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Old 03-26-2020, 09:49 PM
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Revisionist history on why Biden won


Another excellent Chait column, in which he pushes back against the history rewrite we are already hearing from the Sanders camp:

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020...blishment.html
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Sanders advisers told the New York Times they believed they had been on the precipice of sweeping to victory on Super Tuesday, until Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg dropped out and endorsed Biden. Ben Tulchin, a Sanders pollster, claimed the candidate was “on the brink of winning until the most unprecedented event in the history of presidential primaries occurred.”

It is hardly unprecedented for the fifth- and sixth-place candidates to drop out of a race after four primaries. Yet Sanders himself has fixated on this decision as evidence of an Establishment conspiracy. Appearing on ABC’s This Week several days later, he described it as “the power of the Establishment to force Amy Klobuchar, who had worked so hard, Pete Buttigieg, who had really worked extremely hard as well, out of the race.”

From Bernie’s perspective, dropping out of a race once you have no chance of winning is peculiar behavior that can only be explained by the work of a hidden hand. For most politicians, though, it is actually standard operating procedure. Only Sanders seems to think the normal thing to do once voters have made clear they don’t want to nominate you is to continue campaigning anyway.[...]

The Democratic Establishment certainly played an important role in the contest. Its party elite helped coordinate the non-Bernie vote, foiling his plan to capture the nomination without expanding his share much beyond a third. The Sanders movement has remained genuinely indignant that it was unable to win the nomination and steer the party in a direction opposite of the desire of most of its voters by exploiting a divided opposition. But the Sanders plan for minority-faction rule, while it briefly seemed likely to prevail, always required denying the rest of the party a chance to vote up or down on his revolution. He lost for one simple reason: The process gave the voters, right or wrong, what they wanted.

Chait also affectively rebuts another weak excuse making the rounds even in legitimate legacy media, that it was the coronavirus that killed Bernie’s campaign.

Some will say it doesn’t matter and we shouldn’t be “sore winners”. But this stuff is important for not only preserving an accurate sense of political history, but guiding the party going forward.
  #2  
Old 03-26-2020, 11:54 PM
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Chait also affectively rebuts another weak excuse making the rounds even in legitimate legacy media, that it was the coronavirus that killed Bernie’s campaign.
Yes, because the young people are being prudent and staying home while the old people recklessly venture out to vote in swarms for Biden. The young people, staying at home, if only they weren’t so vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19. Got it.
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Old 03-27-2020, 12:19 AM
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LOL, right--good point.

ETA:

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Chait also affectively rebuts

Ugh, effectively. Using voice-to-text on my phone is convenient for posting in a variety of places, but when I don't have my reading glasses handy, it ends up leading to a lot of homophonic transcription errors that are hard to catch at the time.
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Last edited by SlackerInc; 03-27-2020 at 12:23 AM.
  #4  
Old 03-27-2020, 12:48 AM
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Sanders lost because he never tried to expand his following beyond his 30% base and trusted that 30% would be enough to get a plurality in a crowded field and then force a victory as "the guy with the most delegates" at the convention:
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He’s counting on winning Iowa and New Hampshire, where he was already surprisingly strong in 2016, and hoping that Cory Booker and Kamala Harris will split the black electorate in South Carolina and give him a path to slip through there, too. And then, Sanders aides believe, he’ll easily win enough delegates to put him into contention at the convention. They say they don’t need him to get more than 30 percent to make that happen.
Sanders didn't try to reach out to moderates until after his Super Tuesday pummeling when he tried running his "Look, Obama likes me!" ad. Had he spent the last four years trying to make those inroads instead of trusting in a youth voter revolution, maybe things would have been different. Instead, many of his voters were actively hostile to moderate Democrats and Sanders seemed indifferent.

What the Sanders campaign apparently didn't count on was a number of moderates realizing that they weren't going to win early on and wisely dropping out instead of wasting their time and money on a losing battle. When they (rather reasonably) decided to back the guy who most shared their vision for our government, Sanders' campaign cried foul and people tried to find a conspiracy.
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:07 AM
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What really galls me is that, as Chait put it, "The Sanders movement has remained genuinely indignant that it was unable to win the nomination and steer the party in a direction opposite of the desire of most of its voters by exploiting a divided opposition." Like it was unfair of the establishment not to stay divided and let him win with a distinct minority/plurality! That's chutzpah.
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Old 03-27-2020, 04:04 AM
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One thing that I believe drove away most potential voters for Sanders was overpromising, such as the national childcare plans, college free for all, green new deal and many other similar programs.

Personally, I think the US is ready for M4A, but the others seemed like way too big of a giveaway that put off most people.
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Old 03-27-2020, 07:41 AM
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One thing Sanders has never dealt with is a lack of money. He has always been able to tap the email list even after a complete drubbing.

Kamala and Beto dropped out before Iowa because of money. Intelligent campaigns know how much fundraising is coming in every day. From what I know, Pete’s fundraising started to dry up after Nevada and basically froze in the hours after South Carolina. I don’t know anyone in the Amy campaign, but it’s reasonable to assume a similar situation and the bounce after NH was a temporary blip in $$$.
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Old 03-27-2020, 07:47 AM
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For months Sanders online supporters were spreading a meme of the grim reaper knocking on bloody doors featuring the names of candidates who dropped out. Now they wish people stayed in
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Old 03-27-2020, 07:47 AM
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One thing that I believe drove away most potential voters for Sanders was overpromising, such as the national childcare plans, college free for all, green new deal and many other similar programs.

Personally, I think the US is ready for M4A, but the others seemed like way too big of a giveaway that put off most people.
It was just everything all together. Any one of his plans would poll well but it was that he wanted to do them all. He wanted to tear down "the establishment". Most Americans just don't want a revolution, they want reform if they want change.
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:26 AM
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The simple truth is that after Nevada, everybody not in the Sanders camp realized that if they didn't do something and do it now, then Bernie was going to win the nomination and lose the White House, the House, and the Senate in the fall. Then when Biden showed his strength with the most loyal Democratic constituency in South Carolina, it became obvious that the choice was unite behind Biden and have a chance at winning or keep dividing the sane vote and let Bernie steer the ship into the reef.
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:53 AM
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It really comes down to arrogance, both of Bernie and his supporters.

Arrogance that, when an election is lost, one should stay in because people may still see the light because they have to.

Arrogance, that because you know you're right, you don't have to make friends and allies in a coalition party. Arrogance that you don't even have to join a party and work with it's leadership and ground people to win election.

Arrogance that, when you lose, it can't be because the people rejected you but rather because of some con conspiracy.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:06 AM
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He's probably right that there was some sort of deal-making with Klobuchar and Buttigieg. Yes, it was time for them to drop out, but who drops out the day before Super Tuesday? If they were going to drop out before Super Tuesday, why not right after the previous round of primaries?

The catch, of course, is that there's absolutely nothing wrong with deal-making.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:07 AM
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Well said. I think that is the fundamental flaw of Bernie's character and his inevitable defeat: Arrogance, and Inflexibility.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:12 AM
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Seriously, imagine if, from 2016 to 2019, Bernie had spent time helping other members of the D party. Joining up, talking with them. Hitting the lunch spots, inviting some up to his place in Vermont and just generally courting them for his run. He'd have been in a much better position with members of the part watching out for him.
t
Seriously, his surrogates - from an LAT article - were Cornell West, Susan Saradon, Rashida Tlaib and Michael Moore. Fine. But other than Tlaib those are all dilletantes without skin in the game. When's the Governors? The Senators? Where were the top party officials or policy wonks you see on CNN or MSNBC?

Last edited by Jonathan Chance; 03-27-2020 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:12 AM
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He's probably right that there was some sort of deal-making with Klobuchar and Buttigieg. Yes, it was time for them to drop out, but who drops out the day before Super Tuesday? If they were going to drop out before Super Tuesday, why not right after the previous round of primaries?

The catch, of course, is that there's absolutely nothing wrong with deal-making.
Well, it doesn't even have to be explicit deal-making (although I wouldn't be surprised if there was some of that).

If you are Klobuchar or Buttigieg, and you honestly believe that Joe Biden is the better nominee and would make the better President, as well as honestly believe you yourself have no chance at the nomination, isn't the right and appropriate course of action to drop out prior to Super Tuesday? Especially if your analysis shows that staying in would make it less likely that your preferred outcome would happen?

They didn't want Bernie to win so they took steps to make sure he didn't. That's not a conspiracy - that's an election.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:23 AM
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He's probably right that there was some sort of deal-making with Klobuchar and Buttigieg. Yes, it was time for them to drop out, but who drops out the day before Super Tuesday? If they were going to drop out before Super Tuesday, why not right after the previous round of primaries?

The catch, of course, is that there's absolutely nothing wrong with deal-making.
Remember though that SC primary was the Saturday right before Super Tuesday. So dropping out Monday before Super Tuesday was dropping out only 2 days after the previous major primary.

I recall a number of Sanders supporters online saying that even if Biden wins big in SC, he doesn't have enough time for that momentum to carry him on Super Tuesday.

Last edited by ISiddiqui; 03-27-2020 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:04 AM
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The Sanders campaign feels like a lesson in the "Generals are always prepared to fight the last war" saying. In 2016, Sanders thought he could run the Obama playbook again: build big victories in virtually uncontested caucuses to make up for Clinton's advantages in the other states. Except this time Clinton was wise to it and didn't disregard the caucuses and Sanders couldn't replicate the feat.

In 2020, Sanders thought he could run the Trump playbook and work a fractured field to get enough plurality votes to eventually push everyone else out as they fell behind him then clean up the rest of the virtually uncontested states. Except the Democratic field was wise to it, saw how that works and swiftly dropped out to consolidate around a single moderate candidate.
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Old 03-27-2020, 01:47 PM
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Yes and if Bernie were a mensch he would drop out now and spend his remaining moral capital supporting Joe as the only one left standing to beat the orange menace.

And I see nothing morally reprehensible about making a deal. Especially with Buttigieg who has no way to advance since no Dem is going to win a statewide election in Indiana. So a cabinet position might suit him just fine and I would approve. Some of the others would have to quit the senate to be VP candidates or get into the cabinet. Not good, especially in MA that has a Rep governor. Minn's governor is DFL so that is safe.
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Old 03-27-2020, 07:10 PM
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I think I agree with everything people have posted today. Good stuff.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
The simple truth is that after Nevada, everybody not in the Sanders camp realized that if they didn't do something and do it now, then Bernie was going to win the nomination and lose the White House, the House, and the Senate in the fall. Then when Biden showed his strength with the most loyal Democratic constituency in South Carolina, it became obvious that the choice was unite behind Biden and have a chance at winning or keep dividing the sane vote and let Bernie steer the ship into the reef.

Yes, and Bernie picked that very moment after Nevada to double down on his past support for Castro. If he had pivoted at that moment to broaden his tent instead of being such a stubborn iconoclast/ideologue, he might have consolidated his strength as a frontrunner pulled the whole thing off. In fact, he might have only had to "fake it" for two or three weeks, and then it might have been too late for Biden and Bernie could go back to letting it all hang out. I'm glad he didn't do that!
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Old 03-27-2020, 07:55 PM
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I don't know how "Gaffey Joe" won, either, except that Democrats seem to be REALLY GOOD at nominating mediocrities (Presidents Clinton and Obama being exceptions to that) for Prez over the last 50 years, or so. If non-MAGAists don't come out in force in November because they don't want another 4 years of the Mango Idiot in the W.H. then I don't know what will get them to come out because "Gaffey Joe" certainly hasn't got the personality, accomplishments, message, or charisma to get people to turn out and vote for him. He is - all together now - (yet) a(nother) mediocrity that Dems are putting up for Prez. Thanks for absolutely NUTHIN', Democratic Party.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:28 PM
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I can't deny that he's a mediocrity, but that could be just the medicine right now. It's a lot better than a cranky revolutionary who just had a heart attack.
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Old 03-27-2020, 09:50 PM
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Remember though that SC primary was the Saturday right before Super Tuesday. So dropping out Monday before Super Tuesday was dropping out only 2 days after the previous major primary.

I recall a number of Sanders supporters online saying that even if Biden wins big in SC, he doesn't have enough time for that momentum to carry him on Super Tuesday.
This. There's nothing at all odd about the timing. SC showed that Klobuchar and Buttigieg didn't have a chance, so they dropped out in time for their doing so to help their cause.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:08 PM
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I can't deny that he's a mediocrity, but that could be just the medicine right now. It's a lot better than a cranky revolutionary who just had a heart attack.
Probably, but he's NOT better than Elizabeth Warren, in my opinion. But the "Dems have spoken" so now we'll see what happens in a few months.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:44 PM
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Elizabeth Warren was more of a "true Democrat" who could appeal to Pantsuit Nation/Resistance types better than Bernie. But she had zero appeal outside of that core, extremely loyal group of Dems.
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:49 PM
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I can't deny that he's a mediocrity, but that could be just the medicine right now. It's a lot better than a cranky revolutionary who just had a heart attack.
At least he'd be a cranky revolutionary without a history of sexual assault. Bernie's far from my first choice, but if Biden had stayed the fuck out, maybe a less morally reprehensible moderate could have emerged as the frontrunner. Instead, come November, I get to look forward to voting for the guy who's attacked the fewest women. And then watching him lose to Donald fucking Trump.

On the bright side, there's a good chance I'll be dead of the plague or in a fire before that happens. So I got that going for me, at least.
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Old 03-28-2020, 12:44 AM
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I’m pretty dubious of a story coming from someone who has expressed great love for Vladimir Putin and Bernie Sanders. Mighty coincidental.
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Old 03-28-2020, 01:19 AM
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I think I agree with everything people have posted today. Good stuff.





Yes, and Bernie picked that very moment after Nevada to double down on his past support for Castro. If he had pivoted at that moment to broaden his tent instead of being such a stubborn iconoclast/ideologue, he might have consolidated his strength as a frontrunner pulled the whole thing off. In fact, he might have only had to "fake it" for two or three weeks, and then it might have been too late for Biden and Bernie could go back to letting it all hang out. I'm glad he didn't do that!
And he did it on 60 minutes!!’ What’s the demographics for that show? It’s got to be 50 plus and probably much older. All of them remember the Cold War. Praising Castro in a New England liberal arts college like the one his wife bankrupted is one thing, doing it on a tv show watched in every senior living facility is quite another
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Old 03-28-2020, 01:29 AM
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Right, good point!
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Old 03-28-2020, 02:53 AM
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And he did it on 60 minutes!!’ What’s the demographics for that show? It’s got to be 50 plus and probably much older. All of them remember the Cold War. Praising Castro in a New England liberal arts college like the one his wife bankrupted is one thing, doing it on a tv show watched in every senior living facility is quite another
I believe Joe Biden's position on gun control and his implied endorsement of Beto "Hell yes we're going to take them" O'Rourke's platform, is every bit as stupid as Bernie's praises of Castro.
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Old 03-28-2020, 03:27 AM
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I believe Joe Biden's position on gun control and his implied endorsement of Beto "Hell yes we're going to take them" O'Rourke's platform, is every bit as stupid as Bernie's praises of Castro.
He’s won primaries. Gun control won’t be an issue
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