Super Tuesday Thoughts

Original photos by Gage Skidmore, used under Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Because I don’t want to let the moment pass without noting it, some thoughts on Super Tuesday.

1. Clearly now it’s a two-man race, between the 78-year-old man with a heart problem and the 77-year-old man with some clear memory issues. This is, I will say, not optimal from my point of view. I will be voting for whoever becomes the Democratic nominee, to be clear. But neither of these two men fills me with great enthusiasm, and at this point I very much want to see who they choose for their vice president, because I have a strong suspicion whoever it is will be finishing out the term.

2. I think some people are surprised that Biden was this strong on Super Tuesday, and commensurately that Sanders was (relatively) underwhelming given his supporters’ enthusiasm, but I’m not. As we saw in 2016, Sanders is strongest in states with caucuses and in the northeast, and the early contests were mostly caucuses and in the northeast. He’s less strong in actual primaries. He’s stronger this year, certainly — let’s not pretend his likely (as of this writing, undeclared) win in California doesn’t mean anything — but this seems to be a structural issue for Sanders support. Likewise Biden has always been a safe vote and a known quantity, and that’s reassuring to a lot of Democratic voters, particularly the ones who are older, of which there are many.

3. My own prediction — and recall that my political crystal ball is more than intermittently cloudy — is that Biden and Sanders are going to go at it for a while but that Biden will inexorably pull away as we move along through the year, which will no doubt enrage no small number of Sanders supporters. #NotAllSanderSupporters, but it’s clear at least a vocal percentage of them don’t plan to support anyone but Sanders, should he not get the Democratic nomination, and, well. Fuck those dudes (and to flip it around, the same to any Biden supporters who might do the same if he doesn’t make it through, but you don’t exactly hear much about BidenBros slipping into people’s Twitter mentions to harass them).

4. Of the Democratic candidates, my preferred candidate is Elizabeth Warren, but even though she says she’s still in it, I think Super Tuesday effectively put a nail in her campaign’s coffin. She hasn’t managed better than a third place finish in any primary contest, and that includes in Massachusetts, her home commonwealth. If you can’t win at home, where can you win, is the question here. Barring Biden and Sanders having an actuarial moment and keeling over on the campaign trail, I don’t see her doing any better moving forward. We can list all the reasons why the smartest and best-prepared candidate the Democrats have isn’t their front runner, but at the end of the day so far she’s an also-ran, and it doesn’t seem likely that’s going to change. It’s disappointing.

5. Meanwhile, Mike Bloomberg has spent, what? A half a billion dollars on his campaign? And he got American Samoa out of it? To put this in perspective, the entire annual gross domestic product of American Samoa is $658 million. Don’t feel too bad for Bloomberg; given his personal wealth, him spending $500 million is like the average American spending about $465; or, in more concrete terms, he spent an equivalent amount of his wealth on his presidential campaign as the average American might spend on a Chromebook. He’ll be fine. But maybe he should stop trying to buy a thing he’s not going to get. If he really wants to spend his money to defeat Trump — which, you know, I personally find a questionable proposition given their personal history — there are better ways to do it (likewise, if he’s spending his money to defeat Sanders).

(Update, 11am: Bloomberg is out. It’ll take him a couple of months at most for his wealth to generate the amount that he spent on his campaign. Again, he’ll be fine.)

6. It does seem to me that every four years a lot of people forget that the Democrats, far more than the Republicans, are a coalition party. The current GOP is an irrational authoritarian cult of personality, which means that anyone who doesn’t want to hang with that has to deal with the Democrats, whose party spectrum now ranges from Democratic Socialists all the way over to lightly refurbished Reaganites. Biden and Sanders pretty much exemplify either end of this coalition spectrum, and neither of them is exactly what you would call a perfect candidate even before you get to the age issue. This sucks, and also, at the moment it’s what we have to work with, because the alternative is grim.

I don’t have any problem with Biden and Sanders duking it out all the way through the last primary and even possibly to the Democratic convention itself; that’s what primaries and conventions are for. I do think when the dust settles and there is a candidate, that everyone needs to get with the program, because the alternative is four more years of an irrational authoritarian cult of personality, and all the damage that brings to our country, both now and long after. The danger is real, and in the reality of the effectively two-party system that we have (Sanders, who is not a Democrat, is running to be the Democratic candidate for a reason, you know) anyone who won’t vote for the Democratic candidate because he isn’t their own preferred candidate is casting a vote for the irrational authoritarian. Don’t be that person, folks.

125 Comments on “Super Tuesday Thoughts”

  1. Notes:

    1. Political post, which means the Mallet is in the warming chamber. Be polite to each other, please.

    2. This is a place to discuss the events of Super Tuesday, not to complain about the current manner in which the general primary campaign is run by the Democrats (or by the GOP for that matter, because they are in fact having primaries, even if the conclusion of those is foregone), to say how much better they would be if they got rid of caucuses/added more caucuses/did ranked choice voting/[enter your favorite method of changing the system here]. It’s not that you’re wrong, it’s just that it’s off the topic of the actual, real world results to date.

    3. Those of you not supporting the Democrats at this juncture, please note that I’ll likely Mallet general snark/crowing/bragging about your favorite non-Democrat, or if you’re just trolling, because it’s not helpful and also you’re probably just being a jerk. And while I won’t necessarily snip out predictions that the Democrats might fall short in November, remember it is March and there’s a lot happening between now and then, so maybe focus on the now. My political crystal ball is cloudy, but I don’t suspect yours is much better.

  2. I also preferred Elizabeth Warren as an opponent to your Trump. From what I see, the United States will have another four years with Trump.

  3. [Deleted because pointless bullshit read from cue cards that’s also off the topic — JS]

  4. Well said, sir. If Bernie and Biden are smart (always a toss-up), whoever gets the nom will select Warren as their VP and we’ll probably get what the rest of us wanted anyway. I hope so. You are absolutely right, however, that we all have to get behind the nominee WHOEVER it may be come November. The alternative is too grave to get your feelings hurt.

  5. Yeah, well, I voted for Warren, but I’m glad that Virginia went solidly for Biden. I agree that the choice of VP is crucial, and it shouldn’t be another white septuagenarian. Coronavirus makes the life-expectancy of the presumptive presidential candidates, who will be exposed to large crowds and will be shaking crores of hands, somewhat shorter than usual. Go for Booker or Harris or Castro (or Klobuchar, if Sanders is the candidate).

  6. Thanks — I was about to write EXACTLY the same thing and now I don’t have to; I can just share your blog.

  7. As a Warren supporter, I am particularly discouraged by yesterday. But one silver lining I saw is that overall voter turnout was WAY higher than 2016. Which gives me hope that whoever does get the nom is going to have a lot of support once the primaries are over and the time for the general campaign begins.

  8. Blame the media on Warren not getting any media oxygen. They don’t WANT competence. Otherwise Hillary would be president. They want stories, and competence is boring. To the media, the only story is the horse race. I am so done with the media.
    I think we need reform in the 4th estate as badly as we need it everywhere else. We must have at least ONE realiable, unbiased source of facts.

  9. Elizabeth is my candidate, sad to see her waning in the primary. Hopefully the new democratic President will make good use of her plans and skills!

  10. “Lightly refurbished Reaganites” Yep. Lots of those here in Northern Virginia. They took one look at Trump, and turned out en masse to vote for any Democrat in 2018 for Congress and 2019 for the statewide races. You see quite a few on the harder left in Virginia who are very unhappy that the centrist Democrats turned out to be, in fact, centrists and not lefties. Mainly on gun control issues, but on some other things as well. Meanwhile the right in Virginia is getting more male and authoritarian and wondering why suburban women are voting for Democrats.

    A lot of those women would stay home if Sanders was the nominee.

    I gave $250 to Buttigieg and $250 to Warren and, sigh, ended up voting for Biden yesterday. I really hope he asks Klobuchar to be veep.

  11. None of my three favorite candidates looks likely to be the nominee, but I’m still committed to Any Functioning Adult over trump. I prefer the youngest of the remaining male candidates with a surname starting with B, particularly as he is the one supported by black voters, the heart and spine of the Ds.

    I hope everyone has seen the stories about long lines to vote yesterday. Especially since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, states have been closing polling places. As every single vote will be needed to secure a fair election, every voter who should vote early or absentee if they can. This will enable them to (1) avoid the lines and (2) help others get to the polls.

  12. @JohnScalzi, well said. I bathed in the warm glow of confirmation bias as I read this–I would have said much the same, including my choice for candidate, if I wrote half as well as you do–until you got to the very end. Although I agree that the purpose of both primaries and conventions is to let the competitors duke it out, I think a brokered convention would be a disaster this year, particularly if Bernie has the most delegates but is not the nominee. I don’t particularly like the Bernie Bros threatening to take their marbles and go home (or heaven help us, vote for Trump, as about 10% of them did in 2016), but I think that’s exactly what will happen if they feel that their candidate has yet again been “robbed” of the nomination (never mind that Clinton had more delegates AND MORE VOTES than Bernie in the primaries). The best thing that could happen would be that Biden builds on his lead and has a solid majority heading into the convention, and that Bernie makes his acolytes happy by picking an acceptable VP (I don’t see him agreeing to serve as VP). Because frankly that’s the only way I see the Democrats really unifying and “getting with the program.”

  13. Warren was my candidate, too. Not excited about Biden but will definitely vote for him if he is the nominee. Sanders strikes me as someone who allows the perfect to be the enemy of the good. And his bros and their tactics have really turned me off. They seem to think that if they can pressure Warren to drop out that her supporters will magically gravitate to him. Not this girl. I vote for the person as well as the platform.

  14. Neither Biden nor Bernie are capable of unifying the Democratic Party, which leaves Trump Hate as the default unifying force.

    Hate is not a strategy.

  15. I do think when the dust settles and there is a candidate, that everyone needs to get with the program, because the alternative is four more years of an irrational authoritarian cult of personality, and all the damage that brings to our country, both now and long after.

    Up to a point, Lord Copper, but it would be nice if it came with a standing caveat that (to paraphrase our host) “Better than Donald Trump” is the lowest difficulty level there is for anyone who aspires to public office. Nobody is getting argument from me that Donald Trump and the radical right trash he rode in on (starting with Mitch McConnell) need to be taken out to the curb. But I get really nervous about talking about “a return to normal” as if once you’ve fumigated the White House, America will suddenly revert to a Fairyland of lollipop trees, lemonade rivers and unicorn rides for all. I yield to nobody in my respect for President Obama (and he could hardly have left things in a worse state than he found them) but that status quo was pretty crappy for far too many. So let’s expect MORE.

  16. Does anybody know what happens if the nominee dies on the campaign trail after the convention? Do the votes automatically convey to the designated VP candidate?

  17. Speaking as an Aussie who has nonetheless been following this painfully slow and awkward ‘primary season’ I can’t argue with Our Gracious Host’s take on things.

    I hope that regardless of who ends up getting the nomination, they have the brains to choose Warren as their VP, and then swiftly become incapacitated somehow. It would be better for the whole world.

    Ahh, well, at least Mayo Pete dropped out prior to Super Tuesday. That fellow really does come across as disturbingly like the Smiler from Transmetropolitan.

    And for anyone who gets a vote in the primaries/presidential election and is offended by an outsider holding opinions, I point out that we *all* have to live with the results, but only some of us get to have a say.

    I wish the US well, and hold a forlorn hope that there will be a sudden and surprising outbreak of sanity come the election.

    We could all do with a pleasant surprise on the political front. It’s been far too many of t’other kind for far too long.

  18. I agree. Any of the Democrats are preferred over Orange Hitler. The GOP is a Kool-Aid cult and their leader is beyond stupid. But you can’t fix stupid. I hope Bernie is not the nominee. Not because he doesn’t have good ideas. But because he’s a bit of a bomb thrower candidate. I think we’ve had enough bomb throwing by the current occupant of the White House. A functional democracy is where you compromise. Getting half the loaf is better than nothing at all.

  19. Yes, a good Vice President is crucial. I don’t care if it’s a man or a woman, but I think it should be someone with experience as a state governor, maybe the state of Alaska.

  20. There is nothing I can add to your extremely well reasoned analysis. I was a Warren / Buttigeig supporter but like you I have pledged to vote for whomever gets the nomination. And while Biden was not my 1st choice it will not cause me to want to vomit as I put my x next to his name. I think, as you seem to do, that the choice of VP has now become a critical issue. I read through the comments and suggestions on this and note that no one has suggested Stacy Abrams who I feel is a great campaigner and would make a great VP.

  21. As an openly-admitted meddling Canadian, I would still prefer Elizabeth Warren. Not that it matters at this point. Whatever stake we have up here, as individuals and as a country, in the outcome of this mess is legally irrelevant. And that stake is that if the US ends up with four more years of Trump, we in Canada could end up being his version of Poland. I leave that to chill the thoughts of all of you as best it can.

  22. I think everyone writing Warren off before Tuesday was a self-fulfilling prophecy with a lot of help from the media, who, much like this article, just didn’t mention her at all. Even when their stories said it was a three-way between Biden, Bernie, and Bloomberg. (I assume this is because the oligarchs who own our media really don’t want a wealth tax.) Even my sister texted me before voting asking if she should change her vote to Biden because she was worried a vote for Warren was a vote for Bernie. This pre-emptive strategic voting only looks smart in hindsight because it is self-fulfilling. I had so many friends who preferred Warren but went either Biden (as an anti-Bernie vote) or Bloomberg (as an anti-Trump vote) because somehow they thought those two had better chances of winning.

  23. I agree. I would like to note, though, that I was told that I would be strung up, and that I should crawl away and die, and that I should go back to the repugnicans (their word, not mine), on Biden’s FB page because I dared, a few weeks ago, to ask each of the candidates, on their social media pages, what their first priority items were for the days immediately following them taking up residence in the White House. Yes, I had read all their platforms… but I wanted to hear how they planned to prioritize the vast lists of promises into a practical plan to move on.

    Now this wasn’t Joe Biden who said that… it was his followers. But what it said to me was that ignorance is becoming a way of life for us, and we have GOT to knock it off and start having a little respect for each other.

    Informationally, and to my disappointment, only Elizabeth Warren came forward with a Day One plan. Nobody else even bothered to answer the question. And I am afraid that I don’t see Senator Warren taking the nomination.

    We really need to do better, if we want things to BE better. I wonder, some days, if we remember how.

  24. As a Reagan Republic and Klobuchar supporter, I was slightly disillusioned by the recent turn of events, but I was glad to see Biden win as we CANNOT take 4 more years (nothing like a chronic disease to open your eyes to health care issues) and I rather obviously hope he picks Amy Klobuchar as his veep candidate. And, slightly off topic, please send good thoughts to another Amy, this one McGrath so we can get rid of McConnell!

  25. Even though the Democratic Primary process is closer to a parliamentary system than anything else we have in the US everyone’s approach to it is still through a first-past-the-post mindset. It would be great if everyone voted for who they actually think is the best candidate and trust that candidate to cut the best deal possible when it comes down a brokered convention, but it doesn’t seem like that’s what’s happening.

  26. I couldn’t agree more. I voted for Warren, not because she is my favorite (which she is of the choices we had) but because I wanted to see her get to 15% to siphon off some delegates from Sanders because, despite what the stupid polls say, there is a reason why Russian & Trump want Sanders to win and it isn’t because he will beat Trump. Biden will attract some of the few sane repubicans left in the party and even more independents. He is the bigger threat to Trump and Trump and the Russians realize this even if some Sanders supporters can’t see past it.

  27. I tend to see leaders (and wannabe leaders) in three model-versions: Your Pooper-Scooper is the one to pick when you need hella messes cleaned up (why I support Warren). Your Trouble-Maker is who you pick when complacency and habit are slowly decaying quality and things need a serious change shake-up (this is the Bernie mantra). Your Figurehead is the one you need when it’s about picking good people, inspiring everyone, bringing people together around shared goals, and modeling Character (Biden, apparently… well, okay then).

    I was all in for the Pooper-Scooper for all the reasons our gentle host enumerated, but also because I think it’s hella hard to achieve change that will create long-term improvement by Burning Shit Down. Even when there is (blindingly obviously) an enormous mountain of shit to deal with. FWIW, I DID vote for Sanders back in the 2016 primaries, when a Trouble-Maker looked like a viable strategic approach post-Obama, and before the toxic blob that is the BernieCult congealed around him.

    But I’m not so sure the Democratic Electorate’s apparent trending toward Character is necessarily the worst approach we could be taking right now, either. At the root of a great deal of our current chaos is the notion that it’s okay to be an asshole as long as you’re MY asshole and you’ll pwn the people who piss me off. On both sides (looking at YOU, BernieBlob…) This is no way to build a sustainable commons in an increasingly diverse, pluralist world.

    Having lived more-or-less next door to Biden on the Maryland eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay for a few years, I got to know Biden a bit, and was impressed with his character. Having had the chance to observe him for eight years working in tandem with Obama, and over the past year as he has ridden out the most blatant attempts at character assassination, I am more than impressed. Character he has.

    And maybe that IS what we need.

    Regardless, I will Vote Blue No Matter Who.

  28. One silver lining for ranked voting is Nevada – despite being called a caucus, half the votes in Nevada this year were cast via early ranked voting. Which was also how Sanders went from 33% in the first alignment to 40% in the final alignment – he got half of Warren’s 12% after she didn’t clear the viability threshold. I’m really hoping Warren endorses this week.

    @Stephen Simpson I have no idea. Hopefully we don’t experience that scenario.

  29. My biggest worry is that if Sanders gets the nomination it will drive Trump supporters (and general conservatives who dislike Trump but freak out if you even breathe the word “socialist”) into a frenzy and we’ll get 4 more years of Trump.
    I think Biden stands a better chance of winning against Trump, but I don’t think he’ll hold up well on the debate stage and that could tank him. I think the general debates will wind up being two old white men throwing testosterone and insults at each other and not much more. I desperately wanted to see Warren go head-to-head with Trump in a debate and hold him to his record and I’m bitterly angry that it won’t happen.

  30. Too much sour grapes in a few of the comments. The media does suck in a lot of ways, but they didn’t make Warren lose any more than any of the other candidates. She peaked early and, for whatever reason didn’t keep up the momentum and fell by the wayside, partly because the “left” of the party more or less coalesced around Bernie (unfortunately, in my opinion). Personally, I was most impressed start to finish with Mayor Pete, but I knew there was no way he would win. And yes, I do believe a substantial portion of Bernie’s Bros will hold their breath and stomp their little feet and help Donald Trump by refusing to vote for Biden if he is the candidate.

    Please check the results. You will see that in most states Bernie did worse this time around than he did four years ago (as logic would tell you he would, looking at history). No, Elizabeth Warren will not be VP – she is 70 too, folks – but Amy Klobuchar and Stacy Abrams are certainly viable choices. The #1 priority should be making sure Mitch McConnell’s days as Majority Leader (and, fingers crossed, Senator from Kentucky) are over. If that happens, I believe Trump will be out with the trash.

  31. I’m disappointed that we’re going to end up with heart attack vs dementia, and think that even the strongest proposed VP won’t get the same support as the original candidate. Sad about Warren, but i have decided never to early vote in a primary… too much potential to change quickly.
    Vote blue no matter who.

  32. After three states votes (two very small and white), the media narrative was, “Bernie can’t be stopped!”. Then after one Southern state with a diverse population voted, the media narrative became, “Biden has momentum and he’s got this!”
    I think people who aren’t plugged into politics saw these stories, and then saw two other candidates drop out, and said, “Well if it’s between the shouty socialist and the familiar grandpa that Obama trusted for eight years, I guess I will vote for Biden. I don’t want to waste my vote if she doesn’t have a chance.”
    And there was Warren, younger, healthier, with plans for everything, being completely ignored.
    Even in these comments I see it. If everyone who thought, “I want to vote for her, but I don’t think she can win,” would have voted for her, just think what she might have won.

    She’s the President we need, but not the one we deserve.

  33. Very good analysis.

    I am also a Warren supporter, and I am disappointed by her failure to gain significant traction with Democratic voters. I’ve been puzzling over why this is. It’s probably a mixed bag of factors: wariness about whether a woman candidate – any woman candidate – can beat Trump; rejection of some of her signature policy positions, especially single payer health care; and perhaps (paradoxically and disturbingly) the fact that she displays, and can justifiably claim, a high level of expertise about the policy matters she speaks about. We are living in a time when “experts” are treated with disdain, not by everyone, but by large numbers of people. I wonder if Warren is disliked by voters who don’t like, reflexively disagree with, don’t want to be governed by “experts”.

  34. Perhaps one way to unify the Democratic Party is to stop using the word “Bernie Bros” as a way to denigrate at least one-third of your potential support. Consider that Latinx seems to be Bernie Bros; the West seems to be a Bernie Bro.; women under 45 seem to be Bernie Bros.

    Another great way would be to put forward some of the ideas and prioritize the issues that energized Sanders’ base. If I was a Z or a Millennial I would be pretty damn disappointed with Biden’s likely course of action. Hell, as an X, I can remember how enthusiastically he offered up what little of my Social Security benefits remain as a bargaining chip. I know young people who will vote against Trump, but who will also de-register as Democrats if Biden or a similar person is the nominee.

    If Biden loses in November, the Party will split. If Biden wins and does not satisfy some of the basic needs of this base, the Party will likely split.

    And I understand the people who voted for comfort. Yesterday, I let fear dictate my choice for Senator: picking a lackluster moderate in place of a progressive because this is a Purple State. I was more afraid of the GOP than hopeful for the state of “my” own Party. It felt terrible. It felt like defeat. Maybe you can sympathize with the fact that Bernie raises hope for a lot of people and that Biden inspires almost no one. Maybe you can also sympathize with the fact that many of us, including myself, initially supported Warren and were disappointed with her actions in the last few months, for both policy and personal style reasons. For instance, Warren’s DNA test and Biden’s Mandela moments raised serious character issues for people who once considered them viable or at least acceptable choices.

    I will vote for Biden in November, if it comes to that, but there are people who supported Progressives who won’t vote for Biden. You can blame them, but I will be blame the Party if they don’t actually do anything to earn that vote. You cannot ignore or even demonize a large section of people and then demand their “loyalty.”

    Is it going to be Unity=Do What We Say or is it going to be Unity=Plans that Seriously Address Your Issues?

  35. I voted for Warren and I am disappointed she didn’t get it. In reference to a comment above, I don’t think “the media refused to cover her” is sour grapes; I think the media does a lot to shape things and what gets covered is actually really important to determining what most of America thinks, because most of America is just listening to cable news and not actually seeking out details. Which means if media decides not to cover someone that can do a lot to damage them, and media is focused on “what sells eyeballs”, which is almost never the kind of calm, reasonable candidates who would actually be, y’know, *good* at presidenting, unless they’re also an underdog you can build a story around like Obama was.

    I am rather exhausted now because I know a number of people who are in the “Biden is JUST AS BAD AS TRUMP” camp and their primary argument seems to be “We’ll *show* the establishment that they have to court us; if they lose because we don’t vote then next time we’ll get a really good candidate” and the idea that large portions of the country might just… disagree with them… doesn’t seem to have occurred to them, or has occurred only to be dismissed as The Establishment brainwashing people. And I know a lot of these people, who are much louder in the wake of Super Tuesday, and I’m just… exhausted.

  36. I was actually surprised (and delighted) that my home state – Massachusetts – went for Biden over Bernie. I expected Bernie, Warren and Biden to be 1-2-3.

    I have disliked Warren since she was elected to the Senate. She’s a carpetbagger who gives zero fucks about Massachusetts. (Coincidentally, I live in ‘Warren MA’ and I’d bet cash money she couldn’t find it on a map.)

  37. Since 1976 I’ve always voted for the Libertarian candidate and see no reason to change this year. As I live in Seattle this should not panic any yellow dog Democrats.

  38. To answer a question further up the chain, if a candidate dies before the election, the party can select their replacement. The VP candidate does not automatically assume the position.

  39. … the Democrats, whose party spectrum now ranges from Democratic Socialists all the way over to lightly refurbished Reaganites.

    It is a perhaps underappreciated knock-on effect of the Republicans’ success at corralling the stupidest, most gullible snake-oil buyers into their base that said buyers (who insist on voting for snake-oil sellers) are now a plurality. With the consequence that people who have too much integrity to be snake-oil salescritters get driven out of their Party. Which means that they become Democrats instead, which is bad.

    You can see this effect on a smaller scale by looking at the State Congressional and Senate delegations from very blue States, contrasting them with Red State counterparts. You might think, reasoning from the case of say Oklahoma that a State like California could and would have an out-and-out Marxist for a Senator. But no, there is no political future for Republicans in CA anymore, so anyone who wants a political future has to be a Democrat. So there are among CA Democrats too many people who really ought to be Republicans to elect someone to AOC’s left, and the result is that Dianne Feinstein keeps getting re-elected.

    I seem to have wandered a bit from the subject of Super Tuesday, so, in conclusion, what this country really needs is a national primary with ranked choice voting.

  40. @JeffM: “Too much sour grapes in a few of the comments. The media does suck in a lot of ways, but they didn’t make Warren lose any more than any of the other candidates”

    The Wall Street Journal did a poll 2 weeks ago in which they INTENTIONALLY left Warren off the list. Why? Because they claimed they only had room for 5 candidates and so they left her off in favor of people who were polling lower than she was. NBC retweeted and rebroadcast the results, continuing to leave Warren off the list. (

    The networks cut into her Iowa speech and stopped broadcasting it. Her speech after New Hampshire wasn’t carried live OR covered in clips at all, although other candidates were.

    It’s hard to see all the ways in which she didn’t get coverage when she was a front-runner and Biden did even though he was 3rd and sometimes even 4th in the polls and agree that “they didn’t make Warren lose”. Maybe they didn’t *make* her lose but they sure as hell didn’t give her any help to win.

  41. I am sick of people saying Biden has dementia. I work with Dementia pts, trust me he doesn’t have it.
    If Biden is the nominee I hope he picks Abrams or Harris.
    Biden is a good and decent man, the polar opposite of Trump so even though he wasn’t my first choice I can support him.

  42. SF author John Scalzi pretty much sums up my views on the Democratic race so far.

    Michael Frasca Old and In the Way…


  43. The bernieorbust folks? Yeah, polls show they are about as common as bidenorbust or whoeverorbust folks. In 2016 the vast majority of bernie supporters ended up voting for hillary in the general election. But the “sanders supporters are a bunch of ‘bros'” makes good clickbait.

    Warren is my preferred candidate, but i voted for biden yesterday. Specifically because sanders has been saying whoever gets a plurality of delegates should get the nomination. Even if delegates are split 4 ways, he has been saying he should get the nomination. And I absolutely did not want that. So biden. If biden gets the plurality, then sanders cant argue he should get it. Dont want a replay of the 2016 long drag out where clinton got the nom and sanders takes forever to endorse.

    Warren would already have been president by now if she was a man. America is still full of ignorant bigots. But ignorant bigots get to vote too. Sanders would be fine as president too, but ignorant bigots hate democratic socialism while collecting social security, and it seems that one cant fix stupidtry or bigotry.

    It might be acceptable to the bigots if warren is VP. As long as a man is in charge, they may allow warren in. She is clearly the smartest candidate. Problem is idiots hate smart people.

    Honestly, a lot of 2016 and 2020 problems can be blamed on Obama’s insistence on creating a political fund seoarate from the DNC which then drained the DNC of money. The DNC was weakened considerably because of Obama doing this.

    I hope to hell dems can get their shit together and start getting something better than this for 2024 and beyond.

  44. Failure to vote for the Democratic nominee, whoever that is, isn’t just “casting a vote for the irrational authoritarian.” It is also, with near 100% likelihood, putting one or two more conservatives on the Supreme Court.

  45. The Wall Street Journal did a poll 2 weeks ago in which they INTENTIONALLY left Warren off the list

    Uh, the poll you’re citing has Warren on it, getting 14% of the vote.

  46. I think Super Tuesday has demonstrated one thing adequately – you can’t buy an election.

  47. Thanks for sharing your feelings and observations about this, and broadly for still blogging! Twitter is fun but it’s nice to read things “longform.” 😛

    I spend an inordinate amount of time on Twitter and most of my feed is Sanders supporters, and so I disproportionately feel the hostility toward Warren and her supporters (of which I’m one) and frequently have to control my feelings with repetitions of:

    – Bernie’s base is only _partially_ represented on Twitter. His base and coalition is much broader than the people calling me a class traitor for wanting many of the same things differently.

    – Most voters are extremely low-information, see very different news sources, and skew heavily older.

    – Coalitions are hard to build, and many of the properties that are needed to build them share little overlap with the properties needed to generate passion.

    It helps a bit. But it’s hard because many of the points you brought up (about why you were and weren’t surprised by the results) I’d like to bring up too, and I still haven’t accepted that Twitter is not a great place to have a dialogue. This works the other way too — I don’t think someone would persuade me of much on that platform that didn’t already fit my biases.

    In any case, thanks for the catharsis.

  48. Say what you will about Bernie’s policies or his age, about his voice or his “rage,” but the one thing to keep in mind is that Bernie inspires people. He makes people, particularly young people like me, inspired and hopeful for a better future. Biden’s status quo mantra of “nothing will fundamentally change” is exactly what got us here in the first place. We need someone like Sanders (or Warren! but I would be very surprised if Warren is not a part of either administration) who can unite the country not just against Trump but for something greater. Biden is a good person, so are Klobuchar and Pete, but I’m just not excited about them as Presidents.

    If I have to vote for Biden in the fall, I’ll certainly do so, and not even necessarily reluctantly. But I think the notion that there are Bernie supporters who won’t vote for anyone but him 1) Is largely a myth, hyper-exaggerated and conflated with the very small number of online harassers that Bernie and his supporters frequently disown 2) stems less from spite but more from feeling disenfranchised and unheard by the broader Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders speaks truth to power in the way no other candidate does, whereas Biden speaks truth to “we can make things normal” aka we can pretend that everything is fine and/or advance some degree of chances without addressing any of the fundamental problems in the country. If I vote for Biden, I’ll be okay with that for sure. But I won’t be inspired to phone bank or knock on doors or write articles or just speak with enthusiasm. We need a leader who can inspire that kind of zeal. If Trump could do it based on lies, why can’t we do it based on truths?

    Just the thoughts of a college Marxist still trying to figure out how the world works.

  49. Since people have been speculating on what happened to Warren, here’s my opinion:

    She pivoted way too early. She was running as the acceptable face of Progressivism/Social Democracy and then she pivoted away while people on the left were still making up their minds. It made her look like an opportunist compared to the always consistent Bernie. He started to snowball support and donations on that side. She found no oxygen for her candidacy in the center and floundered to get back the left. She attempted to right her ship with personal attacks on Sanders, but much worse than that, those attacks were extremely poorly executed. In particular, they tended to attack Sanders for the very qualities and positions that made him attractive to the left. The right wing of the Party only wanted her if the only alternative was Sanders. They don’t need that now and they probably won’t need it at the Convention. Meanwhile the left’s only option is to get ONE candidate with as many votes as possible to at least push the Progressive perspective, even if we don’t get the nomination. So Warren is out in the wilderness and it’s more than half her fault.

    She could have started her campaign with a more moderate take. I don’t think that would have been a winning move, but it might have worked.

    She could have stayed out on the left until it was necessary, if ever, to make a tactical move to the center. People would have respected the necessity and they would have had more belief that she was still “one of us” on the inside.

    (The DNA test debacle also turned a lot of people of color off of Warren even at the start.)

  50. Yeah, disappointed that Pete dropped out, and I voted by mail before he did – that’ll learn me. Very relieved that Bernie’s momentum appears to have been stopped, I was pointing out his support had dropped significantly from 2016 in the earlier states, and was told by the Bros that “just because he got fewer absolute votes, doesn’t mean he has less support” or similar “logic”. It does seem that the below 29 crowd didn’t show up, as normal.

    Biden – not super-excited about him but he seems a decent guy, and way way ahead of Bernie, which is a monumental improvement over the malignant orange pustule squatting in the White House. VP does matter, can’t be Warren as she’s also 70. Stacy Abrams hasn’t won anything yet, not sure her time is now. Can see it being Amy for the midwest votes and as a hachetwoman to deal with Congress.Don’t think it will be Kamala as CA is not going to vote for Trump

    Warren – I did think she made some good points, but not my choice. Is clearly smart, capable and well briefed. She left my wife (Dem) completely cold, I think it’s the school-marm vibe. Unfortunately detailed plans lose out to random shouting and promises.

    If there are debates, it will be pretty sad – two old geezers trying to remember what to say, one lying continuously and sniffing, the other kind of existing.

    Someone mentioned California above, we went to open primaries (top two advance) which has really moderated the left wing of the Dems. I did actually vote for Feinstein which shocked even me, her opponent was way out there.

    And now Bloomberg has gone – hopefully he’ll use his money firehose to hit the Senate races hard, and not just take his billions and go home.

  51. so, unrelated, but prompted by my curosity, who are the 4 characters appearing your header image? also, be nice if biden and sanders after the dust settles becomes the other’s VP.

  52. Put Warren in the VP slot and watch minority turnout head south faster than the Union army did in 1865.

  53. “…because the alternative is four more years of an irrational authoritarian cult of personality, and all the damage that brings to our country, both now and long after. ”

    Here’s my problem with Bernie – his followers seem just as much a cult of personality as the Trumpists, and if he gets power I can see him being another Trump in so many ways.

  54. I think people misunderstand the larger mass of Bernie supporters. The loudmouths on Twitter aren’t particularly representative.

    From what I’ve seen, most are young people and working class men with no strong party affiliation who have traditionally been politically apathetic. Many are officially independents. They got excited about Bernie because he was addressing some of their concerns (especially economic ones) in a way no one else did. He also didn’t dwell on identity politics, which most people outside Progressive Twitter kinda hate.

    His voter aren’t likely to go stomping their feet in anger when Biden wins the primaries and are even less likely to vote for Trump. I expect most will be quietly disillusioned and many will simply stay home and play video games on election night. The Democratic Party doesn’t really care about them and they owe the party nothing.

  55. “Sanders, who is not a Democrat”

    Who cares? you’re registered as an INDEPENDENT and are waxing philosphically about the democratic party and who you voted for in the democratic primary.

    Bernie is playing by dnc rules. He is getting democrat voters to vote for him. The DNC required him to sign a loyalty pledge that he will operate as a democrat.

    He is more democrat than YOU.

  56. Caughtinalandslide:

    Weirdly, however, I am not running to be the Democratic presidential nominee, which, as difficult as it might be to conceive, means our respective positions are not actually anywhere near the same (also, I live in Ohio, which has not had its 2020 primary yet, so you’re wrong there, too). To say he’s more Democrat than I am is incorrect, since 0 = 0.

    As to who cares, well, some Democrats might!

    In any event, you’re basically confirming my point: Sanders knows he would be a presidential footnote at best if he wasn’t seeking the candidacy of one of this country’s two major parties. It’s the reality of our political process that you have to play for one team or the other if you want to get to the White House.

  57. I think Super Tuesday pretty well establishes that Sanders has a ceiling of support somewhere between 30 and 40%. Vermont is the exception that proves the rule. He should have blown it out there, and instead barely scraped together a majority with 50.8%. In every other state, he hasn’t gone higher than 40%.

    Likely, this is because of his inability to appeal to older voters and African Americans, and his propensity to shit all over the party he wants the nomination of. He treats it as a hostile takeover. That turns out to be a bad strategy for winning. Who would imagine?

    Recently, Sanders has been arguing that even if he doesn’t win a majority outright, the party has to give the nomination to the candidate who wins a plurality. I wonder if he’ll still advocate that position if the candidate happens to be Joe Biden? His peevish, spoiled child performance in 2016, where he lost but tried to convince the superdelegates to overrule the voters and nominate him anyway, argues that he will instead have a revised position that suits his circumstances.

    In the end, Sanders’ argument to Democrats is “I’m going to tell you what you’re going to do.” Nerts to that.

  58. Honestly, I’m sick to my stomach. I’m nervous. I’m disappointed. I was all about Warren. I’m incredibly frustrated by an electorate that picks the person they think can win, instead of the person they think is best for the job. I feel like if they voted for the best person for the job, we’d have better people in office. It’s a self-defeating, self-fulfilling prophesy.

    Standard disclaimer: I will vote-blue-no-matter-who because the Menace In Chief is a danger to me and mine, and the generations to follow.

  59. Another Warren supporter here – if the primary in my state was today, she would have my vote with no hesitation. As it stands, my state doesn’t vote for another 2 months, so I’m starting to resign myself to the possibility that she won’t make it that far. Which sucks. I’m finding it hard to muster enthusiasm for either Biden or Sanders, so if it comes down to choosing between the two of them, I’m really not sure yet which direction I’ll go.

    Whichever one gets the nom gets my vote in November, though. Obviously. Either option would be vastly preferable than the Oval Office’s current occupant.

    Honestly this whole primary season has already been so exhausting to try to follow. It’s disheartening to see so much infighting – “BernieBros” might make up a small fraction of the actual voter base, but they sure do collectively wield a lot of influence on the discourse and perception surrounding the race.

    @ Dana: “Here’s my problem with Bernie – his followers seem just as much a cult of personality as the Trumpists…” This is exactly why I can’t bring myself to jump on the Bernie train wholeheartedly. I don’t see a lot of compromise (the good kind of compromise, the kind you need to enact when you want to actually pass legislation) coming from him, and if I’m wrong about that, then a lot of his supporters would certainly be equally obstinate.

  60. as mentioned – and it resonates with me- the vp choice will be important in securing the white house
    if Bernie is the candidate- he needs to choose a “traditional”/ establishment vp : Klobachar?
    if Biden is the candidate – he needs a more progressive partner: Warren or Booker?

    in any case – whoever isn’t the candidate needs to campaign vigorously for whomever is (i.e. can Bernie get his fans motivated to vote for Biden and visa-versa) the outcome of this election will be determined by total voter turnout, because I believe that 51+% of all voters lean democrat/sane

  61. re comment above
    “I think we need reform in the 4th estate as badly as we need it everywhere else. We must have at least ONE reliable, unbiased source of facts.”

    I’ve found PBS, and BBC to both be relatively ‘spin’ free

  62. Yesterday, my state also selected candidates for all of those down ballot positions. I think we also need to be out their supporting any and all Democratic candidates for Senate, House, and on down the line. As our gracious host has said in the past, I too will never again vote for ANY Republican candidate.

  63. No, the VP pick ought to be younger and a person of color, to keep those constituencies engaged. I like Cory Booker. Maybe Stacey Abrams. Not Kamala Harris. A lot of the black people I know don’t respond well to her history as a hard-ass prosecutor.

  64. When I can’t take it anymore, I watch the PBS Newhour. Sometimes you just need a dry, passionless recitation of the facts.

  65. A new voting rights act was the first thing the Democratic House passed after the midterms, and it is currently rotting away on McConnell’s desk.

  66. Hopefully, watching our denuded federal government flop around like a beached fish in response to the coronavirus will cause some people to re-evaluate the value of expertise.

  67. What I find disquieting is how many disappointed Bernie supporters seem to think he’s running for king. Nothing progressive will ever happen unless Bernie is president. Somehow I can’t see Bernie as someone who can pull coalitions together.

    (Sidenote: partner and I were in Toronto on a visit this week; went to the Toronto Central Reference Library; there was a Recommended Sci-Fi authors display and Scalzi was on top of the pyramid. I went closer to see the title and someone came along and grabbed it up. Librarian beside me said “He’s not a shelf-warmer.” Partner and I stared. She explained: “His books are constantly rotating in and out of the branches.” So congrats from the Great White North, Not-A-Shelf-Warmer!)

  68. I feel sad today. Big Bernie supporter. Of course I’ll vote-blue-no-matter-who. But what deeply worries me about Biden is that his entire approach is to just pretend, if he wins, that Trump never happened, and leave all the problems that led to a white nationalist surge to fester unaddressed. All that will do is pave the way for a smarter, more effective crypto-fascist to follow.

  69. The Democratic Party establishment out-maneuvered Bernie on Super Tuesday.

    And made it look too easy.

  70. kmcorby:

    For future reference, please aggregate your response into one post, please. Multiple sequential comments are poor reading UI. Thanks!

  71. On point 1, “…I have a strong suspicion whoever it is will be finishing out the term”, well, yeah, that’s what I thought about Reagan and his second term too. Though, I will admit, both Biden and Sanders are older than Reagan was starting his second term.

    On the rest, I personally was never really thrilled with any of them – even when it was a couple of dozen, nobody was really ringing my bell for me. Bernie, to me, is the least desirable of the whole bunch. All my life, I’ve been uncomfortable with political extremes of any stripe – for the most part, they’re sound and fury signifying nothing, but when they’re not, they tend to be chaos generating machines that damage everyone and everything around them. Truthfully, I see Sanders as the opposite side of the same coin as Trump. Mind you, I’d still vote for him if it was him or Trump! I mean, he may be a chaos generator, but at least he doesn’t seem to be a willfully evil one.

    While Biden isn’t who I’d pick if I could just reach into the U.S. population and make anyone president, I’m not particularly unhappy with the idea of him being president. After 4 years of dumpster fire, I’m ready for a little boring and generally competent. I’m ready for someone who won’t piss off every ally we have. A very long time ago, I heard someone ask the question: “Who would you rather be – Jim Morrison, or Van Morrison?” Van Morrison is, right now, perfectly acceptable.

  72. Hm. I agree that Biden is probably the front-runner right now, but I’m not so sure that last night was as predictable as you suggest. If Super Tuesday had been a week earlier, I suspect Sanders would have done much better; certainly, that’s what the polls show. I’d posit that, rather than reflecting some kind of obvious structural advantage eg Clinton in 2016, Biden’s performance might be down to the fact that he peaked at just the right time, for obvious reasons (moderate consolidation, high-profile endorsements, big SC win, etc). Will this surge of support solidify into a persistent edge over Sanders? Possibly, but I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion. It’s a bounce, and bounces often fade. I’d still put money on Biden, but not nearly as much as I would have put on Hillary Clinton.

    Elizabeth Warren is done. I want to be a bit delicate here because I intuit that she’s the favorite of this blog’s readership, but at this point she has far less justification for staying in than Hillary in 2008, or Bernie in 2016. She should drop out, and if she prefers one of the top two candidates over the other, endorse that candidate. The alternative is becoming the John Kasich of 2020. Likewise, while Warren supporters should of course do as they please, I think it’s reasonable to note that a) she is not going to be the Democratic nominee, and b) if they want to vote for someone who might, there are now two choices.

  73. The Democratic Party establishment out-maneuvered Bernie on Super Tuesday

    In that, they showed a much higher level of competence than the GOP establishment in 2016.

  74. The Wall Street Journal did a poll 2 weeks ago in which they INTENTIONALLY left Warren off the list

    Uh, the poll you’re citing has Warren on it, getting 14% of the vote.

    Yes, and when they publicized it on TV, she was left off.

  75. “Hate is not a strategy.”
    I’d love to agree but just look around the world right now. Hate winning in the US, UK, too many parts of Europe, India, Australia…
    I darker moments one could almost cheer on COVID-19.

  76. Very glad I got to vote (CO) for Professor Warren, the best candidate in my lifetime. I doubt I see another such in the years left to me. Really thought/hoped the Senator would do better, after those debate performances. It doesn’t help that she was erased by the media, as per Kara Hudson’s note above.

    Arrived in the USA in 1990 as a moderate social democrat and was astonished to find this put me far out on the left wing in US politics, with only Bernie for company. My younger boy is 18 and a Bernie voter.. at least I brought him up right.

    Seems to me Biden is a nice cosy option for people who can’t believe how much damage the Trump and Republican administration has done. The Biden voter is hoping we can all go back to normal. But in politics as in climate change, there is no longer a normal to go back to. The question now is do we have enough time to build a future ? With Warren there was some slim hope.

  77. Scalzi: “To say he’s more Democrat than I am is incorrect, since 0 = 0.”

    Again, Bernie signed a loyalty oath to the DNC saying he is a Democrat and NOT an Independent for 2020. You are registered Independent. Bernie is more a Democrat than you.

    The only people who say Bernie isnt a democrat are people trying to stop Bernie. The only people who point out Warren used to be a republican are people trying to stop Warren. People dont say these things unless they’re trying to stop someone, or if they dont care about fracturing the Democratic party.

    One cannot say “vote blue no matter who” and “Bernie isnt a democrat” at the same time. I mean, if you want Bernie supporters to leave the Democratic party, tell them Bernie isnt a Democrat. If you want Bernie supporters to vote blue no matter who, then stop trying to apply purity tests that exclude them and their candidates.

  78. This may be a bit off-topic, but I have to take issue with @Dana’s characterization of Warren as a “carpetbagger”. According to Wikipedia, she first moved to Massachusetts in 1992 to spend a year at Harvard Law as a visiting professor, then moved there permanently in 1995. She first ran for Senate in 2011.

    Given that “carpetbagger” originally meant a northerner who moved south during Reconstruction to run for office, and Reconstruction ended 12 years after the end of the Civil War, I think 16 years is way past the statute of limitations.

  79. If Biden secures the nomination, I’ll vote for him, but I fear his connections to power will be a weakness in November, similar connections may have been as much of an impediment for HRC in 2016 as misogyny was.

  80. Caughtinalandslide:

    “One cannot say ‘vote blue no matter who’ and ‘Bernie isnt a democrat’ at the same time.”

    Well, that’s entirely wrong. Watch!

    Vote blue, no matter who!

    And also, Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat.

    Having thus established that indeed one can say it, purely as a matter of being physically capable of doing so, there’s also the matter that Sanders doesn’t identify himself as a Democrat, nor does much of anyone else (present company excepted). If you don’t believe me on that score, you can check his Senate page, which identifies him as an independent, his senatorial Twitter page, which proclaims him “the longest-serving independent in congressional history,” his Wikipedia page, and basically any other accurate repository of information with regard to his political affiliation. Apparently, “the only people who say Bernie isn’t a Democrat” also include the members of his own staff which have put up his page, and also, literally every reputable news and information organization in the world.

    (Interestingly, his “Meet Bernie” page on his 2020 campaign site doesn’t specifically note his independent status, and also and tellingly never explicitly says he’s a Democrat, either. It does note that in 2015 “Democratic leadership tapped Bernie to serve as the caucus’ ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee,” which is a nice way of associating himself with the Democrats without saying that’s what he is.)

    I do understand that as a matter of convenience, Senator Sanders signed the affidavit you note (it’s here, for the avoidance of doubt), but I will also note that Senator Sanders has also identified himself as an independent well after the signing of that particular pledge in 2019, including in his own press releases this year. Which suggests that Sanders literally does not see himself as a Democrat, nor do his staff, nor does much of anyone else who does not understand the strictly pro forma nature of that affidavit.

    But now that you mention it, I’ll admit to an error in my presentation of myself as not being a Democrat. In 2008, strictly as a matter of convenience, I asked for a Democratic primary ballot for the Ohio primary, because in Ohio, one may ask for a particular party ballot on the day of voting. It’s my understanding that in doing so, for the purposes of the State of Ohio, I may have been counted as affiliated among the Democrats. And indeed I might do that again this year. That being the case, yet again, no, Sanders is not more of a Democrat than I; he is exactly the same amount, which is to say, just enough to be convenient for voting matters, when we feel like it, for our own purposes, and otherwise not.

    All you have done, again, is establish the fact that Sanders, who currently actively identifies himself an independent on all his official (non-presidential campaign) sites and political messaging, acknowledges that to actually have a chance to be president, he has to make a barest possible polite political fiction of being a Democrat, because we have an effectively two party system. Thank you for acknowledging that. Sanders also acknowledges it, the Democrats acknowledge it, and indeed most people are aware of it, although you seem personally to be upset that others might acknowledge that’s an actual thing.

    In the meantime, as an actual verifiable fact, Sanders is currently publicly identifying himself as an independent, not as a Democrat. If you want to be upset at someone for acknowledging that as a fact, you probably shouldn’t start with me. You should start with him. As for me, I’m going to take him at his word on the matter. Seems the prudent thing to do.

  81. “Warren is my preferred candidate, but i voted for biden yesterday.”
    Which is why Warren is where she is. If you voted for Biden, then you’ve lost the right to say Warren was “my preferred candidate”. Clearly she wasn’t or you would have voted for her. I’ve counted literally hundreds of people ( I quit keeping count online after I topped 200 tweets or posts) who said variations of that same thing: I much prefer Warren, but I’ll vote for Biden.
    Warren was electable if people would have voted for her. But too many people were victims of their own pluralistic ignorance.

    As to the Warren poll issue- this is from the article I linked:
    “The poll, from NBC and the Wall Street Journal, found Warren was effectively tied for second place nationally, with 14% of the vote. But pollsters excluded her from a series of match-ups between Trump and top candidates. The poll include Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, and Mike Bloomberg, who all polled within a point of Warren, and Amy Klobuchar, who trailed significantly behind them. Peter Hart, whose firm conducted the poll, told BuzzFeed News that the poll had “space and time” for just five candidate match-ups.” (emphasis mine)

  82. Excellent analysis. I do think Biden has a better chance at defeating Trump in November than does Sanders. VP choice will be critical and I hope for Amy Klobuchar as that choice.

  83. The media was entirely in bed with the idea NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Warren, Bernie! WEALTH TAX! The market (here) slumped when she emerged as a viable candidate. At the same time Bloomb declared his candidacy. And Warren was suffocated. Plus she’s female and even Bernie said NOOOOOOOOOOOO! (though he said he didn’t afterwards).

    But yesterday shows the USA is safe from a wealth tax with Biden. Warren’s gone. Bloomb can safely drop out. YAY! All good as we dream we’re traveling back to the past which was gone even in 2008 in which All Is Good — at least for the rich and well off. Nothing’s going to change for everybody else. Coz, if something did, the money has to come from somewhere so it would have to be those who are hardly paying taxes at all or not at all, with all their money in tax havens.

  84. As to the Warren poll issue- this is from the article I linked:
    “The poll, from NBC and the Wall Street Journal, found Warren was effectively tied for second place nationally, with 14% of the vote. But pollsters excluded her from a series of match-ups between Trump and top candidates. The

    Sure, but that’s not what you said in your original comment, which was:

    The Wall Street Journal did a poll 2 weeks ago in which they INTENTIONALLY left Warren off the list.

    And they didn’t do that. They had her in the overall poll, but did not include her lower down in the head to head matchups. They also didn’t include some other Democratic candidates.

    Should they have? Probably — and I would have included her rather than Klobuchar, but it’s not what you made it out to be at first which was, after all, what I was responding to.

    (And it’s not clear — for other commenters — that they didn’t put in the TV announcements. The NBC/WSJ article that announced it had her name in it, though that’s not the same thing as the TV announcement, I know).

  85. Even though my primary isn’t until next week I’ve already voted for Warren, and if you gave me my ballot back I’d do it the same.

    Here’s why: I’m really, really tired of a majority majority men government. Like, individual men are fine (or not), but at this point it’s been more than 200 years and how about some diversity?
    Last presidential election a woman ran (and lost). *This* election, *many* women ran. Even if I didn’t like most of them, even if I think one was deeply nutty, at least there was more than one woman on the debate stage!

    The more support women have *this* election, the more likely it is that more women will run *next* election (up and down the ticket) and hopefully, eventually, there will be more women in all levels of government.

  86. Scalzi: “If you want to be upset at someone for acknowledging that as a fact”

    I’m not upset. Just dissappointed.

    As for facts, while it is a fact that half of all homicides in the US are committed by blacks, anyone repeating that fact is willfully ignoring a deeper truth. Facts without context and empathy can be weaponized. Dog whistles hide there.

    Kara: “Which is why Warren is where she is. If you voted for Biden, then you’ve lost the right to say Warren was “my preferred candidate””

    Nope. If we had ranked voting ballots, Warren would be at the top of mine. Then Biden. Then Sanders. But we dont rank vote, so one has to pick from the two leading candidates. Which is, based on limited information, Sanders and Biden.

  87. Caughtinalandslide:

    “I’m not upset. Just disappointed.”

    If you say so.

    The bit there where you attempt to imply noting that Sanders is an independent is some sort of dog whistle (when, remember, Sanders does it himself) akin to talking about black homicide rates, suggests to me, how to put this as gently as possible, that we’ve reached the useful end of this particular conversation. So let’s go ahead and cap it here. Thanks.

  88. Should they have? Probably — and I would have included her rather than Klobuchar, but it’s not what you made it out to be at first which was, after all, what I was responding to.

    (And it’s not clear — for other commenters — that they didn’t put in the TV announcements. The NBC/WSJ article that announced it had her name in it, though that’s not the same thing as the TV announcement, I know).

    I watched television that night. The entire night, even after they were called out on it, Warren was omitted from the poll graphics they were using.

  89. “Though, I will admit, both Biden and Sanders are older than Reagan was starting his second term.”

    Actually, one’s already older than Reagan was at the end of his second term, and the other soon will be. Reagan was three weeks shy of his 78th birthday at the end of his second term, 1/20/89. Both Sanders and Biden will be older than 78 (indeed, Sanders will be 79) on inauguration day, 1/20/21.

    This makes the choice of VP crucial. In the Washington Post today, an opinion columnist suggested that Biden name a running mate this week. I wonder whether that’s such a bad idea.

  90. Mark: “I will also vote for the nominee because as spiteful and annoying as Sander’s supporters are”

    Vote blue no matter who.

    But also, maybe dont shit on the other candidates or their supporters.

  91. In the Washington Post today, an opinion columnist suggested that Biden name a running mate this week. I wonder whether that’s such a bad idea.

    Personally, I’d give it to the end of March–maybe mid-April or so? But on the whole, I think it’s a good idea: the minute the nomination is settled, the candidate should announce a running mate–or at least possible choices for running mate, to give voters time to ruminate on the future. And if we go to the convention undecided, then they both should announce running mates (or possible running mates) well before the convention, because–for me, at least–that will impact my decision, and I hope it would impact the convention delegates’ decisions, too. Under the circumstances, I think it should.

    I don’t know if that makes sense, really, from an election-voting standpoint, since it doesn’t mean that I won’t vote for whoever the Democrats decide on. I will. Given the alternative . . . yeah. I wasn’t a Bernie supporter last time around, and his age bothered me even then, but I decided that even if Bernie Sanders won the nomination and then actually DIED before the election, I’d still vote for him (on the theory that a dead Bernie Sanders would still be a better President than Donald Trump). But I think I will be more comfortable (and hence likely more enthusiastic) about my second- or even third-choice Democrat if I can also consider the VP candidate as soon as possible.

  92. I am disappointed that Warren didn’t have a shot, but this entire exercise has made it clear to me that we need fresh faces in the Democratic party (and in US Politics in general). I’m hoping that this year is the last time we see any candidate who has lost multiple runs for President in the drivers seat. I would really love to never have to worry about the statistical likelyhood of a candidate dying before they get halfway through their term. I know there are big reasons why this is a thing (partially due to inequality and partially due to demographics), but it’s just making me think about how bare the bench is for the party.

    I would also love to see voting reform, including ranked choice voting, being discussed, but that will never happen as long as the Republicans have a say in the matter.

  93. I watched television that night. The entire night, even after they were called out on it, Warren was omitted from the poll graphics they were using.

    You watched NBC for the entire night? No bathroom breaks, no switches of the channel? Yeah, I don’t believe you.

    I was thinking about a diplomatic way to write this, but it comes down to the fact that I just don’t believe you.

  94. Four years ago, Sanders was in a great position going into Super Tuesday and got rolled, leading to months (years, actually) of his supporters claiming all kinds of conspiracy theories as to why he didn’t get the nomination.

    This week, Sanders was in a great position going into Super Tuesday…

  95. Speaking of invisible, Amy was third in actual votes going into Super Tuesday. Now that was some quality erasure. I suspect none of you actually knew that because she was boring, nice, competent, and completely erased.

    I am shocked to find myself supporting Biden. I have so many issues with him. However, I am not selecting my own favorite flavor of ice cream. I am advocating for the things I believe in as a citizen in a country were most people really disagree with me about, for example, are women actual humans who are equal to men.

    I would say that I could never support Bernie. His history of guns, grifting, and glomming onto Russia are too much for me. However, there is a Nazi-positive grifting fascist in the White House so I would support an actual, not figurative, goat. Bernie beats that standard in the general. I find him personally repulsive. Many people do, but criticism of him has been effectively silenced by dog-piling. That Matthews was not fired for making a roofie/rape joke about Clinton but for being ridiculous about Sanders is telling. Old white guys get all the breaks. Bernie gets extra because he has dude appeal. I thought this was a good article:

    The VP pick really matters. It should be someone not white, not male, and actually progressive.

  96. I’ve donated small amounts to Harris once and Warren three times. If Biden or Sanders is the nominee (which looks certain) I think the VP nomination could be a chance to shake things up. Warren is a spitball of energy and it would be nice to have a VP that did stuff for a change. Normally there is a worry about overshadowing the president but I think in this case both Biden or Sanders are one term deals, if that. Thus, having a tag team would be a nice change. But Warren is not the only choice. I would love Harris or Klobuchar there and would not mind Beto or Buttigieg there. I don’t want to see Bloomberg there.

  97. What I wonder about, regarding a potential Biden presidency: voters tend to split tickets, especially when they aren’t enthused, so that means we likely get a Republican House and Senate. I think the Republicans will (have) given up all ptetense of working within the system and will refuse to pass anything or approve any judges.

    So we get 4 years of nothing. What happens in 2024?

  98. My crystal ball is broken (anybody know a reputable witch or warlock that can repair it?) but, regardless of who wins the nomination, Bernie or Biden (or some dark horse candidate, maybe?), the real contest is likely to be between whoever the VP pick is and the President.

  99. Compared to Biden, Sanders has an ambitious legislative agenda, but ultimately no law that Congress doesn’t approve of will get passed. If either man gets elected, but the Senate stays red, bills on the Democratic agenda will continue to disappear into Mitch McConnell’s portable hole. (So will judicial nominations.) More or less the same thing will happen if the House flips back to GOP control. If both houses become blue, but just barely, anything on the president’s agenda will have to get approved by a wide range of Democratic Congresspeople, some well on the left, some more to the center, some in safe seats, some in precarious red-state seats. As folks may remember with the passage of the Affordable Care Act in a barely-Democratically-controlled Congress, getting sweeping bills through is a tricky process with a fair bit of compromise.

    In a number of ways, I like Sanders’s vision more than I like Biden’s (even though I’m not a socialist). But I’m not convinced, based on past history, that he can govern well, that he can collaborate well beyond his base, or can react well when he doesn’t get what he wants, which is sure to happen lots to anyone in the office. I do find Biden’s tendency to act as if we can just go back to Business as Usual (including catering to retrograde big-donor agendas) a real problem. But if we elect good Congresspeople, they can potentially enact a more progressive agenda than Biden would push on his own, or hold Sanders accountable if he’s tempted to take some of the liberties that the GOP has let Trump get away with, but that presidents should not be permitted.

    I too am disappointed that Warren will most likely be out of the running by the time my state’s primary is held in late April. I’m glad I took the opportunity to donate to her campaign, though, and while I’m not particularly happy about the choice in old men the Democrats seem to now have, I’ll vote for either of them in a heartbeat over Trump. But I’ll also shift a lot of my emphasis downballot.The makeup of Congress will make a big difference in what laws actually get passed. And whoever gets elected to state legislatures will determine how districts get drawn for the next 10 years after this year’s census, as well as set policy for voting access that can either promote wider citizen participation, or effectively disenfranchise much of the electorate. The presidency is important, but the other offices we’re voting for might have more of a long-term impact on the health of the nation.

  100. If Trump were a garden-variety Republican (even from say, ten or fifteen years ago), I think Trump hate would be an insufficient reason to vote Democratic; however, he seems to be an abject crook with contempt for anything and everyone that’s not him, and the GOP seems bent on following him to hell. If your party’s platform is nihilism and kleptocracy, then that’s sufficient for the moment to vote for its opposition, because if the opposition wins, then at least there might be another moment.

    Of the more left candidates, I would have preferred Warren. Bloomberg and Biden (followed by Klobuchar) fit my policy choices best, and I didn’t like Bloomberg at all. I’m not thrilled with Biden, but not being a complete nutweasel and not having a horde of people that act like lefty Trumpites is enough to work with.

    At this point, consensus would be nice, because someone’s going to have to fix the Senate that Moscow Mitch broke (and which we started breaking when we got ACA), the budget that hasn’t been fixed at all and which Trump and the GOP have been trying to break further, and the executive branch (which Trump is actively trying to break). The problem is that the standards of behavior are weakened to make it difficult to prevent someone from doing what Trump is doing again, and while there’s lots of things that I would like to see changed, losing our form of government for something like Russia’s is not a price I would be willing to pay for them.

  101. Goobertarian Austrian schooler who sees Trump for what he is sez: Biden was my first choice among the Democratic field, and I’m happy to see him pull ahead like this. I’m hoping that Buttigieg’s withdrawal is indicative of a deal for the running mate slot. It was close for me between Buttigieg and Biden, but I had no illusions about the mayor of South Bend, let alone a gay man being either major party’s candidate for president.

    Given their ages, I think that a Biden or Sanders presidency could end up being one term. Guess who turns exactly 35 in the next leap year? (she’s a frequent subject of Fox News’ Two Minutes Hate spots.) “Eep” for me, possibly “yea” for those supporting Bernie Sanders this election.

  102. As far as the running-mate discussion goes, I’m surprised that Julian Castro’s name hasn’t come up more. He’s young, a person of color, has experience in federal government, brings a good perspective on immigration issues in particular, and seems to lean fairly progressive while not identifying with the dreaded S-word. I think he’d be a smart pick for VP. (Except the cynic in me would expect that his opponents would run with the fact that he shares a surname with Fidel.)

  103. I was on team Sanders in 2016 but this time around was all in for Mayor Pete. Warren was my second choice and Klobuchar was my third. But now I’m all in for Biden and will be voting for him next week in the Michigan primary. I want to win and I want the senate to flip. And I do not believe Bernie can do it. He has not grown the voter base like he had hoped and will scare away anyone leaning conservative from voting for a non-Trump alternative. I’m actually sympathetic with a lot of the policies Bernie advocates but I’m also realistic. Biden enables down ballot candidates to not have to run against the leader of the ticket to keep their jobs. And I hope things speed up now. If I were in charge I’d get Biden to announce his running mate right now. There’s a non zero chance that one of these 77/78 year olds will have a medical event, so let’s let everyone know who the number two is ASAP. Why wait? Heck I’d announce some of the new cabinet too. I’d be getting as many people as possible lined up for roles that Trump and his cronies have been dismantling or malignantly neglecting. So announce VP Warren, Klobuchar, Harris or maybe one of the female govs like Whitmer here in MI and get Harris as AG and Klobuchar as SecState. Focus on how there will be competent people in the Biden administration. Ya know, people who believe in science, and believe that government works for the people.

  104. This seems to keep happening to Dems



    With Biden mor3 likely to win the nomination now, Biden supporters can afford to be a little bit more generous to the folks who didnt get their preferred candidate. Or, do a replay of Hillary’s “sore winner” strategy of the 2016 and get that result. Otherwise, Biden is likely to win the primary, meaning the general election is yours to lose.

    And if we are listing our fantasy VP pick, mine requires we reinstate the draft and get Michelle Obama to serve. Pretty sure she wouldnt want it, but we sure need her.

  105. I would have liked to see Harris stay in the race and take her chances with a few primaries. She was my third choice until she quit. I would also have liked to see Klobuchar as the right wing candidate. Even if she won, she would have been so much better than Biden, particularly head to head against Trump. She is still the VP I would want to see if Bernie pulls off a miracle. Headline: Pence forfeits debate because Klobuchar refuses to allow chaperones on stage.

  106. My thoughts are that “centrist”/”progressive” fights are counter productive. It ignores their common enemy, the reactionaries. And they won’t solve anything until the common enemy is gone.

    Unite. Obliterate the common opponent. THEN you have a fighting chance to implement your preferred solution (be it centrist or progressive); otherwise, you’re fighting two groups and diluting your effort.

  107. Because the primary system sucks; I won’t get the chance to vote for my preferred candidate. My state doesn’t primary until next month. I will vote for Bernie and hope he wins. If he doesn’t; I will hope to hell that Biden chooses a progressive VP. I would love to see Warren as Sec. of the interior; and given full backing to implement her policies.

  108. Condolences to everyone whose preferred candidate dropped out of the race. Every single one of them would be infinitely better than Trump. But the system is horribly flawed. And voter bias is rampant. Democracy in panic is not a good situation to be in. Hopefully we can all rally behind whoever wins the dem nomination, and destroy Trump, flip the senate and keep the house. There is a lot of issues to fix. United we rise. Divided we fall.

  109. I don’t really have much to add except as an Illinois voter here, by the time I committed to a candidate, Warren was out of the running given how our primary system apparently works. I guess I’ll vote for Bernie, same as in 2016, though that was to send Hilary a message not to get complacent, which she obviously got.

    neither of the current front runners appeal to me but I will vote for whichever in November.

    There is a reason Trump wanted dirt on Biden and Bernie to win the Democratic nomination; he thinks he can beat those guys. I’m hoping that he is wrong.

  110. It’s irrational to vote for populists, reactionaries and radicals. Clearly Biden is a better choice compared to Bernie or Trump. The followers of the two extremists are unstable and insufferable. Neither one should be tolerated.

  111. I’m getting tired of people complaining that they can’t get excited by a candidate. We’re grownups trying to decide who will lead our country for the next four years, not teenagers voting on their favorite band.

    After 3 years of Trump, I’ve had all the excitement I can stand. I want someone who doesn’t scapegoat anyone, who doesn’t hold rallies just for the ego boost, and who doesn’t encourage his followers to rough up journalists and protesters.

    I want a sane, calm person who understands that governing is about compromise, that hourly wage workers at Walmart are just as worthy of support as billionaires, and that the stock market isn’t a gauge of anything other than the stock market.

    I don’t need to get the warm fuzzies when I hear a candidate’s name or have to restrain myself from chanting praises or throwing eggs. Just give me a grown-up who’s at least half way competent!

    (For what it’s worth, I voted for Warren on Tuesday. I want someone with plans. Sigh)

  112. Paraphrasing Steve: all bernie supporters are irrational, radical, extremists, unstable, and insufferable.

    Lets be clear about something. Bidens superpower is he is middle of the road. He isnt the brightest. He doesnt have the best ideas. He isnt a great planner. He isnt a strategist. He was chosen by the dnc because he has the best chance of peeling away some 2016 trump voters. Or at the very least he is bland enough that he wont rile up moderate republicans, and maybe some of them stay home.

    Biden is the dnc’s love letter to 2016 trump voters. Look how moderate he is! He would cross the aisle for you!

    While dems are using biden to seduce moderate republicans, they look to the left, their base, and give them the middle finger. All bernie supporters are irrational extremists. Never mind that most voted for hillary in 2016 general election, dems (and even too independent to register as dem) want everyone to know bernie supporters are fucking nuts.

    I didnt vote for mister bland middle of the road dude as an appeal to moderate republicans, just so dem and independent egomaniacs could use Bidens nomination to then attack the democratic base, and tell everyone that bernie supporters are fucking nuts and drive away bidens appeal, his one and only superpower.

    If we can pick a candidate to try and appeal to moderate republicans, without being shitty about their 2016 vote for trump, we can sure as fuck appeal to other dem voters, including bernie supporters without being complete shits about them or bernie.
    Most bernie supporters voted for hillary in the 2016 general election. Most moderate republicans voted for trump. But its the bernie supporters we hold a grudge against? Wtf???

  113. I just wanted to make a point about the posts that have been pining for “adults who compromise”.

    Sadly you’re working with the wrong paradigm of government for that. Compromise requires a willingness to do so from both sides, and the current Republicans in government are absolutely uninterested in compromise government because they don’t have to be. They have demonstrated that any norms and rules of governance are irrelevant to them, because they know that they will never be punished by their electorate for ignoring or abusing them.

    They will use and abuse the letter of the rules to get their way, and “compromise” will mean watering down and weakening to the point of irrelevance anything they don’t like with absolutely nothing given in return. (You may think that if Mitch McConnell refused to move any vote to the floor for a whole four years there would be consequences, but the only consequences within the system would come from his own voters, and they’d love him for doing it).

    The current crop of Republicans have demonstrated that the rules by which the government of the US is supposed to function are inadequate to the task. They haven’t “broken” the system in a way that just following the rules can repair, they’ve shown that it was all smoke and mirrors that relied on a gentleman’s agreement to work in good faith.

    Unless the Democrats can get at least a majority in the Senate, and likely a very large one because of their own conservative Blue Dog wing, the dream of sensible adult governance will remain a dream, no matter who is president. And the senate is structurally constituted in a way that favours the Republicans (because there are more low population red states but every state gets two senators).

  114. Gloating, the only ‘solution’ I can see remains “term limits for Congress.”

    And yeah, someone will chime in that the voters decide in each State yadda yadda. And I understand the logic behind ‘two Senators for each State, forever.’ It is a necessary bulkwark against the impetuous nature of pure democracy. But long incumbency and seniority can produce their own perils. Mitch McConnell (and Harry Reid before him) are prime examples.

    I’m a big fan of turnover in the legislature.

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