Break Glass - 2020 USA Elections

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  • Ohher wrote: »
    One is tempted to wonder: is egotistical assholery necessary to the process of becoming a bilionaire, or does becoming a billionaire turn one into an egotistical asshole?
    The short, and serious, answer is: it helps. CEOs and the like have a higher percentage of sociopaths than the general population for a reason.
  • And a good chunk of the electorate believe someone who is good at making a ton of money will be good at governing. Usually the same people who say "Let's run government like a business".
  • Ohher wrote: »
    One is tempted to wonder: is egotistical assholery necessary to the process of becoming a bilionaire, or does becoming a billionaire turn one into an egotistical asshole?
    Yes.

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    For God's sake, excuse my french, I do not have to be lectured on what a superdelegate is. I have been around the block a number of times as a Democratic member.

    Now, as to when Obama assured Clinton he would nominate her as secretary of state, I am certain there was some backroom dealing going on here. Going into the convention the party was very divided. I believe Clinton knew she could persist and get the nomination but she would have had a divided party. Obama knew that too and both camps were working behind the scene to reach an agreement. I think his side assured her she would be taken care of.

    As Johnson once said, it is better to have someone in your tent pissing out than to have them on the outside pissing in.

    Can I cite a source? No. But it is from experience.


  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    In 2008, Obama declared he'd won on June 3 and Clinton conceded on June 7. The convention started August 25, and Clinton knew full well, as did anyone else paying attention, that Obama would be the nominee.
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    This next go around the Western States want to get into the game sooner. Washington State just moved its primary system to March (first Tuesday after the first Sunday of the month).

    Are you sure? It doesn't look like a done deal, and that article says the primary would move to the second Tuesday in March.

    The Democratic primaries are going to be extremely front-loaded:
    February 3: Iowa (caucus) - 6 electoral college votes
    February 11: New Hampshire - 4
    February 22: Nevada caucus (caucus) - 6
    February 29: South Carolina - 9
    March 3: Alabama, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia - 162

    I put in electoral college numbers to give a sense of the relative amounts of votes at stake because I couldn't find a breakdown of delegate numbers.

    The front loading is going to weed out a lot of candidates pretty quickly, as it will take a lot of money to campaign for that Super Tuesday.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Ruth wrote: »
    The Democratic primaries are going to be extremely front-loaded:
    February 3: Iowa (caucus) - 6 electoral college votes
    February 11: New Hampshire - 4
    February 22: Nevada caucus (caucus) - 6
    February 29: South Carolina - 9
    March 3: Alabama, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia - 162

    I put in electoral college numbers to give a sense of the relative amounts of votes at stake because I couldn't find a breakdown of delegate numbers.

    Here are the pledged delegate totals. Unbound superdelegates are listed after the slash. Format: pledged/unpledged
    • Iowa - 41/8
    • New Hampshire - 24/9
    • Nevada - 36/12
    • South Carolina - 54/9
    • Alabama, American Samoa, California, Democrats Abroad, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia - 1,132/212

    The total number of combined delegates (pledged and unpledged) in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary stands at 4,532, with 2,267 needed to secure the nomination outright. It should be noted that after some reforms in 2016 some superdelegates are now required to vote with their state's primary/caucus results. All numbers via Green Papers.
  • Ohher wrote: »
    One is tempted to wonder: is egotistical assholery necessary to the process of becoming a bilionaire, or does becoming a billionaire turn one into an egotistical asshole?

    :lol:

    That looks like a 'the billionaire or the egotistical asshole' argument to me.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    Crœsos wrote: »
    All numbers via Green Papers.
    Thanks!
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Ruth wrote: »
    In 2008, Obama declared he'd won on June 3 and Clinton conceded on June 7. The convention started August 25, and Clinton knew full well, as did anyone else paying attention, that Obama would be the nominee.
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    This next go around the Western States want to get into the game sooner. Washington State just moved its primary system to March (first Tuesday after the first Sunday of the month).

    Are you sure? It doesn't look like a done deal, and that article says the primary would move to the second Tuesday in March.

    The Democratic primaries are going to be extremely front-loaded:
    February 3: Iowa (caucus) - 6 electoral college votes
    February 11: New Hampshire - 4
    February 22: Nevada caucus (caucus) - 6
    February 29: South Carolina - 9
    March 3: Alabama, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia - 162

    I put in electoral college numbers to give a sense of the relative amounts of votes at stake because I couldn't find a breakdown of delegate numbers.

    The front loading is going to weed out a lot of candidates pretty quickly, as it will take a lot of money to campaign for that Super Tuesday.

    I may have jumped the gun a bit. I had half-heard the report on the radio. Now I see that the state Senate had passed the bill to make it on the SECOND Tuesday of March. The bill goes to the state House for consideration and then has to be signed by the Governor. https://tdn.com/news/state-and-regional/senate-oks-earlier-washington-presidential-primary/article_84b92612-42ee-5a2e-84fd-4b8982c0080a.html

    So it is still a work in progress.
  • And a good chunk of the electorate believe someone who is good at making a ton of money will be good at governing. Usually the same people who say "Let's run government like a business".

    Well, quite.

    Although, to be fair, the overlap between being good at government and good at making money is not zero. Many of the same skills are useful in both cases. (Although perhaps none of them are as important as a god understanding of the ways that government is not like a business.)
  • And a good chunk of the electorate believe someone who is good at making a ton of money will be good at governing. Usually the same people who say "Let's run government like a business".

    Well, quite.

    Although, to be fair, the overlap between being good at government and good at making money is not zero. Many of the same skills are useful in both cases. (Although perhaps none of them are as important as a god understanding of the ways that government is not like a business.)
    The overlap between candle making and being good at government is not zero.
    The level at which one needs to understand how a candidate’s non-governmental experience can translate is such that it negates the genre of that experience.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    As things stand now, one has to be either rich, or in the pockets of those who are, to have a chance at winning.

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on why our presidents seem to be already owned by the time they take office.

    I would love to see all our campaign laws changed so that a poor person had a chance. Starting with not allowing the campaign to begin until a few months before the election and allowing enough free TV time for each candidate that they didn't need to fly from state to state making stump speeches.
  • Genuine question: Who owned Obama?
  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    edited February 9
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Genuine question: Who owned Obama?

    The very wealthy, large corporations, industry groups, and the financial industry all make large donations to candidates of both political parties, including Obama when he was running for president for the first time and for reelection. They like to bet on the winning horse, which explains why they supported him more in 2008, when the financial crisis and the unpopularity of the Bush administration made it more likely that a Democrat would win, than in 2012, when the financial industry was also less happy with Obama after the Dodd-Frank financial regulations were passed and Obama had made some rhetoric about "fat cats" that they did not like. But Obama still received a lot of donations from them in 2012, and they also used their sway to lobby heavily to help water down the Dodd-Frank bill and other bills that affected the interests of corporations and the wealthy.

    Many of these groups will hedge their bets by donating large sums to candidates from both parties. The Congressional seats that represent Wall Street are safe Democratic ones, so there are Democrats in Congress who receive huge donations from Wall Street (and members of Congress are expected to share the funds they raise with their party's congressional committees - so this money goes to a lot of other members and candidates). This means that any Democratic president will have a lot of pressure from Congress to cater to the interests of the wealthy and powerful - or at least to soften their policies (often with loopholes) and rhetoric towards them. Many Democratic politicians (including Obama) have become quite wealthy themselves, and after serving in elected office they make a lot of money from giving speeches to powerful groups (and, at least with members of congress, working as "consultants" to lobbying firms to skirt regulations on lobbying after they leave office) so they also benefit from policies that go easy on the rich and that keep them in good graces with the wealthy.

    If wealthy individuals and corporations are unhappy with a Democratic candidate, they can donate to a Republican opponent, or they can donate to another Democrat running in a primary election against a Democratic incumbent. They also make use of "social welfare organizations" with innocuous names that don't give an idea of who their donors are that they create as fronts to put out political ads that can lambast a Democratic candidate that they don't like. So Democrats that have relied on wealthy donors have a huge incentive to avoid crossing these supporters.

    Of course, Democrats are generally more likely than Republicans to support higher taxation, stronger unions, more financial regulation, etc., but even when Democrats increase taxes on the wealthiest, this is usually by increasing income tax, which does not affect how the wealthiest earn most of their income (which is through capital gains and dividends). The wealthy are also able to avoid taxes through a number of loopholes and through the creation of family trusts, and tax increases rarely touch these (or when they do, they often open up a new way for the wealthy to keep paying a low amount of tax). Income tax increases, if they affect anyone, often only affect the better-off people who live off of salaries (people who earn money in the hundreds of thousands of dollars) rather than the wealthiest (people who earn money in the millions or more). And don't get me started on taxing corporations. Even when the highest marginal income tax rate was 90% decades ago, the wealthiest did not pay a huge amount more tax overall than they do now (except, perhaps, in inheritance taxes - but those can be avoided through trusts).

    Many of the wealthy are ideological opposed to Republicans because they are culturally liberal (if not always economically left). So they curry favor with Democrats to help push policies that are important to them (abortion rights, LGBT rights, gun control, environmentalism for some of the wealthy), and until recently these are the issues that Democrats made much more noise about compared to taxes and large expansion of social welfare programs. But this age of economic anxiety and inequality - in spite of significant economic growth - has reawakened economic fairness as a key campaign issue for Democrats, which probably is driving some large donors away from some of the most popular candidates, but they are now able to make up for it through large amounts from small donors. Trump also showed how social media and manipulating the mainstream media to get maximum attention can do a lot of promotion for a campaign for relatively little money - although Trump is now raising insane amounts of money from both the wealthy and small donors.

    There are, though, some wealthy donors that for ideological reasons or pure financial interests are always going to back conservative candidates, usually Republicans - and in the Trump era, even if they are disgusted with Trump and won't donate to him, they are still focused on getting Republicans elected in Congress and elsewhere.
  • Twilight wrote: »
    As things stand now, one has to be either rich, or in the pockets of those who are, to have a chance at winning.

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on why our presidents seem to be already owned by the time they take office.

    I would love to see all our campaign laws changed so that a poor person had a chance. Starting with not allowing the campaign to begin until a few months before the election and allowing enough free TV time for each candidate that they didn't need to fly from state to state making stump speeches.
    As I understand it, AOC is something of an anomaly even at the lowest level of the Legislative Branch. She spent just 6% of her opponent's campaign,* she is making headlines and having an apparent effect at a point on the timeline when most new congress-people are either getting in the queue for the trough or deferring to their seniors.
    I'm not sure it is even possible to do this at the senate level, much less for president.

    *194K v 3.4 million. 3/4through small donation fundraising.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Genuine question: Who owned Obama?

    I wouldn't go so far as to say they owned him but health insurance companies must have been very happy when he came up with a healthcare plan that forced almost every working person in America to buy their product.

  • I understand that the ACA was a compromise bill, not the Democrat's preferred position. I hasten to add that my interest in American politics and familiarity with the detail was much less when Obama was in power. I followed it, but used to only be intensely interested around election time, looking at tactics and strategy. It was the election of Trump and the realisation that a sizeble portion of the American electorate should not even be trusted with a motor vehicle that put me on this massive learning curve/hamster wheel.

    So when the ACA was being negotiated, I was shaking my head and failing to comprehend why people would scream 'socialism' at the idea of single-payer nationwide health care.

    Plus, I thought that working people got their health insurance through their employer, unless they were employed by a bunch of pricks.

    Money politics is in Australia too, but I don't assume that just because the ALP gets a donation from the Tobacco Industry they are going to repeal our plain packaging laws or reduce the tax on tobacco products. For me, money buys access but not necessarily outcomes. In short, donations to politicians are not necessarily bribes.

    There was an ALP politician who accepted a large amount of money from people connected to the Chinese Communist Party on behalf of the ALP. That bought him influence and cache. He was a rising star for about two years, and then he announced that in his opinion, Australia should cease its participation in freedom of navigation exercises in the South China Sea. This was contrary to existing ALP policy and our existing foreign policy. Eyebrows all over the country lifted to hairlines, and that ALP Politician was induced to resign his seat in the Senate. He was recently kicked off the reality TV show, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Outa Here, so I guess he's getting used to people wanting him to piss off.

    Many Americans seem to me to either see corruption everywhere, or to ignore it. A classic example of the latter is that Senator from NJ who got off corruption charges. He would have been gone in this country well before the matter got to trial. His presence would be viewed as at best electorally damaging to his party and he would have been made to resign well before the matter came to trial. I remain horrified that he not only got pre-selected for his seat by the Party, but that he was again voted in. In recent Australian politics, if the Democrats suffered his presence in the party room, they would have suffered electorally around the country.
  • Every now and then, a businessman with the same sort of reputation as Donald Trump will turn up at one of those fundraising dinners that both major parties hold in Australia. What happens is that someone at the dinner snaps a picture and leaks it to the press. The press runs a story about this Trump person being at the dinner and how the Party is being infiltrated by the Mafia. Then a pollie from the other Party gets up and says that the Pollie holding the dinner needs to distance himself from this Trump person because he is linked to organised crime. Then the Pollie who held the dinner gets up and says that he had no idea that this Trump person was at the dinner, that he doesn't know this Trump person and didn't speak to him, that this Trump person wasn't on the guest list, and that any donation the Trump person has made to the Party has been given to Save the Children. Then for the next year or so, the Pollie holding the dinner must endure jibes from the other side to the effect that he is a mafia stooge.

  • This might sound like a bit of a waste of time or a routine, but it means that fuckers like Trump don't go out much. We have one trying to make a splash at the moment, but I don't think he will get anywhere. He recently stooged a whole town in QLD out of their wages and benefits. When asked about it on telly, he effectively said, "I don't owe anybody any money. That's the company's debt. Its up to the administrator."
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited February 10
    Klobuchar throws her hat in the ring.

    What are your thoughts, denizens of the USA? Is it good to get as many candidates as possible? Is a smaller number preferable? What chance a candidate who may not start with much name recognition?

    Thanks.

    edited
  • The clowder* of candidates keeps reminding me of when there was a recall of a particular California governor (Gray Davis, IIRC), and a motley crew of folks campaigning as his replacement. Some strange ones, some joke candidates (though they may not have realized that).

    *Collective noun for a group of cats.
  • Golden Key wrote: »
    The clowder* of candidates keeps reminding me of when there was a recall of a particular California governor (Gray Davis, IIRC), and a motley crew of folks campaigning as his replacement. Some strange ones, some joke candidates (though they may not have realized that).

    *Collective noun for a group of cats.

    It was that recall election that gave CA the Governator.
  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    edited February 11
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Money politics is in Australia too, but I don't assume that just because the ALP gets a donation from the Tobacco Industry they are going to repeal our plain packaging laws or reduce the tax on tobacco products. For me, money buys access but not necessarily outcomes. In short, donations to politicians are not necessarily bribes.

    I'm pretty sure all the money being sent to both major Australian parties by the mining industry has a big effect on policy. Labor has paid dearly when it has pushed mining and carbon taxes, and quite a few Labor politicians themselves are in the pocket of mining companies.
  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    edited February 11
    [Deleted duplicate comment.]
  • [
    Twilight wrote: »
    I would love to see all our campaign laws changed so that a poor person had a chance. Starting with not allowing the campaign to begin until a few months before the election and allowing enough free TV time for each candidate that they didn't need to fly from state to state making stump speeches.

    But what is "the campaign"?

    Trump won because of his TV show.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited February 12
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Money politics is in Australia too, but I don't assume that just because the ALP gets a donation from the Tobacco Industry they are going to repeal our plain packaging laws or reduce the tax on tobacco products. For me, money buys access but not necessarily outcomes. In short, donations to politicians are not necessarily bribes.

    I'm pretty sure all the money being sent to both major Australian parties by the mining industry has a big effect on policy. Labor has paid dearly when it has pushed mining and carbon taxes, and quite a few Labor politicians themselves are in the pocket of mining companies.

    No no no. That's not the case. The Liberals don't dislike mining and change their view because the mining industry gives them money. The mining industry gives them money because they unequivocally support mining. Tony Abbott doesn't pretend to be a troglodyte. Tony Abbott is a troglodyte. No corruption here.

    Similarly, everybody in the ALP likes working people to be in work, and most people come from a union background: they are in the main union officials, union members who were active in their union, or lawyers who did work for unions. These are people committed to the working people of this country. Mines provide jobs, not just a few jobs but a lot of jobs for a long time. So there is a lot of pressure and money coming from unions to support mining projects. Money also comes from mining companies, working in conjunction with mining sector unions. No corruption here.

    Labor's approach to mining is a bit schizophrenic though. Labor has the pro-mining constituency outlined above, but it must also cater to the spirulina-sipping socialists who live in their inner city heartland, and battle with the Greens for their seats. So Labor can't take the easy route of the coalition and laugh off climate change with the sop of an environmental impact study.

    There is also this factor, which I know is unpopular in these cynical times: most politicians are true believers. They are not in the game to make money, especially the conservatives. Most politicians in Australia are genuinely advancing a policy platform that they believe is best for Australia and achievable in their time in office. They genuinely seek the good of Australia.

    Take Tony Abbott. He is in my opinion fundamentally wrong on almost every issue. But he doesn't oppose the advancement of the rights of the LGBTI+ community because someone is paying him money. He opposes it because at his very core he is a Catholic social conservative arsehole. He doesn't oppose women's reproductive freedom very loudly not because he doesn't want abortion to be illegal, but because he knows that it is political poison and that it will impair his ability to attain achievable goals. His opposition to climate change is probably instrumental, but he doesn't support mining because the Libs get money from miners. He supports it because he wants us to get the shit out of the ground and to the market before the bloody market disappears. He thinks that's in the best interests of the country.

    So, in summary, it is not corrupt to get political donations and then support policies that you would support anyway. It is corrupt to get a political donation on the understanding that you will support a policy that you would otherwise not support. That's why the ALP Premier of Queensland is not acting corruptly by supporting the Adani mine, and why ALP Senator Sam Dastyari was as corrupt as hell when he advocated for a change in policy concerning the South China Sea.
  • stonespring--
    Golden Key wrote: »
    The clowder* of candidates keeps reminding me of when there was a recall of a particular California governor (Gray Davis, IIRC), and a motley crew of folks campaigning as his replacement. Some strange ones, some joke candidates (though they may not have realized that).

    *Collective noun for a group of cats.

    It was that recall election that gave CA the Governator.

    Thx. :) I meant to add that. IMHO, he never should've been governor.

    And, interestingly, he has some things in common with a certain president. (Behavior towards/with women, over-sized persona, etc.) He's just much more functional.




  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Surprising almost no one, Bernie Sanders has announced that he's running for the Democratic Presidential Nomination again. Sanders' 2016 campaign succeeded in moving the Democratic Party substantially to the left to a degree that most of the declared 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are running on positions brought into the party's mainstream by Sanders. Given that, I'm not sure what the "value added" of a Sanders candidacy is this time around.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited February 19
    If I was a citizen of the US, and voting purely on policy, Bernie would get my vote (waiting for AOC... 🙂), but I admit to being confused about this. I'm not sure, speaking as a foreigner so ignore me, it is a good move.

    As Crœsos wrote above, he did see a shift to the left in 2016 (but I wonder if Hillary won if things would change back to the centre...I'm not trying to be rude, but the Sanders left did not seem a natural place for Hillary -- and she wouldn't be the first politician to go back on a promise). Do you think he hopes for the same this time?
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    Surprising almost no one, Bernie Sanders has announced that he's running for the Democratic Presidential Nomination again. Sanders' 2016 campaign succeeded in moving the Democratic Party substantially to the left to a degree that most of the declared 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are running on positions brought into the party's mainstream by Sanders. Given that, I'm not sure what the "value added" of a Sanders candidacy is this time around.

    Sanders might be running to keep candidates fighting over the left-leaning voters that he would draw, rather than over the culturally or politically more moderate voters that other candidates would draw. It's easy for a candidate to say that they are for Medicare for All or some other kind of universal healthcare, taxing the wealthy, free, affordable, or debt-free tuition for college students, etc., but having Sanders stake out positions on these issues and others that will be seen by the activist left as the standard by which all other candidates' positions are measured would probably, in his mind, help keep candidates from just making fuzzy statements in support for left-leaning policies that they can distance themselves from or return to based on the reactions of polls and other candidates.

    All of this might play into Republicans' hands by making Democrats seem even more ideologically out of step with many voters than they are today. Having an avowed Socialist (although, frankly, in Europe he would be squarely in the Social Democratic camp) in the race makes it even easier for the Republicans to call all Democrats Socialists and to raise the (absurd in this context, but perhaps effective) bogeymen of the Soviet Union or Venezuela. A Sanders or Sanders-like candidacy in the general election could easily prompt a centrist candidate (more charismatic than Howard Schultz) to run as an independent, and even if they don't get many votes, they may get enough to throw the race to Trump.

    There is a large group of Sanders voters who simply do not trust almost any Democrat - if any other Democrat at all. Some of them have moved on to other candidates, wanting to see someone younger or someone who is not a white man. But there is a not small number who feel that Sanders is the only candidate who really means what he says, who may also be drawn to him by a cult of personality, and who might not vote at all (or might vote for a third party candidate) if Sanders is not the Democratic nominee. There were even some voters who voted for Sanders in the Democratic primary and Trump in the general election. The hatred many Sanders supporters had/have for Hillary and any candidate they think is like her is pretty substantial. If any of them think that Bernie betrayed them, it was by endorsing Hillary in the general election, even if only half-heartedly.

    A lot of Bernie supporters are mad at any Democrat who endorsed Hillary over Bernie in 2016, including Elizabeth Warren who was lukewarm in her support for Hillary but who they feel that given her politics should have fully endorsed Bernie.

    I don't quite understand this Berniemania, although I like many of his policies. I think Bernie does a lot of hand-waving when it comes to explaining how he will fund or implement his big ideas, but, honestly, a lot of the Democratic candidates are doing that right now, and Hillary tried hard to show how her policies could be put into action and it didn't help her much. Bernie also doesn't seem to have the best grasp of foreign policy. Finally, I think we need a generational changing of the guard in the Democratic Party (although Bernie still isn't officially a Democrat).
  • This was presciently posted on Friday:

    Six Reasons Why You Should Vote for Me, Old White Man Corpse, in 2020

    He's very weak on race, gender and justice issues as well. AFAIC, there can only be one Democratic candidate, and Sanders has never been a Democrat.
  • I don't quite understand this Berniemania, although I like many of his policies.

    Bernie Sanders has consistently been saying more or less the same things for the whole of his political life. Other brands may be viewed as rather less consistent, and so even though their wind might be blowing your way this week, there's no guarantee that the wind won't change again.

    He has the same kind of principled outsider appeal that Jeremy Corbyn had. There are quite a lot of similarities between the two men, as far as I can see.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    edited February 19
    Sanders, like Biden (and, God help us, HRC), is too old. It's time for that generation to let go.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited February 19
    Bernie Sanders has consistently been saying more or less the same things for the whole of his political life.

    Not really. For example, Sanders has reversed himself on various gun laws.
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    Sanders, like Biden (and, God help us, HRC), is too old. It's time for that generation to let go.

    On Inauguration Day 2021 Bernie Sanders will be 79 years old. On the day he left office Ronald Reagan, America's oldest president to date, was two weeks shy of his 78th birthday.
  • Yes, and he was pretty much too old. It's a tough job that ages one rapidly; I think relative youth is a plus.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    Yes, and he was pretty much too old. It's a tough job that ages one rapidly; I think relative youth is a plus.

    An historic side-note from the Internet's Least Important Series installment on Chester A. Arthur:
    Given how often people died for random reasons in the 19th century, it’s amazing that more thought was taken on who the VP would be. But usually, it was just some compromise candidate no one cared about. Occasionally, they stumbled into the Oval Office. Such was the case with Chester Arthur, a man who literally had never run for office before and who had no interest in holding electoral office.
  • I agree. Bernie is too old. I was going to post something about Brezhnev, the aged leader trope from the last century, but Wikipedia tells me he was only 76 when he died. As one of the Priests on Father Ted says, shaking his fist at the ceiling, "You only take the good ones you bastard!"
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    ... He has the same kind of principled outsider appeal that Jeremy Corbyn had. There are quite a lot of similarities between the two men, as far as I can see.
    I accept that as a foreigner, I probably shouldn't be dipping into this thread, but if that is so, then that is a second absolute and unequivocal reason, in addition to his being too old, why he wholly unsuited to be president.

    As unsuited, though partially for different reasons, as the present occupant of the role.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    ... He has the same kind of principled outsider appeal that Jeremy Corbyn had. There are quite a lot of similarities between the two men, as far as I can see.
    I accept that as a foreigner, I probably shouldn't be dipping into this thread, but if that is so, then that is a second absolute and unequivocal reason, in addition to his being too old, why he wholly unsuited to be president.

    As unsuited, though partially for different reasons, as the present occupant of the role.

    I agree with that last sentence. Sanders is much too old apart from anything else. Then there are his policies. I agree with many of them, but am very doubtful that they'll appeal to the numbers of people that he'll need to get the Democrat nomination let alone the votes in the Electoral College. And his candidacy may well backfire, garnering the support of a young group of people who will spend their energy on his failed candidacy and then not support the actual nominee.
  • Gee D wrote: »

    ... And his candidacy may well backfire, garnering the support of a young group of people who will spend their energy on his failed candidacy and then not support the actual nominee.

    And we've seen that movie already. It didn't end well for the USA.
  • Bernie would be akin to Anthony Albanese in Australia. He's a former deputy leader of the Labor party and sits to the left within the Party. The policies he advocates are thoroughly conventional here. He's the child of immigrant parents and I love him to bits, save that he is a Sydneysider and if I am anything I am blindly parochial. Still, at least he's not from Queensland.

    I'm not sure a Bernie campaign, or indeed any campaign pushing a left agenda would result in the same post-convention factionalism that occurred last time. When I say I'm not sure I mean that I find it difficult to form a view. There is now no doubt, in my opinion, that Colbert's Tortoise crossing a highway would make a better President than Trump. For me and most posters here I'd reckon, that was obvious last time. But surely no wild-eyed Democrat keen enough to turn up to the convention would be saying that nominee Tulsi Gabbard is someone that they couldn't force themselves to vote for (Yes, I think Gabbard is the worst of the major nominees so far). Surely all the Candidates will pull together in a love-in style "Isn't Elizabeth just brilliant" post-convention roadshow ( I have loved Elizabeth Warren for a very long time).
  • The biggest issue seems to be just how socialist do we really want to be. When Sanders was interviewed on CBS this morning he was asked what he thought about the party moving his way. Many candidates are in his camp. A few are more centrist.

    Trump, of course, keeps pointing to Venezuela to show how socialism is wrong. But when asked about socialist positions around 76% of Americans support them. More so among young adults than middle-age adults. Senior Citizens are open to socialist ideas, especially the ones that impact them: better medicare, reduced drug prices, long term care.

    This next go around could be a watershed moment for change.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »

    ... And his candidacy may well backfire, garnering the support of a young group of people who will spend their energy on his failed candidacy and then not support the actual nominee.

    And we've seen that movie already. It didn't end well for the USA.

    Exactly, and he's another 4 years older this time.
  • I think Bernie can take some credit for moving many in the Democratic party significantly to the left on issues like socialised medicine. Also younger voters in particular, who don’t directly remember the Cold War, have less of a knee-jerk “Socialism = Communism = the antithesis of Americanism” reaction. It’s getting to be a less dirty word these days.

    However, I think it’s time for Bernie to move over and let someone else run with those ideas. People close to him have some very problematic attitudes / behaviours towards women. Also he is Too Old (as is Biden, for that matter).
  • Gee D wrote: »
    And his candidacy may well backfire, garnering the support of a young group of people who will spend their energy on his failed candidacy and then not support the actual nominee.

    Ralph Nader's past candidacy comes to mind.



  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Also younger voters in particular, who don’t directly remember the Cold War, have less of a knee-jerk “Socialism = Communism = the antithesis of Americanism” reaction. It’s getting to be a less dirty word these days.

    The Republicans can take some credit for that, too. They've started calling everything they don't like "socialism", so to anyone younger than 30 or so socialism is why their grandparents get a retirement check, why they now have health insurance, and why public education exists. Looked at from that perspective, why wouldn't "socialism" seem great?
  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    edited February 20
    I don't quite understand this Berniemania, although I like many of his policies.

    Bernie Sanders has consistently been saying more or less the same things for the whole of his political life. Other brands may be viewed as rather less consistent, and so even though their wind might be blowing your way this week, there's no guarantee that the wind won't change again.

    He has the same kind of principled outsider appeal that Jeremy Corbyn had. There are quite a lot of similarities between the two men, as far as I can see.

    Is Bernie like Jeremy Corbyn? He's a long-standing outsider on the left, but did Bernie ever have Trotskyite political roots? Bernie likes to bash billionaires and the rigged system, but has he ever proposed large-scale nationalizations other than of the healthcare system and other radical remaking of the economy in a socialist way? Despite having shown some warm feelings towards Castro (or at least Cuban achievements in healthcare and medicine) (and hey, half my family is Cuban and they HATE Castro, so I get why this is bad), has he associated himself with anti-democratic or terrorist elements? Has Bernie repeatedly associated with antisemites? Is Bernie willing to throw his country under the bus in terms of something like Brexit in order to gain political points that could help him get into power?

    I'm genuinely asking these questions. I don't know enough to answer them with certainty. Maybe I'm wrong about Corbyn, too.

    Bernie is a populist with pie-in-the-sky ideas and few specifics (in the context of getting there from the current American system, not in terms of how popular they are or how successful they may be in other countries). The most ardent of his supporters have built a cult of personality around him, can be frighteningly in lockstep at times, and look at everyone else with a suspicion that sometimes verges on conspiracy theories (although, in the case of the DNC working with Hillary's campaign and trying to undermine Bernie, those suspicions turned out to be true). However, there are plenty of people who voted for him in the primary in 2016 for policy reasons while acknowledging his faults and went on to enthusiastically support Hillary in the general election (myself included).
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Golden Key wrote: »
    Gee D wrote: »
    And his candidacy may well backfire, garnering the support of a young group of people who will spend their energy on his failed candidacy and then not support the actual nominee.

    Ralph Nader's past candidacy comes to mind.



    Yes, very much so.
  • I think Bernie can take some credit for moving many in the Democratic party significantly to the left on issues like socialised medicine. ...

    I think the main reason for the shift is the success of Obamacare, and Pelosi should get most of the credit for that. Without the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, they wouldn't be talking about Medicare-for-all now. All that was accomplished via the legislative sausage-making process involving government, insurers, employers, health care providers, and pretty much everybody and their dog, not with policy dreams and personal stardust.

    But hey, who am I kidding? Sanders is going to suck all the oxygen out of the Democratic primaries, he won't get the nomination because he's not a Democrat and never has been, and he and his followers will fuck the eventual Democratic nominee over again and re-elect Trump.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    So I gather you're neither in the glass-is-half-full group nor in the glass-is-half-empty one, but are instead wondering why the damn glass is twice as big as it needs to be?
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