Break Glass - 2020 USA Elections

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  • Conversation on Steve Cobert show

    Steve to guest. Do you know how many democrats will be running for president?

    Guest I have no idea but I can tell you it will begin with 2.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    There is no minority or female in current contention and in the current state of their campaign/feeling-out-the-possiblities who can beat Trump. The most viable choices, at the moment, are Bernie and Biden.²

    <snip>

    A reasonable interpretation of this could be you are more interested in making some personal points than actually engaging with mine. You have been here long enough, and interacted with me on a sufficient number of threads to understand how ridiculous this is.

    I am engaging your point. I'm questioning your assertion that Joe Biden (or Bernie Sanders) is Jonny Unbeatable,
    Again with the bullshit hyperbolic misrepresentation.
    and that Americans won't vote for a woman or anyone who isn't white, despite the fact that the top vote-getters in past three presidential elections were a woman and a black man.
    More the the same, I would say talk to the hand, but it wants no more of wherever you are blowing that out of than the ear does.
    your omission of Kirsten Gillibrand from any analysis whatsoever seems like quite the oversight.
    Miss walk it back when challenged? I'm not so sure. She isn't even fully committed to run and she is already re-framing something she shouldn't need to. It doesn't give me confidence.
    Whoever runs needs to be no compromise. Evaluation of a statement is fine, but backing down isn't.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    lilbuddha, why don't you see Kamala Harris getting elected?
  • Ruth wrote: »
    lilbuddha, why don't you see Kamala Harris getting elected?
    In part, because she is black and female. Whilst those are not completely insurmountable obstacles, they do strip some support, especially in this particular political climate.
    She is too far right to gain the Bernie-bots' approval, even should he not run. Her record contains some inconsistencies that should not be candidacy killers in any real sense, but have to be dealt with to begin to satisfy the lefties.
    Right now, she isn't the candidate you are looking for.
    She could be, but not as it stands.
    In General:
    The party active are too divided and the voters want someone who can defeat Trump. The disconnect will cause failure if it is not addressed. If, out of the chaos that is almost guaranteed in the Democratic candidacies, a strong contender arises; the rest of the Dems and Independents must stand behind them. This bullshit voting for principles is going to sink opposition to Trump.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Ruth wrote: »
    lilbuddha, why don't you see Kamala Harris getting elected?
    In part, because she is black and female. Whilst those are not completely insurmountable obstacles, they do strip some support, especially in this particular political climate.

    If Harris were expected to court Republican voters, I might agree with this assessment. Given the current state of that party however, any Democratic candidate who seems to be courting votes from that side of the aisle is going to lose. For the Democrats, for many independents, her being black and female (as well as her public statements) are positives. Republicans are unlikely to vote for Democrats (though they might vote against any tRumpish Repugnican) no matter what they say or do. There's no need for Democrats to attempt appeasement.




  • Ohher wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Ruth wrote: »
    lilbuddha, why don't you see Kamala Harris getting elected?
    In part, because she is black and female. Whilst those are not completely insurmountable obstacles, they do strip some support, especially in this particular political climate.

    If Harris were expected to court Republican voters, I might agree with this assessment. Given the current state of that party however, any Democratic candidate who seems to be courting votes from that side of the aisle is going to lose. For the Democrats, for many independents, her being black and female (as well as her public statements) are positives. Republicans are unlikely to vote for Democrats (though they might vote against any tRumpish Repugnican) no matter what they say or do. There's no need for Democrats to attempt appeasement.
    Democrat is a label, not a position. Democrat ≠ liberal, egalitarian or progressive. Independent means only that. Independent of established parties. Democrats voted for Trump.
    And forgetting the DINOcracts,* Harris doesn't appeal to the liberal Dems. Bernietards stripped voted from Clinton. They will strip voted from Harris. They and others like them.
    A fractured Democratic Party will lose the election. Whoever leads must garner support from enough of the different factions.

    *Democratic In Name Only
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Democrat is a label, not a position. Democrat ≠ liberal, egalitarian or progressive. Independent means only that. Independent of established parties. Democrats voted for Trump.
    With respect, I think you underestimate the extent to which the average US voter allies with labels. While it's certainly not true of all voters, many people are "Democrat" or "Republican" in much the same unreflective way that they identify as Protestant or Catholic -- because their families of origin answered to those labels. They pay modest attention to politics every 4 years for the last 2-3 months of the election cycle (much like they attend church, but only on Christmas and Easter), and otherwise are not much engaged -- that is, in normal times, where we are not currently living.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    And forgetting the DINOcracts,* Harris doesn't appeal to the liberal Dems. Bernietards stripped voted from Clinton. They will strip voted from Harris. They and others like them.
    I also think you underestimate the extent to which the events of the last two years has affected the more engaged voters of the Democratic Party. I don't see the sharp divisions among Dems that you do. Who are these "DINOcrats?" And don't you imagine that the "Bernietards," as you style them, have figured out how this election game works now and will behave differently in 2020?
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    A fractured Democratic Party will lose the election. Whoever leads must garner support from enough of the different factions.
    Well, obviously. But I think the factionalism you claim to see is not as substantial an issue as you suggest, and the coming year will see much of this worked out. A larger problemis the fact that the Dems have not put sufficient effort into developing a stronger bench among younger up-and-comers. Bernie, Chuck and Nancy need to make more room for the newbies to cut a figure. The harder task, in my view, will be finding and getting behind a candidate with sufficient name recognition, a persuasive narrative, some solid experience, charisma, and the ability to move voters out from in front of the TV and into the voting booth.

  • Ohher wrote: »
    I also think you underestimate the extent to which the events of the last two years has affected the more engaged voters of the Democratic Party. I don't see the sharp divisions among Dems that you do.

    One of the most popular narratives in American politics is "Dems in Disarray!" :scream: This story will be told no matter what the circumstances, kind of like Republicans will say the answer to any problem is "tax cuts". Here are a couple of examples from recent history.

    2008 - Republicans quickly unite behind John McCain while Democrats have a protracted primary fight between Obama and Clinton that will leave the party exhausted for the general election. Dems in disarray!

    2012 - Obama cruises to an easy re-nomination leaving him soft and unprepared, while the contested primary will leave eventual Republican nominee Romney sharpened and ready for the general election. Dems in disarray!

    2016 - The many Republican contenders for the presidential nomination represent a "deep bench" from which an exceptionally competent and talented candidate will emerge, while the Democrats' field of 5 3 2 is ossified and distressingly white. Dems in disarray!

    2020 preview - Trump cruises to an easy re-nomination leaving him rested and well prepared for the campaign, while the many Democratic contenders show how "fractured" and "splintering" the party is, not to mention distressingly non-white. Dems in disarray!!!
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    To Croesos's post, I'll just add: whose "disarray" won Presidential elections in in 2008 and 2012? Whose "disarray" won the popular vote in 2016, and turned the House blue in 2018?

    As someone who has voted Democratic for the last 50 years, has served a Democratic term in her state's legislature, and meets monthly with her city Democratic committee, I don't see "disarray." I see ferment and ideas and possibilities. All the disarray I see is in the other party, much of it currently originating in the Oval Office.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    2016 - The many Republican contenders for the presidential nomination represent a "deep bench" from which an exceptionally competent and talented candidate will emerge, while the Democrats' field of 5 3 2 is ossified and distressingly white. Dems in disarray!
    Actually, the early mentions were Repubs in disarray. And they kind of were, there was no one who was a strong contender. Just a few milquetoast, tainted and/or odd candidates. Everyone was waiting for a strong¹ candidate, but no one was prepared for the freakshow that emerged. In any normal election year, they would have lost.
    2020 preview - Trump cruises to an easy re-nomination leaving him rested and well prepared for the campaign, while the many Democratic contenders show how "fractured" and "splintering" the party is, not to mention distressingly non-white. Dems in disarray!!!
    There are various factors in who will win, but a divided base isn't typically an indicator of an advantage.
    So tell me, oh guru, why did Clinton lose?* She was well more qualified, sane and in line with what benefits the majority of Americans; Democrat, Republican or Independent. She was running against an almost literal clown who never defined his actual policies beyond, "hiring the right people".
    She should have crushed Trump. Despite the measly 2.1 percent advantage in the popular vote, she didn't. She LOST.

    Competency does not win elections. Reason does not win elections. Being the candidate that will best represent a particular person doesn't garner that person's vote.

    Other than Biden, Sanders and, possibly Warren (The Three Pensioneers), I don't see what does in any other candidate currently.


    *Don't give me the rubbish popular vote ego salve. She. LOST.
    ¹Strong ≠ qualifications
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    So tell me, oh guru, why did Clinton lose?

    I've already answered this question twice, but maybe the third time's the charm! Since you apparently don't like following provided hyperlinks I'll reproduce my previous bullet-pointed answer in full.
    Crœsos wrote: »
    [ Trump ] had a very fluky, razor thin minority victory dependent upon, in no particular order:
    • Russian hacking
    • A very loose approach to campaign finance laws
    • A last minute assist from the Director of the FBI
    • A press that's been negatively obsessed with Hillary Clinton for a quarter century

    It seems like folly to assume that all of these conditions will persist and be as important in the 2020 election.

    All these working in concert were apparently necessary to propel Trump to a victory* that came down to less than 100,000 votes scattered across three states. Assuming that all four will be present in 2020 and that they'll be just as effective as they were in 2016 seems a dubious assumption at best, particularly bullet point 3.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    ...She should have crushed Trump. Despite the measly 2.1 percent advantage in the popular vote, she didn't. She LOST. ...
    She did. I suspect that Mr. Comey and the Russians had something to do with that, though. (I am not a fan of Clintonian entitlement, but I held my nose and voted for her.)



  • Crœsos wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    So tell me, oh guru, why did Clinton lose?

    I've already answered this question twice, but maybe the third time's the charm! Since you apparently don't like following provided hyperlinks I'll reproduce my previous bullet-pointed answer in full.
    Crœsos wrote: »
    [ Trump ] had a very fluky, razor thin minority victory dependent upon, in no particular order:
    • Russian hacking
    • A very loose approach to campaign finance laws
    • A last minute assist from the Director of the FBI
    • A press that's been negatively obsessed with Hillary Clinton for a quarter century

    It seems like folly to assume that all of these conditions will persist and be as important in the 2020 election.

    All these working in concert were apparently necessary to propel Trump to a victory* that came down to less than 100,000 votes scattered across three states. Assuming that all four will be present in 2020 and that they'll be just as effective as they were in 2016 seems a dubious assumption at best, particularly bullet point 3.
    Bullet point three is dubious.
    Why would you assume bullet point 1 not to happen? Even should the government sites be sufficiently hardened, something dubious IME and IMO, social media has proven to be less than effective at policing itself.
    Have campaign finance laws improved?
    Bullet point 4 won't be an issue. However, if the most qualified presidential candidate in a long time couldn't defeat a racist joke, then what chance do lesser folk have?
  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    ...She should have crushed Trump. Despite the measly 2.1 percent advantage in the popular vote, she didn't. She LOST. ...
    She did. I suspect that Mr. Comey and the Russians had something to do with that, though. (I am not a fan of Clintonian entitlement, but I held my nose and voted for her.)
    Yes they did. But a sound ship can take a few hits. One with the gunwale just above the waterline has a harder time.

    In a rational world, Clinton would have buried Trump. I seriously doubt the world is any more rational now than it was then.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Crœsos wrote: »
    I've already answered this question twice, but maybe the third time's the charm! Since you apparently don't like following provided hyperlinks I'll reproduce my previous bullet-pointed answer in full.
    Crœsos wrote: »
    [ Trump ] had a very fluky, razor thin minority victory dependent upon, in no particular order:
    • Russian hacking
    • A very loose approach to campaign finance laws
    • A last minute assist from the Director of the FBI
    • A press that's been negatively obsessed with Hillary Clinton for a quarter century

    It seems like folly to assume that all of these conditions will persist and be as important in the 2020 election.

    All these working in concert were apparently necessary to propel Trump to a victory* that came down to less than 100,000 votes scattered across three states. Assuming that all four will be present in 2020 and that they'll be just as effective as they were in 2016 seems a dubious assumption at best, particularly bullet point 3.
    Bullet point three is dubious.

    Well, who can argue with the rigorously documented and thoroughly argued position of "Nuh-uh"? As the linked article points out the Comey letter differs from most of the other factors affecting the 2016 presidential election in that it was a single, discrete event for which we have very good "before" and "after" polling data available. In other words, it's about as good a natural experiment as you can find in political science. As 538 points out, the letter seems to have depressed Clinton's margin of support in swing states by about three percentage points. Given that a swing of even a single percentage point in vote margin in Clinton's favor (vs. the recorded election night results) would have resulted in a 2016 Clinton victory it seems a fuller explanation of why America's most trusted law enforcement official publicly calling one presidential candidate a crook two weeks before election day (during a time when early voting was already underway in many states) wouldn't really influence anyone's vote should be more thoroughly and explicitly argued.

    tl;dr - show your work!
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Why would you assume bullet point 1 not to happen? Even should the government sites be sufficiently hardened, something dubious IME and IMO, social media has proven to be less than effective at policing itself.

    One of the big Russian efforts on social media in 2016 was depressing the African-American vote. Given the low turnouts in the predominantly African-American portions of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Florida, it's at least arguable that this effort, when combined with everything else, was decisive. This social media campaign was an ongoing effort so there's no clear before-and-after polling like there is with the effect of the Comey letter, but the exceptional turnout in the 2018 mid-terms indicates that future "don't bother voting, it doesn't matter" social media campaigns will have a harder time. Yes, as you point out mid-terms are not an exact proxy for presidential support, but 2018 was probably the mid-term most focused on presidential politics since at least 1974. The idea that a Russian 'bot campaign will be just as effective in 2020 as it was in 2016 is something that cannot simply be assumed.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Have campaign finance laws improved?

    No, but given that Michael Cohen will still be in prison on Election Day 2020 there may be a lot fewer folks in the Trump 2020 campaign willing to take on those duties. Once again, if you're going to assume that this kind of object lesson has no effect whatsoever you need to make that argument explicitly.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Bullet point 4 won't be an issue. However, if the most qualified presidential candidate in a long time couldn't defeat a racist joke, then what chance do lesser folk have?
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    But a sound ship can take a few hits.

    I'm not sure having the media coverage of America's first female major party presidential nominee dictated by the likes of Matt Lauer and Mark Halperin counts as more than just "a few hits". At any rate, those specific individuals will not be an issue in the 2020 election.
  • The Comey letter was only a factor because the race was closer than sanity would indicate.
    The 2018 Midterms were much more local where issues more transparently affecting voters influenced voting.
    Thinking that social media meddling won't be an influence is an assumption as well.
    People tend to filter through confirmation bias rather than through objective thinking. So that people are aware of meddling does not mean that they will not be influenced by that meddling.
    You are looking at this as if people vote by logic and reason and that is just mental.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    lilbuddha, with all respect, please back off. It's my (possibly incorrect) belief that you are commenting on US politics from a non-US background. I believe your remarks are motivated by a passionate, sincere, and urgent concern about the vandals currently in power in Washington, and your real fear (shared by many) that these vandals may retain that power post-election in 2020.

    First, it’s important that we all acknowledge none of us, Croesos included, really has a clue what WILL happen. We only know what we WANT to happen.

    Second – and here I’m out on a limb – I suspect your grasp of US politics is probably superior to that of many Americans. That said, I also suspect that your grasp is somewhat skewed by experience with the way things work on your side of the pond. The practicalities of coalition-building among multiple powers in a parliamentary system are simply going to differ from the practicalities of passing legislation in a two-party system. I don’t claim one type of governance is superior (at least when they’re functioning normally, which neither the US’s nor the UK’s seems to be doing at the moment, but . . .) to the other, but they obviously operate differently. I also suspect that you’re not making allowances for the substantial cultural and educational differences between the US and other parts of the developed world.

    Third – from the spiritual tradition which I am guessing is close to your heart, I would ask if what you’re posting here – whatever motivates it – is a.) True; b.) Necessary; and c.) Kind?

    I’m not worried about a.) I do worry that, although the picture you paint may be truthful, it’s also incomplete. Here are a few things that give me hope:

    Digital subscriptions to major newspapers went up 47% during Trump’s first year in office.
    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/01/circulation-and-revenue-fall-for-newspaper-industry/

    Voters are engaged. The midterm turnout was the highest in a century for a midterm. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/11/19/18103110/2018-midterm-elections-turnout

    Independent bookstores are thriving
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/once-endangered-bookstores-are-booming-again/

    The midterms were not hacked.
    https://www.npr.org/2018/12/27/678631047/the-2018-midterms-werent-hacked-what-does-that-mean-for-2020

    Again, I don’t question your intentions; I think you’re motivated by genuine concern (and for some, like the Kurds, possibly panic) shared by many both within and outside the US. I’m less persuaded that your dire predictions are helpful or necessary or likely to produce either compassion or change.
  • @Ohher
    I am concerned for the United States, but also everyone else. What happens in America affects everywhere else, so it is everyone's business.
    This is a discussion forum, so I am not phrasing things softly, but the underlying message has to do with understanding how people think and act and that isn't as different on a fundamental level, not across similar cultures especially.
    And the world is at peril more and more.
    This is important.
  • LB, I haven't read all of every post in the above series. Disunity does indeed kill governments in the Westminster System under which we both live (I think you're British). Tough policy arguments are meant to be carried out internally, so that the Party presents an agreed or imposed position for its members to support. There is strict party discipline, which means that if you cross the floor or otherwise dispute the party position, you risk the imposition of penalties, including expulsion. People in the ALP hold grudges, and they will let you know about them. It is not for nothing that people in a particular faction in Victoria are still known as the Tomato-throwing Left. I explain a little for those who might not be familiar, not you.

    When we look at America, especially if we haven't paid attention to their national politics before, it is easy to think that they are in an absolute mess. There's no party discipline, they let just about anyone run under their banner, people vote different ways on stuff all the time, and everyone seems to be pursuing their own agenda, rather than the agreed party agenda. They also seem to have limited control over their membership, and who ends up in their caucus.

    LB, you and I are no longer surprised by this poor political discipline and the heterodox views of people in the same party. But I reckon our Westminster perspective still operates on us, and I'd suggest that where obviously competent and well-intentioned Americans of the same broad political mind are saying that our analysis has flaws, our analysis has flaws.


  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    LB, you and I are no longer surprised by this poor political discipline and the heterodox views of people in the same party. But I reckon our Westminster perspective still operates on us, and I'd suggest that where obviously competent and well-intentioned Americans of the same broad political mind are saying that our analysis has flaws, our analysis has flaws.
    To start, I will make it clear that I do not actually think I know everything and always have the correct view, though it can appear this way.
    That said, analysis of a situation is most thorough when looked at from both outside and inside.
    Creosos says DT won by a razor thin margin of electoral votes and lost the popular vote.
    I say he flat out won by garnering more support than those broad political minds thought he would.
    Both are true and both are factors in assessing a strategy to keep DT at one term.

    Adding: This is not a game and there are no outsiders to what happens in it.
  • Simon Toad wrote: »

    ...
    When we look at America, especially if we haven't paid attention to their national politics before, it is easy to think that they are in an absolute mess. There's no party discipline, they let just about anyone run under their banner, people vote different ways on stuff all the time, and everyone seems to be pursuing their own agenda, rather than the agreed party agenda. They also seem to have limited control over their membership, and who ends up in their caucus. ...

    Back in the last century, that back-and-forth led to productive, working compromises, and there were conservative Democrats and progressive Republicans. Those days seem over, with every issue becoming an all-or-nothing, winner-take-all campaign. The fact that REPUBLICANS still control the Senate and the House but cannot agree on a budget bill the REPUBLICAN president will sign shows they can't even compromise among themselves anymore, let alone with the Democrats.

    It's not all dismal - there are many fine elected legislators who work very hard to create bipartisan legislation, but those efforts don't make for awesome campaign ads; in fact, they can be fodder for nasty attack ads.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    @Ohher
    I am concerned for the United States, but also everyone else. What happens in America affects everywhere else, so it is everyone's business.
    I quite agree, and so do most of the Americans I know. We're all frightened too. We do understand what's at stake -- a fuller idea than, apparently, our alleged president. But short of armed uprising against our government, what do you propose we do? We have a system of governmental checks and balances which our Republican lawmakers and Cabinet are refusing to employ.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    This is a discussion forum,
    I know; I'm not sure why you think I need to be reminded of this. But predicting Trump's near-certain 2020 victory if the Democrats don't immediately unite -- is that a discussion? What would you propose that I, a lone elderly New Englander, do to effect this unification (beyond my usual letters to editors, meeting with local party leaders, etc.)? What should Croesos do? I'm not running for President and doubt Croesos is. As for unifying Democrats, I refer you to American humorist Will Rogers, who is often quoted as saying "I'm not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat." He said that to be funny, but it's also an accurate reflection of what it means to be a Democrat in US politics.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    . . . so I am not phrasing things softly
    Nor am I asking you to. What I AM asking is that, before you make such alarmist predictions, consider taking more complete stock of the situation you're making predictions about. This President's approval rating currently stands at 39%. The Mueller investigation seems to be closing in on Trump's business dealings with Russia. While this may provide Trump with an incentive to run again in hope of escaping indictment, it seems just as likely that Trump may concoct a deal with Pence for a pardon and then resign. His own party is unhappy with him over Syria and this shutdown; he's jeopardizing Republican support for reps and senators, and they know it. From where I sit, the odds of Trump winning a second term look dim (though not, alas, impossible), and there's some chance he won't complete this term. Short of another stealth campaign of dirty tricks, hacking by hostile foreign powers, and/or military coup, of course.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    but the underlying message has to do with understanding how people think and act and that isn't as different on a fundamental level, not across similar cultures especially.
    Anyone who has paid even passing attention to US politics in the last half-century is well aware that people do not vote with reason or logic. In 2016, a disappointing numbers of voters voted on the basis of a systematic, well-funded, widespread campaign of DISinformation targeting Hilary Clinton, much of it spread on Facebook and similar platforms. I have in-laws -- liberal, educated, reasonable -- with whom I cannot even mention the name of Hilary Clinton in conversation any more because they swallowed so much unadulterated CRAP about her in the 2016 campaign.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    And the world is at peril more and more.
    This is important.

    Again, I agree. Nowhere have I suggested otherwise. I am as frightened about what's going on in the White House and the Congress and the (currently inoperative) government as I have ever been, including the Cuban missile crisis.

    You will notice, though, that despite hanging in suspense with the real possibility of being imminently atomized back in 1962, I and many others are all still here.

  • Simon Toad wrote: »

    ...
    When we look at America, especially if we haven't paid attention to their national politics before, it is easy to think that they are in an absolute mess. There's no party discipline, they let just about anyone run under their banner, people vote different ways on stuff all the time, and everyone seems to be pursuing their own agenda, rather than the agreed party agenda. They also seem to have limited control over their membership, and who ends up in their caucus. ...

    Back in the last century, that back-and-forth led to productive, working compromises, and there were conservative Democrats and progressive Republicans. Those days seem over, with every issue becoming an all-or-nothing, winner-take-all campaign. The fact that REPUBLICANS still control the Senate and the House but cannot agree on a budget bill the REPUBLICAN president will sign shows they can't even compromise among themselves anymore, let alone with the Democrats.

    It's not all dismal - there are many fine elected legislators who work very hard to create bipartisan legislation, but those efforts don't make for awesome campaign ads; in fact, they can be fodder for nasty attack ads.

    I'm not seeking to criticise the American system, but portray the perspective of a naive observer used to strong party discipline looking at the way it operates. In the past, chafing under the deadening effect of the Westminster System and its illiberal imposition of an agreed party platform, I have looked at the American way of doing things with longing. This was particularly so in the 1980's and '90's, when our labor party began a programme of conservative economic reforms.
  • Back in the last century, that back-and-forth led to productive, working compromises, and there were conservative Democrats and progressive Republicans.

    Mid-twentieth century bipartisanship was an artifact of regionalism. For about a century after the American Civil War there were a large number of conservative Southerners who were Democrats because Lincoln freed the slaves. There were also a large number of socially liberal, fiscally moderate Northerners who were Republicans for largely the same reason. Thus you had American politics of the early and mid-twentieth century breaking down not just along partisan Democrat-Republican lines, you sometimes had it breaking down along regional Northern-Southern lines. For example, regional origin was a much better predictor of where politicians would come down on things like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Voting Rights Act of 1965 than party affiliation was.

    This started to break down with Nixon's embrace of the Southern Strategy, using coded phrases like "Law and Order", which was a way to signal "Keeping the N-[ clang ] In Their Place" to white Southern Democrats disaffected with their party's then-recent support of civil rights. One of the big factions in the 1980 and 1984 elections were so-called "Reagan Democrats", which was a politer way of referring to former Dixiecrats who had supported folks like Strom Thurmond and George Wallace in the past. Today Reagan Democrats are simply referred to as "Republicans".

    I'm not sure that eliminating that regional axis in American politics was necessarily a bad thing. Preserving it at the cost of civil rights would certainly have been a bad thing from my perspective.
  • Ohher wrote: »
    But predicting Trump's near-certain 2020 victory if the Democrats don't immediately unite -- is that a discussion?
    It is a reaction to the idea that breaking down a candidate's fitness for doing the job means anything. It is a reaction to the idea that voting for the person actually most fit for the job is the way to forward one's agenda.
    What would you propose that I, a lone elderly New Englander, do to effect this unification (beyond my usual letters to editors, meeting with local party leaders, etc.)? What should Croesos do?
    Vote with a clear and practical idea to move forward. Choose the candidate with the best chance, not the one with the best policy, because anyone running under the Democratic banner is bound to be better than the alternative.

    The idea that an individual can do nothing is incorrect and what those in power prefer you to believe. Civil Right and Women's Suffrage were won because individuals came together to be a force to be reckoned with. Whilst agendas are more a mixed group in this situation, the common cause of ending Trump's tenure should be predominate. There will be no perfect candidate to completely satisfy everyone and the idea that fighting for one's own agenda is more important than actually electing anyone to office who might further that same agenda, even if it is to a lesser degree than hoped, is madness.
  • What worries me about settling for a (very) imperfect candidate is that this is exactly what so many evangelicals did with Trump. At least, from their point of view.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Exactly, LC.
  • What worries me about settling for a (very) imperfect candidate is that this is exactly what so many evangelicals did with Trump. At least, from their point of view.
    There is a difference between an unqualified fool and a qualified, but less than perfect candidate.
    So go ahead, vote for your Green Party candidate or your unknown Democratic candidate. They will not get elected. I didn't make your system and I don't control how people vote.
    And seriously, who in the running for the Democratic party are you equating with Trump?
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    So go ahead, vote for your Green Party candidate or your unknown Democratic candidate. They will not get elected.

    I was going to say that by the time the California primary is held the unknown Democratic candidates will have been forced out already, but then I thought I'd look it up to see how late to the party we're going to be. Lo and behold, the legislature and governor quietly moved the 2020 California primary clear back to March 3. Holy crow, my vote might be relevant. ::fans self::

    For reasons Croesus has already ennumerated on the first page of this thread, I don't buy the notion that the Dems must nominate a white guy. I think that a non-white and/or non-guy person could do better than Hillary Clinton did because they wouldn't have her negatives, which would have been historic were it not for Trump's (Gallup says her 52% unfavorable rating was second only to Trump's whopping 61%).

    Biden is not going to be a great candidate. If he were a great candidate, he'd have been one by now.

    I think that if Cory Booker can wow Iowans he should be taken seriously. Even if he does come out of Newark. Ditto Ditto Kamala Harris.

    As for choosing the candidate with the best chance ... that's how we ended up with Bill Clinton. (Who was, let me remind you, largely unknown on the national stage until he decided to run for president.) Clinton gave us don't ask-don't tell, the Defense of Marriage Act, welfare "reform," and the crime bill that led to the mass incarceration we have today. Not to mention the fact that he couldn't keep his pants zipped. All because the Democrats decided they had to have a centrist, someone I first heard of when he came to Orange County, California, where I lived at the time, to court Republican money. Who could we have had instead? Jerry Brown.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Crœsos says DT won by a razor thin margin of electoral votes and lost the popular vote.
    I say he flat out won by garnering more support than those broad political minds thought he would.
    Both are true and both are factors in assessing a strategy to keep DT at one term.

    Trump's support is a lot less broad than is commonly assumed. Yes, he has more support for being president than I, for example, might have, but his support is low by the standards of past presidents. Even by the standards of past presidential losers it's not that great. He got a smaller percentage of the popular vote (46.1%) than Mitt Romney (47.2%). I'm not sure that his support has improved with incumbency.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Ruth wrote: »
    For reasons Croesus has already ennumerated on the first page of this thread, I don't buy the notion that the Dems must nominate a white guy. I think that a non-white and/or non-guy person could do better than Hillary Clinton did because they wouldn't have her negatives, which would have been historic were it not for Trump's (Gallup says her 52% unfavorable rating was second only to Trump's whopping 61%).

    Biden is not going to be a great candidate. If he were a great candidate, he'd have been one by now.

    I think that if Cory Booker can wow Iowans he should be taken seriously. Even if he does come out of Newark. Ditto Ditto Kamala Harris.

    As for choosing the candidate with the best chance ... that's how we ended up with Bill Clinton. (Who was, let me remind you, largely unknown on the national stage until he decided to run for president.) Clinton gave us don't ask-don't tell, the Defense of Marriage Act, welfare "reform," and the crime bill that led to the mass incarceration we have today. Not to mention the fact that he couldn't keep his pants zipped. All because the Democrats decided they had to have a centrist, someone I first heard of when he came to Orange County, California, where I lived at the time, to court Republican money. Who could we have had instead? Jerry Brown.

    What Ruth said.

    I'll go further: I actually think that a "non-white and/or non-guy person" -- provided s/he offers smarts, pizazz, and some sane policy positions (Isolationism? Seriously? In Century 21?) has a better chance of beating the next Republican candidate (who may, after all, not be Trump). If that's racist/sexist, then it is -- but it's lilbuddha's point that voters operate more on emotion than on reason, and if Trump's done anything for this country, it's to give US voters a gagworthy crawful of white-guy entitlement-ism (look at the tantrum he's pitching right now). Plus US demographics continue to shift PoC-ward.

    If young Democrats continue to vote in the kinds of numbers evidenced in the midterms, even the Repugs' gerrymandering and voter suppression may not save them.

  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Donald Trump is not heading up some electoral juggernaut. He had a very fluky, razor thin minority victory dependent upon, in no particular order:
    • Russian hacking
    • A very loose approach to campaign finance laws
    • A last minute assist from the Director of the FBI
    • A press that's been negatively obsessed with Hillary Clinton for a quarter century

    It seems like folly to assume that all of these conditions will persist and be as important in the 2020 election.
    I'm much less sure of this than you. First, I don't think the razor-thin edge is fluky, this is basically a given in US politics where differences are always small. Not a lot is being done against Russian hacking. They may have backed off a bit in the 2018 midterms, but that could have been a strategic temporary retreat. Nothing has changed with regards to campaign finance. And the GOP will double down on negative obsession with any Dem candidate. They're already starting with Harris and Warren.

    More important than all of this is that Trump is the incumbent, and that's a big advantage in the US. For these reasons, Trump is the favourite to win in 2020.

  • Ohher wrote: »
    Isolationism? Seriously? In Century 21?

    Trump is not an isolationist, he's an imperialist. His foreign policy, to the extent that it's coherent, seems to be based on the idea of wrecking the current system of alliances and replacing it with some kind of tributary system where other nations pay "protection money" to the U.S.
  • Ruth wrote: »
    For reasons Croesus has already ennumerated on the first page of this thread, I don't buy the notion that the Dems must nominate a white guy.
    I never said this. The closet thing I did say is that, currently, the two people with the best chance are white guys. Females and people of colour are starting at a deficit in America. Not necessarily an insurmountable one, but there are votes they will not get and others that they have to fight harder for.
    I think that if Cory Booker can wow Iowans he should be taken seriously. Even if he does come out of Newark. Ditto Ditto Kamala Harris.
    I like both Booker and Harris. But they have not yet reached a point where they can defeat Trump. They might by the time of nomination. But part of what makes any candidate capable is the support of a massive majority of the Democratic voters. So they have several hurdles to clear before either is viable.
    As for choosing the candidate with the best chance ... that's how we ended up with Bill Clinton. (Who was, let me remind you, largely unknown on the national stage until he decided to run for president.) Clinton gave us don't ask-don't tell, the Defense of Marriage Act, welfare "reform," and the crime bill that led to the mass incarceration we have today. Not to mention the fact that he couldn't keep his pants zipped. All because the Democrats decided they had to have a centrist, someone I first heard of when he came to Orange County, California, where I lived at the time, to court Republican money. Who could we have had instead? Jerry Brown.
    Though Clinton was obviously no prize, he was better than Trump is.
    You are looking for the person who will be the best president. I am advocating whoever has the best chance to out Trump. Any current Democratic candidate is better, but not any has a chance to get in.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    Ohher wrote: »
    Isolationism? Seriously? In Century 21?

    Trump is not an isolationist, he's an imperialist. His foreign policy, to the extent that it's coherent, seems to be based on the idea of wrecking the current system of alliances and replacing it with some kind of tributary system where other nations pay "protection money" to the U.S.
    And that plays to more people than just his assumed base. It is an unfortunate world-wide trned at the moment.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    If only there were some process by which the Democrats could compare different candidates and pick the one they think will do the best.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    You are looking for the person who will be the best president. I am advocating whoever has the best chance to out Trump. Any current Democratic candidate is better, but not any has a chance to get in.

    So who do you think the Democrats should nominate? Biden? Sanders? Neither of them is exciting enough to enough people to motivate turn-out, especially considering that getting black people to turn out in large numbers is key to electing a Democrat to the White House.

    And yeah, at this point, almost two full years prior to the next presidential election, asking which candidates might be good at the job is a good question to ask. Having the potential to be good at the job is part of being electable on the Democratic side. It is far too early in the game for us to be at the "hold my nose and vote for the old white guy who can beat Trump" stage. Let's see who goes to Iowa and New Hampshire in the next 6-8 months, and attracts money and good staff. Let's see if Trump gets primaried and thus becomes a weaker candidate, and if that happens let's also take a look at what messages appeal to those voting for the challenger.

    We can get cynical and crusty and pragmatic and hard-headed when we get closer to November 2020. But now is the time to dream.
  • Dafyd wrote: »
    If only there were some process by which the Democrats could compare different candidates and pick the one they think will do the best.
    There is such a process and it is the problem. People pick those who they think will do the best job. Not necessarily those who have a chance of actually getting the job.
  • Ruth wrote: »

    We can get cynical and crusty and pragmatic and hard-headed when we get closer to November 2020. But now is the time to dream.
    No, part of my point is that there is no time to dream. Wet-dreams about Sanders helped sink Clinton. Were enough people actually pragmatic, Trump would not be president.

  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    There is such a process and it is the problem. People pick those who they think will do the best job. Not necessarily those who have a chance of actually getting the job.

    In the American political system any major party presidential nominee has a non-trivial chance of becoming president.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    There is such a process and it is the problem. People pick those who they think will do the best job. Not necessarily those who have a chance of actually getting the job.

    In the American political system any major party presidential nominee has a non-trivial chance of becoming president.
    Hence Trump. Enjoy another 4 years.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    People pick those who they think will do the best job.

    Some people do. Other people pick the person they identify with the most or like the most.

    Still wondering which candidate you think Democrats should vote for in the primaries.

    Two years from the 2020 presidential and there's not time to dream? Bullshit. There's time to dream. The problem with the Sanders voters wasn't that they were dreamers, it was that they kept right on dreaming too long. But right now, when people are testing the waters and most of the potential candidates haven't announced yet, this is the time to think about what we really want in the next presidential candidate. Electability is important, yes. But people can make themselves electable - they can craft their images and learn how to get their messages out. I for one actually give a shit what their messages are.
  • LeRoc wrote: »
    I'm much less sure of this than you. First, I don't think the razor-thin edge is fluky, this is basically a given in US politics where differences are always small. Not a lot is being done against Russian hacking. They may have backed off a bit in the 2018 midterms, but that could have been a strategic temporary retreat.

    I agree - I think the jury is out on how effective this was here (and similarly for Brexit), it's equally clear that other parties have been doing the same thing (and we don't know how long that's being going on for).

    I was also surprised not to see voter suppression in that list.
  • Looks like Elizabeth Warren has pulled the trigger on a 2020 run for the White House [video autoplay].
    Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren took a major step toward a presidential run on Monday, announcing in a video message and email to supporters that she is forming an exploratory committee ahead of an expected campaign for the Democratic nomination in 2020.

    With her announcement 13 months before the Iowa caucuses, Warren, who became a progressive star by taking on Wall Street after the 2007 financial crisis and, more recently, President Donald Trump, is the first Democrat with a national profile to take formal action towards a likely presidential campaign.
  • Ruth wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    People pick those who they think will do the best job.

    Some people do. Other people pick the person they identify with the most or like the most.

    Still wondering which candidate you think Democrats should vote for in the primaries.
    Honestly, I do not know at this point.
    Two years from the 2020 presidential and there's not time to dream? Bullshit. There's time to dream. The problem with the Sanders voters wasn't that they were dreamers, it was that they kept right on dreaming too long.
    The most ideological people are the least likely to back down, but it is not an on/off switch.
    But right now, when people are testing the waters and most of the potential candidates haven't announced yet, this is the time to think about what we really want in the next presidential candidate. Electability is important, yes. But people can make themselves electable - they can craft their images and learn how to get their messages out. I for one actually give a shit what their messages are.
    Messages, and the perceived willingness to actually act on them, are important. Again, one's message is irrelevant if Trump is re-elected.

  • Crœsos wrote: »
    Looks like Elizabeth Warren has pulled the trigger on a 2020 run for the White House [video autoplay]

    Terrible decision. It plays straight into Trump´s hands. He can turn this into a toxic war of words and use her as a scare figure to energise his base.

    If Warren really wants what's best for USA, she should support someone who has a better chance of unifying the nation rather than exacerbating the divisions.

  • Ohher wrote: »
    My work brings me into constant contact with folks in their late teens and early 20s, and while I haven't done any scientific polling, my general impression is that these young men and women (with some exceptions) do not give a fig about color, sex, or gender.

    Sure. But in order to win the election, you have to get votes from the old folks too. Getting young people out to vote is a necessary, but not sufficient, component of a Democrat 2020 victory.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    Looks like Elizabeth Warren has pulled the trigger on a 2020 run for the White House [video autoplay]

    Terrible decision. It plays straight into Trump´s hands. He can turn this into a toxic war of words and use her as a scare figure to energise his base.

    I'm pretty sure that using a toxic war of words to energize his base is Trump's strategy regardless of who his ultimate opponent is. He's been staging more of his toxic rallies at any Republican stronghold that will have him since before the inauguration. Positing that there is some plausible Democratic candidate who Trump won't use as a scare figure requires a more thorough explanation than the one provided.
    If Warren really wants what's best for USA, she should support someone who has a better chance of unifying the nation rather than exacerbating the divisions.

    I've never had much patience for arguments that boil down to "let's take the politics out of politics!" An election is about divisions. It's a way democratic governments use to decide between controversial and mutually exclusive policies going forward. The Republican party as it is currently constituted stands for plutocracy, white supremacy, and sexism, with a strong theocrat wing for occasional extra flavor. Quite honestly, if a Democratic presidential candidate isn't going to "exacerbat[e] the divisions" with those positions there doesn't seem to be much point in having two political parties.

    On Elizabeth Warren specifically, her whole shtick is opposition to political corruption and the ways it's exacerbated by economic imbalances. I'm not sure why this is considered a negative factor in running a campaign in the current political climate.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited January 1
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Ohher wrote: »
    Isolationism? Seriously? In Century 21?

    Trump is not an isolationist, he's an imperialist. His foreign policy, to the extent that it's coherent, seems to be based on the idea of wrecking the current system of alliances and replacing it with some kind of tributary system where other nations pay "protection money" to the U.S.

    I reckon that's right, and fits with what people are calling anti-globalism.

    I really like Elizabeth Warren. Can she beat Trump? I don't know, but I like her style, her policies and her politics. She's a very smart person, she knows what it is to struggle, and I reckon she would make a brilliant President.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I really like Elizabeth Warren. Can she beat Trump? I don't know, but I like her style, her policies and her politics.

    Elections are contingent on a lot of outside factors and it's still a bit early to determine what are going to be the big issues in 2020. (I hope it's not "e-mail server management practices" again.) If the U.S. economy collapses in another financial crisis Warren seems like an ideal candidate. If the U.S. gets mired in some Middle Eastern war maybe someone else would be better. Political parties like to concentrate on candidate selection because it's the one part of the process they can actually control, but outside factors are likely to play a bigger role.
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