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March 12, 2020


what Dems and the left need to do among themselves

my short list:

1. take the concerns that Sanders, Warren, and their supporters have raised seriously, at the level of policy
2. support whoever gets the nomination with their votes, time, and money

(2) is not contingent on (1).

How about AOC for VP - and she should do the talking as well...

How about AOC for VP - and she should do the talking as well...

In case you're not joking, she's not old enough. Eligibility requirements (lifted from Wikipedia) below. (AOC is 30.)

AFAIC she's not seasoned enough anyhow. I'd rather have Stacey Abrams than AOC for a lot of reasons, but there's quite a list of people I'd be very happy to see him pick.


To be Constitutionally eligible to serve as the nation's vice president, a person must, according to the Twelfth Amendment, meet the eligibility requirements to become president (which are stated in Article II, Section 1, Clause 5). Thus, to serve as vice president, an individual must:

be a natural-born U.S. citizen;
be at least 35 years old;
be a resident in the U.S. for at least 14 years.[40]

A person who meets the above qualifications is still disqualified from holding the office of vice president under the following conditions:

Under Article I, Section 3, Clause 7, upon conviction in impeachment cases, the Senate has the option of disqualifying convicted individuals from holding federal office, including that of vice president;
Under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, no person who has sworn an oath to support the Constitution, who has later gone to war against the United States, or given aid and comfort to the nation's enemies can serve in a state or federal office—including as vice president. This disqualification, originally aimed at former supporters of the Confederacy, may be removed by a two-thirds vote of each house of the Congress.[41]

I don't know whether you are talking about now or, hopefully, after the election.

I personally think that the highest legislative priority needs to be a new voting rights act that attacks vote suppression and requires states to provide enough polling places, and mail-in options, so that no one has to wait hours to vote.

I'd go for anti-gerrymandering legislation as well.

This ought to be non-controversial within the party.

Female, young, latin, left(ish), outspoken; that's at least four steps too far even for VP. No one (worth considering) would want something as radical as going more than one step (and even that single one should be carefully thought through - before deciding better not to risk it after all).

I was joking, Janie ;) but like russell I'm worried about center-lefti(sh) voters being brushed off with some warm words and otherwise business as usual.

Also, Biden's cognitive state worries me, as well as his tendency to obfuscate his past - that's not going to fly with these people.

novakant -- I'm worried about the same things. I never wanted Biden, though I'll certainly vote for him, donate, etc. But the VP pick is vastly important for all the reasons you state, and more.

On Biden's cognitive state, someone (I think it was on ObWi) recently posted a link to an interview a fellow-stutterer did with him, and the clear implication was that his apparent cognitive slips were to do with times he can't get a word out and re-routes. I'm really hoping that's true. But in any case, he's certainly far better than a ham sandwich: he apparently reaches the places other Dem candidates cannot reach (UK readers will recognise this as a riff on the punchline to years of Heineken advertising - Heineken refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach.), and scares Trump for that reason.

Since I have a relatively major health issue going on I get to see our health care system up close. Don’t want sympathy, btw. I am fine. It’s not life threatening.

I generally like the nurses and doctors and techs. I joke around with the nurses and technicians. They have been great. The ones I have met went into their profession for the right reasons.

Three things going for me—

I supposedly have good health insurance. So far it has been okay. I hear some bad things from others where I work, so we will see. One guy with a fairly serious cancer spends endless time on the phone talking about bills. At one point he got a bill for 20,000 dollars. He had to call about that. This is exactly what you want to be doing when you have a life threatening illness. Others ( including that guy) have procedures approved, then permission is withdrawn. More phone calls. One single mother called about some therapy for her daughter and was told that they didn’t know if she woukd have it covered but she should go ahead and maybe it would be. I was on the phone myself for hours calling different people last fall about an 800 dollar bill that was finally resolved. I paid about 30, I think. So no complaints from me, except time wasted on our efficient private medical industrial complex. I was told by one set of grifters to call another set of grifters. There were three or four involved. At one point I was rude to someone, but I was wrong because it wasn’t her fault. You don’t get to talk to the people who make the 6 figure incomes. I am not talking to the actual grifters, just people making a living.

Second, I really do have a decent place to work. Very supportive. I don’t have to worry about taking time off for appointments. How lucky for me. I don’t think this is true for a great many Americans.

Third, I am relatively well off. I get endless bills, mostly in the 30- 60 dollar range but it adds up. The real procedure will, I think, probably cost me thousands. I am not clear on this yet. But I can afford all this. Many people can’t.

All of this is bullshit. I have a fairly cushy life which is how I have time to learn about how our lovely political establishment in both parties casually murders people overseas. I can’t imagine what this is like for people who are just scraping by. It might make me embittered and rude.

And then we come to that decent guy Joe Biden. I will shut up about him after July and probably won’t say much before then either, but here I am going to cut loose. Biden is a pathological liar. He spent much of his career trying to cut Social Security and Medicare. He used to brag about it. Warren came into prominence fighting against the credit card companies and Joe Biden. And on Iraq, he was a cheerleader for the invasion both before and afterwards. He lies about that. Biden is a weird bizarre sort of liar, not a bad as Trump because few are, but he lies a lot. What sort of weirdo steals the life story of a British politician, which is what killed his 88 election bid almost before it got started?

People who say all of us who disliked HRC because of misogyny might want to explain why so many of us despise Biden as much or more. To me they are the same. Biden might be worse. HRC was hated by fmore people because she and her awful husband were in the public eye for decades and yes, much of the hated of her specifically was misogynistic and much of it came from the right for stupid reasons. Good old handsy Joe has that old folksy white guy charm ( seems to work on some) and probably the average voter doesn’t know anything about him except for that image.

I will vote for Biden in November not because I think he is a decent human being. I think he should be in jail alongside Bush and others for pushing for the Iraq War . But anything is better than the freak we have now. And that is how the Democratic Party functions— it works by pointing to what is worse over there

And as a Democratic President Biden is a bit more vulnerable to pressure from the left or he would be if people don’t immediately jump to his defense once he is in office.

I want Sanders to stay in all the way to the convention, past the pint where he has a chance of winning, pushing for single payer, a truly ambitious Green New Deal, and an end to our endless cruel and sadistic interventions overseas. ( The sanctions on Iran are an example. Only Sanders and Paul voted against the Trump version. And yes, the Iranian government is awful. In no way does that justify our cruelty and indifference to the harm we inflict.)

I don’t expect single payer. I wouldn’t expect it if Sanders won. But that should be clearly laid out as the goal. Less than that would be a compromise, politically necessary in the short run perhaps, but something forced on us by people who are on the side of the grifters. No more crap from Biden about how much it would cost, as though the current system isnt killing or bankrupting people less fortunate than me.

anything is better than the freak we have now.


I want Sanders to stay in all the way to the convention, past the pint where he has a chance of winning, pushing for single payer, a truly ambitious Green New Deal, and an end to our endless cruel and sadistic interventions overseas.

Um, you do realize that these two are fundamentally in conflict, don't you?

IF (but only if) we get rid of Trump you will have a chance to push the things you care about. So anything, anything at all, which will push voters away is a bad idea. Which, however wrongheaded you consider them, some people will be by these. And Sanders staying in longer just increases the chances that they will see the Democratic candidate leaning that way, even if he doesn't let it into the platform.

Keep them as goals, sure -- even the ones I personally disagree with. But winning in November needs to come first and last and only at this point. THEN you can put energy into moving the party and the country the way you want.

1. take the concerns that Sanders, Warren, and their supporters have raised seriously, at the level of policy

I should think this is directed more to those mushy middle and more to the right Dems than to "the left".

The work for the "left" is to always push the rest of them (fellow Dems) toward our point of view on policy and to work harder to elect local and state officials (school board, dog catcher, whatever) to push our policies and make them more mainstream, and not just put all our hopes on somebody like Bernie, or worse, fall for the vanity 3rd party bullshit of a Ralph Nader or a Jill Stein.

For right now, I'd like nothing better than to see Bernie really take it to Biden in the upcoming debate (I mean really, veto MFA if it reached his presidential desk? Who the fuck is he kidding...and his bullshit excuse for voting the the Iraq War? Christ almighty), and then announce at its end that he was closing down his campaign, but not his movement.

Actually you are contradicting yourself because you subconsciously assume the only voters that need to be appeased are your type of voter. If a leftwingers refused to vote for Sanders you would and have called that “ sulking”. The implication is that they are big narcissistic babies whose views don’t matter and who should not be indulged, but rather denounced and browbeaten into supporting Biden. Fine, but then the same logic should apply to the center- right voters you wish to indulge.

Looking at it coldly and setting aside dumb crap like policy, the Democrats should hire genuinely objective political scientists to determine what sort of campaign they should run. I read one the other day, forgot her name, Bitcofer or something like that, who researches this thing for a living and according to her the swing voter mostly leans to one side or the other, but the ones who really are up in the air do not vote based on some logical deeply informed examination of the issues, but on their feelings. Policy doesn’t mean much. Low info voters hardly know anything about the policies of the people they support. I suppose that is true by definition, but the point was a lot of voters are low info.

Good luck, Donald, with your ailment.

“ If a leftwingers refused to vote for Sanders you would and have called that “ sulking”

Oops, meant Biden, of course.

Thanks John. I think the main danger is lots of annoyance.

Gotta go do some stuff.

Actually you are contradicting yourself because you subconsciously assume the only voters that need to be appeased are your type of voter. If a leftwingers refused to vote for Sanders [Biden] you would and have called that “ sulking”. The implication is that they are big narcissistic babies whose views don’t matter and who should not be indulged

Absolutely the inverse. The assumption (perhaps not a good one) is that the voters on the left will grit their teeth and vote for Biden anyway. Rather than sulk if they are not indulged. That is, that they are grown-ups. Feel free to correct me on that if you think I'm wrong.

Their views do matter, but it's a matter of priorities. And right now, I submit that their priority should be a different President.


No more crap from Biden about how much it would cost

Of all the tropes rolled out to oppose MFA, this is the most singularly dishonest one, that and the sniveling newly found empathy for health insurance CEO's, accountants, salespeople, claims managers, actuaries, and other assorted back office sorts, who might find themselves out of a job over the course of a multi-year transition period.

As for who comprises the "pampered voter" subset, it is those who claim to be "in the middle" or "undecided", because the left cohort is always, always urged to suck it up and vote for the Dem candidate because the current election is "the most important one" ever in the annals of US history. Yet time and time again, it is the mushy middle the goes GOP when push comes to shove. One can make a good case that the "left" cost the Democrats the 2000 election (Florida), but not for any other. It was organized labor and "Reagan Democrats" who re-elected Nixon. It was a lot of the same (pro-war) types who re-elected Bush in 2004. And it was a critical cohort of white working class folks in the upper midwest expressing their racial resentment that cost Clinton a win in 2016.

Yes, hoping for all good outcomes etc for you Donald, but taking you at your word, and assuming it's under control. Long may that be the case.

Rather fascinating to see Trump's approval ratings holding up on Five38. But maybe the explanation is (as a study in the NYT suggested) that people's concern about Covid-19 seems directly connected to their political views. We foreigners, who have watched Trump's performance on the issue with a kind of fascinated horror, can only marvel at the disaster of his approach, but presumably convinced Republicans never see the stuff we see, or are in a position to compare it to the approach of other world leaders and the efficacy (or otherwise) thereof.

For those of you who think Sanders should stay in and keep advocating loudly for his positions, this may be of some interest.

Not, they aren't saying anything about the merits of the various proposals. Just their popularity -- that is, what voters think of them.

American medical facilities are currently making pre-triage policy decisions for when the sh1t hits the fan (heard that one University Medical Center will not intubate anyone age 60 or older....)

All is well

oops, should've put that on the other thread.

I apologise in advance, because this is not an Open Thread, but in my defence I can't immediately find one. I just thought I'd introduce a somewhat lighter note by reporting on a review of a gig by that comedian, David Baddiel, whose recent documentary on holocaust denial I posted about (with its excellent meta-joke). The review of the tour (called Trolls not Dolls) was as follows:

Full on loved @Baddiel Trolls: Not The Dolls last night.

He'd picked up on research that to cross divides you need to find a topic you are likely to agree on and discuss that first.

Topic of choice: Wanking.

Maybe I'm just desperate for light relief, but it made me laugh.

we're worrying that Biden makes verbal slips, while Trump is out there getting American fucking killed?

Topic of choice: Wanking.

Ah, Britannia! Blessed indeed.

Here, anything involving sex is going to turn into a culture wars minefield. Not because of differences of opinion on the underlying subject, but because of intense differences of opinion regarding what can be said or discussed or admitted to regarding the subject. Guess we need to find a different common ground....

heard that one University Medical Center will not intubate anyone age 60 or older....

If the system is overwhelmed, it goes without saying that there will be triage and, in effect, rationing. But surely such a statement is content-free (and unnecessarily panic-inducing) without context. I find it hard to believe that a hospital would make a blanket decision like that without some conditions attached. "If we're at 110% of capacity, we do this. If we're at 50% of capacity, we do that. If we know how fast the virus is spreading, etc. etc. etc."

The only thing remotely like it that I can find online is this, some unsourced hearsay from Italy from a couple of days ago.

P.S. Everyone take care of yourselves and everyone else you can.

Seriously, what Janie said.

For those playing along with the Trump subhuman, vermin, republican, conservative movement, Kremlin-like, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei* government run under the Führerprinzip regarding the handling of the H1N1 national emergency called by the nigger Presidency:


from this cite:




And this:


I take full responsibility for every overt savagely violent threat I have made on these pages against the Trump Republican Conservative Movement and the vermin in that movement just as Harry Truman took full responsibility for the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

*Practice your German, you may need it if you require intubation from our free market healthcare system.


Ugh, I'd really like a cite on your 5:00 pm.

I'm 68 and I don't plan on being a passive patient.

And what Janie said.

Love IS the answer, but there is more than one question before us which will require different answers.

Remember, John Lennon's middle name was Winston.

Consult both.

It's one day, in fact one hour near the close, but finally we experienced what looks like a reversal day on the VIX (Volatility Index) chart, with the index spiking during the day and then closing a t a lower low than yesterday's close.

Heil Hitler!

Remember, the German stock market went straight up during the 1930's, against the grain of the rest of the world's markets.

Thinly traded of course by Joseph Goebbels and his wife, and using stolen Jewish money, but still.

Investors like a jackboot and a funny walk.

Vee vill have ordeur.


If you want order of the civilized American kind, deport Rupert Murdoch, seize all of his news assets, and arrest and detain the right wing shit-dealers who work for him as mortal threats against America's national security.

As Murdoch's plan heads back to Canberra, muster fighter jets and blow it out of the sky.

Play video of the kill in his employee's Guantanamo cages.

When we count the national death toll from his pro-Trump, pro-Coronavirus propaganda, it may rival and surpass Osama Bin Laden's body count on 9/11.

But vee don't like ordeur of zat sort, do vee.

No, vee vant to be, how you say, nice and forgiving, and what do you Americans call it?

Politically correct?

Elizabeth Warren halts interest payments of student load debt:


Bernie Sanders pledges to help those who must choose between their jobs and staying healthy:


Trump coughs on his hand and seeks handshake and meeting with Biden, to send congrats to Biden from Bolsonaro.

Well, I started this, so I guess I should say what I think.

I was gutted by the failure of the Warren candidacy. It wasn't just her ideas, it was the point that it would have been satisfying to have Trump lose to a woman. My feeling was like losing a tennis match because your backhand wasn't good enough, so the next time, the person vowed to beat the same person (I want to write guy here cause this is probably macho posturing, right?) with your backhand. Possible very stupid, but oh so satisfying if you do win.

But that's the problem, it's not just you, (or me in this case) it's all those other idiots and it's clear that they were not going for Warren. I see a similar thing happening with Sanders, and I'm quite distressed that he didn't put very much effort into outreach in the African-American community and the pressure that was immediately put on Warren by his supporters to endorse Sanders.

There was an article about Biden that argued that he was a politician who sought to center himself where everyone was. If viewed in that way, he becomes an ideal candidate (setting aside age and mental acuity) in that we need someone who is movable as opposed to someone who is going to move others. Which may be a rationalization, in this time of corona, rationalizations for things come thick and heavy.

Anyway, that's my thinking, feel free to punch holes. And, in response to the almost audible clamor, another installment in my Korean series on Sunday I hope.

Once again, Kevin Drum is right and he is wrong:


He states of the debacle: "It's unbelievable".


Until we find it completely believable, we can't kill it.

So believe, people, believe.

It's as real as Pol Pot's hate of people who wore eyeglasses, all of whom have been dead for near 60 years.

Remember, Drum is under treatment for multiple myeloma, now in remission.

Coronavirus would kill him.

Believe in the evil before your eyes.

I was gutted by the failure of the Warren candidacy.

So was I.

I've seen a lot of people assuming that Warren's "base" would just slide over to join Bernie's, and I think that's based on a very simple-minded, single-factor analysis, as if policy alone -- or even more insubstantially, a position on some notional, imaginarily concrete left-right spectrum -- is the only thing people base their decisions on. I never believed that Warren people would just become Bernie people.

Warren was by a very wide gap my first choice, and Bernie was by quite a bit almost my last. There is so much else that matters besides policy...like the ability to get your agenda passed, the ability to actually run a big bureaucracy, the qualities that will get good, competent people into your administration, etc. etc.

Not going to say anything about Biden other than that I will vote for him.

lj -- more Korea! Clamoring!

lj, the defeat of Warren was a very bitter pill. It clearly doesn't matter how bright, how competent, how experienced a woman is. Maybe, as many seem to think, she was just too far left. But (despite my Corbyn theories) I find that hard to believe, although perhaps that's just from a European perspective, where she really doesn't seem extreme at all. There really seems no doubt that misogyny played an enormous part, along with the whole anti-elites thing. I have a fantasy that Biden picks her as his VP, but that would probably doom him....

GftNC, among other things, the media simply, relentlessly erased her. I can't count how many times I looked at headlines and/or the first paragraph or two of an article or opinion piece about a debate, or a primary, or a projection, or a poll, and saw Biden mentioned, Sanders mentioned, Buttigieg mentioned...and not Warren, even if one of the Y chromosome people had come in fourth and Warren third.

Over at BJ they are always writing FTFNYT, but it's far from being just the Times.

Last comment of the day:

"Somebody tell Trump that coronavirus is a woman so he’ll start treating it like an actual threat."
—Samantha Bee

Warren was by a very wide gap my first choice, and Bernie was by quite a bit almost my last.

I know where you're coming from. Warren wasn't my favorite, but I definitely found her far preferable to Bernie. Not least because she has shown that she can actually get her ideas implemented.

Bernie, last I looked, had his name on only 3 bills in the whole time he's been in Congress. (And 2 of those were naming post offices!) Even, or perhaps especially, if you love his programs, do you really prefer to elect someone who can't actually get something passed?

From the outside (and I'm definitely on the outside here), that looks a lot like sexism. That or a preference for the superficial over the substantive. (Feel free to explain what I've overlooked.)

That's interesting, Janie. Did they disappear Klobuchar too, and if not, why do you think that was?

Warren was by a very wide gap my first choice, and Bernie was by quite a bit almost my last.

My feeling too.

I don't dislike Biden. I wish he hadn't run - he's too old, and he's been wrong on some important things. I think (hope) he'll pick good people. I know some people who have worked for him and I like them a lot (very different than Bernie's staff). That matters. I will work hard to get Biden elected. I think he will be a good president. African-American voters believe he has their back, and that's important to me.

GftNC, this isn't a scientific record-keeping operation. ;-)

But my memory of the instances that really made me mad is that Klobuchar wasn't mentioned either, but in most of those instances she was polling less well, or getting fewer votes. There was just that one short phase where she did very well in a debate, and then she was mentioned.

A different kind of example: recently, I think right after Warren dropped out, there was a headline something like this: "Warren [on some show] takes credit for knocking Bloomberg out" -- with a subtle implication that she had no business taking any credit for that or anything else. As though a woman had a lot of gall to take credit for anything.

She skewered Bloomberg, both in that one debate and afterwards, with her sample contract for releasing people from an NDA. I bet no one had talked to him that way since he was about five, as though he wasn't actually God, but rather a fallible human like the rest of us.

They did erase her.

Honestly, I also erased her. I voted for her in my primary, but I didn't canvass or do the work that I normally do because I knew she wouldn't win. Obviously, she didn't win because people didn't support her strongly enough. I don't feel extremely guilty about it because I'm tired of spending money and energy on an obvious lost cause.

She made some missteps that may have contributed to her demise. Her spat with Bernie was a loser. Her support for Medicare for All, but actually gaming out how to get there (incrementally) was correct, but a political loser.

I saw this happening - I didn't like it, but there was nothing to do about it. Can you imagine me on here ranting about it? Yeah. Loser.

Janie, to adapt one of my favourite recent quotes, well if it ain't it'll do til the scientific record-keeping operation gets here!

Yes, interesting on the Bloomberg thing, it was definitely my impression that she burst his bubble. A job well done, at any rate. And various pundits seem to be saying that she moved the Overton window on what policies could actually be realistically considered. So not a total loss, and as someone (hsh? nous?) said, at least she'll still be in the Senate.

sapient, all very understandable, including the not feeling guilty part. Onward and upward, we must (desperately) hope.

Good night, all.

Bernie, last I looked, had his name on only 3 bills in the whole time he's been in Congress. (And 2 of those were naming post offices!)!

That is a really shallow and, frankly, rather silly way to evaluate the record of a legislator in Congress. For example, take Hillary, please. How many bills had Lyndon Johnson's name on them? Was he an effective legislator? As a Congressman, he was not so great (See Caro's bio), as Majority Leader? I'd say yes. As President? None better. How many of those bills were named after LBJ?

If you want to denigrate Sanders, well fine. Go for it. But at least bring up something substantive.

I wonder what would have happened if Corona had hit a few months earlier. I'd like to think that Warren's unflappability and ability to make concrete policy suggestions would have vaulted her to the front.

I also like (in the sense of the brutal honesty, not that I'm happy about it) sapient's comment about erasure. It reminds me of when I automatically assumed the media framing about 'looting' after Katrina, because it was African-Americans in the photo, and when it's white folks, it's appropriate disaster relief. My case is probably more problematic that sapient, in that mine was a reflex and sapient's was where to invest her time and energy, which I think is different, but I feel that the inability to see our blindspots is what is making life so miserable these days.

I thought the stuff about Warren getting Bloomberg out was also because the media, in an attempt to make itself seem more 'balanced' (whatever that means), meant they had to pour on the praise to make up for their previous non-reporting, though the point about credit also resonates.

Possibly related, I'm on a few boards for things unrelated to politics that have been taken over by corona virus talk. Fortunately, they are threaded, so I don't have to see them, but it is amazing to see people who were dismissing concerns with a vengence and heaping scorn on those who were correct not doing any kind of mea culpa but are convincing themselves they were correct. The ability to say 'I got that wrong' without being badgered into it is a characteristic I hope Biden gets to express...

To bobbyp's observation about LBJ, he's an example (I think) of someone who wasn't a leader, but moved to the center of where the people were. Admittedly, not as exciting as thinking the president is a wizard who can magically lead everyone to where we think they should be, but I'm realizing that not exciting is something I really miss.

Warren was by a very wide gap my first choice, and Bernie was by quite a bit almost my last.

Maybe. As I am a policy driven voter, I don't get all into the weeds too much about "electability" or made up wishes about "executive effectiveness". I mean, Jack fucking Welch was a very effective executive. And he was also a real piece of shit.

Warren was actually my first choice in that crowded field. Great policy approach. Not so good getting it across the line. And the misogyny as well...no doubt. By the time the WA St. primary rolled around, Sen. Warren was out, so I voted for Sanders.

A lot of good that appears to have done me!

As for the others:

Billionaires (2 ea.) No, thank you.
Klobuchar? OK, but blemishes.
Booker? Better than Amy, but support for charter schools is a dealbreaker for me.
Mayo Pete? Seriously?
Gillibrand? Better than most of them. Not sure why she got absolutely nowhere.
Biden? Credit card industry Joe? Voted for Iraq war? Nope.
Castro? Sad to see him go. Has potential.
Islee? My governor, so I am biased. Global warming is an existential challenge that continues to be taken, um, not so seriously.
Tulsi? Modi is not a citizen.
The rest? "Fiscally responsible", hence not qualified.

me: Warren was by a very wide gap my first choice, and Bernie was by quite a bit almost my last.

bobbyp: Maybe.

What do you mean, "maybe"? Those were my preferences. It's not for you to say "maybe."

Nice sneer there with the "made up wishes" jab. E. Warren isn't Jack Welch, that's part of the point. She brought, IMO, the most complete package of relevant qualities.

How many bills had Lyndon Johnson's name on them? Was he an effective legislator?

Try it this way. How many things that Lyndon wanted (whether they formally had his name on them or not) became law? How many things that Bernie wanted have become law? See the itty bitty difference?

Bernie gives a great speech rant. But does he get laws changed? Not so much. Mind, I frequently think that's a good thing. But love it or hate it, that kind of ineffectiveness isn't the mark of a good legislator. Or, IMHO, an effective leader.

IMO the two most capable (D)'s running were Warren and Harris. Probably in that order, but it's kind of a jump ball.

Warren would have been a freaking great POTUS. Anyone seeing her as 'too far left' is, IMO, untethered from reality. Fight me.

I listened to about 15 minutes of Trump's virus confab today. I felt like I was listening to a Rotary Club brunch. WTF is some guy from WalMart doing in a discussion of public health policy?

Biden wasn't my first choice, second choice, whatever. Sucks to be me. As political stuff goes, my agenda this year is hold the House, flip the Senate, and remove Trump. In any order.

Public policy in this country is driven by people with big buckets of money. That is not gonna change for at least a generation, if ever. I'll be dead when it happens, if it ever does. In the meantime, my options are Biden and Trump, and it requires less than zero seconds for me to understand where I land on that question.

Confabulating geezer or utterly corrupt vicious narcissistic crook. I'll take the confabulating geezer, thanks for asking.

Is that the best we can do? Apparently it is. I'll wake up, smell the coffee, and cast my vote accordingly.

This country has always been a weird mix of high ideals and social darwinistic brutality. That is who we are. No point in pretending otherwise.

Warren is my Senator, she'll have my vote for whatever office she cares to run for, for however long she cares to run.

For POTUS 2020, I am as of now 100% in for Biden. Let's get that spray-tan mf'er the hell out of there. Him, his kids, and his coterie of lickspittle Wormtongue lackeys.

Get them out.

Bernie gives a great speech rant. But does he get laws changed?

The fact that the idea of the 99% and the 1% are in the public vocabulary is due to (a) Occupy and (b) Bernie.

Overton Window. Takes a generation to turn into law.

Tilting at windmills, but more power to him. A judge from Hawaii resigns from the Supreme Court bar and sticks it to John Roberts in the process.

WTF is some guy from WalMart doing in a discussion of public health policy?

There is this...

"In September of 2019, behemoth retailer Walmart announced its goal to become “America’s Neighborhood Health Destination” and launched its first Walmart Health center in Dallas, Georgia.

The center offers primary care, labs, X-rays, EKG scans, counseling, dental, optical, hearing and community health education services for cheap. Shoppers can get a medical checkup for $30, a teeth cleaning for $25 and a mental health consultation for $1 a minute, without insurance."
Former Apple CEO: Walmart’s health-care services will cause ‘a consumer revolution’

lickspittle Wormtongue lackeys


Overton Window. Takes a generation to turn into law.

Sure. But moving the window and actually running anything are two quite different skill sets.

A telling claim is that Warren reminded people of a (strict) teacher and thus had no chance of getting the vote of many people.
If that's true, it's just another sign that there is little hope.

[snark] I thought hating teachers was just required of GOPsters [/snark]

Wow, fantastic letter from Judge Dannenberg. That's got to hurt Roberts personally. Let's hope more follow, and that he resigns as soon as there is a Dem majority to confirm one or more successors.

Warren was by a very wide gap my first choice, and Bernie was by quite a bit almost my last.

Me too. Warren, IMO, would clearly make the best President of the lot.

So the ObWi commentariat (with the obvious exceptions of Marty and McKinney) seem to have been pretty solidly behind Warren. No wonder she didn't stand a chance - I think in various ways we have previously established (e.g. educationally) we are the definition of a certain kind of "elite".

wife really liked Warren pre-debates, based on the way she came across in her many TV interviews. she is smart and sharp and energetic and enthusiastic. in the debates that didn't come across as well. but, we both voted for her anyway, though without much enthusiasm.

Biden will be fine.

any problems he has are completely trivial in the overall scheme of things and there is nothing disqualifying about him. i'm not going to spend a millisecond qualifying my vote for him, here or anywhere.

any problems he has are completely trivial in the overall scheme of things

Exactly this. "the overall scheme of things" being the current wholesale destruction of American institutions like the impartiality of the courts, the integrity of the election system, the ability to hold the executive to account, the common understanding that corruption is bad, the common understanding that experts in science and other disciplines should lead the response to crises involving those disciplines, and on and on ad infinitum.

I voted for Warren.


Very interesting piece, JDT. A corrective to kneejerk thinking, I guess.

I'll vote for Biden:


I'm old enough to lie about voting for Hindenberg in 1932.


Compared to the others, he was disaster-lite and enabling of the disaster to follow, but at the time he was the only liverwurst sandwich of the catastrophic shit sandwich bunch.

He at least knew what an Aleppo was.

I think it's time to move the conversation along. We know this already:

  • Nobody here is voting for Trump. Even those who can't abide the Democratic nominee would vote third party or sit out before they'd vote for him.
  • Baring wild unforeseen events, Biden will end up with the Democrats' nomination. Wild, as in death or major medical incident.
So let's look at the remaining interesting question: Who does (should, if you prefer) Biden pick for a VP? And why?

It seems to me there are basically two approaches to picking a running mate. First, you can pick someone who you think would be a good President if, God forbid, something happens to you. (Not a bad idea. Lest you end up with a Sarah Palin, and thereby lose.)

Second, you can pick someone to help you win. In my youth, that often meant picking someone who was strong in a particular state (or, less often, region) that would otherwise be a problem. Today, it's more likely to be someone who appeals to a demographic that would otherwise be a problem. Either way, it's all about getting to 270.

Probably you go with a blend of the two. But those are the core.

So, what you don't do is pick someone from a demographic that you are going to have no trouble carrying regardless. Unless the person you think would be the best successor just happens to be from there. The only exception I can think of is if you think you are such a lock to win (and are so convinced of your own immortality) that you have the luxury of deciding to "make a statement." And as we have seen, even if you think you are a lock, you may not be.

Now, let's either trash my criteria, or evaluate Biden's options in light of them.

So the ObWi commentariat (with the obvious exceptions of Marty and McKinney) seem to have been pretty solidly behind Warren. No wonder she didn't stand a chance

and the ObWi Loser Leading Indicator Index (OLLII) is born.


i expect Biden will pick someone who is:

* younger than 60yrs - 80% probability
* a woman - 70%
* "of color" - 60%

so, Harris seems like the obvious choice. little chance her Senate seat could fall to the GOP, she's young, smart and serious (ie. not Palin-esque). i'd feel fine with her taking over, should Biden fall ill.

it won't please the die-hard Sanders folks, but let's be honest: nothing will.

Under 60 seems like an obvious criterion, with an obvious rationale. But why the other two? Certainly they wouldn't be a disqualification. But what do you see them contributing to the goal of winning the general election?

Voters "of color" aren't going for Trump. Women either. So if they aren't bringing in their own demographic, which ones do you see those characteristics attracting -- that Biden wouldn't get to the same degree, or Trump would get more of, otherwise?

Or, just to be complete, do you see the general election as enough of a lock that Biden should opt to make a statement with his choice?

so, Harris seems like the obvious choice.

Harris has professional and personal baggage that will provide a lot of openings for opponents to take, even if unfair, shots at her.

But what do you see them contributing to the goal of winning the general election?

Voters "of color" aren't going for Trump. Women either. So if they aren't bringing in their own demographic, which ones do you see those characteristics attracting -- that Biden wouldn't get to the same degree, or Trump would get more of, otherwise?

Jumping in where angels (or at least I) fear to tread:

Voters of color and women may not be going for Clickbait (although IIRC more white women voted for him than for HRC last time). But they could stay home. I myself, in fact, although I'm not going to stay home, would be livid if he picked a white male as his running mate. Even a gay white male. And I don't even call myself a feminist. I've just had enough of this shit.

Also, begging for trouble, it seems to me, based on my casual perusal of news and blogs (casual compared to a lot of people online, obsessive compared to most of the people I know who don't half-live online), that we have Biden above because of African Americans. Will that be enough for them? Or might a significant # of AA voters stay home if the VP candidate isn't a person of color?

Harris does seem like an obvious choice, but I also wonder -- adding to wj's questions -- who might be a likely VP choice from among the remaining handful of Democrats who weren't candidates for president this past year?

Janie, I agree that they could stay home. But would they? Or would they decide that, infuriating as they find his choice, more Trump would be out of comparison worse?

Actually, the only folks I can see sitting home in significant numbers are Bernie Bros and others on the far left. But who could Biden pick that would change their minds? I'm not seeing gender or race persuading them -- but perhaps I'm wrong on that.

Harris has professional and personal baggage that will provide a lot of openings for opponents to take

eh. everybody has baggage except for those who've never done anything (which is a different kind of baggage). Jeannie Unbeatable doesn't exist.

Klobuchar would be fun. comedians could yuck it up about Biden's love of profanity and Klob's temper.

or maybe he'll surprise me with Booker.

i'm voting for him even if he picks Satan, of course.

But would they?

I don't know......I can't imagine anyone does.

As for "the others on the far left" -- I was just going to add a P.S. that for my money, I would like to see a VP pick who's clearly left of center.

Also, maybe it goes without saying: someone younger. I don't think Biden, Bernie, or Bloomberg should ever have run at all. Even Warren is borderline, except that she seems to be the energizer bunny.

I submit that pretty much any Democratic politician qualifies as clearly left of center . . . for the country as a whole. Not for the center of our circle, definitely not for the center of the party. But for the country?

Now you might prefer someone further left than that. and I get that that's what you are actually saying. And Trump is far enough out that you have some flexibility there. But I suggest that it's a "nice to have". And what is critical is getting rid of Trump.

Will that require sacrifices and compromises, even on things you care a lot about? Probably. Trust me, whoever Biden goes with, whether that's one of those who ran against him or any other Democratic Governor or Senator, I will be making some compromises on things I care about as well. But sometimes, that's just the world we are stuck with. Necessity exists.

Harris is not far left, but she's fierce and whip smart. I hope Biden picks her. I vote blue no matter who, but would love to see African-American voters be rewarded for their support, and would very much like to vote for a Democratic woman. That said, there are other VP possibilities who would be interesting and fine.

I hope Biden stays healthy.

"i'm voting for him even if he picks Satan, of course."

I hear that's who Trump is going to pick, after he ditches Pence from the ticket.

Something about a "campaign promise signed in blood".

What? You think I'm JOKING?1??

Trump pick Satan? No way; never happen. Trump isn't about to pick someone who would make him look small, or demonstrate more competence that he has.

Besides, Trump likes toadies. If Satan wouldn't bow to God, what makes anyone think he would be willing to bow to Trump?!?!?

Regarding Sanders, I suppose getting 11 billion dollars in funding for community health centers doesn’t really matter. Obviously not or people would know about it and would leap to mention it when this post office claim is used to dismiss his entire career.

Being the leader of a genuinely bipartisan movement to end the war in Yemen ( unable to overcome Trump’s veto) — well, clearly that is trivial.
It was so trivial that both Ben Rhodes and Samantha Power forgot to mention the Yemen War in their books about their time working for Obama.


Sanders is supposed to be the “ Amendment King” according to his supporters and the man who go nothing done according to his opponents. I suspect the truth is in between, but anyway, being very far to the left most of what is actually going to pass would be center left stuff. It wasn’t until 2016 that anyone even realized you could get a significant movement for Democratic socialism. Some years ago Obama would make dismissive references to the little single payer advocates.

As administrattor, Sanders was supposed to have been a pretty good mayor.

Warren was my second choice. I was happy last fall when she was in the lead. She failed partly due to her own mistakes, just as I think Bernie’s failure was also partly though not entirely his own fault. If course we all think that when our candidate fails it is because the electorate wasn’t good enough for them.

Though actually, I don’t think that. I think Sanders and his team could have done a better job. I also think the press and the Democratic Party hate his guts, but that is just something you should factor into a campaign and try to overcome. We will see what happens on Sunday, but I think Sanders coukd do a better job shooting down the cost argument regarding single payer, which is probably why it doesn’t do better in polls.

Donald, thank you for that info on Sanders's past achievements. Proving your point, I didn't know any of that (the community health centre stuff), good on him. But, (as an ill-informed foreigner) I still think he would be unelectable, as was Corbyn, so it's Biden for me from now on with the hope he picks an inspiring running mate.

As administrattor, Sanders was supposed to have been a pretty good mayor.

I had heard that as well. What I found interesting was how often it was cited in his behalf by people who, not long previously, had been running down Buttigeig's mayoral experience as irrelevant. Personally, I think either one is superior as administrative experience to having been in Congress.

What being mayor doesn't teach you is how to get legislation thru the arcane process used by Congress (and, although not as bad as I understand it, in the state legislatures). Part of that is, like it or hate it (and I don't like it), massaging the enormous egos of the members of Congress. Sanders does well on denunciation (admittedly sometimes with great good cause), but can he jolly the members along? Or would he have to try the intimidation tactic that Trump has displayed for us?

I also think the press and the Democratic Party hate his guts, ...

The press also hated/hates Trump's guts. But, apparently on the theory that bad publicity is better than no publicity, he successfully trolled them into keeping him in the news 24/7.

My perception is that the VP spot is used for a different purpose these days. It's not "What can the VP candidate do for the campaign?" so much as "What group can we appease with the VP slot?" Johnson was really the last VP candidate who actually delivered states the ticket might have lost without him, and that was 60 years ago. Palin was to appease the RWNJs who were suspicious of McCain. Biden was to appease the people who worry about foreign policy. Pence was to appease the evangelicals.

As I read things -- and I'm miserable at this -- the group the Dems will decide to appease this cycle is African-American women. If forced to guess, I'd put Stacey Abrams ahead of Kamala Harris because too many people think Harris's AA experience wasn't "authentic."

This is good news we can use.

The bankruptcy legislation was my biggest beef with Biden.

“ The press also hated/hates Trump's guts.”

I almost mentioned that, but on the right they expect the msm to hate them and they sometimes imagine more hatred than is there, though in Trump’s case, it’s all there. Deservedly so. Up until Corona I wouldn’t have said he was the absolute worst President in history, but unfortunately he has a clear shot now.

Going all out against the press wouldn’t work for Sanders, though he alludes to hostility now and then. I think most of his online supporters ( including me) dislike the press, but if he wants to broaden his base he can’t do that.

Some in his base wish he would. They also want him to be as openly hostile to Biden as I am in this thread. I have a real life friend who is livid that he calls Biden his friend. I think Sanders is right— he has to push Biden on issues, but it would be a bad idea to get hostile.


I left Pete out too. I figured no need to beat on him now. I don’t think anybody should jump directly from medium size town mayor to President. But evidently black people in South Bend don’t like him., I don’t think that is Bernie's problem for the most part. My guess is that Biden has the Obama factor in his favor and Bernie needed to work a lot harder or longer to have chipped away at that support.

On legislation, I just mentioned the community health centers and you might want to think about why your sources talk about post offices and not that. Or why his leadership in the anti Yemen War doesn’t count.

The Warren article by Friersdorf in the Atlantic is too clever by half imho. It amazes me that he never mentions the media and it's coverage of Warren. A quick look thru Friersdorf's articles and it looks like he never even mentioned Warren. Failing to mention how the media contributed to the sexism that held back Warren and then claiming that it couldn't have been sexism doesn't really cut it.

About Sanders, I think he was criminal in not working with African Americans. This isn't to get in a fight with you Donald, but this post by Simon Balto in LGM
really underlines some things. Some folks may not read LGM cause they can have really sharp elbows, but Simon is a newer member, but he is (or was, not sure) a Sanders supporter and not white and he wrote this after the Biden turnaround. There also seemed to be a lot of this 'well, I wasn't going to say anything, but after Biden, I'll give you this', some of which is in the article.

The Warren article by Friersdorf in the Atlantic is too clever by half imho.

I wasn't going to bite that hook, but since you did....

First, my tiresome disclaimer: I'm mostly on strike against reading pundits. Everyone's got a fncking opinion. We're bombarded with opinions day in, day out, and I'm worn out with it. I get way more opinions than I can process just by reading blogs. I honestly don't know how people who post a lot of links here have time to sleep.

Friedersdorf was an Andrew Sullivan protegee in days of yore. For me that's enough said, even without the above disclaimer.

Related, in the "nothing is ever simple" department:

I said that the media erased Warren, and though I did mention Y chromosomes, I never said I thought that her being a woman was the only reason it played out that way. (Nor do I think misogyny is the only reason the media decides someone has to go. Remember Al Gore?) I think they also erased her because the billionaires wanted her gone. Poetic justice that at least she managed to bring one billionaire down a peg before she went.

why his leadership in the anti Yemen War doesn’t count

At the moment, it isn't leadership, it's advocacy. Which isn't nothing, but unfortunately there's no sign (that I've seen) that he will lead us away on that.

I'd love it if we got disentangled from the Saudis in general. But I'm not holding my breath.

I think they also erased her because the billionaires wanted her gone.

Thinking about that in relation to Sanders is interesting. There is a great scene in Moneyball where Brad Pitt/Billy Beane is talking to Stephen Bishop/David Justice and Justice says to Beane you're paying me 7 million and Beane replies nah, the Yankees are paying half your salary, that's what the Yankees think of you. I realize that this gets into crazy town, and I don't want to go that far, but I think that the media would be and still is happy to have a mudwrestling match between Biden and Sanders, but having some content and policy discussion? Nah.

I read it LJ. So what? There is a manipulative quality to such pieces, because they aren’t just written to explain the various reasons why the older African American voter sided with Biden, but also to convey the notion that you are a racist condescending scum if you don’t agree with who they voted for and how dare you even wish to chane their mind. Sure, okay. . I don’t trust vast generalizations about any group composed of millions of people. I particularly liked the part where a black woman didn’t like Medicare for All because it would kill innovation. That argument has frack all to do with her being black and everything to do with her professional background. It is a standard argument about the pharmaceutical industry and innovation. Dean Baker probably has a thing or two to say about that and I don’t think he is particularly a Sanders supporter. I think the implied idea there is that Sanders supporters are racist white Berniebros who have never considered the possibility that there are professional black women who disagree with Sanders on the merits, Um, no.

My impression is that younger black people like Sanders, and many Arab Americans do, in part because of his stance on Israel-Palestine and Yemen. Biden was part of the administration that gave the Saudis a green light and Biden didn’t come out against the war until 2019. I read that somewhere but don’t have a source handy.

Is that something they write about at LGM? Are there any legitimate reasons why some Sanders voters might be outraged by the Democratic establishment and by that I mean a few thousand people, not people meeting in black church basements? Nah. Those are just narcissistic whiners obsessed with their silly boutique issues. Like genocide and people flocking dying because they can’t afford medicine.

One last personal anecdote and this is not about my major health issue. Kidneystones aren’t major, just painful. So I am in the emergency room last August floating somewhere around 8 on the subjective pain scale of 1 to 10. Not screaming, it could be worse, thinking theological thoughts ( seriously) about how I don’t believe God would do this to anyone forever. So there I am, having deep thoughts feeling like I have a knife in my side and up comes this woman to ask me about my health insurance.

Yeah, I give a fuck what somebody says about private insurance because of their skin color,

Anyway, yeah, I am getting pissed off, so I am going to leave.

If you like sharp e

My point to linking to Friersdorf's article about Warren and the Harper's article regarding Biden is that I read everything and then I do whatever I feel like doing, especially at this time in history, when there is only ONE choice.

Ham on white bread with no condiments.

But it also reveals what folks believe, wrongly or rightly about, whatever bullshit is out there, about our choices.

My vote for Hindenburg was a bunch of nothing in a historical maelstrom.

I could have fully voted my conscience and voted for Stefan Zweig but I would have been gassed or shot anyway for harboring Jews, given that time in history.

I could have not voted and been murdered trying to assassinate Hitler.

The only method that would have worked would have been to butcher and slaughter the Nazi Party and all its fellow travelers in 1932, not give them the imprimatur of a fucking civilized election, but no, killers tell us they are going to kill us, and we figure we need to wait until the killing actually starts to kill them.

There is only one choice, just as there was in 2016.

Jesus could be running, but he's not, and besides the dumbass Christians we have humored in this country would have dirt on him too, because they wouldn't recognize him, especially if he fucked with the money changers again, the vital gods of America.

We have ordinarily flawed humans running against a vermin dangerous lout.

Parse away with your consciences.

There are times in history when the conscience wants what it wants, but, as with love, at those times the conscience is an idiot.

I'm not trying to pick a fight here, I'm just trying to figure the larger movements. That's why the post is called what it is.

I think the point of the anecdote about the black woman is to point out that black people have cynicism as well, and aren't embued with the ability to choose the right person and the writer was trying to be clear about that. I don't think he was vouching for that as a good argument.

As for the rest, I'm not dismissing the concerns of the die-hard Bernie supporters, but it seems that if I take seriously the concerns of other voters, I'm automatically dismissing them. It's that kind of either or reasoning that has gotten us to where we are, I think. Anyway, stay safe.

Okay, over my pissed offness, but I will take a break anyway.

I am voting for Biden in the end. Lesser evil, etc. Trump is finally living down to his potential.

Well, as I said originally, I thought it was a mixture of misogyny and anti-elitism that did for Warren, but I found the stats etc in the Friersdorf article pretty interesting about other possible elements. However, I do think Janie has a point when she says the billionaires wanted her out of the way; I'm betting they don't think Sanders has a chance but that she might have done, and were anxious to scupper her chances. And since billionaires appear to have more power than other people (ahem), that might have contributed to her strange disappearances.

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