Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Some Instant Thoughts on Super Tuesday

1. Biden benefitted from a wave of (orchestrated) last minute endorsements.  One effect of this wave was to divert attention from Biden the candidate to the endorsers and their combined bandwagon effect.  Particular endorsements helped in specific states: O’Rourke in Texas, Klobuchar in Minnesota.  But Biden has flamed out in all his previous runs for president because he is a weak campaigner, not very bright and prone to own goals.  He would be mincemeat for Trump.  Sanders, however, has vowed to make an issue only of political differences, not personal qualities.  We’ll see if that’s enough of an umbrella for Biden to get through to the nomination.

2. There must be immense pressure on Warren to remain in the race.  By any logic, she should drop out now and not soak up any more scarce resources, whether money, staff or her own time and energy.  If you look at the non-southern state results yesterday, however, her vote share had a big impact on the outcome.  If her support would break, say, two-thirds for Sanders and one-third for Biden, this would be enough to put Bernie over the top in close races.  I have no doubt the preferred lineup for the Democratic Party, donors and staff, is Biden-Warren-Sanders.  It will be interesting to see if she keeps playing the game.

3. I’m not surprised that the party apparatus is so determined to defeat Bernie, even at the cost of re-electing Trump.  Sanders has never been a Democrat.  He caucuses with them in the Senate, but, aside from the inevitable vote-rustling in congress, he has never coordinated with them politically.  His donor base minimally overlaps with theirs.  His staff consists of political professionals who were either outliers in the Party or outside it altogether.  If he were elected the result would be a hostile takeover of the national apparatus, and almost everyone who is a part of it today would have to find another line of work come January.  It’s existential for them.  The same probably holds in many or most state parties.

4. To recap #1, the Democrats have decided to place their full bet with Biden.  It may well work for them, but based on the man’s history, it’s a risky move.  If Biden self-destructs again their only fallback is to put forward a third party spoiler in the general election.


nobody said...

The function of the Democratic party is to serve the role of the Washington Generals to the Republican's Harlem Globetrotters: they provide a token opposition to preserve the veneer of a competitive democratic polity without ever winning power. The candidates the Democratic party runs reflect that.

It's career poison for any Democrat to run for President because, with the Senate and judiciary constitutionally defined Republican power bases, he will be unable to advance a policy platform that will reflect Democratic goals. Any Democratic President will be hamstrung by the Republican Constitution and blamed by his own party for his own ineffectiveness. As such, Democrats with aspirations other than self-aggrandizement stay away from the presidential race and the result is people like Biden and Sanders at the top of the ticket.

Further, unless the US economy tanks in Aug-Sept, the purpose of the Democratic primary is to decide who goes down in history as the next candidate (after Hillary Clinton) to be so ineffective that he lost to Donald Trump. The Trumpkin bootlickers are highly energized to defeat what they see as the deep state hoaxes that threaten their Orange Man and, ultimately, they will win through superior funding, superior organization, and willingness to break the law.

None of this will change for as long as votes of Southern Confederate bootlickers and flyover state brain-free zombies are allowed to count for more than the votes of actual human beings.

(All of this presumes, also, that the coronavirus outbreak will be sufficiently mild that the election is held and that there's enough survivors left for the outcome to matter. If the outbreak threatens to kill a few percent of the US population (as looks likely as a repeat of the 1918 flu), there is a very good epidemiological reason not to concentrate people in long voting lines or to share voting devices. If the outbreak turns into Black Death v2.0, with %30-%60 dead, Americans will be far too concerned with scavenging food to survive the next day for federal politics to be relevant.) said...


A lot of this is way overdone.

The current GOP lean of the Senate and judiciary are recent phenomena. As of a decade ago those leaned the other way.

Also, Hillary nearly won in 2016. She was clearly ahead of Trump until James Comey came out with his announcement 11 days before the election that she was freshly under investigation for her emaisl. And she still took the popular vote by more than 2 percent. For those certain Bernie would have won in 2016, this is not obvoius. He might have taken Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennslyvania, but he might hav lost some others that Hillary took, such as Virginia.

pgl said...

"There must be immense pressure on Warren to remain in the race."

She dropped out today - alas.