Biden or Sanders?
I want to weigh in briefly on the Biden/Sanders debate that’s been going on here over the past few days. No links, this is a quickie.
There are two issues for Democratic primary voters to consider: 1) who will be a better president and 2) who is more electable in a race against Trump. Both questions are hard to answer.
It is very difficult to say who would be a better president, even for people on the left of the Democratic party. Presidents have very little influence over legislation. If Congress decides to pass a much less aggressive health care bill than Sanders and his supporters want, what is Sanders going to do about it? Yell at some Congress people? The fact is that the legislative agenda of Congress will be shaped by the need to secure the votes of moderates in the Democratic party, and maybe a few Republican centrists. Biden may be more effective at working with Congress because (my sense is) a fair number of Congress people don’t like Sanders. Of course, Biden’s deal making and horse trading will not be enough to implement the Sanders’ agenda, but Sanders’ won’t be able to implement his agenda either, so it doesn’t matter.
Presidents do have a fair amount of influence over policy through their control of executive branch appointments, and indirectly over the agency rule making process. I am not sure which candidate is stronger in this regard (neither will be as strong as Warren would have been), and with the judiciary newly stacked with conservative judges and justices getting things done through administrative agencies will be difficult in any event.
The simple fact is that it is going to be a long and painful 4 years no matter which Dem wins. But it will be far worse if neither wins.
Next up electability
So what about electability? This is the critical issue, but figuring out who will be the stronger candidate against Trump is more art than science.
My own view based on my reading of the political science literature (no links, sorry) and my sense of the candidates is that Biden will have a better chance to defeat Trump in the general election, but either candidate could win and my assessment could easily be wrong.
There are issues about Biden’s age and health. There are issues with his temperament. The same is true for Sanders, and of course for Trump.
Sanders is a stronger campaigner than Biden. He is more articulate, more confident, better at sounding like he’s answering a question while avoiding it, etc. Biden is undisciplined, not particularly inspirational or articulate, and gaffe-prone.
On the other hand, moderate candidates do better in elections than more extreme candidates. Sanders has been unable to win over a majority of Democratic primary voters; how is he supposed to win over cross-pressured voters who went for Trump in 2016? Sanders claims that he can turn out the Democratic vote, especially the youth vote, but his youth voting claim was always more of a hope than a plan, and results in the primaries so far cast real doubt on it. In addition, there is evidence that extreme candidates motivate people to turn out for the other side (i.e., Trump). This seems likely to be true for Sanders. Biden will likely have a turnout advantage over Sanders with black voters due his loyal service as Obama’s VP. Sanders’ ambitious legislative agenda will also be a potent weapon for Trump to use against him with key groups – health care workers and insurance company employees who fear Medicare for All, and people who work in fracking in PA, for example. Sanders’ agenda is so ambitious that it risks creating a thermostatic backlash against the Dems before the election.
Both candidates will be viciously attacked by Trump and his surrogates. Biden will take incoming fire over Ukraine and his son, over his age, his mental and physical health, his past stances and gaffes. Sanders . . . what can I say? In addition to his health and his age, and his long legislative record, there is the fact that he is . . . how can I put this delicately? . . . a socialist. As I said, I believe that Sanders may be able to win a general election contest against Trump, but anyone who thinks being a lifelong socialist is a general election advantage in the United States is smoking dope. And Sanders has not shown any ability to tone down his message or move to the center. He keeps it dialed up to 11 all the time. (This is one critical area in which Sanders’ campaign style may be a real liability.)
Whoever wins the nomination, it will be critical to unite the Democratic party. Sanders in particular will need to rally his supporters to vote for Biden if Biden gets the nod. This could easily tip a close election. Establishment Dems will need to hold their noses and support Sanders if he wins the nominating contest. And perhaps most critically, the nominee, the party, and their surrogates will need to push back hard against bullshit press coverage that equates the weaknesses and flaws of either Sanders or Biden with the manifest unfitness for office of Trump. Each Trump scandal and each Trump lie need to get their own headline, even if that means the headlines are full of Trump scandal stories. There can be no equivalence between the flaws in the records of Biden or Sanders and Trump’s refusal to say he will abide by the results of the election, his family separation policy, his support for white supremacists, his tax cuts for the rich and his broken promises on health care. We cannot let the press do to Dems in 2020 what they did to Clinton with the fake email scandal in 2016.
Greg Mankiw of all people has pointed to a Tax Policy Center analysis of Biden’s tax plan which would raise Federal revenues in a progressive way. So one chip for Biden.
In my view the problem with Sanders has always been his utter disdain for economists which he calls “establishment”. Look I’m a progressive but good policy requires sound analysis. Sanders may listen more than Trump but that is an awfully low bar.
I believe you will find most people have trouble talking to economists, not because they are establishment, but because they do not understand the dialogue. I suspect Bernie is the same way.
Different topic: Bernie’s healthcare plan will not get too far if it is not aligned with single payer. Right now, it isn’t. I do not believe many economists know what Single Payer is either. From the exchange I saw, it was pretty apparent. Barkley is trying to catch up. If you would like, I can give you a site where you can pick up on it. I also put up a post explaining why Bernie’s plan was not Single Payer.
I am loaded with data, if anyone is interested.
They are already at work sabotaging Biden the same as they did Clinton;
– cMatt Stoller @matthewstoller Mar 5
Democratic insiders know Biden has cognitive decline issues. They joke about it. They don’t care.
– Newsweek: Steve Friess reports that a memo about Biden’s “cognitive decline” is circulating among Sanders’ supporters.
Or someone is sabotaging Biden before we even get to decide.
Could be the Russians via Facebook posters like “American Reformers”. No matter who does it, it will be out there just like Bernie’s past flirtation with Communism.
Yes, that is true. Still down south?
Trump certainly thinks Biden is his greatest threat; it was what Ukraine was all about. It would be fitting if he were to lose to him.
As you can tell by the last couple of posts regarding Sanders’ supporters, there is a huge question about them. I am scared to death that they are “bernie or bust” and will use their online presence to go after biden the same way they went after warren and the same way they went after clinton. More and more I think they are the main reason why we have trump. And maybe another trump.
“One of the big questions in the debate over Sen. Bernie Sanders’s angry online fans is whether they’re worth talking about at all. They don’t speak for the campaign, so it’s unfair to blame Sanders for their antics. And the vast bulk of the American public isn’t on Twitter — why would you expect them to base their vote on what happens on that site?
Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign exit interview with Rachel Maddow, aired Thursday night, is a clarifying moment in this conversation. In the interview, Warren showed palpable anger with the online Sanders army’s treatment of her and other progressives.
“I think there’s a real problem with online bullying and online nastiness. I’m not just talking about who said mean things; I’m talking about some really ugly stuff that went on,” she said. She expressed particular concerned about threats, citing the publication of phone numbers and home addresses belonging to two women who worked for the Nevada Culinary Union after it produced a fact sheet critical of Sanders’s health care plan.
Warren’s reaction illustrates that these tactics make it at least somewhat harder for Sanders to build allies in the Democratic Party. And this failure of elite backing has real repercussions.
Maddow asked about Sanders’s disavowal of his supporters’ attacks on her, and Warren seemed not to find it very persuasive. “We are responsible for the people who claim to be our supporters and do really dangerous, threatening things to other candidates,” Warren said. Then when asked if “it’s a particular problem with Sanders supporters,” the senator replies bluntly: “It is. And it just is. It’s just a factual question.”….
You can understand why Warren seems to think Sanders’s disavowals ring a bit hollow. Sanders sat down for an interview with Chapo Trap House, the “dirtbag left” podcast whose hosts repeatedly serve up some of the most vicious and personal attacks on Warren. Sanders speechwriter David Sirota has appeared on their show while working on the campaign, as has national press secretary Briahna Joy Gray. From Warren’s point of view, it might seem like Sanders is speaking out of both sides of his mouth: vaguely disavowing online anger in public statements while his campaign reaches out and appeals directly to the people purveying it.
The purported aim of all the pro-Sanders trolling, the snake emojis directed at Warren on Twitter, and the vitriolic attacks on the Nevada Culinary Union is to shame or bully the targets into getting behind Sanders. Judging by this interview, it seems to have had the opposite effect on Warren.
Online anger and abuse may not filter down to the ordinary voter directly, but it shapes the way Democratic Party elites see the Sanders campaign. If they see it as a font of negativity and anger or a source of direct attacks on them and people they admire, they’re less likely to see it as something they’re comfortable lining up behind. And these sorts of endorsements can matter in primaries; support from Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) seems to have really helped buoy Joe Biden in their respective states.
Fundamentally, if Sanders and his movement want to succeed in remaking the Democratic Party in their image, they can’t just drive out every person in a position of power right now. To go from insurgents to party leaders, they need to figure out a way to court the people with influence in the party. Right now, it seems to be the case that the pro-Sanders online brigades are making that harder.
You can call this childish if you want; that Warren and other Democratic elites are letting hurt feelings get in the way of progressive politics. But it doesn’t change the fact that they sincerely believe this is important — and no number of snake emojis is going to change their mind about. If Sanders’s fans are really serious about helping their guy, they need to think carefully about whether what they’re doing is actually working.”
Yglesias gets this right. The next debate will offer Sanders his last chance to make this a race.
“The 2020 process, however, looks different. There will be no superdelegate MacGuffin to fulminate against and no obvious source of near-term momentum.
Sanders is not exactly a die-hard party loyalist, and he has plenty of admirers who love his disregard for party unity and the larger spirit of cooperation. So it’s certainly possible he’ll be able to muddle through the March dry spell and make a real effort to contest the big clutch of Northeastern primaries held on April 28. But it’s also possible the wheels will simply come off in the wake of a series of consecutive drubbings.
If Sanders wants to actually win, rather than just hang around as an irritant, he needs to change the dynamics soon.
It’s not over yet
The good news for Sanders is that while Super Tuesday was a tremendous blow to his campaign, that’s essentially for reasons related to the map and the schedule.
Biden’s actual delegate lead at this point is modest. There’s an upcoming debate on March 15 where Sanders will get the chance to go at Biden one-on-one. Biden’s debate performances thus far have been lackluster at best, but he’s mostly come out okay thanks to having rarely been the target of sustained criticism. Sanders has a real shot to embarrass Biden on a stage where there will be no place to hide, both advancing an issues-based argument and implicitly undermining Biden’s electability case.
The Sanders campaign is also now making a pivot they should have made after winning New Hampshire and trying to appeal to mainstream Democrats and not just revolutionaries. That’s meant making an ad featuring Barack Obama and a renewed focus on disagreements with Biden over Social Security, Nafta, and the Iraq War — issues on which Sanders can claim more credibility in holding the mainstream Democratic position.
Unlike the previous focus on banning private health insurance and the virtues of Castro-era literacy programs, these are topics where it’s easy to imagine the majority of rank-and-file Democrats siding with Sanders. And if a little more talk about bread-and-butter issues and a little less talk about the finer points of democratic socialism can help bring some rural working-class white voters back into Sanders’s camp, he could reshape the map in a more favorable direction.
The point, however, is that he’s working on a much tighter time frame this time around with a coalition that was optimized for a state that has already voted. Sanders can still win if he changes the trajectory of the campaign, but he’s got to do it fast.”
I’ll get behind either one. I think Sanders would be a heavier lift. But if the kids want him we can push him over the finish line. I think the turnout for the primaries shows there is a blue army out there that doesn’t much care who is in the lead car. They just want Trump gone. Policy? Doesn’t mean a god damn thing. The next president is going to spend four years cleaning up the filth Trump leaves in the executive branch. Just getting the agencies back up and functioning again will take at least three years. Any grandiose plans are just bullshit at this point. You gotta stop the bleeding first and it is massive.
The debate between Biden and Trump will be priceless–one for the ages.
On the Trump side we have a raging narcissus who now brags that even the doctors are amazed at his medical acumen, a man who is certain that her is the genius of all geniuses.
On the Biden side, we have a man who simply cannot complete a coherent sentence, a man who insisted, yes insisted, that 150 million people have died of gun violence–even when people tried to correct him–, a man who stands to the right of Hillary; a man who when he could actually talk, insisted that bankruptcy is not a possibility for students be destroyed by debt; a man who loves neoliberal trade policies, the Iraq war…. a man who praised the insight and wisdom of Bush….Damn, he should be a GOP Candidate.
Hillary, meanwhile is keeping her eggs afloat….maybe she is Biden’s VP choice? Bill is in her latest expose…Monica was just a way to relieve tension. You simply cannot make this stuff up.
You are attempting to have a debate before it occurs. Put down your Bernie and Joe sock puppets and allow the debate to happen. I prefer to wait for the actual debate and judge for myself. For some reason, Stoller, Sirota, you, and others wish to cross the finish line before the race is ran. And what happens if Bernie loses? Will we seen another historically high Democrat vote for anybody but Trump or Biden which occurred in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania when it was anybody but Trump or Clinton. That really worked out well for us, didn’t it?
rofl…. should be HE is the genius of all….
You even have to bring Hillary into this?
Not a chance in the world she going to run again for anything. But you might as well drag along anything from 2016 while you’re at it.
Do not be too sure. She keeps popping up. Her timing is impeccable!
Tulsi Gabbard is the only one who named what is truly is.
But the rules have changed AGAIN. Tulsi will no longer be in the debates.
The rules were changed for Mini-Mike. But now that he has thrown his support behind Biden, the rules have been Changed
And Hilary is her latest piece said, “Rules are rules.” Yeah…as long as she can make them.
I am disgusted with all of them.
That upsets you?
She has no chance, and while you’re pegging Biden as Rep Lite, she is Rep. This is her last election as a Democrat. She will spend a couple of years at Fox News and her next election will be as a Republican.
Guessing Hillary had no input into the debate rules, just because you say it is so means nothing.
If you are so disgusted then just get out. Sanders has been given every chance(as in 2016), and still has a shot.
I am going to vote for him, but you berniebros make it hard.
Charles Pierce has it right about you guys(berniebros not bernie supporters) , and he voted for Sanders in 2016.
“The problem, of course, is that one of those candidates, Bernie Sanders, has surrounded himself with people so utterly pure in their own opinion of themselves that they object to compromises that they themselves made. Consider that over the past couple of days—or ever since a CNN town hall in which Elizabeth Warren pretty much pantsed a Bernie bro on the very topic—that Sandersland completely lost its mind on this issue. These are the facts on the ground….
For the Sanders people to throw around accusations that The Man is keeping Bernie down again is to fail to recognize that Bernie is The Man this time around. And the prospect they could disrupt the convention if they don’t get what they want, in violation of the rules that they helped write, is the height of hubris, and you can ask Sophocles how that works out.
If you ask me what is the biggest stumbling block in the way of a Sanders nomination, I will tell you that it is a severe case of premature triumphalism among the members of his national staff and, god knows, among the angry children of the Intertoobz. Nobody owes Bernie Sanders anything. Nobody owes his campaign any more deference than they owe to the campaigns of any of the other surviving candidates. Only one campaign has people who disrupted the national convention in 2016. Only one campaign has people threatening to primary other progressive Democrats. And that campaign is the one pushing a candidate who isn’t really a Democrat anyway. ”
When people who are voting, or have voted, for your candidate are disgusted by the bros who are ” so utterly pure in their own opinion of themselves” you’ve got a lot of work to do winning elections.
“Get out”? What exactly does that mean? lol
I am living in Canada with dual citizenship. Just so you know.
Berniebros? You can do better than that. I like him; I like his policies; but I think he has not run a good campaign.
If you’re totally disgusted why bother?
I think berniebros are exactly accurate, but I think the definition is too broad. I also like him and I like his ideas, I think he has ran a better campaign than he did in 2016, but agree he has to do better.
All Bernie supporters are not berniebros. My definition of them is they are the ones who are for bernie or bust(see Susan Sarandon). They also epitomize the attitude that everything is against them. As in “When everyone is out to get you, paranoia is just being careful.”
Quite frankly, Sanders lost the 2016 primary in 2006 and 2012 for the Dem Party for Senator.He lost a big chance to become known to Dems across the country. And he would have been a key Speaker at the 2012 DNC convention. Instead he wanted to be an Independent. Good for his ego, not good for national elections.
He also antagonized many Dems with his delay in supporting Clinton after it was clear that he had lost. Meanwhile, the berniebros blamed everything on the DNC or Clinton or the establishment.
That’s who they are.
Sanders refused to be the Dem candidate for Senate in 2006 and 2012.
Fair enough. I am doing as you said. Unfortunately, I am not a fan of either man….
The cards are stacked against Bernie….Super delegates have not been mentioned. If no one has a majority, then Bernie will lose.
I am surprised that no one cares that some super delegates are actually lobbyists.
I am surprised at the unquestioning defense of the policies of the DNC that I am reading here. No one has responded to my comments on Biden’s actual policies–disallowing bankruptcy for students, support for the Iraq War and praise of Bush….just to name a few.
No one has responded to the rules be repeatedly being change…
And I do think Gabbard is an important voice….whether I agree with her or not. That she cannot win does not mean she should be arbitrarily silenced.
I find little nuance in our discussions. I am here to try to insure that nuance actually happens.
Anyway, I appreciate your comment.
No one is defending anything other than “it is too soon to decide who is coming or going.” Furthermore, Warren still has a card to play and she is the smartest of the bunch.
A week or so ago, every Dem candidate other than Bernie showed up at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma Alabama the site of the 1965 Bloody Sunday march. Some of the candidates marched across the bridge too. For show politics, maybe it was. Bernie went to California. Do you think Black Americans will turn out for Bernie? They still might; but Bernie missed a chance to address any grievance they may have with him.
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.); “We must go out and vote like we’ve never, ever voted before and help redeem the soul of America.”
Can Bernie afford to alienate a group of people by his action? I think not.
I don’t know many who like Biden’s policies, I know I don’t. But I am not voting for him. It’s not what this is about. It is about who the Dem voters are voting for.
And it sure is not going to be Tulsi fen Gabbard.
I need some reason why anyone would want her in a debate. At least for the Dem Party.
Y’think Bernie cannot bring up Biden’s vote for the Iraq War? Or his support of it for quite awile?
Why do I need some input from a racist like Gabbard? Who pals around with other racists and mass murderers?
Who is anti-war except for against terrorists, and she gets to pick out who are the terrorists?
So Tulsi pals around with “other mass murderers” and is a racist.
Interesting. “Other” mass murderers? Implying she is one?
You are too fast and loose with your accusations. And is a racist! Care to defend that charge with actual facts…not mudslinging.
Here is her background:
Gabbard served in a field medical unit of the Hawaii Army National Guard in Iraq from 2004 to 2005 and was deployed to Kuwait from 2008 to 2009 as Army Military Police platoon leader. She was a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2013 to 2016, when she resigned to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
Here are her political positions:
Gabbard supports a Medicare for All health care plan she calls “Single Payer Plus” and strengthening Roe v. Wade by codifying it into federal law. She co-sponsored the Family Act for paid family and medical leave and endorsed universal basic income. Until 2004 she voted and lobbied against same-sex marriage in Hawaii. She publicly apologized for those positions in 2012.
You think you know all about Assad. And what to support your position by referring to her comments about him.
I seriously doubt that you have ever looked at how that accusation came about. I have. I have read studies concerning the gassing….by experts in the field…I suggest you do some serious research into the White Helmets and who supports them.
“The White Helmets only come to the “rescue” in ISIS-controlled and run territories. When there were so-called poison-gas attacks, the first on the scene were White Helmets. Just a coincidence? Were they even part of these staged poison-gas attacks by their brothers and sisters from ISIS? Studies have shown no involvement of the Syrian Armey but rather by ISIS and al-Nusra. Up till now, the White Helmets are only present in ISIS-controlled territory.”
I suggest you try this examination:
A whistleblower from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is accusing top officials of tampering with evidence collected at the scene of an alleged chemical weapons attack in the Syrian city of Douma in April 2018.
I have done my research…Yours?
Sorry, I think you misread my post. I am certainly not calling her a mass murderer. I have no problems with calling Asaad a mass murderer.
Just do the search.. Without Russia vetoing any kind of actions he would be facing the wrath of the entire. Goes way past those white hats.
She is an anti-muslim racist. Her support of another anti-muslim racist, Modi, shows a clear pattern.
I don’t want to talk about her. She’s had her 15 minutes, and that’s more than enough.
Her actions have buried her. Good riddance.
I would never vote for Biden,for Biden is a gimme for Trump to be re-elected.
More of the same corruption/Democrat evil.
The young have been screwed by Biden and the Democrats for a long long time. to think the young would vote for Biden is so far fetched after the Bankruptcy bill made sure they would die in debt if they dared “borrow” to have the American Dream.
so the real question seems to be how do the Biden Democrats get enough people, not just the conservative suburbanites, to have him win in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, the purple states Hillary deigned were hers without any attention to those voters.
Biden is Hillary one more time. different set of people screwed over by Biden this time. lol. Trump will win big over Biden, way way Huge as the Liar in Chief says.
The Democrats have screwed the progressives, the young, and the left time and time again. Bernie won’t make it, i bet, due to being non-aggressive and not willing to ratchet up the truth of how bad Biden really is for the rest of the country. Biden’s record is proof of that.
Just amazing to see how the Biden “centrist” concept ignores how easily Trump will cream him in debates, if there are any, and especially how hard it will be for Biden to even carry any other blue states besides gimmes like CA. i.e. Biden will be even worse than Hillary was in the Electoral College.
The left has been screwed. i hope the left lets the Democrats know they won’t let themselves be “used” anymore, which is the Democratic way. typified by Hillary since she lost her right to the Throne, that is. The “my way or the highway” is not just a one way street Democrats control. the left learned from Hillary’s “evil Bernie’s fault.”
Revenge is a dessert best served cold.
Welcome to Angry Bear. First time commenters or comments always go to moderation to weed out spammers, spam, and advertising.
You have been here before as I discovered. Anyhoo, you will popup for me to see if you change login info.
Welcome. Always a pleasure to hear an articulate voice.
Finally an answer to Sanders’ unpopularity with black voters. I never understood it before, but this makes perfect sense.
“I want to discuss some things that Chris raised in his post last night on Black voters and the Biden-Bernie matchup, and that were then echoed by others in comments. (I should say at the top that I am both one of the only Sanders-supporting and one of the only nonwhite LGM front-pagers, both of which may or may not be relevant disclosures.)
I don’t have any issues with Chris’s larger conclusion that Biden manhandled Sanders in attracting Black voters in the South. That’s clearly true and not up for debate. I also agree with the point that it’s patronizing to write off Black voters as voting against their interests, being ill-informed, etc. It’s also not borderline offensive. It is offensive.
However, I think there is a lot of nuance that’s lost, and then there’s the big problematic assertion that Black votes are going to be in play in November in terms of Trump succeeding at making a play for them. That’s not true in any really meaningful way, as even the Thomas Edsall piece linked to in the post basically shows. There’s a likelihood of lower turnout relative to 2008 and 2012, thanks to voter suppression and Obama not being on the ticket, but there’s not likely to be a statistically meaningful defection to Trump, despite what Kanye thinks and regardless of who the Democratic nominee is.
The reasons aren’t hard to parse. It’s in large measure because Black voters are by and large legitimately horrified by Trump, and by a much wider margin than are most other demographic groups. (This is of course more true of Black women than Black men.)….
There is also a large and reasonable suspicion of whether or not enough white voters would actually support a Sanders-style political recalibration. Kelly, again:
Black voters over 45 have lived long enough to see the history made by Obama, but also have an even longer memory of the disappointment and shortcomings of candidates who failed. They’ve surveyed the polarized political landscape and bitterly divided Congress, and they doubt that a Sanders’-style political revolution is even a remote possibility in an age when just voting to fund the government is regularly up for debate. Many of them admired the grit and talent of Warren but had no faith that white men in any significant numbers would support a woman for president, even if she was the best choice.
Or as the great Black Freedom Movement scholar Hasan Jeffries put it:
‘I’m only going to say this once, so listen up! It’s not that Black voters don’t trust #BernieSanders enough to vote for him in the primaries, it’s that they don’t trust white voters enough to vote for him over Trump in the general election. So #Biden it is.”‘
” Will we seen another historically high Democrat vote for anybody but Trump or Biden which occurred in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania when it was anybody but Trump or Clinton. That really worked out well for us, didn’t it?”
Well, two posters in here have me scared for a repeat.
I agree with Eric.. even if Bernie wins it’s going to be hard for him to enact any of his program. I’d go further and say I wish his program were more modest… not because I am a “moderate” but because I think it’s poor politics to scare the hell out of powerful enemies before you get elected. And if you do get elected it’s better to start small. This does not mean “compromise”. it means keeping your eye on the prize.
that said, i want to say about myself that i “supported” Warren until she pulled the “poor woman” card out of the bottom of the deck. women no doubt face problems. the answer to it is not to try to destroy your best friends to make yourself the front runner. i don’t know if “white men” would vote for Warren. I would have.
second (for my myself), i hope that win or lose Bernie can keep his “revolution” going… and learning… so it might win next time, or at least influence policy.
i think the only reason anyone would vote for Biden would be to keep Trump from winning. That may be a good enough reason. I hope Sanders supporters can keep that in mind if it comes to that choice. Biden would be “no worse” than Obama or Clinton (either one)… even if he is totally demanded he won’t be any worse than Reagan . And that is better than Trump.
it seems to me that people here forget it’s all about politics: winning or losing with the electorate you have not the electorate you wish you had.
nor do some of them consider that some of what they are seeing may be false-flag dirty tricks. or maybe just the fact that even Bernie supporters include a number of people at the same level of moral and intellectual development as Trump supporters. the question is can you win, or at least influence policy.
as for “starting small” Bernie appears to need the support of people who love his “big” ideas. but there are ways to take care of the needs of the people without using a bigger hammer.
maybe it takes “compromise” for people to discover more sophisticated ways to get from here to there… but Roosevelt at least, created his own “compromise” over the objections of his own advisors. we need someone that smart. i don’t see him (or her) at the moment.
i am afraid that with Trump and the current Republican party we are running out of “moments”… as in “last chance” to save government of the people, by the people, for the people.
Taking nothing away from FDR, it is much easier to get things done when you an insurmountable majority in both houses.
All he had to do was not antagonize Southern dems with giving things to black people. He had no trouble doing that.
yep. easier with the majority. makes me wonder why Obama didn’t do it.
but FDR kept his majority by being smarter than both his enemies and his friends.
His friends would have made SS welfare as we know it. He insisted SS not be welfare, but worker paid insurance. Has worked for eighty years. Now in danger from the Right who want “personal accounts” and the Left who want … welfare as we knew it.
In his first election he did not promise huge taxes on the rich, and he did call for a balanced budget… might have helped him get that huge majority.
Of course the rich felt double-crossed but it was too late… the taxes were not huge and he changed things that even the sane rich knew needed to be changed, changes that lasted until…. Bill Clinton? and only survived Obama because he couldn’t sell his “grand bargain.”
As for giving things to black people… he may have had no trouble “not doing that” but he had considerable trouble “doing that.” I don’t think he was a racist himself, but he knew the country was and he had to tread carefully to accomplish what he could. Truman did more, and LBJ did most. But who remembers LBJ for anything but Vietnam… which they would have loved him for if we had “won.”
But as for “civil rights” that battle was won until the “civil rights” faction overreached. and we are losing the civil rights battle because our enemies (not necessarily racist themselves) use racism (both ways) to keep us at each others throats and failing to see what they–the real enemy– is up to off camera.
Huge change in politics from the 30’s to Obama.
60 became the number for a majority in the Senate. And Obama never had that in reality.
Franken did not show up until July 09. Brown showed up Feb 10.
And anyone that considered Liebermann a Democrat in 2009 needs to change their meds.
Regarding electability, one angle that I haven’t heard people discuss is what happens if the COVID-19 thing gets serious enough that candidates can’t (or at least shouldn’t) hold campaign rallies? I think it’s pretty clear that during the primary season depressed rally turnout would hurt Sanders more than Biden. During the general election campaign I suspect that it’s likely to hurt Trump more than Biden, but it would hurt Sanders more than Trump if Sanders won the nomination.
And on a related topic, at what point should the political parties start making plans for either canceling their conventions or at least drastically scaling them back? That doesn’t mean they should immediately announce plans to cancel or cut back, but they should at least start thinking of alternatives “just in case.”
you are right about the “huge change” but i was talking about what Obama did on his own. got a book for you to read as soon as i can remember who wrote it.
as for Lieberman… I recognized him as a creep when he “debated” Cheney. or as the pundits said at the time “it’s unfortunate they aren’t the candidates at the head of their tickets.” so much civility, you see.
Listen to Cornel West for a real understanding of what has happened and what are our options.
I listened to the Cornel West video and don’t understand why it’s relevant. Cornel West is an inspirational speaker, he can get a crowd at a Sanders rally excited. No surprise there.
One revealing moment in the video occurs when West talks about politicians being corrupted by money – and then inadvertently slips into saying that they are too worried about public opinion. These are very different theories of how politics work. If politicians systematically refuse to give people what they want because they are corrupted by big money, then a popular candidate who takes money from small donors could really change American politics. If the most progressive voters in the Democratic party don’t get what they want because most Americans disagree with them about politics and priorities, then nominating Sanders is a big risk – a risk that could give Trump four more years and threaten American democracy.
And I don’t see what a Sanders presidency would accomplish that a Biden presidency would not. To repeat the question in my original post, if Congress doesn’t pass Medicare for All under President Sanders, what is Sanders going to do about? Yell at some Congress people? Explain to me exactly how anything will be different if Sanders wins the election, without engaging in wishful thinking.
Today’s column by Leonhardt makes some of the points I’ve been making. To win elections progressives need to be less moralistic and more realistic about what Americans want. They need to stop falling victim to the pundit’s fallacy or false consensus effect:
West did everything he could to defeat the Dem nominee in 2016.
He should be poison to a Dem campaign.
And then to make it worse, he knows what he did yet takes no blame or responsibility for his actions.
West:And then you have Trump and others who come in with pseudopopulist language and are tied to Big Money and thoroughly lack integrity. Trump has made mendacity a way of life. He has made lying seem normal. That is his way of being in the world. And yet 38 percent of our fellow citizens say they like him.
Hertog: It could be a threat to democracy, no?
West: Oh, yes, it is a threat to democracy. It could very well be the end of democracy. We are living in a very bleak moment.
Hertog: But you supported Jill Stein over Hillary Clinton?
Hertog: Would you have changed your vote to Clinton if it would have prevented the election of Trump?
West: If my vote had been the decisive vote, yes, I would have voted for Clinton against Trump. But what we need is a sustained critique of the Clintons and the Obamas and other Wall Street–friendly politicians, with their ugly drone strikes on innocent people; politicians who hardly say a word about poverty and reinforce a surveillance state and a national-security state and permanent war. We must have some truth-telling about that. More than half of discretionary government spending goes into the military-industrial complex. That’s why we don’t have enough resources for education or public healthcare. We need true public healthcare, not market-driven Obamacare. Obama took a step in the right direction, but it fell far, far short.
We need our fellow citizens, intellectuals and others, to tell the truth. As long as we have a fear of telling the truth, we will be locked into lies as a mode of living. If everybody is afraid to tell the truth, what kind of public dialogue can you have?”
He belongs in a classroom, not out in the real world.
These guys thing their vote is harmless. Its not as shown in the others vote for three states.
I agree that West seems to contradict himself. But you must realize that “what people think” is largely determined by what people with money tell them to think.
I don’t think we can fault Bernie for being too moralistic. Morals are what determine ultimately our quality of life. We have to chose, at present, between our morals, and the morals of money, and the morals of hate.
and, being human, the way they all get mixed up and contradictory even in the same sentence.
My answer for now is try like hell to get Bernie elected. Be ready to switch to Biden if necessary to keep Trumpism from getting elected-entrenched, And in either case keep working to get the Bernie-type morals into policy whether Bernie gets elected or not.
I think that last will involve some serious re-thinking by Progressives about politics as well as policy. My opinion is that some Progressives have themselves bought too much into the morality of money and of hate, but that is a much longer discussion than anyone here would put up with.
> Listen to Cornel West for a real understanding of what has happened and what are our options.
There are no options left for neoliberal Dems. This is a typical political Zugzwang. The only hope is Coronavirus (as an act of God). Otherwise it looks like they already surrendered elections to Trump.
Biden is a dead end into which neoliberal Dems drove themselves.
See, for example
That article is childish.
Am I correct in inferring from your statistics that the Dems lost in 2016 because so many of them voted for “other”?
I can understand why they did that, and even more so in the case of Biden.
But I hope enough Bernie and Elizabeth supporters can see that now, and work, first to elect Sanders if possible, second, to elect Biden if Sanders does not look possible, and third, win or lose to stay in the fight to make Bernie/Warren a force that cannot be ignored that may force progressive changes little by little that will ultimately result in a sane country again. If Trump wins, or if Biden wins and then it’s back to same-o same-o Democrat business as usual, there is no hope.
I am not personally in favor of hard core tax the rich to pay for everything policies. I think that might be something Bernie-Elizabeth will have to “compromise” on… only not so much “compromise” as discover better solutions that don’t have to be enforced at the point of a gun.
What you are suggesting in terms of Bernie and Elizabeth influencing Biden’s platform is correct.
And that was what was done in 2016.
The berniebros screwed that up with their assistance to trump.
My stance was anyone but Biden, but if he wins I’m in 100%. Cause that is the only way any of Bernie’s or Elizabeth’s ideas can happen.
good for us. now how do we make it work?
btw, the book i mentioned was “The Obama Syndrome” by Tariq Ali.
I haven’t read much of it myself. But he starts out saying things I thought I knew already.