Open thread March 10, 2020 Dan Crawford | March 10, 2020 7:46 am Tags: open thread Comments (22) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
I was a Warren first voter, then Bernie.
I have been having a hard time understanding the amount of support for Biden. His record on the Iraq War; the bankruptcy bill; and his ludicrous belief that he will be able to get Republicans to go along with any of his legislation makes his popularity among Dem voters really strange.
But I think Charles Pierce has noted the reason:
“Trump’s Coronavirus Bungling Has Only Boosted Joe Biden’s Return-to-Normalcy Campaign
As the president* continues to do his damage, Biden could wrap up the nomination with wins in Mississippi, Missouri, and Michigan.
I have attended the annual CPAC hootenanny just often enough to know I never want to go back to one again. However, the only real contagions I ever noticed there were greed and ignorance, to which some people have no natural immunity. This year, though, it seems that the wingding functioned as a kind of petri dish, especially among its celebrity entertainers. Somebody carrying the coronavirus got through with a VIP pass and may have passed the virus along to a number of VIPs—including, perhaps, the President* of the United States. Of course, if Vanity Fair’s reporting is accurate, the president* has his own theories as to how he may have come in contact with the current pandemic.
‘Stories about Trump’s coronavirus fears have spread through the White House. Last week Trump told aides he’s afraid journalists will try to purposefully contract coronavirus to give it to him on Air Force One, a person close to the administration told me. The source also said Trump has asked the Secret Service to set up a screening program and bar anyone who has a cough from the White House grounds. “He’s definitely melting down over this,” the source said.’
Good to know, as the aisles at Trader Joe’s turn into Fury Road.
The biggest miscalculation I made in covering the Democratic primary campaign this year was underestimating the pure political power of how many people just want a president and a government that they don’t have to think about every day. I understood that the impulse was out there. That’s been obvious at least since the 2018 midterms. People just want things to make sense again. I understand that.
What I missed was how powerful that impulse would be politically when it finally found a candidate able to give it purpose and focus. Over the last three weeks, in his rambling, halting, stumbling way, Joe Biden has become that candidate, and the coalescence of all that deep desire for normalcy behind what is an otherwise unremarkable candidacy has been a stunning thing to watch. And the administration’s profound bungling of the ongoing pandemic has given focus to everything those same people don’t want their government to be. To a lot of folks, Joe Biden is that old-time religion. He’s good enough for me.”
Am I crazy? Is the permafrost in runaway meltdown?
If flying saucers wisked away every human being for zoos in distant galaxies the temperature here on earth would already be high enough to melt permafrost — it is melting. As the permafrost thaws it releases carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere.
They tell us that the permafrost contains 1.5 trillion tons of carbon — though that doesn’t all seem to be in carbon dioxide form; though they seem to imply it will all end up in the atmosphere by some processes — plus methane. I’m not clear about how much gas would be ultimately released — but in any case they say the permafrost contains (is containing) twice as much carbon as is in the atmosphere today.
The more carbon released, the higher the temperature, the more released … . Is the permafrost already in runaway? Do we have to do everything we can to cool the planet enough to start rebuilding the permafrost — via carbon capture technology? Am I crazy?
A recent Nova episode, “Polar Extremes”, showed the earth for the past 500 million years going back and forth between being a hot swamp, pole tot pole — with bouts of total coverage with ice sometimes in between. Note: when covered with ice the ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 180 — when poll to poll swamp it was 320 — now it is 410 (hope I got the figures just right) (Nova is surprisingly and steadily esoteric.)
This really makes me happy.
Next stop for her? Fox News.
“This is not, in fact, a two-person race. There is a sitting member of the House of Representatives still in the competition — Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. She’s an Iraq War veteran, a young woman of color, and a strong debater. If you hadn’t been paying attention to the race until now and you read that description, you’d think she’d be a serious candidate.
Yet Gabbard was a complete non-factor Tuesday night, unable to take advantage of the fact that every other candidate except Biden and Sanders had dropped out. Even worse, it wasn’t a surprise — everyone knew before the results were in that she would not play a significant role.
In addition to being a long shot to start with — representatives hardly have a strong track record of winning their party’s presidential nomination — Gabbard’s failure as a primary candidate can be chalked up to some conspicuous positions that put her out of step with her party. She spent the Obama years attacking the president from the right on terrorism, cozying up to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and praising Russia’s brutal intervention in Syria’s civil war on Assad’s behalf. During the 2020 primary, she got into a bizarre feud with Hillary Clinton — even filing a lawsuit against the party’s 2016 standard-bearer — and voted “present” on impeaching Trump.
In October, she announced she wouldn’t stand for reelection in the House. This is probably smart on her part. An early March poll found that her national approval rating was 30 points underwater among registered Democrats, suggesting she’d have had difficulty fending off a primary challenger, let alone winning the general.
Gabbard has to rank as not only a big loser of tonight but one of the biggest losers of the 2020 primary. The really mystifying question isn’t why her run for president went so badly — but why she’s still in the race at all.
@EMichael, March 11, 2020 7:46 am
The last thing we need is more neocon brainwashing, Those MIC stooges already did huge damage to the country with the Iraq war disaster and “Full spectrum dominance” doctrine implementation at the cost of significantly lowing the standard of living of the majority of ordinary Americans :
Paid stooges on MIC usually lack talent and suck even as propagandists.
So if I think Gabbard is a whack-a-doodle that means I support the MIC?
I think I can be anti-war and still think Gabbard is a whack-a-doodle.
This is a great idea. Maybe Bernie can sell it to Biden for getting out of the primary after the next debate.
“As Joe Biden romped to victory on what cable news called “Super Tuesday II” in recognition of the American public’s relentless thirst for branded sequels, CNN’s Jake Tapper surveyed the scene and offered a cheerful parallel: what if this is like John Kerry in 2004, where the fading Bernie Sanders has reprised the role of Howard Dean? The comparison only goes so far, even if the lion’s share of the Democratic electorate is once again motivated almost solely by defeating the Republican incumbent, and have put on their pundit caps to rally around the guy they’ve convinced themselves is most Electable. For one thing, Donald Trump is particularly unpopular, and it appears—based on the 2018 midterms and some data out of Michigan last night—that Republicans are hemorrhaging support among white suburban voters, particularly women, as a result.
Still, there are ways in which Biden is weak. It does us no good to pretend that he is the same guy who tore apart Paul Ryan in a vice-presidential debate in 2012. He is slower now, and there are times he doesn’t always make sense. Trump has his own problems in that department, but the president’s primal instinct for viciousness and cruelty could still prove effective against Biden—not that, based on 2016, debates particularly matter.
Biden’s more significant problems may arise with voters who believe the economy is not working for them, that they’ve been left behind by a system rigged against them. Biden’s emerging coalition of the Democratic Party’s African-American base and Trump-hating suburbanites will need to feature younger and white working-class voters to get him across the line in places like Michigan—the kind of votes that Hillary Clinton failed to get running a campaign that was primarily a negation of Trump, not unlike the one Biden’s running. He also needs to make inroads with Hispanic voters, who skew younger and working class and have gravitated to the Sanders campaign.
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You need to be running for something, not just against something, to get the votes you need beyond the Democratic primary electorate. Joe Biden must have a signature policy that will speak to the fundamental issues of our time:
wage stagnation and the collapse of working-class life;
our dangerously crumbling infrastructure;
our pressing need to remake our economic system to avoid the onrushing threat to human civilization as we know it posed by the climate crisis;
and the generalized collapse of faith in our system and its most powerful practitioners, particularly among young people.
The answer to all this may just be a Green New Deal, or at least a similar green infrastructure plan. If Biden is reluctant to call it the Green New Deal for fear of tying himself to the left and/or alienating the suburbanites in his coalition, he can call it the Rebuild America for the 21st Century Plan or whatever the hell he wants. But since it’s abundantly clear he’s not going to pursue any major healthcare reform, he needs to present a simple and clear vision for America’s future, not just a promise to return things to, like, 2015 or whatever, before the orange man made everything bad. Clearly everything was not good back then, since an insane game-show host got enough traction with the electorate to crash into the White House. People outside the Democratic primary electorate will need to believe their lives will change beyond the blessed prospect they won’t have to see the president making a mess on TV every day.
Former US Vice President Joe Biden
Biden will need more than just an anti-Trump message in November.
First, an infrastructure bill is a political winner. Perhaps Trump’s biggest mistake was having Paul Ryan and Co. try to Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act as the Republicans’ first major initiative on seizing control of every branch of government in 2016. If Trump had pushed a massive infrastructure bill, the cowering Democrats in Congress would have gone right with him. He could have gotten a bipartisan deal through immediately and done a victory lap as The Artful Dealmaker Who Cuts Through All the Political Bullshit to Get Things Done. Instead, he oversaw a quixotic quest to try to erase the first black president’s signature achievement, which The Base would have loved but which ultimately proved a massive dud politically. Biden could run on an infrastructure bill and remind people over and over again that Trump failed to deliver on a similar promise and tried to strip them of their healthcare instead.
Second, the bill would create good-paying jobs in both urban and rural communities across the country at a time when the American economy’s fastest-growing segment is the “low-wage workforce”—the 53 million Americans, and 44 percent of American workers, who do not make a living wage. This state of affairs is destroying people’s lives and fueling social and political dysfunction as hope gives way to rage and despair. Put people to work on a living wage rebuilding the infrastructure in their communities so it’s fit for the trials to come, including adaptation and mitigation of the climate crisis.
Which brings us to three: it’s the right thing to do. The people who study this stuff—at, say, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—say we are running out of time to fundamentally transform our economy to stop putting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which traps heat and in turn destabilizes our ecosystems and throws our only planet into a level of disarray that threatens our very way of life. We have a moral and practical duty to rebuild our society in the image of the future, which means clean energy and an infrastructure that’s equipped to deal with rising seas, more ferocious storms and wildfires, severe floods and drought. Forget about what it costs—nobody actually cares about The National Debt, as Trump’s time in the sun has demonstrated. If Trump attacks him on it, he can point to Trump’s ballooning of the deficit to give tax cuts to rich people and multinational corporations. Plus, this investment could spur economic activity in the same way Republicans always say tax cuts will, except it might actually happen.
Last, this is the most promising avenue for Biden to reach out to The Youth Vote which has so conspicuously evaded him in the primaries. While some of that is down to Bernie Sanders’s incredible appeal to voters under 30—and, if last night is anything to go on, his comparative strength with voters under 50(!)—a lot is due to the fact that Biden has so far failed to connect with them on any level. He does not embrace Medicare For All, he does not devote a lot of time or concern to the metric ton of student loan debt that is crushing an entire generation of Americans, he has not matched Sanders’s willingness to disentangle us from unwinnable foreign wars.
He must hang his hat on this issue, showing younger voters that he knows their futures are at stake—and not just when it comes to the climate crisis. These are some of the people who could fill the good-paying jobs that will be created. These are people who will spend the next 40 years driving over broken-down bridges across this country. Biden will never summon the energy Sanders does among young people, but he needs to get some of them out to vote. He should come out for the Green New Deal—or, again, whatever the hell he wants to call it. It’s a promise to rebuild America. It’s something to come out and vote for. Unless, of course, Biden really just wants to go backwards.”
@EMichael March 11, 2020 2:57 pm
That an interesting article. Thank you. Jack Holmes who wrote this article outlined main Biden problems pretty well. The problem is that they are all unsolvable, especially
Biden is the candidate from credit card companies and like leopard can’t change its spots. He is and always was a neocon and staunch neoliberal.
A typical Washington swamp rat. Completely despicable person, if you ask me.
And a very sick in addition to that. To the extent that he risks his life and accelerates his mental decline by running in such a stressful contest. That’s the same problem that Hillary faced.
But now with “Anybody but Trump” movement growing stronger and stronger by the day, his health problems, past warmongering and his despicable role in the decimation of the New Deal and the establishment of the rule of financial oligarchy in the USA might hunt him less then he deserves.
A cat or a dog in place of Biden would probably do as well this time, if not better 🙂
We are in recession now and that spells big troubles for Trump. Moreover, the real contest in November most probably will be between Trump and his administration handling of coronavirus epidemics, not so much between Trump and Biden 😉
“Why did Senator Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg suddenly drop out? They were all on the ballot on Super Tuesday and they suddenly dropped out. Well, they were contacted by the Democratic Party, the Democratic National Committee, by various people like Terry McAuliffe, the Clintons and all of them basically saying — do it in order to save the party from Bernie Sanders, do it for Joe Biden, our boy, you know. These are a bunch of losers, they have lost so many elections, state, federal over the years against the worst Republican Party in history. And the losers don’t want to give up their sinecures. They don’t want to give up the entrenched role they play inside this decrepit Democratic Party that Bernie is trying to clean up and reform. There are a lot of emails, calls going on after the South Carolina primary, in the three days to line up all kinds of party apparatchiks, to get out the vote, to bad mouth Bernie”
Joe Biden was for all of these corporate managed trade agreements that emptied his beloved native Pennsylvania of jobs. He supported all of the wars that Clinton and Obama supported. He is the toady of the big banks in Delaware. He supported the Wall Street bailout after the crash in 2009. He was the waterboy for the credit card industry and their rapacious interest rates and penalties. And he comes from Delaware, which is the hospitality center for giant corporations to be chartered in so that they can have permissive corporate laws and strip their own shareholders and mutual funds and pension funds of the rights of ownership, entrenching power at the top among the corporate executive class. He voted for legislation in the Senate that led to mass incarceration. That’s all, just for starters.
“He’s responsible for Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court. He took Thurgood Marshall’s seat and he’s been voting against black and Latino interests ever since, making a difference in 5-4 decisions. And as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Biden mistreated Anita Hill, who was a star witness. And he didn’t urge the Democrats not to bolt — and eleven of them bolted and supported Clarence Thomas who won 52-48 in a Democratically controlled Senate. He’s responsible for a lot of those 5-4 votes where Clarence Thomas makes the difference.”
Go go, Joe! We all love you here. We like what you’ve done….more of the same, pleeeeeeeeeeeze!
oh…forgot to attribute the above to Ralph Nader! That attribution will be sure to draw fire! rofl
Compare with Trump characterization at
The world would be a better place if Nader had withdrawn from public life after attacking the Corvair.
Fairly easy to see after the South Carolina primary that it was a two person race, making the withdrawls simple common sense that required no input from anyone else.
“When everyone is out to get you, paranoia is just being careful.”
” For months, Sanders has talked about “taking on the Democratic establishment.” He ran on that message in Iowa and New Hampshire. Then, after becoming the front-runner, he went around the country boasting that his critics were right to fear him. At a rally in California on Feb. 17, he gloated that his enemies were “trembling” and “crying on television.” On Feb. 21, the day before he won the Nevada caucuses, he tweeted, “I’ve got news for the Republican establishment. I’ve got news for the Democratic establishment. They can’t stop us.”
Running against the establishment is standard populism. But to win with that message, you have to define the enemy narrowly. The more people you denounce as part of the establishment, the more you scare politicians and voters. If you’re proposing single-payer health insurance, for example, the smart move is to stipulate that you’re just targeting insurance companies. Instead, Sanders has threatened the whole medical sector. “We will take on the health care industry,” he vowed at a rally last week. On Monday, he repeated that line to a crowd in St. Louis. On CNN, he blasted the industry for supporting Biden: “The health care industry that is taking out their checkbooks? That is the establishment. We are taking them on.”
Sanders also attacks the press. Voters don’t care about the press, but they get antsy when a candidate sounds paranoid. Instead of playing to reporters’ liberal sympathies, Sanders depicts them as puppets of “the corporate media.” He accuses them of “freaking out” over his success and hurling “venom” at his campaign. Last week, when MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow pressed Sanders about his failure to turn out new voters, he insisted he was doing well, given that he was “taking on the corporate media.” …..
It’s one thing to run against the greed of certain companies or CEOs. It’s another to root against whole sectors of the stock market, in which most Americans are invested. Sanders comes across as a guy who’d rather hurt capitalists than welcome a boost for 401(k)s. And this reinforces the damage he has done to himself, gratuitously, by insisting that he’s a “democratic socialist.” It’s hard to broaden your support when you seem more interested in ideology and punishment than in whether your attacks on the system are helping ordinary people outside your base.
Meanwhile, Sanders has escalated his talk of conspiracies. On Sunday, he claimed that “the establishment put a great deal of pressure” on Buttigieg and Klobuchar to “force” them out of the race. “What was very clear from the media narrative and what the establishment wanted,” he told George Stephanopoulos, “was to make sure that people coalesced around Biden and try to defeat me.” On Wednesday, after his defeats, Sanders again rebuked “the Democratic establishment” and insisted that “our campaign has won the ideological debate.”
What Sanders fails to understand is the connection between his defeats and his rhetoric. It wasn’t the media or the Democratic National Committee that turned Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and millions of voters against him. It was Sanders. His relentless message of conflict, along with his expanding list of putative enemies, attracted a fraction of the electorate but alienated everybody else. As the primaries narrowed to a two-man race, his base was no longer enough to win. The establishment didn’t destroy Bernie Sanders. He destroyed himself. “
For those who are in “Anybody but Trump” camp in the current circumstances it does not matter much who will be on Democratic ticket. Biden as the guy on Democratic ticket is a very sad joke, but still Trump can lose the elections.
Right now Trump himself is his worst enemy. If comments to the article referenced below reflect sentiments of moderate and anti-war Republicans, Trump has no chances in November. Note that some even questioned their choice in 2016 elections
Matthew Kuhl engineerscotty • 10 hours ago
failure • 10 hours ago
Brasidas • 10 hours ago
IanDakar John Achterhof • 7 hours ago • edited
I Am Sorry • 10 hours ago
john • 9 hours ago
well, here is my take:
voting for Biden would make me feel sick and a little dirty. But if by then Bernie has failed to convince me he can beat Trump, I will vote for Biden.
going back to Clinton/Obama and even Reagan would be bad, but it would at least stop the Republcans from destroying every chance and “government by the people for the people.”
then I would hope to see the Bernie forces get smart enough to actually win elections. EMichael in a comment somewhere above suggests we learn something from voters who “don’t want to have to think about the President every day..” Even I, a wanna be Bernie supporter, have been trying to tell the Bernie-ists that they need to tone down the rhetoric and give us policy proposals that don’t scare the people… however well informed or misinformed they might be.
And I wish Warren had not decided that the feminist agenda was more important than curbing Wall Street.
Why do you say Warren stopped trying to “curb Wall Street”. Pretty sure that was one of the parts of her platform.
absolutely. It’s why I loved her.
But then she said “Bernie said a woman can’t win, so don’t vote for him.” And when she quit the race, she gave a talk in which having a woman win seemed to be the most important issue for her.
[note, I am all for having a woman president. i was going to vote for Warren. But now I can’t vote for her because she quit. I hope she comes back to thinking Wall Street is a bigger problem than her need to have a woman president, Then I hope she gets nominated for VP at least, or a cabinent position keeping an eye on Wall Street crimes.
Nah, I want her in the Senate.
More important than a cabinet job, and way more important than VP.
I want a person of color as the VP. Castro, Booker, Harris, in that order.
Depends on the VP (and the Pres) the job is not as worthless as it was in John Adam’s day (and he got to be President, as have some others.
Besides it could help Biden win if necessary.
meanwhile, i think you need to reorder your priorities, or have you not noticed that women and people of color are just as equal as old white men: they are equally capable of graft, crime, human rights abuse, and the general stupidity that flesh is heir too.
I would gladly vote for SOME woman, or person of color, but i will not vote for just ANY woman or just ANY person of color.
women have had the vote for a hundred years. seems they could have elected a woman any time.
i voted for Hillary twice, and Obama once. makes me a racist male chauvinist pig, doesn’t it?
but since you are sure the DNC had nothing to do with Bernie’s losses, how come you are so sure a vast male chauvinist conspiracy was responsible for Warren’s losses?
Maybe I don’t understand politics in America, but it seems to me a Senator is just a bag of wind with one vote. I can’t remember a Senator changing anything since Henry Clay. but a VP with his Pres behind him is an extra 24 man hours a day to do some moving and shaking. so also a cabinet officer… though since JQAdams they have tended to fade after their boss retires.
Not a conspiracy, just normal behavior from people who instinctively trust men to do the job and not women.
Oregon has a woman governor. not the first. I would have instinctively trusted Warren until she showed she cared more about electing “any” woman than regulating Wall Street.
I have no doubt “some” men “instinctively” don’t trust women to make their own decisions, let alone a country’s. But I can’t think of any reason Americans would be more subject to such instincts than, say, England or Germany or …
Maybe someday soon we will get a woman president, but first, it’s not the most important thing we need to worry about, and second, don’t expect her to be any better than “a” man. Equality, you know.