ADDing in NevADa
February 22, 2020 10:03 AM   Subscribe

After the Republican Party canceled their Nevada Caucuses to prevent any challenge to President Donald Trump, today's 2020 Democratic Presidential Caucus is the only contest.

LIVE RESULTS AND ANALYSIS:
NPR
Washington Post
C-SPAN

Here's How The Nevada Caucuses Work
Voters to head to the polls in Nevada, the first truly diverse state to weigh in on Democratic primary

How Nevada's Three Sets Of Results Could Affect Who 'Wins'
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: Nevada caucuses hold key to state’s political future and How To Caucus In Nevada
RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL:Live Nevada Caucus updates: State prepares to pick Democratic presidential nominee
LAS VEGAS SUN: Hopefuls look to Nevada for push today and Democrats face an important test in Nevada caucuses




The candidates in the running [with delegate count] after the caucuses in Iowa and primary in New Hampshire: former Vice President Joe Biden [6 delegates], former mayor of South Bend Pete Buttigieg [22 delegates], Representative from Hawai'i Tulsi Gabbard [0 delegates], Senator from Minnesota Amy Klobuchar [7 delegates], Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders [21 delegates], hedge fund manager Tom Steyer [0 delegates], Senator from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren [8 delegates] and noted late entry former mayor of New York City Mike Bloomberg [0 delegates].
Which Democrats Are Leading the 2020 Presidential Race?

Most recently there was a debate with the five candidates with delegates and also Mike Bloomberg in Las Vegas, NV: Who Won The Debate: Winners And Losers, mainly notable due to Senator Warren's strong performance against former mayor Bloomberg: The Debate Exposed Bloomberg’s Downside — But It Was There All Along. Please take note: Bloomberg Won’t Appear on Nevada Caucuses Ballot due to his late entry and a focus on later primary contests, and there are several former candidates who are on the ballots but dropped out after filing.

finally, Nevada Democrats are trying to avoid repeating the Iowa caucus debacle — here’s how

Nevada caucus will use new 'iPad tool' they swear isn't an app and things don't sound great

selected previouslies:
former mayor Bloomberg
Iowa Caucuses
forecasting the 2020 election
a history of contested national conventions
criticism of caucuses
posted by the man of twists and turns (2023 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
If you have zero delegates, and you're not Mike Bloomberg, you might not be in the running.
posted by box at 10:33 AM on February 22 [3 favorites]


If you have zero delegates, and you're not Mike Bloomberg, you might not be in the running.

Maybe if he started his campaign descending down a gilded escalator surround by bought and paid for cheering plants he'd have had a better chance of connecting with Real America™.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:53 AM on February 22 [12 favorites]


With voter and electoral fraud in Georgia and North Carolina, I'm not surprised that Republicans would aim to take away the vote from Democrats. I am surprised that Republicans would (openly, brazenly) take away the vote from other Republicans. They really have become the party of Trump, in every way.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:28 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]


Maybe if he started his campaign descending down a gilded escalator surround by bought and paid for cheering plants he'd have had a better chance of connecting with Real America™.

Precisely. The US has far more plants than people. They're the silent majority.
posted by billjings at 11:37 AM on February 22 [4 favorites]


I was surprised to find this morning that Tom Steyer and Tulsi Gabbard are still running.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:37 AM on February 22 [5 favorites]


I know multiple people who support Tom Steyer. It's really weird.
posted by Slinga at 11:42 AM on February 22


I've actually seen an uptick in the number of Tulsi Gabbard signs here in New Hampshire since the primary. It's bizarre, especially since none of them are the standard, like, two legged wicket type things; instead, they're all on serious looking wooden posts, like the first one on the page , or a giant mini-billboard with her face on it, like the second one on that page.
posted by damayanti at 11:55 AM on February 22




I'm surprised it's only 6 in 10.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 12:14 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


descending down a gilded escalator surround by bought and paid for cheering plants

Thanks for this image. I can just see all those potted palms, waving their fronds vigorously.
posted by valkane at 12:20 PM on February 22 [9 favorites]



I'm surprised it's only 6 in 10.

The other four are on Medicare.
posted by dances with hamsters at 12:21 PM on February 22 [51 favorites]


tulsi gabbard isn’t in the primary because she wants the democratic party nomination. she’s in the primary because she’s raising her name recognition for her inevitable ratfucky third party run.

(note: the paragraph above may also accurately describe bloomberg’s plan).
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 12:24 PM on February 22 [13 favorites]


Slinga: "I know multiple people who support Tom Steyer. It's really weird."

I know a few who support Gabbard; no I don't understand.
posted by octothorpe at 12:41 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Tulsi Gabbard is to blackpilled leftist accelerationists what Bloomberg is to utterly broken dead souled centrists (and I'm not talking about the "blue no matter who" concern trolls, I mean the people who genuinely like him).
posted by Reyturner at 12:43 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


buT AMERiCans LOVe tHeIr InSuRaNCE PlAns

Yeah. Of all the insipid, slobbering arguments that get regurgitated ad nauseum in the debates, the "moderate" line that M4A would "kick 150 million Americans off their beloved insurance plans" has gotta be responsible for the largest chunks of my grey matter plopping out of my ears and onto the floor, where they immediately grow little legs and scuttle under the couch to hide from Mayor Pete's smarmy fucking voice.
posted by Beardman at 12:43 PM on February 22 [17 favorites]


I am surprised that Republicans would (openly, brazenly) take away the vote from other Republicans. They really have become the party of Trump, in every way.

Eh. A bunch of states canceled their Republican primaries in 2004, this isn’t unprecedented. I’m all for a “Trump is the death of the republic” take, but this isn’t it.
posted by Automocar at 12:47 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


I'm really hoping that this is the last presidential election with caucuses and everybody can have a damn primary in 2024.
posted by octothorpe at 12:51 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


With those exit poll numbers in health care I’m guessing Nernie wins but Warren won’t be far behind and she’ll still be in striking distance with delegates.
posted by azpenguin at 1:23 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


I'm really hoping that this is the last presidential election with caucuses and everybody can have a damn primary in 2024

Iowa and Hew Hampshire would need to start that primary right now, so they can both claim to be first in the nation. Gotta be first for some reason.

Anyway. Who's last?
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 1:23 PM on February 22


Twitter link with a WaPo video in which Seth Morrison, former caucus site leader, describes the non-disclosure agreement he refused to sign, stating it was very broad and "extremely onerous," and while he would have been glad to sign an NDA that referred to any confidential caucus materials this went much further. He says he was "totally suprised" and "it seems like it was a last-minute thing" as there was no mention of NDAs during his 20+ hours of training.

Perhaps related: NYT report of a shortage of volunteers at some sites. A party spokesperson says they have enough volunteers at "the vast majority" of sites.
posted by mediareport at 1:38 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


I’m guessing Nernie wins

DAMMIT! When did Nernie jump in the race and how did they get into the lead?!
posted by FJT at 1:40 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


Have NH/IA/SC/NV primaries first, on the same day, then the remainder a few weeks later. Also, move everything to late April or even May.

I think there's a benefit to having a few small states go first, and those four (combined) are reasonable demographic and regional representatives.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:40 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Have NH/IA/SC/NV primaries first, on the same day, then the remainder a few weeks later. Also, move everything to late April or even May.

Just have a consistent fucking electoral system where everyone votes the same way on exactly the same day and that day is a holiday or a weekend. Come on. You can do it. You really can if you try.
posted by Jimbob at 1:56 PM on February 22 [16 favorites]


Footage of a Nevada caucus deciding a tie with a card draw; Sanders pulled a 2 and Buttigieg pulled a 3, so the tie went to Pete.
posted by mediareport at 1:56 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


The DNC should lock Bloomberg, Steyer and Yang in a room together and get them to agree to fund the hell out of a massive campaign to flip the Senate, in exchange for giving them seats on the soon-to-be expanded Supreme Court. Much better ego stroke than a losing presidential bid.
posted by Anoplura at 2:00 PM on February 22 [23 favorites]


Just have a consistent fucking electoral system where everyone votes the same way on exactly the same day and that day is a holiday or a weekend. Come on. You can do it. You really can if you try.

But Slavery States Rights!
posted by Anoplura at 2:04 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


Oh god, James Carville is on my tv set explaining how people who vote for Sanders don't know what they're doing
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:08 PM on February 22 [10 favorites]


nernie
posted by MrBadExample at 2:22 PM on February 22 [11 favorites]


I will only get behind Nernie if he selects Fert as his running mate.
posted by delfin at 2:28 PM on February 22 [30 favorites]


Feel the Nern!
posted by briank at 2:29 PM on February 22 [11 favorites]




Chris Matthews: Bernie Sanders is like France in the fall of 1940
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:32 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


Don’t want to speak too soon, but looking kind of anticlimactic right now. I wonder if the fight there tonight will be similar lol. I got Wilder by KO.
posted by eagles123 at 2:34 PM on February 22


Nernie Wins!!! according to Fox with 4% of the vote in. It is looking like a blow out.
posted by phoque at 2:39 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


Entrance polls in Nevada show Sanders
leading the majority of demographics:

Men: 39%
Women: 31%
White: 30%
Black: 28% (2nd to Biden)
Hispanic/Latino: 54%
Non-white: 44%
Ages 17-29: 68%
Ages 30-44: 49%
Ages 45-64: 27%
Democrats: 32%
Independents: 50%
Union household: 36%

Sure a lot of ‘bros’ in Nevada.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 2:47 PM on February 22 [12 favorites]




President Motherfucking Nernie Pandas Y A L L
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:52 PM on February 22 [16 favorites]


Current exit polling:

Whites
Sanders 28%
Buttigieg 19%
Klobuchar 14%
Warren 14%
Biden 13%

Non-whites
Sanders 44%
Biden 21%
Steyer 11%
Warren 8%
Buttigieg 7%
posted by Ahmad Khani at 2:57 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


So basically the expected number of delegates for anyone besides Sanders and Buttigieg is zero?
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:09 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


The destruction of capitalism started in a casino.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:11 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


Not one to be late to a Bernie party, Jacobin goes with 'After the Nevada blowout, it's Bernie's party now'
posted by box at 3:14 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


It makes me (maybe unduly) optimistic about the US that Bernie appears to have been able to build a successful coalition of working people united across race and gender (although not age, yet) to face off against the Trump coalition that was explicitly built on racism and xenophobia. The fact that this is surprising pundits on cable says a lot about how wealth insulates and isolates the upper middle class and above and white-collar professionals. Ideally I would have loved a President Warren, but watching this I feel proud of my party, not afraid for it.
posted by sallybrown at 3:16 PM on February 22 [63 favorites]


So basically the expected number of delegates for anyone besides Sanders and Buttigieg is zero?

Only if you think the votes of non-whites don't count.

And on the second round, the voters for non-viable candidates can realign to form support a new viable candidate.
posted by JackFlash at 3:20 PM on February 22




Watching the cable news pundits completely lose their minds on air over Bernie's success in Nevada is giving me life. MSNBC is on another planet right now.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 3:25 PM on February 22 [18 favorites]


It makes me (maybe unduly) optimistic about the US that Bernie appears to have been able to build a successful coalition of working people united across race and gender (although not age, yet) to face off against the Trump coalition that was explicitly built on racism and xenophobia.

This battle is fought on two fronts. (1) Voting FOR your preferred candidate ( who can drive the bus closest to where you want to go ) and (2) Voting AGAINST racism and xenophobia. ( driving the bus AWAY from The Bad Place )
posted by mikelieman at 3:26 PM on February 22




Person on NPR noting that if you total up all the moderates there is more support for them than for Bernie. Do these people know how how elections work? Do they know how politics work? Its bizarre.
posted by flamk at 3:43 PM on February 22 [8 favorites]


Ideally I would have loved a President Warren, but watching this I feel proud of my party, not afraid for it.

At least this time if we get a repeat of 2010 two years into Bernie's first term it won't screw up elections for a decade.

I hope if we do get President Sanders he can be a firebrand towards the intransigence of the right (and possibly the center) and I hope the coalition will hold going into first term elections. In hindsight, I believe one of Obama's biggest mistakes was trying to be a peacemaker towards the jackboots who basically spat in his face and the coalition disappeared into the ether in the wake of it.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 3:45 PM on February 22 [20 favorites]


Jacobin @jacobinmag
Before 2020, no presidential candidate in the history of competitive primaries, Democrat or Republican, had ever won the popular vote in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada.
2:09 PM · Feb 22, 2020·Twitter Web App
1.9K Retweets 6.3K Likes
posted by Ahmad Khani at 3:54 PM on February 22 [11 favorites]




kirkaracha: I was surprised to find this morning that Tom Steyer and Tulsi Gabbard are still running.

I got a spam-flagged call yesterday, which was a robo-push poll (Wikipedia) for Tulsi Gabbard, pushing her military service, her stance against regime change wars and environmental issues (2x links to her site) as reasons to support her, skipping right over her homophobic remarks and views (Huffpost, Jan. 2019) and other bigotry (Daily Kos, March 2019).

Still, on the off-chance that it made any impact, I stated that her apparently progressive views on the military and environment weren't swaying me to support her.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:11 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]






Jacobin @jacobinmag
Before 2020, no presidential candidate in the history of competitive primaries, Democrat or Republican, had ever won the popular vote in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada.
2:09 PM · Feb 22, 2020·Twitter Web App
1.9K Retweets 6.3K Likes
Unless I'm mistaken, before 2020, no Democratic candidate has ever "won the popular vote in Iowa" at all. This is the first year that number was collected and recorded.
posted by kickingtheground at 4:27 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


hahaha all the wailing and gnashing of teeth has added at least another 10 years to my life

*sips loudly from a mug labelled "establishment tears"*
posted by entropicamericana at 4:28 PM on February 22 [22 favorites]


I'm certain "entrance polls" at caucuses are even less reliable than the unreliable exit polls at actual votes, but for what it's worth, according to this NBC reporter, Sanders has a commanding lead among Hispanic voters who identify themselves as "moderate or conservative":

From NV entrance poll

White + moderate/conservative
Buttigieg 27%
Biden 20%
Klobuchar 20%
Sanders 16%

Hispanic + moderate/conservative
Sanders 47%
Biden 19%
Buttigeig 12%

posted by mediareport at 4:34 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


In a stunning display of journalistic integrity, Chris Matthews compares the nomination of Bernie Sanders to the fall of France to the Nazis.

Sanders isn't my first choice, but the Nazi analogies are really pretty terrible, especially given that members of his family were murdered by Nazis. It has happened here, too — it's not just a MSM thing, any longer. It's really not a good look for anyone who does it.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:36 PM on February 22 [21 favorites]


More:

White
Sanders 28%
Buttigieg 19%
Klobuchar 14%
Warren 14%
Biden 13%

Non-white
Sanders 44%
Biden 21%
Steyer 11%
Warren 8%
Buttigieg 7%

posted by mediareport at 4:36 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


MSNBC just cut into Bidens blathering to call it for Bernie lmaooooo.
Time for everyone else to drop out?

I’ll stop celebrating on here now. See ya next week!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:37 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


nernie
posted by mwhybark at 4:44 PM on February 22 [10 favorites]


I’ve created a Nernie monster with a typo.

I regret NOTHING.
posted by azpenguin at 4:49 PM on February 22 [52 favorites]


With those exit poll numbers in health care I’m guessing Nernie wins but Warren won’t be far behind and she’ll still be in striking distance with delegates.

DAMMIT! When did Nernie jump in the race and how did they get into the lead?!
nernie
I will only get behind Nernie if he selects Fert as his running mate.
Feel the Nern!
Nernie Wins!!! according to Fox with 4% of the vote in. It is looking like a blow out.
President Motherfucking Nernie Pandas Y A L L
nernie


get his ass
posted by kafziel at 4:50 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


I'm still all "Warren is the smartest, best person in the room". But, better Nernie than Pete or Tulsi or...

We're getting there.

Super Tuesday will decide a lot of things
posted by Windopaene at 4:55 PM on February 22 [29 favorites]


Hey, Nernie Danders is nothing to sneeze at.
posted by feloniousmonk at 4:57 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


descending down a gilded escalator surround by bought and paid for cheering plants

Thanks for this image. I can just see all those potted palms, waving their fronds vigorously.


Michael Moore started the Plant movement. His candidate was a ficus.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:07 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


You know, I've never felt the Bern. Somehow he always seemed too far our of the mainstream to be a viable candidate for me. I mean, I love his message and policies, but...

And now it's seeming a lot more plausible. I'm still a Warren fan, but if it's Bernie... I'm fine with that.
posted by sjswitzer at 5:08 PM on February 22 [30 favorites]


Point: Bernie is surging and seems like he could do it this time.
Counterpoint: https://twitter.com/jamisonfoser/status/1231377643771006976
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:22 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


I am withholding all enthusiasm and optimism until November 2020.

But I did get a warm feeling for a few seconds.
posted by Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza at 5:26 PM on February 22 [15 favorites]


I'm with Bernie because it's time to fucking yeet the Overton window.

In terms of presidential qualities, I think Warren would be a better fit. But because we're in the bad timeline, we need someone who will push the envelope in terms of acceptable discourse. What's thrilling about these results is even if Bernie doesn't win the nomination, for whatever reason, his popularity indicates that democratic socialism isn't a fringe position. That opens the floor for continued discussion of formerly "too radical" ideas.
posted by brook horse at 5:31 PM on February 22 [61 favorites]


Apparently some people (but not the Nernie campaign) are calling Nevada for Sanders with 4% of the vote reported. That seems rather premature… am I just misunderstanding things?
posted by danielparks at 5:34 PM on February 22


The actual live results tracker from WaPo (the link above is to a news feed). Doesn’t seem to require a subscription.
posted by danielparks at 5:36 PM on February 22




Ha! Thanks. Normally I look at The Guardian first, but I didn’t today. Must be those plants messing with my head.

Sounds like The Guardian thinks the AP is basing their call on experts and exit polls. That smells more like guessing than I like, but I’ll go ahead and get my hopes up anyway.
posted by danielparks at 5:45 PM on February 22


"Nerny" was a nonsense word frequently used by radio/animation/commercial-voiceover legend Gary Owens during his 30-odd years on L.A. radio. I'm delighted to hear that 30+ years later, the Nerny is real and coming to save us all.

From here on, it's a campaign for who will be his running mate.... my money's on "Fnork".
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:48 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


Warren is still my first choice for President. I think Bernie would be more effective as a cabinet secretary. Give him his own domain to kick ass in without being slowed down by Congress and distracted by the (inevitably hostile) press.

That said, I'm very encouraged by these results so far. I like everything Bernie is doing to change the conversation, and I'm glad both that people are feeling empowered again, and that the elites seem genuinely afraid things might really change.
posted by Anoplura at 5:57 PM on February 22 [20 favorites]


for azpenguin
posted by mwhybark at 6:10 PM on February 22 [10 favorites]


According to 538:

Odds of winning more than half of pledged delegates: Sanders 39%, Warren 0.5%.
Odds of winning a plurality of pledged delegates: Sanders 61%, Warren 1%.

There will almost certainly not be a President Warren, nor cabinet secretary Sanders.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:13 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


the elites seem genuinely afraid things might really change.

In that light, I posted a link in the Iowa caucus thread to an article that touches on this, focusing on media attitudes. The following is a quote from Dan Balz (WaPo):
Sanders's rise has raised fears that, if he were the nominee, his brand of democratic socialism could doom the party to defeat against President Trump, along with many candidates for House and Senate.

One measure of how rapidly things are changing is this: In barely a week, the question has shifted from whether Sanders has a ceiling, based on the fact that he managed just a quarter of the vote in both Iowa and New Hampshire, to whether he can be stopped.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:16 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


I’m curious about how things break down when you compare early voting to actual caucusing. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that 36,000 people participated in early voting. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign reported that she got a 50% bump from in-person votes, presumably due to her kicking (Bloomberg’s) ass in the last debate.

Adding up the votes column on the WaPo tracker comes out around 25,000 with 11% of precincts reporting. Assuming precinct size is roughly even (I guess?) that means overall election turn out is around 250,000.

Also, big congratulations to the Nevada Democratic Party for managing this thing. I’m still very opposed to caucuses in principal, but pulling this off after binning their app at the last minute is impressive, especially considering that this is the first time early voting has ever been used with a caucus in the US (Review-Journal). Of course, just because irregularities haven’t been reported yet don’t mean there weren’t any.
posted by danielparks at 7:17 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


There will almost certainly not be a President Warren, nor cabinet secretary Sanders.

It was clear from the debate that the rest of the candidates know that at this point that Sanders will win the most delegates. Besides Bloomberg, they're all running out of money and will need some magic to get their fundraising going again for the long march to the summer. Only Sanders has the fundraising apparatus and Bloomberg can just fund himself. The plan is clear: hope Bernie doesn't win enough to win on the first round of delegates and then rely on forming a coalition + the 500 superdelegates to steal the nomination "according to the rules" of the convention.

If this happens there is no doubt in my mind that Trump will be re-elected. And in any case, they all think they should be crowned, so how are they going to agree on who they should unite behind? Imagine Klobuchar giving her delegates to Buttigieg, or Warren giving them to Bloomberg. Or anyone giving them to Biden. It's madness. And July is so so far away, November an eternity from now.
posted by dis_integration at 7:19 PM on February 22 [15 favorites]


I’m pretty skeptical of 538’s Who Will Win… thing.

The huge shift after the Iowa caucuses and the surprising results in New Hampshire suggest to me that polls and/or their model have large deficiencies.
posted by danielparks at 7:20 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


Oops, looks like I used the wrong number for the precincts reporting — it’s showing 23% not 11%. That means the turn out was 110,000, which means that around 1 in 3 people did early voting.
posted by danielparks at 7:25 PM on February 22


538’s model predicts delegate counts for each candidate, then lets you know how often that count gets to 1991, which is a majority. There are some really really wide distributions for each candidate (and typically a peak near 0, as it’s easy to not win anything).
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:29 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


to steal the nomination

Glad after four years we’ve finally moved passed “if my dude doesn’t get the most delegates, the nomination is ‘stolen’”.
posted by sideshow at 7:30 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


According to NBC, Bernie has 34 total national delegates to date, Buttigieg has 23, Warren has 8, Klobuchar 7, Biden 6.

You need 1991 to win on the first ballot.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:33 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


> to steal the nomination

Just what does this nomination looks like, anyway? Can it be fit in a backpack? Asking for a friend.
posted by danielparks at 7:38 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


I think Carmen Sandiego swiped it on the way back from stealing the World Famous Peking Duck.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:42 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


Glad after four years we’ve finally moved passed “if my dude doesn’t get the most delegates, the nomination is ‘stolen’”.

I'm not sure how else to describe a situation where somebody comes out winning a clear plurality (as, by all accounts, Sanders will) and the convention decides to use the votes reserved for the elites to hand the nomination to someone else who will have gotten many thousands fewer votes. Yes, the rules allow for it. No, it's not democracy. Yes, it will absolutely destroy the democratic party and ruin any chance for sustaining the kind of enthusiasm needed to win in 2020.
posted by dis_integration at 7:45 PM on February 22 [36 favorites]


ARGH

The WaPo tracker is being updated inconsistently — the voting numbers just jumped to around 36,000 total, but the total precincts reporting number didn’t change.

It’s now 36,000 “votes” with 23% reporting, which is 160,000 total turn out.

The AP is showing 29,000 “votes” with 23% reporting.

ಠ_ಠ
posted by danielparks at 7:45 PM on February 22


I am texting for the Bernie campaign into Washington state right now, and something's in the air, 'cause they are feelin' the Bern.

I sent one initial message to someone, and they replied with a link to a frickin' funk jam called "Feel the Bern" that I am 95% sure that they wrote.
posted by Beardman at 7:47 PM on February 22 [25 favorites]


Is it a public link?
posted by JHarris at 8:00 PM on February 22


If "Feel the Bern" is on something like Spotify, Soundcloud or Youtube, you gotta share the funk.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 8:03 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


Three for three. The amount of Latino support Sanders pulled along with coming in a close second with African Americans shows that Sanders has massively diversified his coalition since 2016. He had a blowout tonight, and he's headed to the nomination. Barring any funny business, the question isn't whether Bernie will be the nominee, but in what shape he gets there. Will the Democratic establishment (minus the other contenders) start to make peace and fall in line with a democratic socialist at the helm? If a civil war persists, Sanders will show up to the general election much weaker than he would be if the other factions started getting used to change.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 8:13 PM on February 22 [16 favorites]


Feel the Bern.
posted by Beardman at 8:15 PM on February 22 [12 favorites]


Do Warren and her supporters actually think she might be made a ‘compromise’ nominee in a second round at a contested convention, even if she has far fewer pledged delegates than multiple other candidates? Her answer at the end of the last debate seemed to suggest this: if nobody wins an outright majority then it the nomination should be given to somebody other the plurality winner. If that’s why she hasn’t dropped out yet, then she might as well be working for Trump.
posted by moorooka at 8:19 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


That's awesome! ("Feel the Bern," that is.)
posted by JHarris at 8:22 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Thanks for posting the funk Beardman. I really like it. On a side note, and I'll stop my part of the musical derail here, it was fun going to Soundcloud and searching for "Feel the Bern". The campaign should put out a mixtape of nothing but Feel the Bern's. This one was fun: bluesy, funky, noisy with Bernie speeches sampled for the vocals.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 8:25 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


I am wholly in favor of this musical derail.
posted by JHarris at 8:26 PM on February 22 [4 favorites]


If that’s why she hasn’t dropped out yet, then she might as well be working for Trump.

Probably don't post bullshit theorizing like this, unless you have any iota of evidence to support this.
posted by arcolz at 8:32 PM on February 22 [60 favorites]


I'm not sure how else to describe a situation where somebody comes out winning a clear plurality (as, by all accounts, Sanders will) and the convention decides to use the votes reserved for the elites to hand the nomination to someone else who will have gotten many thousands fewer votes. Yes, the rules allow for it. No, it's not democracy. Yes, it will absolutely destroy the democratic party and ruin any chance for sustaining the kind of enthusiasm needed to win in 2020.

A clear plurality isn't necessarily the most democratic choice. Say there are four candidates who get, respectively, 40%, 30%, 20%, and 10% of the vote. And say that voters for the 20% and 10% candidate prefer the 30% over the 40%. That means that the majority of the people would prefer one candidate over the plurality winner.

I don't know if the majority of the people would prefer Bernie over another candidate, but it's certainly possible. And it seems more democratic to me to choose a candidate who can secure a majority vote than a candidate who can only secure a plurality vote.
posted by TheLinenLenin at 8:32 PM on February 22 [7 favorites]


It is ludicrous to say that any candidate who remains in the race after three contests "might as well be working for Trump". The states that have voted so far combine to represent roughly 2.2% of the total US population. When the shoe was on the other foot, Sanders stayed in the race until the middle of July, at which point states representing roughly *checks notes* 100.0% of the population had voted.

Based on what we know now, Bernie Sanders is highly likely to lead in delegates heading into the convention, but there's a lot we don't know now, a lot of voters we haven't heard of, and a lot that can happen in several months. Candidates remaining in the race will, like Bernie did in 2016, use the remainder of their campaigns to gain leverage, as they should. Calling that "working for Trump" is offensive.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:37 PM on February 22 [49 favorites]


[Let's put a line under this derail about Warren's possible motivations. If you have evidence of her motives, that's fine, but speculating baselessly just sends the thread in circles, and suggesting that people who have different opinions, strategies, or preferences from you are "working for Trump" is a nuclear option that completely blows up the conversation.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:43 PM on February 22 [36 favorites]


I did not realize this but apparently Bernie's win in Nevada is especially historic: nobody from either party has ever won Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada before since the change to competitive primaries in 1972 (with the exception of uncontested incumbents). If Sanders wins in South Carolina it will be the strongest showing in the early states in the history of the contemporary nomination process
posted by dis_integration at 8:55 PM on February 22 [9 favorites]


You need 1991 to win on the first ballot.

If Bernie does win please for the love of all that is good and holy let him hit 1991 delegates.

I'm fine with socialism having its shot on the ballot to beat Trump. I just don't want the left, progressives, and moderates to tear any hope of a coalition apart. If there's a brokered convention it's my biggest fear.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:07 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


Yeah, this is why I think the Democrats need to switch to ranked-choice voting primaries for all states. It would give a very clear picture of where the electorate lies. In the case of a candidate getting a plurality instead of a clear majority, you would be able to see how they ranked as second and third choices, as well.

I gotta say, we are less than 100 delegates into this race, so the calls for people to drop out lest they hand the election to Trump or the predictions of certain DNC fuckery at the convention are more than a little premature. Ramp it down, please.

I supported Bernie in 2016 but I didn’t participate in any big online forums at the time so all the talk of “The Bernie Bro” phenomenon really got under my skin because the people I interacted with weren’t that way and I certainly wasn’t so I always thought it was an unfair slight.

Now I’m not so sure.

This time, I caucused for Warren but I’ve always had Sanders right behind her. I think they’ve always been pretty tight — the only crack in their alliance that I’ve seen was the bit after the NH debate and even then, I thought both parties did a pretty good job of keeping the media from blowing it too far out of proportion. Bernie and Warren have historically been allies — it would be good for everyone to remember that.

That said, if Elizabeth only ends up with one or two hundred delegates, she would be foolish to just give them away. I fully expect her “price” if you will, would be significantly higher for a Buttigieg/Biden/Klobuchar than it would be for Bernie simply because they would need to offer more policy concessions to get her on board. As long as she and Bernie are in good standing, I fully expect him to get a discount compared to their candidates.

Honestly, not unlike Bernie did in 2016. He made Clinton give him some policy changes before he endorsed her and he was 100% in the right when he did that although I know some party faithful who really took it as an affront. And once he did, he was all in. I fully believe Bernie saw the threat Trump posed and did everything in his power to keep it from happening.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 9:17 PM on February 22 [29 favorites]


I did not realize this but apparently Bernie's win in Nevada is especially historic: nobody from either party has ever won Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada before since the change to competitive primaries in 1972 (with the exception of uncontested incumbents).
Kerry '04.
posted by kickingtheground at 9:24 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


I'm all in for Warren but I'm starting to wonder if she should just unite with Bernie as his VP candidate. I feel like a team of the two of them would be very strong. Sure, I'd rather she were on top of the ticket, but it still gets me excited.

Unrelated, I don't know what this says about me, but "Nernie", who I imagine as a Gritty-like muppet who sounds like Bernie Sanders, makes me way more enthusiastic than Bernie himself...
posted by mmoncur at 9:29 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


Nernie's only eligible in Nernia.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:47 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]


I'm all in for Warren but I'm starting to wonder if she should just unite with Bernie as his VP candidate.

Please not this. She can do so much more in the Senate. Plus if the worst happens it leaves open President Warren for 2024.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:49 PM on February 22 [21 favorites]


A clear plurality isn't necessarily the most democratic choice. Say there are four candidates who get, respectively, 40%, 30%, 20%, and 10% of the vote. And say that voters for the 20% and 10% candidate prefer the 30% over the 40%. That means that the majority of the people would prefer one candidate over the plurality winner.

I don't know if the majority of the people would prefer Bernie over another candidate, but it's certainly possible. And it seems more democratic to me to choose a candidate who can secure a majority vote than a candidate who can only secure a plurality vote.


we do not track people's second choice votes. if the democratic candidates pool their delegates into a candidate who is not the plurality winner they are not being "more democratic" given the data we have, they are just making shit up. you have no way to say that warren voters in a buttigieg coalition wouldn't prefer sanders as their second choice, etc.
posted by JimBennett at 9:51 PM on February 22 [10 favorites]


If Bernie wins this thing, Warren needs to be in the administration. Take a look at her plan for cleaning up the mess within the government that Trump has left. She knows what to do and where to look. She wants to erase as much of the Trump imprint throughout the administration as possible. Whether it's in the cabinet, or as chief of staff, however they get this done. (Full disclosure - I chose Warren as my candidate of choice a while ago. However, I'll vote blue no matter who®)
posted by azpenguin at 9:54 PM on February 22 [22 favorites]


The plan is clear: hope Bernie doesn't win enough to win on the first round of delegates and then rely on forming a coalition + the 500 superdelegates to steal the nomination "according to the rules" of the convention.

3,979 pledged delegates will be eligible to vote on the first ballot; a candidate needs 1,991 or more to secure the nomination on the first ballot. These are the delegates being decided in the caucuses and primaries.

If no one gets 1,991 votes on the first ballot, the pledged delegates can vote for someone else, and there are additional 771 votes from "superdelegates" (technically "automatic delegates"). A candidate needs 2,375 delegates to secure a majority of the delegates and the nomination.

There's no need for the scare quotes around "according to the rules." Those are the rules that Sanders and the other candidates agreed to.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:09 PM on February 22 [6 favorites]




[JimBennett, quit reposting things that have been deleted or I'll give you a day off.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 10:17 PM on February 22 [10 favorites]


I asked my partner, "how will we cross the MSNBC divide? The kids are so bitter at having their whole futures mortgaged so boomers can live on easy credit, but we need older people to turn out for the Democratic candidate. .."

She said "we'll just tell them, 'Look, politics is about pragmatism, not vision'"
posted by eustatic at 10:28 PM on February 22 [14 favorites]


I'm a big fan of the above phrase "yeet the overton window" and I would encourage people to repeat it.
posted by Sterros at 10:52 PM on February 22 [17 favorites]


I think Sanders' campaign after Super Tuesday is going to pivot to convincing the Democratic Party elite that America is ready for a little a socialism, as a treat. I have to say, at this point it looks like Sanders' campaign has handled this very well: they've played a small target and put all their wood behind the arrow of healthcare. There's good emotive arguments that American healthcare is broken because of the free-market approach - e.g. the cost of insulin - and good economic arguments that the free market can't ever work for healthcare. Aiming at a small target lets the campaign focus on a consistent message, keeping their best arguments prominent, and makes it harder for people to claim that Sanders is going to bring in the soviet collectives (or for the campaign to play a bum note, which they did at first and Warren did a little too often). Sanders also has allies in the Justice Democrats - in 2016 there was a real fear that if Sanders got the nomination, the other Democrats would see it in their best electoral interest to frustrate Sanders' agenda, but in 2020 a lot of their most prominent, articulate and hard-working new faces are in the tank for Bernie, which will make it easier for him to demonstrate that he can work with the legislative branch.

(I think a lot of people haven't realised that Trump can't run as an outsider this election, and I don't think Trump's realised how much he depended on being the outsider to Clinton's Third Term of Obama campaign. All the sleazy stuff he did that demonstrated how much He Wasn't A Politician is now evidence of How Bad Washington Is. Even Buttigieg could probably bring that one home.)
posted by Merus at 11:04 PM on February 22 [13 favorites]


Yeeting the Overton Window is the national pastime in Nernia
posted by Burhanistan at 11:05 PM on February 22 [35 favorites]


I kind of want to emphasise here: often, representatives in the American system can decide it's in their best interest to act against the interests of the party, so they can go to their electorate and not be held responsible for what the President does or doesn't do. You're going to see a lot of that on the Republican side this election, and it's not going to work for anyone except Mitt Romney. Bernie Sanders is a noted beneficiary of this approach. If the entire party decides they don't want to be associated with their president, America is not going to get working healthcare.

The superdelegate system is, in part, designed to ensure that this doesn't happen to their presidents. As someone who lived in a country where the executive leader stopped being able to work with their cabinet, let me assure you that shitfights are worth preventing.
posted by Merus at 11:11 PM on February 22 [3 favorites]


I wouldn’t mind reading the Chronicles of Nernia!
posted by SakuraK at 11:21 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: the national pastime in Nernia
posted by Big Al 8000 at 11:32 PM on February 22 [5 favorites]


This is your regular reminder that "centrists" prefer fascism to socialism.

If you think the Bernie bros are toxic and paranoid then just wait for the level of derangement a liberal op-ed writer achieves if they may have to pay more taxes.

That thread linked above is darkly hilarious by the way
posted by fullerine at 12:12 AM on February 23 [22 favorites]


Please, show some respect. His full name is Nernard Danders of Nernia.
posted by St. Oops at 12:48 AM on February 23 [9 favorites]


There's no need for the scare quotes around "according to the rules." Those are the rules that Sanders and the other candidates agreed to.

I don’t think they are scare quotes, they are actually quoting what all of the non-Bernie candidates said on the debate stage when asked why the nomination should not go to the candidate with the most pledged delegates. They are all prepared to give the nomination to a candidate with fewer pledged delegates in a second round, even without any way of knowing what the second preferences of the actual voters would have been.
posted by moorooka at 1:22 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


The DNC should lock Bloomberg, Steyer and Yang in a room together and get them to agree to fund the hell out of a massive campaign to flip the Senate, in exchange for giving them seats on the soon-to-be expanded Supreme Court. Much better ego stroke than a losing presidential bid.


Yang isn't actually wealthy, relative to the other primary candidates. Maybe he wants the $1,000 a month because he could use it more than some of the others do.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:34 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


So this happened.

Mayor McKinsey's response to Sanders winning in Nevada today.

"Sen. Sanders believes in an inflexible ideological revolution that leaves out most Democrats, not to mention most Americans."

You mean.....medicare for all, curtailing the impact of wealth on society, dealing with climate change, affordable post secondary education, you mean all those things Americans hate?

Nice to see Mayor McKinsey showing his true face.

For what it's worth I think Mayor Pete is a disengenuous piece of shit who won't do a thing about the wildly disastrous status quo and my preferred candidate would be Warren.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 1:49 AM on February 23 [11 favorites]


Nernard

Has a very upper-class ring to it
posted by polymodus at 2:39 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


This is your regular reminder that "centrists" prefer fascism to socialism.

The white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:13 AM on February 23 [47 favorites]


I really hope if the establishment tries to present Warren as a unity candidate they do it in the next few weeks not the second ballot of the convention.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:45 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


I would be genuinely shocked if Sanders came into the convention with a strong plurality and Warren chose to be part of a plan to swap him out for a different candidate on the second ballot (even herself). One of her strongest qualities is her pragmatism. My guess is she’ll work towards a deal with Bernie* to combine their delegates and keep Bloomberg far away from the nom. We’ll get a hint on Tuesday...

*I’d much rather have her as AG than VP. I’m not sure the last time we had an AG with a civil rather than criminal legal background though.
posted by sallybrown at 5:55 AM on February 23 [13 favorites]


I was also really hoping for Warren, so thank you for Nernie, who I somehow feel more comfortable getting behind if and when the time comes. It’s Bernie without the bros. And Nernia is the magical place where we can all peacefully coexist together.
posted by robotdevil at 5:56 AM on February 23 [6 favorites]


My guess is she’ll work towards a deal with Bernie* to combine their delegates and keep Bloomberg far away from the nom. We’ll get a hint on Tuesday...

Warren was slamming the fuck out of Bloomberg and congratulating and getting the crowd cheering for Sanders last night in Seattle so...
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:04 AM on February 23 [17 favorites]




Last night I read this half-hearted conservative takedown of Bernie Sanders. "[Sanders] and his wife have pursued jobs with good benefits and pensions — the kind of benefits they’d like to see extended to all workers — they’ve lived modestly for their class, and Sanders has been blessed with unusual longevity and energy.... But, when you consider that such wealth can accrue to a life with Sanders’s downs and ups, and his low-risk, low-reward behavior, I also don’t see a need to completely and utterly replace the American economic model with a utopian dream."

That got me thinking about the structural changes in the structural changes that socialists are aiming for.

Lenin's socialism was about the commanding heights of the industrial economy: Coal, iron, steel, railroads, tanks, tractors, machine tools.

Today's socialism is about the commanding heights of the caring economy: Healthcare, pharmacare, childcare, homecare.
posted by clawsoon at 6:16 AM on February 23 [15 favorites]


But, when you consider that such wealth can accrue to a life with Sanders’s downs and ups, and his low-risk, low-reward behavior, I also don’t see a need to completely and utterly replace the American economic model with a utopian dream.

“Just get elected to Congress” now that “just go to college” has failed a generation in building wealth.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:19 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]


Yo she’s reporting this news about Bernie like one of the hostages didn’t make it.

This. I don't follow the biases of various outlets but this is fucking tiresome. Like, just go ahead and preface 'Bernie Sanders' with 'known Shit-sandwich' if that's how you really feel. Don't pull some huffing and puffing drama while you're reporting on events in the world. Childish and a really bad look.
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:19 AM on February 23 [6 favorites]


Seriously though, my wife and I have a net worth close to seven figures. We’re in the 36-45 bracket but we also have no kids and we both have college educations that were effectively free (her through scholarship, mine through public funding and circumstance). Our not having to take out five figure loans has given us an unbelievable leg up in life and it’s one that I’m donating heavily to try and extend to as many people as possible. We’ve been able to get into the property ladder earlier and for less interest, we’ve been able to leverage that into greatly increased equity and an income source. We’ve been able to be successful in a capitalist society but there was so much luck and good fortune involved.

Anyone who thinks Bernie’s lifestyle is achievable to the average person with “low risk low reward” in this day and age is delusional.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:27 AM on February 23 [34 favorites]


In a stunning display of journalistic integrity, Chris Matthews compares the nomination of Bernie Sanders to the fall of France to the Nazis.

That came just after he said that maybe if Sanders is the nominee, moderate Democrats might "rather wait four years and put in the Democrat that they like." Better Trump again than a democratic socialist.
posted by clawsoon at 6:29 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


That came just after he said that maybe if Sanders is the nominee, moderate Democrats might "rather wait four years and put in the Democrat that they like." Better Trump again than a democratic socialist.

To protest our unsatisfactory choices, let’s unite the raft and let it go...

This is what people mean when they say “check your privilege”. Sure Matthews will survive a second term of Trump. He’s a rich straight white male. He’ll probably thrive in a second Trump term as a whiny pundit talking about how bad Trump is. But all the people who won’t survive Trump’s second term? Fuck ‘em if it’s Bernie.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:36 AM on February 23 [7 favorites]


Yo she’s reporting this news about Bernie like one of the hostages didn’t make it.

What she's expressing is the fear that capitalism's hostages might make it.
posted by clawsoon at 6:42 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


The Bernie rally in Houston today is gonna be awesome. One of the field organizers said last night that something like 500 people had signed up just to volunteer at the event! I'm stoked to be one of them.
posted by heteronym at 6:45 AM on February 23 [11 favorites]


On the Texas front—if I were Bernie I’d take a look at Veronica Escobar for a VP pick.
posted by sallybrown at 6:48 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


(I'm really liking "commanding heights of the caring economy." I think I'm going to keep repeating it in my head all day.)
posted by clawsoon at 6:51 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Sanders eviscerates the conventional wisdom about why he can't win
LAS VEGAS — On Saturday in Nevada, Bernie Sanders laid waste not just to his five main rivals but also to every shard of conventional wisdom about the Democratic presidential primaries. [...]

Sanders wasn’t supposed to be able to break through with black and brown voters, but the group was racially and ethnically diverse. (Sanders won 27% of African Americans and 53% of Hispanics across the state.) The Sanders movement is supposed to be limited to those crazy college kids who don’t remember socialist as a slur. But there were plenty of older Sanders backers at the Bellagio chanting “Bernie” along with their 20-something comrades. (Sanders won every age category in the state except Nevadans over 65, which he ceded to Joe Biden.)

Sure, the numbers are tiny. In a state of 3 million people, turnout of over 100,000 participants is considered enormous. Candidate events here on the days leading up to the caucuses were sleepy affairs, with fewer attendees than in Iowa and New Hampshire where the big cities are a fraction of the size of Vegas.

But the Sanders victory still exploded a lot of myths. He was said to have a ceiling of 30% or so. Remarkably, against a much larger field of candidates Sanders is poised to come close to the same level of support as he did in 2016 in a one-on-one race against Hillary Clinton, to whom he lost 47%-53%. (He was at 46% with a quarter of precincts reporting as of this writing.) He was said to be unable to attract anyone outside his core base. But he held his own with moderate voters (22%) and won across every issue area except voters who cared most about foreign policy, who went with Biden.

All of this makes the results of the Nevada caucuses, which in the past have not been treated with the same importance as the contests in the three other early states — Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina — matter more this year. They have helped settle lingering questions about Sanders' appeal. [...]

The race is Sanders’ to lose. He’s the best funded non-billionaire candidate. He has the best organization. He is winning the broadest coalition.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:20 AM on February 23 [17 favorites]


It's very telling that the Vote Blue No Matter who scolds who burst from the woodwork whenever a leftist expresses the tiniest bit of displeasure are totally silent about major Democratic leaders actually, literally, saying that four more years of Trump would be better than President Sanders.

Apparently "Vote Blue No Matter Who" means "fuck you hippie, if your guy wins I'll burn America to the ground".
posted by sotonohito at 7:47 AM on February 23 [41 favorites]


Re: Socialism.

The fact is that automation has killed actual Communism as thoroughly as it has killed capitalism. You can't really seize the means of production when they're scattered across dozens of countries.

There's a Toyota factory in San Antonio. It does final assembly of various Toyota vehicles. It uses parts sourced from multiple countries and multiple locations across America. Back in the old days when iron ore was mined, refined, and turned into finished products all in an area no more than a couple hundred kilometers across you could seriously talk about seizing the means of production.

But you can't anymore. The means of production are diffuse and scattered, the products far too specialized.

We're moving towards a set of new economies. Some will resemble socialism more than they resemble capitalism, the ones Bloomberg and the billionaires want will resemble feudalism more than they resemble capitalism. But actual, real, capitalism and Communism are already dead, we're just watching the galvanic twitching of their corpses.
posted by sotonohito at 7:55 AM on February 23 [24 favorites]


Trump's Mirror is at play in the media. Most of the pundits warning us that Bernie's base would be convention spoilers are now arguing for another Trump term rather than face a tax increase.

4 more years of kids in cages
posted by benzenedream at 8:00 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Which major democratic leaders are saying that they would prefer Trump over Sanders? I've not heard of any so this is a serious question. Although I should say that I don't not consider tv pundits to qualify as major democratic leaders.
posted by nolnacs at 8:13 AM on February 23 [12 favorites]


"Capitalism" died when we bailed out the financial system in 2008 while imposing minimal consequences on the bad actors.

Yes, that is a hot take. No, I will not explain further.
posted by eagles123 at 8:14 AM on February 23 [8 favorites]


Point me to any Democratic leader pushing back on what their media stand in Chris Matthews is saying. He says what they think.

It's all vote blue no matter who until it looks like a leftist might when, then suddenly they'd rather lose to Trump than let poor people get healthcare.
posted by sotonohito at 8:23 AM on February 23 [10 favorites]


So it's not major Democratic leaders actually, literally, saying that.

Look, Bernie is my second choice and I will gladly support him. I agree that the know nothing pundits on MSNBC are very much against Sanders. But nothing is to be gained by making false and misleading claims except a loss of credibility.
posted by nolnacs at 8:31 AM on February 23 [17 favorites]


Both Chris Murphy and Howard Dean have spoken out this morning to support Bernie—not endorsements but positive comments. Links to twitter: here and here.
posted by sallybrown at 8:33 AM on February 23 [6 favorites]


nolnacs: "Which major democratic leaders are saying that they would prefer Trump over Sanders? I've not heard of any so this is a serious question. Although I should say that I don't not consider tv pundits to qualify as major democratic leaders."

None of them.
posted by octothorpe at 8:39 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Which major democratic leaders are saying that they would prefer Trump over Sanders?

I mean I don't know about "major leaders" but Manchin refused to say he wouldn't vote for Trump if Sanders were the nominee and then received no criticism from anyone at the top over it. Bill Gates, who is venerated by moderate Dems and considered a party authority even if he isn't an elected leader, said not only that he wasn't sure who he'd vote for if it's between Trump and Sanders but even if it's between Trump and Warren. And now Matthews.

So we have their representatives, their patrons, and their pundits all saying as much and yet not a word of pushback from leadership itself. I don't consider that exculpatory.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:40 AM on February 23 [6 favorites]


sotonohito, all I'd ask is that you be clear who you're yelling at.

Are you yelling at Matthews and at various powerful people who stood up to say look we gotta vote for Bloomberg if he wins but who are also working to have Anyone But Sanders be the nominee? Fine, 'cuz that's a real thing.

Are you yelling at the people here on metafilter who were themselves yelling at people here on metafilter saying that they'd refuse to vote for Bloomberg if he were the nominee? Chris Matthews isn't here. Powerful Democratic leaders aren't here. Everyone here, as far as any of us knows, is just another no-account schmuck like you or me.
As far as I know, nobody here on metafilter has recently said that they'd refuse to vote for Sanders if he were the nominee. When they do, yell at them.

But if you're yelling at people here because of what powerful people out in the world are doing -- those people aren't here to get yelled at, and yelling at the people here doesn't change what the powerful are doing.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:41 AM on February 23 [23 favorites]


Trump's Mirror is at play in the media. Most of the pundits warning us that Bernie's base would be convention spoilers are now arguing for another Trump term rather than face a tax increase.

This was the least surprising twist to me. Most of these people could barely bring themselves to vote for HRC last time. Plenty of didn't, and have been saying "I hope Democrats will nominate someone I can vote for next time" ever since! But one fun thing about this is maybe revealing how irrelevant some of this DC TV coverage is. Bernie is quite popular with Democrats generally and seems to get along with elected Democratic politicians (in public), so how much cable TV would a voter need to absorb to believe that the seething contempt of the NeverSanders pundit class represents views of the broader world? FWIW, my mother watches MSNBC like she needs it to live (including all the shows hosted by Republicans and idiots like Chuck Todd), but she hasn't soaked up the station's anti-Bernie sentiment at all. Democrats poll well for "trusting" the news, but I wonder how far that extends into trusting this news-adjacent stuff.

I would be grimly curious how the pundit realignment goes in 2021, if we are fortunate enough to replace Trump with Bernie. How quickly do all the NeverTrump talking heads get replaced with NeverSanders Dems with too much time on their hands?
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:44 AM on February 23 [3 favorites]


The Buttigieg campaign seems to think there are errors in the Nevada counting process (not final totals but the way early vote was incorporated) that are distorting the race for second place:

“The campaign is asking the party to provide early vote and in-person vote totals by precinct, correct any early vote and second alignment errors identified by campaigns and explain other anomalies in the data before releasing any final caucus results. About half of precincts had reported as of early Sunday morning, with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leading with 46.6 percent and former Vice President Joe Biden and Buttigieg a close second and third at 19.3 percent and 15.4 percent, respectively.”
posted by sallybrown at 8:44 AM on February 23


The first thing I saw this morning as far as election news was a piece from a major outlet with the headline, which I will paraphrase as I do not wish to drive them traffic: "Nevada caucus is not the definitive factor in the election."

Which I interpreted to mean: "Sanders must have really won big, huh?"
posted by StarkRoads at 8:46 AM on February 23 [9 favorites]


The Buttigieg campaign seems to think there are errors in the Nevada counting process (not final totals but the way early vote was incorporated) that are distorting the race for second place

Nevada, you have shocked the nation
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:46 AM on February 23 [5 favorites]


> I mean I don't know about "major leaders" but Manchin refused to say he wouldn't vote for Trump if Sanders were the nominee and then received no criticism from anyone at the top over it. Bill Gates, who is venerated by moderate Dems and considered a party authority even if he isn't an elected leader, said not only that he wasn't sure who he'd vote for if it's between Trump and Sanders but even if it's between Trump and Warren. And now Matthews.

Bill Gates and Joe Manchin? Really? Let's at least keep the goalposts in the same stadium.

Chris Matthews speaks for Reagan Democrat boomers. Bill Gates speaks for the almighty dollar. Joe Manchin speaks for whatever keeps getting Joe Manchin elected. No actual Democratic establishment leaders have expressed one percent of the sentiment expressed above.

Conversely, this thread went from celebrating Sanders' victory to "anyone else staying in the race is trying to give us Trump" and "if the Democrats nominate someone else, we will take our ball and go home" within minutes. It's one faction of the coalition that has clearly and repeatedly threatened to withhold their vote if they don't get their candidate, even in this very thread, even after last night's victory.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:56 AM on February 23 [23 favorites]


Bill Gates, who is venerated by moderate Dems and considered a party authority even if he isn't an elected leader, said not only that he wasn't sure who he'd vote for if it's between Trump and Sanders but even if it's between Trump and Warren.

To be absolutely clear, Bill Gates never said that. The crazy hyperbole really discredits these sorts of arguments.
posted by JackFlash at 9:02 AM on February 23 [13 favorites]


I would be grimly curious how the pundit realignment goes in 2021, if we are fortunate enough to replace Trump with Bernie. How quickly do all the NeverTrump talking heads get replaced with NeverSanders Dems with too much time on their hands?

i imagine a sanders presidency where the pundit class is abolished and they're left no choice but to take jobs where they can provide actual utility to society: chris matthews sweeps the floors at the capitol, mara liasson builds trails in the west, david brooks scrubs toilets

tell me that doesnt bring tears of joy to your eyes
posted by entropicamericana at 9:25 AM on February 23 [24 favorites]


To be absolutely clear, Bill Gates never said that. The crazy hyperbole really discredits these sorts of arguments.
[Gates] warned that candidates who support taxing “too much” risk alienating “innovative” companies or entrepreneurs in the U.S.

Gates added that he was not sure Warren would sit down with “somebody who has large amounts of money.”

“I’m not sure how open minded she is — or that she’d even be willing to sit down with somebody who has large amounts of money,” Gates said.

Sorkin also asked Gates, who has been a vocal critic of President Trump, who he would vote for in a hypothetical match-up between Trump and Warren. Gates did not specifically endorse either.

“I’m not going to make political declarations,” Gates said. “But I do think no matter what policy somebody has in mind, a professional approach is even, as much as I disagree with some of the policy things that are out there, I do think a professional approach to the office is… whoever I decide will have the more professional approach in the current situation, probably is the thing that I will weigh the most. And I hope that the more professional candidate is an electable candidate.”
Where precisely is the crazy hyperbole?
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:25 AM on February 23 [10 favorites]


I feel like Bill Gates was more of the Rich Democratic Business Guy in the Clinton years, and Warren Buffett was the Rich Democratic Business Guy in the Obama years. Maybe Steyer will take on that role in the Sanders years.
posted by sallybrown at 9:30 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Where precisely is the crazy hyperbole?

Gates said: "I’m not going to make political declarations."

You said: "Not only that he wasn't sure who he'd vote for if it's between Trump and Sanders but even if it's between Trump and Warren."

Stop with the bullshit.
posted by JackFlash at 9:31 AM on February 23 [16 favorites]


BTW, Buffett praised Sanders in 2016 and has a CNBC interview coming up tomorrow, so he might have something to say.
posted by sallybrown at 9:32 AM on February 23


So no chance for Congresswoman Gabbard?
posted by sammyo at 9:36 AM on February 23


Gates said: "I’m not going to make political declarations."

You said: "Not only that he wasn't sure who he'd vote for if it's between Trump and Sanders but even if it's between Trump and Warren."

Stop with the bullshit.


He was asked "would you choose Warren or Trump" and explicitly refused to commit to a preference. Then he proceeded to blather ambiguous, opaque nonsense also intended to communicate that he was refusing to express said preference. He said it. Don't lay Bill's bullshit on me.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:37 AM on February 23 [11 favorites]


[Leave the Bill Gates thing alone please.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:40 AM on February 23 [10 favorites]


What about Elon Musk? He keeps posting Sanders memes on twitter, saying things like “be still my beating heart”

drops bomb, walks away in sunglasses
posted by chuntered inelegantly from a sedentary position at 9:48 AM on February 23 [2 favorites]


it's cool eventually elon musk will be purged
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 10:04 AM on February 23 [13 favorites]


Do Warren and her supporters actually think she might be made a ‘compromise’ nominee in a second round at a contested convention, even if she has far fewer pledged delegates than multiple other candidates?

From this Warren supporter, the answer is no.

Her answer at the end of the last debate seemed to suggest this: if nobody wins an outright majority then it the nomination should be given to somebody other the plurality winner.

Her answer was the same as everyone besides Sanders.

Regardless, it was a gotcha question at the moment. In hindsight, a better answer would have been, "let's see how Super Tuesday plays out" from all candidates. But the moderators decided that, for the first time that evening, they should cut people off and force a yes/no answer.

If that’s why she hasn’t dropped out yet, then she might as well be working for Trump.

I would assume she has not dropped out yet because she still believes she can win. I have voted early for her. Her stances align very close to mine. I am sticking with Warren at least through Super Tuesday.

I was going to immediately donate to Bernie if Warren had a Super Bad Tuesday. But assuming my preferred candidate is "working for Trump" when Warren and Sanders policies align more than any other Dems in the running?

I will still donate. But, it's going to be really hard to text/phone/knock doors, if I have to explain "Vote Bernie! Sorry if some of his followers were rude."

Working for Trump?

Really.

Let's stop eating our own, please.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 10:10 AM on February 23 [39 favorites]


While I think it's good that Sanders solidifies his frontrunner status and we begin to transition into the general election, I also dread that this victory is gonna be a clarion for the entire Right to start preparing for their all out siege on Bernie Sanders. And I know the typical argument is that the Right will do what they've done to Democrats before and call Sanders a socialist, but that won't work because he is a socialist. However, I'm skeptical of it being that simple, and partly because Sanders was always seen as a sort of useful thorn in the side of the Democratic Party. However, that's probably going to end now and we will start to see a transition to villifying and attacking him. And I said "siege" because this will not end with him being elected, because the goal is not only to prevent him from being elected, but to also compromise his ability to do anything if he does get elected.
posted by FJT at 10:28 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


The right is always in a permanent siege mentality. If it weren't Sanders they'd hit another frontrunner equally hard. The specific attacks used will vary a bit among the few conservatives who actually care that the attacks are truthful, but the difference isn't substantial enough to outweigh the benefits of establishing yourself as the frontrunner in a crowded field.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:34 AM on February 23 [29 favorites]


The fact is that automation has killed actual Communism as thoroughly as it has killed capitalism. You can't really seize the means of production when they're scattered across dozens of countries.

I really wanted to return to this because I'm seeing this sort of thing pop up more and I think while well-meaning, this sentiment (whether intentional or not) obfuscates power and the billions of existing, unequal relationships between owners and non-owners.

Like a hundred million other Americans, I pay my landlord a tax every month to remain not-homeless because he owns "productive" land. That relationship will never be automated away. That "means of production" can absolutely be seized.

But it's not just the simple landlord-renter relationships that remain alive and well. Ownership might be diffuse across the globe but the Age of Imperialism has absolutely not rendered capitalism obsolete. There's a reason the US has military bases in dozens of countries - to prevent the means of production (the productive resources, the factories, etc) across the globe that are owned by Western interests from being nationalized by the workers that work them. A single entity seizing the whole chain would just be the replacement of one imperialist power by another. But just because the supply chain has become more byzantine does not mean that every worker does not have an interest in their part of production. Or, in other words, American Toyota workers can seize their factory, car battery lithium miners in Bolivia can seize their mines.

"Automation" is a tool used by capitalists to threaten wage reductions and is a distraction from the fact that there are still billions of workers who have not been automated away (and honestly, won't be anytime soon) who do not get a share of the profits. And if there is some great labor-saving automation machine, why is it always unquestioned that the workers are screwed and that the "owners" will reap the benefits in perpetuity?

It's the Yang argument, that recognizes domestic and global inequality but does not ask "Where are all the profits going? Who owns these 'automating' machines we built? Why can't exploited countries control their own resources and their own link in the supply chain?" Instead it just says, "We have transcended the owner-worker relationship. Anyways, here's a check so you can keep renting everything."

I guess I feel very strongly that capitalism still exists, the antagonisms it engenders are far from resolved, and discussions of socialism as an antidote and presidential candidates drawing attention to it are as relevant as ever.
posted by joechip at 10:46 AM on February 23 [39 favorites]


If that’s why she hasn’t dropped out yet, then she might as well be working for Trump.


That's just a disgusting thing to say; why would anyone think that? She's in it because she thinks that she the best candidate for the job and feels like she still has a chance. If and when it becomes mathematically or financially impossible for her to continue, she'll undoubtedly endorse the nominee and work as hard as she can to make sure that candidate beats Trump.
posted by octothorpe at 10:57 AM on February 23 [36 favorites]


Let us recall that there was... not so long ago... a candidate who was considered unelectable by the Main Establishment, due to race and a funny middle name, but who had an uncanny ability to get people motivated to believe in a better tomorrow, regardless of where they happened to live.

Recall that 2004 was Dean v Kerry, which chose The Establishment candidate and bombed. 2008's Obama v Clinton then went with the motivating outsider and crushed it, pulling huge numbers of votes across party lines, even in the red states. My guess is that 2016 was the equivalent of 2004: dems went with the establishment candidate and (narrowly!) lost.

Furthermore, I would argue that running an establishment candidate just makes the race 'dems vs republicans' and therefore ignorable, which is the worst possible place to be right now, in this moment.

Will the repugnantcans cry about the socialist and call him names? Absolutely. But it's also going to be real easy to make the case that Trump hasn't actually been working for the working class. And that's a harder argument to make if you put another billionaire on the stage against him...
posted by kaibutsu at 11:13 AM on February 23 [11 favorites]


In other news, Krugman seems pretty chill with everything.
posted by ropeladder at 11:21 AM on February 23 [4 favorites]


But it's also going to be real easy to make the case that Trump hasn't actually been working for the working class.

Easy? There's a passage in Michael Moore's (yes, I know, just bear with me) book, "Stupid White Men" where it goes a little something like this:
Yet as I look back on my life, a strange but unmistakable pattern seems to emerge. Every person who has ever harmed me in my lifetime - the boss who fired me, the teacher who flunked me, the principal who punished me, the kid who hit me in the eye with a rock, the executive who didn't renew TV Nation, the guy who was stalking me for three years, the accountant who double-paid my taxes, the drunk who smashed into me, the burglar who stole my stereo, the contractor who overcharged me, the girlfriend who left me, the next girlfriend who left even sooner, the person in the office who stole cheques from my chequebook and wrote them out to himself for a total of $16,000 - every one of these individuals has been a white person. Coincidence? I think not.

I have never been attacked by a black person, never been evicted by a black person, never had my security deposit ripped off by a black landlord, never had a black landlord, never had a meeting at a Hollywood studio with a black executive in charge, never had a black person deny my child the college of her choice, never been puked on by a black teenager at a Mötley Crüe concert, never been pulled over by a black cop, never been sold a lemon by a black car salesman, never seen a black car salesman, never had a black person deny me a bank loan, and I've never heard a black person say, "We're going to eliminate 10,000 jobs here - have a nice day!"
As a 20 year old know-it-all trying to find his feet in the world, I was looking for direction and boy howdy did I find it. That passage basically hit home for me why white nationalism is just a straight fucking lie and not to be engaged in any sort of form. White men vote other rich, white, men because they believe in some sort of racial fraternity. That they can use their shibboleths to ensure they all have power. This couldn't be any more further from the truth as has been demonstrated by the last forty years as the rich have decided to ramp up into some sort of capital endgame.

Power only protects power. The hegemony of white power in this country has only been inertia from colonialism. As the Asian and Arab countries have come into wealth, their powerful have been absorbed into the ranks of the elite much like the Irish and Italians were absorbed into the mantle of whiteness when the KKK realized they needed more allies.

I'm kind of thankful I figured all this out at 20 when I could sheepishly continue on by disavowing any sort of racial animus going forward while I could look back at my wanton and micro-aggressive acts of racism as some sort of childish ignorance. Realizing this at 40, or worse, 60, must make you feel pretty fucking stupid because you were supposedly an educated adult and chose to act like a racist fuckwit. Sadly, this only makes it harder to kill the myth that rich white guys are looking out for all straight white guys.

Damned if I know how to fix it but I doubt it's going to be easy to appeal to an electorate that's fully aware of their engaging in delusion, hypocrisy, and intellectual dishonesty in the name of contrarianism.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:03 PM on February 23 [13 favorites]


Bernie has a pretty good comeback for the socialist/communist smear.

Will Saletan
Chuck Todd: They're going to say you will appease socialists ...

Sanders: We got a president ... who's cozying up to the autocrat, Putin. Who says nice things about Kim Jong-un ... You want to talk about cozying up to communists around the world? It ain't me. It is Donald Trump.
posted by chris24 at 12:03 PM on February 23 [29 favorites]


It's been interesting reading about MSNBC's reactions to this. My mom has been mainlining MSNBC for literally years; she turns it on in the morning while she's making her coffee and turns it off when she goes to bed.

Or she did. A few weeks ago she told me she turned it off and started watching HGTV instead. She was angry because she felt they were erasing Warren and slamming Sanders far too much. And she's not a big Sanders fan, but their treatment of him turned her off, possibly permanently.

I do wonder how this affects their ratings, because she also has a Nielsen box.
posted by rednikki at 12:08 PM on February 23 [17 favorites]


She's in it because she thinks that she the best candidate for the job and feels like she still has a chance.

And who else was going to take Bloomberg to task (with such aplomb!) at the debate for being Trump in blue?
posted by avalonian at 12:22 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


I think Warren's particular skill, which in my opinion makes her the most formidable GE opponent, is to be able to explain things in a particular way that helps people get on her wavelength. It makes people not just understand what she wants to do but also believe it's possible and that it's the right thing to do.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:26 PM on February 23 [24 favorites]


[Couple deleted. What if we just chose not to have the same fight again? That would be swell. A way to achieve that would be to choose to steer the conversation not toward something bad (e.g. someone said a thing you think is ridiculous), but toward something good (someone said something useful or insightful or correct or illuminating or worthwhile etc).]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:56 PM on February 23 [12 favorites]


Warren had a strong performance in the last debate but it was too late to benefit her in the Nevada caucus because most people had already voted early. That could help her on in South Carolina and Super Tuesday.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:37 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Warren had a strong performance in the last debate but it was too late to benefit her in the Nevada caucus because most people had already voted early. That could help her on in South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

I really hope so. It's so much about the prevailing narrative, and the people who set that narrative have to feel like they can't dismiss her.

She is so far and away the best candidate for President currently running that it makes my heart sick to think that this momentum could be too late or too little.

There was a really interesting thread about how the press covering Warren's campaign is interested in her new aggressive posture because it contrasts with "speeches about toasters." Because apparently Warren has been using toasters in her stump speech as an example of when things are and are not regulated (contrasting them with mortgages) in a way that is a core animating principle of her candidacy, and it's incredibly enlightening and insightful, and yet the people covering her campaign just...don't bother covering it, because they don't think it's that interesting. And as a result it never makes its way to anyone who isn't there in person. It's really sad.

See this thread; I think it's pretty incredible.
posted by Gadarene at 1:48 PM on February 23 [21 favorites]


I am sorry that my earlier comment about Warren was misinterpreted: if she is in the race to become the nominee on the basis of having the most pledged delegates than that is a perfectly valid objective, although clearly that a very low-probability scenario given her current national polling and lack of funds this close to Super Tuesday. Alternatively Warren knows that she won’t be the nominee but is staying in the race for some other reason, whatever that might be.

However if she is in the race to become the nominee on the basis of being a second-round ‘compromise candidate’ who can ‘bring all sides of the party together’ in the event that Sanders falls short of a majority, well, the reason I’d describe that as ‘working for Trump’ is because it would absolutely guarantee a Trump win. If Sanders reaches the convention with the most delegates, which is very likely, then his supporters will not recognise any other nominee as legitimate and will not vote for them, whether it’s Warren or Biden or anyone else.
posted by moorooka at 2:12 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Warren has plenty of funds, by the way; she's shattered fundraising goals recently.

And if Sanders reaches the convention with, say, 35 percent of total delegates, with the others split 20 percent, 15 percent, 15 percent, and 15 percent among Bloomberg/Buttigieg/Biden/Warren, then any Sanders voter operating in good faith should recognize that coalescing around Warren, if necessary, is a hell of a lot better for their policy goals than a backroom deal that elevates one of the feckless spineless centrists to the nomination (especially Bloomberg, who WILL get killed in the general).
posted by Gadarene at 2:19 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


These are results from very non-representative states and processes. There's not much to learn from them. There's some small validity to "momentum" but it's accelerated by horse race commentary in the press and, franky, here.

I'm fine with whomever comes out as the winner and for now I'm a Warren stan. As far as I'm concerned, the race is still wide open among the frontrunners and it's really premature to call this race. Now is not the time to ponder hypotheticals about the convention. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
posted by sjswitzer at 2:30 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


Right. A plurality at the convention isn’t very meaningful if it’s 30-25-20. If someone reaches 40% and no one else is within 15, then it’s a different story.

And in 2016 Sanders wanted superdelegates to go against the person who had a majority of delegates, so insisting that they stick with someone with a plurality in 2020 is a bit hypocritical.
posted by chris24 at 2:30 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


Literally the reason we’ve had party conventions for like 190 years is to get everybody together and figure out a candidate if there’s no consensus choice. It’s a lot less opaque and a lot more democratic than it used to be, but if there’s not a clear winner, then everybody brings all the delegates they can so they can have some say in what happens.

Also, if it takes more than one ballot, it’ll probably take more than two. It took the Republicans 3 ballots to nominate Lincoln in 1860, and it took the Democrats and their ill-advised 2/3 requirement 102 ballots in 1924.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:34 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


Good or bad, right or wrong, hypocritical or not, Sanders supporters will not vote for a candidate who reaches the convention with fewer pledged delegates than Sanders. They won’t do it, and that fact needs to be acknowledged in the event that decisions need to be made at a brokered convention.
posted by moorooka at 2:41 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Sanders has a lot of support beyond the socialist left or else he wouldn’t be leading now, so you don’t speak for all his voters. And talking like this now - threatening, holding hostage - is not the way a front runner builds a coalition that will win a general election.
posted by chris24 at 2:45 PM on February 23 [18 favorites]


Sanders supporters will not vote for a candidate who reaches the convention with fewer pledged delegates than Sanders.

This is the most Bernie-bro stereotype I've ever seen and I don't believe it to be true at all. At the end of the day there are three choices, D, R, or stay home (third party comes to the same thing). There's a small fraction of anyone's supporters who'll just stay home and sulk or cast a protest third-party vote, but I can't imagine for an instant that a Bernie supporter would vote for Trump.
posted by sjswitzer at 2:49 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


While I'm not aware of any polling on that particular question, one January poll found that 53% of Bernie's supporters would support a non-Sanders Democratic nominee (compare to 90% for Warren, 87% and 86% for Biden and Buttigieg, and 50% for Andrew Yang). Another 31% said it depends on who the nominee is, while only 16% offered a solid 'no.'
posted by box at 2:53 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


(Although, in the extremely unlikely case that the Dems end up nominating Bloomberg, that argument goes out the window. But that won't happen. They'll either vote for the Dem or they'll stay home and sulk.)
posted by sjswitzer at 2:55 PM on February 23


Sanders supporters will not vote for a candidate who reaches the convention with fewer pledged delegates than Sanders.

If true, this is a very bad sign of cultism which has a very bad history. Especially when the cult leader is a guy with a bad ticker.
posted by JackFlash at 2:57 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


Let’s not confuse two different outcomes. I am not talking about the scenario in which Sanders arrives at the convention with fewer pledged delegates than somebody else, in which case I think the proportion of his supporters who would refuse to vote for the nominee would be much lower, because it would be much more difficult to argue against the legitimacy of the nomination.

But if Sanders arrives at the convention with the most delegates then the backlash will be enormous and the Party will be over. Picking a runner-up to prevent a Sanders nomination is as good as re-electing Trump. You can describe this as threatening and holding hostage, but it’s actually just the way it is. This is the reality you have to work with, you cannot wish it away because it’s unfair and unreasonable.

And I am not ‘speaking for’ anybody, and obviously I don’t mean to say that none of Sanders’ supporters would vote for another candidate foisted on them by a second-round at the convention. But there is absolutely no doubt that enough of his supporters would prefer to see the Party destroyed than get behind somebody who had fewer pledged delegates and was selected to prevent Sanders becoming the nominee. No matter who it is, it will absolutely guarantee a loss to Trump.
posted by moorooka at 2:58 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


That’s just, like, your opinion, man.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:00 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


They won’t do it, and that fact needs to be acknowledged in the event that decisions need to be made at a brokered convention.

moorooka, this doesn’t comport with nearly any of the Bernie supporters I know. If this is how you feel, take ownership of that fact (and the lumps that will come with it), but please cut the crap with pretending to speak for a group of millions.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 3:00 PM on February 23 [14 favorites]


Sanders has already lost a convention and threw his support behind the candidate. I don't have any data on what his stans did, but surely most voted for Hillary and some small fraction stayed home. Vanishingly few voted for Trump.

If he loses again, by a process he's agreed to in a party he's not a member of... I expect he'll do the same again. And if the candidate happens to be Warren, well, their stances aren't all that different anyway.
posted by sjswitzer at 3:03 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


This is the most Bernie-bro stereotype I've ever seen and I don't believe it to be true at all. At the end of the day there are three choices, D, R, or stay home (third party comes to the same thing). There's a small fraction of anyone's supporters who'll just stay home and sulk or cast a protest third-party vote, but I can't imagine for an instant that a Bernie supporter would vote for Trump.

Ideologically committed supporters who post on MeFi? Almost certainly not. In that group even if you're "Bernie or Bust" that probably means "Bernie or third party," or "Bernie or leave the presidential choice blank and vote downballot." When it comes to the broader electorate, though, there are certainly going to be Bernie <> Trump voters (just like there were Obama -> Trump voters) as well as Bernie -> [anyone else] voters. Because it's not just about ideology, but rhetoric and image and god knows what else.

Anyway I still think it would be great if Sanders and Warren could end up in the same administration, but I have a hard time imagining a scenario in which it works to the Dems' advantage for her to replace him at the top of the ticket if he's leading going into the convention - especially if she's still in third or fourth at that point. That's the sort of compromise that seems sensible in theory and likely pleases nobody in practice. Having to be the sensible-in-theory left-liberal compromise candidate has been a major reason Warren has had trouble establishing a clear lane, IMO.
posted by atoxyl at 3:04 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Sanders has a lot of support beyond the socialist left or else he wouldn’t be leading now, so you don’t speak for all his voters. And talking like this now - threatening, holding hostage - is not the way a front runner builds a coalition that will win a general election.

I mean, Sanders himself is encouraging this kind of thing, with tweets announcing that the “Democratic establishment won’t stop us,” by which he presumably means the Senators he’d need to pass any of his policies, so I’m not sure he’s super interested in building coalitions. This strategy worked for Trump (sort of) because he’s an authoritarian bully who can destroy any given Republican’s political career at will. It’s not clear to me if Sanders thinks the same strategy will work for him with the same tactics or with some other tactics, but the left doesn’t function by those authoritarian rules (traditionally, anyway), so I don’t know that that’s going to work out for him.
posted by schadenfrau at 3:05 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


You can describe this as threatening and holding hostage, but it’s actually just the way it is.
[...]
No matter who it is, it will absolutely guarantee a loss to Trump.

Do you care to back up any of these assertions with reasoning or citations or anything like that, or are you just swearing by your own emotions because they’re really, really, really strong?
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 3:07 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


If Sanders comes to the convention with a plurality, it would be insane to ditch him for a "compromise candidate." It would be (rightly) seen as subverting democratic will. If Warren or anyone else (I'm looking at you, Bloomberg) is hoping for a non-win-win, I would say that would rip the Democratic Party apart.*

However, if Bernie comes in at 35% and another candidate is at 25% or something, it might change the terms with which Sanders is nominated. For example, the convention could say, Yes, you are the presidential nominee, but since you don't have a majority, we want you to take Warren as the VP nominee to sew up the delegates for a majority. I think that's reasonable; not removing Sanders, but coalitioning with Sanders on new terms. If Sanders shows up with 45% delegates and no one pierces 30%, I would say that Sanders really shouldn't have to concede anything; he has the ascendant vision of the party and should dictate terms.

For many Sanders supports (such as me), my primary isn't about Sanders winning (I think he will), but by how much will he win, giving him more authority to establish the campaign.

* I would like to point out that I don't really believe the Democratic Party is a "party" in the purist sense. There aren't dues; there's no membership; the platform is mostly aspirational and not binding; elected officials can pretty much do what they want. The Dems exist as a ballot line first and foremost for a large umbrella of ideologies. This is one of the reasons that people railing on Bernie not being a Dem doesn't make sense. You can't win as a non-Democrat or Republican, so the state-sanctioned ballot line is just a tool for people to take their ideologies and records to the public. If I'm not mistaken, "parties" can't even eject someone that fails to live up to their standards (remember that Nazi that got a Republican nomination and the Republicans couldn't do anything other than ask people not to vote for him?) Something like the DSA or a few caucuses are slowly starting to become traditional parties that have loyalty and discipline, so maybe we'll see that develop, especially if ranked-choice voting continues to spread.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 3:07 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


Again, in 2016 Sanders did not have the most delegates, so that is not a relevant comparison. I am talking about a scenario in which he does have the most delegates, but is denied the nomination. Whether you call it cultism or simple loyalty, it needs to be factored by the convention’s decision-makers. Certainly some of his supporters will swallow their pride and vote for whatever runner-up they’re told to vote for, but enough won’t, to say nothing of the willingness to actually campaign and donate. Telling them that “Warren is the same” won’t cut it, because everyone will be able to observe that Warren was only made the nominee to prevent Sanders being the nominee.
posted by moorooka at 3:10 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Ana Maria Archila (who elevator pitched Jeff Flake during Kavanaugh hearings) gave a short pitch at a caucus yesterday ... and won over a supporter. (Twitter link with embedded video 2min 18sec).

Story about a dilating pregnant woman who refused to go to the hospital until she caucused (Twitter link with story told on video 1min50sec)

The sigh in the hostage lost reporter clip posted earlier was pretty funny. There is also a further clip where she was fighting some big emotions and swallowing hard to keep from bursting out in tears at the horrors she was witnessing. (Twitter link to video 30sec (hopefully or it is like the fourth tweet in a threaded tweet))

Naturally top Sanders officials took to Twitter in the sigh meme war. (Twitter video 8sec)

How Bernie Sanders's Outreach into Latino Neighborhoods Is Working
The reporter Stephania Taladrid speaks with Latino voters in Nevada who affectionately call the Vermont senator “Tio Bernie.” (short documentary style New Yorker video 5min52sec)


There is no coverage of Warren. The only good thing I have seen recently was a press gaggle aboard her bus as she headed to a rally in Texas filmed by CSPAN. So just seeing 45minutes of uninterrupted dialogue and all her thoughtful intelligent answers, that are chopped to 20 seconds or not even aired, was at least nice. But the game has changed and she needed to let the camera roll for herself and broadcast herself ... long form. Not everyone can travel to events so broadcast to include people in the journey. Sanders knew he wouldn't get a fair shot with the corporate media (I think yesterday was good evidence of heads exploding and eyes blinking for clarity in a world of confusion on CNN and MSNBC). So he broadcasts himself and people then use the material to make music videos and ads and memes and stuff. But it also serves to deliver a clear message. His supporters know the issues inside and out.

I am totally team Nernie but have absolutely no problem with Warren going all the way to the convention.

In 2016 I knew it was over when Clinton called Harry Reid who then called the casino owners to make sure their union members were caucusing. That is inside politics. It sucks from the outside, but for the players ... you make a phone call, you swing an election ... it is pure power. Of course there are now favors in play as well. Remember that time you called me ... well now I need a favor. The workers were pawns being played by the elites. That is politics and Clinton had done the connection building to be able to pull the strings of power. But I felt that Bernie should be allowed to continue and deliver his message because that was the entire original purpose. It just caught more fire than expected. So it fucking sucked hearing how he needed to go. Let them run as far as they like then we welcome them. Or to quote phillip agnew

celebrate every victory like we've been here before and we'll be here again.

we win with grace.

posted by phoque at 3:12 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Sanders has already lost a convention and threw his support behind the candidate.

Support is doing a lot of work there. He supported Hillary like Ted Kennedy “supported” Carter back in 1980.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 3:12 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


If Sanders comes to the convention with a plurality, it would be insane to ditch him for a "compromise candidate." It would be (rightly) seen as subverting democratic will.

How can you assert that a plurality is the democratic will? In that case the democratic will by mathematical definition is someone other than Sanders.

In that case you have to have to check everyone's second choices, which is what the convention is for. And it is just possible that the majority, the democratic will, selects someone other than Sanders.

The whole point of requiring a majority instead of a plurality is in order to ensure the selection of a candidate that is acceptable to the most people.
posted by JackFlash at 3:15 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


If true, this is a very bad sign of cultism which has a very bad history. Especially when the cult leader is a guy with a bad ticker.

Tell me more about this theory, I want to know what history this reminds you of
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 3:15 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


I'd cheerfully vote in the general for most of the people running, and grudgingly vote for the others. PROVIDED THEY GO TO THE CONVENTION WITH THE MOST VOTES If they can beat current front runner Sanders fair and square so be it.

But if a leftist, which means Sanders or Warren and most likely Sanders, goes to the convention with the most votes but is not the nominee... I'm a pragmatist, I'd fuss and rant and rave but I'd vote for the person who stole the nomination because we must stop Trump.

However, there are many people who are not so pragmatic. I think the Democratic Party elites would not just lose the 2020 Presidential contest, but also their House majority and any chance at the Senate, and quite likely doom the Party if they decided that their bitter hatred of the left is so great that they deny the nomination to a leftist with the most votes.

It'd prove every conspiracy theory the Sanders people have is 100% correct and drive the left from the Democratic Party forever.

People say Sanders can't win without the "moderate" (read, right wing) branch of the Party. They're probably right. But no Democrat can win without the left. I see scum like Carville and Matthews talking about beating Sanders like it's a task more important than beating Trump and I'm terrified because I see them plotting the doom of the Democratic Party.

If a leftist goes to the convention with a plurality and is denied the nomination Trump will win and the Democratic Party will die.
posted by sotonohito at 3:15 PM on February 23 [18 favorites]


Sanders has already lost a convention and threw his support behind the candidate. I don't have any data on what his stans did, but surely most voted for Hillary and some small fraction stayed home. Vanishingly few voted for Trump.

Well...More Clinton supporters in 2008 voted for McCain over Obama than Sanders supporters voted for Trump over Clinton in 2016.

Another useful comparison is to 2008, when the question was whether Clinton supporters would vote for Barack Obama or John McCain (R-Ariz.) Based on data from the 2008 Cooperative Campaign Analysis Project, a YouGov survey that also interviewed respondents multiple times during the campaign, 24 percent of people who supported Clinton in the primary as of March 2008 then reported voting for McCain in the general election.

An analysis of a different 2008 survey by the political scientists Michael Henderson, Sunshine Hillygus and Trevor Thompson produced a similar estimate: 25 percent. (Unsurprisingly, Clinton voters who supported McCain were more likely to have negative views of African Americans, relative to those who supported Obama.)

Thus, the 6 percent or 12 percent of Sanders supporters who may have supported Trump does not look especially large in comparison with these other examples.

posted by Jimbob at 3:16 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


Support is doing a lot of work there. He supported Hillary like Ted Kennedy “supported” Carter back in 1980.

I'm not super-familiar with the issue, but this article from November 4th, 2016 doesn't make it sound that way at all.
posted by clawsoon at 3:20 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


At some level I don't even care who wins (as long as it's not Bloomberg). There's a bully-pulpit aspect to the presidency and that counts for something, but unless we retake the Senate, it pretty much doesn't matter what the president wants to do as long as it isn't Trump.

People's efforts and attention are better spent on Senate races. (And also for this reason I'm no fan of either Bernie or Warren taking the other as a VP. They are both more effective in the Senate than they'd be as the mostly ceremonial VP.)

There's a very good question of which candidate would have better coattails, but I have no coherent thoughts on that.
posted by sjswitzer at 3:21 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Support is doing a lot of work there. He supported Hillary like Ted Kennedy “supported” Carter back in 1980.

Kennedy campaigned at over 40 events in support of Carter in 1980? Good on him!
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:30 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


reality has a known leftist bias, rust moranis
posted by entropicamericana at 3:31 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


Everyone will be able to observe that Warren was only made the nominee to prevent Sanders being the nominee.

Are you claiming that a majority of delegates could not in good faith believe that Warren is a better candidate than Sanders? That's a pretty bold claim if indeed a majority of delegates were chosen by the voters to represent candidates other than Sanders.
posted by JackFlash at 3:32 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


While I'm not aware of any polling on that particular question, one January poll found that 53% of Bernie's supporters would support a non-Sanders Democratic nominee (compare to 90% for Warren, 87% and 86% for Biden and Buttigieg, and 50% for Andrew Yang). Another 31% said it depends on who the nominee is, while only 16% offered a solid 'no.'

People are throwing around the word "cult" to describe Sanders followers which is real insulting.

Alternatively, I'd say the only Democratic candidate people are really excited about is Sanders, because he's the only one (possibly excepting Warren) who seems to stand for anything real. Other candidates (rightly or wrongly) are seen as Clinton II. Their votes would be votes against Trump, but a vote for Sanders is additionally a vote for something. That's why people voted for Obama, back in the HOPE poster days.

In the US, because of our stupid electoral system, there's only two real roads to the presidency. Sanders, an independent, intelligently, went with the one that offers any chance of accepting him at all. But a lot of the rest of the democrats are demonized. Some of that is just the right-wing machine, but people, people I personally know, look at the Shadow app debacle, or the reigns of Pelosi and Schumer when there isn't a ton of import riding on a single vote (and sometimes when there is), and think incompetence. The political world seems to have largely moved out from under their feet, they still seem to be operating like the right can be compromised with, and doesn't have to be fought with all their being. Sanders actually gives the Democrats a way around that perception: he's not actually a Democrat.

One of the major political parties is largely seen as co-opted and incompetent, but their alternative is the party of Actual Literal Evil. It is true, not voting against Trump is a profoundly stupid act. But there are definitely people who have to be pulled to the polls by the promise of voting for something.
posted by JHarris at 3:33 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


It’s not clear to me if Sanders thinks the same strategy will work for him with the same tactics or with some other tactics, but the left doesn’t function by those authoritarian rules (traditionally, anyway), so I don’t know that that’s going to work out for him.

I think any popular, populist politician gets to play that game to some extent - FDR certainly tried, though one could argue his success was mixed. Put me down as thinking it would be pretty fantastic if President Sanders could do it - and also as thinking he's obviously pretty far away from being able to do it as of yet.

But also, I don't think the "establishment Republicans" were able to find their love for Trump only out of fear. I think a whole lot of them realized that he's going to fire up the base with his rhetoric and meanwhile actually deliver for them on a lot of issues. So I think what a Sanders presidency looks like depends a lot on - can he get the Dems to pivot to a stronger fighting stance on issues the party nominally believes in, by making it clear that there is a demand for this? And if he can't, will he be able to paint the legislators who won't come along with at as stooges for the healthcare industry etc. successfully enough that he is able to get them primaried?

(and of course there's the problem of the Republicans, but everybody is going to have that problem)
posted by atoxyl at 3:37 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


In that case you have to have to check everyone's second choices, which is what the convention is for. And it is just possible that the majority, the democratic will, selects someone other than Sanders.

Too bad that’s literally impossible since primaries and caucuses do not record voters’ second-choices.


The whole point of requiring a majority instead of a plurality is in order to ensure the selection of a candidate that is acceptable to the most people.


Where by “people” you mean “rival candidates’ delegates and party superdelegates”. And yes, the majority of delegates could in good faith believe that Warren is “better” than Sanders, but in that event Warren would still be made the nominee in order to prevent the “worse” Sanders from becoming the nominee.

And yes, in that event the majority of delegates would be chosen by the voters to represent candidates other than Sanders. But an even larger majority of the delegates would have been chosen by the voters to represent candidates other than Warren, or any other single candidate!

But I get your point: the rules are the rules, and giving the nomination to somebody with fewer pledged delegates is within the rules. I’m just saying that if Sanders is denied the nomination in this way, it will be perceived by enough of his supporters as an illegitimate coup and Trump will be re-elected as a result. They won’t care that the rules were followed.
posted by moorooka at 3:39 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


I guess I’ll be heartened that I think Bernie himself and most of his supporters would prefer the nominee selected by a majority of the delegates and according to the rules created with and agreed to by Sanders to fascism. Disappointing that anyone wouldn’t.
posted by chris24 at 3:45 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


Are you claiming that a majority of delegates could not in good faith believe that Warren is a better candidate than Sanders? That's a pretty bold claim if indeed a majority of delegates were chosen by the voters to represent candidates other than Sanders.

If Warren is a better candidate, she'll be in the lead with the greatest number of delegates. Sanders is the most effective candidate in part because he has, if you will, cleared debris from his orbit. He has no major ideological rivals while the others have not been able to establish a stable constituency. Warren hasn't. Biden hasn't. Buttigeig hasn't. Klobuchar hasn't. The others certainly haven't. That may change in the next few months, but as of now, Sanders is expectant to come in first in over 45 of the next 50+ contests, which means, he's establishing that he's the only candidate with broad appeal in every state/district/territory. He's also in the lead in every single Democratic demographic with the exception of African Americans (he's a very close second) and the elderly (where he suffers).

So if the idea of the primaries is to come to a consensus pick, Bernie Sanders is that consensus pick. He might not be selected from party establishment figures, but as of now,* he's broadly popular inside the Democratic primaries. Who else can say that?

*As always, conditions might change, but with each passing primary/caucus, Sanders is making concrete the hypotheticals.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 3:46 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


People are throwing around the word "cult" to describe Sanders followers which is real insulting.

I didn't just throw the word around. I was responding to a hypothetical put out by an apparent Sanders supporter:

"Sanders supporters will not vote for a candidate who reaches the convention with fewer pledged delegates than Sanders."

If this is true, it is the sign of a dangerous cult of personality. I don't know if it is true. I hope not. But apparently some people claim it is true.
posted by JackFlash at 3:46 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


If Warren is a better candidate, she'll be in the lead with the greatest number of delegates.

As pointed out above, Sanders himself doesn’t agree with your assessment as per his 2016 comments.
posted by chris24 at 3:48 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


By the way, my proposal in the future to prevent things like this from happening:

1) Approval voting polls used to determine who qualifies for the debates and to help whittle the field down to around five or so.
2) Ranked choice voting in all the state primaries to further winnow down the field to two-to-three candidates, with preferences.

If these were used in the future, we would be able to assume far more of the candidates had broad-based support and it would allow voters to express preferences for someone other than their main (which would help set up coalitions and back-up plans).
posted by Lord Chancellor at 3:50 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


I guess that the people who think Hillary Clinton should be President because she won more votes than Trump are also dangerous cultists.
posted by moorooka at 3:50 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


If this is true, it is the sign of a dangerous cult of personality. I don't know if it is true. I hope not. But apparently some people claim it is true.

pascal's wager dictates that you should vote for sanders, just in case it is

i mean, if the goal is ousting trump
posted by entropicamericana at 3:54 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


a vote for something. That's why people voted for Obama, back in the HOPE poster days.

Obama was running after 8 years of W, in the middle of the by-then catastrophic Iraq and Afghanistan wars, against a guy who championed those catastrophes, and in the immediate aftermath (like by a month) of the 2008 crash, which publicly panicked his dumbass opponent, who had also just picked an incredibly stupid person to be his VP. I don’t think Hope alone did it.

But more importantly, the electorate has become more polarized, and we are still stuck with the electoral college.

I would love it, for my own mental health, if someone could show me data suggesting this is how we win the 5 bullshit rust belt states + Florida that gave us Trump in 2016, because they are all that matter for the Presidency.

I’m not being a smartass here, I really would love to see that and maybe sleep tonight. That would be awesome.
posted by schadenfrau at 3:56 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


I guess that the people who think Hillary Clinton should be President because she won more votes than Trump are also dangerous cultists.

Hillary Clinton won a clear majority of votes, both in the primary and the general election. It has nothing to do with non-majority pluralities.

Incidentally, it was Sanders who tried to get the superdelegates at the convention to overturn the results not of a plurality, but a whopping majority of the voters.
posted by JackFlash at 3:56 PM on February 23 [14 favorites]


One last thing, and I'll grade papers:

If this is true, it is the sign of a dangerous cult of personality. I don't know if it is true. I hope not. But apparently some people claim it is true.

No, it's just a sign that folks of the left—the true left that want a humanistic order, a worker-owned economy, an end to capitalistic exploitation—are sick and tired of having the football yoinked from in front of them at the last moment. The moderate lane has had every Democratic pick for the last 30 years, despite losing some major contests. When is the left flank of the country allowed to drive? If Jeb! was president now instead of Trump, would workers be okay demanding the keys for once? At what point are workers allowed to say, "We have the most votes. Hand over the nomination or risk losing"? Or do we have to follow every Chuck Todd, Joy Reid, James Carville, and Chris Matthews into doing what they want for "our own good" that just happens to deny us healthcare, union protections, debt relief, and economic liberation?

If a strike is weapon against capital, can't we following warning after warning demand that capitalistic exploitation end? Is that not a tool that we are allowed to use?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 3:59 PM on February 23 [35 favorites]


If this is true, it is the sign of a dangerous cult of personality. I don't know if it is true. I hope not. But apparently some people claim it is true.

On the big Sanders groups on Facebook there’s a phrase that’s becoming a meme: “fuck around and find out”.
posted by moorooka at 4:00 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


pascal's wager dictates that you should vote for sanders, just in case it is

Well, you've got me there. But on the other hand, I don't believe in god. So much for logic.
posted by JackFlash at 4:01 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


If true, this is a very bad sign of cultism which has a very bad history. Especially when the cult leader is a guy with a bad ticker.

I just want to know who or what or which cult or cultism, from history, this reminds you of. If you just want to say generally culty vibes, fine, but if you're going to get this specific I would like you, for my own curiosity's sake, to say what you're referring to instead of just generally referencing "history"
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 4:02 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


We know, you made a functionally identical comment less than an hour ago. They’ll respond if they want; the haranguing is unbecoming.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 4:10 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


On the big Sanders groups on Facebook there’s a phrase that’s becoming a meme: “fuck around and find out”.

Oh man I wonder why anyone perceives this as abusive or cult like or threatening
posted by schadenfrau at 4:17 PM on February 23 [17 favorites]


Metafilter: Your favorite band candidate sucks is unelectable.
posted by Anoplura at 4:18 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


The oldest versions of that seem to be, "if bill gates keeps running his mouth we'll tax his ass at $101 billion fuck around and find out billie boy".
posted by clawsoon at 4:26 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Bernie supporters: Bernie bros are a myth.

Also Bernie supporters: Fuck around and find out.
posted by chris24 at 4:27 PM on February 23 [15 favorites]


I'm trying to be fair to the "Warren at the convention as the compromise candidate" scenario but I'd like to see somebody who thinks it's a good idea game out exactly what they think that ticket gains and loses over Sanders/[somebody]... or over Sanders/Warren.

I will grant that it depends a lot on the relative positioning going into the convention. If Liz Warren swings a huge Super Tuesday comeback and ends up in a close second? Alright, I could buy her as a compromise candidate. I think it becomes an exponentially worse idea the further she is from the lead.
posted by atoxyl at 4:31 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


With over 70% of the results in, Buttigieg has slipped under the 15% line of viability and Bernie has more than double the support of Biden:

Sanders: 47.5%
Biden: 20.8%
Buttigieg: 13.7%
Warren: 9.4%
Steyer: 4.5%
Klobuchar: 4%

source (Twitter link)
posted by sallybrown at 4:34 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


Hillary Clinton won a clear majority of votes, both in the primary and the general election. It has nothing to do with non-majority pluralities.

Hillary won 48.2% of the popular vote.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 4:34 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


Bernie supporters: Bernie bros are a myth.

Also Bernie supporters: Fuck around and find out.


I love how tone policing is allowed now.
posted by Jimbob at 4:34 PM on February 23 [12 favorites]


Again, while this is mostly harmless, it's just too early to game this out. Either Sanders or Warren would be fine, and to a lesser extent some of the others.

But even in the case that Sanders wins, we'll need a Senate that isn't trying to tear him down all the time and to block each and every one of his nominees and initiatives. So what we need is both a concerted Senate campaign and also a theory and practice of coattail politics.

My biggest ding against Bernie is that I have doubts that he can bring the coattails. And that might be a condemnation of the Democratic apparatus that can't bring candidates that harmonize with his message! But we need to find Democratic Senate candidates who can capitalize on this moment, or the moment will be lost.

If there's an inner message to the Sanders campaign it's that the status quo isn't OK and we need fundamental changes. That's a fine message to send but if those changes can't be made, it's a waste.

Perhaps the inner message of Warren's is less radical: that the status quo isn't OK, but we can futz around in the margins and fix it. This is less inspiring but it might be more pragmatic. I dunno.

But I don't know which has better coattails. Maybe the centrists (tttcs) have the best of that argument? All I know is defeating Trump is priority one, but it just delivers us to stalemate in the Senate.
posted by sjswitzer at 4:35 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


I love how tone policing is allowed now.

I love how threats are allowed now.
posted by chris24 at 4:38 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


“Bernie bro” is a myth in the sense that Bernie’s supporters are majority female and more diverse than other candidates’. But it’s not a myth in the sense that Bernie has a large cohort of supporters who view Bernie’s opposition as fundamentally evil and will treat them accordingly.

But remember, when this stage is done, that fire will be turned on Trump, and you’ll be grateful to have them on your side
posted by moorooka at 4:40 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


I love how tone policing is allowed now.

From Wikipedia: “ Tone policing (also tone trolling, tone argument, and tone fallacy) is an ad hominem (personal attack) and antidebate tactic based on criticizing a person for expressing emotion.”

Pointing out that threats are threatening is not tone policing; using social justice language inappropriately to make yourself seem like a victim is, however, shitty.
posted by schadenfrau at 4:42 PM on February 23 [15 favorites]


“Bernie bro” is a myth in the sense that Bernie’s supporters are majority female and more diverse than other candidates’.

Yeah no. Biden still beats him with POC.

But it’s not a myth in the sense that Bernie has a large cohort of supporters who view Bernie’s opposition as fundamentally evil and will treat them accordingly.

Totally not fascist at all. Let’s jump on this bandwagon.
posted by chris24 at 4:44 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


You're right; having your candidate called a rat by someone with the twitter handle "Nationalize Wrestling [rose emoji]" is a clear and present danger.
posted by Jimbob at 4:44 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


Just adding my voice to say that I also would like people to find out, after fucking around! Why not. Fucking around and finding out are two of my favorite things, along with going there, kicking back, and vibing.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:44 PM on February 23 [17 favorites]


But it’s not a myth in the sense that Bernie has a large cohort of supporters who view Bernie’s opposition as fundamentally evil and will treat them accordingly.

How about this Jimbob?
posted by chris24 at 4:46 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


[Hi! We're well and truly into the shitty vortex of primary season and I'm gonna need folks to do their part to not make it an absolute misery for mods and mefites alike for the next however goddam long.

If you want to hang out on MetaFilter to track the events of the various primary/caucus events and your personal as in literally-just-you feelings about stuff, great! Remember you're one person in a room full of other people all of whom in theory like it here, and moderate your behavior accordingly.

If you want to get in a scrap about shit or posture archly or or complain about how bad They are or just argue something into the ground until people stop disagreeing: it's probably making things worse around here and you need to stop. We need people to manage their own behavior, short-circuit the whole crappy loop of "but they started it" reactive escalation and tit-for-tat stuff, and ultimately find somewhere else to discuss US politics if you find that undoable.

This is not your family table at Thanksgiving, and this is not a neighborhood Facebook gripe group. Please don't treat it like either. This is me trying to toss out a little fair warning before I start just giving folks time off a lot more readily.]

posted by cortex (staff) at 4:46 PM on February 23 [58 favorites]


On some related, but less contentious news, Orb Lady has just endorsed Bernie Sanders.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 4:48 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


The size of these Texas Bernie rallies is getting my hopes up in unwise ways. I wonder if Beto will weigh in.
posted by sallybrown at 4:51 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


60 Minutes did a Nernie interview which aired a bit earlier tonight and should shortly show up on their site. (Probably geo-locked, unfortunately.)
posted by XMLicious at 4:56 PM on February 23


sallybrown: The size of these Texas Bernie rallies is getting my hopes up in unwise ways.

I was struck reading about the 1960 election that it was New York and California that were the Electoral College swing states. These kind of changes have happened before.
posted by clawsoon at 4:58 PM on February 23


Looking ahead after Nevada—how the nation's largest minority group could reshape the Democratic race:

“From Nevada through March 17, the Democratic primary calendar will run through seven of the 12 states where Latinos constitute at least 10% of the total eligible voting population .... That includes California (30.5% of eligible voters), Texas (30.4%), Arizona (23.6%), Florida (20.5%), Nevada (19.7%) and Colorado (15.9%). Latinos represent almost 12% of eligible voters in Illinois, the other state voting soon with a large concentration of that population. . . . The seven Latino-heavy states voting through March 17 will award 1,207 pledged delegates to the Democratic convention. That's 46% of the 2,603 total pledged delegates that will be awarded in primaries and caucuses through February and March.”
posted by sallybrown at 5:05 PM on February 23 [5 favorites]


schadenfrau: I think what scares me the most is the extent to which this has metastasized, in the last four years, and continues to metastasize, into a culture of abuse. It has already pushed people (mostly women) out of the public sphere on the left. You don’t hear them because they’ve stopped participating, because they don’t want to be abused, or they can’t take it without getting triggered to fuck, or whatever.

This sounds like an important phenomenon, and I'd be interested in a longer read on it if you know of one.
posted by clawsoon at 5:15 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Yeah no. Biden still beats him with POC.

You might need to get more granular than "PoC" here. Biden beat him among Black voters in Nevada by a decent margin, but lost among Latino voters by a wide margin.

As far as I know the only other candidates who have really been able to come close with either demographic are the two very rich guys, who have been able to leverage being very rich to accelerate the process of building name recognition and endorsements (but one of whom has skeletons just falling out of his closet on race).
posted by atoxyl at 5:19 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


I would love it, for my own mental health, if someone could show me data suggesting this is how we win the 5 bullshit rust belt states + Florida that gave us Trump in 2016, because they are all that matter for the Presidency.

Don't count out NC and Georgia. Obama won NC in 2008, and he came pretty darn close in 2012. He even came close to winning Georgia in 2012 in spite of basically spending no campaign dollars here at all. NC and Georgia are in the middle of the demographic flip, with lots of young people of color (Black, Latinx, and AAPI, and don't discount the Lumbee and Cherokee in NC, either) who just need to be excited enough to deal with all the bullshit they have to deal with to vote here. Get them excited. Help them vote.

That sure sounds a lot easier than persuading a bunch of racist white people not to vote for the racist white guy who is fulfilling all their white supremacist fantasies.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:24 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


South Carolina next Saturday will be an interesting test of Sanders vs Biden. It is the biggest state so far and 60% of Democrats are African American.
posted by JackFlash at 5:27 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


Fair point atoxyl. I was basing that on his lead with black voters which comprise about 20% of the Democratic Party. Bernie does lead with latinx though they comprise about 10% of the party.
posted by chris24 at 5:31 PM on February 23


beth, purity test enthusiast @bourgeoisalien
Marianne Williamson endorsed Bernie. Level two complete. We are now Bernie bro-orbs.

You must assimilate. Resistance is futile.

We are the Brorb.
4:06 PM · Feb 23, 2020·Twitter for Android
342 Retweets 2.2K Likes
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:32 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


On the big Sanders groups on Facebook there’s a phrase that’s becoming a meme: “fuck around and find out”.

Man, save it for the pundits and political hacks.
posted by atoxyl at 5:32 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


I think what scares me the most is the extent to which this has metastasized, in the last four years, and continues to metastasize, into a culture of abuse.

I've seen this in a lot of different fora over the past few years. One thing I've come to expect from the Very Online people I follow is that when they re-tweet someone obscure – approvingly or disapprovingly – the person they quote often deletes their Tweet, sometimes their whole account. I have to think it's because they're getting piled on by keyboard warriors.

I think the Very Online phenomenon has a lot to do with it: the people with the hottest, freshest takes get their voices amplified and their readers feel that they're foot soldiers in an army of the outraged. It's a problem, both for their targets and for those of us who are worried about that there isn't a coalition for tackling offline problems. And that's what this selection process is about: building a left/liberal coalition to defeat the huge coalition of rentiers, polluters, fascists, and theocrats that have captured the Republican Party. There can only be one Democratic nominee for President, but I really hope each candidate's supporters remembers that (regardless of the outcome) they will need to work together with their present opponents if they're going to defeat Trump.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:35 PM on February 23 [12 favorites]


Anand Giridharadas
@AnandWrites
·
8h
This is a wake-up moment for the American power establishment.

Many in this elite are behaving like aristocrats in a dying regime — including in media.

It’s time for many to step up, rethink, and understand the dawn of what may be a new era in America.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:42 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


I haven’t seen one person in here declare they wouldn’t vote for Sanders if he got the nomination. Not one.

So why does that strawman keep getting thrown around? Knock it off, okay.
posted by Everyone Expects The Spanish Influenza at 5:48 PM on February 23 [12 favorites]


Fair point atoxyl. I was basing that on his lead with black voters which comprise about 20% of the Democratic Party. Bernie does lead with latinx though they comprise about 10% of the party.

Obvs which is most important strategically also varies a lot by state. Really my bigger point is just that the Sanders campaign has clearly succeeded in building a diverse coalition, making it one of a couple that seem like they could clear that bar for a democratic victory. Whereas, you know, take your Petes - they have not!
posted by atoxyl at 5:51 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


The race is weird and will only get weirder once Bloomberg starts getting votes and further splitting the Biden-Buttigieg-Klobuchar wing, so I'm curious whether any sort of strong second-place finisher will emerge. Right now they're mostly hovering around the 15% viability threshold, which really hurts all of them. Buttigieg is in 2nd place by delegates for now, but is in real danger of not hitting the threshold in Nevada, and it's really hard to break out of the pack if you're scraping by with just a few Congressional district delegates but none from statewide viability, especially when they all seem to be trading the role of Just Over Viability Candidate between themselves rather than having one consistent contender. If it stays as it is and 5 candidates (and I guess also Tom Steyer) are splitting 55 to 60 percent of the vote relatively evenly, Sanders could rack up 200 more delegates than anyone else in California and 100 more in Texas, and at some point the math just stops working for anyone other than Sanders.

It would also be interesting to see who that other candidate would even be since not a single one of the campaigns has made the slightest move to consolidate its support with any of the others. If they just keep waiting for everyone else to be the first to bail, we'll all be in March with half of them still under 50 delegates. At that point I'd be pretty skeptical that even a sudden alignment behind a single other candidate would achieve much of anything.
posted by Copronymus at 5:55 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]


We are now Bernie bro-orbs.

Nernie Norbs.
posted by Foosnark at 6:03 PM on February 23 [18 favorites]


atoxyl, I agree POC are a much more important part of Bernie’s coalition this year. My initial comment was simply disagreeing with moorooka’s comment that Bernie has the most diverse support. He definitely does beat the others others besides Joe though.
posted by chris24 at 6:05 PM on February 23


I know a lot of you aren't happy that Sanders won Nevada, and it's natural you'd want to vent a bit, but intensity of rage and absolute hatred a lot of you have been expressing in this thread is disturbing.

You know until the little hate spiral most people including a lot of previous non-sander's voters were indicating in this very thread how they were pretty happy that it looked like the convention might not be contested- and was in Sander's favor and despite their own preferences were glad Sanders was looking like a front runner- So once again I'd like a cite for the "Intense rage and absolute hatred" against Sanders you seem to be disturbed by because it looks like any vitriol on both sides is being thrown to supporters not the candidate.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 6:09 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


Can someone explain this Nernie thing?
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:09 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


It’s like “Vyger” from the old Star Trek movie: Nernie is a typo that became a god.
posted by notyou at 6:11 PM on February 23 [20 favorites]


I know a lot of you aren't happy that Sanders won Nevada, and it's natural you'd want to vent a bit, but intensity of rage and absolute hatred a lot of you have been expressing in this thread is disturbing.

This is gaslighting. No one in this thread has expressed an "intensity of rage" or "absolute hatred." Please quote the comments you are talking about.

Can someone explain this Nernie thing?

Typo, from this comment early in the thread.
posted by arcolz at 6:12 PM on February 23 [13 favorites]


Also, it's sort of gone unremarked, but although as of last week Biden had never come in higher than 4th in any Presidential primary or caucus in his entire life, by coming in 2nd in Nevada and probably getting around 7 delegates in a single contest, he's posted new personal bests, and we can now say that this is, objectively and definitively, by far the most successful set of primaries of his entire career.
posted by Copronymus at 6:15 PM on February 23 [12 favorites]


Michael Moore has claimed that there are about 20 (or dozens) of AOC type candidates running for congress and hundreds more across the country for different elected positions. I have easily seen about a dozen for congress that are ready to expand the squad. I mean Nancy Pelosi has a serious challenge. The organizing is real and many are taking their second swing, understanding where they fell short last time so have much better organizations ... and Moore is rather tuned in to party politics as he can tell Tom Perez, "You and I need to talk". He heard about AOC when she had just enter the race and was polling at about 3% and sent a film crew to meet her and she was like "How do you even know I exist?". (YouTube video 3hr 51min but linked to Moore telling the story just before AOC comes out to add to it, it was a nice moment) AOC wants more support and is building it too. That is all part of the political movement. Just because there is little visibility doesn't mean it isn't being built and the amount of votes needed often isn't huge. AOC began one living room at a time. Four people was a big turn out ... and she is explaining the concept often and inspiring more involvement.

Also, if I had money to bet like 100$, it will be a Sanders / Turner ticket ... there isn't any other real choice. There are many other great people who could be VP but Nina has been his sister is the struggle through it all, so it would only be right to offer it to her first.

I liked these endorsements too;

Patch Adams Endorses Burning Sandals in 2016...and 2020! (YouTube video 33sec)
It was true then, and it's true now. We need radical change in this country to save our species and our planet! We need a revolution of love! Feel the Bern!

Dick Van Dyke Endorses Bernie Sanders for President (YouTube video 1min58sec)
“He never has changed his attack because of pressure from the outside or when he felt the wind was blowing another way. He stuck with who he is and what he believes."
posted by phoque at 6:30 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


Over the course of this election it has become increasingly clear that the Sanders campaign is really not fucking around here, they want it badly enough and they're competent enough to weather all the fuckery the media and the party are sending their way and press any advantage they can. Just look at how they've been handling the Iowa recounts. It's not just Bernie too, he has a team of people who are extremely politically adept and take no shit, and an honest to god popular movement behind him.

We MeFites have long been annoyed at Democratic politicians' tendency to immediately fold and give in when they meet any kind of systemic resistance. If the democratic socialist movement really does reach the white house, I think this bodes well for a Sanders administration's ability to get things done. The movement is serious about their (our) agenda and is going to do 100% of what we can to get it through.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 6:31 PM on February 23 [35 favorites]


The race is weird and will only get weirder once Bloomberg starts getting votes

Elizabeth Warren murdered Bloomberg on national television. He's already dead; he just hasn't admitted it yet.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:05 PM on February 23 [27 favorites]


Can we stop talking about the convention now? A good chunk of this thread is people speculating madly about as yet unvoted on percentages of delegates like this was a real thing happening now, instead of the vote that actually happened.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 7:28 PM on February 23 [14 favorites]


This is gaslighting.

Can we also be a little less eager to drop terms suggestive of abuse and manipulation on people who are themselves claiming unfair treatment, whether it seems objectively true or not? That's going to take the conversation into head-spinning territory pretty fast. This primary thing is pretty tense and hostile, all around!

(and again if you gotta take that out on somebody make it a James Carville or a Chris Matthews)
posted by atoxyl at 8:10 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


Nomiki Konst (who did a ton of work inside the DNC for the Sanders side of things after 2016 (including reform commission) and knows how the machine works) explains why a contested convention is basically a non existent possibility at this point and even then impossible to take from Sanders at this point for the simple reason that super delegates are also diverse so can't be seen as a single unit needed to achieve a victory.

Bernie is the presumptive nominee. (outdoor livestream to YouTube 9min 49sec)
posted by phoque at 8:17 PM on February 23 [6 favorites]


The Trailer: What we learned from the Nevada caucuses
In Nevada, with 60 percent of precincts reporting, Sanders has carried around 33 percent of first-preference votes. But the Sanders turnout operation helped him dominate the county convention delegate count. A precinct with seven Sanders voters, one Biden voter, one Buttigieg voter and one Warren voter, for example, would have delivered every CCD to Sanders, as only he had crossed the 15 percent viability threshold.

That meant, for Sanders, that winning a third of the vote (so far) has been worth nearly half of the CCDs.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:41 PM on February 23


So... Ummm... Bernie was on 60 minutes tonight...
Bernie Sanders: We're very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it's unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know? When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?
Bernie. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Holy shit please stop defending communist autocrats.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 8:41 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


I'm gonna file that one as "not wrong but I dunno if it's gonna help you in Florida."
posted by atoxyl at 8:47 PM on February 23 [14 favorites]


Cuba's average life expectancy is pretty much exactly the same as in the USA, with the average male life expectancy actually being higher, despite being an impoverished island besieged for 60 years by the most powerful empire on Earth.

It's true that in many aspects, Cuba is an against-all-odds success story. Knee-jerk anti-Cuba anti-truth might help you among some descendants of expats in Florida and other commie-hating demographics, but I'm told by liberals that truth and facts are important.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:53 PM on February 23 [18 favorites]


Ted Cruz spent half of 2016 yelling at Obama for not demonizing Castro or the Cuban regime enough, how much did it help him or hurt anyone's impressions of Obama?
posted by Copronymus at 8:55 PM on February 23 [7 favorites]


That Cuba thing is blown out of proportion.

Peter Shulman
When the original tweet that set off the hyperventilating started going around I *almost* tweeted something to the effect of ‘I’ve never seen a Josh Kraushaar tweet that was unfavorable to Dems that wasn’t a quote taken out of context’ & I regret that I didn’t trust my experience
Patrick Iber
Here's the full excerpt from the 60 Minutes interview, in case you're only seeing tiny pieces. Sanders is explaining that one of the reason that ordinary people didn't rise up against Castro more was that he put in place widely popular programs in 59-62. That's 100% true


There's a whole thread on it from Patrick Iber behind his tweet link. Patrick is a history prof specializing on Latin America and the Cold War at U of Wisc. Which is not to say his opinion is definitive, but he's not a Twitter rando
posted by chris24 at 9:01 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


Castro was great on healthcare and education, but brutal on freedom of thought and assembly. Bernie's right when he says that Castro was not all bad, but it's disturbing that he would use this mixed record to defend authoritarianism. On preview, Bernie's comment makes a lot more sense in context. Still...
posted by xammerboy at 9:05 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Not to mention he twice said he condemned the autocratic actions of the Castro regime and Anderson Cooper's narration explained he made the comments in the context of an explanation as to why the Cuban people hadn't risen up to overthrow Castro.

Yeah, he probably isn't going to win any votes among angry Cuban expats, but are we ever gonna grow up about this shit?

Edit: please point out where he defended authoritarianism.
posted by eagles123 at 9:06 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


I don't think he was defending authoritarianism. He specifically in the full quote says he spoke out at the time and now against it. He was answering a question about why the people didn't rise up more and gave one possible reason.
posted by chris24 at 9:07 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


schadenfrau I'm pretty sure that any serious strategist on the Democratic side has to work on the assumption that Florida is a guaranteed loss because the state government is 100% owned by the Republicans and they will abuse it to cheat and give Florida's EV's to Trump no matter what the actual vote was.

Though, yeah, Sanders' unforced error of praising Castro was really fucking stupid. It's one reason why I was behind Warren back when it looked like she had a chance. Sanders has good politics, but he's almost as much of a walking gaffe factory as Biden.
posted by sotonohito at 9:08 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]




I didn't think I'd live to see the day when an Anderson Cooper video gave a potential controversy involving a left-wing politician a more fair treatment than Metafilter commenters, but I guess if you live long enough you see everything.
posted by eagles123 at 9:13 PM on February 23 [18 favorites]


Gotta say it's pretty refreshing that when our version of the bold, truth-telling, tell-it-like-it-is, non-focus-grouped outsider goes off script, he tends to say things that are true and not racist.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:13 PM on February 23 [24 favorites]


Sanders: implies that something positive happened in Cuba
Metafilter: Sanders said he'd do what to Chris Matthews in Central Park?!
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:18 PM on February 23 [11 favorites]


If you have to explain why you aren't wrong, you fucked up.

If you have to explain why something isn't corrupt, you fucked up.

If you have to explain why it wasn't **REALLY** praising a dictator, you fucked up.

It doesn't matter if you're right or not. What matters, all that matters, is how the politically disengaged types who only know what they see in the headlines or what FOX or CNN shows them. They're disinterested, don't give a shit about explanations, and they hold the fate of the country in their hands.

Yes, Sanders was totally right, accurate, correct, and saying it was still really fucking stupid. Because you have to spend several minutes explaining why he wasn't praising a dictator while his detractors only need to play a five second clip or show a single headline.

It won't cost him the election, everyone fucks up, but the rule is simple: if you have to explain you've already lost that point.

You'll never go wrong if you expect the US voting public to be unwilling to listen to even a thirty second explanation. If you have to explain then you fucked up.

Remember the (almost certainly fictional) story about LBJ wanting to claim his opponent fucked pigs? His advisers said it wasn't true and LBJ is supposed to have said "I know, I want to make the son of a bitch deny it!" The story is probably fiction, but it underscores the idea: if you have to explain, you lost the point.

It doesn't matter if you're right. As a leftist with intellectual and academic pretensions I hate that. Our left leaning media loves to show us people explaining and winning by explaining, it was one of the major draws to the show West Wing. President Bartlett was always explaining things and by doing so making the right wing twits look like twits. It's how we desperately want the world to work.

But the world doesn't work that way.

Explanations lose. If you have to explain then you've lost. So never put yourself in a position where you have to explain why what you did wasn't really corrupt, or racist, or dictator praising. It doesn't matter if you're really right or not, you'll still lose.
posted by sotonohito at 9:27 PM on February 23 [10 favorites]


Incredible the way people are freaking out over such an absolutely innocuous remark, in light of all the things that were said by the last man to be elected President. If 2016 can teach us anything it’s that the media’s idea of a disqualifying comment is no such thing.
posted by moorooka at 9:39 PM on February 23 [16 favorites]


Sanders sometimes says shit that is not 100% focus grouped or that requires a fairly complex amount of background knowledge. This is not a bad thing.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:40 PM on February 23 [22 favorites]


> If 2016 can teach us anything it’s that the media’s idea of a disqualifying comment is no such thing.

...for a Republican.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:43 PM on February 23 [8 favorites]


One thing almost everyone in this thread has done in this thread is talk past each other about what the likely convention scenarios will be and jumped pretty much right to an argument about the worst-case scenario “stealing the nomination from Bernie”.

As a reminder, politics is about the exercise of power. In a democratic system, that is measured by how many people are on your side. I know this is restating what should be obvious, but bear with me, because some things that seemed obvious to me clearly aren’t obvious to everyone.

In the Democratic primary system, you need delegates. Nobody will get the nomination at the convention without a majority of delegates. Now, if you get a majority of delegates locked up during the primary process, great! The convention becomes a formality. Any opposing candidates must come to you if they want a position or policy in the administration.

Now, if you can’t get a majority, the tactics change a bit. You need to come to your opponents and search for common ground. What do you have to give to get their support? Maybe it’s the promise of a job. Maybe you have to make a deal on some policy. You trade horses. Don’t want to get rolled at the convention? Make good trades.

Looking at 538, the odds for Bernie getting a majority have jumped to almost 50/50. The odds of him getting a plurality are over 66%. And not a weak plurality, either. They’re forecasting in the 1800 range, which is pretty good. If you add in Warren’s delegates, you get over the top. This is a good thing! Winning a majority is within reason and if you don’t, there is a natural ally who could put you over the top for very little cost. Likely a cabinet position that they would be well qualified for anyways and no meaningful policy concessions.

Which is why the tenor of this conversation makes no damn sense to me. You would think he’s barely holding on and the skullduggery of the other candidates is a given.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 9:44 PM on February 23 [9 favorites]


Trump gaffes like that all the time, but he DGAF and neither do the people who like him and like what he does. Gaffes are obsolete once you're shameless. Whether Sanders can pull that off remains to be seen. But it's not a given he can't.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:49 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


I absolutely agree that you don't want to be explaining complex things to the American people and like you, things like this is why I prefer Warren. That said, while you don't want to be explaining, you also don't want to be apologizing or accepting of bullshit attacks. As Trump has shown, people respond to and believe people who think and act like they're right. So when these "gaffes" happen, it's better to fight back and not accept their framing rather than let them see Ds saying "damn, he shouldn't have said that." Get on your heels and it'll never end and you'll never have momentum. And at least when we do it, the power move will have the advantage of being true as opposed to Trump who does it constantly with lies. When they bring it up, say "he's actually right and besides, I didn't see you say shit about Trump praising Kim who has tens of thousands of Christians in camps." Yes the press loves IOKIYAR, but throw it in their face every day.
posted by chris24 at 9:49 PM on February 23 [18 favorites]


Yeah, there's been three primaries so far and there's only been one candidate that's collected a notable number of delegates in each. It's way more likely that, once Sanders gets within striking distance of the nomination and it's personally expedient to appear part of the movement, suddenly there'll be a bunch of centre-left people coming out of the woodwork ready to endorse Sanders.

Remember when AOC protested Pelosi's office and Pelosi was all 'I admire the passion of our newest Democrats and look forward to working with them on the issue of climate change?' Democrats are used to the idea of having a fractious coalition and pivoting when the winds change. It seems more natural for them to suddenly declare they're With The People's Candidate once it's more politically expedient for them to do so than to decry that Sanders Doesn't Speak For Americans.
posted by Merus at 10:03 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


I absolutely agree that you don't want to be explaining complex things to the American people and like you, things like this is why I prefer Warren.

Depends on the issue I think. One of the things I like about Sanders as stump speaker is the directness of his message on issues like health care, his ability to just say "we are going to do this because it's morally right and we are going to make everyone pay their fair share" - he makes it sound possible, a matter of political will rather than inherent complexity, and he gives voters enough credit to assume they can understand concepts like progressive taxation, which is an important hump to get over to be able to do any number of other things.

And of course I love that he's a guy who said he wanted to abolish the CIA in 1974 - in 1974? You betcha! - and I think to some extent conventional wisdom can overestimate how much the average person these days cares about Cold Warrior sort of stuff. On the other hand I think in cases like this he'd be better off falling back on "we don't want any more wars, we want to normalize relations with Cuba, U.S. intervention in Latin America has largely come to no good" etc. as his approach to survive the questions about whether he has issued sufficient condemnation of XYZ regime versus trying a nuanced explanation of the whole history of the Cuban Revolution.
posted by atoxyl at 10:26 PM on February 23 [3 favorites]


[Several deleted, for reasons well-known to all. Stop.]
posted by taz (staff) at 12:42 AM on February 24


schadenfrau I'm pretty sure that any serious strategist on the Democratic side has to work on the assumption that Florida is a guaranteed loss because the state government is 100% owned by the Republicans and they will abuse it to cheat and give Florida's EV's to Trump no matter what the actual vote was.

Is it worse than it's been before? I don't know specifically but it seems like a poor excuse - there are some demographics in Florida that would probably be good for him and lots of states will have voter suppression. It's possible he had a handicap there anyway because of past comments, and he could never pass as a hardliner (which isn't worth doing for Dems now anyway I think). It just seems like a subject where it's a better idea to talk present than past.

(not concern trolling just playing pretend advisor)
posted by atoxyl at 12:51 AM on February 24


Anybody who praises Castro’s education system is obviously a left wing BOZO and could never be president!
posted by lattiboy at 1:03 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


On a more related note to the thread, I don’t think the amount of capital T theory being pushed into the mainstream is being properly appreciated. Sanders yelled into Bloomberg’s face that he didn’t do shit to get his billions and stole the productivity of his workers on a national debate stage and was WILDLY cheered for it.

I have never bought into accelerationism before, but boy howdy something is happening.
posted by lattiboy at 1:23 AM on February 24 [22 favorites]


If you have to explain why it wasn't **REALLY** praising a dictator, you fucked up.

This presumes the person saying that you're praising a dictator is acting honestly and in good-faith, which we know that Republicans do not do. They lie about everything, and spending all your time correcting them is a losing proposition.
posted by mikelieman at 4:03 AM on February 24 [16 favorites]


Depends on the issue I think.

Oh yeah. I think having to correct a supposed gaffe with a complicated explanation is trouble. I think Bernie and Liz both do a good job of explaining/simplifying their agenda. On supposed gaffes I just think instead of trying to justify/correct/explain you just state your position and flip the script. Don't back down, attack them.

And the CIA thing is another good example like Cuba of a bullshit attack. Despite what Rs, Max Boot or whoever is saying, it wasn't some awful, traitorous thing to think the CIA should be cut back then. As a Senator, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who had been a Nixon advisor, introduced a bill in 1995 to eliminate the CIA. In 1960s, Truman, who created the CIA and Dean Acheson called for abolishing it. JFK said it should be "scattered to the four winds."
posted by chris24 at 4:04 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


@DecisionDeskHQ:
NV Caucus County Convention Delegate Results - Total of 96% of precincts reporting

Sanders 46.8%
Biden 20.4%
Buttigieg 13.9%
Warren 9.8%
Steyer 4.6%
Klobuchar 4.2%
Total votes cast so far (first alignment): 98,897.

Full results here:
posted by chris24 at 4:52 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


In the full context not designed to be a false gotcha moment suitable for getting people het up on Twitter (and apparently MeFi) it is clear that was not a gaffe by Sanders. When explaining why more ppl did not rise up against authoritarians in any context, pointing out social programs that benefit people as contributing to that is perfectly normal. One might even say necessary. I wonder if there's any parallel with certain policy measures put in place by the Trump admin to prevent discord among segments of the population (see: tax cuts for rich ppl.)

The speed with which the false narrative of "Bernie praises Castro" was repeated here is disappointing.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:48 AM on February 24 [15 favorites]


As is the fact that I feel pressure to clarify here on MeFi that I am not a Bernie bro, Warren is my first choice, Bernie a close second, blah blah blah blah blah.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:49 AM on February 24


I wonder if there's any parallel with certain policy measures put in place by the Trump admin to prevent discord among segments of the population (see: tax cuts for rich ppl.)

And subsidies for farmers.
posted by chris24 at 6:06 AM on February 24


What Sanders should have done, if he was smart, is to go on TV and say "Jack Cuba, the dictator of Cuba, kept anyone from learning to read. And that's why I plan to make Jack Cuba ILLEGAL in the US." Kind of a huge gaffe not to say that, really!
posted by Greg Nog at 6:11 AM on February 24 [17 favorites]


I was happy to see Bernie give a reasonable perspective on the Castro regime. Castro was a dictator and I’m no fan of political repression, but it has to be said: if you’re a socialist of any stripe, you’re probably going to feel some fondness for the only socialist Latin American leader of the 20th century to actually make it out alive with their country’s sovereignty in tact, at a time when the US was trying to railroad every country in the region into serving as compliant tributaries to Capital.

Like, my favorite of those guys was the democratic socialist Allende, but I gotta respect the hustle, you know?
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 6:17 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


Sanders had no reason to mention Castro's name at all and it was a huge unforced error. If he wanted to thread that needle he needed to go with something like "even Cuba, a country that has been existing on a shoestring budget for the better part of a century, has managed to run programs of universal literacy and universal healthcare. You're telling me the richest country in the world can't do it?"

He's got the fire and brimstone, and the populist fury but he needs better instincts about not scaring the damn normies.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:20 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


I might be wrong, but it feels like the US isn't kneejerk afraid of socialism and communism the way it used to be. I really doubt this is going to make any appreciable impact on anything.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 6:24 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


He was asked about something he said in 80’s. Did you even watch the 60 minutes piece? Should he have refused to answer the question?
posted by eagles123 at 6:25 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


I’ve defended Sanders on this response but I do think in the future he needs to be smarter in how he responds to minimize the opportunity for people of bad faith to capitalize. Not that he needs to refuse to answer, but answer in a way that turns it around to current issues and problems and highlights Trump’s hypocrisy on the issues. His response earlier to Chuck Todd that I posted where he said Trump’s fealty to Putin and Kim were the real pandering to communists is an example. His job now is to win an election, not defend historical socialism.

But like OSBA said, I do think the socialism attack has been muted a bit by Rs constantly calling everything socialism for the last few decades. People like the ACA now, they’ve always liked SS and Medicare. So when they hear them called socialism they think maybe that’s not so bad.
posted by chris24 at 6:33 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


He was asked about something he said in 80’s.
Here he is explaining why the Cuban people didn't rise up and help the U.S. overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro: "…he educated their kids, gave them health care, totally transformed the society, you know?"
OK What sounds better:
Bernie Sanders: We're very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it's unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know? When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?
or
Cuba, a country that has been existing on a shoestring budget for the better part of a century, even run by a tinpot dictatot, has managed to run programs of universal literacy and universal healthcare much like every other developed nation in the world except us. You're telling me the richest country in the world can't do it?
Bernie needs to challenge people. He can't go in there with a "well Castro wasn't all bad". He needs to go in there with "we need to be better than this asshole and currently, he's winning". Hell, the USG convinced the American people to put a damn man on the moon with everyone pointing out "we need to be better than the USSR and currently, they're winning".
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:34 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


I cannot understand why there's some unwritten rule that mentions of Castro can only be brought up in the negative. Mentions of any socialist has to only brought up as a negative (unless they're European; then it's more acceptable).

Sanders praised Winston Churhill in 2015 even though he is at least partially responsible for millions of dead on the subcontinent and can somewhat be accurately labelled a "genuine genocidaire." How on earth is it considered worse to talk about the positives of Communist Cuba while allowing praise of Churchill? How was Nelson Mandela allowed to be praised despite the terrorist actions of the ANC (with which I make no bones).

In the end, we can excuse any atrocity if it's in the name of a market economy and we will condemn any benefit if it's attached to a leftist ideology. Let's at least be honest with ourselves and stop the selective outrage at some forms of human rights abuses and not others.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 6:35 AM on February 24 [23 favorites]


He was asked about something he said in 80’s. Did you even watch the 60 minutes piece? Should he have refused to answer the question?

Well no, but he should have had better political instincts. I am a huge Bernie supporter and I think that this was in fact a misstep.

Sanders needs to readjust a little. We know, he knows, EVERYONE knows that it is all hands on deck to bring down the progressive monster and save capital from even the slightest inconvenience, and everyone from the radical right to the lair of the Democratic Party is on the brute squad. Sound bites still matter, and Sanders needs to be coached on thinking more carefully how every bit of his public presentation can be used against him, even out of context. Heck, ESPECIALLY out of context.
posted by FakeFreyja at 6:39 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Two interesting pieces from The Atlantic:

Bernie Sanders Is George McGovern - "The similarities between 2020 and 1972 are too astonishing to ignore. But there’s one big difference."

When Will Moderates Learn Their Lesson? - "If centrists can’t move past their doctrine and recognize when their candidates are unelectable, then how will Democrats ever beat Trump?"
posted by Ouverture at 6:41 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


I cannot understand why there's some unwritten rule that mentions of Castro can only be brought up in the negative.

Because we're trying to remove a protofascist that's occupying the White House and we will probably need Florida. Republicans haven't gone full on authoritarian and had it magically stick. They've been priming their electorate for decades. We can't expect to walk in there with the political equivalent of "ACKSHULLY parts of socialism aren't that bad" and expect to fix forty years of programming in one election cycle.

To put it bluntly, if this election is a referendum on Trump, we will probably win. If this election is a referendum on how Americans feel about socialism, we have a good chance of losing.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:42 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


Exactly, the best way to change people’s opinions of socialism is having Bernie win and be a good president. Not fight every past historical battle over perceptions of it during the election.
posted by chris24 at 6:44 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


[Your Childhood Pet Rock, you've said your say about the Castro thing. Please drop it now.]
posted by taz (staff) at 6:45 AM on February 24


Pro-Castro statements seem to be a major trigger for Cubans of a certain age.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:46 AM on February 24


Yeah, well, pro-socialism statements seemed to be a major trigger for Americans of a certain age, and look where we are now.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 6:49 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Yes he should have refused to answer the questing by pivoting to a solid talking point and redirecting the interview. Something like

"I'm not here to talk about dead dictators, I'm here to talk about how we can save nearly half a trillion dollars and the lives of hundred of thousands of Americans every year be stitching to M4A"
posted by sotonohito at 6:52 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


Minnesota is having precinct caucuses tomorrow, and has a presidential primary as part of Super Tuesday next week. (The DFL has listed the functional differences between the two.) Was disappointed to find out that the MN primary is first-past-the-post. The candidates were set in December, so there are 15 choices and uncommitted (no write-in). Not sure if it's worth going to the caucus to complain about it.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:54 AM on February 24


Latest 538 forecast:

Chance Of Winning A Plurality Of Pledged Delegates:
Sanders 69%
Biden 17%
Bloomberg 11%
Warren 2%
Buttigieg 1%
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 6:57 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


The (538 report of) state-by-state polls of various candidates vs Trump is interesting. Look at Florida, VA, Mich, PA, Wis. over the last month. Sanders has risen to the position of beating Trump by more points in these swing states than any other candidate.
posted by TreeRooster at 7:08 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


Sanders has probably already shown he can talk about anything he wants in a campaign, and it won't affect the voting of people who hate Trump.
posted by Harry Caul at 7:15 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


(Equivocation: Florida is not as clear as the others; there are conflicting polls.)
posted by TreeRooster at 7:16 AM on February 24


The issue with Sanders not being the candidate is not that the highly motivated snake emoji posting "bros" on twitter won't vote for him in the general.

Actually there are a number of possibilities which have distinctly different outcomes:

1) Sanders does not win even a plurality
2) He does win a plurality but it is very close (30% / 29% / etc.) - brokered convention ends up with another candidate
3) He wins a plurality and it is not close (40% / 15% / etc.) - brokered convention ends up with another candidate
4) He wins a plurality or majority and is the nominee.

I think that if (1) were to happen, many of his supporters would fall into un-enthusiastic line. However that is now a vanishingly unlikely outcome.

If (2) were to happen there is a real issue with democratic legitimacy. I get that the party has processes and that everyone signed up to them but that is not a convincing argument to anyone other than rule loving technocrats. As others have pointed out, there is actually no way of knowing what the second choices of the Democratic selectorate are. Everyone will be guessing that their candidate best reflects what people want.

(3) is the same as (2) but much, much worse. From a rules point of view it is identical but the optics are horrific.

People who are that engaged with politics will vote and they will overwhelmingly vote for the nominee (except if the nominee is Bloomberg). We know that from the last election as well. Even the bro-iest of the bros, like the Chapo hosts have admitted that obviously they will (although they live in New York so doesn't matter). By definition, anyone who threatens to do this online is so involved with politics that they will not actually do it.

The real problems are:

1) What many of these people will not do is campaign as enthusiastically for another nominee, since he has the largest and most engaged volunteer operation this may hurt.

2) Most people are not highly-online politics junkies. There is a risk that some of the people who find Sanders very motivating (but not so much that they are active campaigners) will stay home if the nominee is another candidate. See also the recent discussion on MeFi about the effect of turnout on election outcome. That isn't a threat - it can't be because those people by definition are not engaged enough to be controlled in a block vote.

3) Most of all: what will Donny do to someone who couldn't even win his own party's internal election? He will hammer, and hammer, and hammer that the whole thing is a dirty trick. Imagine, he gets to run as being sympathetic to "crazy Bernie" who was robbed by a bunch of party insiders. "He was a crazy commy but at least he was honest". Trump is at his most effective when he has an establishment to fight against. A candidate coming out of a brokered convention who was not the plurality winner will stink of establishment and there is nothing that can wash that off.
posted by atrazine at 7:18 AM on February 24 [15 favorites]


I will say that the 60 minutes interview was heavily edited to appear more “sound bitey” than maybe it seemed as it was being conducted. In other words, the interview may have been more conversational and less confrontational than the impression the final edit leaves for some. I think Cooper’s narration had about as much speaking time as Sander’s responses. And of course it generated a clickbate headline on CNN.

Even given that, I did not come away from watching it with the impression that Sander’s was defending Cuba or even Socialism as a construct.

I really think the only people that care about it are people who wouldn’t be happy unless Sanders also committed to walking back Obama’s rapproachment with Cuba - which he won’t do.

To me, it’s better to talk about what what you are for than constantly wring your hands about incoming attacks. The interview as edited didn’t give Sander’s a chance to do much of that because it was as much Cooper explaining Sanders to people with Sander’s interview answers inserted as support than a segment designed to allow Sander’s to introduce himself in an interview. Even given that, I really didn’t see much there that was new.
posted by eagles123 at 7:20 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


> I might be wrong, but it feels like the US isn't kneejerk afraid of socialism and communism the way it used to be.

A lot of voters that grew up during the cold war still have a kneejerk reaction to the word "socialism".

Vermont is a small state where campaigning relies heavily on retail politics. In that environment, Sanders could call himself a "democratic socialist", and when he went around Vermont holding town-hall events at little towns across the state, he could explain what he meant by that and answer voters' questions. Voters in Vermont obviously decided they liked his version of socialism. They elected him and reelected numerous times first as mayor of Burlington, then to the House, and then the Senate. He even managed to get cross-over votes from people who usually vote Republican.

Pulling that off nationwide where politics is much more a matter of sound-bites and paid advertising, rather than the Vermont model of 'talk to voters and answer their questions', is going to be difficult. But if he wins the nomination, he's going to have pull it off somehow.
posted by nangar at 7:45 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Jesus, I know I should stay away but WaPo is going off the rails into crazy town.Sure, it's a joke news source that should be taken about as seriously as Fox News, but dang.
posted by FakeFreyja at 7:51 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Not to put to find a point on it but isn’t he pulling it off now? He won nearly half the delegates in Nevada in a 5 or 6 way race
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:52 AM on February 24 [16 favorites]


Not to put to find a point on it but isn’t he pulling it off now? He won nearly half the delegates in Nevada in a 5 or 6 way race

To some folks he's going to be a disaster fringe candidate up to and including his inauguration. Hell, expect hand-wringing about Sanders' electability three years into his first presidential term.
posted by FakeFreyja at 7:55 AM on February 24 [17 favorites]


Yes, good point, MisantropicPainforest. There's evidence that Sanders is pulling this off with Democratic primary voters. (The evidence is called "winning", and he's doing that.)
posted by nangar at 8:04 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


Republicans have been decrying any policy that would increase taxes as "socialism", and I assume that's helped to rehabilitate the term and ironically created an environment where President Sanders is a possibility. And I will cackle if republicans' refusal to work with Obamacare (because they needed it to be a socialist bogeyman and they were afraid to give Obama a win) results in M4A.
posted by jomato at 8:07 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


The question of, “can this candidate who is winning a primary pivot and win in the general election” happens every four years and is a fundamentally unanswerable one. It’s functionality indistinguishable from concern trolling and should be read as such.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:15 AM on February 24 [10 favorites]


Bloomberg has made a tactical pivot in the wake of Nevada and leading up to SC (where he’s also not on the ballot). He was supposed to hold a CNN-moderated town hall tonight right before Sanders held a similar one—instead, he’s postponed that to Wednesday, the night after the Tuesday debate. This morning, he rolled out attack ads on Sanders’ gun record and his campaign is echoing this in calls with reporters. Seems like his strategy while he waits to be on a ballot will be to deflect attacks on his weaknesses into attacks on Sanders.

In comparison, Warren is doing the opposite, deflecting questions about Sanders’ weaknesses into answers about Bloomberg. (That being said, my guess is she will do more of a two-step on Sanders in the debate tomorrow night, the way she did to Klobuchar last debate: defend him from Bloomberg’s attacks and then jab him with something to distinguish her from him.)

(All links to twitter.)
posted by sallybrown at 8:37 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


I will say that the 60 minutes interview was heavily edited to appear more “sound bitey” than maybe it seemed as it was being conducted. In other words, the interview may have been more conversational and less confrontational than the impression the final edit leaves for some. I think Cooper’s narration had about as much speaking time as Sander’s responses. And of course it generated a clickbate headline on CNN.

The mistake here isn't what he said, it's trusting CNN. He probably trusted Cooper because he's done a decent day's work on his live show, but this is another beast. Doubt he will make that same mistake again.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:42 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


It is just so galling to hear people speak with any authority on how politics will play out at this point. Nobody knows! 2008, 2010, 2016, and 2018 all might as well have happened in different galaxies as the outcomes all contradicted one another!

The knee jerk liberal reaction of worrying about what a bunch of professional liars and bad faith actors will say is very clearly a losing game. It muddles your message and keeps you constantly in fear of pissing off some rando centrists whose decisions are based on fickle horseshit you have no control over like "They yell too much!" or that they "Don't seem 'presidential' ".

At this point my only axiom is "do what is morally right and fight like the world hangs in the balance".
posted by lattiboy at 8:45 AM on February 24 [52 favorites]


Pulling that off nationwide where politics is much more a matter of sound-bites and paid advertising, rather than the Vermont model of 'talk to voters and answer their questions', is going to be difficult. But if he wins the nomination, he's going to have pull it off somehow.

But it’s not a national election, so no he doesn’t, and right now that’s the thing bringing me comfort (along with some mention of improving swing state polls upthread). It will be easier to pull this off in the handful of swing states that will determine the Presidential election. Unfortunately Bernie hasn’t tested that strategy, particularly amongst older voters, while foreign state actors have had access to an enormously effective propaganda machine (Facebook). Similarly...

2008, 2010, 2016, and 2018 all might as well have happened in different galaxies as the outcomes all contradicted one another!

Not really. Obama only won 2008 by 52-47, even after 8 years of W, the Iraq war, and the crash. 2010 wasn’t a huge surprise either. The intervening years saw the rise of the right and the consolidation of various propaganda networks, and then 2015-2016 saw it all blow up with Russian interference.

I think Putin couldn’t ratfuck 2018 precisely because it was (relatively speaking) a national election. But because of the electoral college, he absolutely can ratfuck every presidential election, since they’re really only decided by a handful of states.

And as with the right and white nationalism, and as with whatever bullshit he stirred up amongst the Bernie bro’s, he just has to light the match. The gasoline is already there. And once the fire is lit there doesn’t seem to be any way to put it out, because people would rather die dumb than admit they got played.

I hate almost everything about all of this. The only thing I do not hate is the aforementioned widespread acceptance of basic ideas, like that human suffering should not be a profit center, or that we need to do something about the oncoming climate catastrophe, but I also live in fear that this is how those ideas get sabotaged for at least the next four years. And we don’t have another four years. We just don’t.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:35 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


It's interesting to see Bloomberg running to the left of Sanders on gun control. We'll have to wait and see how that plays out, both in the primaries and the general election.
posted by JackFlash at 9:42 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


The absurd power the being ascribed to Russia has truly reached galaxy brain levels. They're going to buy some Facebook ads and have a bunch of bots saying wild, stupid shit. The Koch Bros, AIPAC, the NRA, and Bloomberg will be doing way, way more effect things and yet I don't see the pants-shitting about that.
posted by lattiboy at 9:47 AM on February 24 [7 favorites]


2008, 2010, 2016, and 2018 all might as well have happened in different galaxies as the outcomes all contradicted one another!

'08 and '16 were typical angry change votes after 8 years of one president, and '10 and '18 were were typical backlashes in the House against the general election. And they all were in the deadlocked trend of Republicans losing the popular vote (except for '04) since 1989.
posted by Harry Caul at 9:47 AM on February 24


The American Chopper socialism meme pretty much sums it up:

SOCIALISM NEVER WORKS

NORWAY IS SOCIALIST AND THEY'RE DOING GREAT

THEY'RE NOT SOCIALIST THEY'RE CAPITALIST COUNTRIES WITH STRONG WELFARE POLICIES

THEN LET'S ADOPT THOSE POLICIES

NO THAT'S SOCIALISM
posted by clawsoon at 9:47 AM on February 24 [49 favorites]


And as with the right and white nationalism, and as with whatever bullshit he stirred up amongst the Bernie bro’s, he just has to light the match.

A. What, specifically are you even talking about here? Because it looks like a contentless smear, vague conspiratorial intimations, not anything real. We should be better than this.

B. Enough with the "bernie bro" epithet, it erases the PoC and women supporters of the Sanders campaign, which has the most diverse group of supporters in this race.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:57 AM on February 24 [25 favorites]


From the same 60 Minutes Interview, Sanders also talks about intervening in Taiwan if it got attacked by China:

Cooper: If China took military action against Taiwan, is something you would...?

Sanders: It's something...yeah. I mean I think we have got to make it clear to countries around the world that we will not sit by and allow invasions to take place, absolutely.


I think this is much more important than his remarks on Castro. This is at least can be interpreted as continuing support of the "status quo" for Taiwan. He also mentions his support of NATO. I think that's good, because it shows he knows the importance of rebuilding relationships with US allies after Trump.
posted by FJT at 9:59 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


The Sanders revolution has, since its inception, been a project that seeks to replace existing power structures -- first by cooperation with them (e.g. Bernie's long history of caucusing with Democrats and partnership with progressives in the Democratic party), then co-opting them (e.g. his use of the Democratic party as a host organism from which he can launch his Presidential campaigns), and, ultimately, casting them aside. The two-party system isn't going anywhere, and Bernie knows this, so it's almost a certainty that the end result of this transition maintains the Democratic party label, but with him at the top, and centrists marginalized. Despite the "revolution" rhetoric, he understands the importance of maintaining the integrity of the coalition that has allowed him to get to this point for as long as it's useful, and we see clearly after three early contests that it's been very useful to him.

What I think we're seeing from many in his Very Online contingent recently is a belief that it's time to wind down the remnants of cooperation and ramp up the takeover to ensure victory in November. In their mind, the party leaders and moderate Democrats were the reason he didn't get the nomination in 2016, and to avoid a repeat, it's important not only for him to be seen as the frontrunner, but also to anticipate obstacles to his nomination and swiftly dispatch them. Hence the focus on nightmare convention scenarios and hypocritical suggestions that other candidates should drop out.

All of this business about how the rules of the party are a sham and how electing anyone other than the plurality delegate winner would be a perversion of the process assumes that Bernie has no plan to win via those established rules. But how could he not have such a plan? He's no fool. Of course he's going to keep his options open, and it's not like speaking out against the party establishment is off brand for him, so he'll keep doing that. But there is no question in my mind that his people have a firm grasp on the number of superdelegates they can count on, as well as which ones might be gettable under different scenarios.

I believe he also understands, despite the protests of many of his most impassioned followers, that he needs the votes of many traditional Democratic voters for which he was not their second or even third choice. His campaign organization is a force to be reckoned with, but if he's fortunate enough to win the nomination, it is going to be fighting against massive and powerful forces in the opposite direction. Even the most ambitious estimates of record turnout among key demographics in the Democratic base don't get you to 270 in a fair fight without a strong showing from moderates -- and we know it won't be a fair fight.

This doesn't mean pandering to the Rust Belt Trumpists, but it does mean tailoring the message to the audience, and becoming more comfortable with some dissonance between those messages. Trump had zero problems code-switching when he was targeting a moderate audience vs. his base, and it served him well, with the media falling for narratives about how he would be a foreign policy dove who protected Social Security and made significant infrastructure investments, and with low-information moderates falling for it as well.

Of course, Trump was lying about all of those promises, but Sanders doesn't even have to. He has a great message for laid off rural Ohio factory workers, and he has a great message for Latinx urban healthcare workers. He can promise tangible improvements to the lives of debt-saddled millennial college grads, but also make a convincing case that a Sanders economy would improve the lives of seniors. One set of messages may be emphasized more heavily in Nevada than in Florida, but he can credibly promise to help so many constituencies across the political spectrum, simply by virtue of the fact that he's unafraid to say that government should help people.

For this reason, I believe Bernie will not be going in the direction that many of his most animated supporters want him to. His message will remain passionate and defiant, but also hopeful and constructive. He will look to use his electoral wins to build support within the ranks of superdelegates rather than poisoning the well with premature talk of what might happen if he doesn't go in with a pledged majority. He will cheerfully accept the support of moderates without compromising his principles, and, where necessary, will have his surrogates fine-tune the way the message is delivered to compete hard in as many winnable states as possible. He knows he will need all of these things (and then some) to overcome the GOP's massive advantages of incumbency, media bias toward conservatism, online disinformation campaigns, and a willingness to break the law to subvert the will of voters.

Bernie knows that the prize is in November, and that he doesn't need to sacrifice the size of his coalition to ensure the integrity of his campaign.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:59 AM on February 24 [12 favorites]


I think Putin couldn’t ratfuck 2018 precisely because it was (relatively speaking) a national election. Also, Hillary Clinton wasn't running anywhere, so he careth not.
posted by Harry Caul at 10:05 AM on February 24


Enough with the "bernie bro" epithet

After the win in Nevada, it should now be "Los Hermanos de Bernado."
posted by Lord Chancellor at 10:06 AM on February 24 [18 favorites]


It's interesting to see Bloomberg running to the left of Sanders on gun control.

Bernie has always had a slight problem getting into the heads of people who are not sharing his struggles. I am just commenting as a Vermonter who is fine with him but not always in his camp. In Vermont there is almost no gun control (we got our first laws in the last two years, everything else was what the feds required) and very little gun violence. This is a LOT more about our small, homogenous population and a lot less about guns. As a result, he's never had to have a particularly nuanced opinion about guns, and he doesn't. I think it's a thing he's likely to work on because, unlike Bloomberg, I think he may be telling the truth about what he's going to try to accomplish.

Do not want to argue with anyone about any of these topics, but he's been a Vermont politician since 1981 and he's kind of known to us.
posted by jessamyn at 10:10 AM on February 24 [20 favorites]


Los Hermanos de Bernado.

We (latinxs on twitter) were riffing on some of the responses to Bernie (again) doing well with Hispanic voters in Nevada and my fave slogan was "primos para Bernie"
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:12 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Also if you think Cubans in Florida were going to go for Bernie until that interview....lol, for real.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:14 AM on February 24 [14 favorites]


"Dick Van Dyke Endorses Bernie Sanders for President"

Dick Van Dyke hosted at least one fundraiser for Sanders four years ago, as well. It makes my dad, who will turn 90 a few weeks after the election in November, so happy to know that he is not the oldest Bernie supporter.
posted by maurice at 10:16 AM on February 24 [16 favorites]


As a result, he's never had to have a particularly nuanced opinion about guns, and he doesn't.

Which is, really, a problem with the Senate: he's only ever been answerable to Vermont, with a population smaller than San Francisco, and yet has exactly the same say in the national gun control debate as a Senator from California. It simultaneously is his job to have a nuanced opinion, because he's been making decisions on the national level that affect every state for decades, and yet also his job to specifically represent the people of Vermont who elected him. He's done a good job of representing Vermont, I think.

The Senate, as currently designed and apportioned, does a bad job representing America.
posted by cjelli at 10:20 AM on February 24 [11 favorites]


[few comments removed. Do not start with 1. sneering dismissiveness about Warren supporters 2. sneering dismissiveness about Sanders supporters 3. "Russia is wrapped up in all this" allegations 4. Fighting with other commenters instead of flagging and moving on. ]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:20 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Also if you think Cubans in Florida were going to go for Bernie until that interview....lol, for real.

The Cuban Revolution was over 65 years ago. Most of the original Cuban exiles are dead. The younger generations have no memory of Cuba and are less hardcore Republican, although there is still a lingering political machine.
posted by JackFlash at 10:21 AM on February 24


If efficacy of Russian meddling is about perverting normal discourse, I'd say they've been a lot more effective on Sarah Kendzior than Luke O'Neil. If you think every time you see a 'but go off' reply on Twitter and that Putin was responsible, I'd recommend building some really elaborate block and mute lists for the next eight months.
posted by 99_ at 10:21 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


Is there an opening for Sanders to pivot from talking about gun control as an individual issue to regulation of the gun manufacturers, similar to regulation of other large industries?
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:22 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


From Columbia Journalism Review's "The Media Today" digest/column: As Bernie Sanders wins in Nevada, pundits freak out (Jon Allsop)
This lack of representativeness [or lack of diversity of political viewpoints among journalists] isn’t just a problem because it limits the range of ideas we get to substantively debate (though that is certainly a big concern). Whatever you think of its merits, it also distorts our coverage of the horserace—if we skew our opinion programming toward elites, we miss large swathes of viewpoints that are influential in the country. Trump’s rise proved this in 2016, yet still we seem surprised by the Sanders surge. That’s unforgivably complacent; as a result, much of the national political conversation feels panicked and reactive.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:28 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


The Cuban Revolution was over 65 years ago. Most of the original Cuban exiles are dead. The younger generations have no memory of Cuba and are less hardcore Republican, although there is still a lingering political machine.

K, well, I also have access to wikipedia. But since I know Cuban refugees IRL (who came over after 1965 even!) I also know that the date of the revolution is not the functional date at which people stopped hating Castro
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 10:29 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Barack Obama got a lot of shit for wanting to normalize relations with Cuba. He won Florida.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:37 AM on February 24 [10 favorites]


Other Democratic presidents have weathered much worse Cuban crises in their careers. The forgotten story of how refugees almost ended Bill Clinton’s career < WaPo
posted by Harry Caul at 10:38 AM on February 24


It’s looking like early voting was about 3/4 of the vote total in Nevada.

3 takeaways:
1. The debate was probably too late to affect things, at least in Nevada specifically.
2. People who vote early are people who are pretty sure. And Bernie’s supporters are definitely pretty sure.
3. Nevada’s “caucus” is like 75% of the way to a primary with ranked choice voting. Let’s see if they just do that going forward.

There’s only one state caucus left, and it’s the same deal with early ranked voting.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 10:41 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Barack Obama got a lot of shit for wanting to normalize relations with Cuba. He won Florida.

He won Florida before actually going through with it.
posted by Etrigan at 10:42 AM on February 24




Sanders just took the lead in black voter support according to Morning Consult.

The latest Morning Consult tracking poll also finds Sanders leading the field among black voters for the first time as the race moves to South Carolina, the second successive state with a significant black population that former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign views as a firewall. Thirty-three percent of black Democratic primary voters said they’re backing Sanders, compared with 29 percent who said Biden, within the subsample’s 4-point margin of error.

Winning black voters was the entire theory of Biden's campaign and now that appears to be dissolving. Nobody else even registers with this group except Steyer.
posted by lattiboy at 10:58 AM on February 24 [10 favorites]


After Bernie Sanders' landslide Nevada win, there are still 50+ primaries left. Nathan Robinson can fuck off.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:03 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Ah didn't realize that link was to a Nathan J. Robinson article, definitely clicking now. Thanks for the heads up @tonycpsu.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:07 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


A good argument from Jeet Heer about why prominent MSNBC voices and Never Trumpers are upset about Sanders’ success:
Some of the already-existing hosts of MSNBC were natural Never Trump voices, notably Joe Scarborough. But the network became increasingly receptive to pundits like William Kristol, Jennifer Rubin, and Max Boot. The alliance between centrist liberals and erstwhile Republican led to the creation of an ancien régime resistance, an opposition to Trump rooted in nostalgia....Once upon a time, the myth tells us, America was governed by stalwart centrists like John McCain, Tip O’Neill, and George H.W. Bush, men who were always willing to walk across the aisle to work with their foes. They presided over a functioning Republic, now being torn apart by savage partisanship, which led to the rise of Trump.

The project of the ancien régime resistance has been to try to return America to that prelapsarian paradise of bipartisan comity. The idea was that if liberals and conservatives could work together to defeat Trump, then in the future there could be more cooperation along centrist lines....The Russia narrative was a perfect chance for centrist liberals and neoconservatives to bond over a shared enemy, one that could be blamed for Trump’s presidency....

Sanders has no interest in restoring the lost center. He clearly believes the only way to fight Trumpism is with a robust progressive program.
The major difference I see between Biden supporters and Sanders supporters in my life is this same divergence: the idea of Trump as aberrant and the goal being “let’s get back to where we were” vs. the idea of Trump presenting racist/hideous/corrupt solutions to very real problems and the goal being “let’s use new progressive solutions to treat those problems.”
posted by sallybrown at 11:07 AM on February 24 [17 favorites]


I fully understand the "There are 50 primaries left!" attitude. It makes sense! Unless you actually look at the map, financial situation, and timing of those 50 primaries. There are EIGHT DAYS until Super Tuesday! EIGHT!

Can anybody please lay out a plausible scenario where the entire center and right-wing of the party coalesce around a single candidate, build large field operations, advertise in prohibitively expensive media markets, get any meaningful POC support, and bleed support from an ascendant left-wing candidate? I mean this sincerely as it is beyond my imagination. In eight days.
posted by lattiboy at 11:09 AM on February 24 [8 favorites]


Or maybe you just believe that we shouldn't use sabermetric analysis to try to judge the outcome after 2.2% of the country has had their chance to weigh in. If staying in the race until mid-July was okay for Sanders in 2016, staying in past February should be pretty uncontroversial. And yet.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:12 AM on February 24 [15 favorites]


We don't even have to wait until Super Tuesday. If Biden doesn't win SC, he's out. There's a 69% chance Sanders wins most delegates. If he wins SC, that number jumps up quite a bit. SC was Bidens to win early on, and where he was polling best. Its hard to imagine Buttegieg or Warren winning with such low support from POC.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:14 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


That said there's still considerable uncertainty about who will win, even though its most likely to be Sanders. Also we don't have to wait that long to find everything out.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:17 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


[comment removed - it's not other commenters' jobs to scenario-plan and prognosticate to your satisfaction. Participate in the conversation already in progress in this thread, on the topic of the thread. Thank you.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:21 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


FWIW, Sanders ground team is ON IT in Florida. I get emails and texts daily inviting me to events they have in my area. I am Team Warren, but I'm totally fine with Bernie. Warren hasn't got any campaign staff here (or at least they haven't contacted me, even though I've signed up and have donated financially) and the volunteer events are people getting together to write postcards (which is great and helpful, but there's not been any outreach beyond that). I'm putting my energy and most of my money behind Donna Deegan who is running for Rutherford's House seat. I think Sanders has it well in hand and we have got to get another D in the House.
posted by hollygoheavy at 11:21 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Enough with the "bernie bro" epithet

"Bernie bro" is not a label to describe Bernie's supporters as "bros." It's a very specific demographic, sometimes AKA "the dirtbag left" who think the ends justify the means and harass folks for not supporting Sanders in the right way.

A lot of lovely people support Sanders. They're not "Bernie bros." But the folks on Twitter who find my tweets about how I think Warren is the brain to Sanders' heart, and say "if she had any brains, she'd drop out and stop sabotaging Bernie"? Yeah, those guys are inevitably white men who have used the "importance" of Bernie's "revolution" as an excuse to harass.

It's really annoying when people are all, "they're not all bernie bros," because it was never meant to apply to the demographic at large. It's the Chapo Trap House fucks and their ilk, not the folks voting for Bernie because he's actually looking out for them.
posted by explosion at 11:23 AM on February 24 [27 favorites]


I mean ok but I have been called a Bernie bro and/or brocialist on this very website? So I both think ppl were misreading shadenfrau AND that a lecture about how we’ve always been at war with eastasia is unnecessary
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:27 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


It's really annoying when people are all, "they're not all bernie bros," because it was never meant to apply to the demographic at large.

I take your point and I understand the distinction you're trying to make, but the phrase "bernie bro" originated from Bernie's opposition in the 2016 primary, who used it to indiscriminately tar his supporters as angry white men unfit for polite society. It's a stereotype that has been primarily used to criticize Sanders for not having diverse enough support (which, of course, was never the case, and is especially not the case today).

You can use the phrase whichever way you like, but trust me that you're going against the popular understanding of the term, and anyone on the broader left is probably going to take it as an insult.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 11:28 AM on February 24 [18 favorites]


Maybe words just don't mean anything any more. I mean, "deplorable" was meant as an out for Trump supporters to say, "oh no, I'm one of those economically anxious folks, NOT deplorable," and then they just said, "oh no, I'm proudly deplorable."

Bernie Bros in 2016 were the same folks then as they are now. I was a Sanders supporter then and literally never had that epithet lobbed at me.

It's just maddening that people don't say, "hey it's a bit of a tainted term that's shifted meaning," but instead actually tell me that it always meant the new meaning, like I wasn't around for 2016.
posted by explosion at 11:35 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


The Bernie Bros will be one of the narratives which will be used to give rich, white liberals an excuse to be dissuaded for voting Bernie if he gets the nomination.

Their hearts will be heavy, unlike their tax burden.
posted by fullerine at 11:37 AM on February 24 [20 favorites]


We already decided it’s either
orbro
or
brorb
bro
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:37 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


> The Bernie Bros will be one of the narratives which will be used to give rich, white liberals an excuse to be dissuaded for voting Bernie if he gets the nomination.

Y'all can keep repeating this nonsense, but numbers don't lie.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:49 AM on February 24 [5 favorites]


There is nothing compelling to attack Sanders on, which is why there is such an emphasis on attacking the incivility of some of supporters. I’d hope that people can be cautious with this narrative since it will be the sum of Trump’s 2020 playbook also. The fact is that there are some people, often of the younger generation, who are filled with fury over the state of the world, and view the political process as a life-or-death struggle for the well-being of millions and the fate of the planet. It’s not just a bunch of assholes looking for an excuse to bully.
posted by moorooka at 11:51 AM on February 24 [13 favorites]


Honestly, Sanders supporters should probably want as many of the other candidates to stay in as long as possible, because having 6 people fighting over the anti-Sanders vote is significantly better for him than 2 or 3. Assuming he continues to do very well in popular vote totals and is still the only candidate above 15% in pretty much every Congressional district, anyone who gets 5-14% of the vote is basically giving him free delegates. There's plenty of time from June-November to worry about unifying the party. As I keep reminding myself, we still have 8 more months of this shit, there's still tons of time to see how this all plays out.

As far as when candidates should be dropping out for their own good or the good of the centrist wing of the Democratic Party, the timeline on that is probably a lot shorter, even though it seems pretty unlikely that any of them will do it unless Biden completely blows South Carolina. One of the things about proportionally allocated elections is that once there's a front-runner, it's very difficult to dislodge them because even if the 2nd place candidate surges into the lead in later elections, they're winning 80-70, not 150-0. In 2008, Obama built up a lead of about 100 delegates by the beginning of March, and even though Clinton won a lot of March, April, and May states, just 100 delegates (around 3% of the total number of pledged delegates that year) is a huge hurdle when in pretty much any state outside of California/Texas/New York, picking up more than 10-15 delegates over your opponent is a near-impossibility. I remember looking at delegate trackers that spring and trying to figure out who was going to win, and realizing that it was almost impossible for her once he'd opened up that lead. All the horse-race journalism, all the Jeremiah Wright stuff, all the fiddling with superdelegates and Michigan and Florida, none of it mattered in the end because of the fundamental difficulty of overtaking Obama's February lead. Plus, this race doesn't even have a clear runner-up, so they stand a good chance of all getting repeatedly crushed until Sanders's lead is even bigger than Obama's was.
posted by Copronymus at 11:53 AM on February 24 [9 favorites]


Almost 20 years back, a relative was running for the state legislature here. I wasn't working at the time, so this was basically my full time (unpaid) job. He lost in the primary but we're still proud of how much we did... it wasn't for lack of effort. Anyway, he's a Dem and was running as such. We got our walk lists and info from the local Democratic Party office. That's where we had a rude awakening. There were two seats, and two candidates which the local party clearly preferred. While they didn't outright come out in support of them, it was pretty obvious. The local cliques were closed up tight. A lot of the same people are still involved.

Now that Sanders has a strong chance to win the nomination, I'm seeing a lot of "concern" from opinion writers, certain anonymous corners of the party, etc. Their concern is less about winning and losing the election and more about losing their status in the party. There are a lot of kingmakers out there who are feeling threatened. It's not just on the national level, but on the state and local level as well. The cliques are still closed up tight. They are in a very tough spot right now, one for which I have very little sympathy. If Bernie wins the election and the presidency, a lot of these people are going to lose their power within the party. If he wins a plurality of delegates and is denied the nomination at a contested convention, the party will burn to the ground. If he wins the nomination and they refuse to campaign for him, that will fracture the party. A lot of people are facing the prospect of a sea change and they don't have lifeboats. Expect many of them to start fighting back, because they will.

The problem for the current Democratic Party establishment isn't Nernie Sanders (don't y'all dare forget that I'm the founder of the Nernie movement) but instead the people that will vote for him. If there was a candidate that could bring out the Millenials and Generation Z, it's Sanders. There are a lot more of these voters than there are Boomers. (Us Gen X'ers will just play nice here, we're used to keeping things running quietly in the background.) These younger voters have neither the interest in keeping the status quo in the party nor the tolerance for centrist policy. If these younger voters end up getting active at the state and local levels, you won't recognize the Democratic party come 2030. And that is not a bad thing unless you're protecting your little political fiefdom.
posted by azpenguin at 11:55 AM on February 24 [25 favorites]


Bloomberg pulled out of his town hall on CNN tonight to “focus on debate prep”.

Lol Sanders better bring a flame retardant suit tomorrow. Everyone is going to be gunning for him.
posted by eagles123 at 11:56 AM on February 24 [9 favorites]


Almost 20 years back, a relative was running for the state legislature here. I wasn't working at the time, so this was basically my full time (unpaid) job. He lost in the primary but we're still proud of how much we did... it wasn't for lack of effort. Anyway, he's a Dem and was running as such. We got our walk lists and info from the local Democratic Party office. That's where we had a rude awakening. There were two seats, and two candidates which the local party clearly preferred. While they didn't outright come out in support of them, it was pretty obvious. The local cliques were closed up tight. A lot of the same people are still involved.

I can tell a similar story from two years back, and all of our local Democratic Party organizations were all the worse for being entirely out of power for decades.
posted by Etrigan at 11:58 AM on February 24 [13 favorites]


One of the things about proportionally allocated elections is that once there's a front-runner, it's very difficult to dislodge them because even if the 2nd place candidate surges into the lead in later elections, they're winning 80-70, not 150-0.

Both Clinton in 2008 and Sanders in 2016 stayed in the race long after they had a realistic chance to win.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:59 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


It's interesting to see Bloomberg running to the left of Sanders on gun control. We'll have to wait and see how that plays out, both in the primaries and the general election.

That's been one of the main things other candidates (or at least their supporters) have hit him on since 2016.

Not an uncontroversial opinion I'm sure but I used to think this was good for him. Of all the issues one could compromise on to distinguish oneself with the proverbial rural white working class voter that would easily be my first pick. Certain things are so intractable, and "guns" is really two or three issues anyway: handguns (and urban violence more specifically), rampage killings with rifles, organized domestic terrorism/militias. Not to mention the Michael Bloomberg idea of tough on guns has a bit of overlap with stop and frisk...

Anyway, at this point I think it could be one of those issues where opinions are so polarized that it is impossible to thread the needle, though - it seems like Sanders' team may perceive it that way now.
posted by atoxyl at 12:00 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


I don’t think the Bernie Bro critique will be part of the main stage fight with Trump. The outspoken Trump supporters value rudeness as a sign that a politician is willing to tell it like it is and cruelty as a demonstration of raw power. The secret Trump supporters have already put aside civility as a necessary quality. You can go to a Trump rally and see printed t-shirts much cruder and crueler than even the most irritating Bernie Bro stereotype. If anything, the racist Pepe the frog shitheads will find the worst of the worst Bernie Bro memes amusing. (This should be embarrassing to the creators of those memes rather than taken as a positive.)

Trump has already spelled out his attack—“Crazy Bernie.” To me it says Trump doesn’t have a handle on this fight yet. His supporters like cartoonishness and crazy ideas. What’s crazier than building a giant wall for an entire country? Trump’s gamble is the racism at the heart of his campaign is what’s keeping his people in line, and that they wouldn’t prefer a candidate who has equally outsize ideas without the heaping dose of bigotry. What if all the white guys in Pennsylvania diners are genuine when they say they’d prefer a “forgotten man” whisperer who isn’t a piece of shit in his personal life?
posted by sallybrown at 12:02 PM on February 24 [6 favorites]


Bernie Bro is now a Bloomberg talking point that is part of his half-billion dollar effort so far to dampen enthusiasm for what is factually and indisputably - backed by every poll and exit poll - the most diverse multi-racial working class base of support in the race. The objective of the smear as it always has been is to make supporting Bernie's campaign look trashy and sexist and a reflection of your own character should you so choose to endorse him. Anyone still using it or engaging in Bernie discussion tropes about white bros being rude on twitter is playing right into Bloomberg's bullshit.
posted by windbox at 12:03 PM on February 24 [15 favorites]


Well, despite the horrible scenario building in the Bloomberg thread, in which I was definitely guilty in participating, it looks like he's out. At least, if Bloomberg gets the nomination, it'd mean the Democratic process will have been so broken that he won't be president.

One of the comments on the Krugman article at The New York Times linked above reads like, I'd vote for any Democrat except Sanders, but if it's Sanders then I and millions of others will vote for Trump. I guess this will be one of the main approaches pro-Trump trolls will take on mainstream sites. This comment was marked as a "Times Pick", whatever that means.

If Sanders ends up getting the nomination, I predict that the majority of the mainstream liberal establishment will fall in behind him eventually, some others will dither around to the end, and the remainer will take off their masks in a really unpleasant way.
posted by bright flowers at 12:04 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]




I don’t think the Bernie Bro critique will be part of the main stage fight with Trump.

Yeah this is clearly an intra-party, primary thing. I had to look up who wrote the article suggesting that Trump would pivot to attacking Sanders' supporters' "toxic masculinity" (the actual choice of words, in an essay taking about things Donald Trump would say) and betrayal of Hillary Clinton. It was David Frum, which should already say a lot of what you need to know, but it's just absurd on the face of it.

I'm sure somebody will try hitting him on the weird essays and all that but there's no way Trump is going to draw attention to his opponent having a large base of fanatical supporters, given that this is basically Trump's own main lens through which he perceives political success.
posted by atoxyl at 12:18 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


What if all the white guys in Pennsylvania diners are genuine when they say they’d prefer a “forgotten man” whisperer who isn’t a piece of shit in his personal life?

I want to believe.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:25 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


If Sanders ends up getting the nomination, I predict that the majority of the mainstream liberal establishment will fall in behind him eventually, some others will dither around to the end, and the remainer will take off their masks in a really unpleasant way.

I wonder how many voters will make all the right Democrat mouth sounds before and after the general election but would, in their darkest and most private moment in the voting booth, push the Trump button to stave off some perceived threat to capital.

I have a feeling that number is higher than you'd expect, and I have a feeling there are more than a few of those folks in political leadership positions.
posted by FakeFreyja at 12:26 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


The good news is that we are many and they are few.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 12:29 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


The great thing about shy Tory / Bradley effect speculation is that it's unfalsifiable until it's too late. But keep fighting that last war.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:32 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


I have a feeling that number is higher than you'd expect, and I have a feeling there are more than a few of those folks in political leadership positions.

I mean I don't think the Dem leadership sort of people who genuinely love the party as an institution are going to.

Bigtime donor class people though - I mean of course.
posted by atoxyl at 12:32 PM on February 24


I would think a lot of those people (rich people who reliably vote Democrat) are in solid blue states. Because the rich people in swing or red states wouldn’t be flipping, they are already with Trump. I bet we will hear a lot about it because a lot of rich people have high profiles in the media, though, so it could have a broader influence, but that’s only if they go public.
posted by sallybrown at 12:33 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


I also think, if we’re talking one step below “rich”—like the comfortable suburban white women who turned out for the Dems in NC—having Obama and other moderate figures step in and embrace the nominee is going to have a big calming effect. There was a piece last week saying Obama will support any of the candidates. Bloomberg even today, when he brought out attack ads against Bernie, said he will support any of the candidates!
posted by sallybrown at 12:38 PM on February 24 [6 favorites]


The wildcard this time around is how the younger voters turn out. If Bernie is the nominee, and they turn out in force (and they have the numbers to make a huge difference if they just vote) then I don't think the polls are going to be able to reflect that.
posted by azpenguin at 12:40 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


It's interesting to see Bloomberg running to the left of Sanders on gun control. We'll have to wait and see how that plays out, both in the primaries and the general election.

That's been one of the main things other candidates (or at least their supporters) have hit him on since 2016.


Guns is a tricky issue as you point out because it is a large issue. Part of Sanders reluctance on guns may steam from his earlier socialist days. Socialists don't want workers to disarm while the police are still very armed and will kill you, and the belief in unilateral disarmament and "trust the police to wield violence on your behalf" just don't exist for marginalized communities. I think any attempt to lessen the amount of gun deaths should be 1) demilitarization of police, 2) regulation of gun manufacturers, and 3) taking white nationalism and toxic masculinity seriously and trying to fight the battle there. I think Sanders could actually come to a solution on firearms that keeps vulnerable people still armed and helps decrease the danger to everyone.

My solution is to think of the right to bear arms as collective to the community so that communities can defend themselves from fascist violence—from wherever it comes. Every established gun club should have a well-regulated armory to allow the safe storage of large firearms that can be retrieved for practice and for the general alarm if the community is under attack.

I wonder how many voters will make all the right Democrat mouth sounds before and after the general election but would, in their darkest and most private moment in the voting booth, push the Trump button to stave off some perceived threat to capital.

I was thinking about this, but how many Democratic voters actually own capital? How many own businesses and are large landlords? There's a lot more workers than owners.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 12:42 PM on February 24 [6 favorites]


I was thinking about this, but how many Democratic voters actually own capital? How many own businesses and are large landlords? There's a lot more workers than owners.

Yes, my concern would be less about how they vote in the ballot box compared to how much money they decide to, er, deprioritize, from electoral initiatives due to a candidate threatening the business as usual model they have materially benefited from.
posted by Ouverture at 12:49 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


I was thinking about this, but how many Democratic voters actually own capital? How many own businesses and are large landlords? There's a lot more workers than owners.

I think there are quite a few highly paid workers who believe they are capital or at least feel more solidarity with capital than labor. A comfortable worker making $200k+ may find it socially necessary to present as a Democrat, but would probably be looking down the barrel of increased taxes and a temporary bull market. Heck, I remember reading on this very site from a liberal who just couldn't justify a hit to the healthcare-heavy portfolio.

Also, never underestimate the capacity of the petite bourgeoisie to vote out of malice for people they perceive to be beneath them.
posted by FakeFreyja at 12:52 PM on February 24


[Folks, move on from the "Democrats are going to vote for Trump because..." derail]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:53 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]


The big attack against Sanders is just gonna come in the form of the word "socialist." When Warren was last asked, "Why do you call yourself a capitalist," her read-between-the-lines answer was in effect, "you won't listen to me if I don't."

If Sanders and his folks are smart, they'll break out the Truman quote about how the right labels whatever they don't like as "socialism," and position it as them just sort of reclaiming the label.

That said, there are folks like my uncle and his friends who think Trump's a clown, but somehow got indoctrinated into "better dead than red," so just won't vote Sanders no matter what.
posted by explosion at 12:57 PM on February 24


Sanders just took the lead in black voter support according to Morning Consult.

Once again, people should be cautioned to take these poll sub-samples with a grain of salt. It is likely that this poll result has a margin of error of plus or minus 10%, so essentially meaningless. (Yes, I know they can claim more accuracy, but unless they show their work, don't believe it.)
posted by JackFlash at 1:01 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


This primary is the real world test of 2 incompatible theories:

1) Any socialist will scare away too many moderates and agreeing to Sanders as the nominee is guaranteeing 4 more years of Trump. The intensity of his supporters and their demeanor will only add to that alienation. We cannot take that risk.

2) A non-movement politician cannot fundamentally change the electoral map and we will simply be replaying 2016 with any nominee except Bernie. Their supporters lack the intensity required of the current situation. We cannot take that risk.

Literally nobody knows which is correct and we're all airing the anxiety over this at each other.
posted by lattiboy at 1:05 PM on February 24 [38 favorites]


Part of Sanders reluctance on guns may steam from his earlier socialist days. Socialists don't want workers to disarm while the police are still very armed and will kill you, and the belief in unilateral disarmament and "trust the police to wield violence on your behalf" just don't exist for marginalized communities.

Unless you can provide evidence of Sanders ever making this argument, I'll just assume it is just wishful thinking. My best guess is that Sanders is simply pandering to his local Vermont constituency which is less concerned about city gun violence and more about hunting and Second Amendment rights.
posted by JackFlash at 1:05 PM on February 24 [9 favorites]


Also, brain damaged psychos (like me!) are exposed to the worst supporters of all candidates, so inevitably we think the absolute worst of the whole. I have to actively remind myself that the overwhelming majority of people voting on these contests, regardless of their support, are good people who just want the best for them and theirs.
posted by lattiboy at 1:09 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]


Right now, very few delegates have been awarded. *If* 538's averages are right (big if), though, the pledged delegate race is essentially over on Super Tuesday. Current count is Nernie 45, Pete 25, Biden 15, Warren 8, Amy 7. They have Biden and Sanders both picking up about 20 delegates in SC. On Super Tuesday, though, they're looking at Bernie picking up a lead of as much as 350 delegates.

The usual caveats apply... these races can be hard to poll and we have no idea how good their model has it. However, if anything close to this scenario comes to pass, no one will catch him. The only hope for others would be a brokered convention and that's really bad news for the party.
posted by azpenguin at 1:11 PM on February 24


I agree with JackFlash here, but as I said earlier I kinda think it would be good if he could successfully pander to such constituencies nationally on that issue - much preferable to me than running to the center on, say, abortion - or at least if it was enough to make him look like a "different sort of democrat." It's possible that a position does not exist that would satisfy the hardcore gun guys without pissing off core Dem voters though.
posted by atoxyl at 1:13 PM on February 24


Unless you can provide evidence of Sanders ever making this argument, I'll just assume it is just wishful thinking. My best guess is that Sanders is simply pandering to his local Vermont constituency which is less concerned about city gun violence and more about hunting and Second Amendment rights.

I mean, okay, but if Vermonters feel that way, is that really pandering?
posted by lazaruslong at 1:22 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


if Vermonters feel that way, is that really pandering?

Yes, because our votes for president don't count and we don't otherwise share much in the way of values with the other demographics that care about those things (Vermont's always been socially pretty liberal even as we fight about gun stuff).
posted by jessamyn at 1:28 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


Idk I guess pandering has a pretty negative connotation for me. He’s the senator from Vermont and is supposed to represent their views, so I guess I just don’t get pandering out of that. But I dunno, maybe I’m wrong.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:52 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


We're about to find out how many centrists and good liberals are actually A-OK with children in cages, muslim bans, and Kavenaugh courts so long as poor people don't get healthcare
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:59 PM on February 24 [24 favorites]


I guess pandering has a pretty negative connotation for me.

I think we agree. I think the word has negative connotations and I was just thinking you were saying something a little different. For me, the fact that Bernie's lines on these topics work with rural Vermonters don't mean they will work with Trump's base who, while they agree on some of the topics (absence of gun control) aren't prepared with some of the other things he wants, even if it might work to their interests ultimately.
posted by jessamyn at 2:03 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Gun control is a very hot issue with leftists, especially since open fascism came back into fashion. I'm deeply conflicted on it myself.

I don't think it's unreasonable to think Sanders is basically politicking here. Dog whistling to the left that he's not going to take their weapons away, and comforting liberals by agreeing with popular, less powerful gun control measures.
posted by lattiboy at 2:15 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


Here are Sander's promises on gun control from his website:
- Take on the NRA and its corrupting effect on Washington.
- Expand background checks.
- End the gun show loophole. All gun purchases should be subject to the same background check standards.
- Ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons. Assault weapons are designed and sold as tools of war. There is absolutely no reason why these firearms should be sold to civilians.
- Prohibit high-capacity ammunition magazines.
- Implement a buyback program to get assault weapons off the streets.
- Regulate assault weapons in the same way that we currently regulate fully automatic weapons — a system that essentially makes them unlawful to own.
- Crack down on “straw purchases” where people buy guns for criminals.
- Support “red flag” laws and legislation to ensure we keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers
- Ban the 3-D printing of firearms and bump stocks
That at least seems like a good start.
posted by octothorpe at 2:46 PM on February 24 [11 favorites]


Unlike universal healthcare, gun laws are one thing that liberals never seem to tell leftists to be “realistic” about in terms of what can pass the Senate
posted by moorooka at 2:47 PM on February 24 [14 favorites]


Unlike universal healthcare, gun laws are one thing that liberals never seem to tell leftists to be “realistic” about in terms of what can pass the Senate

Almost like "realism" is a cynical ploy to dispirit real change in favor of a status quo they have lived comfortably in their whole lives!
posted by lattiboy at 3:34 PM on February 24 [17 favorites]


This primary is the real world test of 2 incompatible theories:

I know! I was riding in the car with my dad yesterday, riding past some signs in the median, and one of the was for Nernie. My dad is a boomer, super liberal, super social justice advocate (literally, in his retired job as a social justice advocate attorney), and he said "gosh, what about Bernie?" He went on to ask how people could be voting for him, given the pejorative "socialist" label and how so many people wouldn't vote for a socialist.

I told him I was voting for Nernie, a lot because his politics line up best with mine, but also because I think this is going to come down to a debate performance. Trump's base isn't going to grow, I don't think. I think this is going to come down to who can put on the best show against Trump in a few debates on TV. If someone, and I probably think it would be Nernie or Warren, can get on the air and trash that MF and his policies, and his ideas, and his rhetoric, and everything he does I think they can get the democratic moderates out to vote and just overwhelm the Trump base.

I want to think it is policy, or making sure everyone can go to the doctor as they should be allowed, or have actual food to eat or diapers to put on their kids, that will get people out to vote blue, but I don't think that that will actually work. I think trashing the president and his discriminatory policies will turn out the few that might decide this election. And we have to be out ahead of the disinformation like the "Biden investigation" or what the fuck ever Giuliani is doing at the moment. And by the way, where is he these days?

But whatever, this hate has got to stop.
posted by Snowishberlin at 3:38 PM on February 24 [6 favorites]


I put the odds of Trump showing up to any debate, regardless of Dem nominee, at roughly 5%. Why on earth would he do it? There is no upside for him and it isn't required.
posted by lattiboy at 3:42 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


I put the odds of Trump showing up to any debate, regardless of Dem nominee, at roughly 5%.

I was thinking about that not too long ago. I highly doubt any network would do this, but if he refuses to show, I think they should go ahead and still air, but let the D nominee have all the time. Still ask questions, of course. Just only of the D candidate.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 3:48 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Or have him represented by an empty chair, in the best Republican tradition. Or maybe lure Trump back to the debate stage with the chair he humped in 2016.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:03 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


Speaking of Florida and voting: Floridians voting by mail in 2020 elections are being asked to put their email addresses and home and mobile phone numbers, along with their signatures, on the outside of the ballot envelopes they mail back to the elections office — allowing the information to be seen and harvested by anyone who comes in contact with the envelope.
posted by Harry Caul at 4:14 PM on February 24 [5 favorites]


I've been voting by mail for nearly 20 years in San Francisco County and the return envelopes have always asked for address, signature email and phone number. Is this really that big of a deal?
posted by flamk at 4:39 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Lol Sanders better bring a flame retardant suit tomorrow. Everyone is going to be gunning for him.

I'm sure he has practice. Whatever they'd throw at him would be what was thrown at him (and his supporters) last time around.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:41 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


It is just so galling to hear people speak with any authority on how politics will play out at this point. Nobody knows! 2008, 2010, 2016, and 2018 all might as well have happened in different galaxies as the outcomes all contradicted one another!

The knee jerk liberal reaction of worrying about what a bunch of professional liars and bad faith actors will say is very clearly a losing game. It muddles your message and keeps you constantly in fear of pissing off some rando centrists whose decisions are based on fickle horseshit you have no control over like "They yell too much!" or that they "Don't seem 'presidential' ".

At this point my only axiom is "do what is morally right and fight like the world hangs in the balance".


Just quoting this insanely good post which should be at the top of every thread about the election and is literally what I keep saying to undecided voters when I’m canvassing for Nerdarb.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:09 PM on February 24 [11 favorites]


I've been voting by mail for nearly 20 years in San Francisco County and the return envelopes have always asked for address, signature email and phone number. Is this really that big of a deal?

On the inside envelope, that’s all fine and good. They want this stuff on the outer envelope. That’s a big problem.
posted by azpenguin at 5:23 PM on February 24 [7 favorites]


California Secretary of State's Best Practices for Vote-By-Mail Envelope Design.
posted by ryanrs at 5:32 PM on February 24




Truth is truth.
posted by eagles123 at 6:43 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


I guess pandering has a pretty negative connotation for me.

Pandas previously.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:58 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Washington State mail ballots ask for a signature on the outside, to compare against your driver's license or state ID signature. Mismatches are flagged. You can optionally provide contact information (email or phone) in case problems like these arise, and they can get in touch.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:27 PM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Is it too late for a Berten/Nernie ticket?
posted by Marticus at 8:36 PM on February 24 [10 favorites]


Maybe one day when Muppets win full citizenship rights.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:39 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Here in Pima County, you put your ballot in an envelope. You sign that envelope. You then put that envelope into another envelope that has everything preprinted, no postage necessary, and mail it in. When they receive it, they open the outer envelope, check the signature on the inner envelope, and then put it in the stack to be opened and counted on Election Day. The signature is not visible until the outer envelope is opened at the elections office.
posted by azpenguin at 8:40 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Voting tech gone wrong: How scrambled data upended a Nevada caucus site (Steven Rosenfeld, Salon)

(This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute.)
'No matter how good the technology might have been, the human errors that marred the process weren’t anticipated'
The results from early voting were supposed to be tabulated and sent to the various precincts as a starting point. Live results from the precinct caucuses were to use that data as a starting point. The problem was that early voting results often were assigned to the wrong precinct. Precinct chairs often figured this out and went to paper.
Yet all of that technology and brainpower that put together a sophisticated voting system didn't anticipate the human errors that marred the process. Some of the people manning the system — no doubt overtired and pressing ahead—made the data-entry mistakes handling blocks of data that went through the system the following day. When the early voting data resurfaced in precinct caucuses in Henderson and elsewhere, it led to breakdowns.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:15 AM on February 25


State polling for Maryland came out this morning. It doesn’t vote until late April, but it’s an interesting combination of diverse in race and religion; wealth concentrated in elite suburbs of DC but has both poor urban and poor rural areas; part of the Acela corridor; federal government workforce; and traditionally Democratic politics but friendly to Republican gubernatorial candidates:

Sanders 24%
Biden 18%
Bloomberg 16%
Buttigieg 7%
Klobuchar 6%
Warren 6%

Both Baltimore’s mayor and DC’s mayor have endorsed Bloomberg. I would have guessed it would be one of Biden’s best states (neighboring Delaware / moderate history / federal government workers who remember the last administration fondly / Catholic population). And still Sanders is ahead.
posted by sallybrown at 8:03 AM on February 25 [3 favorites]


These conditions would be considered a war crime anywhere else:
So many of us are cold ... Some of us need medical attention … It's been more than 12 hours now. They ridicule us if we start to complain. And the conditions here are atrocious. It's dirty. It’s smelly. It’s filthy. We don’t have a blanket ... We are sitting on the floor. There's dirt on the floor. There’s oil on the floor. It's smelling bad. We are like a hundred people in a very small room … It's almost like rats in a hole ... I mean, all our clothes are dirty, our hands are dirty. We had to eat an apple with our extremely dirty hands because we have no tissue paper, nothing to clean our hands with. We are just basically packed. Nobody can sit down. They don't even give us a plastic bag to sit on. They don't even give anything to lie down on. We just have to lie on the hard floor, basically. And there is not enough space for everybody to lie down because we have to sit so close.
I'm curious how Bloomberg supporters feel about this aspect of his record.
posted by Ouverture at 8:04 AM on February 25 [11 favorites]


So did Bloomberg basically ruin Biden's chances without getting enough support to win himself? Doomed the centrist option by convincing himself he was the only one who could save it?
posted by clawsoon at 9:12 AM on February 25 [8 favorites]


My guess is that the endorsement of Mayors for Bloomberg May matter even less than they usually do, because most people perceive them (correctly) as bought endorsements.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:19 AM on February 25 [3 favorites]


So did Bloomberg basically ruin Biden's chances without getting enough support to win himself?

It seems like the centrist campaigns were betting that Biden’s support would collapse at some point and that they would be able to step in and fill his place as people panicked about one of the progressive candidates winning. Turns out Biden never really collapsed, just slumped; his combination of experience and appeal to a diverse coalition is very tough for other centrists to imitate; and the base isn’t panicking and is in fact embracing the progressive leader. Meanwhile the other centrists are playing bumper cars.
posted by sallybrown at 9:31 AM on February 25 [5 favorites]


Looks like Bloomberg's surrogates are going on the news today crowing about how he's going to spend the entire debate attacking Sanders. All they seem to have is stale 2015 oppo, so I'm not expecting much from them.

It'll probably be a good look for Bernie, tbh. He's very good at fielding disingenuous attacks, and watching him take ineffectual blows from the world's most unlikeable billionaire, the exact kind of person the Sanders campaign is always talking about, it could be a pretty clarifying moment.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:58 AM on February 25 [10 favorites]


MisantropicPainforest, I'm not so sure most people are that perceptive. Local radio stations air an ad that's basically President Obama speaking of "Mayor Bloomberg" in highly-complimentary terms, and a neighbor thought it meant he was endorsing Bloomberg in the here and now. [Me: That's an old clip, from when they were both in-office? It's not an endorsement. Neighbor: No, Obama's saying Mayor because Bloomberg can still use the title, like Obama's always President Obama? Bloomberg, not Biden, can you believe it!]

Some of Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign ads give the impression that Barack Obama has a glowing rapport with the former New York mayor. (WaPo, Feb. 19, 2020) Of course, Obama has not yet made an endorsement in the 2020 campaign. Former presidents usually don’t do that in their party primaries.

Here's what a campaign mailer from Bloomberg looks like, if you're curious. During his tenure as mayor, "We also cut the number of uninsured people by nearly 40% [...] and expanded health care for working families in New York City." These strides were thanks to state-level policy changes, though, including expanded Medicaid eligibility. (Politifact, Jan. 23, 2020) He was critical of Obamacare, IRL; in the letter, "we're" going to save it, etc.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:14 AM on February 25 [4 favorites]


Both Baltimore’s mayor and DC’s mayor have endorsed Bloomberg. I would have guessed it would be one of Biden’s best states (neighboring Delaware / moderate history / federal government workers who remember the last administration fondly / Catholic population). And still Sanders is ahead.

As a 20 year resident of Baltimore, this sounds right.
Dem leadership has been historically opaque, and often corrupt. On the streets, DSA, WFP and Sanders movements for $15 an hour have been very popular.
posted by Harry Caul at 10:18 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


An eternally wrong professional moustache at the NYT editorial board has another terrible idea that is unfortunately making the rounds. (tldr: Thomas Friedman, unity ticket.)
posted by St. Oops at 10:46 AM on February 25


SC Debate tonight, 8 PM eastern, CBS, with Michael Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer:
South Carolina Democratic debate: Everything you need to know
5 Things To Watch For In Tuesday's South Carolina Democratic Debate
Will The South Carolina Debate Be All About Stopping Sanders?

South Carolina primary on Saturday.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:09 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


[Deleted several about guns. This is not a megathread on politics generally. Still less is it a thread where we will finally, at last, hash out all remaining ideological disputes between liberals and leftists.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 11:09 AM on February 25 [10 favorites]


Harry Reid is now, after the NV caucus, calling for the abolishment of caucuses in their entirity.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:31 AM on February 25 [11 favorites]


We received our first Bloomberg mailer. It’s a large glossy two-page foldout with a cover of a black photo centered on a group of golden, glowing candles with copy along the lines of “too many have died - Mike will stop the NRA.” As with most of the ads I have seen online, it’s pretty effective. I dunno how disingenuous it is, but it should have strong appeal to Seattle voters. I would guess voters in Spokane will not be receiving the same mailer.
posted by mwhybark at 11:39 AM on February 25


I got that Bloomberg letter yesterday (southern Arizona.) I wonder what the target list is. I’m a “four star” voter here since I’ve voted in the last two primaries and the last two generals. (Well, I vote in every election, save that bond election a couple of years ago that I had absolutely zero idea that it was happening until 5pm the day of...) Campaigns will focus on people like me first because I’m pretty much a lock to be voting. I wonder if they’re going further down the voter participation ladder.
posted by azpenguin at 11:42 AM on February 25


That actually brings up something that I don't see mentioned at all - Bloomberg's openly in the race, spending money, and the NRA has been quiet. He is their boogeyman - they pushed for indemnification of gun dealers because of his funding lawsuits against them - and yet they've been silent. I think that they've been hurt badly by everything that came out last year.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:45 AM on February 25 [8 favorites]


the NYT editorial board has another terrible idea
This is almost a daily occurrence.
posted by Harry Caul at 11:47 AM on February 25 [4 favorites]


Did Bloomberg not have to get permission to use that Obama clip in his ad? That has seemed fishy from day 1.
posted by Clustercuss at 12:08 PM on February 25


Did Bloomberg not have to get permission to use that Obama clip in his ad? That has seemed fishy from day 1.

Opposing politicians are allowed to use clips of each other, aren't they? So why not "friends"?
posted by clawsoon at 12:23 PM on February 25


2008, 2010, 2016, and 2018 all might as well have happened in different galaxies as the outcomes all contradicted one another!
Sure, but politics is a dice game, and 2012 and 2016 were the same odds – 2/3. I'll say that again because I find it absurdly profound: every election is probabilistic based on a million uncontrollable things, but the basic odds for Obama/Romney were essentially the same – two out of three in favor of the Democrat – as Hillary/Trump. You run 2016 a dozen times and Trump wins about four. You run 2012 a dozen times and Romney wins about four. The counterfactual histories should boggle your mind.

Taking a step back to acknowledge this truth helps me understand the lack of contradiction between elections. There are other dynamics worth looking at – sexism, race relations, voter disenfranchisement, re-election, outsider versus Washington player – but to me it says that any neoliberal off the shelf is going to have basically the same kind of favorable but not-great odds against opponents as unlikable as a serial rapist or the guy who fired you and all your friends to make another million.

(I know you didn't include 2012 in your list; I just find this fact so interesting.)
posted by daveliepmann at 12:25 PM on February 25 [5 favorites]


I dunno how disingenuous it is,

I don't know, if there's any issue I'd give Bloomberg credit for its gun control. Everytown For Gun Safety has done a lot of good work.

Doesn't mean he should be president (he should not), but not surprising he would call out the NRA / his gun control support as its probably the issue he's on the strongest footing with Democrats on.
posted by thefoxgod at 1:35 PM on February 25 [2 favorites]


It's natural that a billionaire would want to restrict gun ownership to the police (who enforce property relations through violence) and rich people (who can afford to get around gun ownership laws).
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 1:46 PM on February 25 [16 favorites]


Bloomberg's most concrete "gun-control" policy measure was permitting racially-targeted police brutality, and with him as president you'd see the same but squared or cubed.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:50 PM on February 25 [10 favorites]


That actually brings up something that I don't see mentioned at all - Bloomberg's openly in the race, spending money, and the NRA has been quiet.

Quiet where? Not in their emails, which are often about "Bloomberg-backed legislation to destroy your Second Amendment rights," nor on their social media.

What's hurt them has been the dissolution of NRATV, which has also distanced their most vocal spokespeople like Dana Loesch, Grant Stinchfield, etc. amid all the ongoing lawsuits. So while they're not silent, their voice isn't being amplified nearly as loudly as it was even a year ago.
posted by Superplin at 1:53 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]


I'm just hunkering down for 7 days until it's an obvious question of whether non-leading candidates actually line up behind Bloomberg (not likely) or eventually over the next few months endorse Sanders (more likely). I may make 7 days worth of popcorn.
posted by Harry Caul at 1:57 PM on February 25


2008, 2010, 2016, and 2018 all might as well have happened in different galaxies as the outcomes all contradicted one another!

Sure, but politics is a dice game, and 2012 and 2016 were the same odds – 2/3. I'll say that again because I find it absurdly profound: every election is probabilistic based on a million uncontrollable things, but the basic odds for Obama/Romney were essentially the same – two out of three in favor of the Democrat – as Hillary/Trump. You run 2016 a dozen times and Trump wins about four. You run 2012 a dozen times and Romney wins about four. The counterfactual histories should boggle your mind.

Taking a step back to acknowledge this truth helps me understand the lack of contradiction between elections. There are other dynamics worth looking at – sexism, race relations, voter disenfranchisement, re-election, outsider versus Washington player – but to me it says that any neoliberal off the shelf is going to have basically the same kind of favorable but not-great odds against opponents as unlikable as a serial rapist or the guy who fired you and all your friends to make another million.

(I know you didn't include 2012 in your list; I just find this fact so interesting.)


Clinton got almost as many votes in 2016 as Obama got in 2012 (she got about 70,000 less, which at almost 66 million votes is statistical noise.) Trump, however, got 2 million more than Romney. And yet, as we well know, Clinton got 3 million more votes than Trump. Still, here we are. The takeaway is that there were more people willing to vote for Trump than there were for Romney (*cough* racism *cough*), while Clinton and Obama got about the same amount of votes as each other.

I don't know what to make of this upcoming election. There is a certain cadre of diehard Trump supporters who are locked in no matter what, so he definitely has a fairly high vote floor. If Nernie is the nominee, then I would expect the turnout among the 18-30 set to be historic. Where does everyone else go? In normal election cycles, the Democratic nominee would pretty much be a lock to win in an election like this. We do not live in normal times any longer.
posted by azpenguin at 2:02 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]


'08 and '16 were typical angry change votes after 8 years of one president, and '10 and '18 were were typical backlashes in the House against the general election. And they all were in the deadlocked trend of Republicans losing the popular vote (except for '04) since 1989. See E Klein's recent tome Why We're Polarized on how typical the last 5 elections have been of each other in voting.

If Russian/corporate micro-targeting can't make as much use of their tools as they could in exactly the same way, as in 2016 with 12 months of MSM help, Sanders will be fine.
posted by Harry Caul at 2:12 PM on February 25


Bloomberg's most concrete "gun-control" policy measure

MAIG/Everytown has supported multiple successful gun control initiatives and candidates. So this is not true unless you limit it to his time as mayor and just ignore everything since.

While apparently some leftists prefer unrestricted gun ownership, the vast majority of both Americans and Democrats want more gun control. As someone who has spent a lot of time in sane countries, it's a pretty high priority issue for me.

That said, I'd much rather have him continue to support it the way he has. He would not be a good President at all.
posted by thefoxgod at 2:33 PM on February 25 [3 favorites]


But the Dems still need to get a lot more voters into the fold.

So I work in a college program for disabled students that provides a lot of independent living training, and I brought up voter registration to our director today. She told me a bunch of our students are super anxious and don’t want to vote because they have no idea how or what to expect. It’s scary and new and with the stress they’re under as college students they just... don’t want to deal with it.

We talk a lot about voting access, but I’m wondering how much that kind of thing is going on. I mean I know my program skews towards people who would find this difficult, but. I had forgotten how scary it was for me to vote for the first time (and how I accidentally voted Republican for one of the positions, because I didn’t know going in there were more races than just governor, and picked at random because I wasn’t sure if my ballot would get thrown out as ‘incomplete’ or something if I put nobody down, and I was too embarrassed to ask). So I’m curious how we might go about providing first time voters with more education about the actual process and what to expect, and what impact that might have.
posted by brook horse at 2:36 PM on February 25 [11 favorites]


You know Sanders is the front runner because everyone is going to be gunning for him tonight. When the Republicans did that to Trump in 2016 it just seemed to elevate him and harden his base within the party. We’ll see what happens with the Democrats.
posted by eagles123 at 2:56 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]


I've been assuming this recent CNN op-ed by Joe Lockhart (press secretary for Bill Clinton) is a good example of the game plan for tonight and the next week:
If Bloomberg has any chance of winning the nomination, he has to redirect his resources during the primary and run ads against Sanders -- not Trump.

Bloomberg needs to use the next $400 million in ad spending to attack Sanders on his potential weaknesses in a general election and highlight how far left his campaign is. Hitting him on his past record on guns is a must.

Bloomberg also needs to drive home the fact that very little of what Sanders has proposed has any chance of being implemented without serious challenges and major compromises, as even, for example, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez admitted on Medicare for All.

Sanders' praise of Soviet-backed regimes is ripe for political attack ads -- and if Bloomberg doesn't take advantage of this, Trump certainly will in the fall. Finally, Sanders' legislative record of achievements is lacking, and the difficulty he faces in garnering support among both Democratic or Republican lawmakers can be highlighted.

Bloomberg has a narrow window of time to shift his strategy. As Tim Miller, who served as Jeb Bush's communications director in 2016 wrote in The Bulwark, a big lesson from 2016 is "attack the freaking front-runner for God's sake ... If Mike's goal is to actually beat Bernie -- and not just finish Super Tuesday with a gentleman's 18 percent and embark on a long, losing slog in the hopes something crazy happens -- then his paid media needs to shift to targeting Bernie immediately. Let me emphasize this: Immediately, today, five minutes ago, the fork NOW."
It should be an interesting first hour of the debate.
posted by chortly at 4:26 PM on February 25


It’s amazing there are seven candidates in tonight’s debate. Even the clown car 2016 Republican primary was down to five candidates on stage at this point (and only four in their March debates).
posted by mbrubeck at 5:02 PM on February 25 [3 favorites]


If they hadn't changed the debate rules about number of donors recently to allow Bloomberg in, they'd be down to 6 by now.
posted by clawsoon at 5:06 PM on February 25 [7 favorites]


I'm curious how Bloomberg supporters feel about this aspect of his record.

My guess, honestly, is "pretty positively." I wouldn't underestimate the road rage that a significant number of "pro-business moderates," petit-bourgeois burghers, and other worshippers of financial power have for actual, IRL protestors. They might claim to support protest in some abstract kind of way, sure -- but when it gets down to brass tacks, I think a lot of them truly believe that if you inconvenience them or make their lives very slightly more difficult, you deserve whatever treatment you get, and you should be grateful it wasn't worse.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:09 PM on February 25 [8 favorites]


We’ll see what happens with the Democrats.

The sooner the infighting burns off, the better off we will be. I hope the Dem elites get this.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 5:16 PM on February 25 [7 favorites]


Bloomberg needs to use the next $400 million in ad spending to attack Sanders on his potential weaknesses in a general election and highlight how far left his campaign is. Hitting him on his past record on guns is a must.


The US' Presidential elections are very different from the Parliamentary systems I'm used to, but I can't help thinking that it's crazy for Democratic candidates to be spending tens or hundreds of millions attacking each other less than a year from the election. In the greater picture it's not even wasted money; it's effectively a gift to the Republicans.

I know people like the idea of the scrappy underdog candidate emerging from obscurity by public acclaim as opposed to the venal compromise candidate selected by party bosses in smoke-filled rooms, but what you apparently have is a highly gameable system that creates months of bad publicity and costs hundreds of millions. Maybe just clean up the party system and then have a party conference choose the nominee?
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:21 PM on February 25 [10 favorites]


This debate audience makes me hate the Democratic party. How you can applaud a guy who funds Republicans and does the stuff Warren is saying? It's all true. I hope the money is good. Also, it's impossible to have a rational conversation on budgeting in 45 second increments.
posted by eagles123 at 5:29 PM on February 25 [8 favorites]


Most. Hilarious. Debate. Ever.
Much better than any recent SNL skit.
posted by Harry Caul at 5:33 PM on February 25


Are they all on meth? What a batshit debate.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:43 PM on February 25 [3 favorites]


Note: The only guaranteed way to get a ticket to this “debate” is to become a “sponsor”, which costs between 1750 and 3200 dollars.
posted by eagles123 at 5:45 PM on February 25 [11 favorites]


I've said this oh so many times I am tired of it.

Debate moderators need to frikkin moderate.

Cut the damn mics when the candidates time is up. Cut the damn mics when someone talks over the person who has the stage.

I'm not sure that will make the debates more productive, but at least the moderators are... ya know.... moderating.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:47 PM on February 25 [12 favorites]


okay so that thing that just happened where joe biden interrupted klobuchar to claim he had written the bill that she was talking about, and that in reality she herself had written was... something. it's like a crack team of researchers got together to devise a scenario that could make klobuchar seem sympathetic.

in a just world biden would be forced to get MANSPLAINER tattooed on his forehead after pulling that crap.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 5:53 PM on February 25 [18 favorites]


Biden and Bloomberg clearly have very vocal cheering sections in the audience.
posted by eagles123 at 5:55 PM on February 25 [4 favorites]


I assume every reputable news outlet is currently investigating how tickets were assigned and what fraction of available tickets went to $1750 a pop sponsors. So we'll probably find out the situation soon enough.
posted by Justinian at 5:58 PM on February 25 [5 favorites]


Maybe just clean up the party system and then have a party conference choose the nominee?

There are processes that would be less acrimonious, brutal, and resource-intensive while simultaneously being more democratic. My dream: the primary is two or three months long and culminates in an approval vote, where people can select as many candidates as they want. Fin. No need for party elites to second-guess the preferences of voters (which they seem to be bad at anyway).
posted by en forme de poire at 5:59 PM on February 25 [3 favorites]


There already was a news article on it on a local tv station because people were complaining. That's where I heard about the prices. Unfortunately I can't link on my tablet.
posted by eagles123 at 6:03 PM on February 25


Biden tried to simultaneously say homebuyers and homeowners and what he said was "homeboners"
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:06 PM on February 25 [41 favorites]


Well at least some good came out of this shit.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:07 PM on February 25 [2 favorites]


Thank God the moderator finally told Pete to shut up and stop interrupting.
posted by eagles123 at 6:08 PM on February 25


Want a guaranteed seat at the Democratic debate in Charleston? It’ll cost a lot of cash.

“The Charleston County Democratic Party website says "The only guaranteed way to get a ticket is to become a sponsor of the debate." Sponsorship ranges from $1,750 to $3,200 each for attendance to multiple “First in the South” events.

Charleston County Democratic Party Chair Colleen Condon said neither the state nor local party knows how many tickets will be available to the general public. She said tickets are first handed out to organizers. Then, campaigns may get some tickets to disperse among supporters.

"This is something that the average person doesn’t usually get to go to," Condon said. "The Gaillard is only so big and this is something that is just a hot ticket from across the country. These kind of events really are set up for sponsors and things like that."
posted by sallybrown at 6:08 PM on February 25 [8 favorites]


The insanely priced "debate sponsor" tickets are featured in some other state debates, too. Don't get wrong -- it's bad! -- but we're only taking notice of it here because the crowd is so hyped for Bloomberg that it doesn't seem like it could be a plausible organic development.
posted by grandiloquiet at 6:14 PM on February 25 [4 favorites]


We also don’t know how many sponsors there actually are in the audience and how many tickets were handed out to organizers. I think it’s just as plausible the boos were a prearranged tactic coming from a loud but small group arranged by a campaign’s organizers/supporters.
posted by sallybrown at 6:19 PM on February 25 [3 favorites]


"South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum." -- James L. Petigru
posted by kirkaracha at 6:22 PM on February 25


I agree. It's still notable to me how different the audience reactions were between Nevada and this debate. I can't imagine an audience at a Democratic debate not caring about sexual harassment allegations.
posted by eagles123 at 6:23 PM on February 25 [4 favorites]


So just to be a clear a billionaire buys out every single channel and plasters his face and voice everywhere, the DNC changes the debate qualifiers so he can get on stage, the tickets to the debate itself cost thousands and are only secured by "VIPs" who cheer his completely tepid nonsense, and ads air during the debate are for said billionaire candidate + mysterious PAC that is anti-single payer. This is somehow feeling just as disturbing as 2016 if not more so
posted by windbox at 6:36 PM on February 25 [41 favorites]


Sanders pulls that subversive controversial move of mentioning actual US history to a US audience.
posted by Harry Caul at 6:38 PM on February 25 [26 favorites]


what you apparently have is a highly gameable system that creates months of bad publicity and costs hundreds of millions

You should see our health care system!
posted by mwhybark at 6:46 PM on February 25 [26 favorites]


also our higher-education and real-estate markets!
posted by mwhybark at 6:46 PM on February 25 [10 favorites]


Pete is so annoying that he is even getting the crowd on Sanders' side. I also liked when Sanders stared down the guy who tried to boo him when he cited Obama in his Cuba defence. Biden came out looking kind of dumb in that exchange.
posted by eagles123 at 6:52 PM on February 25 [4 favorites]


Ok last question is “What are some words that you live by?” Just for a second imagine what if Bernie just put his lips on the mic and said “Fuck around and find out”
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:53 PM on February 25 [26 favorites]


The audience was weird, yes, but Bloomberg isn't going to be the nominee. I will eat a hat if he is.
posted by Justinian at 7:18 PM on February 25 [3 favorites]


I've learned from Sam Wang that objects I commit to eating if something terrible happens should be bite-size
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:20 PM on February 25 [34 favorites]


Yeah, if the past four years taught me anything, it's never say never. I mean, Biden is probably going to win South Carolina, not necessarily because of this debate, but because of the politics of the state. Then what? The dude is a rambling mess.
posted by eagles123 at 7:29 PM on February 25 [3 favorites]


Kornacki gets it.
@SteveKornacki
How were tickets distributed for this debate?
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:43 PM on February 25 [2 favorites]


you know i am hesitant to say this but it is possible that the behavior of five of the seven people on that stage and also especially the behavior of the moderators indicates that possibly the quality of political discourse in american mass media is, like, bad.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:14 PM on February 25 [26 favorites]


In a society without a collective sense of the sacred, vital functions of civic life become infiltrated with the profane.
posted by eagles123 at 8:19 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]


What is the process to make debates stop looking like that?
posted by lazugod at 8:39 PM on February 25


What is the process to make debates stop looking like that?
posted by lazugod at 10:39 PM on February 25 [+] [!]


Put them on PBS, have the moderators cut the mics, draft newspaperpeople as moderators, and get the hell rid of the commercials
posted by TheProfessor at 8:54 PM on February 25 [19 favorites]


Get rid of the audience. This isn't a pro wrestling show with heels and faces.
posted by JackFlash at 8:59 PM on February 25 [16 favorites]


The League of Women Voters seemed to have better debates, but they had "no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public".
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 9:20 PM on February 25 [8 favorites]


what he said was "homeboners"

But enough about my sex life
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:37 PM on February 25 [3 favorites]


try the veal
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:48 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]


Most. Hilarious. Debate. Ever.
Much better than any recent SNL skit.


The Nevada debate was genuinely full of feel-good moments - arguably largely because it did have a heel. This just seems to have been a weird mess.
posted by atoxyl at 9:59 PM on February 25 [2 favorites]


> Get rid of the audience. This isn't a pro wrestling show with heels and faces.

The worst is all the whooing every time back from commercial like it's an episode of The Voice or some other elimination song and dance reality TV shit. Such a zombie circus.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:00 PM on February 25 [10 favorites]


This isn't a pro wrestling show with heels and faces.

like it's an episode of The Voice or some other elimination song and dance reality TV shit.

But that's what it is. Trying to deny this will only make it hurt more.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 10:52 PM on February 25 [4 favorites]


A “debate” held on a commercial network run by multi millionaires, an audience stacked with high dollar DNC contributors, and in between segments, a barrage of ads for one of the two billionaires who are running.

We live in an oligarchy and that was a shitty puppet show. We did this to ourselves, no boogey man Russians needed.

Burn it all down.
posted by lattiboy at 12:05 AM on February 26 [30 favorites]


Metafilter: We did this to ourselves
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:19 AM on February 26 [3 favorites]


USA: We did this to ourselves
posted by pyramid termite at 12:30 AM on February 26 [8 favorites]


i am coming here to you today to say again (re selfdoings):

nernie
posted by mwhybark at 12:34 AM on February 26 [10 favorites]


1) No audience.
2) Limit to one or two topics per night (we’ve had like 7 debates)
3) More than 2 minutes to make a statement and 45 seconds for rebuttals
4) Allow for multiple rounds of rebuttals
5) Mike gets cut if you go more than 20 seconds over your time and when it’s not your turn
posted by eagles123 at 3:23 AM on February 26 [5 favorites]


Mike should get cut just for showing up.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:50 AM on February 26 [23 favorites]


I wonder if the people criticizing Sanders for praising Cuba ever said something nice about the "Asian Tigers", which were mostly run by authoritarian dictators (Park in South Korea, Chiang+Chiang in Taiwan, Lee in Singapore) during their times of maximum economic growth.
posted by clawsoon at 5:21 AM on February 26 [6 favorites]


The fact-checking articles for the SC debate are something to behold.
posted by FakeFreyja at 6:53 AM on February 26


I wonder if the people criticizing Sanders for praising Cuba ever said something nice about the "Asian Tigers", which were mostly run by authoritarian dictators (Park in South Korea, Chiang+Chiang in Taiwan, Lee in Singapore) during their times of maximum economic growth.

We don't even need to go abroad or that far back. How many presidents and presidential candidates have spoken fondly or even literally embraced Henry Kissinger, someone who makes Castro look entirely unambitious?

When Bernie spoke out against him in the 2016 primary, that was the moment I realized there was something truly different about him.
posted by Ouverture at 7:10 AM on February 26 [12 favorites]


We don't even need to go abroad or that far back. How many presidents and presidential candidates have spoken fondly or even literally embraced Henry Kissinger, someone who makes Castro look entirely unambitious?

We even have a law (American Service-Members' Protection Act) that forces the US to invade The Hague if any of its war criminals get pulled into the ICC.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:17 AM on February 26 [2 favorites]


Sanders makes moderates uncomfortable partly because he represents that the old neoliberal order of the past 50 years is over. It hasn't been great for a lot of people, but it's familiar and leaving it can be scary. Sanders vs. Trump means that both choices are choices for something a lot different. This is why defending Castro is such a big deal and not Kissinger, because, right or wrong, Castro has been the enemy for a long time and Kissinger hasn't been.
posted by bright flowers at 7:22 AM on February 26 [5 favorites]


Am I nuts or did Joe Biden say 150 million people have died from gun violence since 2007? Nope, I'm not insane.

I figured Pete at least would be all over that, since he's positioning himself as magic numbers guy.

My wife and I spent a lot of the rest of the debate riffing on that.

Candidate: I'm the only candidate who can fix the massive economic downturn from the sudden death of over a third of Americans!
posted by freecellwizard at 7:25 AM on February 26 [3 favorites]


Sanders makes moderates uncomfortable partly because he represents that the old neoliberal order of the past 50 years is over. It hasn't been great for a lot of people, but it's familiar and leaving it can be scary. Sanders vs. Trump means that both choices are choices for something a lot different. This is why defending Castro is such a big deal and not Kissinger, because, right or wrong, Castro has been the enemy for a long time and Kissinger hasn't been.

You're right, but it's not just the neoliberal order; it's also the neoconservative order. And that's what makes Sanders so exciting for not just poor people and people of color in America, but for literally billions of people around the world who have been and are being harmed by the American foreign policy consensus.
posted by Ouverture at 7:33 AM on February 26 [5 favorites]


Bring In The Boss

Doesn't get more Trumpian than that. Between this Bloombergian version of a MAGAhat and this nonsense, I wonder how long we have until The Boss weighs in.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:40 AM on February 26


[Couple deleted; about "candidate x almost definitely has mental-health condition y", let's lay off that please. That kind of speculation tends to go to bad places and hit people other than you're intending.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:50 AM on February 26 [5 favorites]


tonycpsu: "The boss" reminds me of this scene from Enemy at the Gates, where Khrushchev refers to Stalin as "the boss".
posted by bright flowers at 7:54 AM on February 26


Natasha Korecki, Politico's reporter covering Biden, says:

This is how @JoeBiden often closes out his events; he tells the crowd that some things about campaigning haven’t changed since he first ran for Senate when he was 29, he goes on to recite his old pitch —including what’s said in the video below— before circling back.

It's a bogus hit from Shaun King against Biden.
posted by factory123 at 7:55 AM on February 26 [8 favorites]


4 Takeaways from the South Carolina Democratic Debate (NPR)
The Democrats debated for the 10th time Tuesday night and it was a bit of a mess. There was shouting. There was overtalk. There were lots of attacks.

So what to make of that muddle? Here are four takeaways that emerged as the dust settled.

1. Joe Biden was focused on the win in South Carolina

2. Sanders is the man to beat, and he took the heat

3. Bloomberg was better, but ...
he didn't stand out as the person who should be the clear alternative to the senator from Vermont.

4. Coronavirus recalls what's at stake in elections

The candidates were critical of how the Trump administration is responding to the coronavirus outbreak, notably that Trump's proposed budgets cut funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[...]
With unemployment under 4%, foreign entanglements in the background and no major crises, Trump would normally be the favorite in November. But if something goes badly wrong, it may not matter who the Democratic nominee is. Reelections are, first and foremost, a referendum on the sitting president — and this president is one of the most hotly polarizing in the nation's history.
And that is what drove higher turn-out for the Dems in 2018, which is why I'm optimistic that Dr. Rachel Bitecofer's model, which was close for 2018, will also be accurate for 2020 (previously) -- "Democrats are a near lock for the presidency, are likely to gain House seats and have a decent shot at retaking the Senate" (TTTCS).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:59 AM on February 26 [2 favorites]


I've posted about the mental illness deletion in MetaTalk here.
posted by bright flowers at 8:11 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]


Roundup blog digest of media impressions of the South Carolina debate: CBS News botched its Democratic debate by making itself the spotlight, rather than the candidates (Norman Weiss, Primetimer/TVTattle)
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:43 AM on February 26 [2 favorites]


I know people like the idea of the scrappy underdog candidate emerging from obscurity by public acclaim as opposed to the venal compromise candidate selected by party bosses in smoke-filled rooms, but what you apparently have is a highly gameable system that creates months of bad publicity and costs hundreds of millions. Maybe just clean up the party system and then have a party conference choose the nominee?

So, the thing is, the current primary system for choosing presidential candidates wasn't really in place until 1972, after the debacle of 1968. There were primaries before then, but they were fairly inconsequential. Many nominees didn't even compete in primaries. In effect, the nominee was chosen in the way you describe.

I think it's fairly clear now the current system has its own problems--I would have preferred intraparty nomination contests with the voting being run by the parties, not by state governments... but that would have meant the Democrats and Republicans losing one of their ways to keep third parties from emerging, by controlling ballot access.

Not to mention that presidential nominees are not the same as party leadership contests in parliamentary systems, because the closest the United States has to a prime minister is the Speaker of the House.
posted by Automocar at 8:44 AM on February 26 [2 favorites]


Chiang+Chiang in Taiwan

I mean, I think folks in Taiwan are glad to even be mentioned by a US presidential candidate, for good or bad. Because that at least means they, y'know, exist!
posted by FJT at 8:49 AM on February 26


I am an ardent Warren supporter, but if she doesn't have a strong showing in South Carolina + Super Tuesday (say, enough to move into the top three by number of delegates) I hope she throws her support behind Bernie at that point.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:34 AM on February 26 [9 favorites]


I am an ardent Warren supporter, but if she doesn't have a strong showing in South Carolina + Super Tuesday (say, enough to move into the top three by number of delegates) I hope she throws her support behind Bernie at that point.

It seemed to me that Warren was not wanting to inflict any big damage on Nernie last night. (As opposed to her taking a flamethrower to Bloomberg again.) I think that if she sees the writing on the wall and drops out, she's team Sanders.
posted by azpenguin at 9:37 AM on February 26 [12 favorites]


What the hell is this "Nernie" stuff? Did I miss a memo?
posted by Automocar at 9:57 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]


It's a typo from upthread that, if unchecked, could become another MeFi in-joke... but (in the interests of keeping these threads understandable to people not continuously immersed in them) should probably be dropped.
posted by Jpfed at 10:06 AM on February 26 [20 favorites]


the nernie thing is peak metafilter... but not in a good way...
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 11:07 AM on February 26 [9 favorites]


it's short for Nernald
posted by Greg Nog at 11:11 AM on February 26 [14 favorites]


I am an ardent Warren supporter, but if she doesn't have a strong showing in South Carolina + Super Tuesday (say, enough to move into the top three by number of delegates) I hope she throws her support behind Bernie at that point.

I am, as well, and I share your hope. Wrt policies, they share much in common.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:16 AM on February 26 [3 favorites]


I feel like there is plenty of value in Warren sticking around through the final debate (Mar 15) even in the event Super Tuesday results make it clear she is not the choice of the progressive left. For one, she has been excellent in them, two, she can be aggressive in attacking other candidates if she's not playing defense the whole debate (which the front-runner likely would), three, it is just a benefit to the progressive left to have two voices on a shrinking stage, and four I think the risk that a lot of her supporters would be willing to move from her to Sanders on Mar 6th but would change their minds and go to a moderate candidate by Mar 20th is low.
posted by jermsplan at 11:46 AM on February 26 [20 favorites]


This is more AskMeFi, but since there's so much Warren/Sanders chatter, I'll ask here:

Assume I am a diehard Warren supporter in NC (I am), which votes Super Tuesday.
Assume Sanders is a close second for me, and that I want him to win the nomination if she doesn't.
Is there any reason I should not vote my conscience March 3 and pick Warren?

I've always followed the "conscience in primaries, pragmatism in the general" rule. But I don't want Biden or Bloomberg (or Pete/Amy really) to end up as the nominee.

So far my strategy has been to not early vote and watch the debates and other primary/caucus results, but I am running out of time. The fact that Warren clearly won the last two debates IMO makes it even harder. In the shouty debacle last night, she seemed like the only one not piling on and brought a calm leadership vibe back whenever she talked. Just call me Chidi ... I'm getting a stomachache!
posted by freecellwizard at 11:58 AM on February 26 [1 favorite]


Is there any reason I should not vote my conscience March 3 and pick Warren?

But I don't want Biden or Bloomberg (or Pete/Amy really) to end up as the nominee.

Biden's slightly favored in NC right now, just ahead of Sanders. In your position, from a practical standpoint, I'd vote for Sanders.
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:00 PM on February 26 [3 favorites]


Vote your conscience. Warren is a fantastic candidate. You’re not in charge of anything besides voting for the person you think is going to make the best president. This is true because you’re not in charge of the various political structures that make it difficult for people to express their preferences clearly.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 12:01 PM on February 26 [34 favorites]


Also honestly? There are literally millions of moving parts here. Sanders runs an effective campaign and he isn’t entitled to your vote if he hasn’t won it. I love Tío Bernie but he can take care of himself! Vote your conscience. If you want to help, it’s 100% fine to support Warren and still say nice things about Bernie or whatever.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 12:13 PM on February 26 [6 favorites]


Assume I am a diehard Warren supporter in NC (I am), which votes Super Tuesday.
Assume Sanders is a close second for me, and that I want him to win the nomination if she doesn't.
Is there any reason I should not vote my conscience March 3 and pick Warren?


I am of the opinion that everyone should vote their conscience in every election, even the general. Strategic voting is for the birds and subverts the entire point of representative democracy. Not that you need approval from some rando on the internet, but this rando says vote for whoever you feel should be President of the United States of America.

Also we don't know how March 3 is going to play out. There is a tiny but non-zero chance Warren comes out smelling like roses. Who knows?
posted by FakeFreyja at 12:15 PM on February 26 [7 favorites]


With proportional allocation your vote actually matters directly for how many delegates your candidates get.

In the event your candidate can’t break 15% state and locally, then it benefits the candidates who do: likely to be Biden and Sanders. So it’s kind of a win-tie/win.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:35 PM on February 26


Natasha Korecki, Politico's reporter covering Biden, says:

This is how @JoeBiden often closes out his events; he tells the crowd that some things about campaigning haven’t changed since he first ran for Senate when he was 29, he goes on to recite his old pitch —including what’s said in the video below— before circling back.

It's a bogus hit from Shaun King against Biden.


I don't know Natasha Korecki but directly below that there are two tweets questioning her on this, 1 saying that they have never seen him do that and another saying they watched the whole speech and he did not do this... I watched the speech (it was more like a 3 minute remark) and he clearly said he's running for president of the senate and if you don't like him, vote for the other Biden. No reference to his earlier career or anything like that. Unless the clip is doctored by the NBC News affiliate in Charleston, he definitely said what Shaun King said he said.
posted by nequalsone at 1:09 PM on February 26 [5 favorites]


if warren is either above 15% or close to 15%, vote warren. if warren isn't near 15%, make whichever vote is most likely to produce an outcome you'd consider favorable. whatever you do, never vote your conscience, unless the choice your conscience would make happens to coincide with the choice that's most likely to produce an outcome you'd consider favorable.

voting based on conscience is a 20th century luxury that we no longer have in this the grim year of our lord 2020.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 1:13 PM on February 26 [14 favorites]


If I voted my conscience I'd be writing in "Mecha-JohnBrown" every election.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:19 PM on February 26 [14 favorites]


if warren is either above 15% or close to 15%, vote warren. if warren isn't near 15%, make whichever vote . . .

According to which polls? Which polls where? Which polls when? Before early voting started? After? I'm not sure people are even able to play that game.
posted by Harry Caul at 1:22 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]


More Bloomberg "forget what you know about me" snail mail, three pieces of it.
That makes four campaign mailers in two days: a letter, the gun-death "candle" foldout mwhybark mentions upthread, a poster-thick "fire, pollution, TRUMP's policies are KILLING California (view my climate-action cred on reverse)" sheet, and a slick multi-page folder that forms a Maltese Cross to tie together the theses/promises from the other three.

Lizabet and the Nernster send emails, like the sensible (genuinely environmentally-aware) people they are.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:26 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]


I live in VA, also a Super Tuesday state. Warren needs to make a come back. That will happen if people like us turn out and vote for her on Super Tuesday.

A lot of the candidates who aren't Bernie are hovering around 15% in the polls. If Warren supporters like us turn out and vote for her on Super Tuesday, we can ensure that she'll remain a viable candidate, and we can turn the primary contest into a Sanders–Warren race, rather than a Sanders–Biden, Sanders–Bloomberg one or a Sanders–Buttigieg one.
posted by nangar at 1:26 PM on February 26 [19 favorites]


I'd love to see that outcome but one complicating factor is that some state's primaries are winner-take-all. I'm in MN which is one such state where N/Bernie and the Klobster are basically tied at around 25% and Warren a distant 3rd at 14%.

It's a bit of a unique situation as Amy only has this one home state but between Sanders and Klobuchar, I'll take Sanders. Otherwise I'd vote for Warren in the hope that she'd crack 15% and take some delegates for herself and either win the nomination or pledge those delegates to Sanders if she doesn't.
posted by VTX at 1:33 PM on February 26


A lot of the candidates who aren't Bernie are hovering around 15% in the polls. If Warren supporters like us turn out and vote for her on Super Tuesday, we can ensure that she'll remain a viable candidate, and we can turn the primary contest into a Sanders–Warren race, rather than a Sanders–Biden, Sanders–Bloomberg one or a Sanders–Buttigieg one.

I will say you should always do what you feel is right, but I think hoping for a Sanders-Warren contest at this point is not very realistic.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:34 PM on February 26 [4 favorites]


> some state's primaries are winner-take-all. I'm in MN which is one such state

There are no winner-take-all states in the Democratic primaries. (There are some in Republican primaries, but MN is not one of them.)
posted by mbrubeck at 1:43 PM on February 26 [4 favorites]


My bad! I'm certain I saw that when I went looking for how to vote early. I must have misunderstood something or the information was incorrect 'cause it definitely said that it was all-or-nothing.

So...shit...now I'm back to the same Warren or Bernie problem as freecellwizard. But the discussion has definitely helped a ton (thank you all). I'm thinking it basically comes down to how likely I think Warren is to hit that 15% mark.
posted by VTX at 1:55 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]


I live in VA, also a Super Tuesday state. Warren needs to make a come back. That will happen if people like us turn out and vote for her on Super Tuesday.

Same.

I think she’s the best candidate, so I’m voting for her. I’m sick of people trying to prognosticate what future hypothetical voters are going to do, let alone try to out game them somehow. I’m just going to do my own civic duty and vote for the candidate that I think has the best vision and who I think would do the best job as president. And based on what she’s said and done in the past handful of debates, Warren is my choice. It is OK if she isn’t someone else’s choice, I’m not saying she’s the only choice — but after careful consideration, she’s mine.

The irony is that I think ALL of the other candidates who I have considered voting for would say that we should vote with our hearts. They are all people who have followed their hearts — and their ethics — in figuring out their politics and their role as politicians. I would bet that that’s even what most of us like about them.

(I mean yeah, there are also egoists in the race, but they’re not people who I ever considered voting for, and they’re not people making a whole lot of headway, so I’m not really worrying about them just now).
posted by rue72 at 1:57 PM on February 26 [17 favorites]


I think you are going to start hearing about a Biden comeback in the run-up to Super Tuesday. With the Clyburn endorsement, Biden stands to win South Carolina by a fairly comfortable margin. He isn’t really strongly positioned anywhere else outside the Deep South, but the momentum might shore up his support in Texas and in the mid-Atlantic.

Personally, at this point I think people should be rooting against a contested convention and voting accordingly. You all can take from that what you will.
posted by eagles123 at 1:58 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]


whatever you do, never vote your conscience, unless the choice your conscience would make happens to coincide with the choice that's most likely to produce an outcome you'd consider favorable.

You should in fact vote my conscience. If everybody did that, I for one think we’d be better off.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:08 PM on February 26 [8 favorites]


hopefully all you virtue ethics folx out there just so happen to have hearts that align with your rough probabilistic sense of what actions are likely to produce preferred outcomes. i suspect they do, since most of you are voting for one of the seven people at least nominally in the running for the nomination rather than whoever you'd like to see as president.

for the record: if the primary or caucus in my undisclosed location is in the future, i'll be voting for sanders unless warren is right below 15% in the most recent decent polls, in which case i'll be voting for warren. if the primary or caucus in my undisclosed location has already happened, i have already used that system to determine my vote.

for the sake of completeness: if i haven't already voted yet, and if sanders and warren switch positions such that warren is comfortably above 15% and sanders is hovering at the threshold, i'll be voting for sanders. if they have switched positions so thoroughly that sanders isn't close to 15% anymore, i'll vote for warren.

voting is an anonymous act performed in private, with no public record left of how any one individual voted, and as such voting is terrible venue for self-expression. if i need to get my heart-feels out, i get them out in writing that i post on the Internet under my real name.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 2:08 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]


Eh. If you don’t have a firm utilitarian case one way or another, better to admit it and fall back on another ethical system. It’s probably the utilitarian good to do so, in fact, ironically.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 2:16 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]


My waffling about who to vote for in the CA primary, based upon my inability to decide which ethical system to base my vote upon, is definitely sending Chidi vibes through my soul.
posted by Justinian at 2:33 PM on February 26 [16 favorites]


I think you should vote for Bernie because he’s a dope ass candidate and because it will piss off the most horrible right wingers for your buck. There, sorted.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:39 PM on February 26 [14 favorites]


I'm voting for Elizabeth Warren in the California primary because I feel she'd be the best president. I'll be proud to cast my completely inconsequential ballot for the third straight presidential content (primary or general election) where the person I think is the best candidate is also a woman.

In November I'll vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:34 PM on February 26 [25 favorites]


“Pete can’t be our President. Where was $15 in South Bend?”

Pete went to a fight for 15 rally to show he is a with workers. However the protesters made up a chant for Pete and he hustled away as fast as he could not looking at anyone with his staff and reporters running to keep up. (Time video 3min 31sec) Edited with original source video.
posted by phoque at 4:02 PM on February 26 [9 favorites]


but yeah i’m sort of with rust moranis upthread on the topic of voting my heart: if i voted my heart, i’d write in aoc for president and greta thunberg for vice president. but the list of reasons why that would never yield a worthwhile outcome is so large that we’d have to bust out higher orders of infinity to account for all of them. so i talk about the aoc/greta ticket in public on the Internet and run my what-is-most-likely-to-yield-positive-outcome algorithm in private when i fill out my ballot.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 4:07 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]


Trump just now blamed the market drop on the Democratic candidates on stage in SC, even though the market drop happened before the debate.
posted by Harry Caul at 4:16 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]


Wow it's almost like he's full of shit?
posted by odinsdream at 5:00 PM on February 26 [5 favorites]


Donald Trump is not a good President, and I’m not afraid to say it.
posted by eagles123 at 5:11 PM on February 26 [9 favorites]


Regarding the phrase "fuck around and find out" as it pertains to politics, I just saw this series of tweets:

Michael McAuliff:
!!
Azar refuses to promise a coronavirus vaccine will be affordable for anyone:
"We would want to ensure that we work to make it affordable, but we can't control that price, because we need the private sector to invest.. Price controls won't get us there."

Derek Davison:
man why would anybody want to tinker with this perfectly functioning industry we've got

Derek Davison:
Americans are generally too indoctrinated and acclimated to being beaten down to riot but this seems like a real "fuck around and find out" sort of thing even for this country.

posted by Greg Nog at 5:20 PM on February 26 [11 favorites]


Translation: hey companies if you develop this vaccine we’ll make sure you’re on a gravy train with biscuit wheels, charge whatever you want.

His comments should be sound bites in a Bernie ad.
posted by azpenguin at 5:41 PM on February 26 [5 favorites]


You know, I wonder why Elizabeth Warren isn’t doing better at the polls and, well, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ .
posted by Big Al 8000 at 6:06 PM on February 26 [8 favorites]


Refresher: Alex Michael Azar II (born June 17, 1967) is an American attorney, politician, pharmaceutical lobbyist, and former drug company executive who serves as the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, having been Deputy Secretary from 2005 to 2007. He was nominated by President Donald Trump on November 13, 2017, and confirmed by the Senate on January 24, 2018.

From 2012 to 2017, Azar was President of the U.S. division of Eli Lilly and Company, a major pharmaceutical drug company, and was a member of the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a pharmaceutical lobby...

From 1992 to 1993, he served as a law clerk for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court...

From 1994 to 1996, he served as an Associate Independent Counsel for Ken Starr in the United States Office of the Independent Counsel, where he worked on the first two years of the investigation into the Whitewater controversy. At the time of Azar's appointment, he was working as an associate in Starr's law firm...

Many health care advocates raised concerns about the nomination, citing Azar's track record of raising drug prices and his opposition to Obamacare; his preferences, that is, for a "free market" to meet all Americans' health care needs. Critics noted that Azar approved a doubling in the of price of insulin while CEO of Eli Lilly.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:08 PM on February 26 [10 favorites]


Regarding choosing candidates on the basis of the 15% threshold: this is more complicated than it sounds. As far as I know, there are some delegates awarded on a precinct-by-precinct basis. So, to take where I live as an example: Wisconsin is Sanders country taken as a whole. But I specifically live in Madison. No one has polled Madison in specific, but demographic variables here lead me to believe that Warren will be viable. So I can go ahead and vote for Warren reasonably confident that my vote won't be wasted, even though 538 thinks she'll only get 8% of the vote statewide.

P.S. let's all use approval voting next time and just use the raw vote counts to select a winner. While I personally view voting 100% as a strategic exercise, one core strength of approval (and score and STAR) voting is that even if you vote "honestly" rather than strategically, you still have a reasonable chance of advancing your interests and you will never harm your interests. It would be infinitely better than our current voting system in the sort of clown-car primary we have now.
posted by Jpfed at 7:18 PM on February 26 [6 favorites]


With the Clyburn endorsement, Biden stands to win South Carolina by a fairly comfortable margin.

Biden not completely falling apart in Nevada was a big deal. Clyburn's argument (1972: fuck around and find out) is likely to resonate with older voters, so it'll be interesting if they can do anything with a "comeback kid" narrative before Tuesday.

Things are going to go very quickly at this point. Less than 0.3% of delegates have been awarded already, but about a third by Tuesday, and 60% two weeks later. Then just a long slog until early June. Hopefully somebody wins big on Tuesday, because March is when things get nasty, and it just gets worse the longer it goes.
posted by netowl at 7:29 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]


let's hold a referendum to decide whether delegates for the next election are selected by approval voting, condorcet's method, or the borda count.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:46 PM on February 26 [3 favorites]


I feel like "fuck around and find out" should be the official motto of this election, if not this entire decade.

Also, in the two polls I saw trying to determine who did the best in the debate (CBS and Ipsos/538) Sanders did the best in both.

Biden came a close second in the CBS poll; Buttegeig and Bloomberg came in second and third in the other.

Not sure I trust the methodologies, but there it is.

Fuck around and find out.
posted by eagles123 at 7:52 PM on February 26


“Fuck around and find out” is just another phrase to confirm the underlying “Age of Ignorance” that’s fully ushered in.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:20 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]


Big Al 8000: You know, I wonder why Elizabeth Warren isn’t doing better at the polls and, well, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ .

Yeah, about that article.
As Warren kept talking, recalling her own memory of not having been asked back to her job teaching special-needs students after she became visibly pregnant, Matthews’s brow furrowed with confusion.
This is a lie.

The inability for a lot of progressive voters to trust Warren, specifically, is at least as much a Warren thing as it is a gender thing.
posted by kafziel at 8:56 PM on February 26


Your evidence that's she's lying is that the school board didn't put "We fired her for being pregnant" in the official record and that she once talked about this period of her life without going into this story.

Weak evidence for a strong claim.
posted by factory123 at 9:12 PM on February 26 [47 favorites]


All those articles say is that Warren’s teaching contract was renewed in April, 1971 and that she gave her resignation in summer, 1971. That is exactly what it looks like when a teacher is “shown the door” at the end of a school year, and it in no way contradicts Warren’s telling of her experience.
posted by mbrubeck at 9:13 PM on February 26 [27 favorites]


kafziel, what’s the lie now? That Matthews’s brow furrowed in confusion? I read the links, and while they do document a fact - Elizabeth Warren stopped teaching while pregnant during a time in which people who were pregnant were encouraged to leave work - and differing public accounts from Warren regarding that experience, I see no definite lie.

It does uphold what I perceive to be a pattern of drifting personal narrative on her part. But I definitely do disagree with what I think your accusation is, that to make these statements involves a lie.
posted by mwhybark at 9:13 PM on February 26 [1 favorite]


let's hold a referendum to decide whether delegates for the next election are selected by approval voting, condorcet's method, or the borda count.

Poisson distribution, surely, mr. rainbow
posted by mwhybark at 9:16 PM on February 26 [2 favorites]


i mean it's apt but on the other hand i've kind of sworn off advocating for aleatoric methods for the selection of public officeholders. or well i haven't sworn it off, exactly, i'm just saving it up for the next time everyone decides to spend a day making front page posts about sortition.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:36 PM on February 26 [6 favorites]


Yeah, about that article.
[...]
This is a lie.


That's a really strong statement to make about something that you presumably only know about from news reports. There are lots of ways of people being fired/not hired/subordinated/relegated that effectively boil down to the same thing: an employer discriminated against a pregnant employee. And frankly, I'd be somewhat surprised if a woman's employment in 1971 wasn't harmed by her pregnancy. But as it happens the articles you cite pretty much confirm her story. Politifact acknowledges that the stories about Warren leaving voluntarily should be given little or no weight:
In all likelihood, the news reports were based on information provided by the school board or the school district. And if Warren had been forced out of the job because she was pregnant, it’s not likely school officials would have said so publicly.

One thing that’s important to remember: At the time, it was common for women to be forced out of teaching jobs after they became pregnant.
CBS reports that Warren says she was pregnant at the time she was fired:
Warren also told CBS News that she was, in fact, officially offered the job for the following year as the school board minutes indicate. "In April of that year, my contract was renewed to teach again for the next year," Warren said. She also said she had been hiding her pregnancy from the school.

"I was pregnant, but nobody knew it. And then a couple of months later when I was six months pregnant and it was pretty obvious, the principal called me in, wished me luck, and said he was going to hire someone else for the job," Warren said.
And there's a fellow employee quoted, who says that women in Warren's situation were in fact fired by that school board:
"The rule was at five months you had to leave when you were pregnant. Now, if you didn't tell anybody you were pregnant, and they didn't know, you could fudge it and try to stay on a little bit longer," Randall said. "But they kind of wanted you out if you were pregnant."
So what we have here, apparently, is a woman who suffered job reprisals as a young teacher but didn't want to get into it when she was appearing on a panel on "Law, Politics, and the Coming Collapse of the Middle Class" in her role as the Leo Gottleib Professor of Law at Harvard University. In her memoirs, seven years later, and in subsequent TV interviews, she was ready to do so. That ... seems perfectly reasonable to me. And even if it weren't, I don't think we should attack people who take a while to discuss a presumably painful history.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:57 PM on February 26 [34 favorites]


Molly Redden and Rebecca Klein: Elizabeth Warren Is Right. In The 1970s, Pregnant Teachers Didn’t Keep Their Jobs.
Certainly, by 1971, Warren’s principal would have known that to openly fire her because she was pregnant was to court trouble. “In the early 1970s,” the country at large was embroiled in a “major cultural and legal debate over the rights of pregnant workers,” according to a history of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act published in the Yale Journal of Law & Feminism.

The American Federation of Teachers denounced mandatory pregnancy dismissals at its annual convention in 1970. By the next year — the year Warren left her job — the federation and the National Organization for Women were coordinating local name-and-shame campaigns against school boards with retrograde policies.
I can’t believe that in 2020 people doubt that this was commonplace. :(
posted by mbrubeck at 9:58 PM on February 26 [31 favorites]


Public Enemy is playing the big Bernie rally in LA, hell yeah.

Biden was a hero to most...
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 4:20 AM on February 27 [15 favorites]


NY Times: Democratic Leaders Willing to Risk Party Damage to Stop Bernie Sanders.

"Interviews with dozens of Democratic Party officials, including 93 superdelegates, found overwhelming opposition to handing Mr. Sanders the nomination if he fell short of a majority of delegates."
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:33 AM on February 27 [6 favorites]


NY Times: Democratic Leaders Willing to Risk Party Damage to Stop Bernie Sanders.
Is this from 2016, 2019 or 2020? I get so confused in these dystopian time loops.
posted by Harry Caul at 5:37 AM on February 27 [3 favorites]


if i voted my heart, i’d write in aoc for president and greta thunberg for vice president.

I think it is safe to assume that when people are talking about "voting with their heart" here, they mean within the confines of candidates on the ballot.
posted by mikepop at 5:40 AM on February 27 [13 favorites]


This morning I mailed in my VA absentee ballot for Elizabeth Warren, and then wrote a message on the democrats.org contact form about how fucking livid that NYT article made me. I'm still in the "don't make any promises about how you'll deal with a plurality until we see how the proportions shape up" camp, but that cuts both ways -- you have to be open to the scenario where Bernie has 45% of the delegates and is clearly the only candidate able to command a consensus. If the party is actually willing to split its own membership and cede the election to Trump rather than even try to win with Sanders, they're proving that every anti-establishment message the campaign has put out there was not only accurate but kinder than they deserve.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:31 AM on February 27 [18 favorites]


NY Times: Democratic Leaders Willing to Risk Party Damage to Stop Bernie Sanders.

"Interviews with dozens of Democratic Party officials, including 93 superdelegates, found overwhelming opposition to handing Mr. Sanders the nomination if he fell short of a majority of delegates."


My favorite quote from that article:
“People are worried,” said former Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut, a former Democratic National Committee chairman who in October endorsed former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. “How you can spend four or five months hoping you don’t have to put a bumper sticker from that guy on your car.”
Yeah, that's what the entire Dem working class feels like ALL THE TIME. Imagine, having to hold your nose and support someone even though they stand for everything you are against. Of course, with us it is keeping people alive and unindentured, and for Dodd it is making rich people richer, but the point stands.

Jesus, and this from a guy who ran for president on a platform of universal healthcare and radical climate policy.
posted by FakeFreyja at 7:00 AM on February 27 [17 favorites]


NY Times: Democratic Leaders Willing to Risk Party Damage to Stop Bernie Sanders.

"Interviews with dozens of Democratic Party officials, including 93 superdelegates, found overwhelming opposition to handing Mr. Sanders the nomination if he fell short of a majority of delegates."


I expected to be angry at the Democratic leadership after reading this, but...eh. They found a bunch of individual people who are opposed to sanders but no actual unified opposition, no coördination, no support for blocking sanders from current leadership, and a relative handful of vocal conservative/moderate back-benchers (including several public Bloomberg supporters!) and former leaders who don't seem representative of the current party as a whole.

Of note, that lede -- 'overwhelming opposition to handing Mr. Sanders the nomination if he fell short of a majority of delegates' -- isn't even what the article itself says those people said.
[O]nly nine of the 93 superdelegates interviewed said that Mr. Sanders should become the nominee purely on the basis of arriving at the convention with a plurality, if he was short of a majority.
Emphasis mine. A lot of those people are arguing that Sanders...could be the nominee if he builds a coalition of support and wins on the second round, once delegates re-allocate or once superdelegates can vote! That's a fairly narrow rules-following process-based 'opposition' that doesn't really translate into 'opposition to' Sanders. There does seem be a vocal contingent of current House members, etc, that wants there to be opposition from leadership, because there isn't any right now.

This whole article is a good example of how reporting facts can still be misleading.
posted by cjelli at 7:02 AM on February 27 [13 favorites]


> I think it is safe to assume that when people are talking about "voting with their heart" here, they mean within the confines of candidates on the ballot.

i mean, that's the point, isn't it? we're not talking about whether or not we should treat the ballot as a venue for expressing our heart's desire, and we never were. none of us are really talking about that, not even the people who say they're following their hearts with their votes.

instead, all of us are talking about tactics — which voting tactics are acceptable, which are desirable, which are out-of-bounds. for better or for worse, deep down we're all consequentialists here — we're all people trying to accomplish something with our votes, rather than merely expressing our desires. the dispute is as such about what counts as a vote that accomplishes something and what counts as a vote that's pointless. writing in aoc/greta would be, we can all agree, pointless. voting for tulsi gabbard is, thankfully, almost certainly pointless, even if you've got a twisted heart that desires her to be president. voting for amy klobuchar is probably pointless, but there's a one in a million chance it isn't. voting for warren is probably not pointless — but right now determining that requires looking at uncertain info and making a best guess based on statistical probabilities.

okay: even if warren's not near 15% in polls, the decision about whether to vote for her also depends on whether you think it's pointless or not to (for example) try to push warren support in your state or district up from like 9% to like 11%, which is a decision that no one can make for you. it might be non-pointless! for example, even if she doesn't reach the threshold, you might reasonably conceptualize it as putting down a marker for the future, telling the world "hey, there's definitely a fair number of warren people in the democratic party, and they might be important later." this is kind of what the sanders supporters were doing in the spring of 2016 — clinton was at that point almost certainly the nominee, but every sanders vote still served as a sign that sanders people existed and would be around in future elections.

i remain, through it all, on team warren/sanders sanders/warren, without regard for the order (even though sanders/warren seems like the more plausible order now). there's still a good chance that sanders gets to the convention short of 50% of the delegates and that warren's share of the delegates could be enough to get their coalition ticket the nomination before the superdelegates can get involved. in that case, every single warren delegate matters — one or two extra warren delegates might make the difference between the convention ending with a relatively healthy relatively unified sanders/warren ticket or the convention ending with michael bloomberg blowing up the whole fucking party and then becoming king of the ashes.

(i have never once followed my heart in my vote for a presidential candidate, and likely i never will. i came perilously close to following my heart in the 2000 general election — i was actually putting on my shoes to go out to the polling station when i heard that the news stations had switched florida from "gore win" to "too close to call" and thought "oh crap i can't fuck around with my vote this time gore's not bad at all i'm gonna vote for him." although i don't judge people who made the decision to follow their hearts in that election, especially not the people who followed their heart and then regretted it — i am very glad i don't personally have that particular regret hanging over me.)
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:05 AM on February 27 [14 favorites]


NY Times: Democratic Leaders Willing to Risk Party Damage to Stop Bernie Sanders

THERe'S no SucH tHinG aS a paRtY EsTAblIShMENT
posted by entropicamericana at 7:07 AM on February 27 [8 favorites]


> THERe'S no SucH tHinG aS a paRtY EsTAblIShMENT

Okay, SpongeBob, I'll bite. Who actually says this? The leadership of a major political party in a two-party system is, by definition, the establishment. The existence of superdelegates proves without a shadow of a doubt that there is an establishment. Bernie Sanders, as someone who wants to be President, is prepared to take on that establishment, not to get rid of it -- which is impossible given the way our political system is constructed -- but to become the establishment. It's only his most animated Extremely Online fans who seem to believe that he's going to bring about an era without a political establishment in the Democratic party.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:19 AM on February 27 [3 favorites]


I’m gonna file the information in The NY Times article under “least surprising thing ever”. Hopefully it’s just people talking and nothing serious. However, reporting indicates all the campaigns are planning on a contested convention, and some of the lower polling candidates have to be counting on it.

In other news, Muhlenberg College just released a poll showing Sanders to be the only candidate that beats Trump in PA. Biden and Bloomberg pretty much have to win either PA or Florida to have a shot because they won’t be strong in the Midwest. The poll continues a trend of Sanders performing the best against Trump in more recent polling. Muhlenberg College is located in the Lehigh Valley, a swingy area of PA that will be important to winning the state.
posted by eagles123 at 7:31 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Its no surprise that Sanders is doing well in PA. Many rural PA whites hate two things: their boss and minorities. Trump won because he tapped into anti-minority sentiment. Sanders will win because he taps into the resentment towards peoples shitty ass employers. There's a lot of distrust against elites in some parts of the state.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:36 AM on February 27 [3 favorites]


I am of the opinion that everyone should vote their conscience in every election, even the general.

I'm not of that opinion. I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. People like me helped elect George W. Bush, accelerate mass surveillance, get hundreds of thousands of people killed in Iraq, fail to respond effectively to Hurricane Katrina, launch the "war on terror," and crash the global financial system. Voting for Nader was a mistake.

Jill Stein voters performed a similar function in 2016.

Purity tests are a mistake in the general.
posted by Lyme Drop at 7:55 AM on February 27 [28 favorites]


"But his socialism" is well on its way to becoming 2020's "but her emails," so it looks like the liberal media has chalked up another victory there. It's pretty impressive to see this campaign rolling out basically everywhere and it inspires the same sort of "oh, I thought we had something good going on here..." sorts of feelings that the endless Serious Email Server Discussions did. This is one of those moments where you realize you're taking it seriously but they're playing games because it doesn't really matter. Think of the clicks during that descent into fascism! So many clicks.
posted by feloniousmonk at 7:59 AM on February 27 [4 favorites]


One thing I'll add to the tactical voting discussion -- there is not a long list of likely VP picks for Sanders. Honestly, the only three plausible choices I've heard are Nina Turner, Tammy Duckworth, and Elizabeth Warren. Warren is a totally plausible VP pick for Bernie, and there have even been reports that the Sanders campaign made formal inquiries into whether Warren could serve as VP and Treasury Secretary at the same time.

Though Warren is a good candidate, going by the results so far and the polling for future contests, she is extremely unlikely to gain enough delegates to win the nomination. It's also unlikely that she would prevail in the event of a contested convention -- though she would make sense as a compromise candidate, the establishment wing / right wing of the party really don't seem to like her either. I sense that they are not interested in giving an inch to the left this year. If they were going to boost her as their compromise choice, they already would have by now instead of falling in line for Bloomberg.

So, in my opinion, the most likely route for Warren to make it to the presidency at this time would be for her to be chosen as Bernie's VP and then assume the presidency should anything happen to him. I'd still rank this as a low probability, but higher than her winning the presidency outright. And if Sanders didn't pick her as VP, at least you'd still have a president who's very closely aligned with her values and goals.

So with that in mind, I would argue that helping Sanders win with enough delegates to avoid a contested convention would be the best strategic option for a Warren supporter.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 8:20 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Wouldn't Warren leaving the Senate be an automatic Republican taking her place for the next few years?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 8:28 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]


Massachusetts has changed the rules repeatedly in the last decade or two; at present there would be a special election.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:31 AM on February 27 [9 favorites]


Wouldn't Warren leaving the Senate be an automatic Republican taking her place for the next few years?

To the degree that this is an issue, it's an issue equally for Sanders; more likely on the level of months rather than years, though. Here's 538's take:
[B]oth Massachusetts and Vermont have laws that call for expedited special elections to fill Senate seats, so an appointed Republican might not be in place very long (unless of course the appointee were to win the special election). But at least during the appointment period, Republicans would have an edge in the Senate. And that could delay confirmation of the new Democratic president’s Cabinet and judicial appointees, as well as the passage of White House-backed legislation. Other bad news for Democrats: If the appointee were to run in the special election, there’s at least a small chance that person could win and keep the seat in GOP hands.

A President Warren or President Sanders could shorten the amount of time that an appointed GOP senator would be in office, however, by resigning from the Senate before January 2021, when the presidential inauguration would take place. According to the laws of both states, if Warren or Sanders were to quit the Senate in November 2020, after winning the general election, the Massachusetts special election would likely be in mid-to-late April, and the Vermont special election would happen by mid-February. If they waited until January 2021 to resign, the Massachusetts election would be in June, and the Vermont one would happen by April.
Or either state could amend its laws to require same-party replacement, which many states already do. Both state legislatures are controlled by democrats.

It's not really a reason to vote against either candidate, though it is something the State parties and legislatures should get out ahead of, for sure.
posted by cjelli at 8:37 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]


To the degree that this is an issue, it's an issue equally for Sanders

Not in Vermont, really. We'd get a Democrat (or equivalent) in so quickly it would make your head spin.
posted by jessamyn at 8:43 AM on February 27


Sanders is currently running around 28% in national polls, so 72% not currently supporting him. So why would it surprise anyone that you could could find 98 superdelegates out of 771, about 12%, who say they don't support Sanders?

The NYT is garbage. They love to play up the high school lunchroom drama.
posted by JackFlash at 8:44 AM on February 27 [3 favorites]


They didn't just say they don't support him in an ideological sense, but they will fight against him in a prodecural sense even if he has a plurality.

So the nightmare scenario of yanking the nomination from the chosen candidate and handing it to most likely Biden (and they even bandied the idea of a new nominee entirely, chosen wholecloth at the convention) is specifically being promised by at least some superdelegates.
posted by FakeFreyja at 8:49 AM on February 27 [4 favorites]


To the degree that this is an issue, it's an issue equally for Sanders

Not in Vermont, really.


Oh, for sure -- it's also not really an issue in MA, either, was my point. The degree to which it's an issue is that it isn't, as factor in making voting choices. For legislatures/party leaders, slightly.
posted by cjelli at 8:50 AM on February 27


the nightmare scenario of yanking the nomination from the chosen candidate

...if said "chosen" candidate has not, in fact, been chosen by a majority of the delegates who get a choice in the first round.
posted by Etrigan at 8:58 AM on February 27 [3 favorites]


They didn't just say they don't support him in an ideological sense, but they will fight against him in a procedural sense even if he has a plurality.

Which is exactly what Sanders supporters tried to do to Clinton in 2016. At this stage a lot of people are do-or-die for their one preferred candidate, as you might expect. What happens when it all sorts out and comes time to vote at the convention is quite different.

It's not a conspiracy.
posted by JackFlash at 9:01 AM on February 27 [5 favorites]


Sanders is currently running around 28% in national polls, so 72% not currently supporting him.

Not to contradict your overall point that this story is not super surprising, but I do want to mention the "72% not currently supporting him" is an artifact of the clown-car primary. This poll shows Sanders defeating every other Democratic candidate head-to-head.
posted by Jpfed at 9:02 AM on February 27 [15 favorites]


Which is exactly what Sanders supporters tried to do to Clinton in 2016.

Am I missing the reason why the distinction between Sanders supporters and institutional gatekeepers (e.g. superdelegates) isn't important? It seems the institutional gatekeepers should have a much higher bar for where/how they use their power. But I could be missing the point.
posted by avalonian at 9:05 AM on February 27 [5 favorites]


It is still so weird to me that if six choices are on the table, one choice has to get a majority to be chosen.

Like the numbers could be 49%, 16%, 15%, 10%, 10%, 1% and the party aristocracy would say "surely this means the people of our party desire someone at 16% or lower, there is simply no other way to read those numbers."

Like someone one out of every two voters wanted could be shoved aside even for someone who received zero votes from anyone.

That is bonkers.
posted by FakeFreyja at 9:07 AM on February 27 [12 favorites]


But I could be missing the point.

The point is that Sanders actively campaigned to get the superdelegates, those institutional gatekeepers as you call them, to flip the nomination to him even though Clinton had soundly defeated Sanders in the primaries.

They didn't ignore the plurality and flip it. Which might be an indication of what happens this time.
posted by JackFlash at 9:08 AM on February 27 [4 favorites]


I know, and I also saw a guy get punched in the face and that dingdang hypocrite punched back despite claiming he is against brawling.
posted by FakeFreyja at 9:10 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Weird, I recall a bunch of superdelegates choosing to support Clinton over Sanders regardless of the votes.

And now we have superdelegates saying they plan to support anyone but Sanders regardless of the votes.

Despite the false equivalence JackFlash is trying to draw here, this stuff really only goes one way.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:16 AM on February 27 [12 favorites]


Sanders is currently running around 28% in national polls, so 72% not currently supporting him.

Yeah, since this isn't approval voting, the 72% not supporting him is not a useful number and I think it's misrepresenting the reality. You could say "72% support other candidates over Sanders at the moment," but many of those 72% would and will support Sanders as the field narrows. It's like saying less people support Sanders in 2020 than in 2016 in the primaries. Obviously, the more people in a race, the lower amount for each member. Someone in 2016 might have supported Sanders vs. Clinton but currently support Warren, but if Warren were to drop, they would go back to supporting Sanders. It's the same type of erroneous stat-reading that made news channels try to compare "the progressives" to the "moderates" in vote count so they could say more people were voting for the moderates.

If we want to get around the idea that a vote for someone else shows that you are totally opposed to a candidate, have approval voting until you get down to three candidates, and then have ranked choice after. I think you would find that Bernie Sanders has a pretty high approval rating, even from voters that would not vote for him as a first choice.

If I were to guess who would be eliminated first if we started with approval voting: Gabbard, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Steyer, Klobuchar, and then you would have a IRV between Biden, Sanders, and Warren. All three would have generally positive vibes across Democratic voters.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:16 AM on February 27 [3 favorites]


Like the numbers could be 49%, 16%, 15%, 10%, 10%, 1% and the party aristocracy would say "surely this means the people of our party desire someone at 16% or lower, there is simply no other way to read those numbers."

That's one hypothetical. How about this one: the numbers are 34%, 33%, 33%, 1%.
How sure are you that the person with 34% would have majority support? It could be Donald Trump and everyone else wants anyone but Trump.
posted by JackFlash at 9:18 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


In that case, I would say that maybe starting that debate without a 771-pound thumb on the scale would be a nice start.
posted by FakeFreyja at 9:20 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


You could say "72% support other candidates over Sanders at the moment," but many of those 72% would and will support Sanders as the field narrows.

That's exactly the point. At this time they do not support Sanders. And they might support him as the field narrows. So why would you be concerned that 12% of superdelegates (allegedly, it's the NYT) are not supporting Sanders at the moment.
posted by JackFlash at 9:22 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Because superdelegates in general have radically different priorities and material interests than most voters.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:24 AM on February 27 [9 favorites]


I've loved the Athenian idea of sortition (anyone willing puts their name in a lot, and a name is drawn to fill government positions) since I first learned of it in public school. No electoral politics whatsoever. Executive functions were broken down into small tasks, of which each was entrusted to an annual board of 10 members chosen by lot. Sigh.
posted by Harry Caul at 9:30 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


In that case, I would say that maybe starting that debate without a 771-pound thumb on the scale would be a nice start.

You're in luck, because superdelegates don't get to vote in the first round anymore, so the debate does start without that thumb on the scale.
posted by Etrigan at 9:33 AM on February 27 [6 favorites]


The scenario put forward was with no majority in the first ballot.
posted by FakeFreyja at 9:34 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]


The most recent SC polling makes me think we have a bunch more rollercoasters to go before anything settles. (Both Biden and Bernie should have tried to go with “it depends” to the delegate plurality question at the last debate.)
posted by sallybrown at 9:46 AM on February 27


(I wouldn’t be surprised if Steyer comes in substantially worse than predicted in SC though. Learning he bought private prisons was a viscerally “yikes” moment in the SC debate.)
posted by sallybrown at 9:48 AM on February 27 [3 favorites]


I've loved the Athenian idea of sortition (anyone willing puts their name in a lot, and a name is drawn to fill government positions) since I first learned of it in public school. No electoral politics whatsoever. Executive functions were broken down into small tasks, of which each was entrusted to an annual board of 10 members chosen by lot. Sigh.

Sortition is a horrible system of governance. First off, you don't get a choice of whether or not your name goes into the pot. Second, a large part of why Athenian sortition "worked" is because the Attic polity was an oligarchic subset of the Attic population as a whole. Third, the reality is that most government officials do take their job seriously, and serve because they want to perform those duties - in comparison, a random selection of individuals who have no real investment in governance is going to be much worse at the job.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:50 AM on February 27 [9 favorites]


Similar in appeal to sortition but more practical, I prefer the Communalist / Democratic Confederalist model where long-term state representatives don't exist -- folks democratically elect people to act as temporary administrators on specific projects, and those administrators can be recalled at any time by a simple majority vote. This way, you get respected experts to run things, but you never grant them enough power for them to get abusive or exploitative.

Of course, this model is meant to run in a city-sized democracy, but as long as we're in fantasyland, I wouldn't mind breaking up the state.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:54 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Similar in appeal to sortition but more practical, I prefer the Communalist / Democratic Confederalist model where long-term state representatives don't exist -- folks democratically elect people to act as temporary administrators on specific projects, and those administrators can be recalled at any time by a simple majority vote. This way, you get respected experts to run things, but you never grant them enough power for them to get abusive or exploitative.

In other words, you're basically creating term limits by another name, which means that you wind up empowering lobbyists by removing the legislative locus of knowledge:
A 2006 report from the National Conference of State Legislatures examined states with term-limited lawmakers. It determined that term limits tend to increase the influence of lobbyists and lead to a “decline in civility” that “reduced legislators’ willingness and ability to compromise and engage in consensus building.”

Term-limited lawmakers, the NCSL explained, “have less time to get to know and trust one another” and “are less collegial and less likely to bond with their peers, particularly those from across the aisle.”

Such lawmakers often do not have enough time to learn how the legislature works or to master difficult policy issues. And they can’t turn to senior colleagues to give them this information because there are no senior colleagues. That “forces term-limited legislators to rely on lobbyists for information,” because lobbyists are able to spend years mastering legislative process and developing institutional memory about recurring policy debates.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:01 AM on February 27 [4 favorites]


An interesting nondeterministic method, if we're derailing into election theory, is "random ballot", which is considerably fairer than the pure uniform randomness of sortition. Everyone votes for their first choice candidate, same as in plurality, but instead of totaling the votes, a random ballot is selected and its candidate wins. It's one of the only voting methods completely free of paradoxes or strategic-voting weirdnesses. Of course, it's not guaranteed to produce a choice at all in line with the desires of the electorate as a whole.
posted by jackbishop at 10:10 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]


the party aristocracy...[would start] that debate without a 771-pound thumb on the scale

Twenty-two current superdelegates ('automatic delegates,' technically) -- including Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna, and Nina Turner, among others -- have already indicated some level of endorsement of Sanders. Sanders, who is himself an automatic delegate, is unlikely to vote against himself on a second-round ballot. Most automatic delegates have not made endorsements. Whatever the count is, it's definitely not seven-hundred and seventy-one.

It's not an aristocracy. These aren't hereditary positions. You mostly become an automatic delegate by getting elected (even most of the DNC delegates were, at one point or another). Automatic delegates don't align as a bloc when it comes to ideology or policy (look at how split their endorsements are now!) any more than the party does; they generally err towards support insider vs outsider candidates (as seen by how endorsements of Sanders vs. other candidates have been, say), if you define that in terms of 'engagement with the DNC and the Democratic Party,' but.

I would not mind seeing automatic delegates abolished, or bound to vote for their state's majority winner if one exists, or reduced in number, &c &c. But they're mostly representative of the Democratic Party itself, and not really a pressing problem except insofar as it makes people not trust the process. Abolishing caucuses, changing the first states that vote to be more representative, and moving to ranked-choice or some other way of actual voters expressing their positions are far more pressing issues that need to be addressed to resolve that same concern.
posted by cjelli at 10:10 AM on February 27 [10 favorites]


Honestly, that article about the contested convention rules. If the best idea the people rooting for this currently have is Chris Coons and being sure they can convince Michelle Obama to slot in as VP, well, I think we can all see how well that's going to work. If they do run into problems, maybe they can scare up Herb Kohl and Amy Carter for the ticket that will truly unify the party and defeat Trump.
posted by Copronymus at 10:16 AM on February 27 [3 favorites]



Is there any reason I should not vote my conscience March 3 and pick Warren?

I've been polltending for a local candidate here in Orange County, NC (Chapel Hill/Carrboro) off and on since since early voting started on the 13th. It's been interesting watching the way all this is playing out on the ground at poll sites around here. There are plenty of people that are voting strategically. Many people that usually vote the first day the polls open are waiting for the SC Primary results before they vote for Pres to see which ways the wind blows. Our early voting ends at 3pm on Saturday, so those waiting will be voting on Super Tuesday proper.

A couple of days ago, one of the State campaign volunteers asked if we'd be okay saying who we were voting for in the Presidential Primary. Out of seven Democratic volunteers on a Tuesday morning, five were voting for different people (two Warrens, one Bernie, one Biden, one Amy, one Pete). I voted before my first shift at the polls on Valentine's Day, and I voted with my heart (Warren). I don't regret it.
posted by thivaia at 10:29 AM on February 27 [8 favorites]


Also, public service announcement from your friendly neighborhood poll worker: Don't forget to vote in your local elections guys! In NC, the primary ballot is LONG, a lot of the Presidential candidates listed on the front have already dropped out, and if you're at a location with paper ballots, your local races are going to be printed on the back, so Make sure you fill out the back of the ballot!
posted by thivaia at 10:32 AM on February 27 [8 favorites]


Another voting reminder: your party ballot (assuming your state does that) will have the judicial candidates on it. The general election ballot will NOT list party affiliation next to judicial candidate names. Make sure you either grab a flyer from a volunteer before you go vote in the general, print off a sample ballot, or hang on to the one you get at the general so you know which judges to vote for.
posted by cooker girl at 10:44 AM on February 27 [7 favorites]


Well, if people are using SC as a guide, then Biden is going to get a big boost. Before the primary started I would have said he’d easily beat Trump, but after watching him campaign I no longer believe that. He just doesn’t have the skills to run a national campaign. If he wasn’t Obama’s VP he wouldn’t have a base in this primary at all. He would easily be the weakest major party nominee of my lifetime.
posted by eagles123 at 10:53 AM on February 27 [9 favorites]


You can watch Biden playing verbal softball for 15-45 minutes each hour all day on MSNBC today apparently.
posted by Harry Caul at 11:32 AM on February 27


Sortition is a horrible system of governance. First off, you don't get a choice of whether or not your name goes into the pot. Second, a large part of why Athenian sortition "worked" is because the Attic polity was an oligarchic subset of the Attic population as a whole.
I've tried this defense whenever jury duty comes my way. Never works.
posted by Harry Caul at 11:39 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]


It's not an aristocracy. These aren't hereditary positions.

In theory, sure, but somehow at least one Kennedy has been a superdelegate at every single convention that mattered since the current system was codified. Probably just random chance.
posted by Copronymus at 11:40 AM on February 27 [7 favorites]


Go tell the people of Massachusetts to quit electing them to Congress, then.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:56 AM on February 27 [9 favorites]


Hopefully Markey can hold on against the Kennedy primarying him.
posted by eagles123 at 12:01 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


The aristocracy angle is a derail. Representative democracies with 99% of electoral campaigns funded by special interests are, by definition, aristocratic. Being hereditary need not play into the calculus. It's a strawman.

We had two Bushes and almost (should've had) two Clintons. If you think just because the populous is voting for these aristocrats - with their millions in campaign donations from billionaire interests - then they're not aristocrats. We're just gonna have to agree to disagree on what words mean.
posted by avalonian at 12:06 PM on February 27 [7 favorites]


For NC I suggest you go to the nc.gov site, print a sample ballot, make some notes on it based on any candidate research you do, then carry it into your polling place in your pocket to use as a cheat sheet. There are a lot of candidates and races!
posted by freecellwizard at 12:34 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


I've been posting this each six months.

Using a database that goes back to 1901, I made a list of the percent increase (or decrease) in the first three years of the presidencies covered in this time period. Seventeen presidents, but not Gerald Ford, John F. Kennedy, and Warren Harding, made the three year list.

This is based on the anniversary, January 20th data. At this moment in the stock market (today) he would be in 10th place. My point to this is that in spite of what looks like big numbers, Trump is a middle-of-the-roader regarding the Dow. With today's numbers he would be in second to last place of the six presidents from Reagan on, ahead of Bush II.

1. F. Roosevelt +191.0%
2. Coolidge +85.1%
3. Eisenhower +61.3%
4. Obama +60.0%
5. Clinton +59.9%
6. Wilson +55.1%
7. Trump +48.0%
8. Bush I +45.6%
9. Reagan +32.4%
10. Truman +13.0%
11. Johnson +11.7%
12. Taft 1.0%
13. Bush II -0.1%
14. Nixon -2.25%
15. Carter -9.06%
16. T. Roosevelt -15.1%
17. Hoover -72.6%
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:38 PM on February 27 [8 favorites]


I am beginning to believe that the representational benefits of sortition outweigh the hypothetical diminishment in competence from putting common people in charge compared to the current "meritocratic" system. The current congress, the most diverse in US history, is still three-quarters men! Selecting congress by sortition would in a single stroke produce demographically proportional representation not only for women, but across every possible demographic category.
posted by Pyry at 12:38 PM on February 27 [5 favorites]


> I've loved the Athenian idea of sortition

don’t tempt me. please don’t tempt me. you have no idea how much i could say about sortition given the chance. i am right now writing a damn hell ass for reals novel about sortition and i swear to all the gods that i will type the entire thing into this comment box if you keep tempting me.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 12:40 PM on February 27 [25 favorites]


‘He Hasn’t Been Here’: Why Joe Biden Lags in Super Tuesday States (NYTimes article)
By Thomas Kaplan and Katie Glueck

LOS ANGELES — On the day before in-person early voting was to begin across California’s most populous county, there was no sign of life at Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign office in East Los Angeles last Friday. A metal gate out front was padlocked shut, with a missed-delivery notice from the Postal Service wedged into it.

In a strip mall a mile away, a campaign office for Senator Bernie Sanders was humming with activity. Field organizers were busy calling supporters, and every so often the ding of a bell signaled that another volunteer was on board.

...

Mr. Biden’s East Los Angeles office, located in a county with a population exceeding 10 million, was only barely more active during a return visit over the weekend. The padlocked gate was eventually unlocked, but when an event for volunteers got underway on Saturday, only a handful of people had shown up.

Inside the campaign office, seven large round tables were surrounded by chairs, and it was not hard to get a seat. There were fewer people making phone calls than there were tables.

posted by phoque at 12:45 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


R N Th P. I am intrigued.
posted by Harry Caul at 12:47 PM on February 27 [2 favorites]


Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. He voten farm subsidies yea and shave.
posted by FakeFreyja at 12:53 PM on February 27 [7 favorites]


Sortition is a super great and important topic we should have more FPPs on. But perhaps not a great topic for this thread.
posted by Not A Thing at 1:27 PM on February 27 [9 favorites]


Bernie Bruh! #BernieBruh. Black Folks For Bernie Sanders (YouTube video 2min20sec)

Benjamin Dixon has been having as amazing month (he found the Bloomberg stop and frisk comments / videos on YouTube, he got to call out Jason Johnson (who was put on leave from MSNBC (Daily Beast article)) for saying Sanders supporters "were from the island of misfit black girls" (which has been adopted as a badge of honor, much as Bernie bros gets riffed on) and now this awesome little support piece.

Help Us Make More #BernieBruh Videos (YouTube video 1min 7sec) Here Ben explains how quickly the idea and project came together (he sent out a question about support for Bernie and in an hour had 300 replies and got 80 videos and 90 minutes of content to edit down to two and now wants to try and focus some of the stories in a series of short docu-mini-tries.

---

Bernie was interviewed by Rev. Dr. William J Barber II (Periscope video 1hr 53min, but the first half hour is reflection, music, service and sermon before the questions begin) and it was fun to see Bernie being criticized fairly and from the left for things like not sufficiently using the word poor. Name them ... not just working class but poor. Questions were also asked about the costs of not acting. What does it cost when people die from lack of healthcare. Sanders uses the figure of 30 000 per year, admitted there was a new study that showed the number was even higher. The audience member asking the question informed him the study was from Yale and the number was 68 000 per year or one death every 8 minutes. The grasp of issues and real life impacts puts all media and debates to shame. Barber informed Sanders about voting restrictions that Sanders knew about but not the extent. Barber also asked that the Sanders campaign to produce a report showing how their policies would close the racial and wealth gap. It actually showed more clearly where Sanders has blind spots and thin policy than all hit pieces and regular media questions put together. (The video was good but there was nothing particularly new said and it is a long video ... but it was still good. I guess it is more a fan recommendation ... if you like Barber and Sanders it is awesome otherwise perhaps a bit sober).

Apparently two other candidates have agreed to meet or have met with Barber and the movement but he didn't say who and I haven't seen other interviews yet.
posted by phoque at 3:21 PM on February 27 [22 favorites]


This is based on the anniversary, January 20th data. At this moment in the stock market (today) he would be in 10th place. My point to this is that in spite of what looks like big numbers, Trump is a middle-of-the-roader regarding the Dow. With today's numbers he would be in second to last place of the six presidents from Reagan on, ahead of Bush II.

The stock market has a liberal bias.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 3:41 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]


The Obvious Folly of a White Knight Convention Candidate
  • Let’s say for the sake of argument that Sherrod Brown would, all things being equal, be a stronger general election candidate than Bernie Sanders. (We have no idea if that’s actually true, but it’s plausible.) It’s moot, because all things would not be equal! The idea that Brown, or any other candidate, installed by party elites to replace the strong plurality winner would be a stronger general election candidate is absolutely deranged. Whatever marginal gains that came from Brown’s midwestern appeal and his not calling his left-liberalism “socialism” would be drowned by many and perhaps most members of the party’s single largest faction seeing him as an illegitimate usurper. (And if you think Brown’s record as a strong pro-labor progressive would insulate him from the wrath of Sanders supporters, I invite you to google “Elizabeth Warren snake emoji.”) The same would be true of Michelle Obama or Kamala Harris or Zombie Bobby Kennedy or whoever.
  • Making Brown the white knight would actually be a compound stupidity, because it would also mean sacrificing a Senate seat for the foreseeable future if Brown won. This remains the dumbest idea ever on its face, and would be even worse in the context of party elites handing him the nomination as a poisoned chalice. It’s bad enough when hack op-ed columnists ignore the importance of the Senate; it’s even worse when party elites seem to think that a Democratic president not being able to get any judges confirmed or good legislation passed is no big deal.
  • And denying Bernie the nomination despite a strong plurality would have ramifications that extend far beyond 2020. After the white knight almost inevitably faceplants in November, the Democratic coalition as we know if would be basically over.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:12 PM on February 27 [8 favorites]


Democrats float Sherrod Brown as 'white knight' 2020 nominee, Michelle Obama as vice president (The Week, February 27, 2020):
For an article published Thursday, The New York Times interviewed 93 Democratic superdelegates, finding that Democratic establishment leaders are "not just worried about Mr. Sanders' candidacy, but are also willing to risk intraparty damage to stop his nomination at the national convention in July if they get the chance."

Amid these fears, Democrats have reportedly "placed a steady stream of calls" to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) suggesting he could "emerge as a white knight nominee at a brokered convention." Brown passed on a 2020 run, deciding "the best place" for him would be in the Senate.

Democrats are "urging" former President Barack Obama to get involved and "broker a truce," the Times also writes, but beyond that, Democratic National Committee member William Owen suggested tapping former first lady Michelle Obama as vice president, saying "she's the only person I can think of who can unify the party and help us win" an election that's "about saving the world."
Michelle Obama. Michelle OBAMA. What could that excellent lady have ever done to you, William Owen, that you're trying to make her flee the country?!
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:01 PM on February 27 [6 favorites]


Pundits gotta pundit...

Terrible, terrible, idea.
posted by Windopaene at 11:21 PM on February 27 [3 favorites]


Democratic National Committee member William Owen suggested tapping former first lady Michelle Obama as vice president, saying "she's the only person I can think of who can unify the party and help us win" an election that's "about saving the world."

Former First Ladies who have been demonized for years by conservative media are currently 0 for 1 in presidential contests against Donald Trump.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 11:41 PM on February 27 [21 favorites]


I mean, nevermind the fact that Michelle Obama has expressed exactly zero interest in ever being part of public life, has never run for or sought any office, and by all accounts is glad to be done with politics.

There needs to be a mandatory "how my plan to deny Sanders the nomination if he enters the convention with a plurality but not a majority will not totally destroy the Democratic Party by making the left wing leave forever" part to all these columns. Because every single person writing them seems to think that there is no risk at all of permanently destroying the Democratic Party by driving off the left. The whole leftist/liberal alliance has never been friendly, happy, or anything but a union of necessity mixed with mutual contempt.

But these opinion writers seem to imagine that the left is eternally part of the Democrats and no concessions ever need be given to the left to keep their votes. So they blithely write articles on how best to ratfuck Sanders out of the nomination with no concern at all for how that plan might hurt the Party.
posted by sotonohito at 4:23 AM on February 28 [11 favorites]


I mean, bro. There are like FIVE MODERATES ALREADY RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT, depending on if you count Bloomberg, which you probably shouldn't, or Warren. Maybe spend your effort boosting Amy Klobuchar or Pete Buttigieg, WHO ARE ACTUALLY TRYING TO BECOME PRESIDENT. Just pick one!
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:06 AM on February 28 [9 favorites]


How about we stop amplifying these pieces speculating about how to steal the nomination from Bernie? Exactly 100 delegates have been assigned out of ~4000, so these pieces have zero credibility and only serve to amplify our worst tendencies.

So far, Sanders finished in a dead heat in one race(Iowa), with a modest plurality in another (New Hampshire), and a commanding plurality in the last (Nevada). So who knows how this will play out nationwide? I sure as hell don’t.

Just once I’d like to have a reasoned discussion of how Sanders can build a majority coalition if he falls short of an absolute majority. How does he do that if he ends up in a dead heat or modest plurality? That strikes me as a productive conversation instead speculative doomsaying.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 5:08 AM on February 28 [12 favorites]


If Sanders (or anyone else) doesn’t get a majority of delegates heading into the convention from voting in the primaries, voting goes into second and third stages where superdelegates and pledged delegates will be free to vote to try to produce a winner. Without knowing the thinking of individual superdelegates or the instructions candidates might give to their pledged delegates, it’s very difficult to make any informed statements beyond guesswork. Any such discussions will inevitably resemble fomenting of conspiracy theories absent information.
posted by eagles123 at 5:34 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Amid these fears, Democrats have reportedly "placed a steady stream of calls" to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) suggesting he could "emerge as a white knight nominee at a brokered convention." Brown passed on a 2020 run, deciding "the best place" for him would be in the Senate.
Democrats are "urging" former President Barack Obama to get involved and "broker a truce."

This isn't journalism. This isn't reporting. It's just high school lunchroom rumor mongering.

"Democrats have reportedly?" What Democrats? How many? Who is "reportedly?
"Democrats are "urging" former President Obama." Note that "urging" is the only word in quotes. What the hell is that. Did all of those unnamed Democrats use the the word "urging."

There are some 50 million registered Democrats. So who are these "Democrats" that are saying these things.

This is just absolute garbage from the New York Times. Is isn't journalism. It isn't even reporting. It's just rumors.
posted by JackFlash at 8:04 AM on February 28 [12 favorites]


If Sanders (or anyone else) doesn’t get a majority of delegates heading into the convention from voting in the primaries, voting goes into second and third stages where superdelegates and pledged delegates will be free to vote to try to produce a winner.

538's primary model is currently giving that eventuality a 50% chance of happening.
posted by octothorpe at 8:10 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


This isn't journalism. This isn't reporting. It's just high school lunchroom rumor mongering.

Yeah, that was my reaction too. No serious political operator is trying to find a way to nominate someone who isn't even in the primary, with a VP who is not interested in pursuing public office. There may well, at some point, be some sorts of coalition/superdelegate maneuvering towards a non-plurality candidate, but I am absolutely certain that whoever they actually nominate as president will be someone who was in the primary. (VP could be anybody, of course, but there's an established tradition of VPs who were outside of the primary process)

(Apropos on such non-plurality maneuvering, unlike many here I don't see it as inherently nefarious. Realistically, the field's liable to winnow down to three candidates, and if the plurality candidate occupies a political position highly distinct from the other two, "the will of the people" is a very hard thing to gauge. Naturally, a lot of folks are worried about, say, a centrist Biden/Bloomberg bloc ganging up on Sanders, but I can see how it could, entirely possibly, be the progressive front of Sanders and Warren who find themselves needing to gang up on a centrist frontrunner (Biden if he rallies?). I'm not sure our call on what is "fair" should be dictated by whether it's likely to help those we're rooting for.)
posted by jackbishop at 8:35 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


"Democrats have reportedly?" What Democrats? How many? Who is "reportedly?

In this case the named person was Steve Cohen, and the interviews were with 93 DNC superdelegates. They aren't rumors, they range from ideas to declarations of intent from people in positions to act on them.
posted by FakeFreyja at 8:44 AM on February 28


Steve Cohen. One guy out of 50 million Democrats. One guy out of 771 superdelegates. How do you get from one guy to "a steady stream of calls" from Democrats?
posted by JackFlash at 8:49 AM on February 28


I guess you're right, no one in any position of power or influence is trying to stop Bernie Sanders.
posted by FakeFreyja at 8:51 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Who said no one? Of course there are people who oppose Sanders.

And guess what, Bernie Sanders is a person in position of power and great influence. In fact he's a superdelegate. And he is trying to influence people to vote against Elizabeth Warren.

People have opinions. Opinions are not a conspiracy.
posted by JackFlash at 8:54 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Fortunately there has never been a time ever where elites have opposed the rise to power of a socialist. Never ever.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:57 AM on February 28 [8 favorites]


People have opinions. Opinions are not a conspiracy.

I may be misinformed on the concept in general, but I don't think taking people at their word makes one a conspiracy theorist.

Agree to disagree though. I feel like Bernie might not get the fairest shake throughout the election process, and others feel... well, exactly the same but I guess they view it in a positive/benign light?
posted by FakeFreyja at 8:59 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Steve Cohen is my congressman. I didn’t see him in the link, but if I missed something feel free to point it out to me (could be in MeMail).

I may need to send a missive to my dude. Come on, man.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 9:00 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


My parents are in favor of all of Bernie's policies, but find him untrustworthy because of all the Cold War stuff getting air-time on MSNBC.

Getting that 2016 feeling again.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:01 AM on February 28 [5 favorites]


Look, let's just agree that Caesar's colleagues had opinions and move on
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:01 AM on February 28 [9 favorites]


Steve Cohen is my congressman. I didn’t see him in the link, but if I missed something feel free to point it out to me.
“If you could get to a convention and pick Sherrod Brown, that would be wonderful, but that’s more like a novel,” Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee said. “Donald Trump’s presidency is like a horror story, so if you can have a horror story you might as well have a novel.”
From Democratic Leaders Willing to Risk Party Damage to Stop Bernie Sanders.
posted by FakeFreyja at 9:02 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


One of the Democratic officials and superdelegates quoted in that NYT piece gave thousands of dollars to a McConnell PAC in 2019 as part of attending a Republican Party event that he said was tied to his work as a lobbyist (for a medical device company). The piece says he supports Biden but hasn’t donated to any Democratic congressional or Presidential candidates this cycle. He’s also the one who floated Michelle Obama’s name as a compromise candidate—which now makes more sense given his apparent idiocy (anyone who’s read anything about Michelle Obama knows she has zero interest in a political career).
posted by sallybrown at 9:03 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Also multiple MSNBC hosts have likened Sanders to a Nazi so.... we have reason to believe that liberal elites do not want him to win.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:12 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Fortunately there has never been a time ever where elites have opposed the rise to power of a socialist.

Steve Cohen is an elite? He's a Jewish descendant of immigrants from Poland and Lithuania. He's by far the most progressive representative in the Tennessee delegation. He's a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus with AOC and Omar. If this guy from Tennessee, which I would bet not one in a hundred on this site have ever heard of before today is "one of the elites", well, then I guess elite isn't quite the exclusive club I thought it was.

This is one of the most annoying things about Sanders supporters. You are either on the Bernie train or else you are the enemy elites engaging in a conspiracy. I try not to hold this against the candidate himself, but it can be difficult at times.
posted by JackFlash at 9:13 AM on February 28 [9 favorites]


Yeah seriously, suspicious how everyone is just conveniently ignoring the millions of dollars of M4A outside influence running vicious attack ads against the health insurance industry in this primary cycle, I mean I've never seen them but I bet they're out there. Not to mention all of that single-payer lobbying money flowing around, affecting all those congressional and senate superdelegate voters, why is no one talking about the Medicare For All dark money lobby and it's wide reaching influence on politics? It's out there man, Bernie's power and influence stretches far and wide and his challenges are no different than any other candidate. Also because he's a senator he is a superdelegate himself so ummmm hypocrite much??? Check and mate
posted by windbox at 9:14 AM on February 28 [6 favorites]


But that's just ONE millions of dollars. There are trillions of dollars out there. Can you name at least a hundred other campaigns against access to healthcare?
posted by FakeFreyja at 9:19 AM on February 28


[Exhausted mod here grappling with the fact that it’s somehow still February, just laying it out here that I’m fuckin tired of people running in these tedious circles and am asking you to either revert to something like straightforward non-obnoxious discussion or find a different place to run in these particular circles. This is not a politics fandom site, please rein in the bad instincts.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:23 AM on February 28 [22 favorites]


> “If you could get to a convention and pick Sherrod Brown, that would be wonderful, but that’s more like a novel”

This does not sound like a quote from somebody who has a real plan and has convinced other people to go along with it. It sounds someone who's not a fan of Sanders but disappointed with Biden and the other moderates' performance engaging wishful thinking. The bit "that would be wonderful, but that’s more like a novel” from the quote makes it pretty clear they this know this scenario isn't going to happen.
posted by nangar at 9:29 AM on February 28


I feel like the second part of that quote was the important bit.
posted by FakeFreyja at 9:31 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


[Exhausted mod here grappling with the fact that it’s somehow still February, just laying it out here that I’m fuckin tired of people running in these tedious circles and am asking you to either revert to something like straightforward non-obnoxious discussion or find a different place to run in these particular circles. This is not a politics fandom site, please rein in the bad instincts.]

Any way that you could make a thread expire in five days instead of 30?
posted by clawsoon at 9:47 AM on February 28


The Root reviews each candidate's black agenda. Unsurprisingly, Warren ranks first, leading them to note:
There you have it. Elizabeth Warren’s “black agenda” is the blackest of them all. Unfortunately, she also seems to be invisible to everyone except Mike Bloomberg. But that’s only because she keeps punching him in the face during the debates.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:48 AM on February 28 [17 favorites]


I'm somewhat confused by that rundown, NoxAeternum, because it came out today and yet contains discrepancies. For example, it claims that Sanders doesn't support reparations, but going back to April of last year, he supports signing a bill to research how reparations would be done. On education, it says that "his platform has very little, if any information on reducing disparities in K-12 education" but Sanders has a rather robust plan for that, too, so why a 4/10?

I mean, it seems mostly like a way to ultimately drive towards supporting Warren's candidacy (he gives a dig about Warren being invisible to everyone but Bloomberg), but it has the look of a larger assessment of candidate adherence to criteria. I feel it would have been better as an Warren plan advocacy piece instead of a purported overview of each candidate's plan for the African American community.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 11:18 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Pete Buttigieg has made his most divisive statement yet.

I suppose he is fishing for votes in the Midwest, but I can't help but feel he is sacrificing votes elsewhere.
posted by FakeFreyja at 11:28 AM on February 28


Is he abandoning his critical mayo-based core constituency?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:35 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Ranch? I need a LWV question to be asked of every candidate on the Ranch Dressing issue. This is crucial.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:42 AM on February 28


it claims that Sanders doesn't support reparations, but going back to April of last year, he supports signing a bill to research how reparations would be done

'Supports reparations' and 'is willing to sign a bill to research how reparations could be done' are, well, the question they're posing is about the first one. I believe Sanders would sign a reparations bill if it crossed his desk, but he's repeatedly suggested (going back to 2015, I think, but as recently as March 2019) that he'd prefer to address economic and racial justice through a broader, non-reparations-based framework, and that's certainly where he's put his energy and his advocacy. He doesn't oppose it, but I haven't read very much to suggest he actively supports it the way Warren, Harris, Booker, and Castro have in this election cycle.

(Biden, by contrast, hasn't even backed the reparations research bill that Sanders has, which, well.)
posted by cjelli at 11:44 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


While I don't see that article on The Root as a Warren advocacy piece at all, I guess I might feel that way if I wasn't following Warren so closely. Her work on intersectionality (and going out of the way to explain how each of her plans addresses the race as well as class dimensions) seems to be the best among the candidates at the moment.

The author also says about Warren on Education that:

Warren is a teacher, so it makes sense that her education plans are comprehensive. She separates K-12 education from college reform. However, her college plans focus primarily on student debt and not HBCU funding or college programs.

Emphasis mine. This is strange because Warren's pitch for a wealth tax specifically mentions putting $50 billion into HBCUs as another policy targeting the black-white gap in wealth and education.

So I would disagree with those saying it's a piece advocating for Warren specifically, but I understand why they might ascribe motives to every journalist with a platform at this stage in the primaries.
posted by donttouchmymustache at 11:47 AM on February 28 [4 favorites]


So I would disagree with those saying it's a piece advocating for Warren specifically, but I understand why they might ascribe motives to every journalist with a platform at this stage in the primaries.

It's fine to have motives and perspectives and biases as a journalist (kinda impossible not to), but always put those biases within context. If you write a ranking like this with scores that are supposedly based on records and statements, you're at least appearing to be creating some sort of criteria-based judgment. It's the conflict between form and nature that throws me off.
Warren is the only candidate whose history isn’t marred by a problematic racial past. That whole Native American blunder might be irrelevant to most black people because we all have a cousin whose “good hair” comes from her “Indian roots.”
Listen, we all make mistakes, and god knows everyone in the race has some racial baggage, but dismissing the Native American thing as "irrelevant" isn't the best foot forward on it. Admit it, acknowledge its a problem, look how she's been trying to make it right, and then move on. Don't pretend like it doesn't exist.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 11:59 AM on February 28 [3 favorites]


The context was specifically with regard to Black Americans. Warren has miles to go to make amends with the Native community, but Harriot is rightly (or wrongly) identifying that her issues there aren't likely losing her much standing in the eyes of the Black community.
posted by explosion at 12:10 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


I'm curious to know how white people know that Warren has lots to make up for with the "Native community".
posted by Burhanistan at 12:11 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]




Warren apologized and didn't want to be the target of general grievances so vocal activists kept it up is all. There's nothing to be had by her further hashing that particular mea culpa out, especially when no other candidate has a much of developed plan for Native American programs.

But white liberals/leftists dragging it up is just concern trolling.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:18 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


I don't think the article is Warren advocacy but it's doing the weirdddd trend (that also happens here!) where people are just oddly dead set on proving that Sanders is the white man's candidate who is Meh on racial justice.

Like, look, I won't ever dispute that Warren has some killer plans for racial justice and speaks to the issues beautifully! But just so everyone is clear, Sanders is in first or second place with black voters in any given poll. Black voters under 45, he's absolutely killing it. Non-white support in general? Just lapping Warren and Buttigieg in multiples. Maybe more people should be talking to these supporters and asking why they prefer Sanders instead of making objective pronouncements about how actually Sanders "Intentionality Score" for his black agenda is poor, whatever this is supposed to mean. His numbers just prove otherwise. Huge numbers of black voters like Sanders and believe the guy, every poll has demonstrated this and people are still SO dead-set on proving either tacitly or explicitly that, actually, it's these young black voters who are wrong.

Warren is going to be lucky to get 4th place in SC tomorrow, we're going to see how now in both NV and SC she failed to garner any non-white enthusiasm so far in this primary, and still - still! - people will be like "well maybe she can clinch the nomination as a compromise candidate at the convention, Sanders with his actual diverse coalition be damned." This stuff is wild to me.
posted by windbox at 12:30 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]


I'm curious to know how white people know that Warren has lots to make up for with the "Native community".

I'm sorry, what?

Maybe they listened to Native communities? (Not that this hasn't been rehashed here enough of course....)

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your stand, I fully admit that, but I'm totes cool with white people standing up and amplifying things that Native communities say are harmful or problematic because, well, the latter tends to get left behind all too often.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:35 PM on February 28 [11 favorites]


I don't think the article is Warren advocacy but it's doing the weirdddd trend (that also happens here!) where people are just oddly dead set on proving that Sanders is the white man's candidate who is Meh on racial justice.
...
Huge numbers of black voters like Sanders and believe the guy, every poll has demonstrated this and people are still SO dead-set on proving either tacitly or explicitly that, actually, it's these young black voters who are wrong.


I find it interesting that you refer to "black voters" who approve of Sanders at least four times, but avoid referring to the race of the person who wrote the article, or the race of the other people on the panel he said he assembled to put together the criteria.

So just for the record, Michael Harriot is black, and the article says, "We asked policy experts, legal scholars and political pundits, all of whom were black, to help us devised a policy matrix." (emphasis added)
posted by Etrigan at 12:51 PM on February 28 [12 favorites]


But white liberals/leftists dragging it up is just concern trolling

Rebecca Nagel is not a white person and she has been incredibly vocal about Warren and her relationship to the Cherokee nation. This is an incredibly offensive thing for you to say.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:55 PM on February 28 [8 favorites]


But white liberals/leftists dragging it up is just concern trolling.

As for my comment earlier: I'm a Warren supporter. She's my candidate and I thought it was awesome that she responded with an apology as quickly as she did, and apparently she met 2/3 of the demands, which is better than many folks would muster.

But I'm a white guy, it's not for me to tell minority communities how they should feel, so I say she has "miles to go" because I've read their responses. They don't speak as one, and we shouldn't expect them to, because they're individual people.

I'm not a concern troll, I'm an informed voter who loves that his candidate is actually willing to cop to her weaknesses.
posted by explosion at 2:01 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Would love to see this policy matrix from that Root article or learn what these scholars and pundits said, and how it would lead to profound insights like "Sanders Intentionality score is a 3 because his agenda is clearly just performative; Steyer's Intentionality score is a 5 because he voted for Obama and hasn't been caught saying the n-word yet". Like this is just absolute drivel.
posted by windbox at 2:25 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


Hey guys! Would it change anyone's mind if we could get Thomas Pynchon to endorse Nernie?
posted by Snowishberlin at 2:32 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


If Pynchon publicly endorses Bernie, which I doubt he will because it'd be wildly un-Pynchonian but nevertheless awesome, I would gleefully eat a bowl of disgusting English candy in one sitting.
posted by heteronym at 3:07 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


This is an incredibly offensive thing for you to say.

Sigh. You conflated an article with comments on an internet forum. I wasn’t talking about Nagel, but thanks for jumping there anyway.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:34 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


wildly un-Pynchonian but nevertheless awesome

Totes! Just the craziness of it actually happening would shake the foundations of the world. And then the Dem establishment boomers CNN and MSNBC could be like, "Who's Thomas Pinkerton or whoever anyway?"

But we would know.

As much as we could.
posted by Snowishberlin at 3:42 PM on February 28


my ears are burning.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 3:48 PM on February 28 [20 favorites]


The Teen Vogue article windbox linked up thread is really good.

Another really good article (long and detailed and shows where policy is coming from).
Is It Race or Class? Darrick Hamilton Showed Bernie the Answer.
by Kara Voght (Mother Jones article)

While Hamilton has endorsed Sanders, he had done a lot of work with Warren as well. And the article touches on Warren's policy as much as Sanders. The article is hard to excerpt because there are too many but this is a nice one;

Along the way, the Sanders team never begrudged Hamilton for consulting with other campaigns. “I asked him if it was okay for me to do that,” Hamilton said. “[Sanders] said, ‘If it’s about making good policy, talk to whoever you want.’”

...

She (Warren) recited a history of the gap between white and Black wealth and cited a Boston Globe series that illustrated how Boston’s white households held a median wealth of $247,500, but Black households averaged a mere $8 to their names. Hamilton, grinning, jumped in to tell Warren that it had been he and Darity who had conducted that research.

This was a really cool little moment. It shows the interest in the subject and the study author thought it was important so it is all pure nerdery and love. It can be found here Inequality in America: A National Town Hall (YouTube Video 1hr 38min but linked to Warren / Hamilton exchange) Actually the whole discussion was good. But much more of a pure wonk recommended delight.
posted by phoque at 4:10 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


my ears are burning.

I see you've already given your endorsement of strategic voting (Bernie or Warren, anyone but Nernie) upthread.
posted by clawsoon at 4:23 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


(Not very) Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon
posted by eagles123 at 4:43 PM on February 28


My primary vote is done (Austin Tx, last day of early voting).

My preference and vote was for Warren. I did spend some time thinking about strategy. If I were in another state I might have voted Sanders.

My logic is that it only matters if someone (Sanders most likely) doesn't get a majority on the first vote.

Then my strategic thought was this: Do I trust Warren to not ratfuck Sanders? I do. She may use her delegates to get some concession. But do I think she would tell her delegates to go for a Bloomfield or Biden? I think not.

If this were a state where Biden (or god's forbid) Bloomfield was polling higher, I would probably have voted for Sanders.

There was a pretty long wait at the local Randall's. I think that's encouraging.
posted by jclarkin at 5:09 PM on February 28 [7 favorites]


Latest poll in Texas shows Biden beating Trump by 2 points and Sanders losing to Trump by 2 points.

How bad do you wanna win Texas? Strategic voting is hard!
posted by JackFlash at 5:14 PM on February 28


How bad do you wanna win Texas? Strategic voting is hard!

Democrats should not be considering any move or pissing away any money towards trying to win Texas. The states to win back are Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin with Florida, North Carolina, and Iowa as stretch goals. Holding the line in NH, Virginia, and Nevada is also acceptable. Anyone who thinks going after Texas is a recipe for success is committing electoral malpractice.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:22 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


That's well within the margin of error. I'm skeptical about Texas being in play for 2020.
posted by Selena777 at 5:23 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Democrats need to get through Arizona and Georgia before anyone thinks about Texas. It's going to be at least 2-3 more election cycles before demographics start to purple the place. We had a huge blue wave in 2018, the perfect D candidate against one of the worst R candidates, and still fell short by 200K votes and two points. Yeah, it's encouraging and an amazing result, but Texas ain't anywhere close to purple.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:27 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Nonsense! Texas is absolutely in play. Obviously, you don't throw away a chance to somewhere else by spending all of your money in Texas, but these decisions are not zero-sum, so you don't have to. Competing in a state that you might not win can still help raise money, energize volunteers, help down-ballot state and local races, and just remind Democrats in these states that the party cares about you. Are there paths to victory that include TX but don't include AZ and GA? Probably not, but nobody saw Trump's map materializing until it was too late, either.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:33 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


Latest poll in Texas shows Biden beating Trump by 2 points and Sanders losing to Trump by 2 points.

Which is basically the same result when you include the error bars. Come on, that's weak sauce.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:46 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]


The states to win back are Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin

One could make an argument that we should ignore all the primaries and just select the nominee based on who the polls say does best against Trump in those three states.
posted by JackFlash at 5:47 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Or you do what got Obama elected and contest everything instead of trying to play dumb electoral college games that leave you vulnerable to an October surprise shifting votes in a couple of states you weren't paying attention to.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:49 PM on February 28 [16 favorites]


Oh, sure you contest them all, but if you don't win those three states, you probably don't win. So the question is, who has the best chance of doing that. It is quite possible that a bunch of national primaries doesn't give you the answer. Like, who cares what Californians think (sorry). That's the electoral college for you.
posted by JackFlash at 6:07 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


How bad do you wanna win Texas?

Not bad enough to lose the Republic.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 6:24 PM on February 28


So the question is, who has the best chance of doing that.

Currently, that's Sanders.

Though everyone's pretty close. I really wish Klobuchar had just been... better, in general. Her Midwestern appeal clearly works, I know a lot of people out here in WI that really like her (though I personally feel like she leans on the Midwestern part too hard and too obviously, but that's just me). I think she could've swept the Midwest if she was less committed to casting herself as a centrist and saying "well, progressive policies are good, but... later."
posted by brook horse at 6:25 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Texas ain't anywhere close to purple.

Are you a Texan? I am.

Houston, Austin, San Antonio are very blue. Harris County (where Houston is located) literally has no Republican judges after 2018.

From the very first line of the Wikipedia page on politics in Texas:

"For approximately 99 years, from after Reconstruction until the 1990s, the Democratic Party dominated Texas politics. "

Texas is a pretty good match for U.S. as a whole. The urban centers vote hard left, but Repubs have gerrymandered enough that the rural areas that vote hard right (a la House of Reps vs. Senate) CURRENTLY have an overwhelming say on politics.

If I were running for president (and my platform would be in the Warren/Sanders range), I would not prioritize Texas by any means. But, to say that Texas is not purple is flat out wrong. Hillary even thought she could win Texas.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:31 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


But, to say that Texas is not purple is flat out wrong.

2016 had the Ds losing in the popular vote for the House by 20 points. 2018 was a massive blue wave in turnout and they still lost by 3 points. It's an encouraging aberration but it's nowhere near purple. Talk to me about purple if the House popular vote in Texas comes that close again in 2020.

"For approximately 99 years, from after Reconstruction until the 1990s, the Democratic Party dominated Texas politics. "

Yeah and for those 99 years the Democratic Party had a conservative wing that ruled Texas state politics, no? With the political reformation of the Sixth Party System and the disintegration of the New Deal coalition, all that happened was that the conservatives took their political power to the GOP and ran their one party rule from there instead of the Democratic Party. Even though the Democratic Party held power in the statehouse until the '90s (my guess is partisan inertia), the Texan electorate at large haven't voted for a Democrat president since Carter.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:31 PM on February 28


TX could flip, but it’s not close enough to base a major strategic decision on. The Beto Senate campaign was good practice for lots of sporadic-voter Texas Democrats who weren’t used to having a chance. Not just voters but volunteers as well.
posted by sallybrown at 7:47 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Every state has congresspersons up for election. Many states have senators up for election. Congress is just as important as the presidency. Ignoring states because they're "not in play" for the presidency in the general election can lead to a Pyrrhic victory.
posted by explosion at 8:34 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


sallybrownTX could flip, but it’s not close enough to base a major strategic decision on.

100% agreed.

Your Childhood Pet RockTalk to me about purple if the House popular vote in Texas comes that close again in 2020.

No. Talk to me when you are a Texan or decide to stop cherry picking the arguments I gave to fit your needs. Three links were all you needed to click on. You gave zero for me to do the same. Show me how Texas is not purple.

losing by 3% seems pretty damn purple.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 9:07 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Losing by any non-zero percentage in a zero-sum contest is a loss.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:20 PM on February 28


Which is to say that devoting massive resources to obtain such a loss, however meager, would seem exceedingly foolish. Especially when the winners in that state have committed sedition time and time again. A victory would come at severe cost, where resources would be better spent in actual swing states.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:25 PM on February 28


Ignoring states because they're "not in play" for the presidency in the general election can lead to a Pyrrhic victory.

This. The only reason we still have President Trump now is the red Senate. Even if Trump wins the Presidency again, flip the Senate and it doesn't matter, he's still as impeachable as he always was and double jeopardy doesn't apply to Congress.

[I forgot, as I wrote the above, that successful impeachment requires 2/3rds. Still, a blue Congress can do tons.]
posted by JHarris at 11:54 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


I thought it was pretty well established that Dean's 50-state strategy was a huge success, and that abandoning it in favor of a more targeted strategy turned out to be a failure. That's probably another one of those arguments that turns into trench warfare when the advocates of different opinions get aroused, but the results looked very clear to me.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:29 AM on February 29 [13 favorites]


If we win Georgia and North Carolina, full of young people of color, then we don't need Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. If we win Texas, full of young people of color, then suddenly we don't need a bunch of other racist white states. Let's try the 50 state strategy again. Demographics have changed a lot since 2004.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:29 AM on February 29 [19 favorites]


Strategy based on the assumption that winning Texas is required for a Democrat to get to the White House in 2020 is absurd.

If Trump loses Texas, he loses so many other states that Texas isn't the deciding vote.

Strategy is hard, indeed.
posted by jclarkin at 6:34 AM on February 29 [1 favorite]




This discussion of Texas reminds me of the, in retrospect, horrifying decision by Clinton to prioritize Arizona in the days leading up to the election. Take a look at this Guardian article from November 2, 2016. According to Wikipedia, she lost Arizona by about 3.5%.
posted by bright flowers at 7:25 AM on February 29 [1 favorite]


Strategy based on the assumption that winning Texas is required for a Democrat to get to the White House in 2020 is absurd.

If that is aimed at me, I clearly said we should be running a 50 state strategy. I don’t want to declare any state unwinnable, but a diverse state like Texas is more winnable than many of our 90% white states.
posted by hydropsyche at 7:28 AM on February 29 [2 favorites]


Wow, that SC absentee turnout article rabbitrabbit linked has some news about the state's awful lack of early voting:

South Carolina does not allow traditional early voting, like its neighbors North Carolina and Georgia. He said that's probably why so many here choose to vote absentee. The difference between voting early and voting absentee is that absentee voting requires you to indicate that you meet one of those qualifications.

"I think if you look at the numbers, and conclude that South Carolinians want to vote early and they're using the absentee process to do that," he said.

Whitmire said the South Carolina Election Commission wishes the state allowed early voting. Some bills have been introduced in the state legislature in the past to allow early voting, but none have been successful. Until early voting is allowed in the state, he expects absentee numbers to continue to climb...

Whitmire expects as many as 600,000 people to vote absentee come November, a task that would likely overwhelm poll workers. That's why he and Martin said they support Senate Bill 867. Right now, election officials can't begin counting absentee ballots until the morning of election day. This bill would allow them to start a full day earlier...

"In November, without this legislation, it could mean the delay of getting the final election results for days," Whitmire said.

posted by mediareport at 7:53 AM on February 29 [2 favorites]


Does anyone have recommended local journalists or papers to follow for on the ground coverage of the SC primary today?
posted by sallybrown at 9:01 AM on February 29




So I went digging and I wanted to find out how this William Owen asshole was allowed to be a DNC member and hence a superdelegate.

Each state gets a number of DNC members, their chair, vice chair, and 200 or so others apportioned to the states along with distinguished elder leaders of the party.

Tennessee gets 9. Their chair, vice chair, Al Gore, plus six more. Those six are decided by the state executive committee in the previous presidential election's year. Their term takes effect the day after the adjournment of that year's convention and goes until the adjournment of that cycle's convention. In the case of Tennessee I believe the members for the DNC through 2024 were already selected in January when the state executive committee voted in all its officers.

So we have a health industry lobbyists that won no election, only had to convince 30-something people to become an influential member of the Democratic Party on the national stage. Doesn't that seem just slightly wrong?

So. Where does this leave us? In the midterm years, the state executive committee is chosen during the August primary. There are 66 members, 33 male, 33 female, chosen in each of the State Senate districts.

There were 15 contested districts. There was one district that was UNCONTESTED. An executive committee membership of the TN state democratic party up for grabs! There average number of votes to win a seat on the executive committee is 1500. Out of 150K. 1% of the electorate decides the people who decide the superdelegates.

This is what I mean when I say you can't just show up every four years and act as the insurgent candidate. These institutions move slowly and are often driven by people who just bothered to show up. Mary Mancini was reelected to be chairwoman of the state Democratic party despite her Democratic Party acting as some sort of seawall against the blue wave. It's politics based on connections but the network is so easily infiltrated.

We progressives and the leftists in apathetic Democratic states need to show up. We need to contest these primaries, show up to them, win them, and start grabbing executive power at state levels. From there we can put our thumbs on scales. We can enact new rules in order to simplify primaries and add fairness. We can screen who goes for DNC membership and weed out lobbyists and opportunists. We can use our collective power to drive more progressive executives at the national level. We could even change the rules about how the DNC membership is decided and deinsulate it from the state party politic layer.

AOC got her primary with 16,898 people. To get into these positions of power we only need a tenth of that. All we have to do is stand up and take it.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:50 PM on February 29 [18 favorites]


Journalists covering SC:
Meg Kinnard
Gavin Jackson
Maayan Schechter
Jamie Lovegrove
posted by rabbitrabbit at 1:53 PM on February 29 [1 favorite]


So. Where does this leave us? In the midterm years, the state executive committee is chosen during the August primary. There are 66 members, 33 male, 33 female, chosen in each of the State Senate districts

Hi. I have voted on these people before. It shows up on the ballot as "State Executive Committeeman/ Committeewoman District [xx]". There are no yard signs, it's not mentioned in the local papers, and you basically have no idea what this is or who any of these people are. Unless you happened to look at a sample ballot ahead of time, you wouldn't even know this is a thing. I still didn't really know what it was until I guess just now. If it's uncontested, I guess that makes the decision easier; otherwise it's just completely random.

(The ballot linked is a general ballot; you'd see a subset of those gray races depending on what precinct you're in.)
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:20 PM on February 29 [4 favorites]


Joe Biden is coming out to speak after his SC win to the tune of “Move On Up” by Curtis Mayfield. I rate this a huge upgrade from “Fight Song” and in keeping with the good campaign music we’ve seen thus far this cycle.
posted by sallybrown at 5:54 PM on February 29


Biden is really trashing Sanders in this speech.
posted by wondermouse at 5:57 PM on February 29


Man, I think this is going to make it all the harder if (or when) Biden gets crushed on Tuesday.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:08 PM on February 29 [2 favorites]


I know counterfactuals aren't useful, but watching Tom Steyer's votes rolling in all night, I wonder who would've gotten those votes if he had not been a constant presence in SC media for the past few months. He has been absolutely inescapable on the radio, and I could build a little papier-mache hut out of all the mailers his campaign has sent to me.
posted by mittens at 6:18 PM on February 29


CNN is reporting that Steyer will drop out of the race.
posted by sallybrown at 6:21 PM on February 29 [3 favorites]




Joe Biden Is Now the Only Democrat Who Can Stop Bernie Sanders
The status of Biden’s campaign has not only been upgraded to “alive” — at this point he is the primary, and probably the sole, alternative to Bernie Sanders. At the risk of overreacting in the opposite direction, Biden appears to have taken control of the Democrat party’s center-left voters so decisively, none of his mainstream rivals will be able to sustain a rationale for their candidacy. Michael Bloomberg, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg — all of whom have made Biden-esque pitches to the electorate — will face enormous pressure to leave the race after Super Tuesday, and possibly even before.
...
Meanwhile, the candidate whose rationale has been almost totally destroyed is Bloomberg. The former New York mayor initially stayed out of the race because of Biden’s initial strength. He jumped in late because Biden’s support was disintegrating. In a world in which Biden disappeared, Bloomberg might have a path. But Biden’s comeback eliminates the contingency upon which a Bloomberg nomination was all-but-explicitly premised.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:43 PM on February 29


woof, those results are brutal. i'm hoping having bloomberg on the ballot will eat into biden's vote share on super tuesday...
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:48 PM on February 29 [1 favorite]


yeah, no, biden is going to the cleaners on tuesday
posted by entropicamericana at 6:54 PM on February 29 [4 favorites]


Ah Jonathan Chait ......

Not unexpected. We’ll see if Biden gets any kind of boost across the South on Super Tuesday and beyond. The idea of there being “moderate” and “progressive” lanes is generally bs, but Biden may get his campaign somewhat revitalized. The problem is his fundraising is almost gone and he doesn’t have a ground operation to speak of.

And the idea that he could beat Trump in the general is ludicrous. He can barely campaign on his own.
posted by eagles123 at 7:06 PM on February 29 [7 favorites]


i mean i think the bad scenario is less that joe biden suddenly becomes competent and more that he momentums out enough delegates to convince the other conservative candidates to drop out which like i am legit a total nervous nellie about right now.

like many of us, i have a panic level. and that panic level is currently... it's like... it's less low than i would like it to be, you know?
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 7:26 PM on February 29 [3 favorites]


I’ll go against the grain and say I think this will have a big impact on the race and bring us closer to a contested convention scenario. Bloomberg rolled into this campaign as such an obvious villain that I think he made Biden look much better by comparison. Biden sounded together and enthusiastic tonight. Most of the time it’s not even the malapropisms that stick out to me about his speeches but how little he seems to WANT to win...same thing with debate performance. Tonight he actually sounded like he cared.

(Tonight also cemented to me that Iowa and NH should be pushed back later in the race. Imagine if we had started right into Nevada and SC.)
posted by sallybrown at 7:28 PM on February 29 [2 favorites]


Bloomberg rolled into this campaign as such an obvious villain that I think he made Biden look much better by comparison.

A perfectly cromulent way to spend a hundred million dollars, really.

Eat the rich.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:31 PM on February 29 [3 favorites]


Stop exaggerating.

It was more like 500 million.

O_O
posted by Justinian at 7:42 PM on February 29 [5 favorites]


After this result, it seems that Bloomberg's hundred million would have been better spent supporting Biden, if stopping Sanders is his real objective.
posted by JackFlash at 7:42 PM on February 29 [5 favorites]


Dan Merica of CNN (tweet):

“How bad was tonight for Pete Buttigieg?

He went to Allendale County in December.

"I know that as somebody who’s new on the scene, I’ve got to earn that trust and we’ve got to have those conversations," he told Dems there.

Nine people in the county [1% of the votes] voted for him tonight.”

Reid Epstein of NYT (tweet):

“Pete Buttigieg spent more on South Carolina TV ads than anyone except Steyer, and nobody spent more days in the state than Buttigieg....He got 2 percent of SC's black vote.”
posted by sallybrown at 7:52 PM on February 29 [4 favorites]


Sometimes you just want to set 500 million dollars on fire
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:55 PM on February 29 [8 favorites]


He could've spent a fraction of that on entirely fixing Flint's water troubles, and gave the rest to fund coronavirus research & funding free vaccine distribution, and that would've had a much more positive result for his campaign, let alone the people helped.

Eat the rich. All they know how to do with money is hoard it -- they don't even know how to spend it right
posted by rifflesby at 8:13 PM on February 29 [22 favorites]


I think a contested convention was always likely. The question for me is whether the money Bloomberg spent money on a advertising and organizing turns into actual votes. The problem for Biden is that he put all his resources into S.C. to save his campaign. He doesn’t have anything in Cali, for example, which gives out the most votes on Super Tuesday.
posted by eagles123 at 8:28 PM on February 29


Biden really doesn't have much anywhere except SC. The only real question in SC was who would come in second, and what Biden's margin of victory would be. Much as I loathe the guy, I've got to admit he had a pretty respectable margin of victory in SC.

But I don't see him getting traction elsewhere. His support among black voters is crumbling, California is going to be the big story and that's all but guaranteed to be a state where Biden does very poorly. I wouldn't be really surprised if he failed to win a single Super Tuesday state. I think it's more likely that he'll get at least one, but I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't. North Carolina is his most likely pickup, and his lead there isn't huge. He's got Oklahoma as his second most likely pickup, and that's is basically tossup between him and Bloomberg.

He's not even polling in second place in most Super Tuesday states. Bloomberg and Buttigieg have eaten his support.
posted by sotonohito at 8:38 PM on February 29 [3 favorites]


... his support among black voters was staggering today? Not just the margin but the turnout.

Sanders keeps saying he will drive turnout. He has not yet managed to do so anywhere. By contrast, people came out in huge numbers for Biden today?
posted by Justinian at 9:18 PM on February 29


Biden will defiantly win Alabama, and he'll probably win Tennessee. His South Carolina win might help him win narrow victories in NC, VA, TX, AK, and OK. Understand I'm being very generous to him here because he is behind in the polling average in some of these states. A lot depends on whether his support among Black voters solidifies based on his South Carolina performance. He'll still get blown out in Cali, CO, Maine, Mass, VT, and probably UT. For example, at this point he is in fourth or fifth place in Cali, which has the most delegates by far. His victory margins in states he wins won't be enough to overcome that.

After that it is anyone's guess. It all depends on which candidates drop out. Sanders wins all head to head match ups and leads national polling, but the combination of candidates that remain matters.
posted by eagles123 at 9:26 PM on February 29 [3 favorites]


Sanders keeps saying he will drive turnout.

I wonder too. This idea that Sanders is going to turn out the youth vote? I'll believe it when I see it. People have been saying that for various "youth" candidates for decades. It never comes to pass. Even with Obama in 2008 the age 18-29 turnout was less than 50%.
posted by JackFlash at 9:27 PM on February 29 [1 favorite]


The turnout of the youth vote always lags. It's important for Democrats because young people tend to vote Democratic disproportionately. That is how Obama won. It's also one of the reasons Democrats ate shit in midterms under Obama - young people didn't turn out in the numbers they did in general elections. That changed a little in 2018, which helped democrats.
posted by eagles123 at 9:33 PM on February 29 [2 favorites]


Right, nobody expects he can drive youth turnout to match old people turnout. But he hasn't even managed to increase it from "terrible" to "slightly less terrible"? You can always find a reason for it not happening on a state by state basis (ie in NH the story is that the law changed to hurt college turnout. It's even true.) but at some point he has to actually produce the promised turnout surge and not just have an excuse for why it didn't yet happen.
posted by Justinian at 9:50 PM on February 29


I do think his best chance of doing it will be in the sun belt states. If we see a significant increase in youth turnout in Texas on Tuesday then he has a good case. If we don't I think it's fair to conclude that it's hot air.
posted by Justinian at 9:53 PM on February 29


Where do you go for turnout stats? I've seen articles and commentators making claims about this but I've had a hard time actually tracking down the right numbers (for each state, with demographic breakdown, for this year and previous years).
posted by atoxyl at 10:12 PM on February 29 [1 favorite]


I have to say this looks like at least a tolerable result for Sanders and a terrible one for the anyone-but-Sanders voter. No one but Sanders and Biden were above statewide viability, so Sanders is definitely getting delegates out of South Carolina, and no one other than Biden will. If the Sanders campaign had to pick a contender to win a state emphatically, I have to assume it would be Biden, who hadn't come remotely close to winning anything previously and still won't eclipse Sanders even with a big haul from South Carolina. Buttigieg got absolutely wiped out and proved that he has no support among voters who aren't middle-class white boomers. The longer everyone else stays in, the more a candidate who can stay above 15% in as many states and districts as possible benefits, so the fact that no one is going to drop out over this might help Sanders in the medium term. A lot is riding on Tuesday, but when your two strongest states are Texas and California, it's unlikely that it will go truly badly. It's a lifeline to Biden, but he'll need to prove he can win anywhere outside of the deep south to have any chance.
posted by Copronymus at 10:36 PM on February 29 [1 favorite]


I was actually surprised to see how well Steyer did in South Carolina so I was a little surprised to see him drop out. Given what he's put into this so far, I don't really understand what kind of result they were expecting to. He's been at this for years and has made so many big ad buys. I guess this is what angling for a cabinet spot looks like.
posted by feloniousmonk at 10:53 PM on February 29


Biden, Buttigieg, and Bloomberg all staying in the race seems to have a tremendous advantage for Sanders as he continues to consolidate the support of any voters who aren't interested in the moderate politics of RCP6 or, god forbid, 8.5 (or are young/materially vulnerable enough to actually live through the consequences of centrism in the face of climate change).
posted by Ouverture at 11:06 PM on February 29 [2 favorites]


I have to say this looks like at least a tolerable result for Sanders and a terrible one for the anyone-but-Sanders voter.

It's not a terrible outcome for Sanders but it might be a strong outcome for "contested convention." I still think Biden is going to get his clock cleaned in several important stages on Tuesday, but he might pick up more than he would have before he showed the ability to win anything.
posted by atoxyl at 11:08 PM on February 29


I was actually surprised to see how well Steyer did in South Carolina so I was a little surprised to see him drop out. Given what he's put into this so far, I don't really understand what kind of result they were expecting to. He's been at this for years and has made so many big ad buys. I guess this is what angling for a cabinet spot looks like.

I don't know what the hell he was doing and I'm also very interested in the question of who those votes would have gone to had he not been there.
posted by atoxyl at 11:10 PM on February 29


Hate linking 538 but gotta admit this layout of the meaning of the results is pretty decent.

I think the most likely explanation is a combo of 2 and 3. Biden still isn’t popular outside of his core regions, but Stop Sanders sentiment is real. I’m praying for Texas and CA to come through big time and for Warren fans to vote tactically to support their agenda rather than for a great candidate who cannot win. Either way, it’s going to be a hellacious spring.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:12 AM on March 1 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I'm a Warren fan, but I voted Sanders tactically. She just can't get the nom and I want a leftist so I'm stuck with Sanders even though he's statistically likely to die of old age during his first term in office.
posted by sotonohito at 6:30 AM on March 1 [5 favorites]


> statistically likely to die of old age during his first term in office

I prefer Warren as well, but this is false.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:43 AM on March 1 [6 favorites]


I’ve come to conclusion that this entire primary comes down to this interaction:

Centrists: “How many kids starved under communism?”
Leftists and Progressives: “No kid should have to starve if they can’t pay for school lunch!”
Centrists: “If you can’t pay for lunch you shouldn’t get lunch!”
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:44 AM on March 1 [18 favorites]


I think Warren would make a great President. She's already a great Senator, and on Tuesday, I'm probably going to vote Sanders, because it looks like she's going to stay a Senator.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:59 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


Huh, I stand corrected. Thanks tonycpsu. He's still too old, but I was clearly wrong.
posted by sotonohito at 7:20 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


> statistically likely to die of old age during his first term in office

>I prefer Warren as well, but this is false.


Those statistics are for the elderly population at large. The statistics are quite different for a population of heart attack survivors. Five year survival rates are somewhere between 50% and 70%. It would depend on the severity of the attack, which heart vessels were involved, and how well cholesterol and blood pressure are controlled.

But, Eisenhower suffered a severe heart attack in his first term in 1955 and finished two terms and died 14 years later in 1969. Treatments have improved significantly since then.

It's a concern for Sanders but not something that should prevent him from being the nominee.
posted by JackFlash at 8:17 AM on March 1 [5 favorites]


[please wrap up the scrutinizing of the health/age of candidates, it's very in the weeds and can turn into a perhaps-unintentional ableist rhetoric that isn't great for community discussion.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:01 AM on March 1 [10 favorites]


IMO the South Carolina result could be really bad for Sanders. Nobody expected him to win outright but a week ago he was polling waaaaaaaay better than this, and then we got a bunch of coverage of him saying mildly nice things about Fidel Castro and he gets blown out. I'm trying not to jump to conclusions before there's a proper postmortem on how people chose, because it could also be Clyburn's intervention or turnout proportions that made the difference, but that could end up validating the concerns of people afraid that Sanders' self-ID as a socialist will drive away more voters than the usual GOP attacks on anybody to the left of Barry Goldwater.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:15 AM on March 1


because it could also be Clyburn's intervention

Via Vox:
According to exit polls conducted by Edison Research, 61 percent of Democratic voters said Clyburn’s endorsement was an important factor in their decision. And 27 percent of voters said the endorsement was “the most important factor” in their candidate choice.
posted by Ouverture at 10:23 AM on March 1 [5 favorites]


I wonder how much Clyburn’s endorsement will sway votes in other states. Particularly Texas, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Tennessee.
posted by eagles123 at 11:46 AM on March 1


All the undecideds were waiting to hear from Tim Kaine
posted by moorooka at 12:58 PM on March 1


With the (possible) exception of Bill Clinton, there is no living Democratic politician that has the standing and reputation in Arkansas that Jim Clyburn has in South Carolina.

(And the runners-up for the biggest-Democrat-in-Arkansas title, David and Mark Pryor, have already endorsed Biden.)

I'd expect Biden to win the state (Hillary beat Bernie 66-30 in 2016), and Bloomberg to do pretty well (this is a cheap place to do big media buys, and he's all over local radio and TV).
posted by box at 1:29 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


IMO the South Carolina result could be really bad for Sanders. Nobody expected him to win outright but a week ago he was polling waaaaaaaay better than this, and then we got a bunch of coverage of him saying mildly nice things about Fidel Castro and he gets blown out.

Feels more likely to me that it has to do with Biden having a pretty good debate, and Jim Clyburn stepping in to solidify the work Biden had already been doing in the state (by most accounts far more than in any other) for a long time? Question then is to what extent will his victory here actually pay off in terms of revitalizing his campaign?

Clyburn even says he had to have a "get your shit together, Joe" moment - if Joe wants to do that he's going to have to do it in a hurry.
posted by atoxyl at 2:00 PM on March 1




Looks like Pete’s out of the race.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 3:14 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]




NYT and USA Today are both reporting it.

When I read that the Warren campaign thinks that multiple candidates will withdraw in the next 7-10 days, I was skeptical--but, here we are.
posted by box at 3:22 PM on March 1


Watch for a massive consolidation on Biden. They really don't want Sanders to get the nomination.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 3:26 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Uh-huh. Biden says he’ll contest the Democratic nomination if no one gets a majority of delegates (Vox, March 1, 2020)

Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Biden said that he would fight for the presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee in July if Sanders leads in the delegate count but does not have at least 1,991 pledged delegates, a number that constitutes a majority.

“The rules have been set,” Biden said. “You don’t change the rules in the middle of the game.”

posted by Iris Gambol at 3:29 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Looks like the rat fled the sinking ship.

If they're consolidating behind Biden, at least they've chosen a CLEARLY unsuitable candidate. He's a great opponent to have.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 3:36 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


I’m pretty confused — is there ANY other explanation for the timing of Pete dropping out other than “I want to stop Bernie”?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:39 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


Rats off to ya, Pete.

I’m pretty confused — is there ANY other explanation for the timing of Pete dropping out other than “I want to stop Bernie”?

No there is not. Warren's been giving speeches that this is explicitly why she's staying in. Consolidation for a contested convention is the Plan.
posted by kafziel at 3:41 PM on March 1 [6 favorites]


I mean, dude got like 1% of the black vote. (Pete). There is no reason for him to stay in the race except to waste everyone's time and money.

We want useless placeholders to drop out imo. The only people who have a chance at any sort of delegate haul (besides Bernie/Biden) are Warren and Bloomberg so there's no reason for anybody else to stay in the race.

Bloomberg is the one killing Biden's numbers. Bloomberg: Objectively Pro Bernie.
posted by Justinian at 3:47 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


I can't believe Pete dropped out before Warren. She has no chance of winning, she really is staying in it to split the progressive vote. She has almost never directly criticized Biden throughout this race. Wouldn't surprise me if she's angling for a VP or cabinet position.

If you don't want a Biden nomination, do not vote for Warren. I'm sorry, she was a good candidate, but her only function in this race at this point is to try and slow down Bernie.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 3:48 PM on March 1 [6 favorites]




I mean, dude got like 1% of the black vote. (Pete). There is no reason for him to stay in the race except to waste everyone's time and money.

Warren got less than that. Pete, at least, had two digits of delegates.

You're right about the "waste everyone's time and money" part, at least.
posted by kafziel at 3:52 PM on March 1


btw: Buttigieg dropping out does not help Biden.

With 15% viability thresholds in a ton of states still to come - including California - it absolute does help Biden. That can be the difference between getting any delegates, and getting none.
posted by kafziel at 3:53 PM on March 1 [5 favorites]


I don't think Warren has a viable path to win a single state except maybe her own, and even that doesn't look likely in the future. How would it make sense for the nominee to be someone who never won a single state in which they competed? In fact, what's the closest Warren has gotten so far? Third?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 3:54 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


The Warren-supporting Super PAC being asked by the Warren campaign to reveal their donors and refusing is a bit... weird.
posted by clawsoon at 4:00 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


I feel like (maybe not these days) there's a lot of overlap between Bernie and Warren, the sort that would lead to her being a really good second choice that everybody can agree on. The sort of thing that Ranked Choice (or some spin-off) would reveal.

I keep thinking of our Winner-Take-All method as just being a series of forced compromises making everybody feel disenchanted and that we might not get out of this without a methodology change.
posted by Brainy at 4:00 PM on March 1 [9 favorites]


With 15% viability thresholds in a ton of states still to come - including California - it absolute does help Biden.

Oh, the hypothesis being that while Buttigieg supporters move relatively equally to different candidates, it might push Biden above 15% in some places he otherwise would not reach 15% while not doing the same for Bernie?

That's an interesting theory but it seems pretty non-falsifiable. You'd have to show that there are enough places where Biden is polling at like 14% while very few where Bernie does so. I know California could be one such place since Biden is polling anywhere from 14-17% but still. Bernie, for example, quite possibly needs help being viable across the South.
posted by Justinian at 4:02 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Pete spent more money and time in SC than any candidate except for Steyer. He failed to make an impression.

Both Steyer and Pete have correctly assessed that there's a ceiling on their popularity, because they're not going to be able to put that much money (and time) into every other state.
posted by explosion at 4:07 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


If you don't want a Biden nomination, do not vote for Warren. I'm sorry, she was a good candidate, but her only function in this race at this point is to try and slow down Bernie.

The way she challenged Bloomberg on the non-disclosure agreements was helpful for Bernie (it's not something he could do directly; A political advocacy group founded by Bernie Sanders entered into a nondisclosure agreement with an African American political consultant that bars her from discussing a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination at the organization and the Vermont senator’s 2016 presidential campaign. APNews, Feb. 28, 2020). Something else is bound to come up where Warren in attack mode is good for the Democratic nominee.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:13 PM on March 1 [5 favorites]


Buttigieg ending tonight instead of Tuesday night (he’s already on the ballots) seems ineffectively premature to me.
posted by Harry Caul at 4:21 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


But now when his results are v v sad he has the fig leaf that he had dropped out so all his supporters voted for somebody else, rather than having not very many supporters to begin with.
posted by Justinian at 4:32 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


In the interests of fairness, Quinnipiac also has their second-choice numbers for Buttigieg and this one is more favorable to the non-Bernie candidates. If this one is more accurate that the last set it would indeed probably be more helpful to the other candidates than Bernie.
posted by Justinian at 4:34 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Warren doesn't need to stay in the race in order to be in attack mode for Bernie, and she could arguably do more damage to Bloomberg and other centrist candidates as his #1 surrogate. I don't think she owes anyone a concession right now, but I do think if Super Tuesday is as bad for her as the polling says it's going to be, she'll be done by Wednesday.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:35 PM on March 1 [6 favorites]


Re: going to a convention to select a candidate other than the plurality winner.

While it's technically in the rules, this verges on "there's no rule that says a dog can't play baseball," "any Catholic could be elected pope," or "Obama could be elected the next Speaker of the House." There's some rules that if used to their maximum, totally destroy the legitimacy that the rules are made to serve.

For instance, in 2018, Krysten Sinema won an election against Martha McSally to be Arizona's next senator. Republican Governor Doug Ducey then appointed her to the other, vacant senate seat. I would argue that although this action was allowed, it was pretty much totally lacking in democratic legitimacy. The people of Arizona just had an election to determine if McSally should be their senator and they voted against her. In fact, if Ducey had appointed nearly anyone else, there would have been much more legitimacy to that because Ducey would be making a decision on behalf of the people, and without anything to gainsay that decision, it would have stood until the next election (this November). Legitimate powers can lend themselves to illegitimacy if they're not wisely executed with justification.

Coming back to the nomination, there could be theoretically scenarios where Biden could have at least partial legitimacy for the national convention to hand the nomination to him even if he has less delegates than Bernie (say, if he won several states, was in second for pretty much all the ones he didn't win, and he was very popular with all the major segments of the Democratic party coalition (young, old, labor, African Americans, Latinos, women, LGBT). I don't think this would be the case, but it's possible.

However, if someone straight out loses every contest of which they're a party, it makes no sense for the DNC to nominate them over others with way more legitimacy. In that case the people spoke . . . and they didn't want that candidate. Unless something very unlikely happens in the next month, Warren, Bloomberg, and Klobuchar are hoping for a fundamentally undemocratic illegitimate outcome if the populace rejects them and they still want to be nominated despite that. At his point in time, it's really Bernie vs. Biden.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 4:36 PM on March 1 [5 favorites]


Warren doesn't need to stay in the race in order to be in attack mode for Bernie, and she could arguably do more damage to Bloomberg and other centrist candidates as his #1 surrogate. I don't think she owes anyone a concession right now, but I do think if Super Tuesday is as bad for her as the polling says it's going to be, she'll be done by Wednesday.

For Bernie? When she's currently saying she's here to "blunt the momentum for Bernie Sanders" and chasing scraps of delegates for a contested convention?
posted by kafziel at 4:39 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


> For Bernie? When she's currently saying she's here to "blunt the momentum for Bernie Sanders" and chasing scraps of delegates for a contested convention?

Of course she wants to blunt his momentum -- he's the frontrunner and she's his opponent! She wants his votes! If she weren't in the race, she... wouldn't need his votes.

She's had many more prominent opportunities to go after him hard if she wanted to and hasn't. An anonymous campaign staffer saying "it's about slowing down the guy in first place" does not a conpsiracy make.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:44 PM on March 1 [10 favorites]


It's a bit of a prisoner's dilemma. If everybody but Sanders and Biden cooperated and got out we would probably not have a contested convention. However, there are strong incentives to defect and stay in and accumulate delegates in case there is a contested convention, and the more other candidates drop out while you stay in the stronger that incentive becomes and the more likely it is a self-fulfilling prophecy producing such a convention.
posted by Justinian at 4:45 PM on March 1


However, if someone straight out loses every contest of which they're a party, it makes no sense for the DNC to nominate them over others with way more legitimacy.

I totally agree. I really, really hope this is a feint from Warren to build some leverage for her to get something from backing Sanders. (I hate that that seems to be the best-case scenario.) To make a dumb comparison, it’s like when your family is fighting over where to go to dinner and you managed to narrow it down to two options, and then someone says “well, since we can’t decide between Joe’s Grill and Hunan Kitchen, let’s just stay home and have PB&Js instead.” No!
posted by sallybrown at 4:47 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


It's a bit of a prisoner's dilemma.

...though prisoner's dilemma situations tend to collapse when the parties have the opportunity to communicate, don't they? That's one thing I got out of Elinor Ostrom's work, anyway.
posted by clawsoon at 4:48 PM on March 1


Buttigieg has dropped out of a race early before. Maybe he sees value for his long-term brand in not publicly losing any more than he needs to? If so, that suggests to me he really did think he had a shot in SC (yikes).
posted by sallybrown at 4:52 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


I suspect Pete is dropping out because he/his people doesn't want to be the spoiler that delivers a Sanders sweep post-Tuesday. Would be cool if the progressive wing could start consolidating around their platform in a similar manner.
posted by windbox at 4:52 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


I think he dropped out because he realized he had no chance of winning, or getting significant delegates on Tuesday...
posted by Windopaene at 4:57 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


I've avoided MeFi for a while because I liked Buttigieg and felt uncomfortable saying so. I get that he's overly vague and performative at times; I don't even know that I wanted him to get the nomination. But I followed his campaign with interest, and the level of vitriol here towards him (not from everyone, I know) really knocked me backwards — that, and the apparent attacks on his version of gayness from an admittedly small number of actors on the left. It has been profoundly discouraging. I don't know why this is my moment to express this discouragement. Maybe he could leave the race without being called a rat for … an evening? Maybe not.
posted by argybarg at 5:27 PM on March 1 [18 favorites]


btw kafziel: A lot of the Twitter Election People do seem think Buttigieg dropping out will be a net help to Biden but a lot of them actually think it comes indirectly by helping Warren reach the 15% threshold in places she otherwise might not rather than by directly helping Biden do so, since he is above 15% in many more places than Warren.

So that's pretty interesting.
posted by Justinian at 5:28 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Ten years ago even Obama was still saying he thought marriage should be between a man and a woman. Tonight the first openly gay presidential candidate to win a party primary is leaving the race with his husband next to him after a campaign in which he seemed somewhat too conservative and square, with too much moneyed support. In those ten years the country elected a reactionary bigot who’s trying to turn back the clock as fast as he can and yet look at the change he can’t stop!
posted by sallybrown at 5:46 PM on March 1 [15 favorites]


Good news for Pete: You can run for President like 9-10 more times before you’re as old as Biden and Bernie are now!

And you won a state on your first try, vs. Biden waiting for 32 years!
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:05 PM on March 1 [10 favorites]


If Warren really is staying in the race to kneecap Sanders and help a centrist take the nomination I feel that I must have gravely misjudged her somewhere along the line. I really hope that talk is just empty rumormongering.
posted by sotonohito at 6:19 PM on March 1 [13 favorites]


In those ten years the country elected a reactionary bigot who’s trying to turn back the clock as fast as he can and yet look at the change he can’t stop!

Also, you have two Jews running for the nomination, and nobody is making a big deal about it. There are a lot of things wrong with the world, and with the USA, but there are also many reasons for hope.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:27 PM on March 1 [9 favorites]


Sanders won the Nevada caucuses with 40.5% of the popular vote and 41,075 people to Biden's 18.9%/19,179. Sanders got 24 delegates, Biden got 9.

Biden won the South Carolina primary with 48.4% of the popular vote and 256,111 people to Sanders' 19.9%/105,226. Biden got 38 delegates, Sanders got 15.

Currently, Sanders has 58 total delegates to Biden's 50. Biden has won 29.4% of the popular vote (323,357 people), compared to Sanders' 24.4%/268,149.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:32 PM on March 1 [2 favorites]


Also, you have two Jews running for the nomination, and nobody is making a big deal about it.

To me it’s a (great) big deal. Among many other things I would enjoy having a Jewish president literally replace Trump. Take that tiki marchers!
posted by sallybrown at 6:35 PM on March 1 [11 favorites]


Of course she wants to blunt his momentum -- he's the frontrunner and she's his opponent! She wants his votes! If she weren't in the race, she... wouldn't need his votes.

I mean sure, it's all part of the game. It's just... her results so far are worse than Pete's. She looks a little better in some Super Tuesday states, which might be a reason to stay in that long, but not that good. It just seems at this point she's gotta be angling either to be a running mate - and not necessarily for Sanders - or to be a compromise choice at the convention somehow, which I think would be ill-advised coming from fourth place. The sudden decision to start accepting backers with deep pockets, as a candidate without an obvious path to victory, concerns me. It is possible however that some of this may be attributed less to an animus against Sanders specifically and more to her team (ironically) not having a clear plan for this thing.

She's had many more prominent opportunities to go after him hard if she wanted to and hasn't

She has wavered between going after him and not going after him for a while - part of what I'm thinking of when I say I'm often not sure what the plan is. Lately I think she's been going after him pretty consistently, but in a relatively low-key way. He has generally seemed reluctant to take direct rhetorical shots at her - though he doesn't need to since his supporters will, and it seems that he may be hoping that a victory in Massachusetts will be the thing to push her out.
posted by atoxyl at 7:02 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


In the long run the less candidates, the greater the chance of someone getting a majority. In the short run, this probably benefits Biden and Warren if for no other reason than it increases the chances they’ll be viable in places they won’t be. It also may help Warren and Klobuchar win their home states.

For what it’s worth, Sanders beats Biden in every head to head poll I’ve seen, including a poll from I think fairvote that uses some sort of ranked choice voting. It was close though.
posted by eagles123 at 7:05 PM on March 1


I don't know about Pete, but Warren has raised a lot of money and has hired a lot of people and has big loyal volunteer organizations in the Super Tuesday states who have been working their asses off for months. She isn't going to pull the rug out from under them before they even get a chance to vote.

Things will all be a lot clearer by the end of the week.
posted by JackFlash at 7:18 PM on March 1 [16 favorites]


Yeah I'm not really seeing any need for n-dimensional chess here. People are still in the race because that's how you compete. Bernie stayed in the race until June/July in 2016. A lot of stuff can happen between now and June.
posted by nakedmolerats at 7:20 PM on March 1 [14 favorites]


We All Want to Change the World
South Carolina underscores the limitations of this approach. There was finally a high-turnout primary, but it was the result not of Bernie but of Jim Clyburn’s ability to mobilize the Democratic base in his state. For Biden, the problem going forward is that this isn’t something that can be necessarily replicated going forward in a lot of other states. For Bernie, it’s a concern that despite running for president constantly for 5 years, and knowing that he was killed in 2016 by an inability to attract African-American support in the South, he was unable to get Clyburn’s support or even persuade him to remain neutral, even though Biden’s shaky performances have given him unusually weak elite support for a candidate running as the safe establishment choice.

Assuming Sanders wins the nomination, this is still important going forward. He can win the White House, but both for getting there and for accomplishing things if he does win “bend the knee shitlibs” is not an approach that’s going to work. Beating Trump is going to require normie Democrats voting for him in large numbers, not an imaginary squadron of nonvoters who secretly crave socialism. Both in terms of legislative outputs and effective use of the executive branch, he’s going to need buy-in from a lot of mainstream Democrats. None of this is impossible — he’s in a good position to win because most ordinary Democrats like him! But hopefully yesterday’s results will point him in the right direction, which is away from his Extremely Online crew. He doesn’t need to change his ideas; he just needs to welcome allies.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:50 PM on March 1 [8 favorites]


But I followed his campaign with interest, and the level of vitriol here towards him (not from everyone, I know) really knocked me backwards

I know I've had to really side-eye some people here over it. Even speaking as a Warren supporter, the open vitriol against a gay man was fairly transparent.

Despite that, we've have a field of candidates of broad backgrounds, so far, and that deserves some mention.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:05 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Having a gay man make it this far is quite an accomplishment, but all of the vitriol I've seen has been about his centrism and lack of substance, not his sexual orientation. He's a bright dude and he's not without charisma, but he also comes off as kind of soulless and power-hungry in a "will completely abandon principles for a 3% bump in the polls" way that's reminiscent of the worst parts of Bill Clinton. "Medicare for all who want it" is a total scam, and he deserved to be shredded for that, and the McKinsey stuff, and his awful record on racial matters. We can both celebrate his historic achievements and express vitriol toward him for being a shitty Democrat. Both are true.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:13 PM on March 1 [28 favorites]


There was finally a high-turnout primary

I asked this earlier but does anybody know where to find the actual turnout stats compiled in one place? My initial reading said Nevada was pretty strong - in absolute numbers the highest ever, adjusted for population better than 2016 but short of 2008 which seems to be treated as the gold standard? But it would be nice to be able to look at turnout and demographics for each of the early primaries along with historical comparisons in one place.

Anyway a thought I had about SC and Biden's strategy vs. Sanders':

At least anecdotally, Bernie's success in the caucuses did come from smart organizing - in IA being the only campaign to really leverage the satellite caucuses, and in NV being the only campaign to convincingly bring its message to Latinos. Those are, however, both examples of finding an opening, something that one expects an outsider-y campaign with a lot of sharp young organizers to be good at. In SC they were up against a segment of the party with a very strong entrenched relationship with the key voting block, and while they were able to attract a number of younger folks ultimately they were no match for that infrastructure. Definitely illustrates the strengths and weaknesses of Sanders' approach.
posted by atoxyl at 10:59 PM on March 1 [3 favorites]


Having a gay man make it this far is quite an accomplishment, but all of the vitriol I've seen has been about his centrism and lack of substance, not his sexual orientation.

Matty Glesias made an occasional fair point, earlier, noting that in spite of his stated platform being to the left of the likes of Biden, the Online Left hated him more than Biden for (what Matt identified as) largely stylistic reasons. But stylistically he was too often just smarmy - even the Pod Save guys got in on making fun of his Obama impression - and there's some real hubris to trying to go straight from Mayor of South Bend to president. Worse than Beto (the proto-Pete). And beyond style, maybe he wasn't a literal CIA plant as a candidate, but I don't think people were wrong to find the McKinsey/military intelligence part of his background offputting. A guy with no foriegn policy experience except that background doesn't sound promising from where I stand on foreign policy.

Also as you said his healthcare proposal seemed fundamentally not serious enough.
posted by atoxyl at 11:29 PM on March 1 [4 favorites]


Worse than Beto (the proto-Pete).

Well, on par for hubris. Worse for having a political personality that brings the hubris into focus.
posted by atoxyl at 11:42 PM on March 1


The election year headline nobody expected:
Public Enemy Fire Flavor Flav After Bernie Sanders Rally Spat
posted by St. Oops at 1:02 AM on March 2 [8 favorites]


Also lots of women hated Pete for obvious reasons: in a just world he wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near the debate stage as someone who only ever received 8000 votes and got destroyed in a statewide election. Warren basically fell into politics at a late age but someone like Klobuchar who worked her ass off for this her whole life had to be there with someone who many felt didn’t deserve it.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 3:55 AM on March 2 [5 favorites]


From CNN: Obama still plans to wait until after someone clinches the nomination to endorse. “Obama still thinks his most valuable role is to try and unify the party. ‘He feels that he's singularly positioned to help unify the party at the end of this,’ the Obama confidant said. ‘And if he were try to put his thumb on the scale now, it would take away his ability to do so when it's most needed -- the general election.’”

(Something that really pissed me off this weekend was the gross headline of pundit Rick Wilson’s piece “It’s Time for Obama to Man Up and Back Biden.” Thanks Rick, I don’t think the former President needs or cares about your thoughts on “manning up.”)
posted by sallybrown at 4:41 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]


[One deleted. Please try to discuss without the hyperbolic hate rants. These threads are tough enough without that stuff, and we are barely hanging in there to have commenting at all on US politics at this point.]
posted by taz (staff) at 4:47 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


It looks like it’s biden vs. sanders now.

So I’d like to say again, as clearly as possible:

It’s hard to ‘really’ assess bernie’s chances against trump. We are biased, and the fight could go either way.

But it’s as clear as day what will happen if biden is the nominee: trump will beat him like a fucking drum. There’s no way in hell he can make it against the beast.

Another McGovern, Dukakis, Gore, etc...
posted by growabrain at 4:48 AM on March 2 [16 favorites]


obama's place in history depends on whether or not he endorses biden. if he does, biden wins the nomination because obama and loses the general because of all the reasons biden loses the general.

and then once we crawl out of the subsequent period of trumpist dictatorship and terror, historians will give obama his share of the blame.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:10 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]


Empty stadiums and no more selfie lines? Coronavirus becomes 2020 X-factor. (David Siders, Politico)
If the virus does spread, the mechanical implications for campaigns could be profound.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:18 AM on March 2


Hey, can someone whose time machine has revealed what will happen in the general election please MeMail me the winner of the World Series this year?
posted by Etrigan at 6:27 AM on March 2 [16 favorites]


Hey, can someone whose time machine has revealed what will happen in the general election please MeMail me the winner of the World Series this year?

All signs point to the Astros.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:31 AM on March 2 [7 favorites]


Plus many on the left (myself included) won't vote for Biden.

It’s gonna be a looooooooooooong year....
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 6:35 AM on March 2 [16 favorites]


I seem to be the only deluded optimist who thinks both Bernie and Biden have great chances of beating Trump. Different paths but both paths very much exist.
posted by sallybrown at 6:53 AM on March 2 [13 favorites]


Anyone can win against Trump if people actually vote for them.
posted by octothorpe at 6:59 AM on March 2 [17 favorites]


538 has a Pick Thine Own Story-Exploit for Super Tuesday results, where as you pick winners in the states it shows you results of those simulation runs. You don’t have to do every state.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:12 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Now that its Biden vs. Bernie, all the pundits who claimed that Bernie can't be the nominee because he is unelectable have to throw their support behind him. Biden is much more unelectable, weak against Trump, and is clearly going senile. Plus many on the left (myself included) won't vote for Biden.

It's so interesting to me that there are sooo many people on my timeline who are saying the exact opposite. So many that even though I agree with you, I have to question my own biases because honestly a lot of these opinions are coming from people that I know to be very smart. I just don't know. Maybe we are all stuck in our bubbles. Maybe they are both equally as electable/unelectable.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:33 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]


I'm on the left, and I will definitely vote for Biden if he wins. I'll be disappointed if he's our nominee, but we've got to defeat Trump. I hope moderates who dislike the idea of Sanders being our nominee will do the same if he wins, and I think most of them will.

We disagree about important issues, sometimes issues that are deeply and personally important to us, but I think almost all of us understand that defeating the wannabe fascist that's in office now is critical to preserving democracy so we can continue to argue about and try to make progress on other issues we care about.
posted by nangar at 7:37 AM on March 2 [20 favorites]


For me, whether or not I would vote for Biden in the general would really depend on his VP pick, because he already doesn't seem capable of doing the job now, let alone 4 years from now.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 7:44 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


Racist, sexist, homophobic pederast with a melting brain ... or Trump.

I'd stay home. I'm not willing to endorse the Democratic Party's suicide run with my vote.
posted by kafziel at 7:56 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


Any progressive who wouldn't support Biden over Trump is... I don't know man, that's just a worldview so diametrically opposed to my own that I don't know.
posted by Justinian at 7:57 AM on March 2 [31 favorites]


Let's make sure Biden isn't the nominee then.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 7:59 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]


[Again, this is not sports talk radio or a meeting of the Let's Argue Until You All Finally Agree With Me About A Nominee club. If you're hanging around in this thread or others mostly to make sure people know who you are or aren't voting for or who you think they should or should not vote for, pull up stakes and find a different venue for that.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:05 AM on March 2 [13 favorites]


I would like to chime in here to remind everyone in a Super Tuesday state to check their polling place for tomorrow. Mine changed since the last time I checked.
posted by FakeFreyja at 8:13 AM on March 2 [12 favorites]


Assuming Sanders wins the nomination, this is still important going forward. He can win the White House, but both for getting there and for accomplishing things if he does win “bend the knee shitlibs” is not an approach that’s going to work. Beating Trump is going to require normie Democrats voting for him in large numbers, not an imaginary squadron of nonvoters who secretly crave socialism.
This is my biggest reservation about Bernie. One of the few things the centrists can do well is broker compromise. But that means the Left is always in this situation of not getting what it wants on anything. It's a shitty place to be when all you want to do is get your ideas implemented to make people's lives better and it's not surprising that many of them want to just burn the whole thing down.

But wanting to burn the system down is just another aspect of privilege for a lot of us. We can only think that because we have the luxury of quite likely surviving the cleansing fire. Me? If the US goes Trumpian for another four years, I'll be fine. We have money. We can drive to Canada and catch a flight from Montreal out to Doha and then on to Australia if the SHTF and my wife becomes a target of tiki wielding jackboots. We're white so we won't have border control scrutinizing us. I'm sure for a lot of people here it would be like catching the flu, a temporary pain but we'll feel a lot better after it.

There are people out there who won't survive an attempted revolution and/or purge and they're depending on us. As much as the neoliberal agenda sucks for relying on an underclass, at least it's kept a detente stopping capital and the fascists from implementing a literal Hunger Games. Without it, well, if you come at capital, you best not miss and all that crap.

I get I can't make people love Biden, or Klobuchar, or Warren, and that's fine, I don't particularly love Biden either, but "you should have given us a more inspiring raft" just stinks of privilege at this point.
Another would be to get mad at the Democratic Party if they don't put forth a candidate worth voting for.
This for example. The Democratic party is made up of everyone expressing their voice and the system sorting out all those voices. The result may be that the result isn't going to go the way you'd like it to. It might involve people abusing technicalities of that system. Which sucks. Voting for the lesser of two evil sucks. It sucks knowing that there was a way better choice if everyone else could just see it our way. But I think of people who will struggle and may not survive under a second Trump term and I just can't sit there and let them suffer for my purity test.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 8:40 AM on March 2 [22 favorites]


Moderate Democrats are generally better at building coalitions, and progressives are better at forceful messaging. How about they collaborate and learn from each other?
posted by argybarg at 8:45 AM on March 2 [6 favorites]


Also, there is every indication that a second Trump term will be devoted to ending meaningful American democracy (I'd already put it at a near-lock for the candidate, whoever we nominate, to be investigated by the FBI over the summer, and a small but not insignificant chance for them to be arrested on the eve of the election). So even if you're privileged enough to assume you can survive four more years of this, I still think it's short-sighted to assume trying again in 2024 is even possible.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:48 AM on March 2 [6 favorites]


but "you should have given us a more inspiring raft" just stinks of privilege at this point.

If you want to talk about privilege, it takes an immense amount of privilege to think it's fine to live in a world that is currently hurtling well past RCP8.5 and with even if any of the moderates win, it's fine if we still end up at a cataclysmic RCP6.

Trump is horrifying for global warming, but Democratic centrists have plans that move so slow that for the billions of the global poor (who are all people of color), the effective amount of daylight between them is depressingly small. Even Sanders's plan, Green New Deal and all, is too slow to fully stop what is coming, but at least it's something far more meaningful than what any of the moderates or even Warren has put forth.
posted by Ouverture at 8:49 AM on March 2 [14 favorites]


There are people out there who won't survive an attempted revolution and/or purge and they're depending on us. As much as the neoliberal agenda sucks for relying on an underclass, at least it's kept a detente stopping capital and the fascists from implementing a literal Hunger Games. Without it, well, if you come at capital, you best not miss and all that crap.

I may be naive, but I don't think trying to implement some programs that all other wealthy nations have enjoyed for decades is a revolution. This isn't some coup. It is ceding a LOT of ground to even entertain the idea that the richest people in the country becoming a fraction of a percentage point less rich is the equivalent of guerrillas shooting families in the street.

But speaking of privilege, 26,000 Americans die each year from lack of health insurance. Every year we stick with our ghoulish for-profit healthcare system literally kills tens of thousand of people.
posted by FakeFreyja at 8:49 AM on March 2 [21 favorites]


You know what? I don't think we need apocalyptic scenarios to explain why building a broad coalition for the Democratic party is important. It's always important; it's always the right way. I don't want to belong to a party built on ideological narrowness; I like a diversity of viewpoints around common values. I don't find disagreeing with people about means to be that unbearably painful; I think it's healthy.

So say your peace, listen, get along. It's the best model in all situations.
posted by argybarg at 8:51 AM on March 2 [5 favorites]


There are plenty of Sanders-or-bust voters who literally can not afford the insulin they need to live, so let's not talk about how they're voting their privilege.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 8:51 AM on March 2 [13 favorites]


If you're saying you're mad at the Democratic Party for who they pick for the nominee, you're saying that you're mad at those millions of voters who voted for that person.
posted by octothorpe at 8:52 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]


Let's stop one-upping each other about privilege. This is a dead end.
posted by argybarg at 8:52 AM on March 2 [7 favorites]


I have zero interest in belong to a party that is unanimous in all its beliefs. That's the illusion of strength, one conservatives and neofascists love.

I think a healthy offer to the nation is: Here is a party that unites around fundamental values; measures and sifts and debates over means; that tests its own assumptions; and that shows the world that this is exactly what compassion and strength are built on. You know — Democrats who love democracy!

Are we, collectively, living up to that ideal?
posted by argybarg at 8:57 AM on March 2 [6 favorites]


If you want to talk about privilege, it takes an immense amount of privilege to think it's fine to live in a world that is currently hurtling well past RCP8.5 and with even if any of the moderates win, it's fine if we still end up at a cataclysmic RCP6.

Every 1% we improve now is 1% that compounds and is 2% we don't have to make down the road four years later. If we can get Biden in over Trump and Democrats start closing coal power plants by new regulations, yeah, we're not going to have a full solar revolution but it'll at least be better than drill baby drill and polluting the hell out of the ANWR.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 8:57 AM on March 2 [5 favorites]


Neoliberal ameliorism that occasionally makes tiny concessions to decency as long as they don't threaten capital is not sufficient for handling the imminent global challenge that is climate change. A Biden presidency would put us right back on the road that led us to Trump, and I expect it would fairly quickly deliver the country into the hands of ecofascists who will offer a terrible eliminationist solution to the problem that, in the absence of a meaningful alternative, will gather a critical mass of support.

2016 was the death of the neoliberal project, and trying to re-ignite its fading embers will only strengthen the far right. We don't have time to waste on a Biden presidency. If Biden wins the primary, it doesn't matter who we vote for in the general because we've already lost.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:06 AM on March 2 [15 favorites]


Does "neoliberal" have any meaning beyond "dudes I don't like" at this point?
posted by Justinian at 9:09 AM on March 2 [12 favorites]


Trump is horrifying for global warming, but Democratic centrists have plans that move so slow that for the billions of the global poor (who are all people of color), the effective amount of daylight between them is depressingly small. Even Sanders's plan, Green New Deal and all, is too slow to fully stop what is coming, but at least it's something far more meaningful than what any of the moderates or even Warren has put forth.

This is what infuriates me about a particular strain of lefty dead-ender-ism. It's not worth voting for Biden because his plans aren't good enough to solve the problems, they're just a Band-Aid! The only acceptable path forward is Sanders' plan, which is also not enough to solve the problem, but at least it's a "meaningful" half measure! Suddenly harm mitigation is worth considering again!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:09 AM on March 2 [10 favorites]


Yeah, when I talk to activists to the left of me, and particularly POC activists, from their perspective there is literally no difference between "centrist" Dems and Trump. And I used to think the same as YCPR that white people with money will be OK and we should vote to make sure that poor and brown people will be OK, and the poor and brown people I know are like, 'it's always been bad, it won't get THAT much worse for us... but all you comfortable white people sure are gonna have a hard time when shit gets real" so I have dropped my attitude that I'm doing any kind of white savior thing by voting blue no matter who. It matters who.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:13 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]


Does "neoliberal" have any meaning beyond "dudes I don't like" at this point?

People always say this on this website, but yes, neoliberal does have a meaning. This is not the thread for a lecture about it, but if I were to sum it up, it's an ideology that says that the current distribution of power in society is inevitable and just, that the meritocracy works, that the market is sacrosanct and market solutions are preferable to public solutions, that the best approach to improving the world is to tinker around the edges of our system and subtly nudge people into positive behaviors, that our current system is slowly getting better and improving the world all the time, and that trying to fundamentally alter the system of global capitalism would invite only chaos and ruin.

Neoliberalism is noteable for being a rare ideology that never sees itself as an ideology. It cloaks itself in the guise of "common sense". It believes itself to be objective and scientific. This is why some people are very reluctant to believe the word "neoliberal" carries meaning.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:15 AM on March 2 [21 favorites]


I want the president who staffs their government with good, competent people who can be trusted to serve with honor. That's more likely to happen with any of the remaining Democratic candidates than with Trump.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:16 AM on March 2 [17 favorites]


Well, if "centrists" are going to be purged from the party, I'm sure I'm going to be purged with them. Not because I'm particularly "centrist" but because the idea of having to vote 100% pure and present my bona fides makes me almost physically sick. And I make the unforgivable sins of sometimes reading The Atlantic or quoting 538. Or because I show skepticism about other people's idea of a "revolution" (can't help it, sorry).

So have your purge, and goodbye to a viable national party — and hello to a party that has a good chance of actually being kind of revolting.
posted by argybarg at 9:18 AM on March 2 [3 favorites]


Yes, "neoliberal" still has meaning. It refers to those who promote "market solutions" vs. govt action to address issues. It's a valuable, accurate descriptor. Don't dismiss it because it might refer to some of the Dem candidates.

On preview, what OSBA said.
posted by Lyme Drop at 9:18 AM on March 2 [8 favorites]


Staying home and not voting is making just as much of a choice as voting for any of these clowns. You don't get to sit this one out. One way or another you ARE going to make a choice in November.

But I look forward to going around and around on this argument for the next 7 months or so. I don't think it's a debate we'll get to have after another four years of Trump so I might need to get my fill now.
posted by VTX at 9:23 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


Well, if "centrists" are going to be purged from the party, I'm sure I'm going to be purged with them. Not because I'm particularly "centrist" but because the idea of having to vote 100% pure and present my bona fides makes me almost physically sick.

Well that is a plain case of reducto ad absurdum. The party moving slightly left (which would be considered centrist most other places in the world) isn't purging anyone. Except maybe people who literally represent lenders, campaign against the poor, and vote against the civil rights of minorities. Maybe those people shouldn't represent us.
posted by FakeFreyja at 9:23 AM on March 2 [12 favorites]


[Hiya -- this thread is 100% not going to become a "how much worse can it get?" thread. I know people are anxious about the primaries, but doomsaying stuff needs to go elsewhere.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:24 AM on March 2 [5 favorites]


I had always thought of "neoliberal" as a vague label, but someone recently pointed me to The Neoliberal Club and The Neoliberal Agenda, both from 1982. There are a lot of familiar Democratic names in the articles, and something of a coherent platform and worldview. If nothing else, they were interesting from a historical perspective, and helped put into perspective that the policies of the Clinton presidency were not the result of being pushed around by an angry Republican Congress but were the direct outcome of what neoliberals wanted.
One night recently, Tsongas—who generally takes great pains to affirm his social-liberal credentials— capped a story about the difference between immigrants of his parents’ generation, who came to the Lowell, Massachusetts, area to work, and some of the young Greek immigrants of today, “who hang around the coffee shop in Lowell because they have the safety net of welfare, ” by saying, “Liberals have got to realize that some people just don’t want to work.”
posted by clawsoon at 9:28 AM on March 2 [7 favorites]


I'm happy when the party moves left. No problem. I'm happy to move along.

I'm talking about the Chapo Trap House bullshit. The demonization. The name-calling. The everyone-to-the-right-of-me-is-the-same approach. The conspiracy peddling. I live in a deeply Lefty district and all the above is very real. I see it as a real cancer on the party, not because so many people participate in it but because of its secondary effects.

If anyone is calling for a purge of progressives, then I'm happy to denounce that too. That's not what the above is, in my estimation. Stand up and yell about the need to get aggressive about climate change. That's absolutely where I am! But using it as a pretext for burning the coalition down? For demonizing anyone outside a narrow ideological band? If that spreads, I'm out of here. That's the worst of human behavior.
posted by argybarg at 9:29 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


I'm talking about the Chapo Trap House bullshit. The demonization. The name-calling. The everyone-to-the-right-of-me-is-the-same approach.

That is still not the case. The question in this primary is not a debate over a half-percent change in soy subsidies. The assertion has been made that people should live, and not as the modern equivalent indentured servants. There is actual disagreement about it. Vocal disagreement, comparing that idea to the worst years of Nazi Germany.
posted by FakeFreyja at 9:35 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]


Thank you to clawsoon for those links. That first one, "The Neoliberal Club" really sums it up well and matches the way I was describing Neoliberalism. Just look at these quotes from 1982:

BLEEDING HEARTS NEED NOT APPLY. NEOLIBERALS ARE COOL PRAGMATISTS WHO BELIEVE IN ECONOMIC ISSUES FIRST, SOCIAL PROGRAMS SECOND. THEY STRESS TECHNOLOGY, NATIONAL SERVICE, BETTER DEFENSE, AND THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT.

[Neoliberalism is] the blending of realism and compassion in a manner that does not disrupt society. This combination requires judgment devoid of dogmatic blinders of ideological extremes.

It's a bad philosophy that took over most of the Democratic Party, starting in the 80's. It's one of the major reasons we're in the place we're in today, and it's still a current strain of thought among the centrist politicians in this primary. There's no point in pretending it doesn't exist.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 9:37 AM on March 2 [12 favorites]


FakeFreyja:

Perfectly summarized. Everyone except — what, one? maybe two? — candidates represents "the worst years of Nazi Germany."
posted by argybarg at 9:42 AM on March 2


If you see an elderly person starving in the street and decide not to "deny them the dignity of work" by helping, you might be a neoliberal.
posted by FakeFreyja at 9:42 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


Last election I wanted Bernie, but I still voted for Hillary in the general because I see the value of picking justices and I still see the value in incremental change when I can get it. That being said, Hillary, the nice, safe, centrist choice lost. Just like the nice safe centrist John Kerry lost. Just like Al Gore “lost”. Just like the Democrats under Bill Clinton lost the House for the first time in a generation.

Hillary lost because she couldn’t turn out enough young voters and voters of color to offset gains Trump made among older white voters. Hillary failed to do this despite winning the primary among Black voters by an overwhelming margin.

I fail to see how Biden isn’t just a repeat of that in worse form, regardless of what the polls say now. Biden doesn’t only lose voters under 45 to Sanders, he also loses them to at least Warren and probably others. And his campaign doesn’t seem to think that is a problem.

Worse, he has yet to show he can consistently campaign, and he isn’t really being vetted for ongoing issues that surely will come up against Trump. He doesn’t have any of the strengths of Hillary Clinton, but he has all weaknesses.

Like I said, I’d vote for the guy (but I live in a non-swing state), but I’m not under any illusions. He talks about working with Republicans when they are committed to blocking all progressive legislation. He campaigned for Republicans last year. He worries about the Democrats becoming “too strong”. To me, his greatest virtue is that he says the quiet parts out loud. He doesn’t hide behind platitudes like Buttigieg.

I’ll vote for the guy, but I can’t get out of my mind how hopeless it is. After the Democrats lost the midterms in 2014, it was like they were out of ideas. Just gesture vaguely towards issues important to left while mainly running on not being insane like the Republicans. Except back then it as the Tea Party. Before that is was W. Bush (except he’s good now). Before that is was the Gingrich Republicans (except their moderates now). No plans to address climate change, racism, income inequality, student debt, rising rents, corruption, continued erosion of collective bargaining. No plans to win a governing majority to pass even vaguely progressive legislation except to wait for Republicans to fuck things up really badly again - I guess we have to go through a depression and a war with Iran/N. Korea to get a public option.

I’ll vote for Biden, but goddamn ....
posted by eagles123 at 9:43 AM on March 2 [26 favorites]


I think what FakeFreyja is referring to is Chris Matthews' histronics over Bernie winning Nevada, which he compared to Hitler overrunning the Maginot Line.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:43 AM on March 2 [12 favorites]


BLEEDING HEARTS NEED NOT APPLY. NEOLIBERALS ARE COOL PRAGMATISTS WHO BELIEVE IN ECONOMIC ISSUES FIRST, SOCIAL PROGRAMS SECOND. THEY STRESS TECHNOLOGY, NATIONAL SERVICE, BETTER DEFENSE, AND THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT.

This explanation by Innuendo Studios might be able to help people make sense of capital vs democracy.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:50 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


Neoliberalism wasn’t invented in the 1970’s, though; the term (first invented in the late 1800’s) comes from the postwar era and the Austrian/Chicago guys. That version is more of a Newt Gingrich 1990’s version than the Carter administration type of new liberalism.

It’s a natural term for a new liberalism that would’ve been adopted multiple times by different people who espoused different things and who didn’t care about the names some other guys already used.

So it can mean either arch-libertarianism or more-centrist liberalism, and is frequently conflated.

Was Bill Clinton a neoliberal? One way, yes!
Was Ronald Reagan a neoliberal? The other way, yes!
Were they the same? No!
posted by Huffy Puffy at 9:55 AM on March 2 [5 favorites]


Huffy Puffy is correct about the two main things "neoliberalism" has meant but when people on the left now say it I think there's something of an intentional conflation - they mean to imply that the center-left and center-right alike (and thus the whole political mainstream) have bought into the same basic premise that there is no alternative to capitalism.
posted by atoxyl at 10:07 AM on March 2 [9 favorites]


Well, if "centrists" are going to be purged from the party, I'm sure I'm going to be purged with them.

No one will be purging centrists. Sanders and AOC and all the social democrats and democratic socialists are well represented in the population, but they make up the smallest fraction of federal representatives and even fewer in leadership. For leftists/left liberals to treat the centrists as bad as they treat them would mean that the Speaker of the House (+House Majority Leader and Whip), the Senate Majority Leader (+Whip), the President (+VP, all Secretaries) would be chosen from the left flank of the party. They wouldn't be purged, they'd just have to recognize they were less important in the movement and should not feel entitled to any special position.

But the left flank of the party isn't even demanding that. It's demanding some sense of parity, some ability to be given any power within the party. The last 30 years of Democratic Leadership has been centrist, neoliberal Democrats. Not a single "Great Society" Democrat even; just a slurry of Dukakises and Clintons and Gores and Kerrys and Obamas and Clintons again. It's always been the centrist neoliberal candidate.

So what the centrists are really saying is that if they have to share power in the Democratic Party by letting others into positions of leadership and be the nominee, it will feel like a purge to the centrists. I think there's a great saying about equality, oppression, and privilege.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 10:17 AM on March 2 [14 favorites]


Becoming the nominee isn't "sharing power", it's taking over the party? Sharing power is, like, getting committee memberships and input on the platform.
posted by Justinian at 10:19 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


Over the last 30 years, when has the nominee been from the left flank of the party. Only two people can be the nominees, but stretched out over a generation, you would think that you would have more than zero nominees. On the Republican side, they've continuously put the far right into the nomination slots.

How many leftists and left liberals are in the highest office of their chamber or branch? Because I guarantee that the right has no problem with putting rightwingers in positions of power.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 10:22 AM on March 2 [11 favorites]


I’m talking about the rhetoric. In power terms, I would love to see AOC and other progressives build a powerful caucus and assume leadership positions, and if anyone is taking anti democratic stances to block that, then they should get out of the way.

I’m talking about the vitriol. Perhaps you see it as harmless. I don’t.
posted by argybarg at 10:23 AM on March 2


My aunt who lives in Indiana posted a few political things on FB today. Two were "thank you Mayor Pete for your historic campaign" things. One was a positive post about Elizabeth Warren. And one was a positive post about Bernie Sanders.

I just think it's important to remember that lots and lots of people like my aunt exist, and that support for non-Bernie candidates doesn't make a person the automatic enemy of anyone who is all-in for Bernie.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:26 AM on March 2 [20 favorites]


It has been genuinely interesting to see the narratives unfold on my different social medias. Metafilter seems to lean pretty Bernie, one of my SM groups leans pretty Warren, but I've also been surprised even in my 'liberal bubble' that some folks on my SM were genuinely sad to see Mayor Pete go and some others genuinely think Biden is the best shot, even before the SC primary. All of them are dedicated and regular Dem voters.
posted by nakedmolerats at 10:32 AM on March 2 [3 favorites]


The world is burning, people are starving, and we have concentration camps in America. I don't for a minute begrudge people for their sense of urgency.

But when you have an option of 3 destinations, and you spend most of your time haranguing the folks who agree with your choice of destination because they've taking a different road than you'd like...your priorities are out of line.

At this point, the 4 big candidates are Bloomberg, Biden, Warren, and Sanders. Somehow despite Warren making her entire political career about sticking it to big business, banks, and billionaires, there's a core of Sanders supporters who think she's staying in it to hand the nomination over to a billionaire or a former senator beholden to big business and banks.

This is the claptrap that people complain about. Get mad, get passionate. But don't get so blinded that you let "they're moving too slow" turn into "they're all the same and holding us back."
posted by explosion at 10:32 AM on March 2 [16 favorites]


[comments removed -- feel free to repost accurately?]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:40 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


But don't get so blinded that you let "they're moving too slow" turn into "they're all the same and holding us back."

When it comes to Warren, I agree with you. When it comes to Biden or Bloomberg, it's "they aren't just moving too slow, they're actively turning us around, driving backwards for 65 years, stealing the car, then fencing it to people who actively mean us harm."
posted by FakeFreyja at 10:40 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]




Bad news for Sanders: the moderate Voltron is coming together
Good news for Sanders: this means Klobuchar didn't expect to win Minnesota
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:42 AM on March 2 [5 favorites]


I've heard the arguments about building momentum and getting your name out there a million times, but considering that around 2/3 of the New Hampshire delegates and around 1/3 of the Iowa delegates went to people who have already dropped out, I'm not sure what the point of having those states go at the very beginning achieved on that front. If we were all just waiting around for South Carolina since half the punditry has now decided that it's the only one of these early states that actually counts, maybe we should just let them go first and save us all the trouble of caring.
posted by Copronymus at 10:44 AM on March 2 [6 favorites]


I wonder if Bloomberg's ego is too big for him to get in line and drop out with the rest?
posted by FakeFreyja at 10:48 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


argybarg 45 years of being hated and dismissed by liberals who keep losing elections and capitulating to the right makes some people on the left a mite testy. I don't agree with the angry rhetoric but I sympathize with it.

Our ostensible allies seem to prefer to keep losing rather than let us have a scrap of power and seem to see negotiating with Republicans as a positive good but see negotiating with the left as an intolerable evil. It's easy to get angry at liberals after even a few years of that and for most on the left they've taken that abuse for their whole lives.

Maybe if they don't want the left to be angry the liberals should treat the left as something other than a hated enemy who they also shake down for campaign contributions and demand votes from?

"Hi we're the Democratic center! We hate your guts and will never give you respect, power, or a seat at the table, but vote blue no matter who or its your fault when Trump wins!"

That's not a message you can reasonably expect to make the left not angry with liberals. I disagree with the language being used, but I feel the anger that produces that language myself. 45 damn years of endless liberal failure and they still can't admit they're fucking up and listen to us for a change. They're about to anoint a guy who makes Al Gore look charismatic and when he inevitably loses guess who they'll blame? The left of course.
posted by sotonohito at 10:49 AM on March 2 [24 favorites]


Amy Klobuchar Drops Out of Presidential Race and Plans to Endorse Biden

Preceded by events from last night: Klobuchar’s Rally Cancelled After BLM Protesters Storm The Stage Over Murder Case
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:52 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


Well, Bloomberg has until 12:00pm tonight ... 7:00 am west coast time I guess when polls open. He’s talked about contesting the convention though and plans on it, so I imagine he’ll stay in if he can get at least some delegates..,
posted by eagles123 at 10:52 AM on March 2


Imagine if Bloomberg spent $500 million and dropped out before he was ever on a ballot...
posted by sallybrown at 10:56 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]


The thought of Biden with Bloomberg's money behind him makes me nauseous. It might actually be better to have him stay in the race pissing it away on his vanity campaign.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:57 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


I wonder if Bloomberg's ego is too big for him to get in line and drop out with the rest?

Bloomberg hasn't been on a ballot yet. His entire strategy was to be big on Super Tuesday.
posted by Etrigan at 10:57 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]


sallybrown: Imagine if Bloomberg spent $500 million and dropped out before he was ever on a ballot...

Of his $65 BILLION net worth (NY Post, Feb. 20, 2020), that would be a 0.77% drop in his wealth, assuming it's not a series of tax write-offs, or spun for financial gain a la Trump hosting events at Trump facilities.

He'd be out less than 1% of his net wealth, or a small gamble that could result in a big pay-out.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:00 AM on March 2 [3 favorites]


I’d love to be wrong, but I think some of us might be overestimating how many people saw/remember the Nevada debate and underestimating the power of massive saturation advertising. Bloomberg could do pretty well tomorrow.
posted by theodolite at 11:01 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


This is what infuriates me about a particular strain of lefty dead-ender-ism. It's not worth voting for Biden because his plans aren't good enough to solve the problems, they're just a Band-Aid! The only acceptable path forward is Sanders' plan, which is also not enough to solve the problem, but at least it's a "meaningful" half measure! Suddenly harm mitigation is worth considering again!

That's because there are climate phenomena known as "tipping points" that will cause cataclysmic damage even with centrist slow walking on climate change. I strongly believe in harm reduction, but that harm mitigation starts with significant action.
posted by Ouverture at 11:03 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]


I mean ffs the clock on my office elevator’s LCD screen was sponsored by Mike 2020 this morning.
posted by theodolite at 11:03 AM on March 2 [7 favorites]


Bloomberg hasn't been on a ballot yet. His entire strategy was to be big on Super Tuesday.

Ah, good point.

I'm not too worried about the center-right coalition coming together though - Biden wins if Sanders doesn't get a majority, and these dropouts aren't going to affect potential Sanders voters too much.
posted by FakeFreyja at 11:05 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


The thought of Biden with Bloomberg's money behind him makes me nauseous. It might actually be better to have him stay in the race pissing it away on his vanity campaign.

Bloomberg staying in is probably best for Sanders for Super Tuesday. Bloomberg and Biden are going to split their vote.

But after Super Tuesday, Bloomberg's relentless campaigning right to the convention will likely just damage Sanders.
posted by JackFlash at 11:07 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


theodolite: I mean ffs the clock on my office elevator’s LCD screen was sponsored by Mike 2020 this morning.

At least Mike spent some of his mocking Trump (ahead of a Trump rallies in Phoenix and Las Vegas, he paid for billboards that said “Donald Trump’s wall fell over,” “Donald Trump eats burnt steak. Mike Bloomberg likes his steak medium rare,” “Donald Trump has declared bankruptcy 6 times,” “Donald Trump went broke running a casino” and “Donald Trump lost the popular vote.”) in a way one can when they have enough money to not really need to worry about how or where to spend a limited war chest.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:09 AM on March 2


Getting very concerned about Warren splitting the progressive vote. I didn't expect the neoliberals to form a coalition before the left in this election. Why is she still in this?
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 11:09 AM on March 2 [11 favorites]


What happens to the early votes for candidates who have dropped out?
posted by Harry Caul at 11:10 AM on March 2


Tipping points exist and we've already blown through them. Permafrost melting and the concomitant methane release is happening now. The Amazon is burning (under the supervision of a pro-burning-the-Amazon Brazil government) now. It was T-shirt weather in Antarctica last week. I just want somebody in power who believes any of this is actually happening and is open to the idea of adaptation.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:10 AM on March 2 [10 favorites]


“Donald Trump eats burnt steak. Mike Bloomberg likes his steak medium rare,”

Imagine thinking this is an actual way to fight Trump or attract voters.
posted by Ouverture at 11:11 AM on March 2 [6 favorites]


Getting very concerned about Warren fracturing the progressive vote. I didn't expect the neoliberals to form a coalition before the left in this election. Why is she still in this?

If a lot of your opponents are bailing, why wouldn’t you stick around and see if you can move up?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:13 AM on March 2 [7 favorites]


Imagine thinking this is an actual way to fight Trump or attract voters.

Imagine living in a time where candidates are mocking one another based on how they each fared in their multi-billion dollar investments.
posted by FakeFreyja at 11:13 AM on March 2 [3 favorites]


What happens to the early votes for candidates who have dropped out?

For early voters, those votes still count. And their names will still be on the ballot for those voting Tuesday.
posted by JackFlash at 11:13 AM on March 2


Getting very concerned about Warren splitting the progressive vote. I didn't expect the neoliberals to form a coalition before the left in this election. Why is she still in this?

To split the vote and cause a contested convention, where she either gets the nod or wrings out some consideration for her support.
posted by kafziel at 11:14 AM on March 2


If you and your opponent both love the idea of a wealth-controlled police state where minorities can be stripped of their rights and poor people are treated like serfs, I guess it makes sense that one's vote comes down to a personal preference for how steak should be cooked.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:15 AM on March 2 [9 favorites]


But the power of the votes have been suddenly trashed by their candidates?
posted by Harry Caul at 11:15 AM on March 2


Why is she still in this?

Fewer than 3% of the delegates have yet been pledged.

She got a huge surge of support after Nevada that couldn't really be parlayed into SC because Biden had already put all his eggs into that basket, so she spread her efforts into Super Tuesday states.

She's made her entire political career about fighting billionaires, big business, and banks. She's one of four serious candidates left, and to her right are an actual billionaire, and a former Senator of Delaware (home of banks and big business).

She can peel votes from "centrist" voters and form a coalition with Sanders, if not win some states outright.
posted by explosion at 11:15 AM on March 2 [25 favorites]


If you and your opponent both love the idea of a wealth-controlled police state where minorities can be stripped of their rights and poor people are treated like serfs, I guess it makes sense that one's vote comes down to a personal preference for how steak should be cooked.

"Hmm, both these far-right boots look great to me. Guess I gotta decide on whether they think a hotdog is a sandwich."
posted by FakeFreyja at 11:18 AM on March 2 [3 favorites]


It has been genuinely interesting to see the narratives unfold on my different social medias. Metafilter seems to lean pretty Bernie, one of my SM groups leans pretty Warren

It's interesting how these things shift. I thought there was a lot of hostility towards Bernie here in 2016-2017. Now it seems like Sanders supporters (including myself) are frequently the most dominant faction in the election threads.

I would have guessed Warren would be the most popular MeFi candidate and she might still be though I'm guessing that has been diminished by her limited success in the primary thus far. I think support pretty clearly drops off sharply after those two, at least as far as support people are willing to express openly.
posted by atoxyl at 11:18 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]


Everyone in this discussion agrees that climate change is an emergency of unprecedented proportions. The question is means. A maximalist, all-or-nothing approach might work, or might never gain political traction. More collaborative approaches might work, or might dissipate.

But "climate change is an emergency" is not an automatic endorsement of either approach.
posted by argybarg at 11:18 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


All of the arguments for Warren staying in were already made by Bernie Sanders four years ago, including the part where he was aiming for a result other than electing the winner with the majority of pledged delegates. We need not repeat them here again.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:19 AM on March 2 [9 favorites]




in re: Bloomberg saturation. Yet another mailer and this one stood apart, as it features an endorsement from my own congressperson.

I called the local office to verify (as previous mail has been... creative), and office staff directed me to call the Bloomberg campaign to confirm whether or not my rep was endorsing this candidate. A follow-up email message at the congressperson's .gov page went unanswered. (My rep is on the ballot this year, too.)

PS Rep. Ayanna Pressley is campaigning for Warren. (TheRoot.com, Feb. 29, 2020)
On preview, what's Pete getting? Secretary of Veterans Affairs?
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:22 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


Why is she still in this?

Because she's a smart, determined, excellent candidate, and with Amy out, the only woman left in the race.
posted by Flannery Culp at 11:23 AM on March 2 [23 favorites]


Reuters: Pete Buttigieg plans to endorse Joe Biden in Democratic primary

The only LGBTQ candidate endorses the guy who voted for Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act. Jesus wept.
posted by FakeFreyja at 11:24 AM on March 2 [24 favorites]


More likely some sweet lobbying gigs and corporate board seats.
posted by eagles123 at 11:24 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]


She can peel votes from "centrist" voters and form a coalition with Sanders

From what I've seen bandied about, she's staying in as part of the effort to blunt Sanders' momentum and is aiming at forming a coalition with Biden rather than Sanders. I just don't know if that's based on an actual source, just rumors, or if it's pure speculation though.

'Cause I would like it if Warren's strategy is to stay in the race and then later throw her support behind Bernie for VP or some other seat in his admin. But is there any evidence one way or the other?
posted by VTX at 11:25 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


On preview, what's Pete getting? Secretary of Veterans Affairs?

Mostly he gets to keep the friends he made along the way.
posted by Copronymus at 11:25 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


All of the arguments for Warren staying in were already made by Bernie Sanders four years ago, including the part where he was aiming for a result other than electing the winner with the majority of pledged delegates. We need not repeat them here again.

You need not, but there is fundamentally a different dynamic between dropping out of what is effectively a two-person race and a multi-person race.

Sanders couldn't change the math except by appeal to something beyond the math. Warren is obviously changing the math with her presence in the race. Maybe she wants to for whatever purposes, maybe she doesn't, but she is.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 11:27 AM on March 2 [3 favorites]


From what I've seen bandied about, she's staying in as part of the effort to blunt Sanders' momentum and is aiming at forming a coalition with Biden rather than Sanders. I just don't know if that's based on an actual source, just rumors, or if it's pure speculation though.

I'm pretty sure the "she's not a real progressive" stuff is just troll nonsense. I wouldn't spread this around too much unless she were to actually go to the dark side.
posted by FakeFreyja at 11:28 AM on March 2 [10 favorites]


Even the billionaire backers would probably like Buttigieg to have political exp. beyond mayor of South Bend.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:29 AM on March 2


We don't know Warren's motivations. But the practical effect of her staying in the race now is to split the progressive vote and make a Biden victory more likely. That will have really big implications, to put it mildly, and in my opinion, electing a moderate with tons of baggage (Iraq War??!) who is clearly suffering is going to have a hard time beating Trump.

This could all be moot by the end of the day today, there's a chance she may still drop out.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:32 AM on March 2 [6 favorites]


It does look to me like the moderate "lane" is still larger than the other one. Biden+Bloomberg seems clearly bigger than Sanders+Warren, and it's not clear that all of Warren's people would go to Sanders instead of Biden.
posted by Justinian at 11:35 AM on March 2


If Gabbard drops out before Warren, then Warren would be the only woman and also the youngest candidate (at age 70).
posted by mbrubeck at 11:35 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]


> We don't know Warren's motivations. But the practical effect of her staying in the race now is to split the progressive vote and make a Biden victory more likely.

I think people are dramatically overestimating people voting based on "progressive" or "centrist" buckets. Prior to Buttigieg dropping out, my preference was Warren - Buttigieg - Sanders. I have family members voting for Warren who would go to Biden before Sanders.
posted by No One Ever Does at 11:35 AM on March 2 [10 favorites]


And this is why we need a single nationwide ranked-choice primary day. Can we at least let the non-billionaire, non-misogynist, non-senile candidate get through Super Tuesday before writing her off and exhorting her to drop out based on a few small states?
posted by Flannery Culp at 11:36 AM on March 2 [23 favorites]


The only LGBTQ candidate endorses the guy who voted for Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act. Jesus wept.

It's a striking example of class as a form of identity.
posted by Ouverture at 11:38 AM on March 2 [14 favorites]


Now it seems like Sanders supporters (including myself) are frequently the most dominant faction in the election threads. I would have guessed Warren would be the most popular MeFi candidate and she might still be though I'm guessing that has been diminished by her limited success in the primary thus far.

As a Warren supporter whose #2 choice is currently Sanders: watching people attack Warren for having the temerity to stay in the race, to cite the latest example, doesn't make threads feel like a place where Warren enthusiasm is welcome, so I've mostly voiced that enthusiasm off-site. (See also: Buttigieg, upthread - "I've avoided MeFi for a while because I liked Buttigieg and felt uncomfortable saying so")

I don't have a problem with the way threads coalesce (and I'm excited people are enthused about Sanders), insofar it seems like an unsolved structural problem with how Metafilter handles politics threads -- the 2015/16 threads vacillated between being a hard place to be enthusiastic about Clinton and being a hard place to be enthusiastic about Sanders, for example. Reddit and Twitter and other places have 'solved' this issue by just letting supporters have their own places to congregate, and other places to talk about the primary; that's not really a solution that would here. I don't know what would.
posted by cjelli at 11:39 AM on March 2 [24 favorites]


It’s not based on a few small states, it’s also based on polling data and constituencies and projections. There’s almost no chance Warren wins the nomination. That is a fact.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:41 AM on March 2 [5 favorites]


Bernie boosters boldly browbeat ‘Bess backers—“Bail before balloting begins! Beware benefiting Biden!” Ballot breakdown baked-in?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:41 AM on March 2 [21 favorites]


cjelli:

The only thing that would help would be a shared agreement to think the best of the motives of everyone here; to be rigorous about the language of inclusion and learning rather than resentment and revenge; and to avoid artificial schisms at all cost.

There's no way to enforce that, except to have it as a common hope.
posted by argybarg at 11:43 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


The only LGBTQ candidate endorses the guy who voted for Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act. Jesus wept.

If LGBTQ people held grudges against people for things they did 25 years ago, it'd be impossible for us to have a coalition of any size.
posted by No One Ever Does at 11:44 AM on March 2 [12 favorites]


TBH I think Mayor Pete did his volunteers and small donors a HUGE disservice by dropping out before Super Tuesday.

I think Warren is smart to hang in there until then. It's almost here, and it's weird to drop out like two days beforehand when you have pledged delegates and have, in the past, done well in polling. I thought the same thing about Bernie back in the day, FTR.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:44 AM on March 2 [11 favorites]


My take is that people post on message boards for a variety of reasons: boredom, intellectual interest, anxiety relief, to gain a sense of control...

I think it’s pretty rare that minds get changed when two entrenched sides engaged, particularly when the subject is politics, particularly in a place like this...

I statements and personal experience are the best way to change minds in my view, and I’m pretty sure strong statements in one direction are more likely to produce opposing statements than messages of agreement
posted by eagles123 at 11:48 AM on March 2 [3 favorites]


TBH I think Mayor Pete did his volunteers and small donors a HUGE disservice by dropping out before Super Tuesday.

I think Warren is smart to hang in there until then. It's almost here, and it's weird to drop out like two days beforehand when you have pledged delegates and have, in the past, done well in polling. I thought the same thing about Bernie back in the day, FTR.


Only if you see the race as a zero-sum game where you winning is good and everything else is equally bad. Buttigeig does not want a socialist on the ticket, as one could tell from his non-victory speech on Saturday. In addition, Biden's nomination would open up the political patronage jobs that are common in the modern Democratic Party while Sanders would probably staff his administration with either experts or activists. Mayor Pete wants to live in a West Wing world, not a earnest social democracy.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 11:50 AM on March 2 [11 favorites]


If LGBTQ people held grudges against people for things they did 25 years ago, it'd be impossible for us to have a coalition of any size.

In my years working in LGBTQ activism, I also saw very different tendencies among wealthy white gay cis men and who they were comfortable working with compared to everyone else, particularly working class/poor queer/trans people of color.

Probably a good litmus test is one's reaction to cops participating in Pride.
posted by Ouverture at 11:50 AM on March 2 [12 favorites]


But no one should be expected to hurt themselves to help someone else, and who knows? She might pull it out before then. It's not impossible.

I do take issue with this because ultimately, no one in the race is there to help themselves. They are competing for public service and no one is owed a chance to do a job wisely. They may all think the best thing to happen to themselves is to win, but Warren's (and Sanders' and Biden's) job is to hurt themselves for the good of the people, even if it means someone else wins rather than them.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 11:52 AM on March 2


Only if you see the race as a zero-sum game where you winning is good and everything else is equally bad. Buttigeig does not want a socialist on the ticket, as one could tell from his non-victory speech on Saturday. In addition, Biden's nomination would open up the political patronage jobs that are common in the modern Democratic Party while Sanders would probably staff his administration with either experts or activists. Mayor Pete wants to live in a West Wing world, not a earnest social democracy.

Yeah, I get that, but his volunteers and small donors were really under the impression that he was trying to win. IDK. Maybe I'm a big softy for idealists and/or the little people, but it makes me sad that a lot of people were true believers and kinda got cut off at the knees.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:52 AM on March 2 [5 favorites]


[Hi! You don't have a 🔮, don't act like you do.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:53 AM on March 2 [13 favorites]


Is that a purple submarine?
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:59 AM on March 2 [6 favorites]


The only LGBTQ candidate endorses the guy who voted for Don't Ask Don't Tell

I was in the US military before, during, and after Don't Ask Don't Tell was the law of the land, and I don't know where this collective idea came from that DADT was a step backward in LGBT rights. Before DADT, you could be kicked out of the US military because someone thought you were gay. DADT was a shitty policy, but it replaced a far shittier policy, and no one who voted for DADT in 1994 did so instead of equality.
posted by Etrigan at 12:01 PM on March 2 [25 favorites]


Is that a purple submarine?

It is a crystal ball. Posting here with 100% certitude that you know what is going to happen on Tuesday insults all of our intelligences and should be avoided. The always-on mods are trying to be cool about having an almost-megathread about the election because they know people want to talk about it, but everyone has to pitch in and not make this thread all the terrible things which are the reasons we don't have megathreads anymore (nominally).
posted by jessamyn at 12:04 PM on March 2 [17 favorites]


One thing to remember about tomorrow's results - California is, as we well know, the big prize tomorrow. If Biden wipes out in CA, he's likely done (I don't think he's going to, though.) But California is also slow to finish counting ballots and in the past there have been a significant amount of ballots outstanding after election night counts are in. So... we may not know what we're getting out of CA for days or even weeks.
posted by azpenguin at 12:12 PM on March 2 [4 favorites]


Now it seems like Sanders supporters (including myself) are frequently the most dominant faction in the election threads. I would have guessed Warren would be the most popular MeFi candidate and she might still be though I'm guessing that has been diminished by her limited success in the primary thus far.


There's a positive feedback loop going on, I think. The more visible support there is for a particular candidate, the more comfortable supporters of that candidate feel about talking, which maintains the visibility of support. That loop means that there's no way to judge just by the discussion... You don't actually know that Warren isn't the most popular MeFi candidate.

Many times, I disagree with something posted (or more often, think it insufficiently nuanced) but don't have time to answer all comers about it myself, and I don't expect there to be any other Warren supporters around to help. And that's just for me, a Warren supporter... imagine how supporters of Klobuchar, Buttigieg, Biden, etc. feel.
posted by Jpfed at 12:21 PM on March 2 [8 favorites]


As others have pointed out, there is a huge strategic difference between Bloomberg or Warren staying in now vs Sanders staying in when his loss to Clinton was foregone. Bloomberg is splitting the center and helping Sanders, and Warren is splitting the left and helping Biden. The dynamics are totally different when it's three or four candidates vs when it was two, when Sanders staying in had no electoral effect, just some marginal convention platform stuff.

That said, I think the ranked-choice polling has been somewhat mistaken so far; it's not just that the ideological lanes aren't coherent, but worse for the left, the majority of movement and defection has been to the non-Sanders side.

One illuminating chart I've seen is this chart of Warren's support over time. Most of her recent support loss has been from the non-Sanders faction, and at this point at best half of her support may go to Sanders. So if she stays in through Super Tuesday and bequeaths her delegates to Sanders that may help him more than if she dropped out. But that depends on 15% thresholds and a bunch of other stuff, so in this as in so many things, who can say? The one thing that does seem fairly consistent, though, is that she has not been gaining non-Sanders support as Biden has declined or the various minor candidates dropped out, so there is little reason to think that she will gain more than a small percentage of Buttigieg or Klobuchar supporters, or Bloomberg's if/when he drops out.

On the other hand, Bloomberg staying in clearly and unambiguously hurts Biden, so anyone in the left faction should support Bloomberg sticking it out.
posted by chortly at 12:22 PM on March 2 [2 favorites]


The only LGBTQ candidate endorses the guy who voted for Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act. Jesus wept.

I don't support Biden. However, he stated support for marriage equality before Obama. One could argue he lended his support as a way to test the waters for Obama's later change of opinion, but the fact remains that Biden was the first executive-level Democrat to give support for my rights. Somehow, even with Buttigieg out of the race, he's still not the right kind of gay. It's getting to be a bit of an ugly side to this site and not something it is managing well.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:28 PM on March 2 [10 favorites]


Biden Apologizes to Obama for Jumping the Gay-Marriage Gun (Vanity Fair, May 11, 2012) Further details about Gaffoon-gate! One: it now seems as if Joe Biden’s endorsement of gay marriage a few days before that of the president was not a trial balloon. Two: this information, sadly, alleviates the need for the wonderful neologism “gaffoon.” Three: we’re going to keep using “gaffoon.”
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:32 PM on March 2


It's kinda hard for me to know how to respond to people saying that Pete is being treated like the "wrong kind of gay" without knowing if it's coming from inside or outside of the house, so to speak. I have basically zero interest in hearing cis-het people criticize LGBTQ+ people for being too hard on Mayor Pete, honestly, or implying that it's homophobic to do so. But if it's an intracommunity thing then I'm much more sympathetic.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 12:33 PM on March 2 [11 favorites]


Also, I'm not trying to say anyone has to come out, or justify anything to me here, or respond by IDing themselves or anything like that. Just wanted to put my general thoughts out there.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 12:39 PM on March 2


> As others have pointed out, there is a huge strategic difference between Bloomberg or Warren staying in now vs Sanders staying in when his loss to Clinton was foregone.

Not by the standards that Bernie and his tribe evaluate others, there isn't. Once you start including caveats about how > 2 candidates in a first-past-the-post majority delegate count contest makes the calculus different in a pragmatic sense, then you lose the right to use charged rhetroric about subverting the democratic (*Janet boop* not actually democratic) process. Pragmatism for me but not for thee isn't a good look. In addition to this feat of situational ideological flexibility that other Democrats are constantly berated for espousing, such an argument also requires ignoring the fact that the harm done to the eventual nominee by staying in until mid July is much larger than the harm done by staying in... until Super Tuesday.

2016 was a very weird primary in that the field was moslty cleared by Clinton's immense political weight, but that doesn't mean primaries are expected to be wrapped up by March when there are more candidates.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:41 PM on March 2 [8 favorites]


Somehow, even with Buttigieg out of the race, he's still not the right kind of gay.

I've got a bunch of trans and queer friends (and I'm bi, myself), and nearly all of the criticism of Pete just didn't touch on his sexuality at all. There was so much other stuff to critique.

When people did mention it, it was mostly just that it was a conservative, predictable sort of "first gay" candidate in that he was white, cis, and heteronormative. The criticism was "gay, not queer," in that he didn't really have ties to the queer community, and he reminded queer folks of white, cis gay men who left the L,B,T, and Q folks behind the moment same-sex marriage was legalized.

It's not even so much a criticism of him as a criticism of his promoters who insist that we ought to be happy to see a gay candidate. We've endured decades of media portrayal of queer folks as villains, and our first gay/queer presidential candidate is...a villain?

As a private citizen, he can live his life however he likes. He's an individual, and as such, shouldn't be criticized too heavily in that regard. There's no wrong way to be gay. But when he's being promoted as a representative of the community, it'd be nice if he were more involved in the community, y'know?
posted by explosion at 12:44 PM on March 2 [14 favorites]


I'm a Warren supporter, with pretty good feelings about Sanders, and I really have a hard time seeing how Warren staying in the race is doing any meaningful damage to Sanders's shot at the nomination. If we get to the convention, and Sanders + Warren have a majority, with Sanders accounting for a bigger chunk of that majority than Warren, I would be beyond shocked if Warren didn't endorse him, in exchange for a bigger voice in the platform / administration. If Sanders + Warren don't have a majority, then what would Warren dropping out have achieved?

As long as she's still in the race I'll be voting for Warren because I think she'd be the best president, and because if the convention does end up contested I trust her campaign more than Bernie's to do its best to keep the party together. Unless I've thoroughly misjudged her character / position, there's no sense in which my vote makes it any harder for Bernie to get a majority of pledged delegates at the convention. It's neither my problem nor hers that he's decided to go all-in on the notion that having a simple plurality is necessary and sufficient to be The One True Nominee.
posted by rishabguha at 12:51 PM on March 2 [29 favorites]


When people did mention it, it was mostly just that it was a conservative, predictable sort of "first gay" candidate in that he was white, cis, and heteronormative.

I don't see how he's heteronormative in any sense of the word. It seems like another way of saying that he's not the right sort of gay. He's also getting a less charitable read on his statements (which is the wrong word choice, since no one criticizing him on those issues seems to care about how he actually feels) on LGBTQ rights than I've seen any other candidate get.
posted by No One Ever Does at 12:59 PM on March 2


If Sanders + Warren don't have a majority, then what would Warren dropping out have achieved?

The worst scenario is that one of them gets 14% and the other one gets 36% in a bunch of states. Because of the 15% threshold, the result is that together they get 36% (or, rather, ~40%) of the delegates, rather than the 50% of delegates they would've gotten if all the votes had gone to one of them.

That precise scenario is an exaggerated version of what could happen, but it's the basic idea underlying calls for the candidate in the same presumptive "lane" with lower support to drop out.
posted by clawsoon at 1:04 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


I really have a hard time seeing how Warren staying in the race is doing any meaningful damage to Sanders's shot at the nomination. If we get to the convention, and Sanders + Warren have a majority, with Sanders accounting for a bigger chunk of that majority than Warren, I would be beyond shocked if Warren didn't endorse him, in exchange for a bigger voice in the platform / administration.

If there was no effect of staying in apart from splitting the votes for a while, and then recombining them in the convention, then there would be no real harm in Bloomberg staying in or Warren staying in. But as we have seen, and as is baked into forecasting models such as 538's, this is a non-linear system: the non-Sanders vote being split in Iowa, NH, and NV meant that Sanders "won" or "tied" relative to the next-highest-vote-getting candidates, and that had a huge effect on Biden's real support levels. Had the centrist wing converged on Biden prior to Iowa, it's not just that he would have gotten those votes now compared to during the convention when everything consolidates anyway, it also had a feedback effect on his candidacy in the moment. If Bloomberg manages to split the centrist vote through June, it's not just that that side will reconsolidate in July, but that their continued "losses" to Sanders will feed back and increase defections to the "winner." In addition, the 15% threshold means that any time Bloomberg and Biden split things and one or both gets less than 15%, those delegates are effectively totally lost, with no chance to recoup in the convention.

And the same logic holds for the other side: if Warren staying led to Sanders "losing" the delegate count to Biden after Super Tuesday or sometime in later March, that will have a feedback effect as voters flock to the "winner" -- something that we've already seen, is well-established by past primaries, and is built into all models like 538's. That said, Warren has a much smaller percentage than Bloomberg and it looks like a smaller percentage of her supporters would go to Sanders than Bloomberg's to Biden, so her staying in on balance probably has a pretty small net effect.
posted by chortly at 1:09 PM on March 2


The worst scenario is that one of them gets 14% and the other one gets 36% in a bunch of states. Because of the 15% threshold, the result is that together they get 36% (or, rather, ~40%) of the delegates, rather than the 50% of delegates they would've gotten if all the votes had gone to one of them.

Yeah, this is a reasonable point. I would just point out that Klobuchar + Buttigieg dropping out makes this scenario less likely on the margin, which makes the coordinated calls from Sanders people for Warren to drop out today seem suspect.

Additionally, it seems totally reasonable to think that Warren / her campaign are actually quite a bit leftier than her median voter---she shares voters / donors with Pete, Amy, and Kamala in a way Bernie just doesn't, and at this point much of her left flank sure looks like it's defected to Bernie. It's really not obvious to me that a Warren drop-out would see >50% of her voters go to Bernie, so at that point... I might as well just skip the punditry and support the candidate I think would make the best president.
posted by rishabguha at 1:13 PM on March 2 [8 favorites]


Klobuchar and Buttigeig are not sticking it out to the convention to extract ideological concessions. Whatever reason they endorsed Biden, they felt dropping and endorsing now would be more effective for Biden than sticking it out.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:18 PM on March 2


According to different parts of my social media, Warren is simultaneously laughably centrist/"used to be a Republican" but is also siphoning leftie votes from Bernie.
posted by nakedmolerats at 1:20 PM on March 2 [15 favorites]


For what it’s worth, most polling I’ve seen had Sanders as the #2 choice of Warren supporters. But it’s not 100 percent. None of the candidates would draw more than a plurality from any other candidate from what I can tell. Sanders tends to have the least overlap with Buttigieg- for the most part. With the small sample sizes when you break things down in polling, values jump around a lot.

If Bloomberg dropped out and it was Sanders versus Biden versus Warren, that would be bad for Sanders and Warren though.

It’s worth mentioning that Sanders has won head to head in polling versus all of the other candidates for at least the past month. He also won a recent ranked choice voting poll from Fairvote.org. It was narrow versus Biden though: 49 Biden versus 51 Sanders in the head to head. Sanders continues to lead in the latest national polls as well, but Biden closed the gap. Biden is now in a strong second before factoring the effect of Klobuchar and Buttegeig dropping out.
posted by eagles123 at 1:22 PM on March 2 [2 favorites]


I'm curious how much pressure Steyer, Buttigieg and Klobuchar were under to withdraw right away. I say that because I'm looking at the sudden flood of mainstream Dems coming out to endorse Biden. Looking at tomorrow night, we know that Bernie has been laying groundwork in California for a long time, and he's got a very active operation in the state. Biden... not so much. The more candidates there are in the field, the more fragmented the vote share gets. I don't think Biden gets wiped out in CA. However, if he were to somehow fall below the viability threshold because of the other candidates and Bernie took a Nevada size share of the vote, then his goose is cooked. There are so many delegates at stake and Biden can't let Sanders take a giant lead there; falling below viability could mean losing as much as 300 delegates worth of ground there. Stay within 50 or so and Biden might be able to work his way to a delegate lead within a week or two.

Regardless, this needs to be a situation that is handled carefully by the powerbrokers. If Bernie comes into the convention with a non-significant lead in delegates plus a lead in the popular vote, and Biden or someone else gets the nomination through a contested convention, there will be hell to pay. And most of that hell will be paid by vulnerable populations who will suffer at the hands of Trump.
posted by azpenguin at 2:58 PM on March 2 [4 favorites]


I've been quiet because it hasn't felt like Warren supporters are particularly welcome. But I am here. I support Warren because I think she can beat Trump, I think she has the best plans, and I think she would be the best President. I am hopeful that she will still be in the race in 3 weeks because I would really like to vote for her in the Georgia primary. I have given up on crystal balls and n-dimensional chess type scheming--I just want to vote for the person I think is the best candidate.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:26 PM on March 2 [41 favorites]


A final plea to the wavering Warren voter, by @buttpraxis

Butt Praxis
@buttpraxis
Please, I know there’s a lot of mufos I respect who see something in Warren that I don’t. I don’t know what, but I know it means a lot to you. But the president is either going to be Bernie Sanders or some dude with a long history of touching women without permission. I’m begging
2:10 PM · Mar 2, 2020·Twitter for iPhone


I know it’s hard. I know it hurts. But we need you. America needs you. People are dying. If Bernie was in this position I’d be throwing everything behind Warren right now, even though the way she lied about her background still hurts me



You’re strong. You have a lot of persuasive power and a lot of people who trust you. You can be a deciding voice that will bring people over away from Biden or Trump. You can help flip TEXAS! You can save lives

posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:38 PM on March 2 [7 favorites]


I can't think of a worse scenario than for the party poobahs to weigh in for Biden and then tomorrow for him to fall flat.

Wait, yes I can: Biden and Trump doing performance art dueling wordsalad in the 2020 debates.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:44 PM on March 2 [10 favorites]


Oh, Well, if Butt Praxis on Twitter says that Joe Biden is the same as Donald Trump in his treatment of women, then I'll vote for Bernie over the woman!
posted by Reverend John at 3:46 PM on March 2 [27 favorites]


Thanks, but I'm an unwavering Warren voter.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:47 PM on March 2 [13 favorites]


I'm curious how much pressure Steyer, Buttigieg and Klobuchar were under to withdraw right away.
I’m imagining a lot of teary moneyed desperate calls.
posted by Harry Caul at 3:51 PM on March 2


Looking at tomorrow night, we know that Bernie has been laying groundwork in California for a long time, and he's got a very active operation in the state. Biden... not so much. The more candidates there are in the field, the more fragmented the vote share gets. I don't think Biden gets wiped out in CA.

According to the 538 tracking poll for California as of March 1:

Sanders: 34.3%
Biden: 20.4%
Warren: 15.6%
Bloomberg: 13.2%
posted by kirkaracha at 4:01 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


[A few comments deleted. Please, choose not to talk shit about each other. You're here talking to people you want to be talking to; stop it with the "you're illiterate if you think x" stuff.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:08 PM on March 2 [6 favorites]


Looks like Chris Mathews is the latest primary figure to depart the scene. Happy trails Chris. I’ll pour out a cold one for you and think of ol’ Tip O’Neil.
posted by eagles123 at 4:32 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


In a little over 24 hours from now, I may well be receptive to a "Warren has no realistic path to the nomination" argument. I am decidedly not receptive to it now, with less than 4% of the delegates allocated, and people who are trying to convince me otherwise today are not making me feel warmly towards their candidate. (Although it's largely academic since I don't get a vote until May 5.)

If it reaches the point where Biden is in the lead and has the nomination locked up for practical purposes, one wonders how receptive those Bernie supporters making such an argument today will be to an analogous one.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:43 PM on March 2 [16 favorites]


Jonathan Martin of the NYT is reporting in the NYT liveblog that Beto O’Rourke is also endorsing Biden tonight in Texas. (Says a lot about how far Beto has fallen that it didn’t even occur to me to wonder if he would endorse someone before Texas votes. He really should have run for Senate again...)
posted by sallybrown at 4:44 PM on March 2


My final plea to the wavering Warren voter: she's electable if you fucking vote for her.
posted by Flannery Culp at 4:50 PM on March 2 [45 favorites]


I hope Warren gets delegates in my state. It's a wee bit early to say she's out of the running. Even if she doesn't get the nod, I'm happy to help her get whatever delegates she can get, in order to help with horsetrading down the road. Her platform is solid and she has the smarts and organizational strength to see through what she proposes. I don't see a need to vote strategically at this juncture, nor do I think it is my business to dictate to others how they should vote, the way I've seen it done to me and other Warren supporters on various social platforms (this one, included).
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:56 PM on March 2 [16 favorites]


Circle the wagons. Need to keep the socialist out.

I've just been talking to my family for the day. They're all women in Minnesota that were going to vote in the Warren/Klobuchar way tomorrow. I told them that no matter what, opposing Joe Biden is paramount to everything we can do. I said I understood whatever it is they do (my sister said that she would rationally support Sanders to stop Biden, but that she may irrationally vote for Warren because she just likes her too much to abandon her now). We talked about the poverty that we experienced growing up and how so much of the Democratic Party will choose moderate after moderate as long as nothing fundamentally changes.

I'm so emotionally worn from this news today. I'm hoping that Sanders lays down a sizable margin tomorrow and makes a lot of dropped candidates feel foolish about spending their endorsement on Joe fucking Biden.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 4:57 PM on March 2 [11 favorites]


Looks like Chris Mathews is the latest primary figure to depart the scene. Happy trails Chris. I’ll pour out a cold one for you and think of ol’ Tip O’Neil.

I'll get drunk on cheap wine, and remember all the times he burped on air and couldn't finish a sentence while shouting over an interviewee for the thousandth time.
posted by Harry Caul at 4:58 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


Beto O'Rourke uncapping a sharpie and adding an asterisk to all of his Rage Against the Machine T-shirts:

*Actually, the Machine's not so bad after all!
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:58 PM on March 2 [20 favorites]


Warren got Bloomberg to release women from their NDAs. She got Chris Matthews fired. That was all in the past 2 weeks. Imagine what she could do with 4 years to get shit done.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:00 PM on March 2 [46 favorites]


Somebody collected the results of a bunch of different second-choice-of-Buttigieg-voters polls - which I'm having trouble finding right now, apologies - and they were all dramatically different. One of them even had Sanders as the top second choice of Buttigieg voters. Without ranked choice ballots, nobody actually knows what the second choice of voters is, and it's even worse in this case than with the usual limitations of polling.
posted by clawsoon at 5:02 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Warren got Bloomberg to release women from their NDAs. She got Chris Matthews fired. That was all in the past 2 weeks. Imagine what she could do with 4 years to get shit done.

But the MSM hasn't and will never cover her. It's been a prerequisite fix against her.
But she's blazingly effective, again and again and again.
posted by Harry Caul at 5:06 PM on March 2 [12 favorites]


She got Chris Matthews fired.

I totally get the Bloomberg NDA release thing (kudos for that, Liz), but how does it figure with the Chris Matthews thing. Did I miss something? I thought it was mostly women like Lauren Bassett accusing him of harassing behavior combined with his recent freakouts over Bernie Sanders winning states (which I'm not going to credit Sanders for that; all he did was be a socialist that won).
posted by Lord Chancellor at 5:07 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


According to different parts of my social media, Warren is simultaneously laughably centrist/"used to be a Republican" but is also siphoning leftie votes from Bernie.

I think that phenomenon can explained by the fact that "leftie" is a very different thing from "leftist". I'm not sure where the term "leftie" came from, but to assume that anti-imperialist anti-capitalist leftists are the same thing as whatever "leftie" means is to erase a lot of really crucial differences between the two groups.

Warren can definitely siphon off leftie voters who might feel more comfortable with her reformist ideology while that same reformist position being unpalatable to a leftist who is dedicated to anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism, and anti-racism.
posted by Ouverture at 5:12 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Lord Chancellor, you missed: Chris Matthews Confronts Warren: Why Do You Believe a Woman Over Bloomberg? (The Daily Beast, Feb. 26, 2020)
The Massachusetts senator was left incredulous over Matthews’ line of questioning, but she fired back.

“Everybody deserves a credible response when they make a charge like that,” Matthews retorted. “My question, do you believe he’s lying?”

Warren replied that she believes the woman, prompting the MSNBC host to shoot back: “You believe he’s lying!”

“Why would he lie?” Matthews continued. “Because just to protect himself?”

Telling the MSNBC star “yeah,” an incredulous Warren then asked Matthews “Why would she lie?”—leaving the host briefly dumbstruck.

“I just want to make sure you’re clear about this,” Matthews said after recovering. “You’re confident of your accusation?”

--

This exchange features in Lauren Bassett's GQ article, pointedly titled: Like Warren, I Had My Own Sexist Run-In with Chris Matthews.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:25 PM on March 2 [8 favorites]




Ah, that makes more sense now. Yeah, Chris Matthews really shit the bed these last few weeks. I mean, he was always shitty, but he managed to be so shitty in such a short period of time that it finally got him fired. Good on Warren for confronting Matthews on always believing rich white male harassers.

Now that he's dropped out, I'm sure he'll endorse Biden tonight.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 5:30 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


Open FPP on Chris Matthews; per the man of twists and turns in that thread, Chris Matthews to Retire From MSNBC
posted by XMLicious at 5:36 PM on March 2 [2 favorites]


oh dang i just gave more money to sanders how did that happen whoops.

but also: good luck all the warren folx out there. i hope you’re right and i’m wrong and warren can get comfortably above viability and we end up with some flavor of left unity ticket. it’s the best chance we have — i know sanders is right now polling above biden in a hypothetical one on one, but if the race resolves to that he’s going to be hurt by the media sandbagging him while propping up the shambling mess that is joe biden.

i know my “mom and dad are friends!!!” schtick is kind of obnoxious, but i stand by it. there’s two candidates who’ve been ratfucked by the media this time around — warren and sanders. both of them are worthy candidates and both of them would make fantastic presidents. warren could be fdr version 2 and sanders could be a genuine north american allende and i can’t stand the thought of neither of those candidates getting the nomination.

after super tuesday we’ll know for sure whether warren needs to cut bait. i suspect that the time is already here for that, but we just don’t know for sure, and that uncertainty is just deadly. if she tanks it tomorrow i am going to be so pissed, since this is decidedly not the decade to run this sort of risk without a reasonable expectation of the risk paying off. but she might not tank it?

we stand at a legit historical turning point right now and oh god it’s terrifying. we might be in the green new deal timeline. we might be in the timeline where we know for sure that electoral politics doesn’t work. and we have no way of knowing which way the world will break.

blargh it’s all awful. let’s all get off the Internet and go textbank for the candidate of our choice. unless that choice is biden or bloomberg, of course, in which case i urge you to continue dinking around online.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 5:36 PM on March 2 [20 favorites]


The hard truth is that Warren remains viable because donors swooped in with a PAC money lifeline and she reversed her position on accepting this type of money. And you don’t need to be a brain genius to figure out their motives.
posted by moorooka at 5:39 PM on March 2 [8 favorites]


Wait, yes I can: Biden and Trump doing performance art dueling wordsalad in the 2020 debates.

That might be one of the bigger redeeming features of a Trump/Biden duel, IMO. Might as well have some fun on our way down the tubes.

If it reaches the point where Biden is in the lead and has the nomination locked up for practical purposes, one wonders how receptive those Bernie supporters making such an argument today will be to an analogous one.

Wait - an analogous argument for Biden or for Warren? If it was Warren/Biden/Sanders with Warren and Sanders swapping their current position in the race, I'd certainly be considering switching from Sanders to Warren. I wouldn't switch from anybody to Biden in a duel with Biden unless Biden had it sewn up and if he had it sewn up he wouldn't need me.
posted by atoxyl at 5:45 PM on March 2


(I'd vote Biden over Bloomberg if it came down to those two. And if I lived in a state where that situation was possible and I hadn't already mailed my ballot but you know...)
posted by atoxyl at 5:48 PM on March 2


I guess Klobuchar's gambit worked, because you didn't hear about why she cancelled her rally.

She was absolutely going to get pummeled, even in her home state.
posted by explosion at 5:56 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


Yea, I’m perceiving simultaneous scenarios of Buttigieg and Klobuchar saving face by suddenly going Biden pre-S Tuesday, in spite of their early voters because reasons. Doesn’t seem strategic.
posted by Harry Caul at 6:21 PM on March 2


I voted early for Senator Warren in North Carolina. I consider myself a democratic socialist, and have for a long time, but I agree with posters above - she can get things done. And I worry that my personal ideology is much less palatable to the mainstream; I am a raging leftist to most of my entire professional and social groups, yet I am a gun owner and believe in capital punishment for proven egregious crimes.

Senator Sanders is my second choice, and I really did have an internal moral conundrum about which bubble I would be filling in.

I would be extremely happy to vote for either of them in the general election, and I hope the opportunity will present itself.

I will vote for Biden if he is the nominee. I have missed voting in one election (2010 midterms) since I turned 18 in 2001, and I still feel poorly about that.

I...have no idea what to do about Bloomberg. I really don’t want him to become the nominee.

I always vote down ballot, and November will be no exception.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 6:21 PM on March 2 [15 favorites]


I’m not sure where this automatic assumption comes from that Buttegeig and Klobuchar voters are automatically going to go en mass to Biden, even with the endorsements. Some might, sure, but Warren and even Bloomberg seem logical destinations as well for various reasons. When they polled second choices, it was never the case that a candidate was even close to 100 percent the second choice of another candidates supporters. The Nates (Nate Cohen and Nate Silver) seem pretty sure Butt and Klob supporters will bolster Biden, but I’m not sure where the certainty comes from.
posted by eagles123 at 6:23 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


The good news is that I think the odds of Bloomberg being the nominee have got to be like 1% at this point.
posted by Justinian at 6:24 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


Out of the frying pan, into the fire...
posted by eagles123 at 6:27 PM on March 2


America is that one contestant on love is blind who has a perfectly good little awkward progressive fiancée who can finally make them happy but they keep running back to the sleazy old hunk with crinkly eyes named EVERYTHING BACK 2 NORMAL.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:28 PM on March 2 [2 favorites]


Wait - an analogous argument for Biden or for Warren?

Sorry, I phrased that badly — I meant Biden.

I wouldn't switch from anybody to Biden in a duel with Biden unless Biden had it sewn up and if he had it sewn up he wouldn't need me.

He wouldn't need your primary vote, but he would need your support (not yours personally, but Bernie supporters generally) for the general election, and the sooner the better.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:36 PM on March 2


America's just not a super-progressive nation. Never has been, except in fits and starts. Americans vote weirdly, with a chip on their shoulder about whatever they think counts for rugged individualism. The progressive lane in American politics has had to get whatever it could here and there, but in general if you're a committed progressive you have to figure out how to support your favorite band even though it doesn't sell very many records.
posted by argybarg at 6:38 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Which, again, is why the "purge the moderates" talk is so discouraging — not because it's going to happen, but because it's the progressive lane defeating itself with a chestiness that's way beyond its role in the electorate.
posted by argybarg at 6:39 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


The progressive lane in American politics has had to get whatever it could here and there,

Too bad the crumbs we're permitted don't include insulin.

but in general if you're a committed progressive you have to figure out how to support your favorite band even though it doesn't sell very many records.

Politics isn't fandom or sports or entertainment, it's about trying to keep yourself and the planet alive.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:44 PM on March 2 [15 favorites]


Did I say that that's how it's ought to be? I believe it's how it is, and that it's a shame and an oddity.

If you want to extend the progressive agenda, work with moderates. This hubris of telling moderates they're a bunch of jackbooted corporatist hicks who represent the problem, then trying to win (and, past that, govern) from a narrow slice of the electorate is an utter disaster.
posted by argybarg at 6:50 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


Besides, every political viewpoint is a minority viewpoint. Everyone has to figure out how to work with people who don't agree with them. That will never change.
posted by argybarg at 6:51 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Did Hillary Clinton lose because she was too radical?
Did the Democrats lose the house and Senate, along with most state governments, under Obama because they were too progressive?
Did Kerry lose because he was too progressive?
Did Gore lose to Bush because he was too progressive?
Did the Democrats lose the house for the first time in a generation in 94 because they were too progressive?

I’d be lying if I said I was sure a more aggressive platform combined with robust grass roots promotion ala Sanders would be any better, but from where I sit, it’s been one defeat after another since the “centrists” really took over in the 90’s.
posted by eagles123 at 6:56 PM on March 2 [26 favorites]


Elections are multivariate. You've just described five events with dozens of factors at work.

That said, saying the Democrats lost the house in '94 because they weren't liberal enough is a hell of a take. At the very least it needs proving.
posted by argybarg at 7:00 PM on March 2


Politics isn't fandom or sports or entertainment, it's about trying to keep yourself and the planet alive.

This is exactly why getting this moment right, instead of pissing it away on revenge fantasies and dogmatic isolation, is so important.
posted by argybarg at 7:01 PM on March 2 [2 favorites]


My point is Democrats have been losing under moderates for as long as I’ve been alive.
posted by eagles123 at 7:03 PM on March 2 [9 favorites]


Hillary Clinton ran the most progressive Democratic platform ever, largely due to leftward pressure from Bernie Sanders.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:07 PM on March 2 [5 favorites]


She also won the popular vote by 3,000,000 and lost because a baseball-stadium sized group of people in three states voted for Trump after the director of the FBI reopened a bullshit investigation right before the election.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:10 PM on March 2 [17 favorites]


Americans want to be excited. Trump didn't win with "I'm going to slowly strangle the nation," he won with "build the wall" and "make America great again."

No matter if you're progressive or moderate, you need a plan and conviction. Joe Biden could cuss up a storm and say, "we put a man on the damn moon, I can't see why America can't take care of its own health," and suddenly Universal Healthcare is a "moderate" position.

Just shoot for the stars, remind people of all the things the US accomplished back when we actually *tried*.
posted by explosion at 7:11 PM on March 2 [7 favorites]


When were you born?

I was born in 1970. Of course what counts as moderate/progressive has changed in that time. Carter was a mishmosh, generally seen as the more moderate option compared to Ted Kennedy. Clinton won twice as a decided moderate. Obama … was he progressive? He certainly talked a lot, maybe too much, about the need to build bridges and be bipartisan. He essentially ruled as a moderate, however the Republicans tried to mark him.

You might say Dukakis and Mondale were moderates, but that certainly wasn't how they were seen, especially at the time. In the 1980s, or the 90s for that reason, there simply was no nascent Democratic Socialism. The general consensus, at least, was that the two were out-of-bounds liberal.

Gore and Kerry were lousy, low-charisma candidates. Gore won the popular vote, and an accurate count of Florida would have won him the election. Kerry lost against a president seeking reelection after a terrorist attack.

Anyway, in that time there's been a bit more Republican rule than Democrat. Go back 100 years and you find it evens way out. And there is no pattern that says that only progressives win elections. It just doesn't work that way, for either party.

Congressional control has swung around. Last year's blue wave was mostly moderate Dems in purple districts. Yes, there was AOC and other progressives, but they won in deep-blue districts. The actual shift that put the Dems in power consisted of moderate Dems.

I think there is no singular pattern that applies throughout.
posted by argybarg at 7:12 PM on March 2


In summary, politics is a land of contrasts.
posted by Justinian at 7:14 PM on March 2 [4 favorites]


Isn't it just though.
posted by argybarg at 7:14 PM on March 2


Sorry, I phrased that badly — I meant Biden.

That's how I read it. I had just been taking it as a given that the main subtext of "Warren supporters under pressure to switch to Bernie" is "don't you want the other social democrat, if he has a clearer path to the nomination?" At what point it's worth giving up on contesting a two-way primary race in the interest of unity for the general is a question I'm not really thinking about yet.

(or at all really just because my vote is already in and will be counted starting tomorrow)
posted by atoxyl at 7:17 PM on March 2


At at one point Medicare for All and employment guarantees were considered at least respectable positions with the Democratic Party, so I’m not sure about that “most progressive platform ever claim”, even though I see it constantly repeated. In any case, party platforms are weak non-binding documents. Hillary Clinto certainly presented herself as the moderate, and the campaign against Trump largely centered around his unfitness for office and various scandals. Ed Rendell summed up the strategy well: For every blue collar worker we lose in central PA, we’ll gain two voters in the suburbs”.

Anyway, that’s the last I’m rehashing 2016.
posted by eagles123 at 7:17 PM on March 2 [4 favorites]


And to answer your question, I was born in 83. My first political memories were of the Clinton years.
posted by eagles123 at 7:20 PM on March 2


I think it comes down to the candidates and the dynamics of the country at that moment far more than it does to a single metric of moderate/progressive (or moderate/conservative).
posted by argybarg at 7:20 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


America's just not a super-progressive nation.

A lot of us just don't believe that so much anymore. Or put a little more realistically, it's polarized and there are generational differences. I saw a poll a few weeks ago that put the combined percentage for Sanders or Warren as first choice candidate at something like 70 percent for voters under 35! We all know that relying on youth turnout is easier said then done, but there are concrete reasons that many of us in that younger cohort believe the politics of the nation are changing.

I also think it's often underestimated just how dissatisfied a lot of left-wing loyal Democrats are with having dutifully voted for the lesser evil for years only the see the government slide inexorably to the right. And those of us who are in our 30s and thus at the intersection of both categories? Not to imply that wanting it more makes you more likely to win, but it certainly makes you more likely to take a shot at the moon.
posted by atoxyl at 7:36 PM on March 2 [22 favorites]


Like some upthread, I've also been a mostly quiet lurker because of the candidate I support.

Sanders earned this lefty's vote in 2016. This time, Warren has earned my vote in 2020, in fact, several times over (better plans, policy, personnel, message, etc.). It wasn't close.

I really do like Bernie, but he did not earn my vote this time (and unfortunately Sirota, King, Turner, Grim, the Bruenigs, Jacobin, Moore, the Chapo guys et al have only hardened my stance). There have been plenty of opportunities to reach out to voters like me, but they failed. I still have seen nothing to make me believe Bernie is better at beating Trump (e.g. I feel he still gets defensive about certain labels instead of insisting they don't matter, and promised youth turnout has been mostly the same as 2016), nothing to make me believe that he'd make a better president (e.g. his theory of change doesn't seem to account for the years of near 90% support for firearm sales background checks that congress doesn't seem to care about, and 6 year term limits and the filibuster seem to indicate a drawn-out war to get anything done), etc.

If his campaign has truly run the campaign that can win this, Bernie will win. And I will fight like hell so he wins the general. I would be frustrated that I think we'd have to fight harder to win, given his weaknesses, and even if he wins, I would be extremely disappointed if he can't pass a progressive agenda that I've dreamt about for most of my adult life. But I can cope, because a Trump win would be a cataclysmic event for this country.

Of course, Biden did not earn my vote, either. And I also think Biden is at least as weak as Sanders for the general election. His pitch to voters is very weak. He looks like he's almost phoning in speeches, debates. It's not encouraging. And I know the GOP will harp on the appearance of profiting from his positions (which Bernie is also not immune to) and the confusion in the electorate about Ukraine. His policy stances range from uninspiring to despairing, IMO.

But if his campaign is right in thinking their fortunes will change after essentially gambling on SC, then Biden will win. And I will also fight like hell so he wins the general. And if he wins, I would still be devastated that we would be likely putting a band-aid on climate change, and that we would continue to be the hold-out on a national health insurance system of the first world, which my partner badly needs. But I could also cope, because again, a Trump win would be a cataclysmic event for this country.

For me, Warren is the best we've got. She'd be the best general election candidate in my opinion, and she'd be the most effective president. Again, for me, it's not close. But this is a primary and a chance for all of us to vote for who we think would be the best candidate/president.

But the past few days I've seen and heard Sanders supporters AND Biden supporters telling Warren supporters the only chance to stop the other white old man pushing 80 is to vote for them. And I won't buy it. You haven't earned my vote. And I refuse to compromise my hope because of your fear. I don't owe you anything. And if your gut reaction is to think "I guess people dying because of a lack of healthcare must not mean much to this guy", kindly fuck off and see my candidate's platform. And also know that this kind of argument only alienates people like me further.

TL;DR We need a better primary and electoral system, something like RCV because FPTP is broken.
posted by donttouchmymustache at 7:39 PM on March 2 [51 favorites]


atoxyl:

I do think a big part of the demographic is moving leftward. What the upshot of that will be is hard to say. To be crystal clear: Go leftward, young person! That's how I feel. But go leftward and learn how to make your case, how to build coalitions, how to exercise real power, and how to question yourself. Don't stab yourself in the face with the belligerence and inflexibility that Chapo et al are peddling, because that puts a limit on your power and is fundamentally illiberal. Find the controls of power, and work them.
posted by argybarg at 7:53 PM on March 2 [4 favorites]


That’s well written .... but I’d say it could equally apply to all “sides” in this conflict. From where I sit, the “moderates” haven’t exactly been very compromising with the “radicals”. And they haven’t been exactly judicious or wise in their exercise of the levers of power.
posted by eagles123 at 8:02 PM on March 2 [6 favorites]


Okay, so everyone work together and be generous.
posted by argybarg at 8:09 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Don't stab yourself in the face with the belligerence and inflexibility...Find the controls of power, and work them.

Everything I know about belligerence and inflexibility I learned from watching the Democratic establishment's response to the left's pleas for a turn at the controls of power for the last 30 years.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:11 PM on March 2 [19 favorites]


Be the change you want to see in the world?
posted by Justinian at 8:30 PM on March 2


if your gut reaction is to think "I guess people dying because of a lack of healthcare must not mean much to this guy", kindly fuck off and see my candidate's platform.

Bernie’s M4A plan is to lower the age of eligibility for the existing Medicare program so that it covers the entire population within four years

You can trace Warren’s fall in the polls from front-runner to now coming fourth in a four-person race to the moment that she announced her plan to shelve M4A for the first three years of her administration and focus instead on introducing a “public option” that would compete in the market with private insurers.

They aren’t remotely the same, so why expect people to pretend that they are?
posted by moorooka at 8:37 PM on March 2 [10 favorites]


They aren’t remotely the same, so why expect people to pretend that they are?

Because neither of them are going to pass?
posted by No One Ever Does at 8:55 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


Even within the left we have incommensurabile weltanschauungen apparently. It's hard for me to imagine a political figure who I could view more positively than Nina Turner, whose forceful rhetoric gives voice to the anger and frustration at the endless grinding depression of the status quo. Whereas Warren, who 6 months ago I would have rated as one of the best and most principled people in politics, has dimmed her bulb through concession and self assimilation to an establishment that absolutely, positively needs to be destroyed. History (undoubtedly written in Mandarin) will judge this era on whether we had the courage to overcome the calcified and cancerous business as usual, whether we are up to shattering conventional wisdom with a bold vision of a better future. I'm confident Turner has the inner resources to step over the precipice and into the necesarry. To see her name on a list of reasons to abjure this lane of the left is disheartening and makes me wonder whether we can ever hope for progress with unity behind it. Here's hoping victory will be the cure for dissonance.
posted by dis_integration at 8:58 PM on March 2 [11 favorites]


I'm so tired of the M4A argument. It's always been an intellectually dishonest attack on Warren. First, I didn't say they were the same. So let's start there. I will also say that Warren's plan is really the only executable plan to M4A in 3 years with a full pay-for.

It's simple:
1. Warren starts with extending an expanded medicare to the 50 and up and 18 and under demographics and establishes a medicare buy-in "public option" with a scheduled cost-sharing reduction to zero in 3 years, which importantly, can be passed with 50 votes and by senators who are averse to full single-payer.
2. People will switch to the medicare option because it will be better coverage, cheaper, and not tied to their jobs.
3. Halfway through her term, once people are on the plan and now convinced, opposition in the senate will be vastly reduced via midterm elections (which will likely feature M4A as a litmus test), so senators will have to change their policy platform or face difficulty in re-election. Also, by this time the cost-sharing rolling down to zero means that it will be CHEAPER for the federal government to now pass full M4A rather than footing the bill for the expanded medicare public option (because of economies of scale, bargaining power, efficiencies from removing other insurance providers, etc.). Finally, if there is obstruction, the filibuster is ended, it can pass with 50 votes.
Bonus: We already have a pay-for for all of it, AND you can say the current proposal does not raise taxes on middle-class families by one penny, great for the general election.

Bernie is thin on specifics about his M4A plan except to say that if senators don't support it, he'll foment popular uprisings in their states and get them voted out as needed. I can understand that, but for some senators that's 6 years of waiting until they may lose an election. That can be a long time to even begin. Even then, 60 votes in the senate is a tall ask. Finally, there is no proposed pay-for, just various possible avenues for funding (including 4% premiums on incomes over 29K for a family of 4) which do not add up to the full cost of the policy. Bernie's plan is not executable in its current state, and to say so is to traffic in misinformation.

The head tax argument is a red herring because, again, there is no plan to get it passed or plan to fully fund it on Sanders' side. But I digress, I hate this attack because it's always been intellectually dishonest. Again, kindly please read her plan on her site, Bernie's plan on his, and THEN we can talk about the best way to get there. But we really are on the same side about this.
posted by donttouchmymustache at 9:15 PM on March 2 [17 favorites]


I was born in 1974, I lived through the Reagan years, and yes, I can definitely say that those 45 years were characterized by the Democrats going all in on hippie punching and losing, and losing, and losing, and losing. I argue that the first is the cause of the second. It seems really obvious to me that a Party shouldn't institutionalize attacking a significant fraction of its voters, but that's what hte Democrats have done. They've been convinced that they can win back the white racist vote if only they show the MAGA cultists that they hate hippies too. It has never, not one single time, worked.

Isn't 45 years of total and complete failure enough to prove that liberal "centrism" and triangulation is a losing approach? Do we really have to give the nomination to yet another boring, anti-charismatic, center-right liberal who is going to, yet again, lose in a humiliating way to the worst possible candidate the Republicans can find?

Seriously guys, the liberals had 45 years to win. They failed. Admit it. They had total power in the Party, they blew it, there's no shame in admitting they can't win and their approach is a failure.

How about we try something else? I mean, shit, the worst that could happen is that the left could do about as badly as the liberals have done. I don't really see how we could possibly do any worse.

I have a simple, two step, program for not losing.

Step 1) Stop nominating anti-charismatic losers who can't work a crowd. The fact that Dukakis, Mondale, Gore, Kerry, were even in contention while the Party establishment worked overtime to drive out Dean because he said "yeah" in an excited way once is all the proof we need that the center-right liberal faction just loves losing and deliberately picks the worst possible candidates they can dig up.

Step 2) Stop telling people that better things aren't possible and start promoting the Democrats as people who can, and will, improve matters. This has the double benefit of being true, and being a political winner.

We need charismatic candidates talking about how they'll fix everything in short punchy sound bites. Not Mondale or Gore spending endless boring, droning, paragraphs to explain why they can't improve our lives.
posted by sotonohito at 9:26 PM on March 2 [31 favorites]


I like Warrens plan to insure the 18 and under, less so the 50 and up -- to start with.

Insuring the 18 and under is dirt cheap compared to the 50 and up which are five times as expensive per person. It's a much easier sell.

Give every kid today and baby a Medicare card the day they are born. Nineteen year olds won't be happy losing that nice Medicare they grew up with and might get out and vote for extending Medicare for everyone.

Yes, it is incremental, but face it, Medicare for All ain't happening in the next four years.
posted by JackFlash at 9:29 PM on March 2 [6 favorites]


So Warren can start by immediately expanding Medicare to 50 and over with only 50 senators, but to lower the eligibility further requires a filibuster proof majority for some unspecified reason. So let’s wait until the midterm elections, which are guaranteed to go great for her, and at that point there will be a majority of senators lining up to vote to eliminate the filibuster, because they’ll do that. Meanwhile there’s no senate majority for lowering Medicare eligibility to 49 or 48, however there is a majority for implementing a public option which will put the private health insurance out of business because it’s so great. Oh and by the way - universal healthcare? Sounds expensive, how do you even pay for something like that?

Yeah, no, it’s not a surprise that her polling fell off a cliff after that.
posted by moorooka at 9:31 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


We don't have to "pay" for universal healthcare. It'll cost trillions less than our current approach of allowing medical corporations to murder poor people for profits. Switching to universal healthcare has no cost, it gives us money.

The idea that there's a huge cost associated with universal healthcare is the biggest lie the Republican/liberal coalition has ever gotten away with telling.
posted by sotonohito at 9:41 PM on March 2 [19 favorites]


[A few deleted. Having gone around that loop a few more times, please stop. Rather than round ten million of The Same People's Opinions On Centrists vs Leftists, bring it back to specifics about the primary situation or just pause commenting until there's something new to comment about.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:48 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


The idea that Warren's phased M4A plan was responsible for her polling decline is pure post hoc ergo propter hoc. I haven't seen any empirical reason to believe it.
posted by Jpfed at 9:57 PM on March 2 [16 favorites]


We don't have to "pay" for universal healthcare. It'll cost trillions less than our current approach of allowing medical corporations to murder poor people for profits. Switching to universal healthcare has no cost, it gives us money.

And better health outcomes. America has the worst cost-to-outcome ratio among developed nations. Candidates and pundits who get away with saying this can't be done are sentencing people to sickness and early death.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:38 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


Bloomberg says he called Buttigieg after he dropped out (CNN, March 2, 2020) Michael Bloomberg said he called Pete Buttigieg on Sunday and talked to him after the former South Bend mayor dropped out of the president race.
“I just said -- it took two minutes -- I just said, look, I’m sorry it ended that way for you, and you’re a gentleman and I listened when you were, to your speeches, and I thought a lot of what you said made sense and I tell you you have a big career going forward," Bloomberg told CNN's Don Lemon.
"He went through the Bloomberg Foundation training program for mayors, he was in the first class, so I have to say nice things about him," Bloomberg said.
---
What is he talking abou-- Mayor Pete joins Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative (ABC News, July 18, 2017) South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been named to the inaugural class of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative.

Buttigieg is one of 40 mayors in the inaugural class. The initiative brings together mayor and business leaders from across the country. The mayors receive training and tools to help them tackle the problems facing their cities. [...] The year-long program includes a three-day training session in New York City this month and a four-day session in August.
--
Buttigieg was also a winner of Bloomberg Philanthropies' 2018 Mayors Challenge, "Spurring Innovation Through"Competition: As part of the Bloomberg American Cities Initiative, the 2018 Mayors Challenge returned to the United States, awarding nine cities $1 million each to bring their ideas to life. The winning cities were chosen from a record 324 applications. The winners include Denver, Colorado; Durham, North Carolina; Fort Collins, Colorado; Georgetown, Texas; Huntington, West Virginia; Los Angeles, California; New Rochelle, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and South Bend, Indiana. These cities will address a range of challenges, from reducing carbon emissions and confronting the opioid crisis to making the justice system less traumatic for young people. Prior to selecting the winners, 35 finalist cities each received $100,000 to test and refine their ideas.

posted by Iris Gambol at 11:32 PM on March 2


Step 1) Stop nominating anti-charismatic losers who can't work a crowd.

You have a point, and that step may be enough. Obama wasn't a progressive firebrand, but he sure ran as one, and he won as one. Same with Bill Clinton. Every other post-Reagan Dem, including Bill's other half, did not do so, and they lost.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:55 PM on March 2 [7 favorites]


The Little Bloomberg Urban Achievers

and proud we are of all of them.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:56 PM on March 2 [10 favorites]


So Warren can start by immediately expanding Medicare to 50 and over with only 50 senators, but to lower the eligibility further requires a filibuster proof majority for some unspecified reason.

Sanders being against killing the filibuster is a pretty good reason.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:13 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Sanders being against killing the filibuster is a pretty good reason.

Care to explain why lowering the age of eligibility to 50 doesn’t require a filibuster-proof majority, but lowering the age of eligibility to 49 does?
posted by moorooka at 1:07 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


For what it’s worth, Sanders plan is to pass Medicare for All (that is, lowering the age of eligibility to zero) through reconciliation, requiring only a simple majority. Why Warren thinks that 50 is the lowest she’s able to go is the real question for anyone who still thinks she’s actually serious about universal healthcare.
posted by moorooka at 1:11 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Sorry, moorooka, I thought you were contrasting her approach with Sanders' plan. I reckon she doesn't go all in on Sanders' approach in her first bill because there's not likely to be a majority in the Senate for it -- even if we sweep the competitive races of AZ/CO/NC/ME (while losing Alabama 😔), we'll end up with a 50-50 Senate, and several of those 50 don't support a direct transition to full M4A coverage. So she starts with the lower-hanging fruit of kids, 50+, and a strong public option, which has broader support from moderate Dems, and delays the push for full M4A until after the next midterm, where winning back some of the swing Senate seats we barely lost in 2016 would make it more plausible to pass Congress. It's ambitious, difficult, and requires multiple election victories (as any sweeping reform rightfully should), but it's a lot more realistic than Sanders' plan to push for it on day one only to have his signature issue defeated at the hands of moderate Dems.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:30 AM on March 3 [6 favorites]


If your premise coming into office is that it is legitimate for the Senate to stand in the way of a public demand for universal healthcare, then you will simply never achieve universal healthcare. Overcoming the enormous vested interest of the private health insurance industry will require a sustained organized mass movement across the entire country.

Sanders wants to lead this movement from the Oval Office, as organizer-in-chief. He wants to transform the Democratic Party so that “moderate” insurance-industry stooges no longer have a place in it. He knows that his election will manifest a undeniable public demand. The mandate he brings to the Office, the obvious moral legitimacy of the cause, the anger of a loyal and activated base prepared to punish any Democratic Senator who would betray their president to deny people healthcare - these are the things that *might* overcome the vested interests that oppose Medicare for All, if you join him. Nothing else ever will.
posted by moorooka at 2:05 AM on March 3 [13 favorites]


Thing is, this magical popular uprising of young and non-voters demanding socialism has failed to materialized thus far. Sanders has only had one big win, and that was in a notoriously unrepresentative and low-turnout caucus (as most of his big 2016 wins were). If he can't stoke The People to come out in droves for him in the context of a Democratic primary, that doesn't bode well for him in the general (especially when Trump goes all-in on red-baiting older voters who *do* reliably turn out), or as president if he does win.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:44 AM on March 3 [7 favorites]


That's my position; if Sanders were going to lead a mass movement of young and non-voters, Sanders would be leading a mass movement of young and non-voters. His base is very, very passionate but they aren't even a majority of the Democratic electorate (it appears) so how are they gonna carry us to victory in the general?

He may still be the nominee and he may win the presidency if he is, but I think it'll be on the backs of most of the same coalition as always.
posted by Justinian at 3:17 AM on March 3 [10 favorites]


Whoever gets in will at best have a Senate will a very shaky Democratic majority and at worst will still be run by McConnell. The house will most likely be similar to the makeup that it has now. Getting any major legislation through is going to resemble the Obamacare process because the you're probably going to have to bargain with Senators like Manchin who are going to try to slow or stop everything.
posted by octothorpe at 3:27 AM on March 3 [5 favorites]


Maybe you missed this:

[Hi! You don't have a 🔮, don't act like you do.]
posted by jessamyn (staff)

posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:51 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


Politicians have been ignoring the clear will of the people for years. A politician with tepid support from his own party isn't going to change that in the next four years through the "obvious moral legitimacy of the cause [and] the anger of a loyal and activated base." The only way things are going to get better is to change the reasons politicians can ignore their constituents, primarily big money and voter suppression & disenfranchisement. I love that Sanders and his supporters (and lots of other activists who have been doing this work for years) have moved the Overton window left. But this rot has built for decades and it will not be undone by moral legitimacy and anger making Senators do the right thing. It's going to be long, and tedious, and will require bringing a lot more people into the movement to fix the reasons why Senators can freely ignore voters. I suspect Warren will be out soon, and then Sanders will be my first choice. But I have grave doubts about his ability to expand his coalition to include the people (a huge chunk of the Democratic party) his supporters have so much contempt for. And what's going to happen when he can't get M4A done?
posted by Mavri at 5:45 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]


But I have grave doubts about his ability to expand his coalition to include the people (a huge chunk of the Democratic party) his supporters have so much contempt for.

I can't speak for other leftists (let alone "lefties"), but I don't have contempt for a "huge chunk" of Democratic party supporters. I reserve my contempt for the bipartisan consensus of neoliberalism and neoconservatism (and that minority consensus certainly is vocal and overrepresented online and in the media), but the vast majority of people offline just want healthcare, education, an end to forever wars that have killed millions of people of color, and a world that isn't dying.

To this queer immigrant of color, Sanders represents our best shot to achieving those things. Everyone else thinks the Monster can be reformed with enough glossy white papers or that the Monster is good, actually, and the problem is that the person at the top is just too darn unpresidential.
posted by Ouverture at 5:59 AM on March 3 [19 favorites]


I voted for Warren this morning in VA. The Sanders and Bloomberg campaigns had signs up near the polling station. The Biden and Warren campaigns didn't.
posted by nangar at 6:09 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


And as we consider who is strongest against Trump, here are the most recent RCP general election aggregates:

* Biden: +5.4
* Sanders: +4.9
* Bloomberg: +4.0
* Warren: +2.0

I'm genuinely surprised by how well Bloomberg is doing, but I suppose that's the benefit of being a wholly immoral billionaire.

While we're talking about electability/turnout concerns, has Warren made any progress in building her base of PoC support? I remember reading her base being the whitest in the primary and then there was this whole mess in Nevada.
posted by Ouverture at 6:14 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


> Politicians have been ignoring the clear will of the people for years.

centuries.

here's the common feature of most movements for equality, democracy, and liberty since back when liberté, égalité, fraternité was a new slogan. they're sparked in the street by sans culottes, and then harnessed, contained, and redirected by the money men, who simultaneously thwart these movements while also taking credit for them. a mass uprising for economic equality — bread, and the free time to eat bread — is thereby shifted toward a set of political demands that establish a certain abstract freedom for the people who already had bread and the free time to eat bread. the liberty of the market, the liberty to elect whichever money man one chooses to run the state, a state which is understood primarily as a tool to keep the market humming, to keep the borders up, to defend property against the poor, and to keep the money men moneyed.

the calendar says it's march, but the weather feels more like thermidor to me.

my head tells me that nothing so moderate and liberal as the sanders movement (and nothing so moderate and liberal as the warren movement) will ever succeed in bringing freedom to the people like us, people who must spend most of our time doing work for the money men, making the money men more fat while keeping our own starvation just barely at bay.1 my heart, on the other hand, wants it so badly, thinks it's almost in our grasp, thinks that maybe it is in our grasp if we just reach a little bit more.

i hope my head is wrong and my heart is right and we come out of today with sanders winning the lion's share of the delegates, warren either winning enough to make her the kingmaker or else losing so hard that she drops out, and biden and bloomberg, that charming pair of patriarchs, knocked back so hard that not even their pet media outlets can stand them back up again.

one thing we know for sure: if these mild, moderate, liberal-leaning social democratic campaigns are beaten down by the media scare campaigns, if in fact sanders's social democracy and warren's keynesianism can be suppressed, the answer isn't going to be running a better campaign next time around, or picking a more charismatic figurehead, or whatever. the answer is going to be action outside of electoral democracy. building unions, building networks of mutual aid, building underground societies, performing direct action, using diverse tactics, building tenant's unions, withdrawing our labor whatever way we can, refusing to pay the bills the money men charge, building capacity for a general strike, and aiming to establish alternate systems that can seize control over enough physical infrastructure to (no fooling) establish a state of dual power wherein both the radical organizations and the money men's government hold valid claims to legitimacy. and then toppling the money men.

but we have to do it fast. because the waters are rising and it may already be too late.

let's hope sanders wins. because right now a sanders win is the only offramp from this grim fuckin' highway we're on. thank you to everyone who's given money to the campaign and volunteered for the campaign and supported the campaign. in the future, let's spend less of our precious free time on metafilter.

1: this rhetoric feels florid, but that's what we mean when we talk about living from paycheck to paycheck. the wolf is on the doorstep, and only by frantically turning the crank can we keep it from busting in and eating us.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 6:18 AM on March 3 [35 favorites]


There are not a lot of early ballots returned in California. Only 23% so far. On the dem side, the 18-34 group has returned only 12% of their ballots and the 35-49 group is only at 15%. The 65+ group is at 44%. I’m wondering if Sanders isn’t going to do worse than expected in the state, still winning, but by a much smaller margin than expected. Pete, Amy, and Steyer dropping out is a wildcard because we don’t know how much of the early vote went to them. Answers will come soon enough. Sanders needs to win big in CA. Biden just needs to keep it close. And I’m still hoping (probably unrealistically) for a Warren miracle.
posted by azpenguin at 6:51 AM on March 3 [4 favorites]


The problem for Democrats is that there is a fundamental split between the economic interests of young people and the economic interests of their older voters. Issues like health care, student debt, rent, and police reform, to name a few, are life and death.

Unfortunately, our political system cannot address those concerns. The reasons are numerous. To use healthcare as an example, anything that would seriously threaten the profit taking entities in our “system” will never pass - even a “strong” public option. Arguing about the merits and pitfalls of various plans is pointless.

In turn, the inability of the political system to address life or death concerns people have leads to a combination of anger and apathy. If Democrats don’t find a way to address this problem, they are in serious trouble.
posted by eagles123 at 7:02 AM on March 3 [7 favorites]


It's go time, everyone! Regardless of your preference, get out there and exercise your right to vote.
posted by Flannery Culp at 7:22 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Our household voted for Warren today in NC, but we're happy to vote for Sanders in the general (and donate/volunteer) if that's the outcome. I also wrote a long post on social media explaining my reasoning as an attempt to convince myself and reconcile with my friends who support Sanders. Also it turns out I know a ton of quiet Warren fans who thought they were the only one. The local independent newsweekly also endorsed Warren, as did some other community leaders we admire. I will say that the Sanders-supporting friends I interact with did nothing to bring me into the fold and actively alienated me. Not that I'd change my vote for such a petty reason, but boy do they love to send me "A-HA!" links to a twitter guy (it's always a guy) who claims to have evidence that she's secretly evil. The worst was a 10 second clip of her saying she likes Bernie but thinks she can do better with the details, with a bunch of comments from people claiming to have lost all respect for her and what a shame it is! It feels a lot like "but her tone" and makes me think another male president is a general mistake no matter who it is.

My biggest concern with Bernie is that the reality of building a consensus with a bunch of centrist and swing state Democrats (and a few Republicans) to get legislation passed is going to be a blocker. Painting everyone else in the party except AOC as a horrible corporate apologist is going to result in exactly zero getting done, even if that's true about some of them.

My friends' method of asking me to strategically vote Sanders is like trying to convince someone to date you by talking a bunch of shit about their current boyfriend/girlfriend and telling them you're the only one who can make them happy. 100% not effective!
posted by freecellwizard at 7:31 AM on March 3 [32 favorites]


I spent a couple hours at the local polling station passing out flyers for one of the local DA candidates (Audia Jones, for anyone in Harris County). Lots of turnout, lines about 20-30 minutes long by the time I left. All but one person I spoke to, and the huge majority of those I didn't, was there to vote Democratic. I'm going back this afternoon for another shift.

I had someone I know call me "comrade" pejoratively (here's a hint: that doesn't work on card-carrying socialists) and flat-out say they wouldn't vote for anyone I supported. I declined to suggest that if that was the case they go vote in the Republican primary instead, but it reminded me why we don't see each other much anymore.
posted by heteronym at 7:41 AM on March 3 [6 favorites]


Oops, forgot to mention that other than my irony-resistant friend and a couple rude strangers, most people were pretty friendly to everyone working the polls, so it was a pretty pleasant way to start the morning.
posted by heteronym at 7:45 AM on March 3


If the latest polls are anywhere close to correct, Biden is going to win big and probably be the nominee.

I hope none of you are fond of malarkey.
posted by eagles123 at 8:52 AM on March 3


Biden is far from my first choice. But if he's going to win, I hope it won't be by a contested convention or a razor-thin margin. Same for any nominee.
posted by argybarg at 9:02 AM on March 3 [4 favorites]


I will vote for whoever they drop the balloon shower on at the convention.
posted by all about eevee at 9:15 AM on March 3 [10 favorites]


On one hand, yes that is very disappointing. On the other hand, I'm really not a big fan of malarkey.

But can we trust Biden to stick to his anti-malarkey campaign promises?
posted by FakeFreyja at 9:28 AM on March 3


It feels a bit like Biden has been running a zombie campaign on a shoestring budget, so if he’s the nominee then I hope the silver lining is that his team accepts a lot of help from the other leading campaigns, especially Bernie, and treats this as a team effort. He seemed to be making a special effort last night to point out the best characteristics of Pete, Amy, and Beto and I hope that continues.

Biden seems fundamentally different to me from both Hillary Clinton and Kerry, even though he also isn’t an Obama or Bill Clinton. His focus on grief and loss would be an interesting and unusual trait in a President. Usually we appreciate figures who look forward and project joy but that grief is the quality that draws a lot of people to Biden. It is a willingness to be vulnerable that is the direct opposite of Trump. While Trump divides people into winners/killers and the rest of us who aren’t worth bothering with, Joe seems to understand that at some point in life we all lose and get stuck in the dumps. (Although I have to say, every time he brings up Beau in his stump speech I think about what life has been like for Hunter.) Joe brags about his (true or not) lack of money the way Trump brags about his riches. Other silver linings...well, maybe an Amtrak fan in office would finally make headway on a better national high-speed rail system.

This article was sweet: Running for president is a weird and lonely experience. At least Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar, two salty candidates, had their own kind of friendship.
posted by sallybrown at 9:34 AM on March 3 [5 favorites]


I've watched Joe Biden with interest since 1988, when I preferred him over at least Dukakis. He has always tripped himself up. He's always stumbled over his own words, faked and bluffed his way through things he should have done his homework on, and committed unforced errors. He's a slightly lovable uncle who frustrates the hell out of you — but he can be snapped out of it.

One thing that contrasts Biden with Hillary, as sallybrown says, is that he wears his heart on his sleeve. He looks foolish sometimes, but he resists attempts at being polished. Interesting that he shares that with Bernie; they're both untrainable.

He's someone that a Dem congress (and, fingers crossed) Senate can work with. For me he's a B, maybe B- candidate. So it goes.
posted by argybarg at 9:40 AM on March 3


I will vote for whoever they drop the balloon shower on at the convention.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's not get ahead of ourselves yet.
posted by FJT at 9:41 AM on March 3


So are we going to get a lot less scolding in the future for voting third party from today's Warren voters? I support voting your heart, particularly because any individual vote is more important to you than it is likely to affect the outcome. But that's precisely how the Nader and Stein voters reasoned. Prior to the 2000 and 2016 elections it wasn't certain that those votes would decisively hurt the second-best candidate (Gore, Clinton), and the third-party voters reasoned that they would rather vote their hearts and give their preferred candidate extra clout in the future. It is similarly uncertain here whether the Warren votes that could have gone to Sanders will make the difference between him winning or losing to Biden, but it seems like a fair possibility, just as it did pre-November in 2000 or 2016. I'm not one of those who blame Stein and Nader particularly, but Warren is in structurally a very similar position right now -- better on the merits, but endangering the downstream probability of winning by the second-best candidate. Hopefully the Warren folks might at least come out of this a bit more sympathetic to the strategy-defying aspect of voting for Stein and Nader (though of course Nader and Stein are in no way comparable to Warren on the merits).
posted by chortly at 9:50 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


I had a hard decision in NC but I was finally persuaded to simply vote for who I want to be President, and not indulge in any kind of strategic Biden-denying attempts. In the long run, I can't accept that I am disenfranchised from expressing a preference after only 4 States have voted.
posted by thelonius at 9:55 AM on March 3 [4 favorites]


Voting for Warren in the primary is very different from voting third party in the general election. I will not be bullied into feeling guilty for casting my ballot for who I think is the best-qualified candidate when 92% of delegates are still up for grabs.
posted by Flannery Culp at 9:55 AM on March 3 [43 favorites]


> So are we going to get a lot less scolding in the future for voting third party from today's Warren voters?

Did I fall asleep and wake up after the Democratic primary? It's asinine to suggest that voting for a third party spoiler in November is just a difference of degree from voting for your preferred primary candidate in early March.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:55 AM on March 3 [17 favorites]


But that's precisely how the Nader and Stein voters reasoned.

That's kind of what makes little sense to me. Why do people always resort to high pressure tactics to get other people to change their vote, when they know it hasn't worked before (and sometimes they know because the exact same tactics were tried on them)? It happens in decisions other than voting too, but it seems for voting it's especially interesting since it happens ever 4 to 8 years and you figure people would learn.
posted by FJT at 9:55 AM on March 3 [3 favorites]


Why are you assuming that Warren votes would go to Sanders if she dropped out? I voted for Warren in the primary and Biden would be my second choice, not Bernie.
posted by all about eevee at 9:57 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


I think one problem is that people are describing reasoned argumentation as "high pressure tactics" and "bullying". I think it would be better if there was less of that characterization here.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:59 AM on March 3 [4 favorites]


The Warren voters I know (probably me included!) are less likely to vote third party than average—they like concrete plans and pragmatism.
posted by sallybrown at 10:00 AM on March 3 [17 favorites]


So are we going to get a lot less scolding in the future for voting third party from today's Warren voters?

The primaries are exactly the place that these things get sorted out. While you might have settled on your preferred candidate, millions of other Democrats have not. And to suggest that everyone must fall in line for your candidate at this point is disrespectful of others. We really don't know who is the best candidate to beat Trump yet.
posted by JackFlash at 10:03 AM on March 3 [12 favorites]


Did I fall asleep and wake up after the Democratic primary? It's asinine to suggest that voting for a third party spoiler in November is just a difference of degree from voting for your preferred primary candidate in early March. GTFO with this nonsense -- it's beneath your usual standard of argumentation.

That seems a bit strong. Strategically, it's the same; substantively, it's different. In both cases, voting for the better candidate is lessening the chances of the second-best candidate winning. I don't want anyone to change their vote -- I don't give a hoot about any MF voters -- but the "throw strategy to the winds and vote your heart" is both a logic I support, and the same logic used in 2000 and 2016 by a segment of left voters (though the stakes, of course, were very different, and I don't mean to imply otherwise).

Why are you assuming that Warren votes would go to Sanders if she dropped out? I voted for Warren in the primary and Biden would be my second choice, not Bernie.

Yes, as I mentioned above, I think it would actually be close to a wash. These points only matter for the Warren > Sanders > Biden voters, not the Warren > Biden > Sanders voters. They may also matter for Warren herself if her next preference is Sanders.

The Warren voters I