Attention Atlanta: The Fifth Democratic Debate
November 20, 2019 5:39 PM   Subscribe

On November 20, starting at 9 p.m. EST, ten Democratic candidates meet in Atlanta, Georgia, for a debate hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post. The debate will be moderated by Rachel Maddow, host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC; Andrea Mitchell, host of "Andrea Mitchell Reports" on MSNBC and NBC News' chief foreign affairs correspondent; Kristen Welker, NBC News' White House correspondent; and Ashley Parker, a White House reporter for The Washington Post. Watch the debate online at MSNBC.com or washingtonpost.com.

538: National 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Polls

AP: Candidate Field Guide 2020 Learn about the candidates for president and see where they stand on key issues with this guide.

Guardian: A topic that will be missing at the Democratic debate: who'll be able to vote? "Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigeg and other candidates have all expressed views on voter suppression – will they cover it at the debate?" • Democratic debate: Warren, Sanders, Biden and Buttigieg to go head to head in Atlanta – live

NBC News: November Democratic Debate live updates: MSNBC/WaPo host

New York Times: Democratic Debate Live Updates: The Candidates and the Big Issues Tonight

Politico: Where 2020 Democrats shine and stumble "We test the candidates’ polls, money, TV, and social media numbers to show who’s performing and who’s sliding." • ‘Everyone’s going to come for Pete’: Buttigieg faces debate spotlight

Washington Post: Live Updates

Live quick reactions and chatter are welcome in the politics room of MeFi Chat and #2020 on the unofficial Unofficial PoliticsFilter Slack (all mefites are welcome to join)
posted by katra (312 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
(if you're coming to the PoliticsFilter Slack - come on by, first five MeFites to join get a free set of steak knives - we're doing the debate play by play in the #live channel)
posted by Chrysostom at 5:45 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


I have Roku, it's on the NBCNews channel.
posted by theora55 at 6:02 PM on November 20, 2019


second five mefites you're fired
posted by Justinian at 6:05 PM on November 20, 2019 [18 favorites]


"Putin doesn't want me to be President"

Hey, me either.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 6:12 PM on November 20, 2019 [17 favorites]


Can we just take a moment to appreciate the fact that there are four female candidates on stage and four female journalists acting as moderators?
posted by orange swan at 6:19 PM on November 20, 2019 [47 favorites]


My dream tonight would be all ten candidates relentlessly tag teaming "can you believe this Trump bullshit" for 90 minutes and ending with a shared agreement that any of them would be a better president than Trump.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:28 PM on November 20, 2019 [21 favorites]


Harris going full Chris Christie on Tulsi. Of course we know how that worked out for Chris Christie.
posted by Justinian at 6:29 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


Gotta love that visual of Gabbard on a red backdrop (with giant star) vs. Harris on blue during her attack on Gabbard for being a GOP stooge.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:30 PM on November 20, 2019 [7 favorites]


Atrios: I don't like these debates because they mostly involve centrist pundits trying to box Democrats in from the right. One doesn't have to think they have a sinister agenda to think this. It is just how DC media people think. Nice things? Without a 38 page eligibility form? This is the kind of madness which will turn us into France, where I vacation often!
posted by tonycpsu at 6:33 PM on November 20, 2019 [19 favorites]


Didn't Gabbard Chris Christie Harris first?
posted by Apocryphon at 6:35 PM on November 20, 2019


Chapo Trap House are livestreaming the debate on Twitch.
posted by rodlymight at 6:37 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


After Stanford, Booker was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University, where he earned an honors degree in United States history in 1994 as a member of The Queen's College.

But he doesn't run on it.
posted by xammerboy at 6:40 PM on November 20, 2019 [8 favorites]


In fairness, I think he talked about it more when he was first running for Senate.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:59 PM on November 20, 2019


This debate continues the pattern of moderators giving top 3 candidate Bernie Sanders less screen time than people with less than 5% in the polls. Why are we hearing this much from Klobuchar? It feels like NBC wants the reporting from tonight's debate to declare "this is Amy's moment!"
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 7:01 PM on November 20, 2019 [17 favorites]


Tell us all again why Gabbard is even there?
posted by Freedomboy at 7:03 PM on November 20, 2019 [10 favorites]


What feels like 20 minutes of Steyer, nobody is attacking Biden or Buttigieg, and nobody has mentioned Epstein yet, Pete hasn't done that stupid dance of his on stage yet, Bernie is being avoided like the plague... Super boring debate tbh.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 7:05 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


tell us why tom steyer is there.

if jay inslee is a gameboy tom steyer is a tiger electronics game bought from a convenience store.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:07 PM on November 20, 2019 [4 favorites]


Needs more Bloomberg
posted by sammyo at 7:09 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


Yang kind of dogwhistled he wants women out of the workforce.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:11 PM on November 20, 2019 [3 favorites]


i started up the chapo twitch stream and was immediately like "why did i do this, these guys drive me up the wall, nothing could possibly be more annoying and dull than chapo streaming this debate" and then i turned on the debate itself and was like "oh."
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:12 PM on November 20, 2019 [8 favorites]


Tell us all again why Gabbard is even there?

She has the best chance of getting the Russians on her side and defeating Trump.
posted by JackFlash at 7:15 PM on November 20, 2019 [4 favorites]


Debates don't need to be entertaining -- they need to be informative. Unfortunately, this debate is even worse in information value than in entertainment value because the format sucks. Ten candidates on stage means almost no time for follow-ups from the moderators or back-and-forth exchanges with the candidates -- the two things that force candidates out of their rehearsed scripts to reveal substantive policy differences beyond the ones they're citing themselves to differentiate themselves from the others. They really need to thin this field down with a much higher polling threshold for these to be worth watching at all.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:19 PM on November 20, 2019 [6 favorites]


Oh don't get me wrong, informative would certainly be nice, but with the idiotic, shallow, and right-wing questions our corporate media asks in these things, I gave up on that years ago. I watch for the entertainment value, and even that is going down the drain.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 7:21 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


Bernie voluntarily talking about the plight of Palestinians in Gaza and the need to help them warms my heart.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:22 PM on November 20, 2019 [41 favorites]


Some of the other debates with 10 candidates have been much better (though that isn't saying much) -- the real problem is that all the questions are vague and/or on things that the candidates broadly agree on. "Climate is an emergency" is correct, but allowing them all just to say that for 10 minutes is a waste of time. CNN, eg, for all their idiocies, at least spent their time working to draw contrasts between the candidates and trying to get them into dialogue with each other.
posted by chortly at 7:26 PM on November 20, 2019 [2 favorites]


They really need to thin this field down with a much higher polling threshold for these to be worth watching at all.

What Warren and Sanders need to do is get together and flip a coin so one of the drops out and endorses the other. As long as both of them are in the race, Joe Biden is going to win the nomination. Combined, the Warren/Sanders vote wipes everyone else out.
posted by JackFlash at 7:29 PM on November 20, 2019 [10 favorites]


I'd strongly prefer two separate debates with 5 candidates each if they're going to have this many people, especially at this stage in the primary.
posted by davedave at 7:29 PM on November 20, 2019


Do you really think Sanders would drop out after losing that coin toss?
posted by xammerboy at 7:32 PM on November 20, 2019 [11 favorites]


FWIW, this is a case where Political Pundit Twitter is diverging from Metafilter opinion - they think these questions are top-notch.

(yes, I know, but these people will shape the post-debate coverage, so it's worth paying attention to it)
posted by Chrysostom at 7:33 PM on November 20, 2019


Biden talking about violence against women: "Keep punching at it, and punching at it, and punching at it." Really man? You couldn't think of a better metaphor?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:35 PM on November 20, 2019 [52 favorites]


What Warren and Sanders need to do is get together and flip a coin so one of the drops out and endorses the other.

They need to announce a joint campaign and flip a coin to decide which one is going to be on the top of the ticket, just as a formality.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:39 PM on November 20, 2019 [9 favorites]


they need to both keep running, both pick up delegates, and enter the convention with neither holding a majority of the delegates but with the sum of their delegates being well over half of the total delegate count.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:46 PM on November 20, 2019 [34 favorites]


One Second Before Awakening: "This debate continues the pattern of moderators giving top 3 candidate Bernie Sanders less screen time than people with less than 5% in the polls. "

Here's
the live tracker; Sanders was leading about 20 minutes ago, still in top 5.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:47 PM on November 20, 2019 [5 favorites]


Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon: "they need to both keep running, both pick up delegates, and enter the convention with neither holding a majority of the delegates but with the sum of their delegates being well over half of the total delegate count."

The problem is if Sanders has 14% in a state and Warren 13%, they get bupkis. (slightly simplifying)
posted by Chrysostom at 7:48 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


The problem is if Sanders has 14% in a state and Warren 13%, they get bupkis. (slightly simplifying)

And if Biden is the only one getting 15%, he gets 100% of the delegates. He wins the nomination.

The new Democratic rules have a 15% cutoff for proportional allocation. Only those winning more than 15% of the vote win delegates.
posted by JackFlash at 7:56 PM on November 20, 2019 [2 favorites]


I wonder why so many Dems are running lol
posted by Cezar Golescu at 7:58 PM on November 20, 2019 [2 favorites]


I don't understand the calls for one of Warren or Sanders to drop out at this point in the race, rather than, say, one of the many candidates polling at just a few %
posted by davedave at 8:01 PM on November 20, 2019 [22 favorites]


It's a strategic measure designed to keep Biden from winning rather than a comment on their chances as individuals.
posted by orange swan at 8:05 PM on November 20, 2019 [2 favorites]


Because either is preferable to Biden, or anyone else?
posted by Marticus at 8:08 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


One would assume Bernie's supporters would support Warren (or vice-versa) if he dropped out, but... that may or may not be the case.
posted by xammerboy at 8:09 PM on November 20, 2019 [2 favorites]


I don't understand the calls for one of Warren or Sanders to drop out at this point in the race, rather than, say, one of the many candidates polling at just a few %

I'm all for every candidate polling below, say, 6% dropping out.
posted by Justinian at 8:11 PM on November 20, 2019 [7 favorites]


A significant fraction of Warren voters also favor Buttigieg/Harris/Klobuchar, and many Sanders backers would go to Biden (or Yang/Gabbard/write-in) if he dropped out. I feel like separately their combined vote shares are more than what either would have alone even with the other's endorsement, and taking their campaigns to a brokered convention is the best way to ensure a strong progressive nominee.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:11 PM on November 20, 2019 [7 favorites]


They might have to make a deal to block Biden from winning, but neither is going to do that without seeing how the first few primaries shake out.

The worry that, in those first few primaries, either Warren or Sanders will get close yet not meet the 15% threshold makes sense. But if that's your worry, then calling for the candidates that definitely won't make that threshold to drop out seems like a better alternative than focusing on Warren and Sanders.

edit: I think there's a decent chance Biden doesn't make the top 2 or 3 in either Iowa or NH. Other campaigns seem to be counting on that happening and then Biden's status as the electable front-runner going away.
posted by davedave at 8:12 PM on November 20, 2019 [3 favorites]


JackFlash: "
The new Democratic rules have a 15% cutoff for proportional allocation.
"

The rules were in place for 2016, at least, so they are not new.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:14 PM on November 20, 2019


One Second Before Awakening: "This debate continues the pattern of moderators giving top 3 candidate Bernie Sanders less screen time than people with less than 5% in the polls. "

Here's the live tracker; Sanders was leading about 20 minutes ago, still in top 5


At this point they've given more time to Amy Klobuchar, someone I literally forgot was running until tonight. It's bonkers than anyone but the top 5 are even in this debate, but it continues to amaze me how consistently the media subtly works against Sanders.
posted by dis_integration at 8:16 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


Sanders ended in, what, second place in terms of talking? It always amazes me how people see what they want to see.
posted by Justinian at 8:18 PM on November 20, 2019 [17 favorites]


it’s super dope that people are arguing about my 2020 election hobbyhorse.

anyway, my donations algorithm is basically “give to whichever of warren or sanders is polling worse unless one of them drops to a place consistently below 15% in the polls, at which point start giving exclusively to the viable one”
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:19 PM on November 20, 2019 [3 favorites]


It looks like the final on speaking time was:

Warren
Buttigieg
Biden
Sanders

Which are pretty much the top four candidates?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:23 PM on November 20, 2019 [3 favorites]


The rules were in place for 2016, at least, so they are not new.

Right, but in 2016 there were really only two dominating candidates and the rule didn't factor in. Not so this time.

If it goes to the convention and no one has a majority, then on the second round the super-delegates jump in and it likely goes to the most moderate candidate. Having a three-way race - Biden, Warren, Sanders - most likely goes to Biden unless someone knocks him out.
posted by JackFlash at 8:23 PM on November 20, 2019


Great News! Six candidates have already qualified for the December debate.
posted by davedave at 8:23 PM on November 20, 2019


That was probably the best run debate...I don't know, maybe that I've ever seen.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:25 PM on November 20, 2019 [3 favorites]


Sure, but after all the primaries (and before the convention), if delegates were split between Biden/Warren/Sanders, either Warren or Sanders could drop out and endorse the other. Assuming most of their delegates follow their lead, that would give them a win on the first ballot.

So the only way you end up with a 3-way race giving it to Biden is if Warren and Sanders decide to both take it to the convention despite not having a majority, at which point they've basically decided to give it to Biden apparently. (In this hypothetical, whichever of Sanders or Warren have fewer delegates should obviously drop out... if they don't its that candidate's fault if Biden grabs the nomination instead)

But this is all just one possible scenario (delegates mostly split between just 3 candidates). You could also have Buttigieg in there with a bunch of delegates, or something. Its pretty early.
posted by thefoxgod at 8:27 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


But that's not how it would work. If you ended with a situation where Biden averaged 28% across all states, Warren averaged 22% across all states, and sanders averaged 13% across all states, Biden would likely take greater than 50% of all delegates and win a first round ballot.
posted by Justinian at 8:30 PM on November 20, 2019


simplifying slightly, like Chrysostom said earlier, but basically that.
posted by Justinian at 8:31 PM on November 20, 2019


Worth noting that, although people talk about contested conventions every election, the last time it happened was 1952.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:34 PM on November 20, 2019 [2 favorites]


Yeah, to get a contested contention we would need to see a whole bunch of candidates stay in the race well past Super Tuesday... and at least 3 or 4 of them would have to be pulling over 15% consistently. That's possible but it's a bit of a needle to thread.
posted by Justinian at 8:39 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


JackFlash: "Right, but in 2016 there were really only two dominating candidates and the rule didn't factor in. Not so this time."

Not to beat this to death, but it looks like the 15% rules goes back to at least '92, and to some extent '88 (prior to that, it was 20%).

I know this wasn't your intent, but "new" is incorrect, and makes it sounds like those nefarious evildoers at the DNC are up to something.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:55 PM on November 20, 2019 [12 favorites]


I'm for any rule that shortens the dumbass year long presidential primary. Canadians can finish an entire campaign and election and be well into their first government scandal in less time than it takes for two US primary debates.

I would be fine with a January national primary and be done with it. A long primary just causes a lot of rancor and wastes hundreds of millions of dollars and I think there is little evidence that it produces a better candidate.
posted by JackFlash at 9:07 PM on November 20, 2019 [12 favorites]


Moreover, as the previous 538 article beating this to death discusses, the 15% rule operates separately for state-wide and district-level candidates, with about 65% of delegates pledged per district rather than per state. So you can get less than 15% in a state but still break the threshold in various districts, resulting in a smaller but non-zero number of delegates. They have a chart estimating the relationship, but it seemed to make pretty strong spherical-cow assumptions so I wouldn't trust it too much. The main thing is that you can get a decent number of delegates even if you miss the statewide threshold by a small amount, but of course the rule by design also favors front-runners, early consolidation, and more rural/conservative/state-wide performers over those who might get a lot of votes in a few cities. In any case, as the article cited by Chrysostom above makes clear, the winnowing historically has happened pretty quickly, so no need to make the futile argument that some candidates should drop out for the sake of the party. They'll be knocked out soon enough once the process gets going.
posted by chortly at 9:08 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]




Sanders ended in, what, second place in terms of talking? It always amazes me how people see what they want to see.

No, fourth.

It always amazes me how people see what they want to see.

Indeed.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 10:14 PM on November 20, 2019 [11 favorites]


Bernie voluntarily talking about the plight of Palestinians in Gaza and the need to help them warms my heart.

Highlight of the evening now getting much play on Twitter.

Good to see one candidate possessing both a social conscience and awareness of history.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 10:16 PM on November 20, 2019 [3 favorites]


Pete hasn't done that stupid dance of his on stage yet

Does the mayor perform this dance himself? It seems like the kind of thing that's for the followers, not the leader.

Nevertheless the dance indicates a certain power of Buttigieg and seeing this phenomenon increases my estimate of his chances.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 10:19 PM on November 20, 2019


I would be fine with a January national primary and be done with it. A long primary just causes a lot of rancor and wastes hundreds of millions of dollars and I think there is little evidence that it produces a better candidate.

I may have commented about this before, but one problem with a national primary date is that it seems like it would be way harder for anyone who isn't an immediate top-two candidate to have a chance. Staggered primaries give people a chance to build out their operation and time to build name recognition. If you choose to go with staggered primaries, you want to avoid small primary dates late in the game because that gives those voters much less say in the outcome (and may leave them feeling disfranchised). So instead, structure it the way game shows do, with ever-increasing payouts (primary dates that have ever-increasing numbers of delegates at stake) so the whole process is relevant to the outcome.

Finally, you want to avoid giving the same states primacy every time. So you randomize the order of states (perhaps with some constraints to guarantee a good demographic cross-section early on). After randomizing order, group them into primary dates such that (say) the first group represents 1/16 of the delegates occurring in the first group, the next 1/16, then 1/8, 1/4, and then 1/2. Or if that's just too many dates, something like 1/6, then 1/3, then 1/2.

Proportional delegate allocation is fine, but it should be married to an IRV-style system that transfers votes for those candidates that don't get enough votes to earn any delegates.
posted by Jpfed at 10:34 PM on November 20, 2019 [2 favorites]


Preet tweet:
I’m late to politics tonight but I surmise two things

1. Tulsi Gabbard will not be President
2. Mike Pompeo will not be Senator
posted by growabrain at 10:41 PM on November 20, 2019 [9 favorites]


1 is a safe bet; 2 is less so.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:25 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


They really need to thin this field down with a much higher polling threshold for these to be worth watching at all.

US politicians spent $9 billion (!) on political ads in 2018 alone (!) (cite). And Dems say we can't afford healthcare or tuition reform lol!

But anyway: It makes complete sense that candidates like Gabbard still have a place in the debates. She may be backed by Russia, but more importantly, she has money to burn, and media corporations will do everything they can to part every single ad dollar from every candidate with a war chest, between now and Election Day.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:06 AM on November 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


Indeed.

I believe he was second at the time that comment was posted. And I'm not sure how fourth out of a field of 10 when the above three are also top-runners indicates media bias against him. It's anything, it indicates the media is biased TOWARDS him and the others ahead in the polls.
posted by schroedinger at 4:15 AM on November 21, 2019 [4 favorites]


If you choose to go with staggered primaries, you want to avoid small primary dates late in the game because that gives those voters much less say in the outcome (and may leave them feeling disfranchised).

Don't staggered primaries have the opposite effect? The person who wins the early primaries gets more coverage which increases their chances in later primaries. It's why so much emphasis is put on early states despite them not having the most delegates. People are hoping to perform well and ride the name recognition wave. Most voters don't pay attention to the pre-primary season and only learn about the lesser-known candidates if they do well early. With a single day primary you'd probably see the attention shift to California and other high population states as opposed to these small, less-represented ones.
posted by schroedinger at 4:23 AM on November 21, 2019 [2 favorites]


...media corporations will do everything they can to part every single ad dollar from every candidate with a war chest...

Strange, how they failed so badly to do that with Giuliani's prez campaign. Of course, his campaign was all about collecting money, not about getting elected, or spending any of the money he raked in. Whatever happened to all that money? My searches were buried under results about his more recent Ukrainian adventures, but so far as I know, Rudy kept it all.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:14 AM on November 21, 2019


Annnd ... Wikipedia says I'm wrong, and Rudy owed money after the campaign. Never mind.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:19 AM on November 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


For the depth of the field to just hand it all to Biden, the rest of the candidates would have to split like 6 or 7 ways, evenly, even down to the district level. 3 or 4 will win delegates at each state, maybe a few more.

Why would you spend all of 2019 running for President just to drop out right before people actually start voting? A few of these people will drop out after New Hampshire, then a couple more after Super Tuesday, and then we've still got 33 states to go, plus PR and DC. We'll be down to a reasonable number before it's too late. That doesn't mean someone wins an absolute majority; they still might have to do some brokering at the convention, but it won't just hand it right to Biden. (Especially if he comes third in Iowa.)

Potentially useful: a primary calendar
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:23 AM on November 21, 2019 [2 favorites]


I was impressed that they managed to cut out the long "Thank you for having me and before I answer my first question, let me tell you some unrelated anecdote and oh no almost out of time the answer is Maybe." opening segments.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:50 AM on November 21, 2019 [2 favorites]


I was impressed that they managed to cut out the long

Not only cutting out the long openings, but so much more of the useless junk. I didn't catch the whole thing*. But, I did notice early on that it seemed like none of the candidates spoke over another. And... were debate rules announced? It seemed like we went straight to the debate.

All of which makes me think the rules were something along the lines of, "The moderators are going to moderate. You don't get a set amount of time to talk. So, if we ask you about Iran and you say 'Before I talk about Iran, I want to clarify my position on' we will cut your mic before you can even tell us. We asked about Iran. Answer about Iran. As long as you are on topic, we will give you plenty of time to answer. Anyone who tries to interrupt at any time will have their mic cut and don't for a second think we'll forget you interrupted. We will definitely direct more questions to others if you do."

As Ray Walston, Luck Dragon says, one of the best run debates. I won't go as far to say ever. But, probably the best for the size of the field. Because of the way this debate was run, I feel I have a much better understanding of the candidates. None swayed me away from Warren. But, some swayed me for donating/volunteering for their campaigns if they are the nominee. Others... made an impression as well.


*Why do they need to start these so late if they are going to last so long on a work/school night? I'm not even working today so I stayed up a little later, but still couldn't last.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:09 AM on November 21, 2019 [4 favorites]


> Potentially useful: a primary calendar

notice how early california is. yes, yes, the national media will ignore the california vote because the national media are a right-wing fuck, and so winning california won't grant the same sense of faux inevitability that winning tiny states like iowa and new hampshire grants.

what winning california does grant, though, is a goddamned ton of delegates.

biden's inevitable stomping in california is likely going to leave him in a place where it will be legitimately difficult for him find enough delegates to actually win the nomination.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:27 AM on November 21, 2019 [8 favorites]


I'm for any rule that shortens the dumbass year long presidential primary. Canadians can finish an entire campaign and election and be well into their first government scandal in less time than it takes for two US primary debates.

I would be fine with a January national primary and be done with it. A long primary just causes a lot of rancor and wastes hundreds of millions of dollars and I think there is little evidence that it produces a better candidate.


I may have commented about this before, but one problem with a national primary date is that it seems like it would be way harder for anyone who isn't an immediate top-two candidate to have a chance. Staggered primaries give people a chance to build out their operation and time to build name recognition.

Or we could just do what every other reasonable developed democracy does and have a fucking parliamentary system. This batshit primary nonsense is a direct result of us having a seriously ill-conceived governmental structure. There is literally no way to fix it short of starting over. Leave intraparty leadership contents to party members, and devise a system to allow a multitude of political parties to flourish, and then all this bullshit would be washed away.
posted by Automocar at 7:32 AM on November 21, 2019 [6 favorites]


notice how early california is. yes, yes, the national media will ignore the california vote because the national media are a right-wing fuck, and so winning california won't grant the same sense of faux inevitability that winning tiny states like iowa and new hampshire grants.

Sorry, but the rules of Super Tuesday are that nobody keeps track of which states are in Super Tuesday; everybody just says Super Tuesday. If you wanted people to say the name of your state, you could’ve picked any other date, but you’re part of Super Tuesday now.

Welcome to Super Tuesday, y’all!

[Super Tuesday]
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:05 AM on November 21, 2019 [6 favorites]


Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon: "biden's inevitable stomping in california "

SurveyUSA (Oct 15-16):
Biden 33
Warren 18
Sanders 17
PPIC (Nov 3-12):
Biden 24
Warren 23
Sanders 17
Even in California, there are a lot of older, not super liberal folks who like Biden just fine.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:34 AM on November 21, 2019 [4 favorites]


trend line.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 10:57 AM on November 21, 2019


Luckily, trends in political polling always continue unabated.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:02 AM on November 21, 2019 [3 favorites]


schroedinger- my comment had the premise that a staggered primary is good, specifically for the reason that you mention. I then drilled down into further nuance about staggered primaries and said that if you're going to have a staggered primary (like you should), you want to avoid having small-fry primary dates late in the game after almost all delegates have already been earned. For example, the D.C. primary in 2016 coming all by itself after everyone else had already decided everything. Thus the ever-increasing delegate-counts-per-primary-date scheme described by the rest of the comment.
posted by Jpfed at 11:07 AM on November 21, 2019


The reason no one talks about California specifically is that there are so many states having primaries that day that it represents less than a third of the delegates in play that day (495 of 1588). For comparison, there are 629 delegates from states that Trump won being chosen that day, most notably Texas and North Carolina.
posted by I paid money to offer this... insight? at 11:35 AM on November 21, 2019


Somehow Klobuchar's campaign decided, either on the spot or in advance, that her line about raising $17,000 from her "ex-boyfriends" was a winner, because this morning I'm seeing ads about it, with a big headline of "Amy raised $17,000 from EX-BOYFRIENDS." It's very strange.
posted by argybarg at 12:07 PM on November 21, 2019 [5 favorites]


Latest Emerson Poll (468 LV 11/17-11/20):

Joe Biden 27.4
Bernie Sanders 26.5
Elizabeth Warren 19.5
Pete Buttigieg 7.4

Latest YouGov/Economist (586 LV 11/17-11/19):

Biden 30
Warren 22
Sanders 12
Buttigieg 9
posted by windbox at 2:07 PM on November 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


Or we could just do what every other reasonable developed democracy does and have a fucking parliamentary system.

No. No we can't. And honestly, this sort of fantasy is just a distraction from the reality of the actual real - world US politics.
posted by happyroach at 2:28 PM on November 21, 2019 [7 favorites]


You know Emerson is the best poll because they include 3 significant digits.
posted by Justinian at 3:13 PM on November 21, 2019 [3 favorites]


And honestly, this sort of fantasy is just a distraction from the reality of the actual real - world US politics.

Any more of a fantasy than abolishing the electoral college?
posted by Apocryphon at 4:06 PM on November 21, 2019


No. No we can't. And honestly, this sort of fantasy is just a distraction from the reality of the actual real - world US politics.

I’m sorry, but no. I will never stop banging this drum, because the Overton Window exists and the U.S. system of government is stupid.
posted by Automocar at 4:11 PM on November 21, 2019 [2 favorites]


Or we could just do what every other reasonable developed democracy does and have a fucking parliamentary system.

Because the parliamentary system is proving its obvious superiority in the UK? Sorry, not seeing it.
posted by JackFlash at 4:41 PM on November 21, 2019 [6 favorites]


The UK and the U.S. both share the problem of first-past-the-post, and I would imagine other flaws common to Anglosphere democracies.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:06 PM on November 21, 2019 [2 favorites]


The UK and the U.S. both share the problem of first-past-the-post, and I would imagine other flaws common to Anglosphere democracies.

Indeed. We have multiple things wrong with our system, and fixing elections won't fix all of it by any stretch.
posted by kafziel at 5:49 PM on November 21, 2019


The UK and the U.S. both share the problem of first-past-the-post, and I would imagine other flaws common to Anglosphere democracies.

Yep. There’s a reason so few countries these days adopt either the American or Westminster systems.
posted by Automocar at 6:13 PM on November 21, 2019


[Friendly nudge to steer back toward the debate/ Dem candidates.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:51 PM on November 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


Emerson isn't weighting by education, which makes their polling basically worthless.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:02 PM on November 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


What a Debate Run by Women Looks Like -- Last night’s moderators showed us what American political life would look like if women’s concerns were routinely at the center of the conversation. (Joan Walsh for The Nation, Nov. 21, 2019)
This is what America has been waiting for: two female presidential candidates debating whether paid federal family leave should be three months long or six months long. Oh, and the very first debate question was about abortion rights. Did I mention all four moderators were women?

Wednesday night’s presidential debate was the best yet, and it wasn’t just because women—four moderators, plus four female candidates—outnumbered men on that stage. But that was part of it. (In case you missed it: Cohosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post, the debate was moderated by Rachel Maddow and Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC, NBC White House correspondent Kristen Welker, and Washington Post White House reporter Ashley Parker.) This debate showed us what American political life would look like if women’s concerns were routinely at the center of the conversation.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:23 AM on November 22, 2019 [6 favorites]


Indeed.

Ok, so Sanders finished 4th in speaking time when he is polling third (on average) in the primary. And this is evidence he's being silenced? I note that Biden finished 3rd in speaking time when he's polling a strong first. I assume you also believe Biden is being silenced to an even greater degree than Sanders? Yes?

Come on guys, it's not a conspiracy to Silence Us All Our Lives.
posted by Justinian at 11:30 AM on November 22, 2019 [8 favorites]


It's not just this debate, we're reacting to the wider media treatment of Sanders. Major networks have routinely cut him out of lists of top primary contenders, avoided reporting on him whenever possible, and downplayed his successes.

From 2008-2016, MeFi liked to (accurately) invoke the thought experiment of "imagine the reporting if Obama did this!" Well, today, let's imagine the hay the media would make if Sanders were the one to fabricate PoC endorsements and present stock photos of random Kenyan people as supporters the way Buttigieg's campaign did. We'd never hear the end of it.

And, it makes sense. The Sanders campaign is the furthest left campaign in the race, routinely calls out the media on things like making money off fossil fuel and health insurance companies' advertising, and promotes a working class solidarity that is inimical to large media corporations' interests and worldview.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 11:39 AM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


Seems to me from the time chart that Warren and Buttigieg got more relative to their poll standings, and Biden and Sanders got less, with Biden and Buttigieg being the bigger outliers. Many outlets instead reported word counts, where Sanders did much worse -- clearly he's a slower speaker or has more pauses, perhaps contributing to the sense that he had less time. That said, there does seem to be some decent analysis that Sanders gets less time, and more negative time, than the other major candidates on TV, which certainly seems plausible to me. He is certainly the most disliked of the top five candidates by the major center-left outlets, just as he or his supporters are more often criticized than praised here. That dislike may be well deserved, but it seems uncontroversial to say that it exists. It's not a conspiracy to say that he is broadly disliked among the center-left, though of course negativity per se is not the same as non-mentions.
posted by chortly at 11:58 AM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


I see you're pointing to Buttigieg rather than Biden. I'm not here to defend Buttigieg who should probably go home and continue running his small town into the ground, but the reason he's not receiving quite the same level of scrutiny as Sanders or Warren or Biden is that until like two weeks ago he was a footnote and even now he's polling in single digits nationally in most polls.

Tom Steyer and Marianne Williamson have also received less scrutiny than Sanders. For good reason.

If Buttigieg continues to gain steam his missteps will likewise receive more scrutiny. That's just how it works.
posted by Justinian at 11:59 AM on November 22, 2019 [2 favorites]


OK, let's talk about Biden then. Imagine the media's reaction if Sanders had gotten up on the debate stage and said:

Social workers help parents deal with how to raise their children. It’s not that they don’t want to help, they don’t know what to play the radio, make sure the television — excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, 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 we get there.

Or if he said "Go to... Bernie.... 3... 0 3 3 0...".

With Biden, we got a lot of think pieces about how actually he's really smart, no, really, he did super well! He's not senile!!
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 12:17 PM on November 22, 2019 [5 favorites]


That's... not what happened. We got a slew of articles questioning whether he's up to the task?
posted by Justinian at 12:21 PM on November 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


We got both. Agree to disagree I guess, it's definitely a very confirmation biasy thing, but Chortly's link is good evidence.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 12:29 PM on November 22, 2019


If you can imagine a world where Sanders makes even a quarter of the fuck ups that Biden does - and still gets *any* apology treatment from any mainstream pundit on MSNBC, CNN, NYT, WaPo, etc - well then gosh darn you are a better person than me because my imagination is just not large enough to envision this. I can not envision Sanders making Biden-level mistakes and then proceeding to see even the *tiniest* modicum of intellectual energy spent making any case for him as a serious contender like they do for Joe Biden. Every pundit and every political analyst that is invited onto TV to barf their opinion on 2020 primaries would have the same party lines: unfit to be president, not sounding good, totally incoherent, just like Trump, making no sense, etc. There would be no "he's actually doing really well in spite of" business.

This is not to dispute that Biden completely avoids this criticism, and it's not to discount that someone like Warren wouldn't ALSO be completely ripped apart by sexist media wolves for doing Biden gaffes (I bet it would be a lot of "hmmm, is she reallllly READY to be president??"). But pretending that if Bernie did "Joe 30330" stuff and spouted nonsense, and thinking it would not immediately become the dominant narrative about Sanders from all sides of the media save for like, Jacobin or whatever - you're either kidding yourself or not paying attention. He's already very eagerly branded by opposition across the liberal-center spectrum as the candidate for idiots and yokels and youths Who Just Don't Understand Actual Politics; if they had a chance to make him look like a nutty old fuck who has lost his mind they would pounce.
posted by windbox at 2:59 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


It's really weird that people think the media is biased against Sanders in a world where he's openly praised the USSR and wrote that execrable rape essay and all of what else and none of it has gotten any serious media coverage at all. Like, even the media covered Biden's groping and "A Man Goes Home To His Wife . . ." is completely ignored.
posted by schroedinger at 4:09 PM on November 22, 2019 [3 favorites]


I mean, I am trying to imagine a world where Warren had a heart attack and got stents put in and the media just moved on, and I don't see it.
posted by schroedinger at 4:12 PM on November 22, 2019 [17 favorites]


Remember when Clinton fainted from standing for days on end with walking pneumonia and she was treated like she was going to die any second now? Pepperidge Farm remembers.
posted by Justinian at 6:27 PM on November 22, 2019 [9 favorites]


It was certainly well documented that Clinton was treated more negatively than Sanders in 2016, though it was also well-documented that she got more coverage overall as well. But that doesn't really speak to the question of coverage right now. The only quantitative analysis I can recall that was broader than the aforementioned In These Times study (which focuses mainly on just a few TV shows) suggests that Buttigieg tends to be treated the best, with Sanders and Warren about equal, whether looking at all media or within the left half. That seems to have changed since earlier in the year, when Warren got distinctly worse coverage than Sanders, much of it revolving around her DNA-test misstep. Biden actually seems to be doing worse than any of them by these measures, though I think by all accounts he gets more coverage overall than either Warren or Sanders. But I'm not sure how far to trust these crude big-data sentiment analyses -- there are presumably subtleties there that sentiment can't really parse, as well as a general correlation between being a front-runner and negativity.
posted by chortly at 11:30 PM on November 22, 2019


What's notable to me about the coverage Biden has received is how little he's been able to capitalize on it. I mean when the impeachment investigation revolves around Trump seeking to discredit the Bidens and Joe not being able or willing to push that to a more constant stream of coverage for his own ends says a lot about his candidacy that is worrying in itself for how poorly conceived it appears to be.

The Warren and Sanders arguments are a bit different, from my limited anecdotal perspective of catching coverage from major network TV and newspapers, it's gone back and forth a bit, with Sanders first getting the slightly greater notice, with the first couple debates, for example, being framed around him and Biden foremost, with Warren lumped in with the pack on ABC and CBS in their run up mentions of it on news broadcasts. When Warren started to get momentum, that shifted to switching how they treated her and Sanders. A good share of Warren's more recent coverage is coming from the attacks against her made by those like Bloomberg and other wealth hoarders who want to undermine her chances because of what they know about her. I suspect that might also happen to Sanders if he did start to move up more in the polls, but he doesn't get mentioned as often, possibly out of the desire to not give him more attention so people won't hear what he has to say. Warren they know they have to worry about right now, while they can just keep an eye on Sanders unless or until things change.

Warren's biggest strategic issue seems to come from one of her key strengths as a candidate, in her propensity to plan out things in detail. The more granular the detail, the more opportunity for latching on to those details for argument and gain from her opponents. It can be useful to be more general in campaigning because it provides less opportunity for that sort of disagreement when audiences generally aren't going to be able to or interested in grasping all the details involved in an argument. It can provide a kind of debate advantage to opponents when they are on the attack when the candidate tries to answer all the objections with further detail. That isn't a fault in the candidate and may actually suggest a strength for governing, but it can make it more difficult to get the chance to do so. It adds coverage, but may not be of a helpful kind.
posted by gusottertrout at 12:39 AM on November 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


Imagine if Buttigieg had spoken at the 2016 DNC and had his breakout moment then. Come to think of it, who gave the most inspirational speech then?
posted by Apocryphon at 12:40 AM on November 23, 2019


Khzir Khan?

(who has endorsed Biden, btw)
posted by Chrysostom at 2:37 AM on November 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


possibly out of the desire to not give him more attention so people won't hear what he has to say.

Right, this is a common refrain among Sanders supporters and what I'm saying is that there's no evidence he is being treated any worse than any other white male candidate at his standing in the polls. If anything the major issues with his candidacy are being ignored--certainly the issues that will become GOP talking points. You can argue that GOP talking points should not be used to judge a candidate, but they're certainly being used to judge other candidates like Warren.
posted by schroedinger at 5:46 AM on November 23, 2019 [4 favorites]


OK, lets talk about Sanders. You know what i like in a candidate? Being able to survive 8 years. Not having to be hospitalized for a heart attack. But funnymthing is, when you bring that up, the Sanders crowd is suddenly "Let's talk about Biden! Is he senile or what?"

I keep forgetting the "They arent talking about Sanders" complaint is really "Hey, they arent doing uncritical puff pieces for Sanders!"
posted by happyroach at 9:30 PM on November 23, 2019 [1 favorite]


I predicted well before the 2016 presidential election that Donald Trump would be elected. I had felt that way ever since he rode down that golden escalator with his rapist invective. Ever since he was elected, I’ve also believed that he’ll be re-elected, more easily this time.
posted by growabrain at 3:06 AM on November 24, 2019 [3 favorites]


growabrain, that's a blistering piece, almost unhinged, certainly shocking. thanks for posting.
posted by dmh at 4:29 AM on November 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


Ok, so Sanders finished 4th in speaking time when he is polling third (on average) in the primary. And this is evidence he's being silenced? I note that Biden finished 3rd in speaking time when he's polling a strong first. I assume you also believe Biden is being silenced to an even greater degree than Sanders? Yes?


I didn't write that he's being silenced. Stop putting words in my mouth, stop being so damn pushy, and perhaps consider reading what was actually written?
posted by Ahmad Khani at 10:15 AM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


OK, lets talk about Sanders. You know what i like in a candidate? Being able to survive 8 years. Not having to be hospitalized for a heart attack. But funnymthing is, when you bring that up, the Sanders crowd is suddenly "Let's talk about Biden! Is he senile or what?"

You know what I like in a candidate? Someone who recognizes the absolute world-ending impact of climate change and the white supremacist, misogynistic, and classist effects of not doing enough about it.

Bernie is the only one whose plan comes even close to grappling with what is in front of us in not just the next 8 years, but the rest of this century and beyond. Everyone else is in just offering platitudes, which is just a more woke form of denialism.
posted by Ouverture at 2:44 PM on November 24, 2019 [4 favorites]


  1. You cannot implement plans when you're dead.
  2. While he's alive, what is his strategy for actually implementing those plans and ensuring they stick long-term? Because it's great to have big plans, but how do you actually get them done? What in his history indicates that he has experience building consensus and putting together and passing big legislation?
posted by schroedinger at 3:19 PM on November 24, 2019


What Sanders particularly excels at is changing the frame of political conversation and opening up new imaginative possibilities. He’s the reason Medicare for All is a major campaign issue. His 2016 campaign was the reason the DSA has become popular and influential for the first time in many decades.

Within the current political gridlock, none of MeFi’s favorite candidates are going to be able to actually pass much of the legislation we want. What Bernie offers, however, is a president who won’t respond by quietly sacrificing the goals and ideals of activists for the sake of tepid and easily-reversed reforms. As is his typical practice, Sanders would respond by loudly pointing out the exact enemies and exact forces that are blocking popular will, and pick up the entire Overton window and drop kick it to the left. I believe it should not be underestimated how much of a boost that would be to organized labor, and how much of an impact it would have on our country’s politics.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 3:38 PM on November 24, 2019 [5 favorites]


Remember, Sanders urged Warren to run against Clinton in 2016, and he only entered the race after she declined. Only now that he’s paved the way for her, creating the conditions where a leftish candidate can excel, is she walking that path.

Sanders is the only leftist candidate in the race with ideals that are this strongly held, and the bullheadedness to keep working toward them even when the conditions for them seem rough.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 3:41 PM on November 24, 2019 [3 favorites]


So he's going to pass legislation by pointing and shouting loudly enough? Do you think that's how effective governance works?
posted by schroedinger at 3:49 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


If you think effective governance is still possible in the US in 2020 without totally upending things, then you and I are coming from completely different worldviews and analytic frameworks.

I think putting a grumpy socialist in the seat of the presidency would be the most effective electoral route to upending things in a positive direction.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 3:52 PM on November 24, 2019 [3 favorites]


As is his typical practice, Sanders would respond by loudly pointing out the exact enemies and exact forces that are blocking popular will, and pick up the entire Overton window and drop kick it to the left.

Framing this in such violent and manly-man language doesn't really persuade me much.
posted by octothorpe at 4:06 PM on November 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


That’s a level of galaxy brain tone policing I’ve rarely seen, nice one.

I used that phrasing because it’s a funny image to me, to imagine this grandpa drop kicking the entire media, not because I wanted to portray him as a manly man or something.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 4:10 PM on November 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


If you think effective governance is still possible in the US in 2020 without totally upending things, then you and I are coming from completely different worldviews and analytic frameworks.

I would like to know exactly how you think governing is going to work under the model you're proposing. Without the metaphors, because saying he's going to "drop kick" stuff is easy.
posted by schroedinger at 5:21 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]




1. You cannot implement plans when you're dead.
2. While he's alive, what is his strategy for actually implementing those plans and ensuring they stick long-term? Because it's great to have big plans, but how do you actually get them done? What in his history indicates that he has experience building consensus and putting together and passing big legislation?

I think back on that Debs quote, "I would not lead you into the promised land if I could, because if I led you in, some one else would lead you out".

There is a reason why Sanders has placed such a massive emphasis on labor power and directly organizing people instead of immense white papers that no one other than a few wonks will actually read.

As for experience, Trump has managed to do accomplish all sorts of "radical" things without any experience in building consensus or passing big legislation.
posted by Ouverture at 6:12 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


Trump had the advantage of full control over Washington for his first two years, and he retains a compliant Senate and media propaganda network today. And he still saw most of his plans die in Congress or held up in court. The only things he's been effective at are low-hanging right-wing fruit like CRA-powered deregulation, judges, and tax cuts, his destabilizing foreign policy, and the norm-busting Republicans tolerate to keep that first part coming.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:25 PM on November 24, 2019 [3 favorites]



Progressives, trust your gut: Elizabeth Warren is not one of us


everyone should pay attention to this because there is nobody more credible and unbiased than Nathan Robinson

we all know the woman who founded the CFPB and whose success has caused billionaires to literally join the race to get rid of her is secretly in the pocket of the super-rich amirite
posted by schroedinger at 7:03 PM on November 24, 2019 [11 favorites]


What Rhaomi said about Trump. POTUSes have the power to do many things, especially if they decide they don't give a shit about the Constitution, but groundbreaking legislation is not one of them. Legislation-wise, his big thing was the tax cuts. And that wasn't even his thing, that was the GOP's thing and he was there to not veto it.

I think the left would be far better off focusing energies on winning the Senate and keeping the House than finding ways to undermine candidates, but then again, I'm not the type of person who invests all their hopes and dreams into a Dear Leader figure.
posted by schroedinger at 7:09 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


we all know the woman who founded the CFPB and whose success has caused billionaires to literally join the race to get rid of her is secretly in the pocket of the super-rich amirite

If you read the piece, he even mentions this point:
Warren worked at Harvard Law School training generations of elite corporate lawyers; did legal work for big corporations accused of wrongdoing; collected donations from billionaires; held secret meetings with investment bankers and major Democratic party donors; and stood up and applauded when Donald Trump vowed that America would “never become a socialist country”. Even at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, her most prominent initiative on behalf of ordinary borrowers, Warren brought in former Wall Street bankers, tasking financial foxes with guarding the henhouse.
American liberals seem to have no problem completely changing the governments and economic structures of poor brown countries, like the one I am from, for the worse. Why does the appetite for radical change suddenly disappear when it is brought home and it is for the benefit of the people instead of the powerful?
posted by Ouverture at 7:09 PM on November 24, 2019 [5 favorites]


I would like to know exactly how you think governing is going to work under the model you're proposing. Without the metaphors, because saying he's going to "drop kick" stuff is easy.

This answer won't satisfy you and I expect you'll move the goalposts on me again, but the simple answer is that, in my view, real positive change comes from organized labor, activist groups, and mass popular will, and a president that shows up to massive strikes, supports (rather than opposes or ignores) labor actions, and does what they can to support and help further organize and radicalize leftist activists would vastly increase the chances that change comes from below, the only place from which real, positive, lasting change ever really comes.

And it's ironic that you refer to Sanders as a "dear leader" figure when his campaign's messaging has been consistently focused on organizing great masses of people to fight for their own interests. His slogan is "it's not me, it's us" for god's sake. His campaign was the first US presidential campaign to unionize in history.

Some of you have been tying yourselves in knots to twist my words to try to insinuate I'm some kind of crypto-misogynist or crypto-stalinist, and it's unfounded and uncalled for.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 7:22 PM on November 24, 2019 [5 favorites]


we all know the woman who founded the CFPB and whose success has caused billionaires to literally join the race to get rid of her is secretly in the pocket of the super-rich amirite

Inside Warren’s secret big-donor fan club
posted by Cezar Golescu at 7:58 PM on November 24, 2019


we all know the woman who founded the CFPB and whose success has caused billionaires to literally join the race to get rid of her is secretly in the pocket of the super-rich amirite

For every one billionaire that makes noise, three more sing her praises. And that should tell you something.
posted by kafziel at 8:58 PM on November 24, 2019


I'd like a specific head count on that, please.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:11 PM on November 24, 2019 [9 favorites]


What Rhaomi said about Trump. POTUSes have the power to do many things

How on earth can that be? The President isn't a Green Lantern, after all.
posted by MrBadExample at 9:46 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


I think it can both be true that a) the president has substantial powers from both executive branch capabilities (staffing, exec orders) and "moral suasion"; and b) that (s)he still cannot just will things to happen.

I'm open to the argument that Sanders could make some stuff happen via popular action. But it's harder for me to see that on issues that don't affect people in the same way. Like, let's say he wins, but the GOP holds the Senate. It's not crazy to think that McConnell will just not let any of Sanders' appointments be approved - Cabinet, judges, anything. Will we really see an effective general strike over the president not being able to fill Secretary of Agriculture?
posted by Chrysostom at 10:08 PM on November 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


I also question the ability of Sanders in particular to build a mass movement when he's struggling to reach 20% among Democrats (and with high unfavorables despite not facing much negative advertising). Sure, he got close to 50% in 2016, but it's clear in hindsight that a lot of that -- maybe most of it -- was more anti-Clinton than pro-Sanders. And in the absence of a deus ex populus progressive uprising that transmutes stump speeches into law, I trust Warren's technocratic approach to reform will be more effective at actually making change.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:28 PM on November 24, 2019 [3 favorites]


The theory is that once he won the primary he would have the support of nearly the entire democratic party base, and then he would add onto that a huge number of non-voters and non-politically-engaged people because he's offering something new and different and engaging people on issues that are life-or-death to them. Nobody can know the future, of course!

It's something we haven't really tried before, whereas the technocratic approach has been dominant over the last several decades and seems to have diminishing returns.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 10:46 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


I also question the ability of Sanders in particular to build a mass movement when he's struggling to reach 20% among Democrats (and with high unfavorables despite not facing much negative advertising).

Right, exactly. How is he going to build a revolution to reshape the government and country when he can't even build a revolution to win 1/4 of the votes a primary electorate which is far more favorable to him than the country as a whole?
posted by Justinian at 10:55 PM on November 24, 2019 [7 favorites]


and then he would add onto that a huge number of non-voters and non-politically-engaged people

oh. Well... it's a plan, I guess.

The NYT/Siena folks did some interesting work recently which casts a bit of cold water on the theory that engaging the politically unengaged helps the left, though. In a lot of the country driving up turnout and engagement would help Trump.
posted by Justinian at 10:57 PM on November 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


Even without a revolutionary movement behind him, it seems not unreasonable to think that, if Sanders by some miracle won the primary, he could win the general with a fairly large majority (the same could probably be said for many of the other Dem candidates). And if that happened, it's not unreasonable to think that, whether or not it's thanks to the Democrat's qualities or just to the perfidies of Trump, a sweeping victory would give any Democratic winner a fair amount of leverage over other Democratic politicians, just as Trump has a fair amount of power keeping the center-right in line. Under this scenario the Democrats have a small majority in the Senate, but those Senators feel pretty beholden to the Dem winner, especially those running for re-election in 2022 or 2024. A Trump- or Reagan-scale movement with a few million fanatical supporters who plague Manchin for months might well pressure him into dropping the filibuster and getting on board -- he's just another craven politician after all, not someone of actual principle. I find that whole scenario unlikely but not impossible, and it doesn't require any parliamentary magic. The only truly unlikely part of the whole thing is Sanders winning the Democratic primary -- but at least that's the part the Sanders advocates are trying to change.

[Note that this post-election logic could hold for any Democratic winner who wins with a decent majority including the Senate, it's not specific to Sanders. They would probably all come in with a substantial amount of political capital and at least some of them (like Warren or Buttigieg) could also command a large population of shock troops to pressure fickle centrists with. Whether that could get the job done on something as large as M4A is dubious, but not absurd to hope for.]
posted by chortly at 10:58 PM on November 24, 2019 [2 favorites]


it seems not unreasonable to think that, if Sanders by some miracle won the primary, he could win the general with a fairly large majority (the same could probably be said for many of the other Dem candidates)

I would be utterly shocked if Sanders or anyone else won the general with a fairly large majority. Winning by 5 points would be surprising, 7 would be amazing.
posted by Justinian at 11:45 PM on November 24, 2019


Matthew Rozsa: Quit saying that Bernie Sanders can't win — he may be the most electable Democrat running in 2020
posted by growabrain at 12:15 AM on November 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure that anyone here has said Sanders can't win?
posted by Chrysostom at 5:24 AM on November 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


What in his history indicates that he has experience building consensus and putting together and passing big legislation?

Hear the Bern Episode 32 | Bernie Gets It Done (w/ Warren Gunnels) (YouTube podcast video 56min23sec) Warren Gunnels works on legislation for Bernie and explains how Bernie operates to get things passed and history of success.
posted by phoque at 5:43 AM on November 25, 2019


Let's assume that Sanders can work magic in Congress. What happens when SCOTUS basically overrules everything? There's strong reason to believe they will basically outlaw the administrative state at the first opportunity.

My understanding is that he's said he is not open to court packing. What then?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:58 AM on November 25, 2019


My understanding is that he's said he is not open to court packing. What then?

A lot of these obstacles y'all are listing apply to ALL Democratic candidates, so it's weird that Sanders uniquely needs to prove exactly how he'll overcome them in order to be considered serious. But he gave a good answer for this during one of the debates:

"I do not believe in packing the court," Sanders said during the second of the first two 2020 Democratic presidential debates. "We’ve got a terrible 5-4 majority conservative court right now. But I do believe constitutionally we have the power to rotate judges to other courts and that brings in new blood into the Supreme Court and a majority I hope that will understand that a woman has a right to control her own body and that corporations cannot run the United States of America."
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 10:06 AM on November 25, 2019


Bernie is being held to these slightly different standards because A) he is touted by his supporters as a transformational candidate, a revolution, and the figure who will cause centrists to evaporate; and B) because other candidates are being excoriated as "corporatists" for questioning the practicalities of certain ideas. Supporters of those candidates, and even those who just want to hear their arguments out, are not going to take kindly to being told they are the problem and must be purged from the party.
posted by argybarg at 10:15 AM on November 25, 2019 [4 favorites]


One Second, you said upthread that Sanders was uniquely qualified to make substantive changes which is why people are asking what techniques he's going to use to make those changes.
posted by octothorpe at 10:18 AM on November 25, 2019 [3 favorites]


A lot of these obstacles y'all are listing apply to ALL Democratic candidates

Many candidates - including Warren - have said they would pack the court.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:37 AM on November 25, 2019 [3 favorites]


Chrysostom, it was a fair question. Sorry, just feeling dogpiled.

Octothorpe, if you're going to quote me then actually quote me, because I never said that. I could also imagine Warren making substantive changes, but I prefer Sanders for the reasons I've already laid out in this thread. This is the second time you've willfully misread me in this thread. Knock it off.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 10:44 AM on November 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


I would be utterly shocked if Sanders or anyone else won the general with a fairly large majority. Winning by 5 points would be surprising, 7 would be amazing.

Yes, I meant by current standards, where 5 points would constitute a large win. I think that's within the bounds of reasonable possibility for all the major candidates, as is losing by nearly as much. Trump manages to command quite a lot of loyalty from the centrist Republicans despite "winning" by quite a lot less, so by modern standards, 5 points might be enough to win a fair amount of political capital if it's backed by a bunch of enthusiastic supporters, as I expect Sanders, Warren, or Buttigieg would be.

I can't speak for others here, but my own argument is not that Sanders is special, merely that he will probably be no worse off than any of the others: (a) Sanders has about as much of a chance of winning the general by 5 points as any of the other major Dem candidates, and (b) he therefore has about as much chance of having a Dem majority in the Senate and being able to pass key legislation by a bare majority via filibuster reform and/or reconciliation hijinks as any other candidate. Given all that, he doesn't need special revolutionary magic to pass stuff, just a bunch of things breaking his way, same as all the other candidates. Of course, none of that changes the fact that passing M4A even with filibuster reform will be harder than a public option or Warren's M4A part 1.
posted by chortly at 11:31 AM on November 25, 2019


Sander's "specialty" is that he's the only candidate with a theory of change that is responsive to the current era: using the presidency as a platform for building a social movement that pushes for change, from the ground up. That's all.

That might not succeed! Maybe not enough Americans want these changes, or maybe he will fail to rally the necessary support to build the social pressure necessary to change the voting patterns of the Senate, or maybe he'll die 30 days into his first term.

It's definitely the case that enough non-voters have noped out of politics that if they were energized and involved because a President exhorted them to help him make changes to the system that would greatly improve their lives, that this could force congress to change direction.

But this is at least a theory of change that takes seriously the fact that it doesn't matter what policy the democrats put forward while they have the Presidency. So long as McConnell and the GOP control the agenda, nothing will happen. The theory is that building a massive social movement could force enough members of congress to change their minds because of the pressure from below that real change might be possible.

I like Warren, but as far as I can tell her theory of change is that we'll propose bills and they'll pass in the house and senate and she'll sign them. That won't happen unless something else changes.
posted by dis_integration at 11:42 AM on November 25, 2019 [1 favorite]


Chrysostom, it was a fair question. Sorry, just feeling dogpiled.

Not my intention, sorry if it came off that way.

Speaking only for myself, I don't have any problem with Sanders. I think he'd be a fine president. I just don't think that there would be any huge difference between his administration and Warren's. And I do have a problem with Sanders fans who try to paint her as some kind of Manchurian Candidate for the wealthy.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:44 AM on November 25, 2019 [8 favorites]


I just don't think that there would be any huge difference between his administration and Warren's.

As a Warren supporter (and Sanders supporter), the interesting thing to me is that this is also the argument by Buttigieg and Biden against Warren. The trick is how she can make the argument that her more-extreme policies will actually produce different outcomes from Buttigieg or Biden, but Sanders's more-extreme policies won't produce different outcomes from hers.
posted by chortly at 11:59 AM on November 25, 2019


> I like Warren, but as far as I can tell her theory of change is that we'll propose bills and they'll pass in the house and senate and she'll sign them. That won't happen unless something else changes.

i'm solidly (and loudly) on team warren/sanders sanders/warren, but yeah, that is fair — warren, as a social democrat, seems to believe that it's possible to win meaningful social justice through the institutions of bourgeois electoral politics. which, like, good luck.

no, i mean it, good luck. it's worth a shot.

meanwhile sanders at least fronts like he believes that democracy comes from the streets, with the ballot box as an accessory to non-electoral political activity rather than as a replacement for it. but in practice? he's a social democrat, just like warren.

shrug. long ago i learned to accept that voting isn't about picking someone to represent me, but instead is about picking an enemy. the ideal enemy is one who will quickly fold to popular left opposition. i think warren might be that enemy.

sanders might be an actual ally of the people rather than a pliant roadblock, but also he's kind of an asshole so.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 3:22 PM on November 25, 2019 [7 favorites]


"Kind of an asshole" applies to every presidential nominee I can remember, excepting only Jimmy Carter. I think Warren would be another exception.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:32 PM on November 25, 2019 [4 favorites]


What makes me apprehensive about Sanders' ideas about people power is that I worry he'll run into the same problems Obama did, since he tried it too.

What makes me excited about Sanders' people power ideas is to see how it would work now that we the people aren't so goddamn complacent. And I would certainly like to see something better than the DNC one-two punch of ditching the 50 State Strategy and then whiffing on Organizing for America after Barack Obama handed them the keys, so I hope Bernie has those particular details mapped out, because he will need to delegate this stuff and get the larger party apparatus on the same page.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:45 PM on November 25, 2019


As a Warren supporter, I would personally be very happy with Sanders. I am also ecstatic they are both running and both still in the race. They both have adopted each others' ideas (Sanders' M4A, Warren's Wealth Tax and Student Loan forgiveness, etc.) to each others' benefit. Either of their current platforms is likely even more transformative than the platforms they'd have if either of them had run alone.

I am just tired of the repetitive lecturing (is it unfair if I call it mansplaining?) in biased narcissistic op-eds (by people like Harvard-educated Nathan Robinson above) on why I'm somehow an uninformed rube and a movement-traitor for thinking that (not Harvard-educated) Warren (who has been repeatedly Sanders-vetted and approved, if we're honest) would be an even more transformative, strategic and effective president than Sanders would be. If I attempt to defend her with some limited success, I then get shut down with bespoke purity tests or (somewhat male-oriented) platitudes about Sanders being more of a 'warrior' than Warren because he chose to run for president in 2015 after ~30 years of electoral political experience, when Warren wouldn't with her essentially ~3 years of senate experience. It's just unfortunate.

So, to change gears and look at the elections in terms of pure political strategy: Although U.S. voters suffer from the "sexism by proxy" of thinking their fellow voters are more sexist than themselves, it turns out that running a woman candidate in the general could be a good thing for coalition-building (a 2019 study showed hypothetical women candidates running against men get a 6 point bump just for being women). Maybe this might allow the Democrats to get closer to harnessing the movement-building passion of the 2017 Women's March, which could provide a decisive margin in a general election.

Perhaps the as-yet unfounded rumors that Trump may replace Pence with Nikki Haley as VP could be a somewhat calculated attempt to neutralize this kind of advantage. A nightmare-scenario (*shudder*) Trump-Gabbard two-party ticket would likely confuse a segment of the swing voter demo and would likely have an even greater negative effect on the Democratic ticket in a typical general election.
posted by donttouchmymustache at 1:33 AM on November 26, 2019 [5 favorites]


(not Harvard-educated) Warren

It's even worse, she did the educating at Harvard
posted by Cezar Golescu at 8:14 AM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


One cool thing about Sanders' theory of change (we build a mass movement that holds government's feet to the fire and demands it) is that it still works if Sanders isn't the one in the White House. I can imagine a dynamic where President Warren just has no choice (wink, wink) but to concede to the demands of the revolutionary movement led by firebrand Senator Sanders.
posted by contraption at 11:38 AM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


> "Kind of an asshole" applies to every presidential nominee I can remember, excepting only Jimmy Carter. I think Warren would be another exception.

dukakis seems like a non-asshole too. a doofus, but not an asshole.

really the ideal candidate would be neither a doofus nor an asshole but we can't have any thing ideal since — as aristotle, marx, and madonna observed — we are living in a material world.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 12:14 PM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


Kirth Gerson: ""Kind of an asshole" applies to every presidential nominee I can remember, excepting only Jimmy Carter."

Dukakis is a very decent man.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:25 PM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


I liked Ralph Nader, until I didn't.
posted by box at 12:54 PM on November 26, 2019


Yeah, OK, I forgot the Duke. He did piss me off by allowing Bush & co. to turn liberal into a slur, but that doesn't make him an asshole.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:59 PM on November 26, 2019


(is it unfair if I call it mansplaining?)

Yeah, person who decided to list their gender/pronouns as "Mustachioed" in a mockery of the concept. It is extremely unfair to tell people, particular the women here, especially the trans women here, that they are "mansplaining" to you with "male-oriented platitudes" just because they disagree.
posted by kafziel at 2:18 PM on November 26, 2019


It is extremely unfair to tell people, particular the women here, especially the trans women here, that they are "mansplaining" to you with "male-oriented platitudes" just because they disagree.

Perhaps the most enduring and annoying legacy of Hillary Clinton's 2016 primary campaign: liberals using the language of social justice against marginalized people to defend the status quo.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 4:15 PM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


Talking about one's lived experience of being talked down to by male-oriented Sanders supporters is not equivalent to denying the existence of non-male-oriented Sanders supporters.

Re: Dear Leader and Sanders: a person can have all the slogans they want, but if they and their supporters set them up as The Only Pure Option, The Only Possibility of Success, uniquely able to Inspire The Revolution beyond any leader in American history, period, Our Only Hope, and everyone else in the field are not just sub-par but Traitors To The People . . . well. I'm not sure what you're doing but establishing a Dear Leader figure. Look at how people are describing him in this thread: he MUST be given power so he can lead the revolution! It's the only way the revolution will survive! Would a truly people-oriented revolution hinge on the success of a single figure?

Moreover--figurehead movements like that either end in disillusionment or abuses of power. Inevitably in a democracy the person has to compromise somewhere or they'll fail, and either outcome causes their supporters become disillusioned. The alternative is abandoning democracy and, that's right, abusing power.

Of course, all that is probably moot. Sanders has yet to demonstrate the ability to mass-rally enough people to lead in the primaries, much less cause the riots in the streets necessary to get GOP legislators to pass Medicare for All.
posted by schroedinger at 4:28 PM on November 26, 2019 [7 favorites]


Re: Dear Leader and Sanders: a person can have all the slogans they want, but if they and their supporters set them up as The Only Pure Option, The Only Possibility of Success, uniquely able to Inspire The Revolution beyond any leader in American history, period, Our Only Hope, and everyone else in the field are not just sub-par but Traitors To The People . . . well. I'm not sure what you're doing but establishing a Dear Leader figure. Look at how people are describing him in this thread: he MUST be given power so he can lead the revolution! It's the only way the revolution will survive! Would a truly people-oriented revolution hinge on the success of a single figure?

Nobody said anything even close to any of this in this thread, lol.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 4:37 PM on November 26, 2019 [5 favorites]


I understand that part of all political candidates' successful campaigning relies on creating a type of cult of personality, to a degree. My impression is that the reason for Sanders' somewhat less flexible base of support (a harder 'ceiling' and 'floor') could be attributed to a stronger reliance on this type of supporter. It's certainly my own read when interacting with a particular kind of Sanders supporter, particularly on electronic forums of course, but also in person (generally supporters younger than 25 or older than 55 which identify as part of the 'Bernie-or-Bust' contingent). But that could simply be from my own perspective as a volunteer.

I apologize for using words such as 'mansplaining' or 'male-oriented' perhaps without having earned the right to do so. My reason for choosing that vocabulary was to try and highlight a certain kind of tone/approach that Robinson, Breunig, Jacobin in general, but also other Sanders surrogates seem to use in order to conjure a sharp distinction between him and Warren. Not to belabor the point, but this type of approach (which seems to "talk down" to voters) seems to help the Sanders campaign, not only at Warren's expense, but also at the expense of the progressive movement as a whole. Warren's surrogates seem to adopt a different approach which seems more inclusive and more focused on outreach (and using language which appeals to marginalized or underrepresented communities) which helps show how progressive plans and ideas are beneficial to everyone. Please note that I'm talking about their vocal surrogates/defenders and not their actual campaigns. The Sanders campaign is also focusing on outreach to marginalized groups, which they've done much better this time than they did in 2016. However, I feel that the different approaches by these surrogates may have more to do with the profiles of their most vocal supporters.

For example, Warren is also the clear leader among LGBTQ+ voters. There could be many reasons for this, but the fact that the openly gay candidate in the field has not attracted those voters in the same way is interesting. My sense is that LGBTQ+ voters are in general more politically engaged than Buttigieg's supporters, which could serve to make a candidate with concrete plans more appealing than one that stresses "philosophy" over details. Whatever the reason, this support probably has a real effect on how her surrogates communicate her platform.
posted by donttouchmymustache at 6:06 PM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


If you're a little curious why all the locking ranks to block Sanders, the media blackouts, the polls that ask about Buttigieg and Harris but ignore him, which seem to be perfectly fine touting Warren despite them having """identical platforms""" according to a lot of her fans ... why this bothers people who think Sanders is a materially different and better candidate, with a materially different and better approach, and who do think Sanders is getting a materially different and worse treatment as a candidate from the establishment? If you think, as those here do, that we're imagining all of it?

Well, we could look at what Barack Obama has been saying, and doing. Especially when what he says behind closed doors differs from the public statements, because we've seen how that's shaken out in the past.

Publicly, he has been clear that he won’t intervene in the primary for or against a candidate, unless he believed there was some egregious attack. “I can't even imagine with this field how bad it would have to be for him to say something,” said a close adviser. Instead, he sees his role as providing guardrails to keep the process from getting too ugly and to unite the party when the nominee is clear. There is one potential exception: Back when Sanders seemed like more of a threat than he does now, Obama said privately that if Bernie were running away with the nomination, Obama would speak up to stop him. (Asked about that, a spokesperson for Obama pointed out that Obama recently said he would support and campaign for whoever the Democratic nominee is.)
posted by kafziel at 7:45 PM on November 26, 2019 [6 favorites]


Elizabeth Warren Didn't Fall -- She Was Pushed
It will be argued that Warren brought this on herself by releasing a detailed Medicare for All plan that immediately drew criticism. I'd say that her alternative was to not release that plan and be hounded by shrill cries of "WHERE'S WARREN'S PLAN? WHAT'S SHE HIDING?"

What really happened is that rich Democratic donors saw Warren's rise (and Biden's decline) and decided that it Would. Not. Stand. They're not going to pay significantly more in taxes! Who does Warren think she is? So they sent up the bat signal to the many, many elite-media journalists and pundits who are receptive to their views. As if by magic, every discussion of the Democratic race now turned on the question of whether persuadable centrist voters are so allergic to Medicare for All that they'll instantly flee into the arms of Donald Trump a second time. All the talk was about "electability" and about how scary middle-of-the-road voters find progressives to be. [...]

Warren's campaign might not be dead. It might just be on life support -- she could cheat death again, as she did after she released her DNA results. Maybe this was just an attempted murder. But now we know that the Warren will have to beat one extra opponent in order to become president: the plutocratic wing of her own party. And they don't mess around.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:53 PM on November 26, 2019 [5 favorites]


the polls that ask about Buttigieg and Harris but ignore him

Citation, please.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:30 PM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


I mean, yeah, Warren got hammered when it looked like she was a frontrunner. That's what happens to frontrunners. If her campaign craters in the primary as soon as she starts taking incoming it sure as shit wouldn't have made it through the general.

The attacks she has faced in the last month were as nothing compared to what would happen in 2020.
posted by Justinian at 8:33 PM on November 26, 2019


Chrysostom, it feels true which is the best kind of true.
posted by Justinian at 8:37 PM on November 26, 2019


> I mean, yeah, Warren got hammered when it looked like she was a frontrunner. That's what happens to frontrunners.

You know what doesn't generally happen to frontrunners, though? The sudden entrance of not one, but two high-profile, Wall Street friendly Democratic candidates who in their heart of hearts probably know they have no shot at winning, and in some cases, won't qualify on some state ballots. That generally doesn't happen, and didn't happen when Biden was the frontrunner. Trying to paper over obvious differences between how Warren's been treated by the establishment by saying it happens to everyone is either naive or dishonest.

> The attacks she has faced in the last month were as nothing compared to what would happen in 2020.

This "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" logic can be used to justify any attack on any candidate at any time as long as it doesn't rise to the level of what an opposition candidate will do in a general election. Fuck that noise. I lived through 2016, and the attacks Hillary took from all sides did not in any way make her a stronger candidate for the general election, and this is giving me a very bad feeling of deja vu.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:53 PM on November 26, 2019 [9 favorites]


Deval Patrick and Bloomberg are combined polling in the low single digits. They didn't cause Warren to drop half her support!

And I strongly suspect that Tom Perez and the heads of the DNC, far from instigating it, were pissed as hell at Bloomberg jumping in to the race. Yeah, Bloomberg is a dick who hates Warren and Sanders. But nobody asked him to jump in except the lackeys he has on his own payroll, and nobody is happy about it including the DNC people.
posted by Justinian at 8:57 PM on November 26, 2019


I never said that their entry into the race was the sole factor in Warren's decline. Another thing we learned in 2016 was that joint causality doesn't negate the effect of any single factor when the perfect storm hits.

Besides, polling numbers are a crude surface metric that tells you the outcome, not the process that led to that outcome. The entry of Bloomberg at least has affected the conversation well beyond his performance in the polls by signaling that he and his donor class have the moderates' backs. I can't prove what percentage of Buttigieg and Biden's surge (and Warren's decline) came from the bat signal effect, but I don't think it can be dismissed out of hand with straw man arguments about how he didn't literally take all 15 percentage points that Warren lost.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:38 PM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


In a lot of recent polls, Warren's been getting 15% or so. Previously, she'd been getting around 20% or a little better. That's not a loss of 15% or "half her support!" as someone claimed upthread. There was never a point at which she was consistently polling at 30%.

In recent polling, it looks like some or a lot of that support may have gone to Sanders.
posted by nangar at 12:14 AM on November 27, 2019 [1 favorite]


I strongly suspect that Tom Perez and the heads of the DNC, far from instigating it, were pissed as hell at Bloomberg jumping in to the race. ... and nobody is happy about it including the DNC people.

Your strong suspicion does not justify the conclusion that nobody in the DNC is glad Bloomberg jumped in, and my strong suspicion is that some of them are glad.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:26 AM on November 27, 2019


The 270 to Win rolling average still shows Buttigeg and Warren within two points of each other in Iowa and tied for first in NH, I wouldn't count her out yet. And the national polls still have Biden way ahead of anyone.
posted by octothorpe at 4:17 AM on November 27, 2019 [4 favorites]


kafziel, do you have any concrete evidence of the conspiracy against Sanders?

As I mentioned above, if anything the media has gone easy on him, given that some of his major failings have been passed over and Warren is the one being hammered for M4A and whatnot.
posted by schroedinger at 4:34 AM on November 27, 2019 [2 favorites]


Nobody said anything even close to any of this in this thread, lol.

. . . Perhaps we've been reading different comments.
posted by schroedinger at 4:36 AM on November 27, 2019 [3 favorites]




[One comment deleted. If we're going to have conversations that include Sanders supporters and non-Sanders supporters, we need to be able to do that on a basis of respectful disagreement with each other. Not accusations of trolling, or thought police, or whatever denunciation of each other. People can disagree about Sanders in good faith, can disagree about what'd be best politically, and still choose to be part of the same community of respect -- we can listen to each other without seeing each other as enemies or dupes etc.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:02 AM on November 27, 2019 [9 favorites]


the polls that ask about Buttigieg and Harris but ignore him

Citation, please.


Happily.

Poll: Biden and Warren both beat Trump and Pence in Florida

In a general election mock-up, a month ago: Biden polled versus Trump. Warren polled versus Trump. Biden polled versus Pence. Warren polled versus Pence. Harris polled versus Trump. Buttigieg polled versus Trump.

At the time, Buttigieg and Harris were struggling to get consistently above 5% in primary polls, but sure, let's ask about them anyway. And let's ask about Warren and Biden against Pence, because this is somehow a race that could ever possibly happen.

They didn't bother asking any questions about Sanders. Why would they?

When a poll does ask about Sanders, articles obfuscate it. Poll: Trump beats Warren, Biden in Iowa match-ups That poll included Sanders. Sanders beat Trump in the poll. The text of the article says that Sanders beat Trump, three paragraphs in, but if all you see is the headline, or the tweet spreading it, you wouldn't know that.

I've never alleged a formal conspiracy, and it's weird to be expected to show proof of one when I'm offering clear evidence of biased coverage and biased responses. I see nobody's saying a thing about Obama's statements though. The last Democratic president weighing in that there is exactly one candidate he'd personally intervene to block, this means ... nothing?
posted by kafziel at 11:38 PM on November 27, 2019 [8 favorites]


Metafilter: I trust a technocratic approach to reform will be more effective at actually making change.

There's a lot more to it than that, but also maybe there isn't. Some of us think technocracy is not an unmitigated good, and perhaps even in opposition to democracy.
posted by Acid Communist at 12:51 AM on November 28, 2019 [3 favorites]


Technocrats have served us so well so far.
posted by kafziel at 2:58 AM on November 28, 2019 [4 favorites]


The idea that Obama would intervene to block Sanders originated with this article in Politico:
When it comes to Sanders, I asked one close adviser whether Obama would really lay himself on the line to prevent a Sanders nomination. “I can’t really confirm that,” the adviser said. “He hasn’t said that directly to me. The only reason I'm hesitating at all is because, yeah, if Bernie were running away with it, I think maybe we would all have to say something. But I don't think that's likely. It's not happening.”
The Hill decided to run with the story claiming:
President Obama privately said he would speak up to stop Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) from becoming the Democratic presidential nominee, Politico reported Tuesday.
The problem is the Politico article The Hill linked to explicitly doesn't say that. There's a big difference between 'Obama has an adviser who really, really doesn't like Sanders, and thinks he ought to say something against Sanders if it looks like he might win the nomination' and Obama himself actually saying he would do that. The Hill was misrepresenting what the Politico article said. It's not surprising that other media outlets haven't picked that up.

Yet another case of The Hill making stuff up to get more clicks is not exactly a news story.
posted by nangar at 5:55 AM on November 28, 2019 [8 favorites]


Wait, so your proof of "polls that ask about Buttigieg and Harris but ignore him" is...a poll that doesn't ask about Buttigieg or Harris?

Okay, I'm done here.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:56 AM on November 28, 2019


The article says they polled Biden, Warren, Harris, and Buttigieg against Trump in Florida. What are you on about lol
posted by Cezar Golescu at 10:20 AM on November 28, 2019




The idea that Obama would intervene to block Sanders originated with this article in Politico:

You mean the article I linked above, already? The one with this bit in it, that you're skipping over, to repeat my previous quotation?
Publicly, he has been clear that he won’t intervene in the primary for or against a candidate, unless he believed there was some egregious attack. “I can't even imagine with this field how bad it would have to be for him to say something,” said a close adviser. Instead, he sees his role as providing guardrails to keep the process from getting too ugly and to unite the party when the nominee is clear. There is one potential exception: Back when Sanders seemed like more of a threat than he does now, Obama said privately that if Bernie were running away with the nomination, Obama would speak up to stop him. (Asked about that, a spokesperson for Obama pointed out that Obama recently said he would support and campaign for whoever the Democratic nominee is.)
Emphasis added, since apparently it's needed.
posted by kafziel at 2:04 PM on November 28, 2019


But when the article goes into more detail about that claim later, it dissolves into “I can’t really confirm that...He hasn’t said that directly to me...” But, yeah, in my comment I blamed The Hill for "making stuff up to get more clicks". That's not really fair.
posted by nangar at 2:45 PM on November 28, 2019


Making a prediction:

Few of the Super Tuesday states seem to have any polls yet but given the national polls and the fact that the southern states that vote that day tend to be more conservative, I'm thinking more and more that Biden is going to have a decent lead by the end of February. I think that Warren and Sanders will split the left/progressive vote and Buttigieg will have turned out to be a flash in the pan and that by March it will be obvious that Joe is sailing toward the nomination.

Counter-point:

The press seems to have kept their hands off Joe this year and none of his weird brain farts have gotten a lot of attention but once it's more obvious that he's the front-runner, his gaffes will get more traction. I think that'll be too late and he'll already be running away with it before they start questioning his viability as a candidate.
posted by octothorpe at 4:52 AM on November 29, 2019 [1 favorite]


Also making a prediction, because I'm full of leftovers: Between now and the first caucus, we see more second- and third-tier candidates withdraw, including most of the serious politicians in this group. At least one billionaire, and Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard, remain in the field.

Biden comes in third, or worse, in Iowa and New Hampshire. We see stories about is-Pete-the-new-Joe and have-the-progressives-taken-over. He does better in Nevada (maybe not an outright win), then starts getting comeback-kid stories when he wins South Carolina.

Going into Super Tuesday, horserace journalists are already breathlessly talking about unity tickets and brokered conventions. When the Super Tuesday results are all over the place, including some second- and third-tier candidates doing better than expected in places without a lot of delegates, these stories, along with the Dems-in-disarray ones, ramp up further. As of early March, there's still no clear frontrunner.
posted by box at 5:58 AM on November 29, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm going to predict that Sanders does way better than people expect, and starts running away with it. Obama tries to kneecap him but is too late to stop the momentum. We get a replay of the 2015 Republican primary, as party insiders try everything to stop him, but they can't all settle on one establishment candidate to corral behind, so their efforts are ultimately fruitless.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 11:06 AM on November 29, 2019 [2 favorites]


That sounds like a better outcome than my timeline but I'm sceptical of its likelihood. Hopefully you win this bet.
posted by octothorpe at 11:55 AM on November 29, 2019 [2 favorites]


Let's look at the calendar:
Monday, February 3: Iowa. Everybody's made it this far; I don't see why you'd drop out of the race before people get a chance to vote for you at least once. I would assume our current top 4 of Buttigieg, Warren, Biden, Sanders all clear the 15% threshold most places. Here's where it gets tricky: in a primary, you just roll in and vote, and if you voted for a loser, well, your vote still counts. In the caucus, you go stand in a corner with 1-2 of your friends, and if there aren't enough of you you have to join one of the cool-candidate groups. We could look at second-choice options, but I don't think we can predict with any accuracy. Anyway, our top 4 are going to pick up a bunch more votes, in some distribution. It may take a day or two before we get actual results; "a near-tie" is also possible. If there's a surprise, they could get some motivation. If we all know the initial preferences, and that holds, then it's baked in. Either way, the delegates are probably getting split 4 ways, fairly evenly. This was more text than I'd planned on writing.

We probably get some candidates to drop here if they don't make the cut. All the non-debaters, and maybe Klobuchar and Booker if they get shut out. This is also about the earliest that I'd think an impeachment trial could start in the Senate, so that gives them an excuse (besides losing) to bail.

Tuesday, February 11: New Hampshire. A week later. This is a straight primary, so we'd expect a longer tail, but they've also been campaigning in NH for a whole year, so we'll probably see Bernie and The Iowa Winner in the top 2, with the others probably still clearing the 15% hurdle, but that's about it. If one of our top 4 don't get 15%, that's trouble. At this point, delegates are still pretty even.

We'll lose some more candidates after New Hampshire. Should be down to no more than about 6.

Saturday, February 22 (a week and a half later): Nevada caucus. This is where we might start to see the effects of the first two states change minds in later states. This is also where we find out if nonwhite voters really stay with Biden or find somebody/somebodies else. If they move, Biden's in trouble. If they stay, here's where his comeback starts. I have no idea what happens here; the trivial assumption is Biden 1st, followed by the other 3 all above 15%, with Iowa and NH winners maybe higher.

Saturday, February 29 (a week later): South Carolina primary. If Biden is going to win, he has got to win here. If he doesn't, he's done. Now, he's not really done; nobody's running away with this thing and there are still the overwhelming majority of states left, but at some point you have to get people to vote for you if you want to be President.

Here's where I remind everyone that finishing with the most delegates isn't enough; you need a majority at the convention to win on the first ballot. Superdelegates don't get to vote until the second ballot. (If that sounds bad, consider that until the 1930's, Democrats needed 2/3 of the votes to win the nomination.)

Tuesday, March 3 (3 days later): Super Tuesday. Super Tuesday is Alabama, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Democrats Abroad, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia. We have no more than 4 candidates left after Super Tuesday. I haven't counted up how many of the delegates get awarded today, but I think it's "a shitload". Obviously if somebody wins most of these states they become the favorite, even if the delegate count gets spread out (and it will). If somebody's up to the 40's in vote share, they're probably winning. If there's a regional split, then we could be in this for the long haul. The other thing is that if, say, Bernie wins big on Super Tuesday [and good for him if he does: it would show he's appealing to minority voters and more moderate voters, and he deserves to win if he can do that], it's probably too late to stop him. 3 candidates would have to pool their delegates for a convention fight, and even that might not be enough. Plus, they'd have to decide on someone, after they've been running against each other. You're not stopping a big Super Tuesday winner.

We go weekly through March, then there's a big day April 28, then there's only a handful of states left after that. The convention is July 13-16. Even if someone doesn't have a true majority clinched going into the convention, they can expect to win the nomination if they're way ahead of everybody else, because it's a lot easier to combine 2 candidates' delegates than it is to combine 6.

I thought this comment was going to be a lot shorter than it was. Sorry about that.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:06 AM on November 30, 2019 [3 favorites]


but once it's more obvious that he's the front-runner, his gaffes will get more traction.

I don't think Biden's gaffes will matter. Everybody knows he's a gaffe machine. It's priced in and nobody cares.
posted by Justinian at 1:42 PM on November 30, 2019




Well, no, I'm not even sure that second one counts as a gaffe.
posted by Justinian at 11:31 AM on December 1, 2019


Gaffe, noun: an unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator; a blunder.

I guess Biden might not consider his random uncontrollable public finger munching (and the resulting photos) to be embarrassing, but I’m not sure that’s really any better than the alternative.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 12:45 PM on December 1, 2019 [1 favorite]


And here we all thought Futurama made up the Fingerlicans political party.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:58 PM on December 1, 2019


We all know by now he doesn't consider his creepy predator behavior to be embarrassing. And neither do his stans, so.
posted by kafziel at 4:59 PM on December 1, 2019


Seems to be a lot of pro-malarkey sentiment on this site.
posted by JackFlash at 5:14 PM on December 1, 2019




Biden really was a pretty shitty Democrat for most of his career.
posted by octothorpe at 5:02 AM on December 2, 2019 [11 favorites]


Harris is out.

She wasn't my favorite candidate for a variety of reasons, and good on her for knowing when to step aside, but it's a shame she couldn't stick around longer than some of the other clowns that will be taking up space in the field until well into the primary season.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:33 AM on December 3, 2019 [3 favorites]


I'm not seeing Castro or Booker lasting much longer either so we're going to go into 2020 with a very white field of candidates.
posted by octothorpe at 10:47 AM on December 3, 2019 [1 favorite]


The Deval Patrick campaign is just getting started
posted by Apocryphon at 11:17 AM on December 3, 2019


*Tulsi Gabbard sheaths her sword*
posted by Cezar Golescu at 12:12 PM on December 3, 2019 [1 favorite]


Harris wasn't my top pick, but she's head and shoulders above, well, literally every white (and white passing) man in the race. That she's out while that asshole Buttigieg is still in, and worse that it seems Bloomberg's billionaire vanity run is what pushed her out, is obscene.

Oh, and Gabbard is still in, just to make sure that she gets enough coverage so that when she inevitably betrays the party and makes an independent run she can peel off just enough votes to hand the election to Trump!
posted by sotonohito at 1:09 PM on December 3, 2019 [3 favorites]


Curse her sudden but inevitable betrayal!
posted by Justinian at 1:11 PM on December 3, 2019 [1 favorite]


Independent runs are overrated, unless you manage to hitch yourself to a third party with substantial ballot access as the infamous Nader 2000 run under the Green Party. Despite the polarized atmosphere of 2016, McMullin got a paltry 700k votes and fifth place, after the candidates from the entrenched Green and Libertarian parties. (He was on the ballot of only eleven states with access to 84 EVs.) Unless Gabbard can somehow win the nom of either of those two, she's not going to be able to siphon enough votes from anyone even if she goes AWOL with a third party run. Thank our inconsistent, dilapidated, and gatekept electoral system, I guess.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:32 PM on December 3, 2019


Steve Bullock and Joe Sestak also dropped out, earlier this week, in case anyone still remembered they were running in the first place.

With Harris out, the 6 candidates who have qualified for this month's debate are Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Sanders, Steyer, and Warren. (Gabbard and Yang are close to qualifying.)
posted by mbrubeck at 1:52 PM on December 3, 2019 [3 favorites]


How Power Works
I agree with this, but probably not in the way Giridharadas means it:
@AnandWrites: At @KamalaHarris's lowest moments in the polls, she has outpolled @MikeBloomberg. That she is now out and he's just getting started tells you so much about how money, power, race, and gender work in America.
The way money, power, race, and gender worked in this case was that without being forced to do so, we seem to have talked ourselves out of considering anyone other than white men -- plus Elizabeth Warren, though her candidacy is in decline now, and may never fully recover. One set of rich white men funded a Republican Party that used gerrymandering and vote suppression to dominate our politics for the past twenty years, culminating in the election of a popular-vote loser as president for the second time this century, thanks to the Electoral College. Now we don't trust our own judgment as to which candidate can beat Donald Trump. Black voters fear that the best they can do is rally around a white guy who was a decent ally for eight years. White voters fear that fellow whites won't vote for a black or Hispanic candidate, or a woman, or a progressive. This happened in large part because another set of rich people -- Democratic plutocrats, although there's considerable overlap between that group and plutocrat Republicans -- told us (by means of their elite-media spokespeople) that we really, really don't want to risk throwing in our lot with anyone other than a white male moderate. And so here we are, probably facing a Biden-Buttigieg stretch run, with Warren and Sanders lagging behind, and, if you believe certain pundits, Bloomberg buying his way into contention.

This was not an exercise in raw power. It was an exercise in manufacturing consent. And it appears to be working.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:24 PM on December 3, 2019 [3 favorites]


Another theory is that black voters actually like Biden and they're voting for him because they like him. But that doesn't fit this narrative.
posted by Justinian at 9:53 PM on December 3, 2019 [5 favorites]


Another theory is that black voters actually like Biden and they're voting for him because they like him. But that doesn't fit this narrative.

"You give black voters too much credit" is a weird take.
posted by kafziel at 10:22 PM on December 3, 2019


"they like him" seems a bit broad. As was pointed out here, on "who cares the most about people like you," as many black voters say Warren or Sanders as say Biden (31% vs 33%). On "which candidate has the best policy ideas," as many black voters say Warren or Sanders as say Biden (31% vs 29%). But on "which candidate has the best chance of winning against Donald Trump" things diverge: 67% Biden, vs 7% Warren + Sanders. Johnson interprets this to mean that black voters are above all pragmatic, but that's not the entire story. Looking at the poll itself, black voters actually rank "beating Trump" lower in their priorities than white voters do (30% vs 42%), and rank "cares about people like me" much higher (28% vs 14%). But despite all this, the fact that Biden is rated so much higher on electability seems to mean that, in the end, he wins out, despite not being particularly preferred on policy or caring about black people.
posted by chortly at 11:02 PM on December 3, 2019 [4 favorites]


"You give black voters too much credit" is a weird take.

Me saying maybe black voters are voting for somebody because they want him to be president rather than settling for him is somehow not giving them enough credit?
posted by Justinian at 1:40 AM on December 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


Black voters live in the same two party, wired for establishment candidates, first past the post system as everyone else, so they would be foolish to just vote for someone only because they like them. Electability calculus is grim and very error prone, but it's not something we can just wish away, since only one of the remaining candidates will be on the ballot in November with a D next to their name. Considering electability isn't being a sucker -- it's a regrettable but important part of every voter's skillset. What's being lamented in that post is not the individual choices, but the outcome.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:43 AM on December 4, 2019


Comorienne:
The amount of money Kamala's campaign committee raised is public record. She's neck and neck with Biden at 36.5 million dollars to date with zero outside funds. It was misspent and mishandled. Like...

You can see this for yourself if you don't believe me. Link to everyone's funds here:

https://www.opensecrets.org/2020-presidential-race

heres a good financial summary of where she currently stands. She had slashed entire teams after improperly focusing funds and still couldn't buy significant airtime. Her strongholds were split. But she was not the small fish, finances wise. She just had no direction.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EK46-VZWwAMA39g.jpg

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EK46-ZqXkAA3Mrt.jpg
posted by Apocryphon at 10:22 AM on December 4, 2019


Hmm. Wonder which candidate, if any, shell forward that on to. Cuz if she just sort of takes it and does nothing with it that seems really shitty

Bernie and/or Warren could really use $35 million.
posted by sotonohito at 1:46 PM on December 4, 2019


I wonder who Iowa voters thought was the most electable candidate in the year before the 2008 election.

Oh.

Is there longer term data on whether perceived electability actually means anything, especially a year before the election?
posted by Ouverture at 11:21 PM on December 4, 2019 [1 favorite]


I don't know how you'd test perceived electability but until recently, at least, polling more than a year out hasn't been particularly predictive, if it has been predictive at all. I have seem some reasonable arguments that the increasingly polarized and partisan nature of our electorate means that polling will become more reliable earlier than in decades past but that's so far as I am aware just a hypothesis.

It's hard to get a decent sample size for something that happens once every four years.
posted by Justinian at 1:11 AM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]


Wonder which candidate, if any, shell forward that on to.

Can/would she hold on to it for her next Senate election? She's up in 2022 if she runs again.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:21 AM on December 5, 2019


Harris raised $35M but I don't think that there's anything left; that's why she's quitting.
posted by octothorpe at 4:40 AM on December 5, 2019 [3 favorites]


Harris raised $35M but I don't think that there's anything left; that's why she's quitting.

Yeah, the money has been forwarded on to some DC consultants, who have forwarded it on to their boats, which you can recognize by their call signs, like "hanging chad" and "bipartisan ship"
posted by dis_integration at 6:21 AM on December 5, 2019 [6 favorites]


> It's hard to get a decent sample size for something that happens once every four years.

I don't disagree, but that does not mean that your choice to assign preference for Biden to liking him has any more merit than my choice (and that of others) to suggest that electability plays a role as well. Some data supporting the latter is not contradicted by no data supporting the former simply because neither hits the threshold of a reliable sample.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:51 AM on December 5, 2019


Pete Buttigieg is Bad News
One of the many puzzling, not to say infuriating, things about the Democratic party is that it’s possible for someone with a who decided that the best use of his gold-plated paper credentials would be to use them to work for McKinsey is somehow still considered a plausible candidate for the party’s presidential nomination. And this wasn’t some youthful indiscretion, before “Mayor Pete” fell off his chariot on the road to Damascus: this was, basically, fifteen minutes ago! It’s not who he was: it’s who he is. [...]

(Here’s a sympathetic interpretation of how Buttigieg’s whole career is an archetype of a certain sort of upwardly mobile gay man making his way in the world, that cautions readers not to fall into the trap of dismissing that archetype as somehow inauthentic. That’s a valid point, but I’m not worried about this guy’s inauthenticity: I’m worried about how his status as a gay man, and therefore diverse and marginal, may be obscuring the increasingly obvious fact that he’s also by far the most conservative of any of the even vaguely possible candidates in the Democratic field. If Biden implodes eventually, look out).
posted by tonycpsu at 1:57 PM on December 5, 2019 [5 favorites]


The only reason he's where he is at is because Iowa and New Hampshire are two of the five whitest states. It's unsustainable for those states to remain the two most influential in the primary process.
posted by Justinian at 2:24 PM on December 5, 2019 [2 favorites]


“My party’s not known for worrying about the deficit or the debt too much but it’s time for us to start getting into that,” Mayor Pete says in NH town hall in response to voter anxious about debt.

My party, he says? He is literally describing Republicans.
posted by JackFlash at 2:52 PM on December 5, 2019 [4 favorites]


Mayor Pete is a Republican.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:00 PM on December 5, 2019 [5 favorites]


Dude’s from the same state as Mike Pence. Pete’s no Republican.

I mean, I’m not voting for him, and I’m not sure why anyone would at this point, but still.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:54 PM on December 5, 2019


Buttigiege is refusing to talk about what he did for McKinsey saying that he is bound by non-disclosure agreements.

Okay, fine if that is his position. He made his choice on how to earn a living. But then he should be disqualified from being president. You can't have a president who is bound by secret deals to corporations. That's exactly what Trump is doing.
posted by JackFlash at 9:28 AM on December 6, 2019 [4 favorites]


Speaking of Pete's party affiliation:
“My party’s not known for worrying about the deficit or the debt too much but it’s time for us to start getting into that,” Mayor Pete says in NH town hall in response to voter anxious about debt.

Cool to see him spreading Republican talking points about the fiscal irresponsibility of the Democrats, especially after a couple disastrous Republican-led wars and a huge Republican tax cut on the rich! Very cool, Mayor Pete! Extremely cool!
posted by Greg Nog at 9:31 AM on December 6, 2019 [8 favorites]


Also very cool how he claimed he had a bunch of prominent black endorsements for his totally tepid "Douglass Plan", and then people he listed as endorsements kept coming out saying they don't support him and never endorsed him or his plan. Then he tried to promote it with photos of black supporters that turned out to be stock photos of random Kenyan people. And then his campaign leaked a memo about a focus group they conducted where they "proved" that Pete has no black support because the black community is homophobic.

How is this asshole still considered a frontrunner?
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:51 AM on December 6, 2019 [10 favorites]


“Hey Pete Buttigieg, Means Testing Sucks Dude.”Thought Slime, 06 December 2019
posted by ob1quixote at 11:15 AM on December 6, 2019 [3 favorites]




“Stop saying Pete Buttigieg is the wrong kind of gay!”

Well what the hell am I supposed to do with this, then? - @furioursus, on twitter
Picture is Buttigieg, as he apparently does every year, participating in an annual Ring Off fundraiser for the virulently homophobic Salvation Army.
posted by kafziel at 12:32 PM on December 6, 2019 [7 favorites]


“Pete Buttigieg is Wrong About Everything” [25:20]Many Peters Ep. 71, Peter Coffin, 06 December 2019
posted by ob1quixote at 12:41 PM on December 6, 2019 [1 favorite]




"Virtue signaling" is a red flag. No one who uses it is being honest.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:03 AM on December 7, 2019 [6 favorites]


See also 'social justice warriors' and 'all lives matter.' Pete's not a moderate, he's a DINO.
posted by box at 5:57 AM on December 7, 2019 [4 favorites]


Yeah, those, too. If he uses those phrases, he's at least echoing right-wing trolls, if he isn't one himself.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:44 AM on December 7, 2019 [2 favorites]


Joe Biden 2020: Somewhat Better than Pete Buttigieg!
posted by Justinian at 3:52 PM on December 8, 2019 [2 favorites]


Joe Biden 2020: "if you hear people on the rope line saying, ‘I'm a Republican,’ I say, ‘Stay a Republican.’ Vote for me but stay a Republican, because we need a Republican Party... I'm really worried that no party should have too much power. You need a countervailing force."
posted by chortly at 4:20 PM on December 8, 2019 [1 favorite]


Remember when Biden took $200k in October 2018 to give a speech in support of a Republican in Michigan, in a highly contested election? A Republican who was polling within striking distance, despite 16 terms as an incumbent, up against a fresh challenger with endorsements from a ton of unions and Planned Parenthood? And gave that Republican a bump to win, over the objections and pleading of all the local Democrats?

Even the party unity people can't possibly claim, with a straight face, that this dipshit is good for anybody.
posted by kafziel at 6:52 PM on December 8, 2019 [6 favorites]


BREAKING! Professional Compensated For Her Expert Services
The key bit of bullshitting in the headline is that the $2 million was earned over 30 years, amounting to less than $70K per anum for one of the nation’s foremost bankruptcy experts. And also note how this “objective” news story feels free to editorialize and assert a contradiction that does not actually exist as if it was objective fact.

[...]

@karenkho: Seeing the bad headline about Elizabeth Warren making $2M as a consultant over 30 years just reminded me of male journalists who made that amount in 5 years (Felix Salmon), 2 years (Mark Halpern at Bloomberg), 73 days (Chris Cillizza), and 37 days (Matt Lauer's salary in 2016).
NYT is determined to give us four more years of POTUS45.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:41 PM on December 8, 2019 [11 favorites]


Vote for me but stay a Republican, because we need a Republican Party...

Malarkey. We most definitely do not need a Republican Party, not one that bears any resemblance to the one we've got.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:47 AM on December 9, 2019 [5 favorites]


NYT is determined to give us four more years of POTUS45.

They probably do too but that story was in the Washington Post; similar stories were also in the WSJ and Politico today. I doubt that the Post, WSJ and Politico are really comparing notes but the fact that the three of them all ran with same story with the same bullshit framing makes their intentions pretty obvious. I mean there are three billionaires (or two plus Trump) running for president but we're supposed to get upset that a lawyer made an average of $66K a year for three decades?
posted by octothorpe at 5:05 AM on December 9, 2019 [7 favorites]


NPR's Rachel Martin has a long interview (audio, transcript) with Biden--among other things, he claims he was one of the most liberal senators, says he has the most progressive plan about climate change, and declines to commit to picking a woman/POC for vice president.

He also says 'There's no enthusiasm gap [with younger voters]! What the hell are you talking about?'

I am not entirely convinced about this no-malarkey thing.
posted by box at 5:33 AM on December 9, 2019 [7 favorites]


I regret the error, and will gladly accept the right honourable gentleman's amendment that the entirety of mainstream media is determined to give us four more years of POTUS45.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:36 AM on December 9, 2019 [6 favorites]


lawyer made an average of $66K a year for three decades?

Gee I wonder if Mayor Pete made more than that at McKinsey? Fuck these purity test traps by the media.
posted by benzenedream at 7:33 AM on December 9, 2019 [7 favorites]


It's true that Biden is wrong that he was one of the most liberal Senators. However, it's equally untrue that he was a conservative or moderate one. He was almost always dead center of the Democratic pack in terms of ideological votes and not center of the Senate as a whole.

It's just that the overton window has shifted enough for us under Trump that a dead-center-of-the-party guy is one of the more conservative candidates. That doesn't make him conservative, just more conservative than most of the others.
posted by Justinian at 3:12 PM on December 9, 2019


It also partially explains why he's doing well despite his major weaknesses. The other two strongest polling candidates are both on the leftward end of the party, meaning he's got like half the party to his right with no major candidate siphoning off votes (except maybe Buttigieg in the early states).
posted by Justinian at 3:14 PM on December 9, 2019


But is Biden the actual center of the Democrats? I'd like to think that he's not got 50% of Democrats to his right, but the 30% or whatever he does have now is more than the split Sanders/Warren vote. But not them combined. My hope, anyway.
posted by maxwelton at 5:04 PM on December 9, 2019


I'm sure he's not literally the median Democrat, no, but he was roughly the 25th most liberal Senator for the entire time he was in the senate which puts him somewhere in the neighborhood of the center.
posted by Justinian at 5:09 PM on December 9, 2019


Someone will object that the party has moved left since then (which is true) but so has Biden. Not nearly enough for lots of folks, including me, but some.
posted by Justinian at 5:10 PM on December 9, 2019


Biden has a compelling argument for being the most liberal senator, if you go with the academic definition. The dude's famous for giving absurdly generous handouts to banks, not for any particular personal or civic gain, but just because he wanted to. That's hardcore liberalism, baby.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 11:09 PM on December 9, 2019 [5 favorites]


The modern Democratic party is more Lib Dem than Labour, surely.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:58 PM on December 9, 2019 [3 favorites]


Worth mentioning also that, as proud scion of a bloodthirsty multinational consulting firm that makes massive money presenting slide decks on entrepreneurship in wartorn countries and applying market logic to concentration camps to improve their efficiency, Mayor Pete also has a solid claim for most classically liberal candidate in the race.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 12:29 AM on December 10, 2019 [4 favorites]


Gabbard has failed to make the next debate but, unfortunately, Steyer and Yang did. So looks like there will be 7 people on stage.
posted by Justinian at 2:23 PM on December 10, 2019 [1 favorite]


How is Andrew Yang still in this thing and the two sitting African-American Democratic Senators are not?
posted by box at 2:30 PM on December 10, 2019 [4 favorites]


Yang doesn't bother me that much, at least he appears to have real support. Steyer basically just bought himself a spot.

It is very disappointing that Booker looks like he won't make it though.
posted by thefoxgod at 4:46 PM on December 10, 2019




Also includes an international price-fixing conspiracy with Loblaw's, and consulting Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan exactly as Wendell Potter warned it might, and the disastrous results of that consulting.

The thought that someone might come away from this, from that kind of work, and still be advocating against single-payer ... to have seen these mechanisms in action first-hand, helped them unfold from the top down, and then to seek the highest power in the country and advocate using it to do nothing but sustain the status quo ... it's unfathomable. Unconscionable.
posted by kafziel at 8:37 PM on December 10, 2019 [11 favorites]




I don't expect the the release of a list McKinsey's clients Buttigieg worked for to change the mind of anyone who's already convinced he's an embodiment of absolute pure evil. But since we were talking about it earlier, I thought it was worth posting a link here that he'd released a list of his clients.
posted by nangar at 9:03 PM on December 10, 2019


But,” he added with a sprinkle of self-awareness, “to the extent that I was uniquely qualified on something, it was definitely Canadian grocery prices.

Well then. Straight from the horse's mouth as it were.

I don't expect the the release of a list McKinsey's clients Buttigieg worked for to change the mind of anyone who's already convinced he's an embodiment of absolute pure evil.

Interestingly, I have the same expectation except in reverse. Buttigieg seems to have calculated that he has maintained just enough plausible deniability that only the people who really dig into this stuff (who aren't really his target audience, or numerous enough to matter) are going to be alarmed by it. And that's concerning, because when it comes to calculations, I wouldn't bet against him.
posted by Not A Thing at 9:43 PM on December 10, 2019


C'mon, he was just engaged in price-fixing bread -- since when has the price of bread really had political importance?
posted by chortly at 9:49 PM on December 10, 2019 [11 favorites]


If only Jean Valjean had had access to a top-tier payday lender he could have financed a loaf of bread and avoided that whole mess of trouble in the first place!
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:16 AM on December 11, 2019 [4 favorites]


rather fitting that Mayor Pete will be brought down by overvalued white bread
posted by Ahmad Khani at 9:17 AM on December 11, 2019 [6 favorites]


Given the clear parallels between Brexit/anti-establishment populism, Johnson/Trump, and Corbyn/Sanders, I genuinely wonder if the big Conservative win over Labour today bodes poorly for a Sanders vs. Trump election. And I say that as a Warren supporter who has Sanders as a strong #2.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:04 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Sanders, Warren, Biden and the Democratic party are doing way better in head-to-heads vs Trump or Republicans than was Labour vs Conservative. I've been a bit worried about the polling having erred in Labour's favor, but as long as the polls aren't totally wrong, things look fairly different over here. That said, head-to-heads aren't hugely predictive at this point, and it's still a long time until the general election...
posted by chortly at 5:59 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


The Democrats are doing well in national polling, but Wisconsin is looking really shaky. We need one of Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina.
posted by Justinian at 9:12 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


It'll also be a LOT harder for the media to gin up accusations of antisemitism against Bernie, though some right wingers are already bold enough to try.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 8:20 AM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


Anyway, I really don't think you can draw much of a parallel from a very different election in a very different country. We already know that a centrist liberal candidate doesn't work against Trump, that was the lesson of 2016.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 8:25 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


It'll also be a LOT harder for the media to gin up accusations of antisemitism against Bernie, though some right wingers are already bold enough to try.

I don't think it's going to be that hard

In a month or two "Bernie-the-antisemite" will be a regular refrain on Morning Joe
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:14 PM on December 13, 2019 [4 favorites]


Morning Joe would of course vote for a Democrat, but somehow never this Democrat.
posted by Justinian at 11:27 PM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


Dhrumil Mehta (538) on the candidates’ favorability polling over time. The Biden graph is striking.
posted by mbrubeck at 11:32 AM on December 14, 2019


We already know that a centrist liberal candidate doesn't work against Trump, that was the lesson of 2016.

Nah, the lesson of 2016 was that Americans on a fundamental level are misogynistic, will not accept a woman president. They will never give women a fair playing field.

And we see the same dynamic taking place in social media, including Metafilter. Witness the way concerns over Sanders' health were handwaved away: "Aw man, he only had a heart attack. Let's focus on THE IMPORTANT stuff, like vague statements about rallying the people."

That's why next year it's going to come down to Biden VS Sanders if he's still alive, or maybe Buttigieg if Sanders somehow fails to be the immortal God-King we desire. One might hope hat this will backfire on Ivanka in 2024, but I suspect" I'm carrying on Daddy's legacy" will get her a pass.
posted by happyroach at 2:09 PM on December 14, 2019 [6 favorites]


And we see the same dynamic taking place in social media, including Metafilter. Witness the way concerns over Sanders' health were handwaved away: "Aw man, he only had a heart attack. Let's focus on THE IMPORTANT stuff, like vague statements about rallying the people."

MetaFilter reacted the same way when Clinton fainted on the campaign trail.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 2:53 PM on December 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


Which is to say, it's normal to still defend your preferred candidate after they have a health scare. It was fine in both those instances.

Not trying to say there wasn't misogyny in the 2016 election, cuz of course there was. There may be antisemitism against Sanders in the 2020 election, we'll see.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 3:02 PM on December 14, 2019


Spoiler alert: there would be antisemitism if he were the nominee.

That said, your lesson from 2016 does not appear to me to be based on the facts as evidenced.
posted by Justinian at 3:37 PM on December 14, 2019


Not trying to say there wasn't misogyny in the 2016 election, cuz of course there was. There may be antisemitism against Sanders in the 2020 election, we'll see.

Yeah, because there wasn't a whiff of antisemitism in 2016 either.
posted by kafziel at 3:41 PM on December 14, 2019 [3 favorites]




Let's be very clear, the antisemitic attacks against Sanders that we might see more and more of are not only going to be your traditional/obvious "Jews control the world" attacks.

It's going to come in the form of "he's a self-hating Jew" or implications that Sanders himself/his campaign is antisemitic, and it's going to come from far-right front groups like Stopantisemitism.org. Fascists are very good at this game - and many in the center-left will fall right for it.
posted by windbox at 4:17 PM on December 15, 2019 [9 favorites]




The Corbyn approach is already being tested out.
posted by chortly at 6:26 PM on December 17, 2019


Hey everyone, as a programming note, I'm not planning to make an FPP for tonight's debate, but the U.S. Politics FPP Draft page at the MeFi Wiki is available if anyone wants to work on it together, and I've got some links to share if that happens.
posted by katra at 10:14 AM on December 19, 2019


Can somebody plz throw up a quick debate fpp, I'm jonesin' but can't do it myself atm
posted by Rhaomi at 4:56 PM on December 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


Go to hell Pete
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:30 PM on December 19, 2019 [8 favorites]


This debate is such a shitshow that the entrepreneur, the billionaire, and the handsy dude are the least annoying people on the stage.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 6:40 PM on December 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


Andrew "As President I'd Give Everybody Free Money" Yang surprisingly whiffing on that "who would you give a gift to" question.

edit: Also I love Warren but that "I ask forgiveness for caring too much" answer was pretty bad.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:19 PM on December 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


Oh my god that debate ruled so hard, it's the only one so far I've come away from happy. I loved seeing all the professional managerial class favorites wailing on Buttigieg. Yang was weirdly charming; even though his analysis and program is totally incoherent, I'd like to smoke weed with him. The back and forth with Biden and Sanders on healthcare was fantastic. Bernie was ON tonight! This was his best performance at one of these by a mile. I've never believed so hard that he'll win the nomination.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 8:47 PM on December 19, 2019 [5 favorites]


Also, I have to say, the moderation was MUCH better at this debate than any of the others. They mostly asked real, substantive questions, and it felt like they gave a fair amount of time to everyone.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 8:51 PM on December 19, 2019 [2 favorites]


IMO the worst answer in the debate was Sanders on race. "Uh, can I change it to another subject? No? OK, I'm going to deflect the question and make it about the big vague topic I want to talk about instead."

He was totally unprepared and more importantly totality uninterested in dealing with either race or gender. No wonder he didn't see anything eying with endorsing a misogynist.
posted by happyroach at 11:20 PM on December 19, 2019


I didn't see that moment that way at all. He was trying to segue from the just-discussed subject of climate change into a discussion of racial justice but he got interrupted before he could finish his first sentence. He often answers debate questions this way, starting with a seemingly unrelated subject and building to the actual answer. After that interruption, he did speak eloquently on racial justice.

I liked how former Hillary Clinton adviser Peter Daou put it:

@peterdaou
So #Bernie tried to connect climate change to racial injustice and was rudely interrupted.

Biden answered a reparations question by talking about immigration and wasn't called out.
9:41 PM · Dec 19, 2019
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 12:29 AM on December 20, 2019 [9 favorites]


OK, I'm going to deflect the question and make it about the big vague topic I want to talk about instead.

The thing about climate change is that millions or billions in the global south will die before the first world starts to truly suffer. What's that if not racial injustice?
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:36 AM on December 20, 2019 [13 favorites]


Politico hates Sanders and the socialist left, so I'm not surprised the moderator they sent jumped at the chance to try and paint him as racially insensitive. This is the same website that paid to digitize every episode of Bernie's old 80's public access show just so they could comb it for anything embarrassing they could use against him, and then when they failed to find anything they published a poison piece anyway, trying to get him for... saying something nice about the USSR and being friendly to a couple of anarchist teens. I recall them also publishing multiple pieces over the last few years about "the evils of socialism".

Frankly, I was surprised this debate wasn't more hostile to Sanders. I assume PBS kept things in line.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 12:52 AM on December 20, 2019 [2 favorites]


Sanders tying climate change into racial justice neatly and smartly was a really good answer, and is kind of intersectionality 101. These Things Are Related.

It's worth looking at the seething rage in Buttigieg's face when Sanders calls out the billionaire donors. The guy was shaking so hard he spilled his water.

If you look at the big list of Obama alumni endorsements Warren released yesterday, there's one name on it that really jumps out at you.
posted by kafziel at 1:20 AM on December 20, 2019 [10 favorites]


General note: this thread is nearing it's end-date.

Chris Cillizza's winners and losers from the 6th Democratic presidential debate (CNN, December 20, 2019)
WINNERS
Amy Klobuchar
: The Minnesota senator benefited the most from the smaller number of candidates on stage. She got to talk a LOT more than in past debates and used that time very, very well.
...
Joe Biden: I'm not sure whether it was the smaller number of candidates on stage or a renewed confidence in his status as the front-runner in the race. But, what I am sure of is that -- from beginning to end -- this was the former vice president's best debate, by a lot.
...
Andrew Yang: There were six politicians on stage in Los Angeles on Thursday night. And one Andrew Yang. Yang's answers on any question he was asked were miles away from how his rivals answered them. Hell, he talked about thorium! His answer on being the lone non-white candidate on the stage -- he called it "an honor and a disappointment" -- was eloquent.
...
Pete Buttigieg: The South Bend mayor came under more fire Thursday night than in all the previous debates combined, which made for a more bumpy ride for him. But also is all the evidence you need to understand that his rivals view Buttigieg as someone who needs to be slowed in the race.
...
LOSERS
Bernie Sanders
: My issue with the Vermont senator in this debate is that no matter what question he was asked, he seemed to give the same answer: Millionaires and billionaires are destroying this country. Which, if you support Sanders, is plenty good for you! But, Sanders has to figure out how to expand his coalition.
...
Pete Buttigieg: Yes, he's a winner and a loser -- mostly because I was very divided about this performance.
And that's it. Elizabeth Warren was only mentioned for attacking Mayor Pete, and Tom Steyer wasn't even mentioned. But that page has some clips of the debate, where there's more representation of the individual candidates.


6 Takeaways From The 6th Democratic Debate (Domenico Montanaro for NPR, December 20, 2019)
1. Biden was steady
Biden was crisper than in most of the other debates, and, unlike those other debates, his steadiness lasted mostly all the way through.
...
2. Buttigieg came under attack
It took awhile for it to happen, but, as expected, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg faced some pointed attacks.
...
3. Money remains a key divide — and potential problem for Democrats
The exchange between Warren and Buttigieg on fundraising highlighted an important split in the Democratic Party — how to raise money.
...
4. Some issues came up that hadn't and others got attention in different ways
Climate change was a focus earlier than in past debates. And other topics, which have received little-to-no attention, also came up — everything from trade and China to Muslim Uighurs and Israel and the Palestinian territories.
...
5. Health care didn't come up until late
One topic that came up later than usual (10:06 p.m. ET, more than two hours into the debate) was health care. The candidates have debated health care ad nauseam in prior debates, but Thursday night's had a new wrinkle – whether the candidates calling for big change would be in favor of less sweeping measures if Medicare for All failed to pass Congress as a replacement for private health insurance .
...
6. Democrats had to deal with a less-diverse stage
With Sen. Kamala Harris of California dropping out of the race and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and former Obama housing secretary Julián Castro not qualifying for the debate, this was not only the smallest number of candidates on a Democratic stage this cycle, but it was also the least diverse.
Again, no mention of Steyer, and he was even cropped out of one of NPR's photos of the candidates. Also, that's some faint praise for Biden. "He stayed awake for almost the entire debate! Good job, Obama's grandpa!"
posted by filthy light thief at 8:21 AM on December 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


Some framing or information for the next Dem Debate post: Party again ups stakes for 7th Democratic candidate debate (Meg Kinnard for A.P., Dec. 20, 2019)
The Democratic National Committee is again upping its polling and fundraising requirements for presidential hopefuls to qualify for participating in the campaign’s seventh debate in January, the first in a series of four held in the earliest-voting states.

On Friday, party officials announced that qualifiers will need to meet one of two polling requirements to make the stage at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa: either receiving 5% in at least four national or early-state surveys approved by the party, or receiving 7% in two early-state polls.

In terms of fundraising, candidates must receive donations from at least 225,000 unique donors, with a minimum of 1,000 unique donors per state in at least 20 states. That’s up from 200,000 unique overall donors, and 800 in 20 states for the December debate in Los Angeles.
...
The qualification deadline for polls, donations and fundraising is Jan. 10.

CNN and The Des Moines Register are co-hosting the debate at Drake University on Jan. 14, about three weeks before Democrats make their first primary preferences known in the state’s caucuses. The next debate is scheduled for Feb. 7 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Democrats will debate in Las Vegas on Feb. 19, and they’ll meet for a debate in Charleston, South Carolina, on Feb. 25.
The article doesn't mention who is close to (or exceeded) these thresholds now, or how far they have to go. I wonder if Bloomberg will rise to this threshold, or will rely on big ad buys.

Related: Mike Bloomberg becomes a $57 million ad-buying machine after first week of his 2020 campaign (Yelena Dzhanova and Brian Schwartz for CNBC, Dec. 3, 2019)
  • The billionaire former New York mayor is dominating in the race to spend on TV ads.
  • In the wake of Bloomberg’s official presidential campaign launch on Nov. 24, he’s invested $57 million in TV advertising, putting him on track to overtake fellow billionaire Tom Steyer in the coming weeks, who has spent just over $60 million since July, according to data compiled by Advertising Analytics.
Michael Bloomberg Ads Are Dominating the Internet [and TV] (Aaron Mak for Slate, Dec. 2, 2019)
Ads touting his positions on health care and climate change, as well as his entrepreneurial and political successes, have been bombarding TV markets across the country. The former mayor plans to spend up to $1 billion of his own money over the course of the campaign.
The ads I've seen have him also promoting his stance against the NRA and for gun control, which I appreciate as being part of the primary discussion.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:15 AM on December 20, 2019


Bernie Sanders: My issue with the Vermont senator in this debate is that no matter what question he was asked, he seemed to give the same answer: Millionaires and billionaires are destroying this country. Which, if you support Sanders, is plenty good for you! But, Sanders has to figure out how to expand his coalition.


When Sanders said, "Here is the issue. The issue is where power resides in America, and it's not white or black or male or female.", all four of us watching yelled at the TV at once. He just doesn't get it and I'm afraid will never get it.
posted by octothorpe at 9:46 AM on December 20, 2019 [4 favorites]


He just doesn't get it and I'm afraid will never get it.

12/16 NPR/PBS/Marist poll: "Notably, though, Sanders is the candidate who narrowly leads with nonwhite voters, 29% to 26%, over Biden."
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:57 AM on December 20, 2019 [2 favorites]


If you really need some identity stuff in the mix to swallow any kind of class analysis, here you go: almost every billionaire in the US is a white man.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 10:02 AM on December 20, 2019


And I suppose the most relevant distinction here is: when you look at that fact, do you think, "we need more non-white, non-male billionaires", or do you think, "we need to get rid of billionaires."
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 10:34 AM on December 20, 2019 [4 favorites]


I think, getting rid of billionaires will not solve issues with race and gender by itself.
posted by chernoffhoeffding at 10:47 AM on December 20, 2019 [5 favorites]


Nobody has ever said that, and it’s annoying that any time someone mentions any issue of class, that’s the retort. We can hold both problems in our minds at once.

Getting rid of billionaires would certainly help though, our racist society is undergirded by a racist economic structure.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 10:55 AM on December 20, 2019 [9 favorites]


Surely much of the racism is, and has been a tool used to support wealth inequality?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:16 PM on December 20, 2019 [7 favorites]


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