individual with an eligible spouse. The federal poverty line is $12,060 for an individual and $16,240 for a couple. Yang's $12,000 amounts to a slightly more generous version of SSI for everyone, and he apparently expects that to pay for people to move entire cities away from the coast to escape climate change. I mean, would 12k/yr be a nice supplement and provide some basic insurance against homelessness, sure, but that's all it is.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:27 AM on August 2 [3 favorites]


$12,000 a year is basically $6 an hour. I assume it would be tax-free but that's still less than minimum wage and basically useless to live on.
posted by octothorpe at 10:34 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]


From that Gabbard article chris24 linked to:
Still, it’s worth taking a closer look at Gabbard’s positions on LGBTQ rights, an issue she claims she has evolved on in quite an extraordinary way. In the 2020 election, every candidate’s record on LGBTQ rights will be critical — and that includes both statements in their past and how they’re presenting themselves in the media right now.

For two years, we’ve lived under a president who has brutally assaulted LGBTQ rights at every opportunity, after having seduced a complacent media into thinking that he’d evolved too and that he was actually “more accepting on gay issues,” as The New York Times infamously put it. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that we can’t trust media narratives on the civil rights views of candidates — narratives often fed to reporters by the candidates themselves.

Gabbard was an ardent foe of equality for queer people in her younger years, working for two anti-LGBTQ organizations in the late ’90s that were led by her father. Mike Gabbard, a Hawaii legislator who helped drive the fight against marriage equality in the state, headed up the Alliance for Traditional Marriage and Stop Promoting Homosexuality, which promoted harmful conversion therapy.

The younger Gabbard, elected to the Hawaii legislature herself in 2002 at the age of 21, railed against “homosexual extremists” in 2004, coming out against same-sex civil unions in her state. That same year she opposed anti-bullying legislation meant to protect gay students, arguing that it would teach young people that homosexuality is “normal and natural.”
But now that she’s running for President, she’s “evolved”? Yeah, no. Bye, Felicia!
posted by darkstar at 10:37 AM on August 2 [21 favorites]


That map of donors is amazing, especially as you zoom in to the city level. If you know the geo-demographics of Atlanta, NYC, Boston, or DC (the ones I know) it's a really interesting map of the cross-currents of class, race, education and ideology; just figuring out the recipe for which X + Y + Z = Harris is a fun puzzle. Irrespective of its practical implications, it's a really illuminating bit of sociology of the intra-left. But I wish they would present a population-adjusted cartogram version too, so that the rural biases of the flat map weren't quite so forceful.
posted by chortly at 10:40 AM on August 2 [4 favorites]


That map of donors is amazing, especially as you zoom in to the city level.

I would be cautious about delving too far in the weeds of a map like this because there are looser reporting requirements for small dollar donations that supposedly contribute the bulk of Sanders and some other candidates’ war chests, and the article notes they had to use estimation to develop the map, but provides no methodology for how that was done.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 11:32 AM on August 2


Morning Consult has a post debate poll of the 2020 primary.

tl;dr - no significant changes. The only change of any sort is Biden up 1, Warren up 2, and Harris down 3 points and that could be statistical noise. If you thought that debate was gonna destroy Biden / surge someone else into the lead you probably need to recalibrate your spidey sense.
posted by Justinian at 11:35 AM on August 2 [4 favorites]


Thanks for that map, Chortly! Looking at the "Sanders removed" map, I am not surprised to see that the Bay Area, where I live, is Harris and Warren country. Harris and Warren jostle for first place, with Harris dominating in most cities but Warren on top in Berkeley, Oakland, and...West Marin. Pete Buttigieg comes in third most places, but there are pockets of San Francisco and the South Bay where he's first. There are also pockets of Andrew Yang donors in, surprise surprise! Silicon Valley.

Even in maps where Bernie dominates, Kamala Harris comes in first in some of the Bay Area. She is really well-liked here. (Contrary to popular stereotype, the Bay Area is full of liberals, but not tons of far-left hippies. Dianne Feinstein crushed Kevin De Leon in the Bay Area, including Barbara Lee's Oakland district.)

Not exactly a shock to see lower-ranking candidates still have a lot of donors in their home states - like Klobuchar in Minnesota or Inslee in Washington.

And it pisses me off no end to see someone like Tulsi Gabbard get more donors and poll higher than Kirsten Gillibrand, who is so far her superior in every possible way. But: Tulsi is a Cool Girl, Kirsten is a Meanie Feminist, and, unfortunately, life isn't fair.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 12:11 PM on August 2 [10 favorites]


In total, the Dems have raised $209M. I would imagine that splitting that much money between candidates will make it harder for the eventual candidate to raise money in the actual election. Many people give to one candidate a year, and then they are done. Obama's campaign spent $750M, Hilary's spent $768M to Trumps $398M. I imagine that any eventual Dem candidate will have to do more than that to be competitive this year, Probably in the $850M+ range, not including DNC money and PAC money, which will bring the entire cost of the Dem candidates campaign to $1.4B or so. The sooner the field clears, the sooner the presumptive nominee can start the donation roadshow. Trump is already campaigning. The good news is that as of last month Trump had only raised $26M, but with free Fox News coverage, they will need to outspend him close to 2/1 just to stay in the race. And, lets not forget, Trump put $50M of his own cash in last time, so is likely to do so again. So, if you want an argument for all the oh so boring white guys to drop out, this is it. The longer you are in, the harder it will be for Warren or Sanders or Biden to beat trump. That goes double for Beto, who appears great at raising money, not so great at the actual campaigning.
posted by Manic Pixie Hollow at 12:21 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


And it pisses me off no end to see someone like Tulsi Gabbard get more donors and poll higher than Kirsten Gillibrand, who is so far her superior in every possible way. But: Tulsi is a Cool Girl, Kirsten is a Meanie Feminist, and, unfortunately, life isn't fair.

Speaking of Gabbard, her campaign spokesman Cullen Tiernan told the rightwing Washington Examiner that she surpassed 130,000 donors on Friday. She now needs three more qualifying polls to attend next month's Dem primary debates.

Also, over on the MeFi Wiki, there's draft of an FPP that's in the preliminary stages (it's just a ton of links at the moment) if anyone's interested in contributing/collaborating.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:45 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


I know that donor activity does not equal voter activity does not equal polling - but it seems really interesting to me that the places that have the most individual contributions for Biden are in the southeast and greater DC. If you look at the competitive states beyond PA and OH, he's hardly someone that individuals are contributing to.

I also think it's worth noting that if you look at polling data instead - at this time in 2007, Hillary Clinton was polling at nearly twice the numbers of Obama, and in 2015 near TRIPLE the numbers of Sanders. While she ultimately won the latter, it was by a very tight margin.

I wish I had the same sort of individual donations map for those time periods, but I cannot find any data there.

I'm not sure what to make on all of this, and I know I am not a statistical genius by any measure, but it seems like from a polling perspective, both Warren and Sanders are on par with where Obama was in 2007 at this time, and are doing better than Sanders was this time of year in 2015 - so they are most definitely still competitive and could very well end up just rising, and this seems to be reinforced by the individual voter interest in both as measured by donations.

In both the 2008 and 2016 Democratic primaries, the polling leading up to it had much more clear trend lines. The lines are a bit more unstable this cycle than they were in 2008 and 2016, there's no clear trend outside of Warren, who has slowly but rather stably been trending upwards. There's also a surprisingly direct correlation between falling polls for Harris and rising polls for Biden, as if people "converted" to him.

One thing worth noting that's particularly relevant to this thread, looking at polling data - In 2015, there was no measurable change in polling post the debates. 2007 didn't have a marked change post debates either. It's pretty easy to conclude that it's very unlikely for a debate to immediately affect polling, and that the debates will produce recurring talking points and sound bites (and ads) that will be heard over the next few months as part of a sustained campaign.

I think it's also incredibly foolish to look at this very point in time as something that will be reflective of what things will look like in a few months, especially in isolation and not as a trend -what polling looks like RIGHT NOW AT THIS INSTANT. I see no reason to put much weight into anything not an obvious trend line, and there just aren't enough of those that are clear that I can see.

To me, the really interesting things from the polling so far is the consistent rise in Warrens popularity - She is the only candidate with a stable and consistent slope upwards, even if it is a somewhat gentle slope. Sanders and Biden are both incredibly erratic, as is Harris.

This seems more interesting when you look at polling together with the individual contributions that Warren and Sanders both have across the nation. Sanders still has the last election to bring his name and ideas out there as well as a bunch of historical donors, Warren is coming into this still well known, but without the established donor network, and they are both killing it across the nation.

As I said, I don't know what to make out of any of this, and I doubt that anyone has the sort of clairvoyance to make definitive statements outside of "It's definitely not going to be DeBlasio" - but there's also nothing indicating that things are going objectively great for Biden or objectively worse for Warren/Sanders when you look at the polling trends and compare to prior elections, and the individual contributions taken with that just makes it all the more interesting. I wish I could overlay all of these with historical electoral college maps.
posted by MysticMCJ at 12:52 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


While she ultimately won the latter, it was by a very tight margin.

Not trying and definitely don’t want to relitigate 2016, but in the interest of accuracy when using 2016 to inform our current primary situation, it wasn't a very tight margin. Clinton won 55% of the votes to Bernie’s 43%. In comparison, Obama and Clinton got essentially the same number of votes in 2008.
posted by chris24 at 1:09 PM on August 2 [7 favorites]


Also note that at this point in the primary Clinton was polling around 58%. She ended up with, as you say, 55%. Sanders gained a lot of support moving closer to the actual voting but she didn't lose much if any.

In terms of this years primary what that says is that it isn't enough for other candidates to gain support, they must somehow take it away from Biden. Which was something Sanders had trouble doing against Clinton in 2016, and whatever you might think from reading twitter Biden is no Clinton in terms of the (unfair, misogynistic) visceral hatred she inspired in many folks on both the right and left.

Ok, one could argue that since Biden is polling a bunch under 50% you could consolidate the non-Biden vote behind one candidate (probably Warren) and win without cannibalizing his support. But that ignores the fact that polling shows that he, not Warren, is the second choice of most people. So even in that case you need to knock down his second-place support and throw it Warren's way.

Certainly either Warren or Sanders needs to drop out for any of these scenarios to have a chance (and I think it both more likely that Sanders would need to do so, and less likely that he actually does.)
posted by Justinian at 1:14 PM on August 2 [6 favorites]


> Certainly either Warren or Sanders needs to drop out for any of these scenarios to have a chance (and I think it both more likely that Sanders would need to do so, and less likely that he actually does.)

Agreed, this is absolutely my take away every time I look at things - I had typed and deleted several less diplomatic ways of stating the latter part of what you said there.
posted by MysticMCJ at 1:20 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


Yeah, there's really only three lanes:

1) "Safe" - Biden

2) Progressive - Warren and Sanders

3) Moderate - Harris, Pete, Booker, etc.

Obviously Biden is also moderate/centrist but he's also an old straight white guy who lots of people support because combined with the Obama connection it makes them think he's the safest bet to beat Trump regardless of how their heart feels. If his doddering and campaigning changes the safe part, then it goes to two lanes.

The progressives need to consolidate but I never see Bernie doing that. And the moderates and progressives need to destroy the "safe bet" feeling for Biden.
posted by chris24 at 1:29 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


would imagine that splitting that much money between candidates will make it harder for the eventual candidate to raise money in the actual election.

Swing Left has a Unify or Die fund raising money for whomever gets the nomination, for this reason.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:40 PM on August 2 [7 favorites]


they must somehow take it away from Biden.
Just waiting for him to take it away from himself will work. He's the most losin-est candidate running. He's already bowed out twice before the New Hampshire primary in his lifetime.
posted by Harry Caul at 2:21 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


That sounds like the same kind of thinking that predicted Biden's debate performance would immediately explode his campaign. Waiting for him to tank himself is a good way to ensure his nomination, imo.
posted by Justinian at 2:26 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


Can we step away from Yang's UBI plan for a minute to talk about his fucking terrifying opioid policy ideas? Nothing says "I have never met a person who uses drugs and I know fuck-all about how current systems work" like mandatory 72-hour holds for anyone who overdoses. Here in my opioid-ravaged city, people who legitimately want to go to treatment wait for upwards of 72 hours to get access to inpatient beds because the scale of the problem vastly outstrips our resources. Flooding the system with people who are forced to be there stretches those limited resources even further and doesn't even work. It's pure aggro posturing and getting off on punishing people in vulnerable positions. He also supports non-evidence based stringent restrictions on providers. "Doctors need to tell more patients that they’ll feel better on their own without having to take opiates." Exact quote from his site. Say what you will about how doctors did or didn't facilitate the current opioid crisis, but if if were a doc I'd be furious about this kind of condescending, over-simplified, image of what I must be doing. Also, supply-side approaches to stemming drug use work about as well as mandated treatment.

Elizabeth Warren, as you might imagine, has a much more comprehensive and less punitive plan.
posted by I am a Sock, I am an Island at 2:29 PM on August 2 [27 favorites]


Wow. I went in expecting a decent plan from Warren, but that way exceeded my expectations. To have someone proposing to include allocating serious long term funding for harm reduction and social determinants of health is...remarkable and absolutely the right decision. She continues to make me remember that feeling of...what’s the word? Hmm. Oh right - optimism.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:08 PM on August 2 [10 favorites]


I have a sneaking suspicion/hope that Bernie Sanders has realized his time has passed and has worked out some kind of deal with Elizabeth Warren, hence their hands-off approach to each other in the second debate. He has a low ceiling and a high floor, and she's the best candidate to make progress on the things that are important to him.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:15 PM on August 2 [7 favorites]


Note that the Iowa Caucus is 6 months from tomorrow! So things are only going to accelerate from here. Time for the the 0%ers to go do something productive with their time.
posted by Justinian at 3:23 PM on August 2


*taking signatures for the Popular Anti-Biden Front*
posted by The Whelk at 3:27 PM on August 2 [5 favorites]


I have a sneaking suspicion/hope that Bernie Sanders has realized his time has passed and has worked out some kind of deal with Elizabeth Warren,

I have been thinking this since the debate and I’m glad it isn’t just in my head. Today he responded to Liz Cheney’s critique of Warren’s nuclear weapon answer. Trying to say this without bringing my 2016 baggage with me, but this time around his approach to all the other candidates (even beyond Warren) feels generous more than competitive.
posted by sallybrown at 3:28 PM on August 2 [4 favorites]


In the first interview I saw with Sanders in 2016 he was asked if he would feel he had succeeded if he changed the conversation. His answer was emphatically no. Bernie said what people didn't get about him was that he was in the race to win, and wasn't giving up ever.

Very few candidates run thinking they have no shot. In order to run you need to believe you are going to win, no matter how delusional that belief is. A lot of candidates won't even let themselves write concession speeches or even consider the possibility they could lose. It's too detrimental to their mental energy and stamina.

The only candidate I've ever seen do this, the exception to prove all rules, is Trump. He talked with Conway about how it wouldn't be so bad if he lost, and she apparently threw a fit as his campaign manager. I don't think you can count, generally, on any of these candidates running as some secret strategy to become vice-president. They're all in it to win it.
posted by xammerboy at 4:00 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


I have bad news for everyone. After listening to eighty million white dudes (plus some actual contenders) exchange posturing platitudes about healthcare, I decided to look at the actual details from their websites because I'm the Mythical Nerd Citizen that we pretend is a normal thing.

Turns out Elizabeth Warren has *no plan for that* listed on her site.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still on Team Liz, but it's weird that this particular, hugely-discussed issue gets crickets from her online presence. :(
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:35 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


Not coming out with her own plan is very politically savvy. We saw every actual plan get savaged in the debates. As someone I read said on twitter... the candidates this year are learning what Republicans learned slowly and painfully; it's a lot easier to criticize a detailed plan than it is to come up with one of your own.

Not particularly brave or necessarily showing a ton of leadership but, yeah, quite smart.
posted by Justinian at 4:39 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


I mean, I don't think she has every plan up on her campaign site. But the plan she has for the epidemic is more than a plan, it's an actual bill. And there's a lot about it on her Senate site, and she talks about it a lot, so...I dunno. I'm not bothered.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:40 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


Wait, I take that back. It is on her campaign site too. This section has the summary and a link to her plan here.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:42 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


Re the Warren vs. Yang opioid problem plan: This is why President is not an entry-level job. We don't need "an outsider" to come in and fix things any more than you or I need some random instead of a licensed electrician to wire our houses. Addiction is a public health issue, not a criminal one, and Warren's plan recognizes that.

(And here's a vent/pet peeve on Bay Area voters, speaking of entry-level candidates: not on Metafilter, but on a couple other political boards I've participated in, there have been remarks of "hur hur hur I bet teh wimminz in the Bay Area just can't wait to vote for Marianne Williamson!" As zooming in on the Bay Area on the NYT map shows, the rich-hippie types in Rockridge and San Anselmo just love Elizabeth Warren. Lots of us spiritual types still want a down-to-earth person in the White House - even fans of Williamson's books. Williamson is not even in the top five. Give us a little credit!)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 4:43 PM on August 2 [11 favorites]


I have a sneaking suspicion/hope that Bernie Sanders has realized his time has passed and has worked out some kind of deal with Elizabeth Warren

I so, so badly want this to be true, to see left solidarity triumph and Sanders/Warren to form a real bloc that manages to allocate its delegates to whichever candidate has the best shot at taking the nomination come convention time. I have a hard time imagining Bernie giving up the reins when he's still the one polling ahead of Warren nationally, but I'm not quite cynical enough to completely abandon hope that it could happen. She could send Trump packing, he could continue leading the mass movement he correctly identifies as being necessary if we're to have any hope of pushing through real change.
posted by contraption at 4:44 PM on August 2 [3 favorites]


Not coming out with her own plan is very politically savvy. We saw every actual plan get savaged in the debates. As someone I read said on twitter... the candidates this year are learning what Republicans learned slowly and painfully; it's a lot easier to criticize a detailed plan than it is to come up with one of your own.

Not particularly brave or necessarily showing a ton of leadership but, yeah, quite smart.


A casual scroll of her site shows that she is very much not following that strategy. She's got a plan for everything it seems, a detailed one, and is talking about them loudly and openly. And as mentioned before, her plan is the CARE act which is more than a plan but an actual bill.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:45 PM on August 2 [8 favorites]


The Whelk: *taking signatures for the Popular Anti-Biden Front*

the Popular Anti-Biden Front? the Popular Anti-Biden Front!?! Splitters! We're the the Anti-Biden Popular Front!

*Apologies to both Monty Python and The Whelk*
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:35 PM on August 2 [6 favorites]


I have a sneaking suspicion/hope that Bernie Sanders has realized his time has passed and has worked out some kind of deal with Elizabeth Warren

This feels like wishful thinking? I mean, not like QAnon-level wishful thinking. But I don't know if this sort of agreement has ever been a thing among presidential contenders, has it?

There are other possible rationales for going easier on each other. One way it could've happened is if they realized they're (counterintuitively) mostly not competing for the same voters. Sanders's voters' second choice is Biden (!), and vice versa; Warren's voters' second choice is Harris, and vice versa. If voters are convinced by a Warren attack to not like Sanders, they may be more likely to go to Biden, so that's not useful to Warren. The same logic applies to a potential Sanders attack on Warren.

They may also have foreseen that the Biden-Harris rematch would be rancorous (which, considering how the first round of debates went, would not be a stretch). A more congenial Warren-Sanders debate might make Biden and Harris look worse by comparison, and both Sanders and Warren win when that happens.

Neither of these requires them to coordinate with each other... just to, uh, think along exactly the same lines. Which I guess is also unlikely. Maybe they just like each other or something. I don't know.
posted by Jpfed at 6:19 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


Justinian: "p.s. admit it you're dave wasserman"

Fun fact: Wasserman was a dick to a reporter friend of mine, so I'm not a huge fan on a personal level.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:08 PM on August 2 [2 favorites]


That fact is not, in truth, fun.
posted by Justinian at 8:10 PM on August 2 [8 favorites]




There is no center.
In fact, a recent study of the 2016 electorate by political scientist Lee Drutman found that most social/racial conservatives in the United States have broadly liberal economic views.
Oh my god America is Dennis Duffy from 30 Rock and suddenly everything makes sense.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:31 PM on August 2 [9 favorites]


Klobuchar over the top in donors, is 8th qualifier for next debate.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:32 PM on August 2 [3 favorites]


Not coming out with her own plan is very politically savvy. We saw every actual plan get savaged... Not particularly brave or necessarily showing a ton of leadership but, yeah, quite smart.

Your comment makes me hate everything but I can't say you're wrong.

That being said, here's my analysis of the frontrunners' public-facing positions, as someone who's been a health insurance navigator since the ACA started in 2013:

Warren, as I noted above, says nothing on her website. She gets an F.

Biden significantly expands on subsidies available through the ACA and does various other bits of tinkering. That's not nothing, but it also isn't really a plan to change the healthcare landscape. A key question for me is whether his plan allows everyone (including people with employer-based plans that are shitty) to access Marketplace subsidies so they have a financially realistic alternative. I am still annoyed that he referred to "$1000 copay" in the debate when he presumably meant "deductible". C-.

Bernie: Medicare-for-all, etc. No real details on his website but I think everyone over the age of five can rattle off his stance from memory. B+.

Buttigieg has several paragraphs of boilerplate, basically calls for a Medicare buy-in option. Similarly to Biden, though, he does not specifically say whether employer-covered people would be able to enter this new Medicare public option if they want. Uses the phrase "a glide path toward Medicare for All" which seems to be doing quite a lot of work, but ok. B.

Kamala Harris, interestingly, offers pretty much the exact pathway and end goal that I would've written if I were her health policy analyst. I'd like to see more details about why the transition period is 10 years long but I think it's just to head off scaremongering by using the carrot of a significantly better option rather than the stick of a hard, quick transition deadline. There are potential risks with that strategy (adverse selection) but I think the unspoken assumption is that folks will generally be voluntarily moving over to the expanded and more comprehensive Medicare plan way before the official transition deadline. A+ and she gets a cookie. Regardless of who wins the nod, her plan should be the basis for the Democratic position on healthcare reform going forward.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:03 AM on August 3 [4 favorites]


That Intelligentser article is linked by CheeseDigestsAll is really worth a read. Some striking bits:
What’s more, the consensus position on any single issue in the United States is rarely located at the center of a left-right ideological spectrum. A 2014 study from Berkley political scientists David Broockman and Douglas Ahler surveyed voters on 13 policy issues — offering them seven different positions to choose from on each, ranging from extremely liberal to extremely conservative. On only two of those issues — gay rights and the environment — was the centrist position the most common one. On marijuana, the most popular policy was full legalization; on immigration, the most widely favored proposal was “the immediate roundup and deportation of all undocumented immigrants and an outright moratorium on all immigration until the border is proven secure”; and on taxes, the most popular option was to increase the rate on income above $250,000 by more than 5 percent. Meanwhile, establishing a maximum annual income of $1 million (by taxing all income above that at 100 percent) was the third most common choice, boasting four times more support than the national Republican Party’s platform on taxation.

When pundits implore Democrats not to abandon the center, they do not typically mean that the party should embrace legal weed, much higher taxes on the rich, and mass deportation.

...

While voters may have have strong, coherent stances on a handful of core issues, on most matters, their views tend to be hazy, and heavily dependent on framing.

... on almost every issue, voters are much more inclined to “not allow” something than to “forbid” it: In 1989, 32 percent of Americans said “no” when asked whether “the law should allow marriages between blacks and whites” — but only 19 said “yes” when asked if the law should “forbid” such marriages.
That one is especially jarring, because (in addition to the depressing fact that interracial marriage was so widely opposed) the contradiction is inherent. I wonder what, if anything, a person has in mind when they want the government to neither allow nor forbid interracial marriage? My first guess is that they're putting themselves in the shoes of "the law" and imagining a relative who became engaged. Would they give the marriage their blessing? No. Would they personally intervene to stop it? Also no. Just simple racism plus laziness.
A separate argument for leaning left on health care and education (as well as on the so-called identity issues of policing and immigration) is that doing so would strengthen the nascent progressive movements organized around those issues — movements that could help increase the woeful registration and turnout rates of young, Latino, and black voters. It’s worth remembering: The modern Republican Party did not gain dominance by spurning grassroots activists who challenged the status quo policy consensus. Abandoning “the center” on social issues, so as to nurture the mobilization of the evangelical right — a demographic that had, historically voted at lower-than-average levels — was one of best strategic decisions the GOP ever made. Trump’s election would have been impossible without it — last fall, white Evangelicals turned in high numbers, and backed him over Clinton by a margin of 80 to 16 percent.

If the year were 1970 and you're a Republican analyst considering whether or not to solicit evangelicals, you might reason that one consequence, for better or worse, would be the imposition of their "traditionalist morality" on your candidates, who would have to live chastely, talk about God in speeches, and attend church even if they'd rather spend Sunday mornings in policy meetings or golfing or whatever. You'd only be right in the short term at best, but hilariously wrong in the long term. Likewise (as the article gets into) even upper-middle-class liberals can be swayed to support rather high levels of redistribution, while the past couple decades have seen a sea change on the issue of same-sex marriage even in the socially-conservative segments of the Democratic base.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 5:42 AM on August 3 [7 favorites]


Meanwhile, establishing a maximum annual income of $1 million (by taxing all income above that at 100 percent) was the third most common choice, boasting four times more support than the national Republican Party’s platform on taxation.

This is one of the more exciting things I've read in a while!
posted by jason_steakums at 6:24 AM on August 3 [7 favorites]


Warren, as I noted above, says nothing on her website. She gets an F.

As I noted above, this is wrong. You just failed to find it. I linked it above.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:04 AM on August 3 [7 favorites]


jason_steakums: This is one of the more exciting things I've read in a while!

I suspect there's a non-trivial overlap between hazy support for a "maximum income" and opposition to "high taxes on the wealthy" because both are compatible, in their own way, with being a "temporarily embarrassed millionaire". It's the allow/forbid thing again, with attitude shifting based on whether the focus is on how much is taken away, or on how much is left over.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:15 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


On further thought, the classic misinformation about marginal taxes plays a role. A question like "Would you support adding a new top marginal rate of 50%, set at the income level of $1 million?" would, I am certain, get a lot of opposition from a subset of people who support a max income of $1 million, even though it's actually quite a bit less radical (and certainly more doable). Many would fail to understand that the marginal-tax one is not a proposal to take half your hypothetical million dollars and leave you with a paltry, subsistence-level 5 grand.

Just by asking the question about a wild new idea, you necessarily inform the respondent. Plus there's less room for confusion; something that "Legalize all weed" and (more depressingly) "stop literally all immigration" have in common is being easy to understand.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:41 AM on August 3


Meanwhile, having failed to place in the first two rounds of debates, Mike Gravel's 2020 campaign is closing up shop (ABC)
Long-shot Democratic presidential hopeful Mike Gravel -- an 89-year-old former Senator from Alaska whose quirky campaign is spearheaded by a group of teenagers running his feisty Twitter account -- is about to call it quits.

The campaign is closing up shop sometime in the next week, according to Gravel's campaign staff, after having missed the first and second Democratic presidential debate stage -- even though they reported meeting the 65,000 donor threshold to qualify for the second debate.[…]

Gravel’s campaign will now throw their support behind another campaign as they aim to make an endorsement in the “next week or so,” Henry Magowan, the 19-year-old treasurer for the Gravel campaign, told ABC News.

They are currently deciding between Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and self-help author Marianne Williamson -- a move which could give whichever campaign is chosen a considerable boost, given the more than 60,000 people who threw their grassroots support behind Gravel since they launched his campaign.[…]

And while the campaign may be coming to an end, the teens running the campaign already have their eyes set on another related venture: The Gravel Institute.

The Gravel Institute, campaign staffers said, will be a “leftist think tank” which will focus on “ending the American empire,” “reforming our Democracy,” and “direct action by elected officials to end injustice and suffering.”
Placing bets that they'll back Tulsi Gabbard…
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:48 AM on August 3 [4 favorites]


It's interesting how you have to frame arguments in light of the info in that article. Like "abolish ICE" is simple so it will catch on more but it's in opposition to the (yeah, depressingly) more popular nativist bullshit, so does something like "strengthen our border with honor and compassion" (unsaid: ICE needs to go because it's neither of those things) bypass that?
posted by jason_steakums at 7:51 AM on August 3 [2 favorites]


As I noted above, this is wrong. You just failed to find it. I linked it above.

That's not a comprehensive healthcare reform plan, it's an opioid plan. Which is great but not what I'm looking for.
posted by tivalasvegas at 8:22 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


Politico has a decent article on Warren’s approach to health care.

The upshot: yes, she’s been cagey about laying out a detailed plan, but has embraced Bernie’s approach to M4A and has made other statements showing that’s where she’s headed. Her legislation is also in line with expanding health care.
Democratic advocates and political strategists suggested there’s little upside to Warren offering her own plan right now as she and Sanders — who have sought to avoid attacking one another — chase a similar set of progressive voters. By aligning with Sanders, she can fight for a progressive priority without boxing herself in with a prescriptive plan that’s unlikely to differ much from the one he’s written.

But they say Warren will need to strike a delicate balance as the field of candidates winnows — appealing to progressives by championing single-payer health care while still presenting a clear enough alternative to Sanders.
posted by darkstar at 8:32 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


My guess is that Warren is waiting to unveil a health care plan until the field has winnowed, because it gives her a better opportunity to make a splash and set the tone for a later phase of her campaign. It’s not as though the issue has slipped her mind. Not that people can’t judge her for holding back, of course.
posted by sallybrown at 8:46 AM on August 3 [3 favorites]


I mean, she's a co-sponsor of Bernie's Medicare for All 2019 bill. That's good enough for me.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:18 AM on August 3 [8 favorites]


There are 65,000 people in the US who know who Mike Gravel is? I guess what they say is true: in America, anybody *can* run for president.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:24 AM on August 3


I mean, I gave him a dollar because of his commitment to one of my key issues (roasting Biden at debates), but I don't want him to be president.
posted by box at 9:28 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


‪Hey check this out Bernie Tax - I have one of those gold Cadillac healthcare plans and a household in the 10% of national incomes and I still saved a significant amount of money ‬under a M4A plan.
posted by The Whelk at 9:56 AM on August 3 [3 favorites]


Biden, Inc.: How 'Middle Class Joe's Family Cashed in on the Family Name (Ben Schreckinger, Politico)
In the late summer of 2006 Joe Biden’s son Hunter and Joe’s younger brother, James, purchased [Paradigm Global Advisors]. On their first day on the job, they showed up with Joe’s other son, Beau, and two large men and ordered the hedge fund’s chief of compliance to fire its president, according to a Paradigm executive who was present.

After the firing, the two large men escorted the fund’s president out of the firm’s midtown Manhattan office, and James Biden laid out his vision for the fund’s future. “Don’t worry about investors,” he said, according to the executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of retaliation. “We've got people all around the world who want to invest in Joe Biden.”

At the time, the senator was just months away from both assuming the chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and launching his second presidential bid. According to the executive, James Biden made it clear he viewed the fund as a way to take money from rich foreigners who could not legally give money to his older brother or his campaign account. “We've got investors lined up in a line of 747s filled with cash ready to invest in this company,” the executive remembers James Biden saying.

At this, the executive recalled, Beau Biden, who was then running for attorney general of Delaware, turned bright red. He told his uncle, “This can never leave this room, and if you ever say it again, I will have nothing to do with this.”
posted by box at 10:49 AM on August 3 [14 favorites]


Huh unskilled scions trading on the family name how familiar
posted by The Whelk at 10:55 AM on August 3 [5 favorites]


Welp, those fuckers should go to fucking jail, then.
posted by odinsdream at 10:56 AM on August 3 [12 favorites]


Sorry tivalasvegas - I think wires crossed in what I thought we were talking about. My apologies.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:47 AM on August 3 [1 favorite]


is this the new u.s. politics thread
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 12:04 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Er...mainly discussion about the Democratic Presidential candidates and their debates/campaigns/positions/polling, etc., I think.
posted by darkstar at 12:09 PM on August 3


> is this the new u.s. politics thread

Didn't you catch that thing about no more US politics megathreads, only topical threads? This here is a new, improved, topical thread. I think.

(The last megathread still lives for another 4 or 5 days.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:14 PM on August 3


Thank you, tivalasvegas, for the breakdown of the health care plans for the front runners. If I were to distill it further (and add Warner’s evident position based on her statements and co-sponsoring Bernie’s bill), would the following be accurate?

Biden: Fix and expand the ACA.

Bernie: Medicare for All, with a 4-year transition.

Warren: Medicare for All, with a 4-year transition.

Buttigieg: Medicare Buy-In option, with a view to possible future M4A.

Harris: Medicare Buy-In option, with auto-enrollment of newborns, transitioning to M4A after 10-yrs.
posted by darkstar at 2:09 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


The M4A debate in the primary is all Kabuki. I can't be the only one who realizes that, right?

Maybe its one of those situations where the candidates will say they want M4A and then once in office will negotiate down to a public option and more subsidies for Obamacare... and, hey, there's good arguments that you don't start with the position you think you'll end up on. But we all realize that's what will happen, yes? Biden's plan is the one that every single one of the candidates will go with if they win? And maybe even a scaled down version of it?
posted by Justinian at 2:23 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


Perhaps so. But it’s amazing to think how far we’ve come on the idea of M4A in the last ten years. Nearly all of the front-running Dem Presidential candidates are supporting some version of M4A. Big props to Bernie for his leadership, of course, as well as all the folks who worked to promote and secure the ACA as a key stepping stone to get us there.

M4A legislation is now being embraced by a majority of the Dems in the House. This is a major milestone, and suggests that M4A is no longer only fit for the fringes of policy discussion.
posted by darkstar at 2:27 PM on August 3 [7 favorites]


Biden's plan is the one that every single one of the candidates will go with if they win? And maybe even a scaled down version of it?

"I would've gotten away with universal healthcare too if it weren't for you meddling Republicans." We need to hang the problems with healthcare on the Republicans, who failed to repeal and replace Obamacare when they had full control of the government. The candidate should be realistic, but aspirational.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:38 PM on August 3


True, though there has to be a trade off of sorts. We want hope and aspiration and, as Warren says, why would you run for President on the basis of what we can't do and won't fight for? But you also don't want to give your supporters false confidence in what you'll accomplish when you get elected because they'll get super disillusioned (see also: the Democrats getting curb stomped in the 2010 midterms) and you'll be a lame duck halfway through your first term.

That balance seems like a very difficult one to strike.
posted by Justinian at 2:43 PM on August 3 [1 favorite]


No more debates broadcast on for-profit networks. As I've looked back over the CNN coverage of the debates and the candidates, it all just looks worse and worse.
posted by BeginAgain at 2:49 PM on August 3 [7 favorites]


The M4A debate in the primary is all Kabuki. I can't be the only one who realizes that, right?

Please also realize that we won't ever get what we want if we don't ask for it.
posted by Lyme Drop at 3:07 PM on August 3 [11 favorites]


Overton Window for the win.

I mean seriously, why negotiate with yourself? Ask for your dreams and if you have to compromise at some point, then fine. But never sell out before you ask for what you want.
posted by chris24 at 3:46 PM on August 3 [25 favorites]


We need to hang the problems with healthcare on the Republicans, who failed to repeal and replace Obamacare when they had full control of the government.

Well, yes, but in the sense of "If you really think the Republicans ever had any remote intention of actually replacing Obamacare with cheaper/better/more coverage I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you."

We don't emphasize the part about failed while they had full control of the government - that's just their incompetence - we emphasize that they are Lying Liars Who Blatantly Lie about wanting to improve health care.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:09 PM on August 3 [2 favorites]


The M4A debate in the primary is all Kabuki. I can't be the only one who realizes that, right?

Maybe its one of those situations where the candidates will say they want M4A and then once in office will negotiate down to a public option and more subsidies for Obamacare... and, hey, there's good arguments that you don't start with the position you think you'll end up on. But we all realize that's what will happen, yes? Biden's plan is the one that every single one of the candidates will go with if they win? And maybe even a scaled down version of it?


There's exactly one candidate who I don't believe will fold on M4A as the first and only solution, and that I don't think would falter at using the power of the Presidency as party leadership and bully pulpit to not simply to advocate for that and only that tirelessly, but to excoriate both the Republicans who stand in the way of the plan that more than 70% of Americans support, and the Democrats who dog its progress.

It's the guy who wrote the damn bill, and has spent the last few years building all this widespread support for it since it had no Democratic Congressional backing.

The idea that we should pre-compromise before we even go to the table? That's how you get nothing. Republicans get everything because they demand everything, and don't budge on it. Centrist Dems start with what's "bipartisan and reasonable" and then fold on their end of it, and then Republicans don't vote for it anyway. It doesn't work. It's never worked. If you think this is any way to get progress, you haven't just been ignoring the last twenty years, you're actively fooling yourself.
posted by kafziel at 2:25 AM on August 4 [8 favorites]


We got Obamacare without the declaration of a M4A mandate.
posted by Selena777 at 8:53 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Just an FYI that the Tulsi Gabbard FPP is up. Thanks to Doktor Zed for collaborating on it.
posted by OnceUponATime at 9:08 AM on August 4 [3 favorites]


kafziel: It's the guy who wrote the damn bill, and has spent the last few years building all this widespread support for it since it had no Democratic Congressional backing.

The idea that we should pre-compromise before we even go to the table? That's how you get nothing.


On the other hand, Sanders hasn't said we need to get rid of the filibuster, while Warren has. I respect the work he's done to drag the party into a much better place on healthcare. But here is another style difference between him and Warren -- she tends to take a harder line when actually describing the Republican Party itself, where he reserves the harsh rhetoric for capitalism/inequality as a system, while carving out space for the possibility of working across the aisle in some way.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 3:14 PM on August 4 [8 favorites]


FWIW, Sanders has said he'd be willing to have his VP overrule the Senate parliamentarian on what legislation qualifies for the reconciliation process, which is in practical terms the same as ditching the filibuster (for that bill at least). Of course you're limited on how many times you can use reconciliation per term; OTOH, it might be more palatable to centrist Dem senators who don't want to kill the legislative filibuster entirely.

Buuut all this requires winning the Senate to begin with, so.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:16 PM on August 4 [5 favorites]


Daily Beast: Mike Gravel to Formally Endorse Bernie Sanders’ Campaign
posted by Chrysostom at 8:36 AM on August 5 [5 favorites]


So Sanders picks up all zero percent of Gravel's supporters?
posted by octothorpe at 8:49 AM on August 5


And both of the teenagers.
posted by Etrigan at 8:53 AM on August 5 [4 favorites]


on the one hand it's super easy to snark about gravel's "campaign" — which, yes, basically consisted of two teenagers who heard him mentioned in an aside on chapo and then looked up his art-project campaign videos from the 08 cycle — but i think you're doing yourself a disservice if you use snark as a way to keep yourself from thinking about the purpose of his quixotic campaign.

of course gravel wasn't running for president, and of course his supporters didn't expect him to win even a single delegate. he was "running," and his supporters supported him, because he believed that it was important to get a rigorously anti-imperialist voice into the democratic party debates, in the interest of inspiring supporters of the mainstream candidates (sanders, warren) into demanding something closer to an anti-imperialist line.

this is a really really good project and deserves respect. it certainly doesn't deserve brainless snark. it is a bad thing when the only anti-imperialist voice on stage is that of tulsi gabbard, who just mouths anti-imperialist words in the service of her friends in the russian government.

fortunately, <voice type="yoda">there is another</voice>. unfortunately that other anti-imperialist voice is marianne williamson. fortunately, she's strangely compelling. unfortunately, she's a genuine lunatic with no business being within hailing distance of the presidency, or indeed any elected office. fortunately, though, she's in no more danger of winning the nomination than gravel was.

tl;dr: gravel has failed to move sanders and warren to the left, but 🔮rb m🔮m has stepped into the gap.

shorter tl;dr: don't snark on gravel he's a solid dude.

posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 10:04 AM on August 5 [15 favorites]


He's 89 years old, I'm not sure to what extent he knows what is going on.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:50 AM on August 5 [2 favorites]


ah. a ronald reagan type.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 11:02 AM on August 5 [1 favorite]


Will Gravel also be donating the hundreds of thousands of dollars that were donated to his nonexistent Presidential campaign?

I really like and appreciate Gravel. But it really burns my biscuits when anyone who launches (or “launches”) a campaign has no actual intention of being a serious competitor, but raises tons of money on it, and then fades away before any real campaign work has to be done.

Whether it’s to send a message, to pimp someone’s vanity, to position them for a future congressional race, or to juice book sales and speaking fees, it’s all basically a kind of political grift to me.
posted by darkstar at 11:03 AM on August 5 [3 favorites]


I was gonna be like 'wait, Mike Gravel raised hundreds of thousands of dollars?'

But then I looked it up, and I was like 'wait, what did the Mike Gravel campaign spend $93,000 on?' And then I was like, 'mostly advertising, that makes sense,' and then I was like 'wait, $2,125 for campaign merchandise from something called 'The Great American Rolling Paper Company'?

And that's how I learned about Mike Gravel Pentagon (rolling) Papers.
posted by box at 11:15 AM on August 5 [10 favorites]


I guess you could say that Gravel's campaign went...

...up in smoke.

YAAAAAAAAH MON!!!

*reggae cover of "Won't Get Fooled Again" plays*
posted by tonycpsu at 11:22 AM on August 5 [8 favorites]


He's 89 years old, I'm not sure to what extent he knows what is going on.

Gravel is still quite sharp and knows what he's doing. I'm sad he didn't get into the debates but it was a big lift. He put himself on the line with the pentagon papers and deserves a lot of respect for being a genuinely courageous mainstream politician when it wasn't in his interest to be one. It's hard to imagine anyone being that courageous today.
posted by dis_integration at 11:25 AM on August 5 [6 favorites]


It's no disrespect to Gravel's positions and Senate career to wonder whether he was maybe being led around a bit by some teenagers.

Agreed that we could use more Mike Gravels and Frank Churches these days.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:45 PM on August 5 [1 favorite]


mikes gravel, franks church, come on, people, we've been over this
posted by tonycpsu at 12:55 PM on August 5 [19 favorites]


Will Gravel also be donating the hundreds of thousands of dollars that were donated to his nonexistent Presidential campaign?

Yes. (Actually it sounds like the unused funds are being split between charitable donations and the formation of the Gravel Institute, a new leftist think tank. But they're not just being pocketed.)
posted by contraption at 5:32 PM on August 5 [6 favorites]


Joe Biden says Millennials should work for actual change “yeah that’s why we’re not voting for you
posted by The Whelk at 6:45 PM on August 5 [5 favorites]


Post-debate polling starting to come in:
Elizabeth Warren Had Another Very Good Debate, Poll Finds -- For the second time, voters who watched her came away with improved opinions, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:52 PM on August 5 [13 favorites]




Non-parody: Hickenlooper says door isn't totally closed on Senate run.

Hot take: CO can do better than Hick for Senate.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:34 AM on August 6 [5 favorites]


Let's talk beer with John Hickenlooper (The Takeout)
TO: It’s said that people want a president they can drink beer with. What beer is in your fridge right now?

JH: Fat Tire, Denver Pale Ale from Great Divide, I think I also have 90 Shilling. It’s mostly Colorado beer because I’ve lived in Colorado. If I had a refrigerator here in Iowa, I’d have a local Iowa beer. I had a great beer last night called Tailwind; they were the special beer for the RAGBRAI race.
On the one hand, that is a very politician-y answer to that question. On the other hand, those beers are not terrible. On the, uh, third hand, Hickenlooper is a millionaire--why is he staying someplace that doesn't have a refrigerator?
posted by box at 11:28 AM on August 6


Hickenlooper ranks highly in my list of politicians I'd like to have a beer with that I wish weren't candidates for President.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:30 AM on August 6 [7 favorites]


Yeah, he seems like a pretty good dude to have as a neighbor or to go to a ballgame with. But he should commence with the dropping out of the race.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:37 AM on August 6


Quinnipiac:
Biden – 32% (-2)
Warren – 21% (+6)
Sanders – 14% (+3)
Harris – 7% (-5)
Buttigieg – 5% (-1)
O’Rourke – 2% (+0)
Booker – 2% (+1)
Yang – 1% (-1)
Klobuchar – 1% (+0)
Gabbard – 1% (+0)
Castro – 1% (+1)
(+/- vs poll immediately prior to debates)
posted by Chrysostom at 4:44 PM on August 6 [9 favorites]


Neo-Nazis boast ‘We got Tulsi in the debates’

I have no idea to what extent this is true (I actually suspect, not very) but the fact some petty Internet Hitler can make that claim shows how stupid the qualification criteria were.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:43 PM on August 6


I can hardly believe that Yang and Gabbard are polling better than Gillibrand, but, here's who's polling at zero: Steyer, Sestak, Gravel, de Blasio, Bullock, Bennet, Moulton, Ryan, Messam, Williamson, Delaney, Hickenlooper, Inslee, and Gillibrand.

And here's some unsolicited advice:

Steyer through de Blasio--drop out.
Bullock through Messam--run for statewide office (or reelection).
Williamson--if you can't get an Oprah endorsement, go home, and wait for Bernie to tap you for Secretary of Peace.
Delaney through Inslee--run for the Senate or start angling for a cabinet post, because you're not a vice president.
Gillibrand--spend the next four to eight years being a lion of the Senate.
posted by box at 5:22 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


Thing is, Gillibrand really doesn't bring much to the table as a Presidential candidate.

Not that she's awful, but there's really nothing to distinguish her from the pack. She's a moderate centrist in a time when moderates are irrelevant and frankly she's kinda bland.

Warren has a plan for that, and she's leftist enough to appeal to (many/some) of the leftists, while being moderate enough and wonkish enough that the centrists won't totally freak out.

Sanders is the furthest left candidate.

Harris is a woman of color and makes space for herself as the more moderate than Warren but not DINO candidate.

Biden, much as I loathe him, has being the white male centrist DINO space entirely occupied by him so well that all the others are also rans with no chance.

Buttigieg has a role, the technocratic LGBT white guy.

But Gillibrand? She's got no role to fulfill that isn't already occupied by someone who does it better. She can't be the wonkish left/center compromise candidate, Warren has that tied up. She can't be the white male centrist DINO, she's not male and even if she was Biden would have that tied up. She's not a technocrat.

In a different race with different candidates she'd be able to make space for herself, maybe in 2028 when the Warren/Harris Administration's second term ends and VP Harris is just one candidate of many Gillibrand can bank on her (we hope) amazing Senate performance as a staunch leftist and take the nom from the more centrist Harris. But today? In this race? Nope.
posted by sotonohito at 7:52 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


Inslee's a special case, I feel, where he's running specifically to highlight global warming, so I'm inclined to let him keep trying to do that. He's been pretty clear that if he's not getting traction, he'll run for a third term as WA governor.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:54 AM on August 7 [10 favorites]


I'm still a bit taken aback by Buttigieg's rise to the national stage. He seemed to have some considerable support from the moment he announced his candidacy, which seems really odd for a mayor of Fort Wayne. That he was taken seriously from the start while Inslee has been relegated to barely there, also ran, special interest status despite being a two term governor and having served in congress since 1999 for Washington state which has a good sized population.

I'm not saying Inslee should win the nomination, I support Warren, but the difference in response to Buttigieg and Inslee seems to point how important personality is compared to experience, no surprise there though still worrisome, and to how important some smaller portion of strong supporters can really manage to create a viable candidate virtually out of thin air. I've got no huge problem with Buttigieg from the little I know other than the "little" in itself is a troubling way to choose a president.
posted by gusottertrout at 8:28 AM on August 7 [4 favorites]


On further reflection, I should have said history instead of experience as, for example, Biden's history of governance is what makes him such an unattractive candidate to me, comparatively speaking, while Warren and Sanders histories make them much more compelling possibilities.
posted by gusottertrout at 8:52 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


A small point, but Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, pop. 102,000, the fourth-largest city in Indiana. (Fort Wayne, the second-largest city in Indiana, is two hours further east and well over twice as large at 265k.)
posted by shenderson at 8:56 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


I think it's that - with the exception of Biden, who had just been VP for two terms - most Dem voters come in knowing basically nothing about anyone. I mean, *I* knew who all of these people were, but I waste all my time on this shit. So, if you don't know anyone, you just have interviews and then the debates to look at. And Buttigieg has done pretty well with that.

Another factor is that the received wisdom was that a ton of candidates made it easy for anyone to break out. But I think it's worked almost the opposite way. It very quickly sorted into a handful of "real" candidates, and then a ton of people that everyone is ignoring. I think if Inslee was in a 3 to 5 candidate race, he'd have a real shot at breaking out. But since the top five or six people seem to have every demographic/belief base covered, he doesn't have a way in. Basically what sotonohito was saying about Gillibrand above.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:05 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


A small point, but Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, pop. 102,000, the fourth-largest city in Indiana.

South Bend is also the 306th-largest city in the United States.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:21 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


I increasingly think Beto is going to drop out and run for Senate with a message of common sense gun control and fighting white supremacist terrorism. Apart from political considerations about what’s smarter for him, this week has made clear Texas is where his heart is.
posted by sallybrown at 9:38 AM on August 7 [9 favorites]


A small point, but Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, pop. 102,000, the fourth-largest city in Indiana. (Fort Wayne, the second-largest city in Indiana, is two hours further east and well over twice as large at 265k.)

No, not a small point, it's good to point out my error. I should have been more careful
posted by gusottertrout at 9:40 AM on August 7


Politico: Joaquin Castro doubles down amid backlash over tweeting names of Trump donors
Joaquin Castro, a Democratic congressman from Texas and chairman of the presidential campaign of his twin brother, Julián, fired back on Tuesday after being castigated on social media for tweeting the names and occupations of his constituents who’d maxed out their donations to President Donald Trump. [...]

“Targeting and harassing Americans because of their political beliefs is shameful and dangerous. What happened to ‘when they go low, we go high?’” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted, referring to former first lady Michelle Obama’s viral mantra. “Or does that no longer matter when your brother is polling at 1%? Americans deserve better.”

Steve Scalise, the House minority whip, who was gravely wounded two years ago when a gunman targeting Republicans opened fire on GOP lawmakers practicing for a charity baseball game, said he knows personally how dangerous such moves could be.

“People should not be personally targeted for their political views. Period,” he tweeted. “This isn’t a game. It’s dangerous, and lives are at stake.”
Scott Lemieux, LGM: The Conservative Campaign Finance Two-Step
“Virtually all campaign finance restrictions are unconstitutional, but transparency will allow the MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS to hold donors accountable.” [Democrat criticizes maxed-out Republican donor] “Transparency is evil and criticizing people for their political violations is the end of free speech in America.”

Anyway, the criticisms of Castro make no sense at all:
@beyerstein: If money is speech, the person who gives the maximum allowable campaign contribution is standing in the public square, screaming their head off. There's no reason not to name them. #Castro
posted by tonycpsu at 10:16 AM on August 7 [15 favorites]


The part I find most hilarious is how the GOP is conceding the point - that being a Trump supporter is something shameful, something to be hidden.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:21 AM on August 7 [8 favorites]


WP: Moulton laying off at least half of his staff.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:30 AM on August 7


> WP: Moulton laying off at least half of his staff.

Eh, I'm sure he'll latch on with another campaign.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:33 AM on August 7 [2 favorites]


So, Sanders decided to do an interview with alt-right enabler Joe Rogan.

Who thought that this was a good idea?
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:23 PM on August 7 [8 favorites]


Quinnipiac:

Biden – 32% (-2)
Warren – 21% (+6)
Sanders – 14% (+3)
Harris – 7% (-5)
Buttigieg – 5% (-1)
O’Rourke – 2% (+0)
Booker – 2% (+1)
Yang – 1% (-1)
Klobuchar – 1% (+0)
Gabbard – 1% (+0)
Castro – 1% (+1)


If you look at developments over the past month (e.g. here, page title is ironic), it looks like the top four - i.e., Biden, Warren, Sanders, and Harris - are collectively holding steady with about 85% of the vote between them. Warren is mostly improving by eating Harris's lunch, and to a lesser extent Bernie's; no one is making much progress against Biden (...sigh). When you add in 5th place - Buttigieg - that's about 90% of the primary electorate. Places 6-20 take 10% between the lot of them. There's really no excuse to have more than 5 candidates at the next debate. I mean, fine, rules are rules, but JFC. No one else has a chance.

I also agree with gusottertrout about the profound weirdness of the mayor of South Bend being taken seriously as a presidential candidate. I have spent some time in South Bend and... that is not sufficient preparation to become the chief executive of the entire country. If he were running for governor, House, or possibly even Senate, then sure, fine (I mean IN elected Mike Pence so the bar is low). But it's just weird that so many people are willing to go along with that potential leap.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 8:00 PM on August 7 [6 favorites]


So, Sanders decided to do an interview with alt-right enabler Joe Rogan.

Who thought that this was a good idea?


The only path for genuine change is to expand the voting base, and the only way to do that is to try to break out of the silos and broadcast your message in new areas. Rogan's audience is huge, and tons of those listeners only have the vaguest, sparsley articulated ideological committments. There's new voters in that audience! It's a smart idea.
posted by dis_integration at 8:01 AM on August 8 [4 favorites]


Rogan's audience is huge, and tons of those listeners only have the vaguest, sparsley articulated ideological committments.

This applies to Rogan as well, who is honestly not what you would call a clear policy thinker to say the least.
posted by mightygodking at 8:05 AM on August 8 [2 favorites]


It's a fucking terrible idea. You expand the voting base by appealing to people who aren't lunatic alt-right figures. If Bernie wants Nazis voting for him, then he's scum and need to drop out now.
posted by sotonohito at 8:15 AM on August 8 [3 favorites]


Rogan's audience is huge, and tons of those listeners only have the vaguest, sparsley articulated ideological committments. There's new voters in that audience! It's a smart idea.

It's a smart idea to "expand the voting base" by going on a show noted as being one of the bigger entry points to the alt-right pipeline, whose host routinely has on intellectual dark web luminaries like Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, and Sam Harris, whose host has treated the conspiracy theory around Seth Rich as legitimate and was for the longest time friends with Alex Jones? Somehow for me, the math isn't adding up.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:17 AM on August 8 [3 favorites]


I also agree with gusottertrout about the profound weirdness of the mayor of South Bend being taken seriously as a presidential candidate

Pre-2016 I'd have agreed but we currently have a president whose main attraction outside of being a rich racist was that he had essentially no political experience. And while his tenure has been truly awful in terms of diplomacy and the smooth running of government, his lack of experience has not prevented him from utterly dominating his party, politically, over the past three years. On his own terms, he has proven a success. It's not that much of a stretch anymore to imagine that someone equally inexperienced but with good intentions and a functioning intellect could succeed in some of the areas where Trump has been utterly helpless.
posted by xigxag at 8:50 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]


> It's not that much of a stretch anymore to imagine that someone equally inexperienced but with good intentions and a functioning intellect could succeed in some of the areas where Trump has been utterly helpless.

On the one hand, sure, I agree. On the other hand: the specific area where Trump has been *least* effective in is shepherding long-lasting policy changes through the legislative process.

Sure, he's appointed plenty of judges, and we'll be dealing with the consequences for decades - but any warm body could have done that, and he's played a minimal role in the screening of the pool before it got to the Apprentice-style game show part.

And sure, he's dominated the national spotlight by incendiary statements and actions.

And - yes, this is getting into "what have the Romans ever done for us" territory - he's signed a gargantuan, budget busting tax cut, which is going to tie our hands in the future until it can be reversed. (Although, I'll note that the Republicans were too clever by half, and they've done the difficult part of raising taxes on the middle class for us already. All we need to do is to restore the upper bracket rates without changing the rest, a much easier sell.)

But beyond that, Trump has been very ineffective at getting anything done. And he starts with the advantage that inaction favors the powerful and privileged, which is "his team".

A liberal counterpart would not have that advantage. On most fronts that we care about, the status quo hurts us. Take climate change - we need large-scale policy changes, not flashy executive action. And that requires selling it to the public, as well as passing it through Congress. Likewise on healthcare, or income inequality, or statehood for DC and PR.

Much as I hate to say it, a liberal Trump would not be nearly as "effective" as the MAGA-hat-in-chief has been.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:33 AM on August 8 [2 favorites]


Yang is the ninth qualifier for debate #3.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:49 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]


Here's the Monmouth Poll that sealed Yang's presence for the next round of debates: Biden Holds Lead, Warren on the Chase—Most prefer public option over Medicare for All; Less than half the 2020 field seen as likely to beat Trump

Biden's main pull remains "electability": "Biden is the main beneficiary of voters who think that the field is pretty weak against Trump. Among those who feel only one or two candidates have a shot, 41% currently support Biden, compared with just 13% who are for Warren, 11% for Harris, 10% for Sanders, and 5% for Buttigieg. Voter preferences are more mixed among those who think that more than two candidates but less than half the field can win in 2020 – at 26% for Biden, 22% for Warren, 14% for Harris, 10% for Sanders, and 8% for Buttigieg. Among those who think at least half the field is electable, 21% prefer Warren, 20% Biden, 12% Buttigieg, 8% Sanders, and 8% Harris."

I suspect that his advantage on this issue will abate as the primary field narrows, but with the DNC setting the ludicrously low floor of 2% in four polls, we're likely to be stuck with a crowded stage for a while. Julián Castro, only one qualifying poll remaining, ought to squeeze in. Tom Steyer, now one poll short of qualifying, been buying tons of ads to ask for donors so he can reach that required threshold. And I can't believe Gabbard is ahead of Gilliband in donors, even though they're neck-and-neck with only one qualifying poll.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:43 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]


Julián Castro, only one qualifying poll remaining, ought to squeeze in. Tom Steyer, now one poll short of qualifying, been buying tons of ads to ask for donors so he can reach that required threshold. And I can't believe Gabbard is ahead of Gilliband in donors, even though they're neck-and-neck with only one qualifying poll.

Gabbard also got three percent in the Economist/YouGov national poll released yesterday so she's at three now (that, and the CBS and Boston Globe's respective polls in New Hampshire). I would say she, Steyer and Castro are all almost certain to qualify at this point.

And honestly? Good. Twelve candidates is probably the perfect number at this point, because it's simply too many for one night's debate - everybody knows it was already kind of ludicrous at ten - and it means dividing the debates into two nights again means two nights of six candidates, which will allow for much more speaking time and discussion for everybody. That's good, not bad.
posted by mightygodking at 11:03 AM on August 8 [3 favorites]


Trends in that Monmouth Iowa:

Biden - 28% (+1)
Warren - 19% (+12)
Harris - 11% (+4)
Sanders - 9% (-6)
Buttigieg - 8% (-1)
Klobuchar - 3% (-1)
Steyer - 3% (+3)
Gillibrand - 2% (+1)
Yang - 2% (+1)
Bullock - 1% (+1)
Booker - 1% (-2)
Delaney - 1% (+0)
Gabbard - 1% (+1)
posted by Chrysostom at 11:03 AM on August 8 [3 favorites]


Worth a read: When Bernie Sanders Did the Joe Rogan Show
As with his April town hall on Fox, Sanders’s appearance on Joe Rogan showcased one of his most significant strengths: a capacity to puncture the ideological fog of war that permeates American politics and reach people typically written off as unreachable. By definition, this will always involve appealing to audiences that don’t get their news from MSNBC or bear the usual signifiers of middle-class cultural liberalism.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 11:18 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]


It's a fucking terrible idea. You expand the voting base by appealing to people who aren't lunatic alt-right figures

Except Rogan's listeners are not all lunatic alt-right figures. Such hyperbole here is really detrimental to any informative discussion
posted by Ahmad Khani at 11:20 AM on August 8 [8 favorites]


it means dividing the debates into two nights again means two nights of six candidates, which will allow for much more speaking time and discussion for everybody. That's good, not bad.

Sure, but that's suboptimal compared to one night of six candidates, which is realistically where the Dems should be (even after starting the campaigns far too early). In poll after poll, the chief candidates remain Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris, and Buttigieg—everyone else is consistently below 5% these days. Throw in one wildcard/outsider candidate, and you'd have representative coverage of the Democratic electorate's policy concerns and ideological beliefs.

Incidentally, NYDN's Michael McAuliff points out: “De Blasio is leading the field with 26% in the YouGov/Economist poll -- for the category of "presidential candidates that you would be disappointed if they became the Democratic nominee."”
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:32 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]


It's a smart idea to "expand the voting base" by going on a show noted as being one of the bigger entry points to the alt-right pipeline, whose host routinely has on intellectual dark web luminaries like Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, and Sam Harris, whose host has treated the conspiracy theory around Seth Rich as legitimate and was for the longest time friends with Alex Jones? Somehow for me, the math isn't adding up.

All of what you say is true, but at the same time it's also fair to say that Rogan himself isn't alt-right. The problem with Rogan is that he is sort of a lunkhead who has decided to become a professional interviewer despite the fact that he is neither a curious nor critical listener, which means that his interviewing style basically revolves around entry-level questions and letting his guests expound as they wish, and only challenging them when they express wildly unreasonable positions, which alt-righters are mostly too smart to do. That, combined with a doofus-level devotion to the proposition that noxious ideas are best discussed rather than condemned, is the problem with Rogan.

All of that said, Bernie's appearance on Rogan was largely a masterclass in using Rogan's weaknesses as strengths. He was able to present his extended campaign narrative about class unabridged, repeatedly hammer home his argument that his ideas are in fact widely used in the first world and completely reasonable, and direct the conversation topics to where he wanted to go and what he wanted to talk about, and Rogan just let him because that's what Rogan does, and most of the time Bernie was able to get Rogan to agree (sometimes emphatically!) with his propositions. Rogan never even came close to challenging Bernie on Bernie's weak points (like "how are you going to get this shit through Congress") because Rogan doesn't do that.

Honestly, other candidates should probably follow Bernie's lead on this one.
posted by mightygodking at 11:34 AM on August 8 [15 favorites]


Sure, but that's suboptimal compared to one night of six candidates, which is realistically where the Dems should be (even after starting the campaigns far too early). In poll after poll, the chief candidates remain Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris, and Buttigieg—everyone else is consistently below 5% these days. Throw in one wildcard/outsider candidate, and you'd have representative coverage of the Democratic electorate's policy concerns and ideological beliefs.

The debates probably started too early, but that's where we are now so they need to make the best of it, and either you think polling can change radically or not. If you don't, then we might as well anoint Biden the candidate now (ugh), and if you do, you have to accept certain realities - like, for example, in 2008 at one point close to nowish John McCain was polling in single digits, as was Mike Huckabee, and those two candidates were the winner and the spoiler who came closest to winning the nomination, respectively.

The point of debates is to expose strengths and flaws, and if you expose flaws, candidates can drop fast. Arguably this already happened to Beto, and it might be happening to Harris, whose national numbers are hurting after the second debate, and it doesn't make sense to autocede the spotlight to the main eventers just yet. We're still six months away from the first caucus!
posted by mightygodking at 12:13 PM on August 8


and either you think polling can change radically or not. If you don't, then we might as well anoint Biden the candidate now

Well, even then there is the consideration that the supporters of candidates who will eventually drop out will find another candidate to support among those that remain and Biden isn't necessarily in the best spot to pick up those supporters given he is the one they are all running against, in a way, or that doesn't fit the desired profile of the nominee. So who picks up the strays as campaigns continue will be as important as who leads the polls in a more divided field.
posted by gusottertrout at 12:36 PM on August 8 [3 favorites]


If you don't, then we might as well anoint Biden the candidate now (ugh)

Whoah, whoah, let's not get drastic here. Personally, I think that a less crowded field would have more of an advantage in removing Biden from the race, both as fewer, better candidates offer themselves as welcome alternatives (if not by directly confronting him) and as supporters from outside the status quo column coalesce around a more selective field. During the Republican 2016 primaries, we saw fringe candidates take up space and oxygen away the major ones, prolonging the campaigning and allowing you-know-who to benefit from the heavily divided field. For 2020, the DNC's approach has resulted in an even larger selection of candidates, which isn't a great prognosis.

The debates probably started too early, but that's where we are now so they need to make the best of it, and either you think polling can change radically or not.

The problem with this approach is that it looks backward on the 2016 campaign, in which the GOP clowncar somehow produced the winning candidate while the Dems' "electable" slogged through the primaries beset by a protest candidate. The DNC's trying not to repeat their errors and learn from their opponents' success instead of coming up with a primary strategy to produce a candidate who can beat Trump while energizing their base.

And this campaign definitely started too early. The first half of this year should have been spent exclusively on the Dems' House investigations/Mueller Report and their legislative agenda (and we don't need to get into how bad a job Pelosi & co. did in both cases). At the very least, the Dem candidates could spend a little time trying to generate some synergy with what's transpiring on Capitol Hill.

The point of debates is to expose strengths and flaws, and if you expose flaws, candidates can drop fast.

And yet wildcard/outsiders like Yang and Gabbard—who, let's be frank, have no business getting anywhere near the presidency—still aren't dropping out. Their odds may even improve in this circus-like atmosphere, just the way the outsiders did in the 2016 GOP primaries.

All of that said, Bernie's appearance on Rogan was largely a masterclass in using Rogan's weaknesses as strengths.

I fear that this strategy will produce more Bernie Bros, but at this point, I feel like I'm dangerously close to relitigating 2016.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:55 PM on August 8 [2 favorites]


During the Republican 2016 primaries, we saw fringe candidates take up space and oxygen away the major ones, prolonging the campaigning and allowing you-know-who to benefit from the heavily divided field. For 2020, the DNC's approach has resulted in an even larger selection of candidates, which isn't a great prognosis.

The 2016 GOP primary isn't really comparable because it was a spillover of the energy the GOP primaries had had for years - the base flailing around trying to find a candidate that would give them exactly what they wanted, which was racism and hatred and impossible promises, until they finally found one they could all agree on and there was no mainstream establishment candidate capable of consolidating against him. That energy doesn't exist in the Dem primaries, because what the base wants, for the most part, are to win and to enact compassionate policies that work and the disagreements are largely about how to do that.

Yang and Gabbard's mini-spikes - and they are mini - aren't actually evidence of anything serious, particularly considering how both have had their campaigns boosted by right-wing ratfucking (and 1-2% seems to the ceiling for what they can manage). Yang's UBI proposal will fall apart the moment any candidate explains "he's proposing getting rid of literally everything else that helps you" and Gabbard collapses the moment someone explains that she isn't actually an antiwar dove, she's just a two-faced shithead who happens to oppose one particularly unpopular war. That this hasn't happened yet isn't because of an inability to do it, but because it simply hasn't been necessary.

A little while longer for Castro to make his pitch on immigration reform and Booker to talk about criminal justice isn't a bad thing. I say the costs are outweighed by the benefits.
posted by mightygodking at 1:28 PM on August 8 [7 favorites]


Also, you can't shut it down at this point anyway.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:43 PM on August 8


That energy doesn't exist in the Dem primaries, because what the base wants, for the most part, are to win and to enact compassionate policies that work and the disagreements are largely about how to do that.

That supposes a much smaller split between the progressive/DSA/Occupy Wall Street wing and the centrist/neoliberal/DCCC wing. Add in the kook factor for Gabbard, Williamson, and Yang, and you have almost as febrile a political atmosphere. I'd argue that the real difference is the absence of a leftwing Fox News and partisan noise machine.

Yang and Gabbard's mini-spikes - and they are mini - aren't actually evidence of anything serious, particularly considering how both have had their campaigns boosted by right-wing ratfucking (and 1-2% seems to the ceiling for what they can manage).

Yet 2% is all they need for the next round. If Gabbard goes on the attack again, which seems probable, I expect she'll pick off a weaker progressive candidate instead of going after Biden.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:51 PM on August 8 [1 favorite]


Surging in Polls, Elizabeth Warren Now Has a Path to the Nomination
...the development that currently demands attention is the emergence of Senator Elizabeth Warren as something other than the candidate of policy wonks, dismissed as nonviable even among people who think she’d make an outstanding president. Her strong debate performances, a knack for organizing (based on her outstanding retail political skills), and the misfortunes affecting some of her rivals have combined to give her the clear path to the Democratic nomination that she really did not have in the early going.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:01 AM on August 9 [11 favorites]


Biden: "Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids."

Oh dear. Kamala Harris' support took a hit after the second debate because black voter support flocked back to Biden (partially because it was a bad performance and partially because more than a few people found out about her record), but this could reverse that or end those voters somewhere else.
posted by mightygodking at 8:07 AM on August 9 [2 favorites]


I've said this before but someone close to Biden really needs to do an intervention. Whatever you think about his policies or past, it's hard not to see that he's just not up to the task at his age.
posted by octothorpe at 8:15 AM on August 9 [8 favorites]


It’s very characteristically Warren that this whole time, she’s had a plan to go slow and steady and build to a win. At the start I didn’t see how she could possibly (as much as I liked her), and now it seems nearly within reach.
posted by sallybrown at 8:19 AM on August 9 [10 favorites]


Huh, a new Monmouth Poll in Iowa has Biden at 28%, Warren at 19% and Sanders down to 9%.
posted by octothorpe at 8:24 AM on August 9 [3 favorites]


Seems like Warren is taking some of the Sanders support for being so damn good at laying out clear plans and knowing what she is talking about. Not that Sanders doesn't do the latter, more that Warren seems to me like she's more detailed and focused on the actual machinery of the process.

I think Warren will have to do really well in California to make it an even seeming match or have some edge on Biden cuz I'm getting the feeling Harris will throw in with Biden for a shot as VP, which wouldn't come from Warren. Harris is nothing if not pragmatically ambitious about her efforts and Biden could really use Harris as a running mate given his gafftastic ways.
posted by gusottertrout at 9:26 AM on August 9 [1 favorite]


@DKElections:
"Tulsi Gabbard is polling at 9% among the segment of Democratic primary voters who approve of the job Donald Trump is doing, and at less than half a percent among those who disapprove of him."
posted by Chrysostom at 8:14 PM on August 9 [19 favorites]


Sludge and Data for Progress have done a breakdown of available demographic information about the donors who gave 200 USD or more to the Democratic candidates in the first half of 2019. Not a lot is surprising but I found it interesting nonetheless. "... in general, the more money an individual donates to political campaigns, the higher the chance that they will be old, white, and male." Sounds legit. Also:

Marianne Williamson might not rank high in the overall money race, but she’s far out in front when it comes to building a donor base of women. More than three-quarters of Williamson’s individual donation total came from women contributors in the first half of 2019, a far larger share than the candidate with the next-largest share: Harris, with 56%. Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke is the only man running with over half of his support coming from women donors, and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard ranks last in share of itemized donation total from women donors at just 30%. ...

While Yang had the largest share of fundraising from young donors, Sanders raised the largest amount from the 18 to 34 age group, by far (over $624,000). By contrast, Joe Biden raised more than any other candidate from people 65 years or older (over $2.7 million). ...

Several of the Democrats running for their party’s nomination had a majority of donors who are not aligned with the Democrats or other liberal political parties. Ryan, O’Rourke, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Klobuchar, Yang, Gabbard, former HUD Sec. Julian Castro, and Williamson all received donations from more people who are independents, conservatives, or have no party affiliation than from people registered with liberal parties. De Blasio and Delaney had the largest shares of conservative donors, while Michael Bennet has the largest share of liberal donors.


Williamson's share of non-liberal donors was 49%, Sanders' was 48%, Buttigieg's was 45%. Fully 69% of Ryan's donors were independent, non-affiliated, or conservative (mostly the first two) and that surprises me not one whit. Still, it was satisfying to see those numbers in print, as well as the numbers of conservatives supporting De Blasio and Delaney. Of course they are.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:11 AM on August 10 [3 favorites]


Bella Donna, thanks for that Sludge link! So cool! I've bookmarked it. The breakdown by demographic factors is fascinating.

Just to give us women a little credit, Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris also have a donor base made up of mostly women. (In my own personal experience, women in CA - Harris' state - LOVE her.)

Now who has the most male donors? No, not Tim Ryan or Seth Moulton. It's That Cool Girl herself, Tulsi Gabbard. I wonder how much that is tied in with the fact that non-Democrats, and even Democrats who approve of Trump (!!! There is such a thing???) seem to like her the most.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:52 AM on August 10 [2 favorites]


“Male, Trump-loving, conservative Democrats prefer Tulsi Gabbard” sounds like a terrible campaign slogan tbh
posted by darkstar at 8:03 AM on August 10 [8 favorites]


the segment of Democratic primary voters who approve of the job Donald Trump is doing

This.... this is a demographic that exists? How?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:39 AM on August 10 [6 favorites]


Yes, a recent set of polls showed about 5% of registered Democrats admit that they approve of Trump.

I.e., those “economically anxious” Democrats that still vote for Trump even though he’s destroying their industry with trade wars, or those fiscally conservative Dems who are worried about national spending and deficits strangely only when Democrats are in charge, or those freedom-loving libertarian Democrats who nevertheless just can’t get enough legislation prohibiting reproductive rights, recreational marijuana, gay marriage, etc.

Given that there exists this group in the electorate, it’s not entirely surprising that candidates that really don’t represent anything that the Democrats stand for could still get a few percent of the Dem primary vote.
posted by darkstar at 10:05 AM on August 10 [1 favorite]


Biden Says He Was Vice President During Parkland Shooting (Bloomberg, Aug. 10, 2019; Yahoo News)

Biden told reporters in Iowa on Saturday that “those kids in Parkland came up to see me when I was vice president.” But when they visited Capitol Hill to talk with members of Congress, lawmakers were “basically cowering, not wanting to see them. They did not want to face it on camera.”

The former vice president was making a point about the changing conversation around gun violence in this country, and how as more and more ordinary people are touched by mass shootings, they are more likely to call for action.

An official with the Biden campaign said the former vice president was thinking of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, when he misspoke. That attack, in which 20 children between six and seven years old were killed along with six staff members, was in December 2012.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:39 PM on August 10 [2 favorites]


Jesus fucking Christ, someone needs to just grab a vaudeville hook and put the guy out of his misery. I’m really not up for another doddering old man leading this country.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 4:58 PM on August 10 [10 favorites]


honestly its the least of his sins because this damn country has too many school shootings its hard to keep track even as a fortysomething
posted by entropicamericana at 5:44 PM on August 10 [10 favorites]


This.... this is a demographic that exists? How?

Remember that county clerk in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples a few years back? She was a Democrat until that happened. There are still yellow dogs.
posted by Etrigan at 5:53 PM on August 10


Tulsi Gabbard is polling at 9% among the segment of Democratic primary voters who approve of the job Donald Trump is doing

All eleven of those people are absurd and incomprehensible, and I'm not sure Gabbard partisanship affects that judgment one way or another.
posted by jackbishop at 6:12 PM on August 10 [1 favorite]


Biden told reporters in Iowa on Saturday that “those kids in Parkland came up to see me when I was vice president.”

Michelle Goldberg: I heard him say this onstage at the gun control town hall this morning. If he said the same thing to reporters it’s more than a slip of the tongue.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:09 AM on August 11 [8 favorites]


Remember that county clerk in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples a few years back? She was a Democrat until that happened. There are still yellow dogs.

This is probably one of the solutions to the puzzle - people, mostly older, who registered as Democrats a long time ago in historically Democratic but now Republican regions, who never bothered to change their registration but always vote R on the Presidential level. Those Trump/Klobuchar or Trump/Manchin type voters.

Living in California, it's so easy to forget they exist. (OTOH we have Trump/De Leon voters - own the libs by...voting for the more liberal candidate, I guess.)

And as far as Biden and his latest gaffes are concerned: Yes, he was always a gaffe machine, which is why none of his Presidential bids ever got off the ground. But, this time, given his age and the fact that he has had brain aneurysms in the past, I am honest-to-God worried - not """concerned""" - about his stamina and cognitive capacity for the office of POTUS. He is probably better off retiring and being a respected, elder statesman. Jimmy Carter does this admirably well.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:20 AM on August 11 [3 favorites]


Come to Western PA, we have lots of registered Democrats who voted for Trump and I assume still support him. For instance Washington, PA has a party registration skew of +8 Democratic but voted for Trump 60% to 35%. If you hadn't guessed, the county is 95% white.
posted by octothorpe at 8:52 AM on August 11 [6 favorites]


He is probably better off retiring and being a respected, elder statesman. Jimmy Carter does this admirably well.

Truth be told, I'd take Jimmy Carter at 94 over at least half of the current candidates no matter what their age.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:17 AM on August 11 [28 favorites]


I mean, I don’t know if any of that applies as it apparently did when “that harridan” Hillary Clinton was running. There was just so much to hate about her for older whites, men and women. At a minimum, many women across the spectrum were not happy when she “stood by her man.” I ultimately decided that whatever the vagaries of her personal relationship, I felt she would be good in the role and she had the chops. And I certainly was not going for vote for Trump. That never made sense in my mind or with my values. Hillary, it turns out, is a poisoned well. There’s plenty of Dem candidates who aren’t saddled with that truly unique legacy.
posted by amanda at 10:45 AM on August 11 [1 favorite]


And as far as Biden and his latest gaffes are concerned: Yes, he was always a gaffe machine, which is why none of his Presidential bids ever got off the ground. But, this time, given his age and the fact that he has had brain aneurysms in the past, I am honest-to-God worried - not """concerned""" - about his stamina and cognitive capacity for the office of POTUS. He is probably better off retiring and being a respected, elder statesman. Jimmy Carter does this admirably well.

The difference here is that Jimmy Carter is both personally and politically respectable. Biden is neither.
posted by kafziel at 7:23 PM on August 11 [8 favorites]


posted by Etrigan : Remember that county clerk in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples a few years back? She was a Democrat until that happened. There are still yellow dogs.

I do not think that phrase means what you think it means. I am a yellow dog democrat, what that means is that I'll vote for a yellow dog before I'll vote for a republican. I think you are thinking of blue dog, who are democrats in name only.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 2:04 PM on August 12 [8 favorites]


Today's Gravis poll of New Hampshire has Sanders leading Biden by six points, Gabbard at 5, Steyer at 4 and Castro at 2, among other things.

That should give Gabbard her fourth qualifying poll; Castro has like six at this point but I'm not sure which ones count as "qualifying." Steyer now has four polls so he needs to get his donor count up, which seems likely. It looks like the field for the September debates will be at twelve.

Also, we haven't yet seen a poll taken after Biden's recent gaffe-fests have had a chance to land, but he's been trending downwards in New Hampshire for a while now and this is the first time he's lost the lead. Biden's entire campaign is essentially predicated on electability, and if he loses an early state that hurts a lot; I wouldn't be surprised if Warren and Bernie's campaigns have decided to concentrate on making sure he loses both, because at that point, once his electability argument is dead, he doesn't really have a campaign any more and they're the favorites to win.
posted by mightygodking at 9:09 AM on August 13 [5 favorites]


NYMag: Democratic 2020 Field May Be Sliced in Half by Debate Cut
Nine candidates (Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang) have already made the cut by meeting the thresholds for both grassroots fundraising (130,000 donors with at least 400 in 20 states) and polling (four approved national or early-state polls showing at least 2 percent of the vote). A tenth, Julián Castro, is very close; he has met the donor threshold and needs just one more qualifying poll before the August 28 deadline. An 11th, Tom Steyer, is probably going to make it too: He has three qualifying polls and is spending like the proverbial drunken sailor to get one more and to meet the donor threshold despite his very late start (it doesn’t hurt that he started a couple of national political groups whose mailing lists he can tap).

After that, we are probably down to two candidates with an outside chance of making the cut: Tulsi Gabbard (who has met the donor threshold but has just one qualifying poll) and Kirsten Gillibrand (who might make the donor threshold but also needs three more qualifying polls). As Geoffrey Skelley observes, nobody else is close[.]

It’s also unclear that the third round of debates will have the impact of the first two. Typically, viewership of these debates declines as the novelty wears off. The September 12 debate will conflict with college and pro football broadcasts; the September 13 event is on a Friday, where TV shows go to die. And it’s possible the debate cut line won’t winnow the field as much as it might: The DNC has strangely decided to let polls taken before the third debate count as qualifications for the fourth (in October, exact time and place TBD). So struggling candidates could hold on, hoping for a fresh infusion of media attention in October and keeping the debate stage or stages full.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:16 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]


Looks like Hick is on the cusp of dropping out.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:40 PM on August 13 [5 favorites]


And Biden is complaining that his gaffes are being judged too harshly.

Just quit, Joe.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:41 AM on August 14 [8 favorites]


Anita Hill. That’s my judgment.

The only thing that could get me to think about Joe favorably today on the issue of presidential electability is for him to lead the charge to impeach Clarence Thomas.
posted by amanda at 10:04 AM on August 14 [11 favorites]


Specifically, Biden is saying that paying attention to the awful shit he's saying is "gaslighting".

This ain't it, you racist nightmare.
posted by kafziel at 1:18 PM on August 14 [3 favorites]


Stacey Abrams rules herself out of presidential race, says she'd consider a VP nod.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:24 PM on August 14 [2 favorites]


Democrats should take a clue from McSweeney's about connecting with moderates.
posted by Slothrup at 7:05 PM on August 14 [7 favorites]


The next debate series should add a requirement that you have at least two major policy positions.

Bye, Yang.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:14 PM on August 14 [5 favorites]


And Biden is complaining that his gaffes are being judged too harshly.

If he can't deal with what he's getting now, he will not be able to bear up to the treatment he will get if nominated - every gaffe becoming a meme, or even weekly SNL jokes for that matter.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:17 PM on August 14 [5 favorites]


Saruman the White supports a more gradual approach to destroying the One Ring. Under Saruman, Mordor will be transitioned away from a Ring-based economy, without the loss of thousands of orc jobs that Gandalf’s plan would entail. Saruman will work with the Ring, not against it, to gradually phase out the Shadow, the Eye of Fire, and the Nazgûl, and replace them with more sustainable alternatives.

Of course, Saruman’s record isn’t perfect. He said at one time that Rings of Power were good for Elves. We know that’s an outdated attitude. But that was more than a thousand years ago, before the Witch-King of Angmar destroyed the Northern Realm. Things were different then.


Thank you, Slothrup. I needed that so much!
posted by Bella Donna at 6:38 AM on August 15 [1 favorite]


John Hickenlooper Drops Out Of 2020 Presidential Race One Assumes [The Onion]

Former Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper to Drop Out of Democratic Presidential Race [Slate]
posted by clawsoon at 6:40 AM on August 15 [5 favorites]


I increasingly think Beto is going to drop out and run for Senate with a message of common sense gun control and fighting white supremacist terrorism. Apart from political considerations about what’s smarter for him, this week has made clear Texas is where his heart is.

It may take another round of debates before that happens, I'm afraid.

Yahoo: After El Paso shooting, Beto looks to restart campaign
After a deadly mass shooting terrorized El Paso earlier this month, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke returned to his hometown, where he met grieving families and mounting calls for him to return on a longer-term basis. Perhaps one of the loudest voices was the Houston Chronicle, whose editorial board implored O’Rourke to drop out of the race for president and focus his efforts on winning GOP Sen. John Cornyn’s Senate seat.

Yet O’Rourke, as well as his staff, are not counting themselves out. A campaign aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, put it plainly: “Beto’s not dropping out; he’s not going anywhere.”

Instead, the Texas-based candidate is set to return to the trail to deliver a “major address to the nation” on Thursday morning, when he is expected to reset his campaign. According to the aide, the O’Rourke campaign plans to recast its candidate and his home state of Texas as new forces in the election.
Houston Chronicle: Beto, come home. Texas needs you.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:25 AM on August 15 [3 favorites]


[Couple things removed; let's keep this focused on Dem primary stuff directly, not just US politics-adjacent stuff in general.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:17 AM on August 15 [1 favorite]


Beto doesn’t get it yet, via CSPAN (w/video): "There have even been some who have suggested that I stay in Texas and run for Senate, but that would not be good enough…we must take the fight directly to the source of this problem..."

Seriously, didn’t the Dems learn from the Obama era that the Senate is the source of the problem in US politics?
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:18 AM on August 15 [22 favorites]


The next debate series should add a requirement that you have at least two major policy positions.

Bye, Yang.


Yang has a whole comments page of policy positions. He also wants to, among other things, unionize MMA fighters (call it the Joe Rogan plank), get rid of the penny (not a bad idea, but wingnuts have been talking about it since like the '80s), and lower the voting age to 16 (I don't even know who the constituency is for that one).

I would like to see Yang field more questions during debates about some of his non-UBI policy positions.
posted by box at 9:05 AM on August 15


I would also like Yang to lay off the fat jokes.

I have a feeling that wish isn't going to come true either.
posted by box at 10:27 AM on August 15 [6 favorites]


Hickenlooper is out: "This morning, I’m announcing that I’m no longer running for President. While this campaign didn’t have the outcome we were hoping for, every moment has been worthwhile & I’m thankful to everyone who supported this campaign and our entire team." (YouTube announcement)
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:48 AM on August 15


Getting rid of the penny is one of those things that should be seen as an illustration of how deep a failure mode we're in with American politics.

No one wants the penny. The mint doesn't want to keep making them, people don't want to keep using them, banks don't want to keep stocking them, and merchants don't want to keep taking them.

We make more pennies every year than we do any other coin, not because there's a demand for them, but because people tend to throw them away so they're constantly falling out of circulation.

On the whole pennies aren't a big issue. We spend about $70 million every year minting them, but that's such a tiny chunk of the budget it doesn't really matter.

Still, given the obvious need to get rid of the penny the fact that Congress can't manage to just pass a damn law ordering the mint to stop making them (and really, while we're at it nickles too) shows how incapable of action our government is.

By way of comparison, in 1857 not exactly a year known for cooperation and civility in the US Congress since we were then just barely for years from outright civil war, Congress voted to abolish the half penny for basically the same reason that the penny should be abolished.

But today Congress is less capable of simple government action than it was in 1857. We're literally in a worse spot, in terms of the ability of Congress to do its job and govern, than we were right before the Civil War.

And that's why we need some of those yahoos to get out of the clown car, give up their ego stroking runs of the Presidency, and get elected to Congress so we can actually get stuff done that needs to be done. The President could be the best possible person in the world, but if Congress is still running in failure mode they won't be able to do much but slap a band aid on the worst of Trump's destruction.
posted by sotonohito at 1:04 PM on August 15 [8 favorites]


sotonohito: "No one wants the penny. The mint doesn't want to keep making them, people don't want to keep using them, banks don't want to keep stocking them, and merchants don't want to keep taking them...

Still, given the obvious need to get rid of the penny the fact that Congress can't manage to just pass a damn law ordering the mint to stop making them (and really, while we're at it nickles too) shows how incapable of action our government is.
"

I think even today's Congress could get rid of the penny if they want to; the problem is that they're being paid not to. The people who make the zinc blanks for pennies lobby Congress hard to keep the penny:

Americans for Common Cents receives funding from about 40 separate organizations,[7] including Jarden Zinc Products, the company that sells zinc to the U.S. Mint.[8] In 2012, Weller, a lobbyist, was paid $340,000 by Jarden Zinc to discuss issues relating to minting with members of Congress and the US Mint.[9] Weller has acknowledged this funding, saying that “We make no secret that one of our major sponsors is a company that makes the zinc ‘blanks’ for pennies."[10]
posted by crazy with stars at 1:54 PM on August 15 [6 favorites]


WaPo analysis piece: Beto O’Rourke says running for Senate isn’t ‘good enough.’ That’s a terrible message — and strategy — for Democrats.

Meanwhile, Hickenlooper says in his YouTube statement, “People want to know what comes next for me. I've heard from so many Coloradans who want me to run for the United States Senate. They remind me how much is at stake for our country. And our state. I intend to give that some serious thought.”
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:10 PM on August 15 [13 favorites]


Obviously, just one poll, etc., but this new Fox News poll is [eyes gif]:
Primary preference:
Biden 31% (-2 from last month)
Warren 20 (+8)
Sanders 10 (-15)
Harris 8 (-2)
Booker 3 (+1)
Buttigieg 3 (-2)
Yang 3 (unchanged)

Head to head (Dem/Trump):
Biden: 50/38
Sanders: 48/39
Warren 46/39
Harris 45/39

Favorables (RV):
Biden +8
Sanders +7
Warren +6
Harris +1
Trump -14
Also notable, RV with negative views of both Biden and Trump break for Biden 43-10. This is the exact opposite of what happened in 2016, where voters who disliked Trump and Hillary broke strongly for Trump.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:25 PM on August 15 [10 favorites]


That's great news! For John McCain Elizabeth Warren! Big momentum in the possibly persnickety primary preference poll, and a decent showing in the head-to-head. Trump has a 39% ceiling and my guess is her numbers would likely go up if she were the candidate.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:14 PM on August 15 [7 favorites]


Women candidates are constantly asked about their electability. Here are 5 reasons that’s misguided. (Vox)
1) Women candidates have a proven track record of winning
2) The top 2020 women Democrats have never lost an election
3) Voters are more excited about electing a woman
4) There is no data to suggest a woman can’t win the Midwest — or other critical states
5) Electability is a misleading construct

Ultimately, electability is, simply put, a problematic construct. For one, it can fuel a self-fulfilling feedback loop: If we assume women can’t win, we likely won’t ever give those candidates the chance to try. For another, electability is quite hard to predict. [...] As a result, theories of electability often function more as a coded way to express existing biases about what a winning candidate looks like, rather than accurate predictions.
posted by bitteschoen at 5:00 AM on August 16 [7 favorites]


Fat jokes aren't limited to Andrew Yang and Marianne Williamson (Insider)--Trump Fat-Shamed His Own Supporter (Splinter)

Anyone want to help me make an FPP about presidential candidates that don't like fat people? I bet there's at least a couple more out there.
posted by box at 9:06 AM on August 16


FiveThirtyEight's Who Will Make The Third Democratic Debate (And Who Could Miss It) is obviously a piece of horse-race analysis, but it ends on this note:
But failing to make the third debate isn’t necessarily all she wrote for some of the lower-tier candidates. According to an email sent by the DNC to the campaigns earlier this month, polls that count toward qualification for the third debate will also count for the fourth debate in October (date still TBD). In theory, that means a candidate who came up short of making the third debate might be able to pick up enough qualifying surveys and donors to make the fourth debate. However, failing to make the third debate might signal to potential supporters and prospective contributors that a candidate isn’t worth backing, thus making it harder to get the polls and donors necessary to qualify for the October event.
And Yahoo asks, Why is Seth Moulton still running for president?

Incidentally, the Onion's Democrat Party: Moving Left Vs. Remaining Moderate is such brutal satire that it's hard to tell where it end and where actual common wisdom begins (e.g. "Climate Change—Moving Left: The free market shows no signs of solving this problem; Remaining Moderate: Yeah, but it still might" or "Immigration—Moving Left: Reform-based; Remaining Moderate: Résumé-based").
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:30 AM on August 16 [4 favorites]


Beto O’Rourke Is About to Run the Campaign Pollsters Warned Against (Pema Levy, Mother Jones)
He’s throwing out the playbook, the corn dogs, and maybe even the clean language. […]

But O’Rourke is doing what the pollsters and pundits warned explicitly not to do: Make it about Trump. When Elizabeth Warren launched her campaign, she famously didn’t even mention Trump as she made her way across Iowa and New Hampshire.

O’Rourke’s speech was also a love letter to El Paso and a plea to confront racism. But at its core, it was a campaign relaunch centered on confronting the president. Instead of taking the Houston Chronicle’s advice to drop out and run for Senate again, O’Rourke on Thursday explained why he would plow on: “We must take the fight directly to the source of this problem—that person who has caused this pain and placed this country in this moment of peril. And that is Donald Trump.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:11 AM on August 16 [1 favorite]




Today's NYT article on Obama/Biden is good.
He exploded when campaign researchers began asking questions about the private life of his family, especially his younger son, Hunter.
Understandably--Hunter Biden was a lobbyist and paid consultant to Delaware-based MBNA. And, during the 2008 primary season, Hunter was operating a hedge fund that was"a way to take money from rich foreigners who could not legally give money to [Biden] or his campaign account." He also has a sometimes-messy personal life
When an Obama campaign official flagged the issue, Mr. Biden grew angry and warned, “Keep my family out of this.” The issue was dropped, according to a person involved in the vetting process.


The Times also offers this anecdote about Biden, Mitch McConnell, and negotiating the 'fiscal cliff' agreement:
During a follow-up meeting in the Oval Office in early 2013, Mr. McConnell ruled out a big deal before the 2014 midterms, when he would be running for re-election in Kentucky. Mr. Biden responded by saying, “Mitch, we want to see you come back,” an off-the-cuff endorsement of one of their biggest adversaries.
It concludes on this note:
When they were done [meeting with top Biden advisors], Mr. Obama offered a pointed reminder, according to two people with knowledge of his comments:

Win or lose, they needed to make sure Mr. Biden did not “embarrass himself” or “damage his legacy” during the campaign.
posted by box at 11:30 AM on August 16 [7 favorites]


From ZeusHumms' MoJo link:
This may not be the campaign anyone recommended. And it’s still unlikely to make O’Rourke the nominee. But the “twist,” says Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, is that it sets him apart. “Since they are all out there saying what they are for, there is potentially room for someone to say, ‘I’m the biggest enemy of Donald Trump.’” For a candidate whose poll numbers are in the low single digits, whose fundraising has lagged, and who needs to make a change, Mellman says, this is “not crazy.”
So, let me get this straight.

Hillary Clinton took no small amount of criticism in 2016 from both the right and the anti-anti-Trump wing of the left for allegedly making the election too much about Trump and not enough about "issues". Setting aside the very weak case for these assertions -- I'd say that not handing the keys to the kingdom over to a Russian-backed Nazi plutocrat ranks pretty highly in my list of issues! -- it's technically correct that she did call out Trump directly, and that her campaign staff did alter her messaging to more strongly warn of the dangers of Russian interference, call out the cruelty of Trump's rhetoric on immigration, etc.

In response, most of the non-vanity Democratic candidates have chosen to tiptoe around the obvious fact that Trump is their adversary, betting that being seen as issues-focused will pay off for them politically. The one exception noted in that article is Elizabeth Warren, who hasn't been as afraid to call Trump out, but has a much broader message into which Trump's heinousness fits into, allowing her policy positions to stay in the foreground. All of these moves, we have been told, are key to being seen as too vituperative, too obsessed with the past, too unwilling to discuss an affirmative path forward.

But now Cusswords McGee here wants to swoop in and declare himself the one true enemy of Trump, simply because he says "fuck a lot", and suddenly pollsters think voters are gonna love them some more Beto diss tracks.

Does anyone actually believe this? That voters are secretly yearning for someone who will flood the airwaves with nothing but "Trump: Bad!" messaging? And were any of these people alive in 2016 when the instruction was to do the exact opposite?
posted by tonycpsu at 11:30 AM on August 16 [3 favorites]


on the horse race: according to British bookmaker Ladbrokes, Warren has overtaken Biden as the favorite to win the 2020 Democratic primary.
posted by bitteschoen at 12:26 PM on August 16 [5 favorites]


Beto needs a metaphorical* Cher-in-Moonstruck “Snap out of it!”

*please no one literally slap Beto
posted by sallybrown at 12:46 PM on August 16 [2 favorites]


Does anyone actually believe this? That voters are secretly yearning for someone who will flood the airwaves with nothing but "Trump: Bad!" messaging?

It’s no way to win the nomination, but I bet it’s a perfectly functional way to get yourself some more votes since there obviously are some voters that are just wanting a candidate willing to go mano a mano with trump right out of the gate. I forget who in these threads mentioned Beto being the unicorn that could take votes from both Biden and Bernie, but I think they were right and this pugnacious rebranding seems to push even further in that direction, which can only really help Warren.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 1:18 PM on August 16


I rather liked this part of the NYT article:

In late July, Mr. Plouffe and Mr. Axelrod embarked on a one-day trip from the campaign’s Chicago headquarters to audition all three, starting with Mr. Biden in Delaware.

“Basically I said, ‘Forgive me for being so blunt, but how do we know you know how to shut up?’” Mr. Axelrod recalled asking. “An hour later, he finished answering. So I asked him another question.”


And the part about having to basically be bullied out of running in 2016. Just absolutely no political sense whatsoever.
posted by kafziel at 1:26 PM on August 16 [5 favorites]


Also worth noting that the article about Biden was written by known sexual harasser Glenn Thrush, and I don't believe for one second that the NYT made that decision randomly or accidentally.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:32 PM on August 16 [5 favorites]


He exploded when campaign researchers began asking questions about the private life of his family, especially his younger son, Hunter.

Hunter biden is a king, the most impressive of the Bidens, to me (dude smoked crack!), but he's quite a political liability and there's no doubt the Trump camp will be dropping all the oppo they have on Hunter and his wild ways. Does Biden think that this just isn't going to come up again?

Why are all these manbabies who can't deal with their emotions so powerful and prominent?
posted by dis_integration at 1:37 PM on August 16 [6 favorites]


(dude smoked crack!)

He even has a I-didn't-inhale story:
Once, hoping to buy cocaine, he was sold a piece of crack, but he wasn’t sure how to take the drug. “I didn’t have a stem,” Hunter said. “I didn’t have a pipe.” Improvising, he stuffed the crack into a cigarette and smoked it. “It didn’t have much of an effect,” he said.
posted by box at 1:52 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


As a Texan, let me try to explain Beto.

Thing is, he's got charisma. He really does love being with people and you can tell. It's the sort of thing some pols fake, and you can always tell when they're faking it. And you can be a good pol, and a good candidate, if you don't really like people. But Beto does. I doubt he's met many people in his life he really disliked, mostly he's the kind of guy who can walk into a room filled with strangers and in the time it takes to blink he'll be in a deep conversation with a group of people like he's known them his entire life.

And, to an extent, that's good.

But, to another extent, it's bad.

Because, since he has charisma, he sees a lot of people who like him, and a lot of people who tell him that he's awesome and can fix everything. I think he buys his own hype. He's convinced the problem really is Trump, not his good buddies who happen to be Republicans, and that since he's so great at relationships he can win the Presidency and then just by sheer personal magnetism he can get the Republicans to play ball and be the good partners he knows they want to be.

Which is why he's convinced himself that nothing less than Beto as President will work or is worth his time. He knows that he can make it work if he can just get Mitch McConnell in a meeting and talk to him one on one for a while and then it'll be like Ronnie and Tip and everything will be bipartisan and work great!

Huge ego goes along with real charisma, and Beto's got both.
posted by sotonohito at 2:05 PM on August 16 [14 favorites]


if he can just get Mitch McConnell in a meeting and talk to him one on one for a while and then it'll be like Ronnie and Tip and everything will be bipartisan and work great!

I hadn't thought of Beto as Young Joe Biden before *shudders*.
posted by benzenedream at 2:50 PM on August 16 [3 favorites]


Beto's also never gonna go too hard on billionaires, inheritance tax, or real estate exploitation. Not while his wife Amy, the "charter school administrator" as she keeps getting described, stands to inherit billions from her real estate mogul dad, who funded his political career. And whose business interests he spent his entire 2006-2008 city council term pushing as hard as he could, going so far as to advocate the use of eminent domain to hand over depressed real estate for redevelopment.
posted by kafziel at 3:12 PM on August 16 [16 favorites]


Beto reads as more Bill Clinton than Joe Biden to me.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:13 PM on August 18 [8 favorites]


Globe: Seth Mouton's terrible summer vacation

Moulton has had 0% in *every* eligible poll!
posted by Chrysostom at 11:36 AM on August 19 [2 favorites]


That’s the kind of consistency I can appreciate in...uh, some other candidate, I guess.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:57 AM on August 19


Castro has qualified for the 3rd debate, making ten.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:58 AM on August 20 [4 favorites]


Great data viz project on Dem primary polling from The Economist.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:21 AM on August 21 [4 favorites]


Inslee is out.
posted by mightygodking at 6:29 PM on August 21 [1 favorite]


Hopefully he ends up as EPA administrator or climate change czar.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:46 PM on August 21 [4 favorites]


3rd debate rules are set:

* More than 10 candidates means two nights
* If two nights, they do a random draw for which night

10 people are already in (Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Harris, Klobuchar, O'Rourke, Sanders, Warren, Yang).
posted by Chrysostom at 8:52 PM on August 21 [4 favorites]


3rd debate rules are set:

What's helpful about this link is that it clarifies which polls qualify candidates for the debates:

In order to qualify for the September debate, candidates must cross both the polling and grassroots funding thresholds. Candidates must receive 2% or more support in at least four national polls, or polls conducted in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and/or Nevada and publicly released between June 28 and August 28. Any candidates’ four qualifying polls must be sponsored by one or more of the following organizations approved by the DNC: The Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, the Des Moines Register, Fox News, Monmouth University, NBC News, The New York Times, National Public Radio, Quinnipiac University, University of New Hampshire, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, and Winthrop University. They also must be conducted by different organizations or -- if by the same organization -- must be in different geographical areas.

The two candidates with a solid chance of still qualifying for the debates are Steyer and Gabbard. Steyer's polls are two polls in Iowa - Monmouth and CBS - and a Monmouth poll in South Carolina. Gabbard's polls are a CNN national poll, an ABC/WaPo national poll and a CBS New Hampshire poll. Since starting his campaign Steyer's routinely polled over 2 percent in Iowa and South Carolina so he just needs one more in either to qualify; Gabbard has frequently gotten 2-4 percent in New Hampshire so one more poll there should be all she needs. If Gravis or The Economist were on the approved list they'd both be qualified already.
posted by mightygodking at 9:59 PM on August 21 [2 favorites]


Shit, I thought I was paying close attention to the field, but didn't notice Hickenlooper dropped out (last week)!
I have rewarded this decision with a small donation to his Senate campaign. (Happy to do the same for you, Beto...)

Actually, ... Coloradan mefites: who do you like for Senator from Colorado? Tell me more, please! I'd prefer to send my donations to strong progressives. Or at least the more progressive candidates.
posted by ButteryMales at 11:46 AM on August 22




Democratic National Committee Votes To Reject Climate Debate

Wouldn't want to get into any tricky issues like how some candidates may or may not have accepted all kinds of energy sector donations over the years, would we.
posted by dis_integration at 1:36 PM on August 22 [1 favorite]


Democratic National Committee Votes To Reject Climate Debate

What's really amazing about this to me is that CNN is hosting a climate town hall in a couple weeks, and all the Democratic candidates who "qualify" to attend - said qualification rules being exactly the same as the debate qualification rules for the next debate - have said they'll attend. It's a climate debate in all but name, and for some reason the DNC is desperate to reject something the voters and candidates both want.
posted by mightygodking at 6:56 AM on August 23 [4 favorites]


And Yahoo asks, Why is Seth Moulton still running for president?

But now he's not.

NYT: Seth Moulton Ends 2020 Presidential Campaign With a Warning
Mr. Moulton, 40, said in an interview that he had no immediate plans to endorse another candidate, but he warmly praised former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Mr. Moulton planned to announce the end of his campaign in a formal speech before the Democratic National Committee on Friday.

Mr. Moulton suggested that most of the other Democratic candidates were also laboring in vain at this point, with only a tiny few — Mr. Biden and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — remaining as real competitors for the nomination. He warned in the interview that if Democrats were to embrace an overly liberal platform, it could make it harder for the party to defeat President Trump.

“I think it’s evident that this is now a three-way race between Biden, Warren and Sanders, and really it’s a debate about how far left the party should go,” Mr. Moulton said.
He also said that he would not primary Senator Edward J. Markey.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:04 AM on August 23 [1 favorite]


He warned in the interview that if Democrats were to embrace an overly liberal platform, it could make it harder for the party to defeat President Trump.

Most Americans Are Liberal, Even If They Don’t Know It
...the focus on division and bigotry can obscure views that most Americans share, especially when it comes to such matters as economic fairness, protecting the environment, and the drift toward plutocracy. The vast majority of Americans are liberal or progressive when it comes to these matters. Even some Trump supporters, Republicans, and people who call themselves “conservatives” have liberal views on many topics.
America’s Political Mood Is Now the ‘Most Liberal Ever Recorded’
The American public is in the mood for “big government.” According to the distinguished political scientist James Stimson’s “Public Policy Mood estimate” — a widely respected tool for measuring shifts in ideological opinion across time — the U.S. electorate is more sympathetic to left-wing economic policy today than at anytime in the past 68 years (which is as far back as Stimson’s data goes).
The United States Is a Progressive Nation With a Democracy Problem
On issue after issue, American voters are firmly left-of-center, and in some cases ready to embrace our most progressive ideas. They want more gun control. They want increased abortion access. They want criminal-justice reform. Fifty-six percent of all Americans want nationalized single-payer health care, and nearly everyone wants the government to do more to bring down costs. Fifty-nine percent of registered voters support higher taxes on the wealthy. Fifty-four percent of Republicans and 70 percent of all Americans want to “soak the rich.” Even fifty-seven percent of people who identify as conservative Republicans support the main components of a Green New Deal. Seventy-two percent believe climate change is a threat. Everybody hates gerrymandering.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:18 AM on August 23 [9 favorites]


“I think it’s evident that this is now a three-way race between Biden, Warren and Sanders, and really it’s a debate about how far left the party should go,” Mr. Moulton said.

Sanders: This porridge is too hot!
Biden: This porridge is too cold.
Warren: Ahh, this porridge is just right.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:20 AM on August 23 [7 favorites]


Moulton has to worry about getting primaries, so I guess vacation time was over.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:46 AM on August 23 [2 favorites]


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