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January 28, 2019

Comments

And so I'm back
From outer space!

Yeah, going to try to get back on the posting horse.

Welcome back! You've been missed.

Senator Harris is off to a strong start. Now she needs to keep it up. And survive the carping criticism that she's "not liberal enough" -- which is, admittedly, foreordained for any politician who is a former DA.

As for O'Rourke, I'd say that, for the immediate future, he'd make a great senator from Texas.

If Sanders runs Independent, he will suddenly be faced with all the oppo that the Dems have on him, but have refrained from using so far. I think he's intensely vulnerable on that front, and I hope he knows it.

My sense is that he's going to find this campaign dismaying: the flow of $27 contributions will have dwindled, the rallies will be much smaller, the opportunities to batten on ego-boosting adulation less frequent.

Great timing Doc, and let the posting horse know who's boss.

An interesting op-ed about Harris
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/27/kamala-harris-black-women-progressives-support-record

That's the only justification for horse-race journalism at this point in the cycle: so that party members like myself have info we need to figure out who to support early and who to discourage.

This.
(The ‘only’ would be redundant, if not for those of us who also occasionally bet on political outcomes.)

Biden is the front runner right now because every poll says he is.

yes, its all leftover smileys from him being Obama's affable sidekick. but that's all people have to go on because it's still too early to be talking about frontrunners in any other way.

Biden

Dead to me since the Anita Hill hearings.
Also he is one of the reasons that student loan debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, a truly evil law.

I don't disagree with anything you've said. I do worry somewhat about the emphasis on black women voters this cycle, if it crowds out everything else. But that's because I live in a state and region where blacks are not the largest minority. In my becoming-safely-blue state, Blacks make up 4% of the population, while Latinx are 21%. There are no western states where blacks are the largest minority group, and some where they are not the second largest minority group.

Somewhat to Cleek's statement about polls, Harris has edged ahead of Biden in the betting odds and is leading the Democratic pack.

I don't think that the black women voters thing will crowd out the Latinx factor because the white supremacist undercurrent on the right is going to keep enough pressure on the political discourse that it will hold together a coalition-of-color. That pressure is already pushing the Vietnamese-American communities into the blue.

And as far as Colorado goes, much as I like him, I don't see a path to victory for Hickenlooper (even as VP) though it could put up some strong support for Beto. But I think that youth and gender will play against Beto this time as people look at him and figure he'll have plenty of chances to come.

Biden is the front runner right now because every poll says he is.

Biden is the "front runner" in the polls right now because he's got name recognition. Which is all that's being measured. Until there's actually been enough activity for poll respondents to know more than just (some of!) the participants, it's silly to read much into them.

See also this
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/democrats-2020-presidential-contest-is-wide-open-as-danger-mounts-for-trump-new-washington-post-abc-news-poll-shows/2019/01/28/88a3fd16-227b-11e9-90cd-dedb0c92dc17_story.html

the opposition race to replace [Trump] is wide open, with most Democratic voters not able to name their favorite candidate, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

When asked whom they would support today for the Democratic presidential nomination, 56 percent of self-identified Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents did not offer a name.
[emphasis added]

...I don't see a path to victory for Hickenlooper (even as VP)...

Neither do I. This cycle is going to be tough on white male Democratic governors seeking the nomination. It's crowded just with western governors: Bullock, Hickenlooper, Inslee. Hick and Bullock look like they're both going to try the "radical moderate" approach. Inslee is running on climate crisis. I am a climate crisis guy, and Inslee is the only one with that priority. I'm on Harris's campaign mailing list -- donate to one Dem regionally and they're all after you -- and got the opening day e-mail minutes after she announced. The only mention of the environment was "everybody should have clean air and clean water." The West is already f*cking burning down; can't we have a word about climate change?

It's striking to me that the pro pundits & journos haven't noticed the age issue and that, for Dem voters over 40-45, it's centered on concern that too old a candidate won't be fit for a 2nd term.

Yet another way that journos favor Rs, who don't worry about candidates being too old.

@Michael Cain: I, too, am a climate crisis person, but that's not enough to make me take Inslee seriously: his lack of name recognition (and of contacts in Washington: who would be in his cabinet?), age (he's 67), and white-guy-ness weigh too heavy in the balance.

I'll be interested to see whether Harris or Warren sees the climate crisis opening and goes for it.

Yes, Kamala Harris should say even more about climate change. She has a 100% positive voting record on environmental issues.

I'll take it.

Some random thoughts, racy and otherwise.

The Democratic nominee could be a loaf of bread who picks a jug of wine for veep, and still get my vote in November 2020.

I am content to leave the choice of Democratic nominee to my fellow Democrats. I would prefer leaving the choice to only those Democrats who share my commitment, above, but I can't enforce that and it's a touchy subject anyway.

"Electability" is a unicorn I refuse to chase, when it comes to my personal vote in the Democratic primary. In a nation with an electoral system that is capable of coughing up He, Trump "electability" is bollocks.

My personal preference in the Democratic primary will be determined by a point system. Bash any Republican, you earn one point. Bash any Democrat, you lose two points. A half-point penalty for each utterance of: "the American people" when you mean "sane Americans"; "Washington" when you mean "Republicans in Washington"; or "God bless" if nobody nearby has sneezed.

Since the Constitution specifies two Senators from each state, and you can't change that without getting Wyoming to agree, I wonder whether we could somehow mandate that "two Senators" shall mean "one man and one woman". I would not mind, myself, if we changed the Constitution to require all Senators to be women, but I'll gladly settle for 50-50.

--TP

"Electability" is a unicorn I refuse to chase, when it comes to my personal vote in the Democratic primary. In a nation with an electoral system that is capable of coughing up He, Trump "electability" is bollocks.

I understand the sentiment. But the reality is that lack of "electability" (of Clinton) is what got us Trump. Yes, I know she got more votes (including mine). But her unpopularity with a big chunk of the electorate is what gave Trump a window to ooze thru.

I think experiencing the reality of Trump means that almost any Democrat could beat him. (With a caveat if a third party/independent candidate gets into the mix.) But that is not to say that the Democrats can't find someone so far out that he could manage to lose, even to Trump. I don't have anyone specific in mind at this point. Just sayin', it could be a problem if you insist that "electability" is totally irrelevant.

Harris in Iowa on climate change:

“I support a Green New Deal and I will tell you why: climate change is an existential threat and we have got to deal with the reality of it,” Harris said, before taking aim at Republicans in power. “We have got to deal with the reality of the fact that there are people trying to peddle some ideas that we should deny it. They are peddling science fiction instead of what we should do, which is rely on science fact.”

Having taught a bunch of science fiction and cli-fi in my college classes, I think she should embrace the power of speculative fiction ;). But she's definitely more than just "clean air and water."

When you announce your candidacy in a state that is already a leading force in climate change policy it starts to feel like preaching to the choir. I think she'll get her talking points calibrated to a wider audience pretty quickly.

Yeah, Inslee doesn't really have a chance. I just wish the other candidates were talking more about climate change. Or maybe I wish that the media would quote them after they've said it.

wj,

I hope I was clear: "electability" is irrelevant to my personal primary preference. If my fellow Democrats select our nominee based on "electability" in whole or in part, that's fine by me.

BTW, my suspicion is that UNelectability is what we're really talking about. It's also what Russian ratfuckers and their GOP collaborators work at establishing in the minds of voters.

--TP

i only hope the Dem field is winnowed quickly. we're pretty good enough at party infighting already, and i know the GOP and their Russian allies are going to encourage more. so the quicker we're through the nonsense the better.

Climate change is going to be a social media iceberg for younger voters, I think. From what I see on campus, that news will be spread more by activist groups and social media platforms than it will by big media coverage. None of my students read or watch the news. All their info comes through their personal networks.

And big media is still obsessed with performing their fairness to both teams to get behind the sort of structural change that we need to go through to stave off the worst of our climate stupidity and greed.

i only hope the Dem field is winnowed quickly. we're pretty good enough at party infighting already, and i know the GOP and their Russian allies are going to encourage more. so the quicker we're through the nonsense the better.

What I'm curious about, assuming we're talking mostly about the social-media stuff, is how effective the sort of thing that the Russians did in the run-up to the last election will be this time around, now that (sane) people know about it.

Perhaps it's my bias at work here, but I tend to think that what they've been doing is generally more effective on "conservatives" (in quotes for wj, who would call them reactionaries, which is what they are after all) than on moderates and liberals. Even in the last go-around, it appears that more of the misinformation was aimed at those on the right than those on the left (not exclusively at those on the right, just more, but significantly so).

I'll try to dig up the piece I recall reading, possibly on fivethirtyeight, about the different groups and issues that were targeted on social media and in what relative numbers.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-were-sharing-3-million-russian-troll-tweets/

A quote to cleek's point about encouraging infighting:

Left Trolls often adopt the personae of Black Lives Matter activists, typically expressing support for Bernie Sanders and derision for Hillary Clinton, along with “clearly trying to divide the Democratic Party and lower voter turnout.”

I'd be willing to bet that there were a few foreign trolls on Democratic Underground spreading rumors around the primary voting snafus in NY and AZ, and the sharp elbows being thrown at the NV state convention to fuel the thumb-on-the-scale impression and outrage and direct it towards Wasserman-Schultz rather than towards local election dysfunction and typical convention shenanigans. Seems like a more effective leftist systempunkt catching the activist disseminators rather than the trailing edge.

Silverman may be more cooth, but boy is his post grim reading.

i suspect that Sanders knows that if he tries running as a spoiler, he will never get any Senate committee assignments from the Dems again.

in quotes for wj, who would call them reactionaries, which is what they are after all

Thank you

The Democratic nominee could be a loaf of bread who picks a jug of wine for veep, and still get my vote in November 2020.

Throw in a book of verse, and we're in paradise - so old Omar (or, more likely, Fitzgerald) tells us.

grim reading

Friend, these are grim times, and have been at least since 2000 when the Rs found that they could cheat to win and never be penalized as long as white people feel sufficiently threatened by Others.

The voluble rage of our old friend the Count was well founded in reality, however hyperbolic in expression.

Rats. close tag, please

Man, I just don’t get the Bernie hate. Megalomaniac, no tax returns, a campaign rife with misogynistic louses... even the Burlington Press hates him. And yet, the D platform has adopted a lot of his positions. And that’s a good thing(?!) The wildly popular and ascendant AOC worked for the campaign. And yet he’s an irrelevant voice, somehow.

I can’t wrap my head around that. Then again, I dunno how Kerry ended up looking less-military than W.

But I agree that the ship has probably sailed. It’s worth noting that he refused to run 3rd party so as to not split the vote in 2016, & there was a fair measure of push there. I can’t imagine he would do so now.

Biden has the recognition, early, but a continuation bet on Obama is as far as he could go. That ship also sailed in 2016.

From my Barcaloungesque fantasy politics league perch,I might take Booker as a late round sleeper. I don’t see what Gillibrand has to offer other than to get her name out there.

But it’s Harris’ race to lose going off. She ticks all the zeitgeist boxes and the DNC regulars are already lining up behind her. Not my ‘pure’ candidate, but I’d vote for her yesterday.

Kasich (which autocorrect insists on changing to ‘masochist’) will surely primary Rump.

I dunno how Kerry ended up looking less-military than W.

Lies and damn lies. Quite simple, really.

Don't know if it's relevant, but one of the Swift Boat organizers was . . . Stone's buddy Jerome Corsi. Hmmm.... Interesting how the same players seem to keep surfacing.

Autocorrect may be on to something.

Anybody who thinks the Republican primary electorate is anything but a He, Trump fan club deserves all the pain that's coming to him.

--TP

@TP
Agreed. But Kasich isn’t going to find a better opening. Also, fnck that Starbucks guy and anyone so inclined.

From one of Schultz's minions, quoted in a piece that's the top headline on nbcnews.com at the moment:

"I'm old enough to remember when people said that President Obama couldn't win, that President Trump couldn't win," Burton said.

So.....you're nineteen?

These people don't even know what words are coming out of their mouths. I haven't yet succeeded in entirely banning the words of pundits from my life, but I'm getting closer. I gave up TV years ago, surely I can give up most of the internet next.

Here's another gem from earlier today, the very first sentence of another piece on Schultz (I've lost track of the link):

“The announcement that former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is considering an independent bid for the White House begs the question of in what reality Howard Schultz resides.”

Link to the second quote.

The author is the son of a famous bow tie-wearing father. Is there a straight line of inherited attitude between bow ties and an abhorrence for ending sentences with prepositions, no matter how much you have to mangle a sentence to accomplish that goal?

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. His stone is unassuming, but it has a bow tie carved on it. I stumbled across it one day when I was taking a walk in that beautiful tree garden. The bow tie was a nice touch.

Q: Are there no editors?

A: Yes, there are no editors.

I just don’t get the Bernie hate

Habitually slagging and refusing to help other members of the party you supposedly wish to lead is not a good look.

It's also a bit much to say you want to lead a party that you decline to join. Shows a certain lack of seriousness and commitment. (At least as seen from the outside.)

Habitually slagging and refusing to help other members of the party you supposedly wish to lead is not a good look.

Habitually caucusing with the party. Moving it to the point where his own candidacy has become milquetoast because of his gender and age?

Is there no policy debate that won't be considered "slagging"? Let's just go with the DNC choice. They always select a winner.

I concede that his window has likely closed. But if Bernie is a threat to the Democratic party, it's in more trouble than I thought.

It's also a bit much to say you want to lead a party that you decline to join.

I disagree, although I take the point. I kinda look at it as a "True Scotsman" thing, if you will.

St Bernard isn't a Democrat. he's not all that great. he's actually kindof a jerk.

we can do better.

Let's just go with the DNC choice. They always select a winner.

THE DNC DOES NOT SELECT ANYONE. THEY HAVE NO POWER TO DO ANYTHING LIKE SELECTING ANYONE. they're a cash distribution committee.

St Bernard isn't a Democrat. he's not all that great. he's actually kindof a jerk.

Why not? Are we party over platform as well?
Where is St. Bernard so off the rails on the Democratic platform? Where do you rate Warren?

And I respectfully disagree about the DNC, superdelegates and whatnots. Howard Dean, for chrissakes, before the VT primary?

I'm not here to argue, and I gotta start stockpiling bandages & fortifying before sapient gets here.

I'm not here to argue, and I gotta start stockpiling bandages & fortifying before sapient gets here.

Haha!

'Night, y'all.

Sanders is temperamentally, a self-serving jerk.

platform-wise, there are other choices.

I'm kind of puzzled as to why Bernie was so reluctant to release his tax history, and why his supporters ignore that issue. Seems like a red flag to me.

For the record (and there is a record, although I'm lousy at searching it), I was very upbeat about both Bernie and Hillary in the early days of the campaign. It was only when Trump's candidacy seemed to be more and more enabled by "disappointed" lefties [in many cases, Russian bots, as we now know] that my own anger set in. Fingers crossed that it all turns out better this time.

I could get with this guy, as Vice President to a female Democratic President, and after 50 lashes for voting for p in 2016.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/03/politics/richard-ojeda-west-virginia-trump-country-congress/index.html

Like Doc Science, I would advise whomever the female President is to warn Vice President Ojeda not to mansplain the facts of life to her.

Other than that, the prospect of another election already makes me do this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78b67l_yxUc

Aside from that, which list is shorter .... the list of Democrats running or the list of Democrats not running?

Now that I have girded my sensitive bits with towels and duct tape and armed myself with particularly nasty kitchen instruments (and banked a prudent amount of blood), I'm going in to get this off my chest...

Bernie:

Self-serving: Isn't he one of the poorer members of the Senate? His march to power followed the traditional path - Vermont. IIRC, he refused to weigh in on his son's political aspirations. Doesn't strike me as a power-hungry guy. As for the tax returns, that bothered me as well. I dunno if that had anything to do with Jane's legal issues at the time. But he always struck me as someone who's more likely to have a 2-more-stamps-for-a-free-sandwich card in his wallet than a guy with a fortune squirreled away in the Caymans.

Tempermental: Sure. Curmudeonly. This is either a feature or a bug, depending on one's POV. Unsurprisingly, I consider it to be a feature. I like the rumpled old guy who has bigger things on his mind than what his hair looks like or what label is on his suit. I like that when listening to an audio version of one of his speeches, one would be hard pressed to figure if it was 2016 or 1996.
YMMV.

Not a True Democrat™: Like Manchin, or Lieberman, or... Michael Bloomberg. I don't know how one is supposed to differentiate one's position without "damaging" or "sabotaging" one's opponent. Do primary challenges harm or strengthen the eventual nominee? Practice/theory? Can one be on the same page as the Democratic party without wearing a Super-D on one's chest? This argument seems flimsy to me.

I want to be clear that Hillary has been an advocate for health care reform for some time, but she also made her - perhaps realistic - assessment of single-payer in the 2016 run-up, and it wouldn't pass the litmus test for 2020 candidates. So who is/was closer to Democratic Party values?

To be clearer furtherer, I don't think a Sanders campaign catches fire for 2020. White, old, and male (in no particular order), aren't motivating factors. I think "Our Revolution" can be a very influential force in the Democratic primary, but I expect that it will not coalesce until the field shakes out a bit more.

IMHO, the Democratic primary will have its share of picking nits, but the goal of ridding ourselves of Rump is first and foremost. I don't see that getting lost in the fog, although a concerted Russian/Chinese/other effort will likely make that fog at least as dense as the guy writing this post.

In other news, I just watched Schultz on "Morning Joe". This guy is an effin' nightmare.

OK, I'll stuff it now and for good on the matter. But be warned: I have a wooden spoon!

Self-serving: Isn't he one of the poorer members of the Senate?

How would we know?

As for the tax returns, that bothered me as well. I dunno if that had anything to do with Jane's legal issues at the time.

The time is also now. We can look back!

IMHO, the Democratic primary will have its share of picking nits, but the goal of ridding ourselves of Rump is first and foremost.

Agreed.

Agreed.

I'll take it. This duct tape is very binding. :-)

Not a True Democrat™: Like Manchin, or Lieberman, or... Michael Bloomberg.

I imagine this isn't a very persuasive framing, at least not here. Not too many people would rank those people very high on their list of "True Democrats" either, even if for different reasons.

Full, official (or however you want to put it) party membership might not be sufficient to qualify as a "True Democrat,", but it can still be necessary.

Poor combinations of party allegiance and policy positions can come in three flavors: one, the other, or both.

re Schultz

NPR had a little segment this AM on the healthcare proposals from three female Senator Dems (Harris, Gillibrand, Warren) differed from the proposals of the two male billionaires (Schultz, Bloomberg).

of course neither of those men have announced, and one has said he's not even going to be running as a Democrat.

but NPR had to get them in there.

so... i think "billionaire independents" are likely to be the media's shiny new object to chase around for a while.

Sanders - thanks for your service. you contributed a lot of new ideas and energy. mission accomplished.

IMO, Sanders' self-centeredness is evident in how he uses the Democratic Party to:
1. clear the field of any Democratic challengers in VT elections. he runs in primaries as a Dem, wins, then runs in the general on the Special Bernie ticket.

2. give him committee assignments while doing nothing to support the Party that gives him those assignments.

3. give him a national platform to run for President, while pissing on the party that gives him that platform.

he's a parasite.

1. clear the field of any Democratic challengers in VT elections. he runs in primaries as a Dem, wins, then runs in the general on the Special Bernie ticket.

I didn't know he did that; it makes me like him even less. I have this dim notion that it wouldn't even be allowed in some states, but maybe I'm wrong about that.

Well, there's Texas, the first Google result that pops up:

Independent Candidates

You may have your name placed on the general election ballot as an independent candidate if you are not affiliated with a political party. Tex. Elec. Code Ann. § 1.005(9). If you vote in a party’s primary elections or participate in a party’s conventions, you thereby affiliate with the party. Tex. Elec. Code Ann. §§ 142.008, 162.003, 162.007.

That doesn't explicitly say "if you win a party's primary" -- but it's clearly designed to prevent the kind of the cleek describes. I suspect it's aimed more at stopping someone from *losing* a primary and then running as an independent; I'm bemused (and appalled) that Bernie does it to win and then not run under the party label. What a jerk.

I imagine this isn't a very persuasive framing, at least not here.

Yeah, I was being a bit glib there. But I think it stands to point that a Michael Bloomberg can change his affiliation as it suits his potential pursuits, and he suddenly becomes a full-fledged big-D Democrat($$$). Maybe not to the commentariat here, but perhaps sufficient to a broader public. Why else would it matter?

My point about Sanders - and I'm really not trying to belabor the point - is simply that many of his platform planks have been adopted by Democratic politicians across the board. So the argument that he's not a member of "The Party" is...?

Medicare for all. Living wage. Is that "Crazy Bernie" or the Democratic Party? Is it just a tin star?

True Democrat: Someone who, as a Senator, would certainly vote against McConnell for Majority Leader.

Not my personal definition, but then I'm not a Democrat. And it does seem an arguable definition.

But I think it stands to point that a Michael Bloomberg can change his affiliation as it suits his potential pursuits, and he suddenly becomes a full-fledged big-D Democrat($$$).

Hey, it worked for Trump to become a Republican. After years of being a Democrat. Just imagine an alternate history where he'd been the Democratic nominee in 2016.

So the argument that he's not a member of "The Party" is...?

See cleek.

Medicare for all. Living wage. Is that "Crazy Bernie" or the Democratic Party?

With this, you seem to be disputing an argument no one here is making.

so... i think "billionaire independents" are likely to be the media's shiny new object to chase around for a while.

The talking heads need something to stir up the mix, and Schultz types are lush grazing grounds for the 24/7 round tables. I don't expect that to change anytime soon.

IMO, Sanders' self-centeredness is evident in how he uses the Democratic Party to:

My take is that Sanders thinks he's where the Democratic Party should be, and he's not joining until they move into his orbit. I hadn't really thought of it as self-centeredness, given the difference in mass, but I can see that perspective. Fair play.

I will disagree about pissing on the party, tho. He threw his hat in the ring, within the practicalities of a 2-party system. He wasn't a spoiler, at least in terms of a 3rd party run, and moved the platform to a more progressive place. I dunno how else you're supposed to do it.

Just imagine an alternate history where he'd been the Democratic nominee in 2016.

My alternate 2016 cup overfloweth. :-)

Just imagine an alternate history where he'd been the Democratic nominee in 2016.

that's followed by a 2017 where i cease to be a Democrat.

It's always chancey to assume that two points determine a trend. But this made interesting reading nonetheless.
https://mobile.twitter.com/pkcapitol/status/1089935222672707584

(OK, it's not the Presidential primary. But it is 2020.)

With this, you seem to be disputing an argument no one here is making.

I think you're right, and I'm getting lost in my own Democratic Party/democratic principles (as I see them) confusion.

I'm bemused (and appalled) that Bernie does it to win and then not run under the party label. What a jerk.

~91% of the vote.

"He said the party expected Sanders to decline the nomination but would nevertheless "fully and enthusiastically endorse" him at its September state committee meeting."

Where's the rub?

he uses the Party's infrastructure, resources and legitimacy for his own purposes when it's convenient for him. otherwise, he pretends he's too good for it.

My take is that Sanders thinks he's where the Democratic Party should be, and he's not joining until they move into his orbit...He wasn't a spoiler, at least in terms of a 3rd party run, and moved the platform to a more progressive place. I dunno how else you're supposed to do it.

Well, one other way to do it would be to do it from within the party. What makes you think change can't come from within? For that matter, Bernie may have been the visible voluble face of the change, but the party wouldn't have moved if it wasn't ready. Elizabeth Warren anyone?

Where's the rub?

There's nothing useful to be gained by being petulant about it, so they aren't. I have more leeway. ;-)

I will disagree about pissing on the party, tho. He threw his hat in the ring, within the practicalities of a 2-party system. He wasn't a spoiler, at least in terms of a 3rd party run, and moved the platform to a more progressive place. I dunno how else you're supposed to do it.

The party was at a fairly progressive place before Bernie's participation. The country, however, is at a much less progressive, and more authoritarian, place now - thanks in part to Bernie's participation, and his dragging the Democratic party.

That's the problem. If you want to see how a progressive Democrat can work within the party, see Nancy Pelosi. She's been vilified for various incomprehensible reasons (some of us have some theories), but basically, she has used her power to create real change. Of course, it wasn't single payer health care, so for some it was a bust. The stimulus package that rescued America from the financial crisis wasn't big enough; so for some it was a bust. Ethical government wasn't good enough - Obama had to eschew vacations. Clinton's transparency proved that she was wealthy, and had made some money on the speakers' circuit, and that her foundation had sought donations from wealthy in order to relieve the AIDS crisis in Africa. So she was a sellout. But Bernie didn't tell us about his finances, so somehow people thought he walked the walk as a true socialist.

It's all just rather annoying. Probably not a good idea to get angry all over again. I don't think he's going to get the nomination, but I hope his people can refrain from getting in the way of the candidate who prevails.

I hope his people can refrain from getting in the way of the candidate who prevails.

I'm not optimistic, and if it isn't them it'll be Schultz's minions, or Bloomberg's, or whoever. Not saying it's hopeless, just saying it's a feature of the landscape that has to be dealt with as best we can. ("We" broadly speaking.)

I live in a state that lived through eight years of the clown show put on by the governor who styled himself as "Trump before there was Trump" -- elected in part because of one guy with a huge ego running for office, not once but twice, and siphoning votes away from the Ds. We got ranked choice voting as the aftermath of those fiascos, but it still doesn't apply to in-state offices. At least we got Jared Golden into Congress with RCV.

I'm not optimistic, and if it isn't them it'll be Schultz's minions, or Bloomberg's, or whoever. Not saying it's hopeless, just saying it's a feature of the landscape that has to be dealt with as best we can. ("We" broadly speaking.)

I agree. There could be a lot of interesting and spirited conversations about political values and specific policies, but first we have to have a government that isn't working for a conspiracy of right-wing international mobsters. Baby steps.

Here's a question for the group: Would it be better or worse for the Dem nominee if Trump gets challenged in a GOP primary, considering both the possibility that he wins and the possibility that he loses?

Too many variables, hsh. How many non-D, non-R candidates are there? Which ones and how formidable are they? Who's the R nominee if not Clickbait? How much cheating is there? (Hacking of voting machines; voter suppression; Russian interference again, or Chinese, for that matter.)

The earth will still be spinning tomorrow. That's about all I'm willing to predict.

What's *your* answer to your own question?

Bernie Sanders should challenge p in the Republican primary.

Would it be better or worse for the Dem nominee if Trump gets challenged in a GOP primary, considering both the possibility that he wins and the possibility that he loses?

On balance, better. Because the Trump cultists are so fanatical that they will refuse to support anyone who challenges him and wins. And even if the challenger loses, there are going to be a lot of bad feelings dividing the GOP.

As a Republican myself, I really really hope someone challenges him and wins. Not because I expect that someone else would win the general election, but because it would be a first step in my party purging itself of the toxins that currently infest it.

What's *your* answer to your own question?

I don't have one, so I'm blegging. (So far, wj has the best answer.) ;^)

I'm going in to get this off my chest...

Not going to engage.

I have taken a holy vow to NOT RELITIGATE THE 2016 PRIMARY in the runup to 2018.

Such arguments divide us, over a past that cannot be changed, about which we will never agree, at a time when the fate of our nation depends on us all standing together.

Oh, please. Stop already. Tulsi has it wrapped up.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Too many variables, hsh. How many non-D, non-R candidates are there?

well, Schultz says he isn't a Democrat and that the Democratic Party has moved "so far left" , and he is very worried about 'socialism'.

so... i guess... one?

at a time when the fate of our nation depends on us all standing together.

That's been the case for awhile. No coddling the traitors this time.

Schultz says he isn't a Democrat and that the Democratic Party has moved "so far left" , and he is very worried about 'socialism'.

Clearly billionaires live in a different universe than the rest of us.

Has the Democratic Party moved left? Yes -- especially compared to the 1990s.

Does it show any significant prospect of "socialism"? No. Even those Democrats who claim to be something like socialists are, almost universally, merely demonstrating that they don't know what the word means.

I could see us moving to something as far left as say Sweden. Last I looked, companies like Volvo and Ericsson were in the global 500 largest. Not bad for what is, objectively, a small country. And I expect most of us have heard of Electrolux, IKEA, Spotify.

In short, it doesn't seem like much of an abandonment of capitalism. An abandonment (except that it's more of a never-was) of libertarianism? Yeah, that.

wj, the point isn't whether we're likely to go anywhere near real "socialism" -- the point is what you can get people to believe about those evil Democrats and their evil wish list of not having people end up as student debt slaves for their entire lives, people not losing their homes when they get sick, and on and on. Heaven and billionaires forbid.

I read that Schultz is flabbergasted that people (read: Elizabeth Warren) don't think becoming a billionaire is "the American dream." If that's the American dream, you can have it. Because it leaves totally out of account what it costs the rest of us, and our society, to have the wealth gap that we currently have. It's certainly not *my* dream for America.

The American electorate has a habit of re-electing incumbent presidents. Habits are hard to break. Let's keep that in mind while handicapping 2020.

Dumping He, Trump will take serious effort. The conventional wisdom, which I hear from Democratic politicians as well as the punditocracy, is that Democrats need to "stand for something" or "offer a positive vision" and not just oppose Putin's Little Bitch. That worries me.

Don't get me wrong. Of course I want to see Democrats championing good policy proposals. Good policy proposals are good in and of themselves; under favorable circumstances they can even lead to good policy. But opinions vary on what "good" means. Ask Marty next time he drops by.

What "bad" means may be easier to agree on. Treason, corruption, viciousness, incompetence, petulance -- most people would agree those are bad things. Not-good "branding". Pointing out that He, Trump wallows in all of them is a job we Democrats will have to do alone and unaided by a Broderist media.

"I want to make your life better" is a fine message. "You're getting ripped off and I want to put a stop to it" may be less noble, less idealistic, less polite -- but (I claim) more likely to resonate with the wishy-washy swing-voting part of the electorate. It's also not remotely incompatible with good policy proposals.

To break a habit, you have to get disgusted with it first.

--TP

I'm starting to get a sense of what Marty must feel like. So I'm gonna take joel's advice.

In other news, Steve Schmidt, whose Trump take-downs I occasionally find humorous, was just on MSNBC sounding a lot like he's getting behind a Schultz run. Just when I thought he was brighter than that whole Palin fiasco.

Shultz. Schmidt.

I might have to abandon my German surname.

2 observations
1. One could do a D&D version of the Doc's post. However, not me, cause...

2. One of the reasons I'm not going to argue about Bernie (though I will say that my opinion is close to what cleek and others have said) is that the whole process of arguing has one adopting a D&D like system that seems to unconsciously select precisely those qualities that tilt the playing field towards men. If I suggested that Harris gets 'Comeliness' points, I'd get pilloried, but a lot of the things that seem to be identified as Bernie's good points (He's grumpy, he's angry, he's not polished, he doesn't take any shit) are qualities that would be flagged as minus points for any female candidate. That really gives me pause for taking up any argument for Bernie cause I am not confident that I'm actually expressing an important point or simply responding to unconscious biases.

I read that Schultz is flabbergasted that people (read: Elizabeth Warren) don't think becoming a billionaire is "the American dream."

Clearly Schultz has never encountered (or, at least, never absorbed) the concept of "enough."™
https://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2018/05/enough.html

In other news, Steve Schmidt, whose Trump take-downs I occasionally find humorous, was just on MSNBC sounding a lot like he's getting behind a Schultz run.

Actually, Schultz put him on the payroll.

wj, the point isn't whether we're likely to go anywhere near real "socialism"

Tsk. Tsk. On my very isolated planet, that is precisely the point.

That really gives me pause for taking up any argument for Bernie cause I am not confident that I'm actually expressing an important point or simply responding to unconscious biases.

Crikey, talk about woke. Impressive (albeit in the case of lj not unprecedented) level of sensitivity and fine analytical discrimination.

Me: wj, the point isn't whether we're likely to go anywhere near real "socialism"

bobbyp: Tsk. Tsk. On my very isolated planet, that is precisely the point.

I was talking about "the point" of Schultz's verbiage, which is to convince people that the merest baby steps in the vague direction of socialism would create a hell on earth, precisely to ensure that we never get anywhere near the real thing. Point your Tsks at Schultz, not me.

Point your Tsks at Schultz, not me.

LOL...that's where they were pointed.

See this
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-is-howard-schultz-getting-so-much-2020-attention/
for some arguments on why/how a Schultz candidacy might actually hurt Trump more than the Democrats.

No idea how likely the various possibilities are. (And from what I've seen so far, Schultz doesn't sound like my kind of guy.) But it might not be necessary to go into total meltdown despair if Schultz does get on the ballot.

"The Russians would be fools not to make a big push to have Sanders run third-party--and they are not fools."

So give Sanders something big that he wants. Give him a splashy place in the platform committee if he is way behind. Give him a big speech and a big commitment to something he wants.

I’ve never gotten a good fix on what Sanders ‘wants’. Any one with any insight on that?

Power ?

"Sicario" was a pretty entertaining movie:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/white-house-inquiry-finds-no-evidence-for-trumps-duct-tape-and-prayer-rug-claims

As was the "Left Behind" series.

The mash-up one wherein Sheriff Liberty Valance jailed Jimmy Stewart, shot John Wayne in the back of the head, and named John Galt Secretary of The Treasury charged with filling Dagny Taggert's bank accounts held in joint name with the mysterious Stanley G. Putin in the Barbados and St. Petersburg.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/divine-intervention-sanders-says-god-wanted-trump-president

I miss movies like "Fail Safe" and "Dr. Strangelove" with their frissons of conservative nutcake reality. I'm beginning to sense a cinematic surge in my precious bodily fluids.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/russia-and-us-fail-to-break-deadlock-in-last-ditch-nuclear-treaty-talks

What makes us think there will be a 2020 Presidential election?

Why is p's schedule cleared? For what eventuality?

https://twitter.com/Cirincione/status/1090595190421835781?

The Republican subhuman Congress has given the green light for p to declare a national emergency.

I can't wait to read the small print in Cyrillic.

This will the first of many such declarations over the next 22 months.

Like Juan Guaido of Venezuela, I name myself de facto President of the United States.

Marty will sense very deep changes occurring across the governance and administration of this country.

The conservative bowel movement will not be pleased that a declaration of national emergency will carry over in my administration, the movie sequel if you will, until the cleaning is done and only 36 states remain in the Union, with Hazmat suits required for mop up crews to gain entry thru the walls to the other 14 still-smoking territories.

The NRA and hanging judge Brett Kavanaugh will unwittingly help and we should say thank you to them:

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/brett-kavanaugh-s-extreme-beliefs-gun-control-ignore-concerns-most-ncna906296

A suit filed with the Supreme Court on the day rapey boy was confirmed:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/02/04/will-the-supreme-court-use-a-new-york-city-regulation-to-strike-down-gun-laws

New York City, particularly the Mayor and Madame Ocasio Cortez should (unless they choose to ignore the Supreme Court, which is my first choice; fuck any law made up by conservative jurisprudence; force the federal gummint to send in troops) embrace this new regime of conservative terror and begin a city-funded program of arming every individual and family north of 120th Street and East of Morningside Park in North Manhatten with unlimited free military grade weaponry and ammo in case the forces of gentrification fuck with them for one more inch.

I'm fully in accord with text, history, and tradition. So are the female genital mutilators, polluters, and conservative reivers of every sort.

Fuck public safety, yours, not mine, of course.

Also appoint the newly armed with collecting taxes among everyone below 120th Avenue.

Should this new "law" become precedent across the Nation, further destroying states' rights, at least Christine Blasey Ford will now have the legal means to carry and publicly transport her military-grade weaponry on the streets to deal with Brett Kavanaugh if she spots him doing some Trayvon Martin loitering in her neighborhood.

Are those Skittles, Brett, or are you just happy to see me?

Roll 'em. ACTION!

what Sanders ‘wants’

As nearly as I can tell, it's adulation.
He and his most fervent followers are co-dependent: they need someone notionally unstained to worship, and he enjoys the object of that worship.

As nearly as I can tell, it's adulation.

IF true, that would appear to give Sanders the identical motivation as Trump. I'm not sure it is true, mind. But if....

IF true, that would appear to give Sanders the identical motivation as Trump.

Funny. I thought of Trump when reading lj's description of Sanders:

(He's grumpy, he's angry, he's not polished, he doesn't take any shit)

I don't like Sanders, and I'm worried about whatever damage he or his hard-code fans might do next, but I don't think he's anything like the equivalent of Clickbait. (Of course, no one did say quite exactly that.)

Sanders's faults are pretty garden-variety. Clickbait is so far off the charts that I don't think you can even talk about him in terms of "faults." It's hard to even think of a historical parallel to his fatal combination of qualities (if not to his effect on the world). ("Faults" isn't even the right word. That makes it seem like they're qualities intermixed with some good stuff.)

The very first thing that came to my mind when the Clickbait/Sanders comparison was mentioned above was that Clickbait is immeasurably, viciously cruel. I think he takes great pleasure in the pain of others, especially if he thinks he brought it about. I don't get that vibe from Sanders at all.

Similarly -- Clickbait wants to break the country. (Or maybe I'm getting him confused with Turtle.) I don't think Sanders wants to do that. Clickbait actually wants to make the lives of ordinary people worse, especially if they're brown, and I don't think Sanders wants to do that, either. (To the contrary.)

The list could go on. But even where they have some faults in common, Clickbait is the blown-up extreme of all of them, and Sanders is ... just the usual shit.

Clickbait wants to break the country.

I think it's more complicated than that. Because of his really astonishing narcissism, he thinks "the country" and he himself are the same thing. So he wants "the country" to change in ways that will benefit him, of course, and can't encompass (by the use of imagination, or intellect, or, you know, knowledge) that that will damage anybody else. And to the extent that anybody might point out that it will (and I'm sure nobody is doing this anymore, if they ever were), he doesn't give a shit, as opposed to it causing him actual pleasure. I think it does give him actual pleasure to cause suffering to people he perceives as enemies. As for whether he is actually capable of imagining anybody else having feelings, in the same way he has feelings, I have my doubts. And that might be where the psychopathy/sociopathy comes in.

Trump's worshippers aren't looking for unstained: clearly they delight in his low character and lack of morals.

I slipped, damnit. New rule: I am making no more statements about the junior Senator from Vermont, at all -- until I slip again, of course. I am not Gautama.

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