Debate #3: Heated hectoring at the Houston hustings
September 12, 2019 3:30 PM   Subscribe

Ten candidates will appear tonight at the third Democratic primary debate in Houston as the US Presidential campaign continues.

With tighter qualifying rules, the field for the third debate has been narrowed to ten candidates participating in a single three-hour session (in podium order): 1. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; 2. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; 3. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; 4. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; 5. Former Vice President Joe Biden; 6. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; 7. California Sen. Kamala Harris; 8. Businessman Andrew Yang; 9. Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke; 10. Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro

The debate starts at 8pm Eastern Time. It will air on broadcast television on ABC and in Spanish on Univision, with streaming available on YouTube, ABC.com, or the ABC app on your platform of choice.

As the debate will be broadcast live on ABC, the network has instructed candidates to "avoid cursing or expletives in accordance with federal law."

What's the current state of the race? Democratic primary polls are showing a 3-way race going into the third debate (FiveThirtyEight poll tracker)

Debate guides: Live quick reactions and chatter are welcome in MeFi Chat (featuring the lovely politics room) and #2020 on the unofficial PoliticsFilter Slack.

Thanks to katra for helping to create this post.
posted by zachlipton (381 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
Let me be the first to declare "Houston, we have a LOT of problems" (and no Tom Hanks or Kevin Bacon to be seen).
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:53 PM on September 12 [5 favorites]


As the debate will be broadcast live on ABC, the network has instructed candidates to "avoid cursing or expletives in accordance with federal law."

So you're saying Beto has a chance to win the "justice for Janet Jackson" vote?
posted by grandiloquiet at 3:59 PM on September 12 [16 favorites]


The only thing I want to hear from these people is what they're doing to force the Democrats to get off their ass and impeach
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:39 PM on September 12 [4 favorites]


Warren hit piece by Biden pal before the debate. Will probably backfire? Really I look forward to Warren wiping the floor with Biden. He has not performed well in these things, and she is ultra prepared.
posted by Glinn at 4:39 PM on September 12 [6 favorites]


I had hoped to never hear the name "Ed Rendell" ever again. I guess all the old retreads are coming out of the woodwork now. Maybe Mark Penn has some sage wisdom for us?
posted by Justinian at 4:47 PM on September 12 [7 favorites]


Thanks, zachlipton!
posted by Chrysostom at 4:49 PM on September 12 [5 favorites]


Newspaper liveblog commentary: Washington Post, New York Times
posted by zachlipton at 4:56 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


I had hoped to never hear the name "Ed Rendell" ever again. I guess all the old retreads are coming out of the woodwork now. Maybe Mark Penn has some sage wisdom for us?

I think it's a matter of Warren doing really, really well in polls and at rallies lately, so there are a lot of big, brown stains in a lot of wealthy undies at the potential of President Warren. A Biden presidency would be business as usual; not so a Warren one.

I am pulling for Warren to outshine everyone with her plans and preparation.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:06 PM on September 12 [38 favorites]


Did they all have to draw straws to see who gets to make the "Houston, we have a problem" joke?
posted by Countess Elena at 5:07 PM on September 12 [7 favorites]


538 liveblog.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:08 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Guardian live blog: "Amy Klobuchar offered this punny warning about Trump’s presidency: “Houston, we have a problem.” Get it? Because we’re in Houston, guys! Brilliant."
posted by katra at 5:09 PM on September 12 [5 favorites]


Other candidates are laughing at Yang's $12K giveaway to ten families.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 5:11 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


yang: "my campaign will give a 'freedom dividend' of $1000/mo to ten american families who..." didn't catch the rest because my brain exploded a little.

I think one of the female candidates was openly chuckle-laughing but possibly that was just some bits of gray matter settling at the base of my skull.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:12 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Wow, Yang went full gimmick for his opening statement: Check me out and you too can win a chance to get $1000 Yang Bucks.
posted by xammerboy at 5:13 PM on September 12 [7 favorites]


Smug centrist laughter I don't think appeals as much as thousand dollars a month would
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:14 PM on September 12 [6 favorites]


Amy Klobuchar was trying so hard to come up with a genuine smile during her opening and then lost it for real with a belly laugh during Yang's opening :-)
posted by xammerboy at 5:15 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


I never realized Warren started as a special needs teacher. I love that.
posted by xammerboy at 5:18 PM on September 12 [31 favorites]


Biden with the disingenuous dichotomy between support for Obamacare and support for Medicare-For-All.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:18 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Anaaaad Biden on universal healthcare: "How we gonna pay for it??" Everyone take a drink.
posted by zardoz at 5:19 PM on September 12 [7 favorites]


So fascinating how the moderator's questions always come from the center and never the left.
posted by BeginAgain at 5:21 PM on September 12 [15 favorites]


Bernie with a superfluous "damn" off the bat. Nice.
posted by zardoz at 5:22 PM on September 12 [10 favorites]


>"How we gonna pay for it??"

Um. By making rich people also pay taxes? If he really said that, an emergency eject button should be used to launch him out of the building, and just leave a big spring wobbling in his spot on the stage.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 5:23 PM on September 12 [40 favorites]


Is it me or did Biden’s first answer on healthcare seem totally incomprehensible? Word salad!
posted by freecellwizard at 5:23 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Part credit to Stephanopoulos for not doing what Chuck Todd or Jake Tapper would've -- dismissing the substantive response to complain that Warren hadn't given a yes/no answer to a dumb talking point.
posted by grandiloquiet at 5:24 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Bernie with a superfluous "damn" off the bat. Nice.

Love it, as they were warned repeatedly not to swear. Bernie is on fire.
posted by xammerboy at 5:24 PM on September 12 [4 favorites]


I can't decide whether to catch up to everyone or keep going 15 minutes back dangit!
posted by Glinn at 5:24 PM on September 12


Warren and Sanders are double teaming Biden, and I think that's a very smart strategy.
posted by anastasiav at 5:26 PM on September 12 [18 favorites]


Wow, Joe right between Bernie and Warren. He is getting it from both sides on healthcare and is going to continue getting a beating all night.
posted by xammerboy at 5:27 PM on September 12 [5 favorites]


But not an appealing metaphor.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:27 PM on September 12 [19 favorites]


Klobuchar plants her healthcare flag in disingenous-centrist territory with the your-insurance-will-change line.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:28 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Lot of Republicans on this stage
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:28 PM on September 12 [29 favorites]


"I trust you to do what makes the most sense for you."

That's not how leadership over reform of the most complex industry in the country works, Mayor Pete.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:29 PM on September 12 [13 favorites]


I miss Marianne.
posted by BeginAgain at 5:30 PM on September 12 [7 favorites]


Warren is making a really good point that Medicare for All will cut out the bureaucracy from healthcare resulting in lots of efficiencies and cost savings. There is SO much work just around the billing portion of healthcare.
posted by xammerboy at 5:31 PM on September 12 [37 favorites]


@danpfeiffer: It would be fucking awesome if someone, anyone on stage would mention that Donald Trump is trying to destroy Obamacare right now.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:31 PM on September 12 [24 favorites]


Bernie and Joe are extremely Statler and Waldorf up there.
posted by sallybrown at 5:32 PM on September 12 [14 favorites]


Yeah, while Buttgieg, Warren, Sanders, and Biden fight over whether a M4A plan which isn't going to happen should happen, we're weeks away from a judge possibly striking down the entire ACA. It's quite possible we'll go in to 2020 with millions tossed off their insurance plans.
posted by Justinian at 5:33 PM on September 12 [12 favorites]


This "choice" thing is b.s. Who chooses their healthcare provider? The only people who "choose" are rich people who want platinum plated private insurance.
posted by xammerboy at 5:33 PM on September 12 [50 favorites]


Biden is not comprehensible enough to yell this much
posted by BeginAgain at 5:33 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Holy shit Biden is bad. He can barely keep a sentence together.
posted by chuntered inelegantly from a sedentary position at 5:34 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Why does Beto look like he’s sleeping in an air fryer?
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:35 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Biden stumbled all over his pre-written bon mot. H
posted by ActingTheGoat at 5:35 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Yeah, while Buttgieg, Warren, Sanders, and Biden fight over whether a M4A plan which isn't going to happen should happen, we're weeks ago from a judge possibly striking down the entire ACA. It's quite possible we'll go in to 2020 with millions tossed off their insurance plans.

Speaking of old retreads coming out of the wood work. The thread just started, maybe we can skip the whole "better things aren't possible" schtick?
posted by kafziel at 5:35 PM on September 12 [24 favorites]


Castro: "you [Biden] just said they had to buy in. Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?"
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:37 PM on September 12 [5 favorites]


If we want to play pretend, sure. M4A doesn't have 40 Senate votes much less 50 much less 60.
posted by Justinian at 5:37 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Also is this debate sponsored by Flowbee? Where did all these dudes hair go?
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:37 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


gettin' into folding chair territory
posted by Countess Elena at 5:38 PM on September 12 [7 favorites]


Then Castro calls Buttigieg out on his sanctimonious "let's not fight" unity: "That's an election!"
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:38 PM on September 12 [12 favorites]


Hmm. I like Julian Castro going after Biden, but I love Julian Castro going after Mayor Pete.
posted by grandiloquiet at 5:38 PM on September 12 [32 favorites]


This "choice" thing is b.s. Who chooses their healthcare provider?

Agreed. Would much rather have choice of any doctor I feel like than between limited insurance plans tied to specific employers. The republican "more choice" talking point is a bad look on this stage.
posted by p3t3 at 5:39 PM on September 12 [12 favorites]


Well he is fulfilling the legacy of Barack Obama and you're not
posted by chuntered inelegantly from a sedentary position at 5:40 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Castro came to swing at Biden. And he just scored a direct hit. It feels like he's playing attack dog for Warren and Sanders, who can't afford to be *too* vicious.
posted by dbx at 5:40 PM on September 12 [11 favorites]


You guys, asians know doctors...
posted by xammerboy at 5:40 PM on September 12 [14 favorites]


I was getting a beer at the fridge, but did Yang just say "I am asian, so I know a lot of doctors"?
posted by wigner3j at 5:40 PM on September 12 [33 favorites]


O'Rourke given first swing at racism and the El Paso terrorist attacks. Calls for reparations.

Let the record show that a mainstream white Dem politician endorsing reparations would have been unthinkable three years ago.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:42 PM on September 12 [67 favorites]


Interesting chart at 538 showing how many times the candidates had mentioned Trump (as of about 10 minutes ago).

Tl;dr- Harris 9, Castro 3, everybody else 1 or 0. Harris is going hard for the VP slot.
posted by Justinian at 5:43 PM on September 12 [6 favorites]


Booker: "We will have an office in the White House to deal with white supremacy."

Buttigieg on race sounds like the well-meaning, smart, liberal white dude from South Bend that... he is.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:46 PM on September 12 [8 favorites]


I was getting a beer at the fridge, but did Yang just say "I am asian, so I know a lot of doctors"?

I’m part Scotch-Irish and I know a lot of beers. You are correct. I feel like we both did not hear the raucous laughter Yang seems to have expected.
posted by armeowda at 5:47 PM on September 12 [23 favorites]


The opponents of single-payer (i.e. everyone except for Bernie and Warren) consistently come across as dishonest, to me. I'm in favor of single-payer, but recognize that there are some drawbacks, especially when it comes to implementation, utilization (at least initially), and the political problem of passing it. None of these single-payer critics are attacking m4a along those lines, though.

They do things like:
-bring up the costs, which, when compared to literally nothing, are staggering. But every analysis I've read of these bills shows that single-payer is the most efficient system, and significantly more fiscally responsible than the status-quo path. So non-single-payer advocates are either proposing that we cover less people or cover them less efficiently or both.

-fetishize choice, but merely abstractly and within the domain of the market. This ignores all the ways that their proposals will fetter the ability of people to live their lives freely, or as they choose.

-bring up the possible transition costs/risks of single-payer, which, when compared to doing literally nothing, are substantial. But these public option plans have their own failure modes; we've seen countries that have tried these sort of systems (like South Africa) end up in a death spiral. Rich people stay on expensive private insurance, leading the public option to be less efficient/effective than if everyone was pushed on it at once, which makes rich people even less likely (in the next year, for example) to be on the public option, which makes it even less efficient/effective, ad naseum. Instead of the public option letting more and more people opt in, over time, eventually achieving a single-payer system, you end up with two starkly different healthcare systems: an underfunded and bad one for the poor, and a functioning one for the wealthy. It's really easy for me to imagine this happening in America, especially given the fact that the continuing existence of private insurers means they'll continue to exert pressure on legislators. To me, this is a far greater 'transition cost' issue than even the most aggressive single-payer implementations
posted by davedave at 5:48 PM on September 12 [63 favorites]


I enjoyed Warren’s point that when people say “I want to keep my plan,” they don’t typically mean “i want to keep my insurance plan” but rather “I want to keep being able to go to my same doctor and local hospital without paying more.” First she said it and then every time one of the other candidates said “under my plan, you can keep your insurance” it reminded me of her point.
posted by sallybrown at 5:50 PM on September 12 [73 favorites]


It feels like he's playing attack dog for Warren and Sanders, who can't afford to be *too* vicious.
Agree but don't love the phrasing.
posted by Glinn at 5:53 PM on September 12


Biden reminds us that he was already an adult when MLK was assassinated. At this point other candidates should just yield the remainder of their time to the distinguished member from Wessex
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:53 PM on September 12 [9 favorites]


Biden saying "nobody should be in jail for a non-violent crime" is a hell of a long way from his prior statements and actions on criminal justice, and I'm not convinced he appreciates the extent of what he just said. Is that something anyone is going to follow up on?
posted by zachlipton at 5:56 PM on September 12 [30 favorites]


Hope Castro is VP but better as a Senator?
posted by Glinn at 5:57 PM on September 12 [5 favorites]


He meant a non-violent drug crime, though even that is further than he's gone before.
posted by Justinian at 5:57 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


How much has Harris had to drink
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:58 PM on September 12 [6 favorites]


Somebody tell Joe Biden that it's Moms Demand Action, not mother's against violence. Jeeze, if you're gonna take credit for their existence, you should at least know who they are!
posted by dbx at 5:58 PM on September 12 [18 favorites]


at least he didn't say M.A.D.D.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:59 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Biden is struggling with the names of the things and the nouns and the whatchacalls generally tonight.
posted by armeowda at 6:00 PM on September 12 [6 favorites]


Beto: "Hell yes! We're gonna take your AR-15s"
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:01 PM on September 12 [29 favorites]


Biden saying "nobody should be in jail for a non-violent crime" is a hell of a long way from his prior statements and actions on criminal justice, and I'm not convinced he appreciates the extent of what he just said. Is that something anyone is going to follow up on?
Given the way he's responded to questions about this on the campaign trail, he not only doesn't appreciate the extent of the harms caused by his statements and actions w.r.t. criminal justice, but is pretty resistant to criticisms and conversations on the topic
posted by davedave at 6:01 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Yeah here's the walk-back.

@jeneps: Biden aide says he was talking about non-violent drug offenses

Which is still pretty far from Biden's past actions, but very different than what he said.
posted by zachlipton at 6:02 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


They should hire me as an aide, I was all over that walkback!
posted by Justinian at 6:03 PM on September 12 [14 favorites]


None of these single-payer critics are attacking m4a along those lines, though.

Yeah, "even a compromise like single payer is not achievable because the healthcare profiteers have irreparably captured the legislative and/or judicial branches" is a perfectly reasonable position. Not the only reasonable position IMO, but certainly deserving of consideration.

But when candidates, instead of being even minimally honest, come out with arguments that add up to "substantial change for the better is unthinkable because everything is already for the best in this best of all possible healthcare systems," they need to never be taken seriously as Democrats ever again.
posted by shenderson at 6:03 PM on September 12 [26 favorites]


I'm having a hard time deciding who's dunking on Biden the worst, himself or everybody else. He can barely get out a coherent sentence. Harris telling him to say "yes we can" instead of "we can't" was a solid line. Biden trying to be progressive about non-violent marijuana crime by saying it should be a misdemeanor is too little too late.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 6:03 PM on September 12 [8 favorites]


Harris telling him to say "yes we can" instead of "we can't" was a solid line.

I hated that answer! She is a former prosecutor and she had time to come up with an argument for why she thinks an assault weapons executive order would be constitutional, and instead she laughed and said that?! Ma’am!
posted by sallybrown at 6:06 PM on September 12 [7 favorites]


I understand they're trying to give the bottom five a fair share of time, but I'd really like to hear from Senator Warren some more, please.
posted by anastasiav at 6:06 PM on September 12 [6 favorites]


Booker, Buttigieg, or O'Rourke will be the VP pick. 20 bucks! Any takers?
posted by zardoz at 6:06 PM on September 12 [4 favorites]


FWIW, I'd say online opinion is not that harsh on Biden performance tonight.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:07 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Warren and Sanders both are getting short shrift.
posted by zardoz at 6:07 PM on September 12 [8 favorites]


Yeah, "even a compromise like single payer is not achievable because the healthcare profiteers have irreparably captured the legislative and/or judicial branches" is a perfectly reasonable position. Not the only reasonable position IMO, but certainly deserving of consideration.

As a socialist, I think that position's frighteningly close to correct. But if it is, it leads one to political conclusions that are, to put it mildly, at odds with those of the single-payer critics pushing more moderate reforms.
posted by davedave at 6:07 PM on September 12 [9 favorites]


Drug courts would still be a big step up from people going to prison for years for buying some heroin.
posted by xammerboy at 6:08 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Boom. Warren nails the corruption angle on guns.
posted by zardoz at 6:08 PM on September 12 [12 favorites]


But when candidates, instead of being even minimally honest, come out with arguments that add up to "substantial change for the better is unthinkable because everything is already for the best in this best of all possible healthcare systems," they need to never be taken seriously as Democrats ever again.

This is because healthcare profiteers have irreparably captured them, as well.

So, yes, never taken seriously as Democrats, allies, people to support, people worth respect, people worth breath.
posted by kafziel at 6:09 PM on September 12 [4 favorites]


Biden has managed to reset expectations for a successful debate downwards to "no body parts fill with blood like in a low budget horror flick."
posted by Justinian at 6:09 PM on September 12 [8 favorites]


Bernie's voice is giving out. Too much talking? Doesn't sound good.
posted by zardoz at 6:09 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Biden has managed to reset expectations for a successful debate downwards to "no body parts fill with blood like in a low budget horror flick."

Visibly, anyway.

Brain don't seem to be doing so good.
posted by kafziel at 6:10 PM on September 12 [6 favorites]


Bernie's work-around response to the fillibuster issue is too clever by half, in my view. Like, I think it could work, but I also think he should just bite the bullet and say he supports eliminating it.
posted by davedave at 6:11 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Boom. Warren nails the corruption angle on guns.

Totally agreed, but using it to go after the filibuster was one hell of a pivot.
posted by solotoro at 6:12 PM on September 12


Really if you have a candidate that wants to abolish the filibuster you should leave them in the Senate and not elect them to some other office but I am a hypocrite and don’t want to do that
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:13 PM on September 12 [6 favorites]


Castro just did a good job of explaining Biden - there for the good; not there for the bad.
posted by buzzman at 6:15 PM on September 12 [10 favorites]


Warren just killed it on immigration in my opinion. Legal path to citizenship. Take that law and order Republicans.
posted by xammerboy at 6:18 PM on September 12 [15 favorites]


We are less than halfway through.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:21 PM on September 12


I loved Yang’s line that instead of building a wall, we should be hyping ourselves as a country where immigrants can come to build a business, build a family, and build a life.
posted by sallybrown at 6:21 PM on September 12 [24 favorites]


It was a fine conservative line--we should welcome immigrants because they're good for the economy--and Yang would make a decent Republican member of Congress, gimmicky proposals aside.

Yet here we are.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:23 PM on September 12 [23 favorites]


This has been mostly bad
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:25 PM on September 12 [6 favorites]


This has been mostly bad

Is spending large portions of their time attacking Trump just a way to get out of having to explain how their policies are actually different to other people? I feel like it is.

I mean, dems all agree on the horribleness of Trump.

lol though, Harris just noted that when you pull back the curtain, it's... "a really... small... dude?" and that was a solid hit.

nice to see the old megathread gang again, though.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:38 PM on September 12 [36 favorites]


Good for Kamala for mentioning that we need to partner with China, at least on some issues. They're a rising power and candidate for future global hegemon; this means they both threaten national interests in some respects, but offer opportunities in others.

I'm not sure the American public--at least the subset of the public that tends to vote (older, richer, whiter people)--is willing to accept that we're no longer the singular global superpower that can always get what it wants, since this entails rethinking how we engage with the world, especially a country like China.
posted by davedave at 6:40 PM on September 12 [14 favorites]


Did Booker just say that he finds [Canadian PM] Trudeau's hair "menacing"?
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:42 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


I'd like to see Booker photoshopped to have Trudeau's hair
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:43 PM on September 12 [14 favorites]


Is spending large portions of their time attacking Trump just a way to get out of having to explain how their policies are actually different to other people? I feel like it is.

I live in Maine, where we have ranked choice voting. One of the best part about the 2018 gubernatorial election was that the many Dems who were running for the nomination could focus on their common ground, and how much better any Dem candidate would be than the successor to LePage. Because they didn't have to fight among themselves as much they could support each other ("rank me 1, but rank him 2") and tell a consistent story.
posted by anastasiav at 6:45 PM on September 12 [15 favorites]


Warren's answer a while back about how she would handle trade is, in a nutshell, why I am so gung-ho for her. Her answer was not: I can fix this. Her answer was not: Nobody else sees what I see. Her answer was: we need everyone who has a stake in the outcome at the table, helping to make the right decisions. That's uniting people. That's governance.

A while back I posted in the now closed Warren thread about her campaign organization. She isn't just talking about making stakeholders a part of the process -- she's doing it, right now. She understands the power of working together, I think more than anyone else on that stage.

And in a beautiful moment of synchronicity, as I write this she is literally saying that word: together. More of that please, Dems.
posted by dbx at 6:46 PM on September 12 [64 favorites]


I'm glad Biden is reminding us how much we hate Dems who voted for Iraq! Say what you will, but (I think) Clinton was smart enough to avoid this last time.
posted by grandiloquiet at 6:51 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


So.... Joe's suggesting we just give Afghanistan to the Taliban? I'm for ending the war, but let's be real about what we're suggesting here. We know what will happen next, and it won't be pretty.
posted by xammerboy at 6:52 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Afghanistan is almost more of a piece of our economy after ????years than it is an overseas 'terrorism' project/war.
posted by buzzman at 6:54 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Coincidentally, the Canadian election had its first leaders' debate tonight, too, though sans the Prime Minister.

I suspect it'll be slightly overshadowed by the Democratic debate. Slightly.
posted by clawsoon at 6:55 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure there is a better option. We might have broke it beyond foreseeable repair. Certainly we have no idea how to fix it, and I don't know if our presence isn't just prolonging violent conflict.

Would Afghanistan have been better off if we hadn't overthrown the Taliban in the first place? Maybe. Probably. I dunno.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:56 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


While I agree that the comparison to Venezuela was unfair, my partner just pointed out the Bernie's response was basically "I like white people socialism, not brown people socialism." Whoops.
posted by solotoro at 6:58 PM on September 12 [8 favorites]


I don’t like that the Iraq vote story is becoming that some otherwise good lawmakers were completely fooled by Bush and Cheney and that’s the only reason why we ended up waging war. The Bush Administration lied, clearly. But they lied in very dumb and transparent ways to a group of very sophisticated lawmakers. Meanwhile, it was obvious that these were lies to many of us who were far less sophisticated, far more naive, and not as smart or experienced as the Senate. And even with all the lies, no one provided a coherent answer to the question of why we had to bomb Iraq this instant instead of next month, or next year. Biden and the other pro-War Senators wanted the war. They knew the lies were lies. They wanted to wave the flags and go to war on Iraq. That’s the political calculus I remember living through.
posted by sallybrown at 6:58 PM on September 12 [82 favorites]


Are we really two hours into this thing without a single question on climate change?

edit: timing!
posted by Rhaomi at 6:59 PM on September 12 [9 favorites]


Yang's democracy dollars were tested recently in Seattle. They're... promising, maybe? Worth a try.
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:09 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Yang just got his charter-school apologist ass handed to him by Warren, and I am here for it.
posted by armeowda at 7:13 PM on September 12 [42 favorites]


Oof. For a second I thought Biden's smile was gonna crumble and blow away like a pile of ashes after that flame thrower of a question.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 7:16 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Biden is ranting about record players
posted by oulipian at 7:17 PM on September 12 [14 favorites]


I’m not sure that I would count democracy dollars as a big success given that the program was only used by 3.3% of the recipients.
posted by tautological at 7:20 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


(re: democracy dollars): It sounds like a lot of people didn't know about the program and threw them out. But it also sounded like the program had potential for increasing voter engagement with the political process. I don't think it's a terrible idea, though I suspect (even if it went well) it would work better locally than nationally.
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:26 PM on September 12 [4 favorites]


Protesters erupt when Biden starts talking.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:27 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


It feels like time is running out so everyone is going over because it may be their last chance to speak. I don't really have a problem with it and I'd rather hear answers than closing statements anyway. But even if your job is to run the timer and maintain control of the situation don't cut off Harris when she's talking about the problems of black children in our education system and don't cut off Booker when he's talking about environmental disparities and that black children drink more lead than white children.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:28 PM on September 12 [14 favorites]


Does anyone know what the protestors were chanting?
posted by wittgenstein at 7:28 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


I never can understand what 'the protesters' are saying.
posted by buzzman at 7:28 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Well, this debate will not have been a complete waste of time if and only if at least four of these people quit the race in the next few days.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:29 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


Biden just name-checked Kierkegaard? Huh.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:29 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


I rarely see this mentioned, but Bernie's foreign policy record is either one of his greatest strengths or weaknesses, depending on one's view of American foreign policy. If the president has power over anything, it's foreign policy; for this reason, I'd think the topic would generate more questions, take up more space, etc. in these debates.

Legislatively, Bernie's voting record is pretty consistently anti-intervention, and foreign policy is one of the few areas where he's been an effective and visible legislative leader (see: his actions on Yemen).

Hell, there are videos of him inviting Chomsky to give speeches about foreign policy in the 80s, videos of him speaking out against US intervention in Nicaragua as it was occuring (he even went to visit Nicaragua during that time), etc.

As a millennial who was in grade school when 9/11 happened, my politically formative experiences were seeing the Bush administration's egregious failures with our involvements in--or, more accurately, invasions of--Afghanistan and Iraq. I was a few months too young to vote in 2008, but I supported and was hopeful about Obama mostly because of his foreign policy positions during the primary. Needless to say, his actually-existing foreign policy record ended up being disheartening and radicalizing, to me. Yes, he was constrained by outside factors, especially after 2010, so not all of it was under his controll; nonetheless, I still look back on his record as dissapointing. I saw Obama start to do the right thing, like ending so-called Enhanced Interrogation Techniques--or, more accurately, torture--but then go on to create a legal architecture justifying something like the Bush doctrine, which was then carried out. This is probably unfair and definitely inflammatory, but I'd describe Obama's foreign policy as The Bush Doctrine With A Human Face.

Given this, from my perspective, Bernie's views on foreign policy are a welcome corrective to what we've been doing, and I think the historical record lends him credibility. I recognize, though, that not everyone grew up in a world where foreign policy wasn't geared towards combatting communism, where there were (plausibly) recent foreign policy 'wins,' etc. So, to reiterate, his foreign policy views/record could either count, substantially, as a strength or a weakness. Either way, they're pretty polarizing.

edit:

While I agree that the comparison to Venezuela was unfair, my partner just pointed out the Bernie's response was basically "I like white people socialism, not brown people socialism." Whoops.

This ignores the fact that there are tons of non-white socialists--especially in the american socialist tradition--who are firmly rooted in the anti-authoritarian tradition. I know I'm more favorable to Bernie than most here, but this is needlessly reductive.
posted by davedave at 7:29 PM on September 12 [14 favorites]


What were they yelling? I couldn't understand them. Whatever it was, it looked like it hit home, because I actually felt sorry for Biden from the look on his face.
posted by Ruki at 7:29 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Oh god, Biden invoked KIERKEGAARD?! That alone should be disqualifying.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 7:30 PM on September 12 [5 favorites]


Protestors were DACA related, I hear.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:31 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Is Bernie losing his voice?
posted by Pyry at 7:32 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Maybe I'm tired from watching, but they don't seem to be answering this question very well so far.
posted by wittgenstein at 7:34 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Buttigieg's doing pretty okay so far -- it's hard to top "well, I was serving in the military as a gay man under DADT" for a resiliency story.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:35 PM on September 12 [9 favorites]


Yang, on the other hand: "I was a lawyer and then I started a business but it didn't go well."
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:37 PM on September 12 [4 favorites]


"I survived a really difficult last name."
posted by Chrysostom at 7:37 PM on September 12 [12 favorites]




Gotta love all the 'it was all over, and I said F it; got up again; and here I am; successful in America' stories.
posted by buzzman at 7:39 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


This ignores the fact that there are tons of non-white socialists--especially in the american socialist tradition--who are firmly rooted in the anti-authoritarian tradition. I know I'm more favorable to Bernie than most here, but this is needlessly reductive.

We are not ignorant of that, and it doesn't change the fact that he chose to cite majority white governments as his rebuttal.
posted by solotoro at 7:42 PM on September 12 [5 favorites]


-bring up the costs, which, when compared to literally nothing, are staggering. But every analysis I've read of these bills shows that single-payer is the most efficient system, and significantly more fiscally responsible than the status-quo path. So non-single-payer advocates are either proposing that we cover less people or cover them less efficiently or both.

See this is what I don't get. It's well possible to make single payer more palatable to everyone, even Republicans.

"Right now, we pay a tax for healthcare. It's mostly invisible to us because for most of us we either get it paid for by employers, or we don't get it. This is a drag on the economy via our businesses. The businesses that do the right thing, and provide this necessary service to their employees, have to pay for the businesses that try to skate on by. We can take that huge amount that our businesses are taxed, invisible to us, and we can make the healthcare system better and fairer for everyone."

If they have an extra two minutes:

"Making sure everyone has healthcare will also help with the entrepreneurial spirit that America is built upon. Small business, the engine of our economy, it will no longer have to pay ridiculous amounts for group plans. Instead we'll have it based on payroll. For the solo entrepreneur, no longer will you have to choose between striking out on your own or healthcare. You can start that business. You can work to make your life better. You can have your American dream without the risk of turning into a giant American nightmare."

How is this not the messaging being plastered over every piece of media they can get their hands on?
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:44 PM on September 12 [77 favorites]


"So I hung an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time"
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:46 PM on September 12 [20 favorites]


In my opinion this was the best debate so far. It felt grueling, and everyone performed. They sort of all won.
posted by xammerboy at 7:50 PM on September 12 [5 favorites]


I wish they had given getting rid of the filibuster more than one mention. Let's face it. Its unlikely we are going to regain the Senate, despite the feel good talk. If the candidate isn't in agreement with ending the filibuster, it's unlikely they will accomplish anything.
posted by wittgenstein at 7:55 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Ah. The protesters were from NAKASEC, a "Korean & Asian American" social, economic, and racial justice group.
posted by Ruki at 8:03 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


No one:

Literally no one:

Tom Steyer: "What this debate was missing is more Tom Steyer!"
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:03 PM on September 12 [7 favorites]


I don't know if everyone gets the same ads (I'm watching on YouTube TV, so I assume local broadcasters have different ones), but since the debate ended it's been: an anti-public-option healthcare lobby ad, a scaremongery ad from the drug lobby, a scaremongery ad from some healthcare lobby group about hospital closures, a scaremongery ad by doctors against rate setting, and then finally an anti-socialism attack ad on Ocasio-Cortez featuring photos of the Khmer Rouge genocide.

So I guess we know who's paying the TV networks' bills...
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:05 PM on September 12 [31 favorites]


Speaking of which, what is the deal with those anti-"government rate-setting" ads from that Doctor-Patient Unity group? I feel like it's something fucky but cursory searching I've done up to now hasn't made it clear what their angle is.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:10 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


I got an ad saying businesses need to start using some service named e-verify to make sure their employees aren't illegal aliens :-(
posted by xammerboy at 8:11 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


so biden seems like he's losing his fucking mind
posted by Greg Nog at 8:15 PM on September 12 [22 favorites]


Its unlikely we are going to regain the Senate, despite the feel good talk. If the candidate isn't in agreement with ending the filibuster, it's unlikely they will accomplish anything.

If we don't retake the Senate then we can't end the filibuster and ending it wouldn't do anything even if we could.
posted by Justinian at 8:17 PM on September 12 [6 favorites]


Also pessimism is easy. Try something else!
posted by Glinn at 8:19 PM on September 12 [13 favorites]


I think former Presidents should moderate the debates. It would be an interesting bidirectional exchange instead of Action McNews lobbing firebombs at the candidates.
posted by lon_star at 8:19 PM on September 12 [8 favorites]


Carter, Dead, Dead, Repudiated, War Criminal, Obama
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:33 PM on September 12 [25 favorites]


I don’t think Biden said a coherent thing all night. “I’m pretty sure I know what he was getting at “ is not reassuring to me in a presidential candidate. Trump, senile as he is, would tear Biden a new one in a debate. He needs someone in his campaign to tell him he’s embarrassing himself and should quit the race.

In contrast, 99% of the time when Warren speaks I think “ that’s exactly how I would have explained it.” So she’s got my vote if I get the chance.

Also mrs. freecell wants people to know how much Amy Klobuchar annoys her.
posted by freecellwizard at 8:38 PM on September 12 [30 favorites]


I don't think the 2020 general will be won or lost in the debates.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:42 PM on September 12 [14 favorites]


If we want to play pretend, sure. M4A doesn't have 40 Senate votes much less 50 much less 60.

I’m sure you think you’re doing God’s work uttering this this sort of capitulatory nonsense, but it’s been been my experience that those willing to cede the most are affected the least by the policy at play here.
posted by invitapriore at 8:56 PM on September 12 [32 favorites]


The New York Times is framing the debates as "Biden was punched. Biden punched back."
posted by xammerboy at 9:10 PM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Klobuchar and Mayor Pete can Polka their way back to the Culver's
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:12 PM on September 12 [8 favorites]


Biden is ranting about record players

Reaching out to vinyl-collecting millennials.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:20 PM on September 12 [11 favorites]


The Post has a rush transcript up now, and I want to highlight the "record player" section, because I got too caught up trying to figure out what he was talking about to really understand it:
Mr. Vice president, I want to come to you and talk to you about inequality in schools and race. In a conversation about how to deal with segregation in schools back in 1975, you told a reporter, "I don't feel responsible for the sins of my father and grandfather, I feel responsible for what the situation is today, for the sins of my own generation, and I'll be damned if I feel responsible to pay for what happened 300 years ago." You said that some 40 years ago. But as you stand here tonight, what responsibility do you think that Americans need to take to repair the legacy of slavery in our country?

BIDEN: Well, they have to deal with the -- look, there's institutional segregation in this country. And from the time I got involved, I started dealing with that. Red-lining banks, making sure that we are in a position where -- look, you talk about education. I propose that what we take is those very poor schools, the Title I schools, triple the amount of money we spend from 15 to $45 billion a year. Give every single teacher a raise, the equal raise to getting out -- the $60,000 level.

Number two, make sure that we bring in to help the teachers deal with the problems that come from home. The problems that come from home, we need -- we have one school psychologist for every 1,500 kids in America today. It’s crazy. The teachers are -- I'm married to a teacher. My deceased wife is a teacher. They have every problem coming to them. We have -- make sure that every single child does, in fact, have 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds go to school. School. Not daycare. School. We bring social workers in to homes and parents to help them deal with how to raise their children. It's not want they don't want to help. They don't -- they don't know quite what to do. Play the radio, make sure the television -- excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the -- the -- make sure that kids hear words. A kid coming from a very poor school -- a very poor background will hear 4 million words fewer spoken by the time they get there.

DAVIS: Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

BIDEN: There's so much we -- no, I'm going to go like the rest of them do, twice over, OK?

(APPLAUSE)

Because here's the deal. The deal is that we've got this a little backwards. And by the way, in Venezuela, we should be allowing people to come here from Venezuela. I know Maduro. I've confronted Maduro. Number two, you talk about the need to do something in Latin America. I'm the guy that came up with $740 million to see to it those three countries, in fact, changed their system so people don't have to chance to leave. You're all acting like we just discovered this yesterday. Thank you very much.
In response to a question about his past comments and how to repair the legacy of slavery, Biden claimed that he "started dealing with" institutional segregation "from the time I got involved" (we addressed his record on that back in July), and instead of repudiating his prior statements and saying something about repairing the legacy of slavery, suggested black parents need to be taught to put the record player on before transitioning to talking about Maduro and something incomprehensible about his record on Latin America, which was the topic roughly 12 questions earlier.
posted by zachlipton at 9:34 PM on September 12 [42 favorites]


Much respect to Beto for sacrificing his future political career in Texas by making plain his intention to rid the US of AR-15s and their ilk. Nonetheless, I'd rather he go after Cornyn's seat.
posted by carmicha at 9:55 PM on September 12 [32 favorites]


Biden was asked about reparations and his response was to tell low income parents they should play the record player for their infants...

The analysis I've seen generally on the debate is that Biden won because he didn't fall over or otherwise completely take himself out of the running. If one is disposed to thinking of him as the most generally electable candidate, then that's Biden's bar.
posted by xammerboy at 9:59 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


The "no exploding eye" standard for debate victory is now firmly established.
posted by chortly at 10:15 PM on September 12 [14 favorites]


Since this was in Houston and people would like Beto or Castro to run against Cornyn instead of run for POTUS, allow me to plug Houston City Councilwoman Amanda Edwards instead. Such a better choice and doesn't wave her arms like a crazy person. Castro can be a cabinet secretary or something and Beto can...be quiet please.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:22 PM on September 12 [15 favorites]


Yeah, uh, Beto is a bought-and-sold Oil Boy who just lost a Senate race in Texas. If you want to get pumped up to challenge Cornyn, back someone who both can win and is worth electing. No shortage of 'em.
posted by kafziel at 10:32 PM on September 12 [4 favorites]


Beto said exactly what needed to be said about gun violence and I don't understand why it's not here.
posted by blessedlyndie at 10:37 PM on September 12 [14 favorites]


My husband and I pay over 600$ a month for our company sponsored health care. Every time we go to our PCP is $60. No dental or vision coverage. Any major health care is a 2500 deductible.

My brother turned 50 and was diagnosed with total renal failure. Turns out the 15 years he worked at a nursery using chemicals was not good for his health. He has multiple myeloma with total renal failure and his heart is working at about 25% than it should be. They have good jobs and good insurance, but they still did a go fund me type thing to cover the 7500 yearly deductible (and my very privileged brother and his wife were blessed with over 13000 in donations)

Oh, my point was that my brothers most expensive treatments like dialysis and his chemo are covered by medicaid (as in government funded healthcare), NOT his health insurance. So what the fuck is that about? We all pay into insurance, and once it's an expensive illness, the insurance company turns the bills to the state??!
posted by kiwi-epitome at 10:51 PM on September 12 [22 favorites]


My partner went through dialysis. In her case, it was paid for by Medicare. I suspect your brother's coverage is also Medicare, not Medicaid.

It's a weird exception to Medicare's coverage that not many know about. Anyone with chronic renal disease can get full Medicare coverage. At any age. And it will act as full health insurance. It not only covers the costs of dialysis and transplants, but also covers non-kidney related health issues. It's the same Medicare as seniors get, with the optional add-on plans available.

I know it's unlikely there's anyone here with insider access to Bernie's or Warren's campaigns, but if there is, please suggest that this be added to the stump speeches and debates. Medicare For All isn't theoretical in this specific case. It's the reality and has been since the 70's. Anyone with kidney failure can get Medicare. It's saved thousands of lives, given people hope, and has worked so painlessly that no one outside of the renal care community ever talks about it. It's a huge, successful example in how universal health care can be provided in the United States to people of all ages and backgrounds.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 11:14 PM on September 12 [76 favorites]


While I agree that the comparison to Venezuela was unfair, my partner just pointed out the Bernie's response was basically "I like white people socialism, not brown people socialism." Whoops.

Well, as a brown person socialist, it's important to note that just about all of the democratically elected brown socialists were killed by American intelligence agencies. It's one of the few bipartisan things left in America, sadly.
posted by Ouverture at 12:04 AM on September 13 [38 favorites]


Justinian is of course correct (those dead Roman Emperors are Smart!)
But my concern remains - lets talk up ending the filibuster as job one...
posted by wittgenstein at 1:00 AM on September 13


It's a weird exception to Medicare's coverage that not many know about.

Even less well known is that the law that made that the case was enacted because Congress had basically already agreed in principle to expand Medicare to cover everyone and were just hashing out the details, so they went ahead and passed the dialysis provision when it was pointed out that people were literally dying horrible deaths on a daily basis because they couldn't get dialysis. Needless to say, events derailed the process and after returning to healthcare later, with some bomb throwers elected in the meantime, the intended universal coverage never materialized.

We really were so close that most people assumed it was going to happen. Under Nixon.
posted by wierdo at 2:00 AM on September 13 [47 favorites]


Annoying that none of the headlines today are "Biden is clearly unfit for office". How could you watch his performance and think that he should be president?
posted by octothorpe at 4:55 AM on September 13 [12 favorites]


Re: M4A, I don't understand why nobody ever brings up, to (particularly) republican talking points about government seizing control of such a huge portion of the economy and the huge expense it will entail to now control all the hospitals and employ all the workers in the healthcare field and the difficulty and "typical" federal gov incompetence and inefficiency at administering such a huge and complex system, the near certainty that upon any such system coming into existence we would almost immediately see a number of RFPs go out for huge healthcare admistration contracts, probably divvied up by region, and that while we are all getting our healthcare through the M4A umbrella program, the doctors we see and clinics we go to will all be staffed by contractors on regional IDIQ task orders who work for, like, Lockheed and Northrup and Raytheon and L3 and BAE, who will all rush to open new healthcare divisions in addition to their current core business, and their myriad small-business subs. I mean honestly, the way to get a M4A plan through a republican-controlled senate is to point out the amazing entreprenurial potential for gov contracts, with the additional benefit that 95% of the ancillary HR/benefits/employment costs and logistics get offloaded onto private companies and are out of the government's hair.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 5:05 AM on September 13


As a quick sidebar on Medicare and dialysis, it isn't all roses. We have two private companies that have a nearly total lock on dialysis care in this country, and they make obscene profits from this system. The type of dialysis that is most common in the United States is actually not the best type of dialysis for patients, as it does not have the best health outcomes when compared with other modalities. And if you are lucky enough to get a transplant, Medicare only pays for your transplant drugs for 3 years. Then you're on your own. (My transplant drugs without insurance cost several thousand dollars a month.) There's lots of incentive to not really walk through treatment options with patients, to just continue dialysis in perpetuity, or to not push for a preemptive transplant, all of which are not in the best interests of the patient. Healthcare in this country can't just mimic Medicare's dialysis model, which is still pretty damn broken. At its core it is still completely profit-driven.
posted by k8lin at 5:23 AM on September 13 [29 favorites]


>"How we gonna pay for it??"

I like how everybody in politics just pretends that the government doesn't print money.
posted by srboisvert at 5:34 AM on September 13 [15 favorites]


Just say that, like Republican tax cuts, it will be paid for with economic growth. When the reporter says that isn't true, just say it will be paid for with economic growth. When they ask to explain, just say it will be paid for with economic growth.

Simply stick to the script at all times to all questions.
posted by Justinian at 5:50 AM on September 13 [29 favorites]


How could you watch his performance and think that he should be president?
See also: The current president.
posted by aspersioncast at 5:56 AM on September 13 [8 favorites]



Annoying that none of the headlines today are "Biden is clearly unfit for office". How could you watch his performance and think that he should be president?


The standards for the office have gone WAY down.
posted by mmoncur at 6:11 AM on September 13 [11 favorites]


How we gonna pay for it??
We are paying for it now with the most expensive health care in the world. Insurance pays for a huge part of it, and insurance is a lot like a tax, and the costs get passed on. Medicare is generally considered to be cost effective. It pays less for care in many cases, but that's a good thing much of the time. The medical equipment suppliers and Big Pharma make Big Profits, administration is unwieldy, many providers make Big Profits. The money is being spent, we need to spend it much more effectively. Some of this was built into Obamacare, fought bitterly, not implemented. The entities making huge profits won't give up without a fight.
posted by theora55 at 6:46 AM on September 13 [17 favorites]


I just checked my most recent paycheck. Admittedly I pay for family insurance.

But you could literally triple my federal income tax and I’d still come out ahead if I didn’t have to pay for health insurance and my health FSA. And this doesn’t include the part that my employer pays, which is even more than I do.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:50 AM on September 13 [32 favorites]


Or, another take on what Your Childhood Pet Rock said.
posted by theora55 at 7:03 AM on September 13


The standards for the office have gone WAY down.

The standard for nomination is sky-high if you don't have the right corporate sponsorships. Biden though? The chosen one could literally shit his britches and wander off the stage and the headlines the next day would read "SHITTIN' MAVERICK: BIDEN SWEEPS DEBATES".
posted by FakeFreyja at 7:14 AM on September 13 [11 favorites]


>>"How we gonna pay for it??"

>"I like how everybody in politics just pretends that the government doesn't print money."
The US government might print money, even so much money that the the weight of it all can do profoundly weird things to how we understand value, but the US government does not print value any more than any other government does. Despite eager claims by ideologues on basically every concievable side, no one really has a good model for predicting the impact of anything on inflation in economies anywhere close to the complexity and size of the American one. The amount of money spent on healthcare in the United States is currently worth about 4% of the market value of all the final goods and services generated by all of mankind. If we really were to really convince ourselves that we can just print that kind of value, I sure as hell would not want to take the risk of finding out if we were right.
posted by Blasdelb at 7:53 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


I still don't get how Biden is getting away with saying we need to stick with health care exchanges to protect Obama's legacy when Obama only bought into exchanges as a compromise he fervently hoped would become universal healthcare. I also don't get the whole we can't pay for it thing. It's cheaper. By every measure it's cheaper. Why doesn't someone like Bernie just propose having businesses pay for it through taxes if raising personal taxes is the issue?
posted by xammerboy at 8:04 AM on September 13 [10 favorites]


I have "good" insurance and recall that the Sanders' calculator indicated that I would end up paying more for M4A. Except that I wouldn't, when the deductible for my "good" insurance was accounted for.

Biden is so out of touch with the reality of corporate healthcare. My insurance has been provided by the same major financial institution employer for over a decade and the provider has switched several times. I'm tied to my company's choices. It's not like I really get a say in the process. I take what I'm given, until I'm given something else. I really appreciated Warren saying that no one likes their health insurance, they like healthcare. I've lost good doctors because they didn't take my insurance. Whats the point of insurance if you can't actually use it to see doctors you know and trust?
posted by Ruki at 8:21 AM on September 13 [26 favorites]


The Moderators of the Democratic Debate Did a Good Job, for Once (Justin Peters, Slate)
Thursday night’s Democratic debate on ABC was the best debate of this still-young—sigh!—presidential primary season. Why was it more helpful than its predecessors? In part because, unlike in the previous debates, the top 10 candidates were all on the same stage at once, not spread out across two nights alongside […] soon-to-be also-rans. But mostly the debate was refreshing because of the intelligent ways in which ABC’s four moderators structured their questions and parceled out time.

[The moderators] offered almost three hours of largely sharp and specific questions tied to current events and candidates’ previous statements and life experiences. They kept the discussion moving, letting the candidates respond to their competitors’ statements when necessary but not allowing the evening to be bogged down by endless interruptions and rebuttals. They asked hard questions about the candidates’ records while mostly refraining from framing those questions around “electability.” They turned the night into that elusive beast we often invoke but rarely see: a debate about issues.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:30 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


How could you watch his performance and think that he should be president?
See also: The current president.
“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
― George Orwell, Animal Farm
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:48 AM on September 13 [9 favorites]


The Moderators of the Democratic Debate Did a Good Job, for Once

The moderators allowed less than ten minutes, out of a three-hours-with-limited-commercial-interruptions debate, for discussion of climate change. They can fuck right off and never moderate a debate, at any level, ever again please.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:09 AM on September 13 [11 favorites]


I suppose this did feel like the "best" debate so far, but it still came off like some shitty adversarial game show most of the time (to my perception). Compare this debate to the Climate Town Hall format. I found that format quite watchable (mostly) and truly informative.
posted by ButteryMales at 9:53 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


I regret that the bar is the floor, but the howling incompetence of CNN and MSNBC moderators mean that the bar is the floor. I thought ABC did okay.

I like that Elizabeth Warren talks about the fact that even people with insurance underuse it because we never really know what care will cost until two months after searching out treatment. I've heard enough about automatic denials to know that I should have fought on some surprise bills, but I've never been on the hook for anything scorchingly expensive and (as I don't actually know what my insurance is supposed to cover) the whole thing feels like tilting at windmills.
posted by grandiloquiet at 10:00 AM on September 13 [16 favorites]


What you missed while not watching last night’s Democratic debate -- Here’s a breezy minute-by-minute guide to standout moments from the marathon faceoff between the 10 leading Democrats. (Michael Scherer for Washington Post)

Not just another recap, but a snarky recap:
... Andrew Yang, who immediately takes Klobuchar up on her game-show challenge. “I’m going to do something unprecedented tonight,” he says, like Howie Mandel about to open a briefcase. “My campaign will now give a freedom dividend of $1,000 a month for an entire year to 10 American families, someone watching this at home right now.” It’s a gimmick designed to promote the core idea of Yang’s candidacy — his plan for the government to pay Americans a universal basic income.
...
California Sen. Kamala D. Harris has planned a novel rhetorical device. She looks in the camera and tells Trump she knows he is watching. He is not, in fact, watching.
Think Castro was ‘mean’ to Biden? Get ready for an absolute bloodbath. ( Greg Sargent, opinion writer for WaPo)
Joe Biden’s Democratic rivals have now begun to raise questions about his age and mental competence. But they are doing so ever so gingerly, and even apologetically.

President Trump is not being nearly as cautious or circumspect.

In that contrast resides something that deserves more attention about the Biden age issue. The question isn’t merely whether Biden has the stamina for a grueling campaign, or whether Biden will be able to handle debates with Trump.

It’s also whether Biden or indeed other Democrats are prepared for the massive onslaught of absolutely brutal and distortive attacks that Trump and his propaganda apparatus will wage on this particular front — attacks that you can be certain will include all sorts of shamelessly propagandistic media manipulation and outright disinformation tactics.
Warren immediately comes to mind as someone who has been dealing with nasty, personal attacks, but she's not mentioned in the article, instead focusing on Biden. Huh.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:06 AM on September 13 [12 favorites]


My mother the fervent Biden supporter has changed her tune from “Biden is in great shape and is just as fit as he always was” to “He doesn’t really want to be running, but the Democratic Party is telling him ‘Please Joe, we need you’ and he’s just so giving that he’s complying even though he would rather retire.” So I suppose even his supporters are internalizing his poor performances.
posted by sallybrown at 10:20 AM on September 13 [5 favorites]


Saying it's the best debate is faint praise.
posted by theora55 at 10:22 AM on September 13 [5 favorites]


Biden's campaign could not survive Obama endorsing any other candidate, since that's about the only message he's running on: "I have the world's best black friend". Obama's silence is a tacit endorsement of Biden, and if Biden can't hack it in the general and loses to Trump, it'll be as much the story of Obama's legacy as anything he did in office. Maybe it's time to pause the permanent luxury vacation for even a day or two and weigh in. Does Obama support Joe as his de facto heir, or not? It'd be nice to know.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:28 AM on September 13 [11 favorites]


carmicha: Much respect to Beto for sacrificing his future political career in Texas by making plain his intention to rid the US of AR-15s and their ilk.

‘My AR is ready for you,’ Texas Republican lawmaker tells Beto O’Rourke over mandatory buybacks (Antonia Noori Farzan and Kayla Epstein for the Washington Post)
Beto O’Rourke has already backed mandatory buybacks for assault weapons, but at Thursday’s Democratic debate, he left no ambiguity about what that would mean. “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” he said.

Less than an hour later, O’Rourke received what he described as a “death threat” from a fellow Texas politician. “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis,” Briscoe Cain, a Republican state representative from the Houston area, wrote on Twitter, using O’Rourke’s legal name.
To which, I really wish Beto had replied "thanks, where can I pick it up? I'll bring you a check for $[value of your gun]."

Instead ...
“This is a death threat, Representative,” O’Rourke wrote on Twitter. “Clearly, you shouldn’t own an AR-15 — and neither should anyone else.”

Cain shot back: “You’re a child Robert Francis."
So Cain says he'll shoot a child? Yeah, not the best rhetorical tactic here, bro.
Twitter also took action, removing the lawmaker’s tweet roughly two hours after it appeared. A spokesman told The Post that it violated the company’s terms of service, which prohibit violent threats.
Does Twitter also report violent threads to the appropriate authorities?
posted by filthy light thief at 10:32 AM on September 13 [12 favorites]


I take Obama's silence the opposite way, as implicitly not endorsing Biden. I would expect that if Obama actually backed Biden, he would have done so publicly by now given that Biden was his VP.
posted by Ruki at 10:35 AM on September 13 [12 favorites]


Well, obviously silence is not endorsing, more like he's being graceful enough to give Biden the opportunity to drop out before he gets entirely humiliated.
posted by Ruki at 10:37 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]




Agreed. If Obama endorsed Biden right now, it would completely destroy almost everyone else. There would still be a committed Sanders/Warren faction, but no one else would survive that I don't think.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 10:45 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Biden running on basically "Im the only true standard bearer of Obama and no other Democrat has any accomplishments but me" seems to me like it's putting the onus on Obama to say whether that's true or not. Silence if he doesn't agree that It Can Only Be Joe lets Biden assume his entire legacy for himself.

Although Obama has a new beach house, so he might not have even been watching. Better stuff to do with his new oligarch friends.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:57 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Obama waited until the primary season was almost over to endorse Clinton. He seems pretty eager to remain above the scrum, so I doubt he'll ever intervene before the end of the process. (Biden, naturally, is insisting that he asked Obama not to endorse him yet.)
posted by grandiloquiet at 11:00 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos pre/post-debate poll results. Warren showed the biggest wins.
posted by mbrubeck at 11:17 AM on September 13 [15 favorites]


Nobody is voting for almost 5 months. Obama has plenty of time to do whatever.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:25 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Funny, "whatever" seems to be exactly what Obama has to say.
posted by FakeFreyja at 11:29 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


If Obama really wanted Biden to win, he'd be campaigning for him now. He is not. He's instead supporting the Democratic Unity Fund (fundraising for the whoever is the eventual nominee) and All on the Line's Redistricting U (fighting gerrymandering). He's not sitting this out, he's using his influence where it's needed.
posted by team lowkey at 11:40 AM on September 13 [15 favorites]


I'm as mad at Biden as anyone else, but for all of Obama's faults he is no fool, and only a fool would publicly endorse a candidate at this stage. The infighting we see now would be nothing compared to what would ensue. Remaining silent is the only choice.

Incidentally, ResistBot is conducting a straw poll. Unscientific though it may be, here are the top ten results from over 30,000 responses:

Warren 48%
Sanders 13%
Harris 12%
Buttigieg 9%
Yang 6%
Biden 6%
O'Rourke 3%
Booker 1%
Williamson 1%
Castro 1%
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:42 AM on September 13 [12 favorites]


I don't know what people would like Obama to do at this stage - if he endorsed someone it would be denounced as heavy handed meddling in the primary process - but it's not like he's doing nothing.

Barack Obama Goes All In Politically to Fight Gerrymandering
The former president sees representative elections as the key to progress on global warming, gun control, and health care.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:43 AM on September 13 [15 favorites]


Biden, naturally, is insisting that he asked Obama not to endorse him yet

nobody:

biden: please don't endorse me yet bro, it wouldn't be fair on the other candidates

obama:

biden: make sure you have the record player on at night, the -- the -- make sure that kids hear words
posted by automatronic at 12:06 PM on September 13 [18 favorites]


Hi, Elizabeth Warren. It's me, Ryan.

If you're willing run this country, I'm here to help you in any way you need.
Hire the people you might need to do your job. A few of those people on that stage might be good candidates.

This has been my summary of last night's debate.
posted by rp at 12:30 PM on September 13 [6 favorites]


I'm surprised I haven't seen more record player jokes today.

I'm not surprised at the number of randos astroturfing for status quo healthcare plans and decrying anything but Obamacare as unrealistic. Whatever outfit is running Biden's campaign has a hell of an online presence.
posted by FakeFreyja at 12:39 PM on September 13 [5 favorites]


Man, the moment Obama said word one about the primary the media would explode with "Obama: The Tyrant" shit faster than Trump can lock a latino kid in a cage

He won't (and shouldn't) get involved
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:01 PM on September 13 [4 favorites]


I just realized I'm not going to be able to watch the debates if Biden's the nom. Nope. I'll canvass. I'll read about the debates. But I have my limits.
posted by angrycat at 1:02 PM on September 13 [9 favorites]


Obama's eventual endorsement of (and hopefully campaigning for) the nominee, whoever that is, will be helpful in turning out the vote. But that gets awkward if he endorsed someone else in the primaries.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:11 PM on September 13 [10 favorites]


I'm surprised at the number of people who are reading anything into Obama not endorsing in the primary. There was zero chance of him ever doing so, for literally anybody! There is not upside and tons of downside.

It doesn't mean anything except that Obama isn't an idiot.
posted by Justinian at 1:16 PM on September 13 [24 favorites]


Michael Hobbes on Twitter about the old, bad research underlying Biden’s record player comment:
The claim is based on a 1992 book in which researchers said black children heard 30 million fewer words than white children by the time they were 3 years old. This concept, known as the 'word gap,' has been a major feature in education reform efforts ever since. […]

First, the 30 million figure is based on a deeply flawed study from the early 1980s. White researchers visited the homes of poor and rich families and recorded their interactions with their children. Later, they counted how many words they used. […] When other researchers have attempted to replicate the 'word gap' with better methods they find a much narrower gap, closer to 2.5 million words. The original study got it wrong by a factor of 10. […]

The question is why. Is it that black parents simply don't know that spending time with their young children is important? Does the culture of 'inner city neighborhoods' not reward rich vocabulary and expression? Or could it be, follow closely now, THAT POOR PEOPLE AND MINORITIES HAVE LESS FUCKING FREE TIME? Low-wage positions have sporadic schedules. Millions of parents work two jobs. No money means no daycare, no nanny, no private tutor.

For two decades, politicians like Biden have seen the 'word gap' as a problem in itself rather than a symptom of a much larger one. Black kids don't hear enough words? Put on the TV! Play records! That'll fix it! […]
More than a gaffe, Biden’s comment takes research from almost 40 years ago that hasn’t been replicated, draws the laziest, most racist possible conclusion from it, and uses it to blame black parents, instead of addressing the actual question of institutional racism.
posted by mbrubeck at 1:39 PM on September 13 [60 favorites]


Because fact-checking is a bi-partisan effort, CNN's Daniel Dale turned his attention to assorted Dem claims last night. Here are some highlights from his Twitter feed:
—One notable false claim tonight: Biden saying of the Obama administration and immigration, "We didn't lock people up in cages." They did, including children; there are lots of photos.
—Sanders said, as he has for 10 years, that the US spends twice as much per capita on health care as "any" other major country. It *is* twice the OECD average, and "major" is subjective, but it's not twice as much as every single other OECD country.
—Biden said that gun control proposals he put forward with Obama had the support of more than 50% of NRA members. Polls suggest that was true of some, like universal background checks, but very much not others, like a ban on "assault weapons."
—Harris said again tonight that LA's sky was brown 20 years ago but is now blue. There has been real improvement, but LA still has the worst smog in the country -- 87 straight days last year violating federal standards, the longest streak in 20 years.
—Biden framed the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) on Iraq, which he voted for, as a resolution designed to get inspectors into Iraq. He omitted the the part of the text that, as the title suggests, authorized the use of military force
—Buttigieg alleged "flights apparently being routed through Scotland just so people can stay at (Trump's) hotels." Current evidence does not prove that flights were routed to Scotland for this reason. (Military is investigating, so we may well learn more.) {Dale notes, "We are *not* calling Buttigieg false; we're providing information about what the current evidence shows and doesn't, and explicitly noting he could conceivably be proven right. Not every fact check declares that someone is a big liar."}
—Biden said, "Over 90% of the American people think we have to get assault weapons off the street. Period." There's majority support for a ban, but it's substantially lower than "over 90%" -- recent polls range from 56% to 70%, PolitiFact notes.
Two observations: First, it's refreshing to assess mere political spin and minor errors after dealing with Trump's regular stream of unreal gaslighting; second, Joe Biden is full of shit.

Speaking of Trump's gaslighting, Trump's mirror was in full effect last night during his speech at a House GOP retreat in Baltimore last night: "You can say something one day that’s just absolutely insane like they’re saying, and then, about two weeks later, say the exact opposite. And nobody will ever even call you on it. It's the craziest business I've ever seen. {laughter} It's crazy. You can do whatever you want, and two weeks later, they'll say something different."
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:20 PM on September 13 [14 favorites]


Trump is coming to New Mexico (KOAT), specifically Rio Rancho (a mega suburb/moderate sized city just north of Albuquerque) for a campaign rally on Monday the 16th. The only positive thing is that Daniel Dale may be in town, and now I want to find him and buy him a coffee or a beer and say "thank you for your service."

(Trump is apparently designated New Mexico a "target state," and will spend more money here, despite losing the state in 2016 -- maybe he hopes he'll win, despite NM 2nd Congressional District going blue, which turned the whole state blue, Congressional representation-wise.)
posted by filthy light thief at 2:47 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]


I enjoyed Warren’s point that when people say “I want to keep my plan,” they don’t typically mean “i want to keep my insurance plan” but rather “I want to keep being able to go to my same doctor and local hospital without paying more.”

How much choice do you really have, though? If your health care is though a job, you usually pick a doctor from the network your health plan covers. What if you switch jobs and your doctor isn't connected to the new job's health plan.

Also, if we had Medicare for All (or whatever way we get everybody covered) your doctor would be available through that.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:47 PM on September 13 [4 favorites]


Annoying that none of the headlines today are "Biden is clearly unfit for office". How could you watch his performance and think that he should be president?

Why It’s Time for Joe to Go

Granted, is it Rolling Stone? Yes.
posted by Caduceus at 4:57 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


In answer to my question from last night, Politico has an article out now about that Doctor-Patient Unity group airing ads against "government rate setting." Tl;dr: they're funded by staffing corporations for private hospitals, in order to derail legislation that would provide some relief for surprise medical billing by setting government reimbursement rates. Because apparently protecting insured people who played by the rules from financial ruin might hurt their bottom lines. Ghouls.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:23 PM on September 13 [5 favorites]


I thought a lot of Biden's arguments felt disingenuous. Was Obama against universal healthcare? Is it too expensive? Do people want a "choice"? Are the global warming plans too expensive? A lot of these arguments seem, to me, to lean in to public misunderstandings of the issues, and I think Biden knows better, which is disappointing.

There's something about leaning hard into a public misunderstanding, or staking claim to an Obama position I doubt he really shares that's... slimy? It could just be me that feels this way. I haven't really thought it through, but I thought I would throw that out there.

Anyway, I left the debate feeling more uncomfortable with the idea of him becoming president, and I think that's why. The record thing too. It was a senile moment, but more importantly, it was a really poorly executed attempt to spin his former statements on reparations.
posted by xammerboy at 5:29 PM on September 13 [9 favorites]


Granted, is it Rolling Stone? Yes.

Don't worry. Matt Tabbi's contrarian article trashing all the progressives will be out shortly to counterbalance.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:33 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Well, I ended the same place I began. Still prefer Warren by a long shot. Will still vote for any of 'em in the general.
posted by AdamCSnider at 5:38 PM on September 13 [24 favorites]


My take on it was that there were 2 Hamiltons on stage, surrounded by a bunch of Burrs.
posted by mach at 6:47 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]


Biden straight up came across as a conservative contrarian.
posted by odinsdream at 8:20 PM on September 13 [3 favorites]


I have memory problems so I’m fuzzy on the details but the moment that really cemented the fact for me that Biden is not fit to be President is when the question he failed to answer was repeated to him and he angrily said “I am the Vice President.” It kinda gave me chills, and not in the good way. In that I am afraid of male anger way. I don’t really remember much of the debate but that moment/feeling stuck.
posted by Ruki at 9:04 PM on September 13 [12 favorites]


Ruki, I took that to be another example of him washing his hands of Obama administration shortcomings -- oh, I couldn't do that thing you mentioned, because I was just the VP. Still not a great look, but not in an arrogant/entitled kind of way. (That came through much more strongly IMHO when he chuckled as the moderator introduced the segregation in schools question.)
posted by Rhaomi at 9:20 PM on September 13


Thing is, every time the Fed lowers interest rates, the "government" is "printing" more money. Banks "get" this money and distribute it, but it's not in the form of direct hand-outs, just lowered interest rates for a mortgage or some other loan. If you're already pricing out mortgages though. you're less in need compared to renters who can't afford a down payment.
posted by fragmede at 2:13 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


I definitely got the toxic male anger vibe from Biden when he went off on a bunch of tangents near the end. If that's how he responds when he's cornered, it's a bad look. I feel strongly he should drop out, endorse Warren, and beg on his hands and knees for the VP slot, only to be politely refused because she has a plan for that go stump on the trail for downballot candidates and groups fighting gerrymandering.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 6:37 AM on September 14 [13 favorites]


I just checked my most recent paycheck. Admittedly I pay for family insurance.

But you could literally triple my federal income tax and I’d still come out ahead if I didn’t have to pay for health insurance and my health FSA. And this doesn’t include the part that my employer pays, which is even more than I do.


Last week I visited my parents in Canada for a small family reunion. My younger brother, now an American citizen living in NJ, spent most of the week talking out university strategies and applications for his daughter. Much talk about US tuition fees (exorbitant) versus Canadian (high but not absurd) and that he felt he fell into the awkward gap of making too much money for a lot tuition aid but not enough to be able to afford full tuition. It went on and on. Then there was discussion about health insurance costs (which also annoy and scare the hell out of me as a Canadian living in the U.S.). Then on the last day he said something that made me realize he had been fully assimilated. He said "Yeah but I like my low taxes". After a whole week of hearing him talk about how he was going to get financially killed by the high cost of tuition for his kids and health care for the entire family.

For context my brothers and I put ourselves through Canadian universities on our own with no tuition assistance from our parents (other than them paying their taxes) by working part time and having summer jobs.
posted by srboisvert at 8:15 AM on September 14 [12 favorites]


For context my brothers and I put ourselves through Canadian universities on our own with no tuition assistance from our parents (other than them paying their taxes) by working part time and having summer jobs.

is canada in the 1970's? be honest, how much brown are you wearing right now
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:18 AM on September 14 [7 favorites]


is canada in the 1970's? be honest, how much brown are you wearing right now

It was the eighties. I don't wear brown. Also we had student loans and very good summer jobs (Thanks Molson's Brewery!).

My point is that people, even financial people like my younger brother, are horrible at calculating value when they are comparing an abstract payment like a tax versus tangible costs like paying for some thing versus looking at their net pay.

When I moved to U.S. I did a full cost of living comparison that included my health care costs and it worked to be largely a wash comparing the UK to US. Now it turns out I had underestimated how much money I could save in the U.S. by being effective at frugality (consumer stratification in the U.S. is essentially a tax on dumb or sloppy spending) but I also underestimated just how much health care would really cost (so so many deductible calculations, co-pays and uncovered crap) but overall I'd still say there is not major overall cost differences for middle middle-class living (until you are really ill).

But that leaves out school (because I am done and have no kids). If you have kids then suddenly the United States is wildly more expensive for middle middle class and up. Those low tax rates? Turns out they are actually murder on your finances.
posted by srboisvert at 10:50 AM on September 14 [6 favorites]


Low taxes and higher spending overall is fine when you consider the motivation is not giving things to the "wrong" kind of people. They would rather pay private school fees, security services, and prison guard salaries rather than educate "bad" (read:non-white) people's kids.

It's not really an argument you can win on fiscal grounds because it's emotional and tribal.
posted by benzenedream at 11:35 AM on September 14 [10 favorites]


For context my brothers and I put ourselves through Canadian universities on our own with no tuition assistance from our parents (other than them paying their taxes) by working part time and having summer jobs.

My FIL was shocked to learn that such a thing (which was common when he was in college) is simply no longer possible here in the US anymore.

Despite how often he's shocked by his own astounding ignorance he nevertheless has a great many passionate opinions about literally everything.
posted by VTX at 12:43 PM on September 14 [13 favorites]


I didn't watch the debate, just read through comments here and listened to half of Pod Save America. Seems like the pod save guys saw a completely different Joe Biden than the majority of commenters here. My impression was they thought Biden did over all except a few gaffs (I hate that word so much).
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 10:53 PM on September 14


I didn't watch the debate, just read through comments here and listened to half of Pod Save America. Seems like the pod save guys saw a completely different Joe Biden than the majority of commenters here. My impression was they thought Biden did over all except a few gaffs (I hate that word so much).

Those are the liberal white guys, right? I am not at all surprised they didn't find Biden's comments about black parenting utterly and completely disqualifying.
Author Anand Giridharadas flagged the moment. “Is this not one of the most explicitly racist moments of all time in a Democratic primary debate?” he wondered. “Asked about his past comments denying responsibility, as a white man, for America’s sins, he gives an answer insinuating that black parents don’t know how to raise kids.”

The answer appears to reflect not a campaign talking point, but Biden’s genuine thoughts on the question of race relations in the U.S. He has been criticized for his leading role in developing the policy infrastructure of mass incarceration, while couching it in dehumanizing and paternalistic language that was popular — and popularized by politicians like Biden — in the 1980s. The biases from which those ideas and that rhetoric sprang are still alive, if not necessarily well, in Biden’s mind 40 years later.

Nikole Hannah-Jones, a journalist leading the New York Times Magazine’s “1619 Project” on the legacy of 400 years of slavery and its aftermath in America, said that Biden’s remark was revealing. “He talked about poverty, social workers needing to help families raise their kids and debunked science on vocab deficits,” she said. “He assumed we’d all understand he meant black folks even without saying — as if black is synonymous with poverty/dysfunction.”
posted by Ouverture at 12:13 AM on September 15 [21 favorites]




Oh cool now we get the transphobia AND the racism. That story is lunacy and should end him.
posted by odinsdream at 9:07 AM on September 15 [1 favorite]


The Ticking Time Bomb in Biden’s ‘Record Player’ Answer (Jeff Greenfield, Politico Magazine)
Anand Giridharadas, an author and editor-at-large at TIME magazine, helped trigger a Twitterstorm about the nature of Biden’s comments. “Right now, somewhere, in some newsroom, some brilliant journalist ought to be pitching a big analytical story parsing Joe Biden’s statement and explaining why it was so troubling—and ignored by so many people. It is a textbook example of the racism that is still respectable.”

There’s some anecdotal evidence that other journalists are already on the case. New York magazine writer Rebecca Traister wrote: “Yes. Syntactically this reminded me of the viral Miss Teen USA answer from years ago. But the substance of what he was trying to say was much worse.” Journalist David Rothkopf wrote: “This is an important and accurate thread. I don’t believe Joe Biden is a bad person. I just think this once again reveals that he is not of this era or suited to lead for nearly the decade ahead.” New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie joined the thread as well, while also noting the meandering nature of Biden’s words.
posted by katra at 9:32 AM on September 15 [5 favorites]


Note that Biden is leading among African-Americans.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:00 AM on September 15 [2 favorites]


Corn Pop 2020
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:04 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


That lead doesn't look as assured as it once did. Looking at question 5, in that poll Biden gets 31% of the total vote vs 38% for Warren+Biden+Harris; among African-Americans, it's 37% Biden vs 36% for the other three; among non-whites, it's 32% Biden vs 35% for the other three. So while he's doing a bit better with African-Americans than he is overall, he's not doing any better with all non-whites, and his advantage among African-Americans is not that large.

And on the favorable/unfavorable among African-Americans (questions 20-23), it looks like Biden 78/13, Sanders 77/11, Warren 72/10, Harris 64/20. So Sanders is virtually identical to Biden in approval, and Warren is only a little behind. I guess it's a bit more in Biden's favor when you look just at strong favorables (49, 38, 33, 30, respectively), but that seems like a pretty minor facet of the whole picture.

All in all, Biden's supposedly unassailable advantage among African-Americans seems far less that what I had been led to expect by all the reporting -- though of course this is just one poll from a month ago; what matters more is the states and the order they're in; etc, etc.
posted by chortly at 1:06 PM on September 15 [4 favorites]


More information (and a pretty great story) on Biden’s job as a lifeguard the summer he met Corn Pop and some other guys who became lifelong friends:
The guy they called Corn Pop grew up to be a security guard and recently died. Pritchett, who shared the lifeguard shift with Biden, became a state principal of the year. Smith became a union president and is a former head of the state NAACP. Williams became a detective, a Wilmington mayor and a state representative.

“Joe’s looked out for me,” Williams said. “That’s why I thought it was so disrespectful what Harris did to him on that stage.”

“She doesn’t understand the history,” Smith said.

“She’s from Berkeley isn’t she?” said Williams, dismissively.

Smith couldn’t feel so dismissive. Maybe, in today’s climate, Biden’s typical folksy anecdotes about life at the pool might not be enough to persuade voters. After the debate, Smith sent texts to everyone he knew on Biden’s campaign. The candidate needed to better speak the language on race, he told them.

“Please tell Joe to read ‘The Souls of Black Folk’ by W.E.B. Du Bois or ‘Where Do We Go From Here’ by Martin Luther King,” said one text that Smith read to Williams.

“Do not let my friend go out there unprepared,” read another.
posted by sallybrown at 2:31 PM on September 15


Belle O'Cosity: "I didn't watch the debate, just read through comments here and listened to half of Pod Save America. Seems like the pod save guys saw a completely different Joe Biden than the majority of commenters here. My impression was they thought Biden did over all except a few gaffs (I hate that word so much)."

Ouverture: "Those are the liberal white guys, right? I am not at all surprised they didn't find Biden's comments about black parenting utterly and completely disqualifying."

I just finished listening to the ep, and this isn't really accurate. They went through the debate chronologically, starting with the healthcare segment (where they called out Biden's protect-Obamacare argument as "fundamentally flawed", "very uncomfortable", and "false" for misrepresenting Obama's own position on M4A). Then the Biden-Castro age thing, then Beto's answer on guns, then Kamala's pivot to Trump, the effectiveness of Booker's happy warrior tack, the Warren/Sanders divide on the filibuster, the Dem field's positions on trade issues, and the lack of discussion of climate change, abortion, foreign policy, SCOTUS, etc. They didn't get to Biden's garbage answer until 2/3rds of the way through, when they were reviewing the candidate's performances individually, and were very critical of it -- "word salad" that was "more problematic" for him than the exchange with Castro, he "fell apart" and looked uncomfortably "aggrieved" and "annoyed" when challenged on race like he did with the bussing attack, segued into a "fucking mess", etc. They spent more than ten minutes talking about how bad it was for him.

I do think they still have a soft spot for Biden owing to their work with him in the Obama admin, but they aren't afraid to criticize him (and when it comes to favorite candidates I think they tend to favor O'Rourke and Warren).
posted by Rhaomi at 3:24 PM on September 15 [4 favorites]


But did they recognize how hugely racist it was? I'm seriously asking, I haven't heard the show but you didn't specifically say they did and I think that's a really important factor.
posted by odinsdream at 3:32 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


They'd done some research on the transcript of his answer and connected it with this Vox piece on his education plan (noting the better reception it had gotten among activists compared to his garbled description of it) and the "word gap" theory (which they recalled Hillary Clinton referencing in earlier campaigns). They didn't point to this in particular as racist (probably because they didn't sound very familiar with the history of the theory), but they did recognize how it made him look really bad to once again react with angry petulance when confronted with a question about racial inequality. It's a pretty long segment; you can listen for yourself here around the 51:00 minute mark.

They probably could have gone harder on the racial tone-deafness of his point, but they definitely didn't act like he did a good job on this question (or anywhere else in the debate).
posted by Rhaomi at 3:49 PM on September 15 [3 favorites]


If Biden's answers are so obviously racist why is he still far and away the choice of black voters? What do they see that others don't? Just general risk aversion combined with not expecting old white dudes not to be kinda blandly racist?
posted by Justinian at 4:41 PM on September 15


I mean it did just happen, polls need time to catch up.
posted by odinsdream at 4:43 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


Also, most people don't listen to every word of every debate more than a year before the election the way we do.
posted by clawsoon at 5:08 PM on September 15 [8 favorites]


If Biden's answers are so obviously racist why is he still far and away the choice of black voters? What do they see that others don't?

Just some theories:

Biden has name recognition, is the front runner, and many black voters are terrified that Trump will continue to be president. Many black voters see Trump as a more formidable candidate than white voters, because Hillary was viewed as being even more of a superstar candidate among black voters than white.

Plus, the claim that voting for Biden is a vote to protect and continue Obama's legacy has real teeth. This may be why you see Biden repeat the claim ad nauseum during his rallies and debates. Trump has obliterated the legacy of the one black president and Biden is promising explicitly to restore it, while having a quasi-legitimate claim to being its standard bearer.
posted by xammerboy at 6:07 PM on September 15 [4 favorites]


If Biden's answers are so obviously racist why is he still far and away the choice of black voters?

He's not. Again: he's polling at around 31% of the total vote, 37% of the African-American vote, and 32% of the non-white vote; and he has 65% net approval among African-American voters vs 66% net for Sanders and 62% for Warren. Relative to his total poll numbers, he's doing a smidgeon better among black and non-white voters than the other candidates, but nothing remarkably different from his baseline status as the front-runner. And in head-to-heads vs Trump, he runs at 69% vs 6% for Trump among African-Americans, vs 65-7 for Sanders and 53-8 for Warren. So it's really not a very big difference these days.
posted by chortly at 7:01 PM on September 15 [6 favorites]


If Biden's answers are so obviously racist why is he still far and away the choice of black voters?

Because Kamala's seen as a cop.

I don't get why Warren doesn't have more pull, except the optics of being a wonkish white lady, but I'm not Black and if Biden is seen by Black people as having accomplished more for equality over his own carreer despite his foot-in-mouth disease, then I can totally appreciate that.

I just hope it isn't a secondhand Obama vote, because I don't think Biden deserves that.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:20 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


He's not

Sure he is; he's the strong plurality choice. You can't just add up three other candidates' totals and compare to Biden's numbers. And, hell, that's just one poll a month old. If you look at this Morning Consult poll for example, Biden gets 41% support among all black voters vs 20% for Sanders at the next highest.

When one candidate is polling somewhere in the neighborhood of 40% and the next highest is polling at 20%, it's more than fair to say that the guy polling 40% is far and away the choice of that group at present.

Biden's got serious problems but pretending like his strengths aren't what his strengths are isn't gonna solve anything.
posted by Justinian at 9:04 PM on September 15 [2 favorites]


I mean, the headline of this Salon piece is literally "Black Democrats overwhelmingly support Joe Biden to be the party's next presidential nominee".
posted by Justinian at 9:05 PM on September 15


NyTimes: Biden Has Deep Connection to Black Voters Will It Translate Into Votes?

Mr. Biden owes much of his front-runner status to his backing from black voters. Polls show he consistently tops 40 percent among African Americans nationally, and surveys from South Carolina, the first southern state to vote and one with a high percentage of black voters, have shown Mr. Biden scoring even higher.
posted by xammerboy at 9:27 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


One of the more crucial observations in Hetherington & Wiler's Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics is that "African Americans are, in fact, the most authoritarian racial group in the United States by far." (p. 141, inter alia) Anecdotally, this effect may be weakening in the younger generations; but I'd venture that anyone who lives or works in a majority-Black community will likely have encountered it.

Sufficient reflection on that effect, on the likely reasons for it (Black communities in America had and have exceptionally good reasons for the kind of fear that underlies authoritarian thinking), and on the properties that someone coming from an authoritarian standpoint typically looks for in an authority figure, would I think lead one to be relatively unsurprised at Biden's continuing relative strength among older Black voters.
posted by shenderson at 9:47 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


To put that somewhat differently: there are many people on Mefi, including me, who come from a perspective that is (a) non-Black and (b) anti-authoritarian. For those in this category, I think it is important to consider the ways in which our views (including our views of Biden) may be shaped by certain aspects of privilege.
posted by shenderson at 10:08 PM on September 15 [4 favorites]


I don't get why Warren doesn't have more pull (from black voters).

More theories on the black voter perspective:

1. Many black voters still don't know who Warren is.
2. Hillary was a superstar, so the U.S. clearly isn't ready for a woman president.
3. Trump's win means many Americans will only vote for a white man.
4. Words and promises from politicians mean nothing. Biden was Obama's V.P.
5. We owe it to Obama to protect his legacy. Biden was Obama's V.P.
6. Addressing class issues does not mean addressing racism or black specific issues.

Obama only won a majority of black voter support after he won Iowa, proving that he could win a white state. Up to that point, most black voters supported Hillary. Hillary seemed realistically electable, and she had a tangible track record of addressing black issues and working with black communities.

If Warren is going to win black voter support, she may need to prove she's the most electable candidate against Trump, talk to a history of working to address black issues, and lay claim to Obama's vision and legacy. It's not impossible, but it's a tall order. She's still working on getting black voters to know who she is, and prove she's electable.
posted by xammerboy at 10:17 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


I don't get why Warren doesn't have more pull (from black voters).

More theories on the black voter perspective:


If I may add one to a good list:
7. White women have done a lot of the work of white supremacy, historically (running the plantation house staff) and right up to now (imagine someone calling the cops on Black people just our living their lives — you’re probably thinking of a white woman). And then they accrued a lot of the benefits of the civil rights advances of the 20th Century, often with the assistance of women of color that they then don’t repay once they’ve climbed the ladder. There is a deeply rooted suspicion of white women, esp. one with the reported-on racial history of a Warren.
posted by Etrigan at 4:10 AM on September 16 [2 favorites]


More theories on the black voter perspective:

One other aspect is that voters (in any demographic) are, by and large, appallingly ill-informed. Take the black subset of that and many of them start from the assumption that all those white people on stage conform to their baseline expectations of white people, which are justifiably bleak. The idea that a white person's (especially a white politician's, and especially especially an old white politician's) take on differential outcomes in education is blamed on the parents for not exposing their kids to enough language enrichment at home? That's not shockingly alarming to them, that's the shit they get from white people on a regular basis and about what they expect from everyone on that debate stage except Harris, Booker, and Castro. That's despite the fact that nobody else on that debate stage said that, and that presumably many of them don't believe it. So shit like this probably doesn't even dent the attitudes of low-information black voters, because they figure every single white person up there has that same attitude anyways, even if the media is only focusing on Biden's statement.
posted by jackbishop at 6:37 AM on September 16 [4 favorites]


Joe Biden Is Problematic (Charles M. Blow, NYT Opinion)
All five of these things are simultaneously true:

Joe Biden is the Democratic front-runner and may well be the nominee.

He is by far the favorite candidate among black voters.

He was a loyal vice president to Barack Obama, and the two men seem to have shared a deep and true friendship.

He, like the other Democratic candidates, would be a vast improvement over Donald Trump.

And, Biden’s positioning on racial issues has been problematic. [...]

His language belies a particular mind-set, one of a liberal of a particular vintage. On the issue of race, it is paternalistic and it pities, it sees deficiency in much the same way that the conservative does, but it responds as savior rather than with savagery. Better the former than the latter, surely, but the sensibility underlying the two positions is shockingly similar. It underscores that liberalism does not perfectly align with racial egalitarianism, regardless of rhetoric to the contrary. [...]

Furthermore, it’s not what Biden says in prepared remarks that’s problematic, it’s what he says off the cuff and under pressure that to me reveal an antiquated view on racial matters and racial sensitivities. [...]

This critique of Biden isn’t personal. I bear no ill will for the man. But, a fact is a fact, and no amount of growth, change or well-intentioned good-heartedness has the ability to erase it.
posted by katra at 8:44 AM on September 16 [5 favorites]


It's important to remember that the last white Democratic presidential candidate dog-whistled about young men of color and called us "superpredators". The last white Democratic president destroyed welfare, ramped up mass incarceration, and hosted a major campaign event for his first presidential campaign at the birthplace for the new Ku Klux Klan and posed in front of black inmates.

Both candidates enjoyed immense amounts of support from black voters (and people of color in general). There are lots of reasons for demographic trends towards support, but that doesn't change one's history, attitudes, or potential for doing further harm to poor people and people of color.

This line from the above article reminds me of Biden (and Obama for that matter, whose legacy Biden is really trying to hold up as a reason to Vote For Joe):
Clinton has therefore always seemed somewhat of a paradox on race, a man who connected with black Americans emotionally while introducing policies that devastated them materially. His rhetoric, which acknowledged the trauma of slavery in a way no other president had before, and which treated African Americans as coequal participants in American life, has always made it appear as if Clinton must have been well-intentioned.
posted by Ouverture at 8:46 AM on September 16 [8 favorites]


Am I the only one a little uncomfortable with theorizing why an ethnic group decides to feel a certain way? Like there has to be some explanation postulated by a white person to properly explain their behavior? Couldn't we just accept that black people may just like Biden for their own valid, fully-informed reasons rather than attributing it to ignorance or malice?
posted by FakeFreyja at 8:46 AM on September 16 [20 favorites]


I agree; I would much rather discuss what a candidate has said, done, and would do for (and to) people of color and other marginalized groups than try to figure out why there are demographic trends in candidate support.
posted by Ouverture at 8:51 AM on September 16 [5 favorites]


I won't speculate as to why black voters prefer Biden, but I do think it's interesting and worth paying attention to—particularly the geographic distribution of black voters vs. the list of probable general election swing states.

The top five states with the largest percentage of black voters are Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, and Maryland. Mississippi and Louisiana are considered pretty safe red states in most analysis I've read so far (e.g.), and Maryland is solid blue, but Georgia is only classed as "leans R". I think it could be flippable if D voters turn out in large numbers, and Rs stay home due to Trump fatigue. Also, the margins in Florida have consistently been very tight, so black turnout and voting patterns there could have a significant effect.

However, some of the "swingiest" states—the "toss ups" are usually reported as New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Arizona—and a bunch of "leans D" states are pretty white. So a candidate who nailed down the black vote but failed to excite and get strong turnout among white voters could easily lose the general election. For a Democrat, it would seem that getting solid support among black voters is definitely necessary (for the primary), but also definitely not sufficient (for the general).

Another observation, after staring at electoral maps for a while, is that minorities—black voters especially—have a lot more power in the primaries than they do in the general election, due to the concentration of minorities in uncompetitive states, both blue and red. Generally speaking: if you're only going to vote in one or the other, you should really vote in the primary and sit out the general, unless you happen to live in one of the swing or "leans" states. (I'm not advocating anyone not voting, of course, but if you could only do one and wanted to maximize your political influence.) . However, I think non-wonks tend to do exactly the opposite, ignoring the primaries and only paying attention as the general election approaches—and, unfortunately, if you're in a solid blue coastal state or a solid red deep-south state, you've basically already missed the opportunity to influence the outcome of the election with your vote.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:15 AM on September 16 [6 favorites]


Working Families Party endorses Elizabeth Warren (Emily Stewart, Vox).

Warren, along with Kamala Harris, also received a standing ovation at She The People (a policy forum by and for women of color). So I'm not counting Warren out with non-white voters - the game has just begun, and Warren, in particular, has a way of winning people over when they go to see her speak.

Right now, the people paying much attention to the Presidential race are political junkies, like us. Your average Democratic Joe or Jane of any race or creed is probably thinking along the lines of "I miss Obama, therefore I like the guy who used to be his VP" or "that Bernie guy has some interesting new ideas, but I don't know yet." I doubt a lot of non-politically engaged types are paying much attention and they won't be until after the upcoming holidays.

As it happens, I'm really PO'd that Kirsten Gillibrand didn't get the traction she deserved thanks to sexist fuckheads. Warren has been my first choice for a long time, though.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 12:04 PM on September 16 [3 favorites]


I'm really PO'd that Kirsten Gillibrand didn't get the traction she deserved thanks to sexist fuckheads.

It's interesting that people are slagging Joe Biden on stuff he said almost half a century ago but ignore Gillibrand's record from just a few years ago.

From the American Conservative after her victory in 2006, "Gillibrand won her upstate New York district by running to the right: she campaigned against amnesty for illegal immigrants, promised to restore fiscal responsibility to Washington, and pledged to protect gun rights."

Gillibrand was also a tobacco lawyer, working for Philip Morris to prevent the disclosure of company research that confirmed the link between smoking and cancer and successfully defended them against perjury for lying about it.
posted by JackFlash at 12:40 PM on September 16 [8 favorites]


@daveweigel:
FWIW, racial support for Dems based on last CNN national poll:

White: Warren 23, Biden 21, Sanders 15

Black: Biden 42, Sanders 12, Warren 10

Hispanic: Sanders 24, Biden 18, O’Rourke 14, Warren 10.

https://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2019/images/09/11/rel10b.-.2020.pdf
posted by Chrysostom at 2:27 PM on September 16 [3 favorites]


To me, polling now is very much like asking random people what movies released this year could win Best Picture at the Oscars. It's too early and they haven't been paying attention. (That analogy is too inside baseball to be completely accurate but I stand by it.)

And Joe Biden is that movie that did really well in April/May that became a minor cultural phenomenon for a bit so it leaps to top of mind.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 2:49 PM on September 16 [2 favorites]


otoh Biden is kind of the Green Book of candidates in many ways.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:18 PM on September 16 [2 favorites]


Nate Silver on Biden's support.

I see this a lot; but if a gaffe or even a series of gaffes was going to collapse his campaign, his campaign would have already collapsed. He has actual support from actual people who are actually paying attention.
posted by Justinian at 3:36 PM on September 16 [3 favorites]


Chrysostom: I wonder how much of the white-vs-hispanic support is actually a cohort effect. The median age of americans of hispanic descent in the USA is significantly lower than the median age of americans of non-hispanic white descent as I'm sure you know. And Sanders does massively better among those under 35 than those over 35.

cue relevant cohort effect XKCD.
posted by Justinian at 3:39 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]


JackFlash, I believe those past positions of Gillibrand's were much more worthy of question - but, those were not the reasons people attacked her. Instead, she was attacked for being an evil castrating feminist harpy who ruined a charismatic sexual harasser's career. Which is the wrong thing to attack, IMO. And that's what made me so angry. And, frankly, not in the mood to vote for a man in the primary.

As for Biden, it's his age that bothers me more than anything. He looks, to me, visibly older and frail. The Presidency is a tough job. We have not had a good track record with elderly Presidents - Reagan developed dementia while in office, and if Trump isn't demented I'll eat my hat. This is also why I can't support Bernie - that and his staff are not top-notch.

At least, though, I can trust Biden to 1) pick a good VP candidate and 2) have a good cabinet and staff. I judge a candidate partly by how their team behaves, and I've been very impressed with both Warren's and Biden's - say what you will about Joe Biden himself, but neither Greg Schultz nor Cedric Richmond have gotten into nasty Twitter squabbles - they are professional and act it. So Biden isn't my first or even second choice but if he can pick a younger, female VP, and select a great staff and cabinet, things might go better than we expect.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 3:43 PM on September 16 [4 favorites]


Biden's inability to do anything meaningful about climate change means that things are going to be far worse than most people expect. At the timescale of just a few decades, there is no meaningful daylight between Biden and Trump for the billions of global poor around the world.
posted by Ouverture at 4:10 PM on September 16 [5 favorites]


If someone came back in time from 2030 and told you what actions and laws the 2020-2024 Democratic administration passed to deal with climate change, I don't think you'd be able to tell me who was elected President much above random chance.
posted by Justinian at 5:31 PM on September 16 [3 favorites]


Except that it will be named after any such President; viz. Obamacare.

Especially if it's Warren, given her building word-association with "Plan" and the constant calls for a "Marshall Plan" level effort.

And better that than some tortured acronym, like the
Let EnvironmenTal Science Now Overcome Theocratic Morons Ending Life on Terra Act.

posted by snuffleupagus at 5:37 PM on September 16



If someone came back in time from 2030 and told you what actions and laws the 2020-2024 Democratic administration passed to deal with climate change, I don't think you'd be able to tell me who was elected President much above random chance.

If that's the case, then we're all screwed anyway, so let's hope it's not.
posted by Gadarene at 5:53 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]


If someone came back in time from 2030 and told you what actions and laws the 2020-2024 Democratic administration passed to deal with climate change, I don't think you'd be able to tell me who was elected President much above random chance.

Bernie's Green New Deal actually has a chance. Nothing else at this point comes even close to the decarbonization velocity we need to avoid even 3 degrees of warming. Granted, we'll likely end up at 2 even with the best possible outcome, but that's still hundreds of millions of lives saved from death and suffering.

I come from one of the countries that will produce millions if not tens of millions of climate refugees. I guarantee you that my people will remember the American bipartisanship that led to this slow motion genocide.

After all, we never forgot Nixon, Kissinger, and Churchill.
posted by Ouverture at 5:57 PM on September 16 [10 favorites]


I see this a lot; but if a gaffe or even a series of gaffes was going to collapse his campaign, his campaign would have already collapsed.

I do wonder if Biden is going to gaffe out, because (A) he's making a lot of gaffes (B) has flamed out before (C) is old and showing it, which seems to only be making him more gaffe prone. Concerns about Biden's age (if elected he will be the oldest president in U.S. history) may mean he really can't afford to have even one truly senior moment, and that can happen easily to any candidate. That said, his support really does appear to be much more solid than I would have thought. Biden may be the only candidate that can take out Biden.
posted by xammerboy at 6:16 PM on September 16 [3 favorites]


That said, his support really does appear to be much more solid than I would have thought.

Suck enough and you get a hard vacuum.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:21 PM on September 16 [4 favorites]


Granted, we'll likely end up at 2 even with the best possible outcome, but that's still hundreds of millions of lives saved from death and suffering.

Jeez, if only leftists could be pragmatic enough to accept hundreds of millions of lives lost as the cost of doing business. Politics is the art of compromise, after all.
posted by invitapriore at 6:41 PM on September 16 [6 favorites]


Sure he is; he's the strong plurality choice. ...If you look at this Morning Consult poll for example, Biden gets 41% support among all black voters vs 20% for Sanders at the next highest. When one candidate is polling somewhere in the neighborhood of 40% and the next highest is polling at 20%, it's more than fair to say that the guy polling 40% is far and away the choice of that group at present. Biden's got serious problems but pretending like his strengths aren't what his strengths are isn't gonna solve anything.

So just to recap, we have a Fox poll that puts him at 37%, a Morning Consult poll that puts him at 41%, and a CNN poll that puts him at 42%. That seems pretty consistent. Since national polls put him at 30%, he does about 10 points better with African-Americans than with Democrats at large. Whether that amounts to "far and away" the preference, "by far the favorite candidate among black voters" (Blow), a "commanding lead" (Times), or "overwhelmingly support" (Salon), seems like a question for linguists, but what's notable to me is how there's this really sharp transition from how folks describe his overall 30% lead in fairly anodyne language, to using language like "overwhelming," "commanding", "by far the favorite," etc, when the number increases to 40%. One version of this is to say that people tend to underplay his general lead, which if 40% is "overwhelming," then at 30% overall is perhaps better described as a nearly overwhelming lead among all voters. The other version is that if you are optimistic that his 30% lead can be overcome, there's no particular reason to think that his 40% lead among African-Americans is more than 33% tougher to overcome -- ie, a challenge, but not overwhelming. Whether you are a glass half-full or half-empty person is a personal choice, but in general I've found it odd that there's such an extreme step function between how people tend describe his national lead (30%) and his African-American lead (40%).
posted by chortly at 7:55 PM on September 16 [5 favorites]


Joe Biden is not Barack Obama (Ezra Klein, Vox)
It’s time for the former vice president to make the case for his presidency, not Obama’s.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:47 PM on September 17


NBC/WSJ poll: Biden leads Dem 2020 field, Warren's support grows (NBC News)
The survey also shows that Warren has the advantage in enthusiasm, and that she gets the most second-choice support.

Biden leads the overall horserace with backing from 31 percent of Democratic primary voters (up 5 points since July), while Warren gets 25 percent (up 6 points). [...]

Thirty-five percent of Democratic primary voters say they’re “enthusiastic” about Warren (which is up 9 points since June), another 35 percent are “comfortable” with her and just 6 percent are “very uncomfortable.”

That’s compared with 23 percent who are enthusiastic about Biden, another 41 percent who are comfortable and 13 percent who are very uncomfortable — essentially unchanged since June.

Bernie Sanders’ numbers are 25 percent enthusiastic, 37 percent comfortable and 12 percent very uncomfortable.
posted by katra at 3:30 PM on September 17 [4 favorites]




I don't get it.
posted by Justinian at 11:08 PM on September 17 [3 favorites]


Working Families Party endorses Elizabeth Warren (Emily Stewart, Vox).

Yeah but the Warren people totally cheated and the Sanders people didn't want that dumb old endorsement anyway.
posted by octothorpe at 4:52 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]


If you believe, as is obvious, that the reason WFP won’t release a membership vote total this time is because Warren did not win the membership vote, then this means Warren got anywhere from 22 to 40 percent of the member vote.

Warren could've also gotten 49.9% of the membership vote, which would mean that she got about 70% of the leadership vote. That would represent fairly wide support for Warren while still being consistent with both the real data we have available and the author's theory that WFP hasn't released the membership vote because Warren didn't win it.

But that's not the narrative they wanted to push.

While I understand that, if you're to the left of everyone who's running, Bernie is probably your guy, Jacobin's relentless stanning is exhausting.
posted by box at 8:36 AM on September 18 [6 favorites]


From days before Debate #3: Cramer: Wall Street executives are saying Elizabeth Warren's 2020 bid has 'got to be stopped' (CNBC via MSN, Sept. 10, 2019)
The financial community is really worried about the possibility of Sen. Elizabeth Warren becoming president, CNBC's Jim Cramer said on Tuesday.

"When you get off the desk and talk to executives, they're more fearful of her winning," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street." He said he's hearing a "she's got to be stopped" mantra bubbling up among corporate executives.

Warren, a champion of the left wing for her bank-bashing and wealth-taxing proposals, has been doing better at the polls in the crowded field of candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
There's not much more to this story, or any CEOs being named. Or unpacking what "bank-bashing" or "wealth-taxing" means for the majority of the country. Or who CEOs would prefer to see in the White House. Still, sounds like she's saying the right things to me, as a non-CEO.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:47 AM on September 18 [15 favorites]


Trump says he doesn't believe Warren's crowd size (Politico)
President Donald Trump on Tuesday dismissed assertions that more than 20,000 people turned out for Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren's rally in New York on Monday evening, lobbing accusations of crowd-size inflation that have long been leveled at himself.

"Certainly, if I went to Manhattan, if I went there — No. 1, she didn’t have 20,000 people and No. 2, I think anybody would get a good crowd there," he told reporters on Air Force One, according to a pool report. "I think you have a good crowd there if you don’t even go there, just say you’re going and how many people are in the park.”

Trump did not provide a basis for his claim. The 20,000 estimation for the rally, which packed Manhattan's Washington Square Park, comes from the Warren campaign, but it does not yet appear to have been corroborated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. The department has said it permitted the event for an audience of up to 10,000.

Regardless, the event was among the campaign's largest to date, nearly filling the 10-acre park to capacity. [...] The ascendant Warren has seen her crowd sizes grow in cities across the country as enthusiasm builds for her anti-corruption message.
posted by katra at 11:29 AM on September 18 [3 favorites]


In comparison, Trump's campaign rally in Rio Rancho, New Mexico got more than 8,000 people at the Santa Ana* Star Center Monday. The city estimates about 200 protesters showed up**, but police tried to keep the group separate. (KOB News, Sept. 17, 2019)

* Santa Ana Pueblo Officials: Pueblo has no connections with Trump visit (Albuquerque Journal)
Santa Ana Pueblo has been bombarded with telephone calls since the announcement that President Donald Trump will appear at a campaign event in Rio Rancho on Monday.

Pueblo spokesman Joseph Peña said people have been calling the government offices “and all of our business entities” about the commander-in-chief’s visit to the Santa Ana Star Center multipurpose arena.

It will be Trump’s first visit to New Mexico as president, though he made two stops in the state during the 2016 campaign.

“The majority of the calls have been negative,” Peña said. “Some of them understood that we only have the naming rights to the facility, but many did not.”

Pueblo Gov. Timothy Menchego, who has handled some of the phone calls himself, told the Journal the calls have been from people in surrounding communities.
“I talked to one man who told me he was in disbelief that we could host the president,” he said. “The man said, ‘He’s (Trump) not a good supporter of Native Americans.’ I told him we have no control over it. We only own the naming rights.”
Even though it's the Santa Ana Star Center, the facilities are in Rio Rancho (Google maps), at the aspirational city center, not otherwise associated with the Pueblo. Which gets me to ...

** there were only 200 protesters at the campaign rally, because this is a terrible rally location. It's a relatively small venue, compared to other campaign rallies, and it's in the middle of the desert. "But filthy light thief," you say, "all of New Mexico is a desert!"

Well, yes and no. While there's plenty of open space, there's also pockets of development. The city of Rio Rancho, in its vision of a city bigger than Albuquerque, the state's biggest city, plunked the town hall and "city center" away from any existing development, waiting for development to come to them, as it were. So when you have a rally that will likely draw violent white supremacists, protesters have no place to go for miles, should they want to find somewhere to get away from gun-toting extremists. So the protest rally was held in Albuquerque, 15 miles away from Trump landed, and 15 miles in another direction from Trump's campaign rally location.

So it seems like Trump flew into a Republican enclave, north of Albuqerque, a progressive city, so he could hold a rally in an undersized facility where his team knew he'd bring in more people than could fit in the venue. And as a bonus, there's not much chance for protestors to throng the venue, because there wasn't enough parking for people attending the campaign rally (and the vendors, who came in to shill shit to the faithful crowd).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:49 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]


In other news, Sanders unveils $2.5 trillion 'Housing for All' plan (Tal Axelrod for The Hill, Sept. 18, 2019)
White House hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday released a $2.5 trillion plan to guarantee housing for every American.

Sanders said the plan would “guarantee every American — regardless of income — a fundamental right to a safe, decent, accessible, and affordable home” and would be paid for by a wealth tax on the top one-tenth of 1 percent of income earners.

“There is virtually no place in America where a full-time minimum wage worker can afford a decent two bedroom apartment. At a time when half of our people are living paycheck to paycheck, this is unacceptable,” he said. “For too long the federal government has ignored the extraordinary housing crisis in our country. That will end when I am president.”

Sanders’s plan seeks to invest $1.48 trillion over 10 years in the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund to build and maintain 7.4 million “quality, affordable and accessible housing units” that he says will eliminate the gap in affordable housing for the lowest-income renters. It would also invest another $400 billion to build 2 million mixed-income social housing units.

He also intends to use the plan to end homelessness by prioritizing 25,000 National Affordable Housing Trust Fund units to house the homeless in his first year in office and provide $500 million to state and local governments to help connect the homeless to case management and social services.

The democratic socialist lambasted “corrupt real estate developers” for jacking up rent prices and President Trump for cutting federal housing programs. He says he would create an office within the Department of Housing and Urban Development to strengthen rent control and tenant protections and make data on evictions and rent increases available to the public.
Details from his website, which also includes Medicare for All and College For All (which includes cancelling college debt).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:53 AM on September 18 [8 favorites]


“The democratic socialist lambasted “corrupt real estate developers” for jacking up rent prices...”
For fucks sake

He keeps using that word in a lot of contexts, but I don't think it means anything like what he thinks it means. Corruption is a word that means a thing, and that meaning is not 'bad things that Sanders doesn't like'. Landowners charging market rates for housing is not corruption, if anything its closer to the opposite, and describing our housing market in this economically illiterate way does little more than demonstrate how fundamentally harmless he is to the structural forces distorting it to make housing unaffordable.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:30 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]


I had a very good meal in Albuquerque once, AMA.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:09 PM on September 18 [3 favorites]


Couldn't Sanders be using the word in terms of "corrupted by greed" i.e. "morally debased by greed"? So not what the World Bank would strictly mean when trying to comparatively estimate the levels of public corruption in different countries, but still a valid use albeit a preachy one. The wicked deserve his verbal cudgel.
posted by XMLicious at 3:57 PM on September 18 [11 favorites]


Yeah, I think there is more than one definition for "corrupted". And I think Sanders is on strong footing to describe them as morally corrupt.
posted by Ouverture at 4:23 PM on September 18 [7 favorites]


Honestly if you don't think the developers who flood the land with overpriced single-family developments burdened with restrictive and abusive covenants, and the landlords who serve no purpose in society but to collect money in perpetuity for the honor of owning the deed to a building, are not corrupt simply because they do not to your knowledge take bribes ...
posted by kafziel at 8:07 PM on September 18 [4 favorites]


Single-family detached homes in places that are not appropriate for them are not generally the most profitable use of the land that they sit on, and developers would, in general, love to build with the greater density we need when the market and infrastructure support it. As well as blaming developers might fit kulak-themed narratives, it doesn't make any more sense to attack them for the purpose-built structural failures of racist and classist housing policy any more than it made sense to blame landowning Russian peasants for the structural failures of scientifically illiterate Soviet ag policy. At best this bullshit is a distraction from the real work we need to be doing. Sanders seemingly can't even decide whether developers are 'corrupt' for developing or 'corrupt' for not-developing. We need a housing policy that will focus on encouraging the density that reduces our impact on the environment, allows for public transportation to thrive, reduces housing costs, and makes for neighborhoods that can reduce class and racial segregation. This requires economic activity from developers who we want to thrive by building housing that benefits us all. All we will accomplish by disrupting the kind of healthy balance between encouraging development and regulating it by inventing scapegoats to punish is higher housing costs for shittier housing. If we really were to follow Bernie in sticking our heads this far up our own asses, the best we could hope for is for the Left to wiggle around as ineffectually as it always is like some kind of perverse four-legged meat doughnut.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:00 AM on September 19 [5 favorites]


This is not a distraction:

In America today, corrupt real estate developers are gentrifying neighborhoods and forcing working families out of the homes and apartments where they have lived their entire lives and replacing them with fancy condominiums and hotels that only the very rich can afford.

This is happening now, in many American cities, and affecting actual people. I get that that can seem like a distant academic concern from a vantage point over in Belgium, but I assure you that it is not "bullshit" to anyone living in actual American neighborhoods right now.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:09 AM on September 19 [14 favorites]


Having grown up in a neighborhood in America that no longer exists in a city I now barely recognize, which I still couldn't afford to live in despite having leveraged my education into upward mobility abroad where that kind of thing still happens, my lack of any sense of home is defined by this problem that Sanders seems unable to communicate even the most basic of understanding of. However, just because this problem isn't a distant academic concern for either of us doesn't mean that academic expertise is irrelevant to the decisions we need to be making as communities.

What Sanders is promoting isn't at all a fake disease, but a fake diagnosis, and an overly simplistic solution to a very real and genuinely complex problem. Change isn't the problem, our cities and communities desperately need changes and construction that we need developers to build. The problem is the way housing policy has been coopted such that change only benefits a few with things like the laws that are purpose-built to favor wealthy home-owners and landlords who control local elections at the expense of everyone else. We need to be tackling the systemic issues that have caused these problems, not the tools that we'll need to use to fix them.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:58 AM on September 19 [6 favorites]


There is behavior by developers that meets even the narrowest definition of corruption. Not a Bernie fan but corrupt developers are very real.
posted by sallybrown at 7:25 AM on September 19 [4 favorites]


Surely the solution to address problems in the American construction industry that can actually be described as corruption isn't to triple the amount of money flowing into it by shoveling 13% of America's GDP at it? For a document labeled 'details' it certainly doesn't contain many, but none of them seem to have anything to do with anti-corruption prevention or enforcement. The point of it plainly has nothing to corruption, housing, or even policy. It fails to communicate even the most basic of civic literacy as almost none of the things it promises that Bernie will do as President are within Presidential authority. A pretty substantial number of them unambiguously wouldn't even be constitutional for Congress to attempt.

If we are to have any hope of bending housing policy and other aspects of the Federal government towards benefiting the general welfare of all of us, rather than just a few, we're going to need civic leaders who are honest with us about the problems we are facing such that we can guide them with the generally good priorities we all actually want. Instead of this, all Bernie is doing here with dishonestly simple solutions to complex problems is drive the more gullible among us towards contorting ourselves further up the warm wet security of his cult of personality, at best harmless to the forces that are actually oppressing us.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:05 AM on September 19 [3 favorites]


Mmmm i agree, love the taste of rich greedy developer boot
posted by windbox at 11:00 AM on September 19 [4 favorites]


Delicious rich people that we need to be eating are indeed causing our problems with housing, but you'll find them in this graph, not scapegoats.
posted by Blasdelb at 11:33 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]


In this one particular instance, it is true that (in many, but not by any means all) places in the US that the fundamental issues are being caused by the policy demands of largely middle and upper middle class (in terms of income) homeowners railing against infill, upzoning, and density in general even when it won't directly affect them.

Note that I'm not angry with them; it's a perfectly natural reaction to feeling like the vast majority of your wealth will be devalued significantly if more housing is built. Luxury condo buyers and SFH buyers are largely two different groups of people, so there is less widespread pushback outside of those directly affected when developers build luxury condos instead of workforce housing.

That's not to say that shitty and greedy developers aren't shitty and greedy, only that they are not the primary cause of the shortage of affordable housing. They are reacting to explicitly stated policy that is very much backed up financially with the tax code.
posted by wierdo at 11:54 AM on September 19 [5 favorites]


Even though it's the Santa Ana Star Center, the facilities are in Rio Rancho

Rio Rancho? You must be fucking kidding me. Nobody can sell that shit anymore.

Give me the good leads. The Glengarry leads.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:18 PM on September 19 [2 favorites]


A Liberal Redneck Reaction Video - The Third Democratic Debate (YouTube video, 16min 55sec)

Trae Crowder wasn't able to watch the debate live. So decided to watch a 4 minute highlight reel from ABC and react to it. While the clip offered an odd version of the debate (mainly it was all the point scoring and retorts (plus they left out Warren completely (Trae caught the invisibility trick)), I found his takes to be very interesting because they were very different from mine, even though we probably would like to see the same end results ... so really enjoyed the differences. And while he follows politics and considers the impacts on people (and might know more about the plans and policies then he lets on), it is a fun un-wonkish analysis of the debate. All in all recommended.
posted by phoque at 5:45 PM on September 19 [2 favorites]








Is there another kind of Reddit Ask Me Anything?
posted by box at 12:41 PM on September 20 [3 favorites]


Hey, somebody needed to pour that guy a nice big boot-shaped mug of shut the fuck up so might as well let the jackals take on the job.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:19 PM on September 20 [3 favorites]


Hopefuly this shows the media that their attempts to make Beto look cool aren't working and need to stop. I come across articles touting him as this skateboarder/hacker who's running for office, which makes it seem like Mountain Dew running him as a viral marketing stunt.
posted by riruro at 5:43 PM on September 20


Is there another kind of Reddit Ask Me Anything?

The vacuum repair guy kind
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:58 PM on September 20 [4 favorites]


Sounds like Booker is preparing to call it quits.

The Daily Beast’s Gideon Resnick reports, “On call with reporters now, Booker's campaign manager effectively says that if they can't raise the money they're looking for in the next ten days, he's not going to keep consuming resources better focused on defeating Trump”
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:27 AM on September 21 [3 favorites]


Kind of surprised he never made any headway, but good. Everyone else outside the top five or six, take heed.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:02 AM on September 21 [3 favorites]


Kind of surprised that Booker didn't get more traction. I know that he's pretty centrist but certainly not more than Biden or Harris.
posted by octothorpe at 9:45 AM on September 21


Speaking of Harris, her polling is looking a bit dire. She was one of the front-runners in Iowa in last month's polls, but is now in a distant fourth place. Her national poll average is down around 5–6%.

I hope she can recover by the time the primaries start, both because I'd be reasonably happy to see her as the nominee (even though she's not my top choice) and because I think a lot of Democrats who might be convinced to support Harris will converge on Biden in her absence (and Biden is pretty much my last choice).
posted by mbrubeck at 10:44 AM on September 21


I'm still puzzled by what happened with Harris. Since that first attack on Biden she seems to have just stopped trying. No major policy roll-out media blitzes, no major articles on fundraisers or elite backers, no gimmicks like Buttigieg with his mayors, and most of all, in the last two debates she's seemed completely enervated, particularly if you compare her demeanor to the first debate or Senate hearings where she's energetically cross-examining or at least grandstanding. The only things I can think of are either some skeletons in her closet that she was belatedly made aware of, or a promise of VP from Biden if she basically sits it out. But either way, it's weird to see someone almost give up, especially compared to how Biden, Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg, and O'Rourke have managed to keep themselves in the news in the meantime.
posted by chortly at 1:23 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


I don’t think Harris ever fully settled on a core message, which made it hard to break through all the noise in the news. Same with Beto and Booker. When I think of her candidacy there’s no one-line theme that comes to mind.
posted by sallybrown at 1:44 PM on September 21 [3 favorites]


Kind of surprised that Booker didn't get more traction. I know that he's pretty centrist

Booker is the sixth-most lefty Democrat in the Senate caucus (he has a more liberal voting record than Bernie does). He gets tagged with "centrist" because he's reliant on Wall Street funding - because of course he is, he's from New Jersey and that's where the political money is. But he's a reliable left-wing vote on most occasions, and in this cycle he's supported impeachment, the Green New Deal, M4A (with private insurance still allowable, granted) and his criminal justice reform proposals have really pushed the debate on that topic.

He's pretty lefty overall, even considering the fact that as a Black man he's gotta moderate everything so white people don't decide he's a crazy radical.
posted by mightygodking at 5:26 PM on September 21 [11 favorites]


I'll be sorry to see Booker drop out, just as I was sorry to see Gillibrand go. I think both would have made excellent Presidents. In a crowded field, it's hard to stand out, and we have an embarrassment of Presidential-quality riches in this particular cycle.

Booker, and for that matter Harris, are ones I really would have liked, if it wasn't for the fact that I think Elizabeth Warren is so head-and-shoulders above her competition that I am now totally in the tank for her.

Meanwhile, good riddance to Bill DeBlasio - my man, if you don't like being mayor of New York City, what do you think the job of President would be like? Don't grumble about how much you hate your job and then try to seek a promotion to that same job on steroids.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:51 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


Brand new gold-standard Des Moines Register Selzer poll of Iowa:

Warren 22 (+7)
Biden 20 (-4)
Sanders 11 (-5)
Buttigieg 9 (-5)
Harris 6 (-1)
posted by Rhaomi at 5:58 PM on September 21 [14 favorites]


I'm still puzzled by what happened with Harris. Since that first attack on Biden she seems to have just stopped trying.

The core strategy behind Harris' campaign was and is "eventually Biden will falter, because of course he will, and then we'll get all the Black voters that were backing him and that's our route to victory." The problem is that Biden isn't faltering as quickly as they expected - and given how bad Biden has been that says a lot about what Democrats are willing to swallow in order to beat Trump - and although it briefly looked like Harris would indeed start convincing his Black voters to jump to her, that more or less ended the moment Tulsi Gabbard pointed out her "she's a cop" record.

She's still in the race because nobody else has shown an ability - yet - to pull those voters away, and because Biden may and probably will collapse at some point.
posted by mightygodking at 5:58 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


Booker is the sixth-most lefty Democrat in the Senate caucus (he has a more liberal voting record than Bernie does). He gets tagged with "centrist" because he's reliant on Wall Street funding - because of course he is, he's from New Jersey and that's where the political money is. But he's a reliable left-wing vote on most occasions, and in this cycle he's supported impeachment, the Green New Deal, M4A (with private insurance still allowable, granted) and his criminal justice reform proposals have really pushed the debate on that topic.

"Lefty" and "leftist" don't at all mean the same thing and Booker's support of Wall Street certainly underscores that.
posted by Ouverture at 6:15 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


The Bygone Baggage of Joe Biden (Roger Cohen, NYT Opinion)
Biden is trying to bridge reassurance to the wealthy with outreach to energized progressives. That balancing act has maintained his lead in polls. If two Obama terms were not enough for you, he’s offering something resembling a third — Obamacare Plus; a possible increase in capital-gains tax to address inequality.

Will this fine-tuning be enough in an agitated America, whiplashed by President Trump? I doubt it. The under-30s, maybe under-40s, are underwhelmed by Biden, even angry that this honorable man has not chosen dignified retirement. He’s the emblem of the permanent political class, the one that created the conditions for Trump, in an era that Trump’s wild policy lurches and heresies and, yes, lies have now transformed.

America’s restoration, after this trauma, will not be achieved by going back. What created Trump cannot oust Trump. It will demand a new politics, and a new integrity, such as the one Warren has set out and embodied with greater vigor, persuasiveness and coherence than anyone else. Biden, on whom Trump may have been seeking dirt in a July phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, can put an end to the president’s sullying of the Oval Office. He can’t, however, embody renewal.

Is Warren too far left to win? Maybe. Does she worry some purple-district Democrats who did well in 2018? Yes. But she can adjust. As for “electability,” an overused word, well, Trump won, and may again, so all bets are off.
posted by katra at 6:20 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


I’d be into Harris or Booker as VPs but they’re senators and that’s probably more important.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:37 PM on September 21


I'd be fine with Booker or Harris in cabinet positions - they come from solidly blue states, so any replacement would also be a Democrat. Really good people are often wasted in the VP slot unless the President is someone who delegates a lot of responsibility to their VP.

As for Booker favoring Wall Street...he's from New Jersey, of course he's going to favor Wall Street, that is a money-maker for his state. It's easy for someone like Bernie Sanders to be pure of heart, because Vermont doesn't have large or controversial industries (is he in the pocket of Big Ben and Big Jerry? Big Maple? Big Leaf Peeping?). Politicians from New York and New Jersey are going to "support" Wall Street, just as Californians will support Silicon Valley, Nevadans support the gambling industry, etc. That's just realism.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:43 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


More details on that Iowa poll:
Warren leads Biden by 12% in combined 1st+2nd choice in the DMR/CNN poll of Iowa:

Warren 42%
Biden 30%
Sanders 21%
Buttigieg 18%
Harris 16%

2nd choices *very* important in Iowa; voters will be asked to select a new candidate if their first choice is below 15% so their caucus.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:28 PM on September 21 [4 favorites]


"that more or less ended the moment Tulsi Gabbard pointed out her "she's a cop" record."

I wouldn't necessarily attribute that to Gabbard. There was skepticism in the community - especially among the younger black voters who tend towards Sanders - about her prosecutorial record before she said anything.
posted by Selena777 at 9:25 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]


Eric Swallwell quits a campaign that no one even remembered existed.
posted by octothorpe at 10:16 AM on September 22 [2 favorites]


Vermont doesn't have large or controversial industries (is he in the pocket of Big Ben and Big Jerry? Big Maple? Big Leaf Peeping?

Historically, Vermont has had a relatively high gun ownership for New England, and correspondingly lax gun control laws. And correspondingly, Bernie Sanders voted against the Brady Bill in the mid-90's because he opposed a federally-mandated waiting period for gun purchases, voted in the late 90's against narrowing the "gun show" exception to background checks, voted for an NRA-supported bill that limited the liability of gun manufacturers and which was opposed by most Democrats in the 00's, voted in favor of provisions in the ACA that would have barred higher insurance premiums for people who owned guns, etc.

After being hit on it in 2016, he's been pushing back in this cycle by pointing to his consistent votes to ban assault weapons and prevent people from using concealed-carry permits across state lines, as well as more recent positions on background checks and purchase restrictions.
posted by joyceanmachine at 11:08 AM on September 22 [3 favorites]


Ilhan Omar: Biden not right candidate for 'progress we all want to see' (Guardian)
The Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar, one of four new members of the House of Representatives racially abused by Donald Trump, gave the keynote speech. She demanded “a president who realises we are not just fighting for one election, we are fighting for the very soul of our democracy and what society we want to become”.

Asked by the Guardian if Biden could be that candidate, Omar was less than optimistic.

“There are few people who fit into the kind of progress that we all want to see in this country,” Omar said. “And I would say he is not one of them.

“I think it has been very clear to many of the people who have been creating the kind of movement that is exciting generations, that we want somebody who really has a plan that is going to tackle a lot of the systematic challenges that we have, and he doesn’t.”
posted by katra at 2:12 PM on September 22 [5 favorites]


Nov/Dec debate thresholds are out: 165,000 donors and 3% polling in four polls or 5% in two-early state polls.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:27 PM on September 23 [3 favorites]


Because I watched the Emmys last night, I thought I’d drop this Veep quote to shed some clarity on the running mate discussion:
“Being Vice President is like being declawed, defanged, neutered, ball-gagged, and sealed in an abandoned coal mine under two miles of human shit! It is a fate worse than death!”
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:26 PM on September 23 [1 favorite]


The hits keep on coming: Warren +2 in New Hampshire and +8 in California
posted by Rhaomi at 1:03 PM on September 24 [3 favorites]


Nevada poll (Suffolk):

Biden 23
Warren 19
Sanders 14

2nd choice (NV is a caucus):

Warren 18
Biden 16
Sanders 12
posted by Chrysostom at 1:27 PM on September 24 [2 favorites]


Quinnipiac national poll:

Warren 27%
Biden 25%
Sanders 16%
Buttigieg 7%
Harris 3%
Castro 2%
Klobuchar 2%
O'Rourke 2%
Yang 2%
posted by Chrysostom at 8:27 AM on September 25 [5 favorites]


Biden nosedives in early-state polls (Politico)
Recent surveys show the former veep’s leads have vanished in Iowa and New Hampshire, while his South Carolina firewall shows signs of cracking.
“Biden’s support was always soft. That’s the key,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “Unlike some of the other candidates, Biden’s support isn’t as locked in. He doesn’t have that ‘it’ factor.”
posted by katra at 10:53 AM on September 25


Via Dave Weigel:
Quinnipiac poll on whether you would be “excited” if one of the 2020 Dems became the nominee:

Black voters: Biden 70%, Warren 68%, Sanders 63%

White Democrats w/o college degree: Warren 69%, Biden 54%, Sanders 52%
*sunglasses smiling emoji*
posted by sallybrown at 10:56 AM on September 25 [3 favorites]


YouGov national poll:

Warren: 25%
Biden: 25
Sanders: 16
Buttigieg: 7
Harris: 6
posted by Chrysostom at 10:57 AM on September 25 [5 favorites]




I'm sure Democratic voters won't mind wealthy donors trying to extort them.

To the many wealthy Democratic donors who I'm sure are reading this: if you want a centrist candidate, it's time to get behind Buttigieg.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:15 PM on September 26 [1 favorite]


Ha ha ha ha ha. Wealthy donors hate her - that's practically an advertisement for #Warren2020!

I recall when a whole bunch of wealthy donors - I don't know if they are the same ones, or if there is any overlap - vowed to not endorse or donate to Kirsten Gillibrand because she was a meanie-pants feminazi. Now I wonder if they are kicking themselves - Gillibrand would probably have been more friendly to wall street than the woman who single-handedly founded the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Schadenfreude is sweet.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 2:54 PM on September 26 [2 favorites]


I'm interested in Warren as a candidate, but I have a friend that points me to articles like this:

How Elizabeth Warren Raised Big Money Before She Denounced Big Money

Anyone have any background on the article author, Shane Goldmacher? Is he dependable as a journalist? I did a quick google search, and I couldn't see a bias based on a quick scan of the results.
posted by ishmael at 4:09 PM on September 26 [2 favorites]


Guardian: Warren is defiant against Wall Street critics
Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren)

I'm fighting for an economy and a government that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and well-connected. I'm not afraid of anonymous quotes, and wealthy donors don't get to buy this process. I won't back down from fighting for the big, structural change we need. https://t.co/nx7GczQhHl
September 26, 2019
posted by katra at 4:49 PM on September 26 [7 favorites]


The New York Times has not had a great track record with progressive candidates, and has not exactly been covering itself in glory as far as Democrats are concerned. Take anything this Goldmacher or anyone else says against Warren with a small salt mine.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:35 PM on September 26 [1 favorite]


How Elizabeth Warren Raised Big Money Before She Denounced Big Money

Anyone have any background on the article author, Shane Goldmacher? Is he dependable as a journalist?


The NYT is definitely hungry for somethingburgers on Warren. But that's not to say that this particular story is incorrect. The outline of the story- that Warren started her presidential campaign with her Senate war chest (which was not covered by her no-big-money pledge)- is true and has been reported on elsewhere.
posted by Jpfed at 8:58 PM on September 26


Does anyone know if she's vowed to continue refusing corporate money if chosen as the Democratic nominee?
posted by Selena777 at 8:19 AM on September 27


I'm interested in Warren as a candidate, but I have a friend that points me to articles like this:

How Elizabeth Warren Raised Big Money Before She Denounced Big Money


When my preferred candidate changes their mind, it's because they're evolving and listening to the will of the people they represent.

When your preferred candidate changes their mind, it's because they're fecklessly drafting on my favorite candidate's more pure views.
posted by Etrigan at 8:20 AM on September 27 [5 favorites]


She's also donated a significant portion of it to state parties and downballot candidates.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:26 AM on September 27 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know if she's vowed to continue refusing corporate money if chosen as the Democratic nominee?

At that point, Warren has pledged “do what is necessary,” as Politico reports:
“By then we’ll be up against a Republican machine that will be hell-bent on keeping the White House,” she wrote. “They will have PACs and Super PACs and too many special interest groups to count, and we will do what is necessary to match them financially. That means investing — starting now — in each and every one of our state parties, and in our national party too.”
posted by KatlaDragon at 10:29 AM on September 27 [1 favorite]


Joe Biden faces the Trump fusillade. Are he and his campaign up to it? (WaPo)
The episode has crystallized an existing sense of anxiety among some of Biden’s top donors and longtime supporters about his campaign. Some allies have been expressing concerns for weeks that Biden doesn’t seem to be the happy warrior he had been in previous campaigns. They have urged him and the campaign to adopt a more assertive and focused message, one that puts the middle class front and center.

Some of those worries have led to preliminary discussions, in Chicago and Washington, over whether to launch a pro-Biden super PAC. Biden’s campaign has publicly discouraged any outside assistance, which could open him up to attacks from Warren and Sanders that he is being bankrolled by wealthy interests. Those discussions, first reported by the New York Times, are ongoing. [...]

In a sign of what Biden is up against, the Trump campaign announced Friday the $10 million ad campaign focused on Biden, his son and Ukraine. It includes a video snippet of Biden saying the U.S. would withhold a $1 billion loan guarantee if Ukraine did not fire the corrupt prosecutor.

“But when President Trump asks Ukraine to investigate corruption, the Democrats want to impeach him,” the narrator says. “They lost the election. Now they want to steal this one. Don’t let them.”

The Biden campaign has attempted to reassure donors and has sent out talking points to allies to encourage a public response to Trump.
posted by katra at 11:32 AM on September 29


Yeah, that's kind of the issue. As much as Trump unlawfully using his position as leverage, pressuring Ukraine to investigate Biden is an illegal, impeachable offense ... it was to investigate Biden for doing literally the exact same illegal, impeachable offense. Except Biden did it to block an investigation into his son's crimes. And people have been pointing this out for years, long before this current hubbub.

Another reason he's unelectable.
posted by kafziel at 4:41 PM on September 29


A quick guide to Trump’s false claims about Ukraine and the Bidens (WaPo)
False: Biden pushed out a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating his son

Trump has falsely claimed that Biden in 2015 pressured the Ukrainian government to fire Viktor Shokin, the top Ukrainian prosecutor, because he was investigating Ukraine’s largest private gas company, Burisma, which had added Biden’s son, Hunter, to its board in 2014.

There are two big problems with this claim: One, Shokin was not investigating Burisma or Hunter Biden, and two, Shokin’s ouster was considered a diplomatic victory.

Biden was among the many Western officials who pressed for the removal of Shokin because he actually was not investigating the corruption endemic to the country. Indeed, he was not investigating Burisma at the time. In September 2015, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt publicly criticized Shokin’s office for thwarting a British money-laundering probe into Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky.

“Shokin was not investigating. He didn’t want to investigate Burisma,” Daria Kaleniuk, of the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Action Center, told The Washington Post in July. “And Shokin was fired not because he wanted to do that investigation, but quite to the contrary, because he failed that investigation.”
posted by katra at 4:52 PM on September 29 [6 favorites]


Except Biden did it to block an investigation into his son's crimes.

This is 100% wrong, as katra points out above. It wasn't done to block an investigation, it was pushed by a number of countries, not just us. Ask yourself - if this was a skeevy Dem-protecting move, why was there no Republican pushback/criticism at the time?

Biden has lots of problems. Pushing to get this Ukrainian prosecutor replaced was not one of them.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:20 PM on September 29 [13 favorites]


The DNC plans to hold next month's debate on a single night with all candidates on one stage. Twelve candidates have qualified for the October debate.
posted by mbrubeck at 6:20 PM on September 29 [3 favorites]


Although Booker might conceivably drop first, given his fundraising ultimatum.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:02 PM on September 29


Oh come on, that's Glenn fucking Kessler. Notoriously the worst "fact-checker" in the business, an incompetent hack who misrepresents, misinterprets, and outright falsifies his column in order to defend the interests of the rich.

Get your rebuttal from someone other than a right-wing sycophant.
posted by kafziel at 8:31 PM on September 29


The Hearing and the Whistleblower Complaint: L’Affaire Ukrainienne Continues (Scott R. Anderson, Quinta Jurecic, Jacob Schulz, and Margaret Taylor, Lawfare)
The backstory, as the whistleblower tells it, begins in March 2019, when several Ukrainian officials—most notably Lutsenko, then still Ukraine’s prosecutor general—made a series of allegations reported in The Hill: that Ukrainian officials had collaborated with the DNC and the U.S. embassy in Kyiv to interfere in the 2016 elections in favor of Hillary Clinton; that Vice President Joe Biden had pushed for the firing of former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin (Lutsenko’s predecessor) in order to quash a probe into the energy company Burisma Holdings, on whose board his son Hunter Biden sat; and that the U.S. embassy was interfering with anti-corruption efforts by Ukrainian law enforcement. The whistleblower notes that these op-eds came at a time when Lutsenko’s political patron, then-President Petro Poroshenko, seemed likely to be defeated by Zelensky.

Lutsenko himself, along with other Ukrainian officials, later publicly repudiated several of these claims in both U.S. and Ukrainian media. In particular, Lutsenko stated that Hunter Biden had not been under investigation and that Ukraine had no evidence against him.
posted by katra at 8:35 PM on September 29 [2 favorites]


I have no doubt there are skeletons in Joe Biden's closet, but this Ukraine thing is pure bullshit. A handy explainer on the Ukraine thing from a very good source (possibly gleaned from here or elsewhere on MF):

It is not a short read, but well worth the time.
posted by ButteryMales at 9:58 PM on September 29 [4 favorites]


"I Wrote About the Bidens and Ukraine Years Ago. Then the Right-Wing Spin Machine Turned the Story Upside Down." by James Risen in noted Biden fan magazine, The Intercept.
Still, when Joe Biden went to Ukraine, he was not trying to protect his son — quite the reverse.

The then-vice president issued his demands for greater anti-corruption measures by the Ukrainian government despite the possibility that those demands would actually increase – not lessen — the chances that Hunter Biden and Burisma would face legal trouble in Ukraine.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:39 PM on September 29 [8 favorites]


Joe Biden’s Digital Ads Are Disappearing. Not a Good Sign, Strategists Say. (NYT)
In a race where many voters are following politics on their smartphones, Mr. Biden’s pullback is an unusual and potentially worrisome sign about his appeal among the Democratic activists, young people and donors who are especially engaged on social media. Candidates rarely withdraw so much money from their online campaigns unless they are seeing weak results in online fund-raising, according to interviews with digital strategists.

[...] Mr. Biden’s digital spending has ticked up in recent days, as he bought a slate of Facebook ads related to Mr. Trump’s efforts to have Ukraine investigate the Biden family (“Stand with Joe,” some ads say). The exploding story line about foreign interference and impeachment has been good for Mr. Biden’s bottom line: A campaign official said the past week was Mr. Biden’s best for fund-raising since the second week of his campaign.

[...] The Biden campaign noted that it was still investing in other online platforms that make less advertising data available to the public, such as Spotify, Amazon and Hulu. And the campaign said it was planning a “seven-figure” digital ad buy in the fourth quarter of 2019.

[...] As Mr. Biden has withdrawn from Facebook and Google, he has bought up more than $700,000 in television ads in recent weeks in Iowa. Despite those ads, Ms. Warren recently edged ahead of him in the closely monitored Des Moines Register poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers.

[...] The ads that Mr. Biden has been running target an older electorate than that of his top rivals, according to demographic data collected by Bully Pulpit. An overwhelming share of his spending on Facebook — 84 percent — has targeted voters who are 45 or older.
posted by katra at 9:43 AM on September 30 [1 favorite]


New South Carolina poll from Winthrop:

Candidate | All voters/Black/White

Biden | 37 / 46 / 22

Warren | 17 / 9 / 29

Sanders | 8 / 8 / 7

Harris | 7 / 10 / 5

Buttigieg | 4 / -- / 10

Reminder that SC is the fourth Dem state.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:37 PM on October 1 [1 favorite]


Warren Versus the Petty Plutocrats (Paul Krugman, NYT OpEd)
The point is that many of the superrich aren’t satisfied with living like kings, which they will continue to do no matter who wins next year’s election. They also expect to be treated like kings, lionized as job creators and heroes of prosperity, and consider any criticism an unforgivable act of lèse-majesté.

And for such people, the prospect of a Warren presidency is a nightmarish threat — not to their wallets, but to their egos. [...]
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:21 PM on October 1 [9 favorites]


(Mayor Pete does a softball interview for the Hollywood Reporter, in which he reveals his favorite tv shows include Rick and Morty and Family Guy.)
posted by box at 5:29 AM on October 2


(Bernie's hospitalized for artery blockage, has two stents installed, cancels appearances until further notice.)
posted by box at 8:12 AM on October 2 [1 favorite]


Hope he is okay and I’m glad they caught it in time.
posted by sallybrown at 8:25 AM on October 2 [7 favorites]


He looked ill to me at the last debate, but he also sounded like he had a sore throat or a cough, so I figured that was why.
posted by sallybrown at 9:15 AM on October 2


My one line comment wasn't enough, apparently, so I'll elaborate. Sanders' run is over and he should pull out. From here, this will be the only question anyone will ever need to beat him "Is he healthy enough to govern for 4-8 years?" If the answer isn't a resounding Yes, then why would anyone vote for him.

The Doctor brought down Prime Minister Harriet Jones with the 6 words "Don't you think she looks tired?" No one cared what happened to Dick Cheney and his baboon heart, but they will use this to absolutely kill any chance Sanders has.
posted by Manic Pixie Hollow at 10:27 AM on October 2 [3 favorites]


[One comment deleted. We are not relitigating Sanders vs Clinton, no day no way.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:03 PM on October 2 [8 favorites]


I think we might need a new Hyucking Hyuck thread for this: Remember Jacob Wohl and Jack "Examine Your Zipper" Berkman? They're ba-ack, this time trying, hilariously, to discredit Elizabeth Warren with a made-up sex scandal. The Twitter links in the article are an absolute goldmine, as is the link to a video of the "press conference" (at someone's house in Arlington - I guess the Rosslyn Holiday Inn has trespassed Wohl from the premises). Warren's alleged "partner" sounds like he's reading a Letter to Penthouse: "I can't believe this happened to me..."

(Like other attacks on her from Wall Street and Zuckerberg, this has only redounded to Warren's credit, though I can't think of one single person who takes Wohl or Berkman seriously. Bags of wet hair and boxes of rocks are insulted to be compared to them.)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 5:27 PM on October 3 [3 favorites]


*Might* need a Hyucking Hyuck thread?
In an apparent reference to a sign the bozos had up at their event—which blared “ELIZABETH WARREN COUGAR?”—Warren obliquely responded while staying on message:
It's always a good day to be reminded that I got where I am because a great education was available for $50 a semester at the University of Houston (go Cougars!). We need to cancel student debt and make college free for everyone who wants it. pic.twitter.com/fHasLm0j9P
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 3, 2019
posted by katra at 6:36 PM on October 3 [11 favorites]


@willsommer‏ Onlookers are now posing with Wohl’s Warren sign. There’s a crowd of roughly two dozen people, non-media, who just swung by to see the show, including some tourists. (via)
posted by katra at 8:13 PM on October 3 [3 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren raises $24.6 million in third quarter (Politico)
The haul bests the $19 million Warren raised last quarter but trails progressive rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose third-quarter total of $25.3 million is the biggest one so far from the Democratic presidential hopefuls. Despite neither candidate holding traditional high-dollar fundraisers, Warren and Sanders both significantly outraised former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg ($19.1 million), former Vice President Joe Biden ($15.2 million) and Sen. Kamala Harris ($11.6 million).
Biden raises $15 million during third quarter (Politico)
The former vice president announced the figures during a high-dollar fundraiser in California’s Silicon Valley on Thursday. He emphasized that he had raised the $15.2 million “in the middle of summer,” a time when wealthy donors often head out of town on vacation and are disinclined to write checks to campaigns.
posted by katra at 11:19 AM on October 4 [1 favorite]




Anyone following the Post? There's not one but at least two articles saying that we ought to take a second look at the second tier, and they're not talking about the VP nom. The donor class is frightened of Warren.
posted by Selena777 at 8:31 AM on October 6


Which Post? Washington? New York?
posted by octothorpe at 10:02 AM on October 6


Washington Post
posted by mbrubeck at 10:35 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


I think this is the other WaPo thing Selena777 refers to--it's news, not opinion, and quotes anonymous donors:
As Warren has steadily marched upward in the polls, the reality that she could become the nominee has unsettled some of the party’s top donors, who worry that she would hand the race to Trump. If it starts to look like Warren will win the party’s nomination, a longtime Democratic bundler said, “there will be efforts to stop that.”

“Right now, they think Joe Biden stands between us and Elizabeth/Bernie — and to defeat in 2020,” said the bundler, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. “So if he [Biden] doesn’t measure up, that’s where you start to feel angst in the donor community.”

Another major Democratic donor, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations, said he and other donors seeking a moderate as a nominee have “zero interest in coming around to Elizabeth Warren.” If she’s the nominee, “we can’t vote for her or Donald Trump” and would sit out the election, he said.

The donor also expressed worries that if Warren is the nominee, her presence would ruin any Democratic chances to win the Senate, because voters would perceive having a Republican majority as “the only way to keep her in check” as president.
posted by box at 10:49 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]


Top Biden Donors Gather Amid Storm Clouds Over Campaign (NYT)
Still, the reality began to sink in for the assembled donors: Mr. Biden is likely to be outspent in the coming months. Unlike his two leading rivals, Mr. Biden did not disclose a cash-on-hand total. Mr. Sanders had $33.7 million in the bank. Ms. Warren has $25.7 million.

Mr. Biden is expected to report only a fraction of that. Even if he had spent zero dollars since July 1 — and he has spent millions — his cash on hand would be less than Mr. Sanders’s or Ms. Warren’s. [...]

As the race has narrowed to only three candidates polling consistently above single digits — Mr. Biden, Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders — some see an opportunity for Mr. Biden to consolidate a donor class that is typically more moderate than the grass-roots donors powering the Warren and Sanders campaigns. Mr. Buttigieg and Senators Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey have been the chief competitors for bundler loyalty.

But Mr. Biden’s uneven performances on the stump and the debates have slowed such movement. During the last debate, a group of Democratic donors gathered for a private event in Manhattan with the strategists James Carville and Paul Begala providing color commentary.

When Mr. Biden went on his discursive and meandering answer that invoked a record-player, there were audible groans, and some people threw their arms in the air in frustration, according to an attendee.
posted by katra at 11:26 AM on October 6 [1 favorite]




I guess I would find a mega-donor threat not to fund Warren more frightening if a) she wasn't already out-raising Biden, and b) basically *every* Democrat is raising historically impressive amounts of money.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:48 PM on October 7 [5 favorites]




Jacob Wohl delivers Hyucking Hyuck material like Domino's delivers pizza: Kamala Harris has "sexcapades" (via Daily Dot). Come for the outrageous claims (a "personal trainer" alleges that Harris asked him to bring men with him so she could have an orgy) and stay for the heckler in a corn costume!
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 2:55 PM on October 10 [1 favorite]


uh oh it looks like Senator Professor Warren just got caught committing murder live on national teevee

how will her campaign recover from this incredibly saucy moment

that nod at the end, lol
posted by Rhaomi at 9:26 PM on October 10 [17 favorites]


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