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Old 02-23-2020, 09:09 AM
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Obama's got 9 days to show some guts and save the republic


He and other pragmatic Democrats have to learn the lessons of the failed 2016 Stop Trump movement and act NOW, decisively. Here is the gameplan:

https://thebulwark.com/the-5-lessons...o-stop-bernie/

Last edited by SlackerInc; 02-23-2020 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:24 AM
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Shrill, hysterical, boring, off-putting, and a gift to Donald Trump. That’s the ‘Never Bernie’ “movement” in a nutshell.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:31 AM
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Realistically, the only chance suit-and-tie Dems have is to pray that Sanders has a stroke (that's not what I'm praying for, btw, just to be clear). What Dems need to understand is that Sanders is a grassroots movement that is pretty much perfectly-timed. This is not the season for "moderates."

But, all is not lost. There may be ways for Dems to have Sanders work with less radical economists and aides - people who can say "Okay, you want M4A, but let's prepare for what happens if it doesn't get past Mitch McConnell (which it likely won't)."
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:36 AM
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You know, I usually think of the "Democrats snatch defeat from the jaws of victory" as hyperbole. But here we have a moderate Democrat endorsing a Republican's plan for how Democrats can keep their party from emulating the Republican outcome in 2016.

Their outcome, lest we forget, was winning the election.

This would be pretty hard to satirize.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
You know, I usually think of the "Democrats snatch defeat from the jaws of victory" as hyperbole. But here we have a moderate Democrat endorsing a Republican's plan for how Democrats can keep their party from emulating the Republican outcome in 2016.

Their outcome, lest we forget, was winning the election.

This would be pretty hard to satirize.
My thought exactly.

Tea-bag party who? What conservative principles?

The GOP went full retard behind Trump and hasn't looked back since. Mitch McConnell looks like he hasn't missed a single good night's sleep in years, while Nancy and Chuck look older and more frayed at the edges every day.

It's time the Democrats took a page out of the GOP playbook and lined up behind their nominee, no matter who. Dance with the one that brought you, instead of pining at home on prom night for the one that got away.
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Old 02-23-2020, 04:43 PM
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My thought exactly.

Tea-bag party who? What conservative principles?

The GOP went full retard behind Trump and hasn't looked back since. Mitch McConnell looks like he hasn't missed a single good night's sleep in years, while Nancy and Chuck look older and more frayed at the edges every day.

It's time the Democrats took a page out of the GOP playbook and lined up behind their nominee, no matter who. Dance with the one that brought you, instead of pining at home on prom night for the one that got away.
Good suggestion for people who consider self-identify as progressives, but there's a good chance that Democrats will need some independents to win.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
You know, I usually think of the "Democrats snatch defeat from the jaws of victory" as hyperbole. But here we have a moderate Democrat endorsing a Republican's plan for how Democrats can keep their party from emulating the Republican outcome in 2016.

Their outcome, lest we forget, was winning the election.

This would be pretty hard to satirize.
We developed a political system that favors Republicans. A Republican candidate can come in second place in the general election and be declared the winner. A Democratic candidate cannot.
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:05 AM
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We developed a political system that favors Republicans. A Republican candidate can come in second place in the general election and be declared the winner. A Democratic candidate cannot.
That's true--but that's only part of Trump's winning formula. Trump spoke a message that included some voters who felt shut out of the process, and although he's a goddamned fraud, that helped him win. Sanders is speaking to those same voters about economic issues in a way that Bloomberg isn't, that Biden isn't.

And you can be really fucking sure that if Obama swoops in to save the day, that's gonna backfire. And you can be really fucking sure that Obama knows that, and that's why he's not taking Slacker's crackerjack political advice.
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Old 02-23-2020, 02:11 PM
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That's true--but that's only part of Trump's winning formula. Trump spoke a message that included some voters who felt shut out of the process, and although he's a goddamned fraud, that helped him win. Sanders is speaking to those same voters about economic issues in a way that Bloomberg isn't, that Biden isn't.
I think you're kidding yourself. Low information voters are just going to say "Sanders is a communist and I ain't voting for any commie" and that'll be the end of it. They won't listen to what Sanders is saying and they wouldn't understand it if they did. They'll line up to vote for Trump again.
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Old 02-23-2020, 03:45 PM
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I am amazed that the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is pretty much openly saying that Democratic primary voters cannot be allowed to choose the party's candidate for the upcoming presidential election.

Truly amazed.
"Amazed" is an interesting way to put your reaction to an incorrect paraphrase of something that Sander's campaign manager said in 2016.
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I think you're kidding yourself. Low information voters are just going to say "Sanders is a communist and I ain't voting for any commie" and that'll be the end of it. They won't listen to what Sanders is saying and they wouldn't understand it if they did. They'll line up to vote for Trump again.
If they're that low information, they'll say that about anyone, because Trump's gonna call them all "communists." You're proposing that there are significant numbers of folks just high information enough to know about Sanders's Democratic Socialist label, but not high information enough to know that that's not communist, and that this group is a group that otherwise would've voted for a Democratic candidate, and that they're not outnumbered by the people who wouldn't vote for an establishment Democratic candidate but would vote for someone with outsider cred like Sanders has.

You may think I'm kidding myself, and that's awesome. But I don't see any evidence to back up your proposal.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:48 AM
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I don't think fear of where batshit evil Trumpism has taken us should force the non-deplorable majority in the U.S. to limit what candidates or policies we believe are best for the country. If it's a milquetoast "never Trump" candidate this time, what about next time, and the time after that? It's not just Trump, it's the people who voted for him, and they are not going to vanish. At what point do civilized people stop being just defensive about what they want for this country?

Nobody knows if Bernie can win, the polls show that it's not the foregone conclusion that many people suggest. I kind of want to find out at this point. At least we'll be going into the election with something to gain, rather than just trying not to lose. The objection that even if he wins a Republican Senate won't cooperate with him is ridiculously bogus. Are people under the impression that the Republicans will do anything other than continue to fuck the process of government with any Democrat in power?

Last edited by Riemann; 02-23-2020 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:56 AM
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I don't think fear of where batshit evil Trumpism has taken us should force the non-deplorable majority in the U.S. to limit what candidates or policies we believe are best for the country. If it's a milquetoast "never Trump" candidate this time, what about next time, and the time after that? It's not just Trump, it's the people who voted for him, and they are not going to vanish. At what point do civilized people stop being just defensive about what they want for this country?
Trump is not a typical President by any standard. In 2020 our primary goal should be getting Donald Trump out of office. We should be choosing the nominee who has the best chance of defeating Trump - and that means we should be choosing a nominee who can win over swing voters. I don't feel Sanders is that candidate.

That said, I disagree with the OP. I would not want to see Obama or anyone else stepping in at the last minute and changing the rules in order to pick a nominee.
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:13 AM
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Trump is not a typical President by any standard. In 2020 our primary goal should be getting Donald Trump out of office. We should be choosing the nominee who has the best chance of defeating Trump - and that means we should be choosing a nominee who can win over swing voters. I don't feel Sanders is that candidate.

That said, I disagree with the OP. I would not want to see Obama or anyone else stepping in at the last minute and changing the rules in order to pick a nominee.
There is nothing special about Trump. Trump is just a stupider version of Reagan without the folksy charm.
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:43 AM
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There is nothing special about Trump. Trump is just a stupider version of Reagan without the folksy charm.
I strongly disagree. While I loathed Reagan's politics root and branch, and thought he was a smarmy reactionary liar, I still didn't think of him as a sin against nature, a purely evil force focused upon the ruination of every single thing I hold dear.
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Old 02-23-2020, 04:20 PM
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I strongly disagree. While I loathed Reagan's politics root and branch, and thought he was a smarmy reactionary liar, I still didn't think of him as a sin against nature, a purely evil force focused upon the ruination of every single thing I hold dear.
I did. And he proved to be. He even killed a high school friend of mine, just to be an asshole.
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:32 PM
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Trump is not a typical President by any standard. In 2020 our primary goal should be getting Donald Trump out of office. We should be choosing the nominee who has the best chance of defeating Trump - and that means we should be choosing a nominee who can win over swing voters. I don't feel Sanders is that candidate.

That said, I disagree with the OP. I would not want to see Obama or anyone else stepping in at the last minute and changing the rules in order to pick a nominee.
Why do you guys always assume that a moderate will outcompete the liberal?

In the last 5 presidential elections, each time we picked the moderate over the liberal candidate in teh primary, that candidate lost the general.

Gore beat Bradley in the primary, lost the general. Kerry beat Dean in the primary, lost the general. Clinton beat Sanders in the primary, lost the general.

Obama wasn't a liberal, but he was to the left of Clinton. He won both the primary and the general.

Either way, point being there are risks to every choice.

Sanders may reduce turnout among whites in the suburbs, but he will increase turnout among liberals, disaffected voters and young voters. Buttigieg may be more appealing to moderate republicans and suburban voters but less appealing to the other groups I just listed.

And if you guys really want Sanders to go away, there is an easy answer. Actually tackle the problems that are making him so popular. We live in a plutocratic nation where nobody is standing up to corporate power when they fuck over the public. Housing, health care, education, telecommunication, energy, the financial sector, etc. the public keep seeing the damage caused by oligarchy, plutocracy and regulatory capture in all these areas. The GOP are full on plutocrats while the democrats are timid, cowardly and passive. People are tired of choosing between a party that lets the rich rule everything and a party that is timid and spineless, and only nibbles around the edges of the countries serious problems.

You can't just write off his voters, because the problems that are making Sanders so popular aren't going away. Even if you manage to crush Sanders, the problems that make him popular will just find another voice and another outlet.
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Old 02-23-2020, 06:19 PM
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Why do you guys always assume that a moderate will outcompete the liberal?
I make no such assumption. I just look at the poly sci evidence on House races, where there is an actual reasonable sample size, and note the direction.

Could it be that House races are different from presidential?

Yes. There is a slight possibility that can't be measured.

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Either way, point being there are risks to every choice.
Totally agree.

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Sanders may reduce turnout among whites in the suburbs, but he will increase turnout among liberals, disaffected voters and young voters.
Sounds correct but the disaffected, whose turnout is juiced by a leftist Democrat, will tilt Trump.

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And if you guys really want Sanders to go away, there is an easy answer. Actually tackle the problems that are making him so popular. We live in a plutocratic nation where nobody is standing up to corporate power when they fuck over the public.
I think what makes him popular, among Democrats, is insufficient attention on their part to foreign news. Otherwise, when Corbyn went down, they would have abandoned Bernie.

As for the idea that if America had more social democratic policies, left of center parties wouldn't nominate a man of woman of the left, with all due respect, that's silly. British Labour is the first example that comes to mind.

Also, we have another candidate, Senator Warren, who stands up to corporate power but could fairly easily pivot to the center, after winning the nomination, by pointing to her formerly being a Republican. In the unlikely event she wins the nomination, she should claim that the GOP lost her when it moved to the radical right. Maybe she wouldn't do that -- one reason I don't see any candidate as safe.

If the Democrats instead nominate a former Trotskyite who is still wedded to terms like socialism, and even revolution, well, yes, it is possible they will win, and even conceivable that Trump will vacate the White House. It is just less likely.

Re the OP idea, where Obama and friends gang up on Sanders after he got a plurality of the Democratic votes in multiple states, that would violate democratic norms and could backfire.

Last edited by PhillyGuy; 02-23-2020 at 06:23 PM.
  #18  
Old 02-24-2020, 08:24 PM
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Re the OP idea, where Obama and friends gang up on Sanders after he got a plurality of the Democratic votes in multiple states, that would violate democratic norms and could backfire.

How would this violate democratic norms? What he is proposing is NO different from Sanders having a rally where AOC vigorously endorses him. NO different from op-eds in friendly left-wing publications that endorse him and tear down his rivals. Why is he allowed to do that but mainstream Democrats are not?


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I'll never understand the Democratic establishment's obsession with trying to win "swing voters" and suburban whites when the candidates who get nominated on those grounds consistently lose.

That's how Pelosi got the gavel last year! Every seat they flipped was by aiming at those kinds of candidates. Bernie endorsed lots of House candidates, gave them money, held rallies for them, and none of them flipped a seat. Not a single ONE.


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Sanders is the most Obama-like candidate in the field.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/14/polit...ost/index.html

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Sanders' plan, though all of its costs cannot be precisely quantified, would increase government spending as a share of the economy far more than the New Deal under President Franklin Roosevelt, the Great Society under Lyndon Johnson or the agenda proposed by any recent Democratic presidential nominee, including liberal George McGovern in 1972[...]

Of the past three Democratic presidential nominees, John Kerry in 2004 and Hillary Clinton in 2016 proposed spending increases equal to around half a percentage point of the economy, while Obama in 2008 proposed spending an amount something over 1 percentage point, Summers calculated.

This year, he broadly estimates, former Vice President Joe Biden is proposing spending increases probably equivalent to roughly 1.5% of the economy, Pete Buttigieg roughly 2% and Sen. Elizabeth Warren an amount equal to about 12%.
Sanders laps all of them, as well as the New Deal precedent: Even a very conservative $50 trillion 10-year cost for Sanders' plan would translate into a roughly 20 percentage point increase in federal spending relative to the economy, according to the calculations by Summers, who also once served as chief economist at the World Bank.
And if you look at the whole article, you'll see why those are indeed very conservative estimates. It could easily be twice as much, if we could take seriously any of this Christmas tree Candyland pipe dream nonsense.

It's also notable that Warren's proposals are absurdly expensive, but Bernie definitely pulled a "hold my beer" on her.


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Funny. It shows me that Bernie is a horrible general election candidate. Why in the holy fuck would he poke that bear?

Right? I was on the one hand actually glad that he is willing to be so reckless, right at this incredibly crucial inflection point in the campaign. It gives us more of a chance to stop him. But it also shows that he just does not have any instinct for caution whatsoever. Something his ardent fans admire about him, but a perfect illustration of how kamikaze-foolish he is likely to be in the fall.


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Ok publicly Obama like any Democrat would agree Trump is terrible, but as a sober thinking person doesn't necessarily believe 'the Republic is at risk' etc. to the degree breathless social media/internet type activist progressives do (or say anyway).

It's not because of Trump's policies that he is a threat to the Republic. Conservatives like those at the Bulwark believe he is such a threat every bit as much as progressives do (perhaps more, as many on the left seem to treat him as mainly a problem because his policies are not progressive). It's the sacking of the "disloyal", the suppression of intelligence about Russian interference in our elections, the hardball horsetrading with foreign leaders for political dirt, the interference in federal prosecutions, the selling of pardons, the emoluments.

Mitt Romney, the most recent GOP nominee before Trump, voted to convict him of high crimes and misdemeanors and remove him from office. The first senator in history to vote that way against a member of his own party. Is he a "breathless social media/internet type activist progressive"?
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Old 02-25-2020, 05:28 PM
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https://www.vox.com/policy-and-polit...moderates-data

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Democrats should not be very reassured by early polls that find Sanders faring as well against Trump as the more moderate candidates: These numbers may only look decent for Sanders because they assume he will inspire a youth turnout miracle. Our survey data reveals voters of all parties moving to Trump if Sanders is nominated, a liability papered over by young voters who claim they would be inspired to vote by Sanders alone.

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There are reasons to doubt a Sanders-driven youth turnout surge of this size would materialize. First, people who promise in surveys they will vote often don’t, meaning the turnout estimates that Sanders’s electability case rests upon are probably extremely inaccurate. Second, such a turnout surge is large in comparison to other effects on turnout. For example, Sanders would need to stimulate a youth turnout boost much larger than the turnout boost Barack Obama’s presence on the ballot stimulated among black voters in 2008.[…]

There is no way to be sure whether Sanders’s nomination would produce this historic youth turnout surge — but it seems doubtful. Turnout in the 2020 primaries so far has not exceeded 2008 levels, including among young voters. If anything, research suggests the opposite is more likely to occur: In response to an extreme Democratic nominee, Republicans could be inspired to turn out at higher rates to oppose him.
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Old 02-28-2020, 05:22 PM
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In my understanding, Justice Democrats deliberately targeted long-shot seats that weren't getting much attention from other Democratic organizations. Sure, they could stick to easy wins -- but that would be easy, and wouldn't actually accomplish anything aside from getting to say they backed winners.

It's good to go after long-shot seats. Most of the time they'll lose, but with time, those seats and districts may change, and the work they put in will be quite useful to the party.

This sounds like a highly dubious rationalization/retcon. You're telling me that they could have had dozens more seats added to their caucus, and been able to point to their having been the force that gave Pelosi the gavel...but they chose to just let the moderates have those seats instead?!? That's preposterous, and might actually be a worse commentary on their efficacy as a political force if it were true!
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Old 02-23-2020, 06:42 PM
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And if you guys really want Sanders to go away, there is an easy answer.
I don't want Sanders to go away. I want Trump to go away. And the problem I have with Sanders is I don't think he can beat Trump.
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Old 02-23-2020, 07:05 PM
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Why do you guys always assume that a moderate will outcompete the liberal?

In the last 5 presidential elections, each time we picked the moderate over the liberal candidate in teh primary, that candidate lost the general.

Gore beat Bradley in the primary, lost the general. Kerry beat Dean in the primary, lost the general. Clinton beat Sanders in the primary, lost the general.

Obama wasn't a liberal, but he was to the left of Clinton. He won both the primary and the general.
I don't agree with your analysis. I think in most of these examples, you're stretching the candidates' positions to make your point. I don't see any major ideological difference between Gore and Bradley, Kerry and Dean, or Clinton and Obama. These candidates were all moderates. The liberals in these campaigns were people like Brown, Kerrey, Kucinich, Sharpton, and maybe Vilsack. The only case you listed where a moderate beat a liberal was Clinton beating Sanders in 2016.

You're factually wrong about Gore and Clinton losing the general election. Both of them won the general election (which was part of my point). They lost the Electoral College election. (Kerry may have won the general election also but it's late in the day to be arguing that point.) This just demonstrates what I've already said; we have a system that favors Republicans. They can lose the general election and still win the Electoral College election because their base gets more votes.
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Old 02-24-2020, 10:49 PM
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You're factually wrong about Gore and Clinton losing the general election. Both of them won the general election (which was part of my point). They lost the Electoral College election. (Kerry may have won the general election also but it's late in the day to be arguing that point.) This just demonstrates what I've already said; we have a system that favors Republicans. They can lose the general election and still win the Electoral College election because their base gets more votes.
Been a while since I looked at a new Pew Typology. But the GOP base has probably been significantly larger than the base of the Clinton Democrats for a generation. Maybe 9 or 10 points larger?

Someone has to expand that base. Maybe someone who did Spanish-language ads in Iowa, instead of assuming that the latino 6% of that state wasn't worth picking up? What do you want to bet Bernie does Spanish ads in Kansas (12% latino), Nebraska (11%), etc.?

I mean, the old boy'd better, I want to win. I don't just mean the nomination, I mean the general. You add that many new voters, you can flip the Senate with coattails.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:15 PM
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That said, I disagree with the OP. I would not want to see Obama or anyone else stepping in at the last minute and changing the rules in order to pick a nominee.

How would this be changing the rules? It would still be up to Democratic primary voters. Bernie can hold a rally where AOC enthusiastically endorses him, but Biden (as bad as he is, he's the only chance to stop Bernie) can't have a rally where the entire mainstream gathers together and says we can't be nominating a Castro-praiser? (BTW, Andy: if you're reading this, you're going to have to update your verbiage regarding Bernie "saying dumb things about communist dictators in the 1980s" to "...but that was over a DAY ago!"
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Old 03-02-2020, 07:55 AM
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Trump is not a typical President by any standard. In 2020 our primary goal should be getting Donald Trump out of office. We should be choosing the nominee who has the best chance of defeating Trump - and that means we should be choosing a nominee who can win over swing voters. I don't feel Sanders is that candidate.
I'm not even sure Sanders is the candidate to accomplish anything progressive. He's not really a member of the party; he appears to have few allies in Congress, he is a remarkably ineffective and unproductive Senator, and he demonstrates little ability to compromise with his colleagues.

If you want to pass, say, Medicare for All, yelling and riling up the Berniebros isn't gonna get it done because they can't vote in Congress. Republicans aren't going to help any Democratic President do anything good; they're a lost cause right now. I am unconvinced that Sanders could even get DEMOCRATS to do anything.
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Last edited by RickJay; 03-02-2020 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:33 AM
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I'm not even sure Sanders is the candidate to accomplish anything progressive. He's not really a member of the party; he appears to have few allies in Congress, he is a remarkably ineffective and unproductive Senator, and he demonstrates little ability to compromise with his colleagues.

If you want to pass, say, Medicare for All, yelling and riling up the Berniebros isn't gonna get it done because they can't vote in Congress. Republicans aren't going to help any Democratic President do anything good; they're a lost cause right now. I am unconvinced that Sanders could even get DEMOCRATS to do anything.
Heck, someone could argue that this means there's nothing to fear from him. And that as is by now traditional, his party would get clobbered in the midterm and then he really will be unable to move us towards dreaded socialism.

Sure that means you count on the established Dems to be unlike the established Reps and actually resist their Prez, but that too seems supported by history...
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:49 AM
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I understand why people keep saying things like "yelling and riling up the Bernie Bros." I get what is meant by that. But I don't understand why people keep acting like it's a poor reflection on Sanders that the (hypothetical) Democratic Congress during a Sanders presidency wouldn't work with him on ideas that these same people seem to acknowledge are good ideas.

Like, yeah, it's true that they're fighting and smearing him on Medicare for All. It's true that Medicare for All hasn't happened yet. Why is it a good point against him that he's the only one in the room on the right side of that issue? Warren just made this point explicit a couple days ago -- he tries to stop things that happen anyway (like disastrous wars) and he tries to sell people on good ideas that get killed by the failure of others to buy in.

And what this amounts to is, he sucks?
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:01 AM
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Heck, someone could argue that this means there's nothing to fear from him. And that as is by now traditional, his party would get clobbered in the midterm and then he really will be unable to move us towards dreaded socialism.

Sure that means you count on the established Dems to be unlike the established Reps and actually resist their Prez, but that too seems supported by history...
Yes that's one common defense of Sanders: 'don't worry, his proposals as stated are too unpopular to get through even a Democratic majority Congress, they'll never happen'.

Not a powerful argument in a vacuum. But I agree it has some merit though in political reality because one reason to not deny Sanders the nomination is to avoid demotivating his base. There isn't a comparable base of 'make Biden [Bloomberg, etc a specific other candidate] the nominee or I won't vote in November' people. Although that's separate from the issue Democratic-leaning people outside the Democratic base who might show up to vote for any Democrat but 'the Socialist', and the small but potentially important sliver of the electorate that might vote for Trump instead of Sanders but other Democrats instead of Trump. And also the 'wholly new voters Sanders (and nobody else) would bring out in November' theory. But IMO the last one is a little less of an unknown, being less plausible. Whereas the theories of Democrats losing enthusiasm by rejecting Sanders and thus his personal base, or losing non-base voters (to either non-turnout or to Trump) because of Sanders perceived radicalism, are both very real risks IMO. It's just hard to tell the relative size of each.

I don't think polls this far out tell you much about any of those theories unfortunately. Base voters say and think things in primary season they'll take back later. Low/medium engagement voters aren't paying attention. Some November polls taken now don't even try to identify likely voters. IOW if somebody links a poll saying Sanders does around the same v Trump as any other Democrat I don't think it means much. The GOP campaign would have more to throw at Sanders. And it seems even politically aware people who support Sanders aren't always aware some of Sanders' proposals like up to 8% pa wealth tax or 77% estate tax are, unlike a generally more socialized health system, not 'just what other rich countries do'. No other rich democracy has taxes anything like that. You can argue it's what should be done, that's a matter of opinion. But you can't argue it isn't radical or a leap into the unknown in terms of unintended consequences, because it would be. So maybe back to 'well but those things aren't really going to happen even under Sanders', I guess.

Last edited by Corry El; 03-02-2020 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:20 AM
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I'm not even sure Sanders is the candidate to accomplish anything progressive. He's not really a member of the party; he appears to have few allies in Congress, he is a remarkably ineffective and unproductive Senator, and he demonstrates little ability to compromise with his colleagues.

If you want to pass, say, Medicare for All, yelling and riling up the Berniebros isn't gonna get it done because they can't vote in Congress. Republicans aren't going to help any Democratic President do anything good; they're a lost cause right now. I am unconvinced that Sanders could even get DEMOCRATS to do anything.
Yeah, that's pretty much my take as well. If he's nominated, I'll vote for him to get Trump out, but he won't get shit done, and the 2022 midterm would be a GOP landslide.

Of course, that's likely true of Biden and Klobuchar (what, she hasn't dropped out yet?) as well, because Mitch McConnell. But they'd likely get more done with the powers that the President has to act independently of Congress. Which SCOTUS seems to have expanded a bit under Trump.
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:37 AM
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From the article this strikes me as a feasible idea:
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First in Wisconsin, the PAC I advised recruited basically every major Wisconsin Republican political figure to come out either against Trump, or for Cruz. In addition we leveraged the powerful Wisconsin conservative media—including one radio host you may have heard of—to talk to their audience about Trump’s flaws both on conservative orthodoxy and electability. And we put millions of dollars into a TV/radio/digital/mail/phones all-out assault on Trump on every issue imaginable.
South Carolina is obviously a crucial state and if the party can mobilize behind Biden in this manner that could push him over the top and give him momentum for Super Tuesday.

Last edited by Lantern; 02-23-2020 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 02-23-2020, 10:53 AM
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Sanders simply isn't odious enough to justify Obama coming out to slam him, so the most we could expect is a polite endorsement of another candidate.

And the author of that article sounds like a well paid consultant but he ignores the winner-take-all aspect of Republican primaries making lessons from Trump's win difficult to apply to Dem 2020.
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:09 AM
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There’s no doubt Obama keeps his mouth shut publicly, but he can do some behind the scenes work. Would Klobuchar like an Obama appearance in MN? How about Obama’s name on a fundraising email?

It’s much harder with the damn Billionaires. But, if there’s some really ugly dirt out there, I’d be threatening to see that it gets leaked.

And it’s time to get all the ugly Bernie shit out NOW!!!
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  #33  
Old 02-23-2020, 11:17 AM
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And it’s time to get all the ugly Bernie shit out NOW!!!
Weirdly, I agree with you on this Sanders matter. I'd like Biden to lead the charge, because he'd be a good sacrifice; bad blood between Biden and Sanders won't mean nothin.

There's definitely some stuff in Sanders's past that none of us can predict how it'll affect the general. If it starts getting discussed now, we'll be able to make a better prediction.

I'd love for Biden to come both guns blazing at Sanders, with that weird sex article from the eighties and the Sandanista connection and the Moscow connection. They're all pretty cheap shots, but bring them on, let's see how Sanders navigates it.
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Old 02-23-2020, 06:36 PM
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There's definitely some stuff in Sanders's past that none of us can predict how it'll affect the general. If it starts getting discussed now, we'll be able to make a better prediction.
Nah; this doesn't matter. It'll be "fake news. More lies from Trump. Just Russian propaganda. Fox news always repeats Trump's lies. The CIA/FBI/NSA said so? Why should I trust them; didn't you say they made up stuff about Trump and Russia?"

Nothing in Bernie Sanders supposed past will matter to anyone who isn't already dead-set against him.

The reason Bernie will get the nod isn't just because Bernie, but because so many people are ready for the Democratic Party to change from the ineffective milquetoast bullshit that it is.

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  #35  
Old 02-25-2020, 03:34 PM
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Nothing in Bernie Sanders supposed past will matter to anyone who isn't already dead-set against him.
And you know this how, exactly? Are you privy to aspects about Bernie’s past that no one else is?
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Old 02-23-2020, 08:56 PM
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There’s no doubt Obama keeps his mouth shut publicly, but he can do some behind the scenes work. Would Klobuchar like an Obama appearance in MN? How about Obama’s name on a fundraising email?

It’s much harder with the damn Billionaires. But, if there’s some really ugly dirt out there, I’d be threatening to see that it gets leaked.

And it’s time to get all the ugly Bernie shit out NOW!!!
Honestly, it's not even Obama's party anymore. It's Bernie's party now - that's what happens when you're the most popular candidate. It's Bernie's party now. Just like it was Mondale's party in 1984, like Dukakis in 1988, and like McGovern in 1972. He won't lose as badly as they did because Trump is historically unpopular, but unless the economy craters, I don't see how he wins.

We need to do what we can to support Bernie, even if we don't want to - maybe the economy slows, maybe Trump alienates people enough, and maybe we have an impact. We have to defeat Trump or die tryin' (to steal from 50 cent).

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Old 02-23-2020, 09:00 PM
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Honestly, it's not even Obama's party anymore. It's Bernie's party now - that's what happens when you're the most popular candidate. It's Bernie's party now. Just like it was Mondale's party in 1984, like Dukakis in 1988, and like McGovern in 1972. He won't lose as badly as they did because Trump is historically unpopular, but unless the economy craters, I don't see how he wins.

We need to do what we can to support Bernie, even if we don't want to - maybe the economy slows, maybe Trump alienates people enough, and maybe we have an impact. We have to defeat Trump or die tryin' (to steal from 50 cent).
He could also be another FDR. We'll find out in November.
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Old 02-23-2020, 09:04 PM
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He could also be another FDR. We'll find out in November.
To your point, I won't disagree with you and I'd say to dalej and other fellow skeptics: we can bitch about Bernie all we want, but the alternative is clearly worse. Donald Trump is infinitely worse than Bernie Sanders and there's no debate about it. If Bernie wins, he's my guy. Period.
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:22 AM
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We should be choosing the nominee who has the best chance of defeating Trump - and that means we should be choosing a nominee who can win over swing voters.
What, both of them?

You're thinking that politics is a one-dimensional continuum, and that the "swing voters" are folks in the middle, who could lean slightly in one direction or the other for the right candidate. But politics is not only many-dimensional, it's topologically nontrivial, and the "middle" that you're looking for either doesn't exist, or is already in the Democrat-no-matter-what category. The people that Trump managed to pull into his coalition to bring him to victory aren't the folks in the moderate middle: They're the folks who want someone extreme, and don't care in what direction. Sanders can win those voters back. Biden can't.
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Old 02-23-2020, 02:30 PM
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What, both of them?

You're thinking that politics is a one-dimensional continuum, and that the "swing voters" are folks in the middle, who could lean slightly in one direction or the other for the right candidate. But politics is not only many-dimensional, it's topologically nontrivial, and the "middle" that you're looking for either doesn't exist, or is already in the Democrat-no-matter-what category. The people that Trump managed to pull into his coalition to bring him to victory aren't the folks in the moderate middle: They're the folks who want someone extreme, and don't care in what direction. Sanders can win those voters back. Biden can't.
I disagree. I think there are a lot of voters who want a mainstream candidate. In fact, that's why some candidates are mainstream. These voters will be equally unhappy with a right wing extremist like Trump or a left wing extremist like Sanders. How will they end up voting? Who knows. It'll be a flip of the coin.

If you gave these people a choice between a nutcase like Trump and a safe candidate like Biden, they'd rush to vote for Biden. And the left wing extremists and the anti-Trump crowd aren't going to vote for Trump, so they'd grudgingly vote for Biden as well.

That's what has worked for the Democrats; pick nice safe moderates like Bill Clinton or Barack Obama (and Al Gore and Hillary Clinton if you go by the popular vote). The moderates vote for them by choice and the left wing says "Ugh. But they're still better than the Republican." and unhappily votes for them.

The Republicans have gone the opposite way. They reject the middle and proudly brag about how extreme they are. And the result? The Republican nominee has lost six of the last seven Presidential elections. The only reason the Republicans have elected a President since the eighties is because they've rigged the system.

And what are the Democrats doing this year? They're trying to follow the Republican extremist strategy (which fails) without the Republican cheating strategy (which works). If Sanders is nominated, I predict a Trump victory.
  #41  
Old 02-23-2020, 11:26 AM
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Yeah pretty stupid argument by that author, but what do you expect from omeone who was a mastermind behind Jeb Bush's communication campaign?

Let's accept the premise, which as RTF has pointed out here many many times is historically correct: a clear leader out of the gates in Iowa and New Hampshire will very likely be the nominee. Okay, maybe something huge can be done to stop it, but likely would fail.

So play out the possibilities -

It works and by way of huge unified "establishment" efforts, "all in", to nominate someone else, "someone else" wins. Result is decent segment of potential Democratic voters who are correctly feeling that the establishment disenfranchised them. Bad.

It doesn't work. Well if you were fearful that Sanders was a losing bet before that tactic has made that bet much worse. Worse. And the more likely outcome.

Fight the fair fight according to the rules as established and circle the wagons around whoever wins. If the voters (or more precisely their elected delegates at the convention) pick Sanders then it may be a less likely win (IMHO) and a poorer outcome for the Senate (IMHO) but that is the way the process works and we have to play that dealt hand the best we can. All alternatives to proceeding like that are worse.
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Old 02-23-2020, 04:10 PM
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Yeah pretty stupid argument by that author, but what do you expect from omeone who was a mastermind behind Jeb Bush's communication campaign?
Quote:
Let's accept the premise, which as RTF has pointed out here many many times is historically correct: a clear leader out of the gates in Iowa and New Hampshire will very likely be the nominee. Okay, maybe something huge can be done to stop it, but likely would fail.

So play out the possibilities -

It works and by way of huge unified "establishment" efforts, "all in", to nominate someone else, "someone else" wins. Result is decent segment of potential Democratic voters who are correctly feeling that the establishment disenfranchised them. Bad.

It doesn't work. Well if you were fearful that Sanders was a losing bet before that tactic has made that bet much worse. Worse. And the more likely outcome.

Fight the fair fight according to the rules as established and circle the wagons around whoever wins. If the voters (or more precisely their elected delegates at the convention) pick Sanders then it may be a less likely win (IMHO) and a poorer outcome for the Senate (IMHO) but that is the way the process works and we have to play that dealt hand the best we can. All alternatives to proceeding like that are worse.
Strongly concur.

Super Tuesday is a week from Tuesday. IA, NH, and NV collectively determine 101 convention delegates; SC has another 54. Then on March 3, 1,344 delegates are up for grabs. When we wake up ten days from now, we'll know exactly where the race is, and one of the most likely outcomes is that Bernie will be ahead by a mile.

And if that happens, the moderate wing of the Democratic Party had better be ready to rally around him. No matter how much they don't care for Sanders, if the alternative is Trump, we will need a united party behind him.

I'm not keen on Sanders, tbh. I don't see how 2021 goes well for him. But 2021 will be far worse if Trump is re-elected, and that's what we all will have to focus on.
  #43  
Old 02-23-2020, 05:31 PM
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Super Tuesday is a week from Tuesday. IA, NH, and NV collectively determine 101 convention delegates; SC has another 54. Then on March 3, 1,344 delegates are up for grabs. When we wake up ten days from now, we'll know exactly where the race is, and one of the most likely outcomes is that Bernie will be ahead by a mile.

And if that happens, the moderate wing of the Democratic Party had better be ready to rally around him.
Yes basically. And as it relates to Obama, all that article says is 'imagine if he came out strong for Pete or Joe or Amy'. Which would be reasonable if he wanted to do that. It doesn't suggest Obama get involved in nefarious behind the scenes screwing of Sanders.

But, this really isn't Obama's problem. The motivation to get involved that way in the real world of self interest, I don't see it. Ok publicly Obama like any Democrat would agree Trump is terrible, but as a sober thinking person doesn't necessarily believe 'the Republic is at risk' etc. to the degree breathless social media/internet type activist progressives do (or say anyway). Plus it's not actually 100% obvious Sanders is less electable (I would guess he is substantially less electable, but I realize it's a guess). Plus, Obama has a history of being an excellent vote getter for himself but much less able to influence elections in favor of others. He'd be taking a big risk of endorsing non-Sanders and Sanders does really well anyway, and lose the fairly united respect admiration among Democrats he has now. If I were him I wouldn't go near it.

The person with the direct personal interest in 'taking down' Sanders, and willing to spend $100's mil on his messages...is Bloomberg. Of course, Bloomberg doesn't hold a candle to Obama in general credibility with Democrats in a straight up comparison of one media cycle or maybe press coverage of Obama going to a few rallies v Bloomberg just saying something at a rally. But Bloomberg can bombard the airwaves with anti-Sanders ads, like in the ST places he's bought virtually all the air time. Would that slow down Sanders much? Maybe not, but at least I can see why Bloomberg might want to do this. Can't see why Obama would want to get involved trying to micromanage rather than just support whoever the nominee is.
  #44  
Old 02-23-2020, 05:34 PM
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And if that happens, the moderate wing of the Democratic Party had better be ready to rally around him. No matter how much they don't care for Sanders, if the alternative is Trump, we will need a united party behind him.
Im just a spectator here but from what I can read , I get the impression that the DNC's plan A is anybody but Sanders, and Plan B is to tank the election and concentrate on holding the line on the house and possibly make gains in the senate.
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Old 02-23-2020, 06:24 PM
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Im just a spectator here but from what I can read , I get the impression that the DNC's plan A is anybody but Sanders, and Plan B is to tank the election and concentrate on holding the line on the house and possibly make gains in the senate.
Holding the line in the House and trying to narrow the gap in the Senate (AND the Statehouses!), whatever happens with the Presidential race, should be the Og-damned rock bottom default baseline expectation of the DNC's efforts. If it were only their fallback position after failing to stop Sanders, and they're viewing "stop Sanders" as Job One in and of itself, then they'd deserve to perish.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 02-23-2020 at 06:26 PM.
  #46  
Old 02-23-2020, 11:31 AM
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It's incredibly risky because it would be pretty divisive. But I am getting a little sick of Bernie supporters acting like it's all already out there. Maybe some SuperPAC can run a push poll in South Carolina.

1) Are you aware of Sanders' past association with the Socialist Workers Party?

2) Are you aware of Sanders' essays on women's sexuality?
  #47  
Old 02-23-2020, 12:04 PM
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He and other pragmatic Democrats have to learn the lessons of the failed 2016 Stop Trump movement and act NOW, decisively. Here is the gameplan
Yes, Bernie is actually popular, especially with young people, Hispanics, educated people, and people who are fed up with the current system. He inspires enthusiasm and energy. He has policies that will seriously improve people's lives...

...And he is the ONLY Dem who will beat Trump according to the latest poll.

So the Dems better act fast if they want to lose this election. What they really need is a dull, same-old status quo establishment candidate like Biden to destroy enthusiasm and turnout. It's the only way to hand the White House back to Trump for another four years.
  #48  
Old 02-23-2020, 12:22 PM
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I must disagree with OP/quoted article in terms of timing and who should it be up to. If for some reason the establishment felt they needed to cut Bernie at the knees, the deadline was not before South Carolina votes, it was before Iowa failed to. And it should have been/be done by any of his strong contenders, not involve calling for Obama/Carter/Gore/Reid to step in as a "council of elders" to "save us".

Establishment wanted to make it clear you only had "Real Democrats" running? Establishment should have changed the rules on 9 November 2016 to make it so. Did not. The Elder Statespeople of the party have no mandate to act as a Privy Council to save the people from themselves. And after the issues last time around, the last thing the DNC wants to be seen doing is preselecting winners and losers rather than being arbiters of a fair contest. THAT is a losing play.

I don't know if in any other major democracy you can have just anyone do a walk-on and say "hey, I want to be the next [Labour/PSOE/CDU/FN/BQ/PRI] leader" w/o putting in time on the bench. Yet both US parties allow that and it happened to the Republican Party in 2016. Like the establishment Republicans pre-2016, their comparable Dems pre-2020 were too busy thinking "this weirdo will flame out once real voting begins, then I can harvest his enthusiastic votes; all I need is to outlast him and praise him when he leaves, not beat him and piss them off". Why they'd think that of someone who had such a good showing last time around as Sanders, you gotta ask them. But once the voting begins, too late for that strategy, time to run to WIN.

Just look at the Nevada debate. Everyone decided to go full tilt at Bloomberg, who was not even running in Nevada or SC, and when not, the putative centrists went after each other. You think that getting a harrumpf from Obama or Schumer is going to have ANY effect on them between now and SC? or Super Tuesday? All the response they'll get is "Why weren't you out there directly supporting ME in Iowa/NH?"

Last edited by JRDelirious; 02-23-2020 at 12:25 PM.
  #49  
Old 02-23-2020, 12:32 PM
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Thankfully Obama's not nearly dumb enough to try this kind of nonsense. Some Democrats can't seem to comprehend even the possibility that their party might be changing. Face it -- Bernie might be the nominee. And he might win the general. Any predictions about being unelectable are wild, wild guesses, not based on any data at all.
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Old 02-23-2020, 12:51 PM
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James Clyburn with some praise for Bernie, even if it's far from unreserved: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/mee...table-n1141361

I predict that the Democratic "establishment" is slowly getting comfortable with the likelihood that Bernie could be the nominee, and we'll see more and more appearances and statements like this from prominent long-time Democrats. And if Bernie becomes the nominee, Obama will lead the charge with an enthusiastic endorsement.
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