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Joe BidenCongratulations to our presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden!

Sun Jan 5, 2020, 05:13 PM

 

For now, I'm shifting my preference here to Sanders [View all]

It had been for Warren, and I would still be more than pleased if she became our nominee. I liked Harris also, but she now is gone, and Sherrod Brown chose not to enter the race. I like much of what Steyer says but I simply can not support a billionaire being able to instantly insert himself into our national politics at the highest level simply because he can write himself a check. That said I remain open to all of our candidates, although I could only vote for Gabbard in order to stop Trump (if it ever came to that but it won't). I will be the first to admit that we have a strong field of candidates. Much good can be said about virtually all of them.

However it is Warren and Sanders who come closest to representing my political views about what is wrong with America and how to fix it. I will start listening more closely to "electability" arguments when there is more hard data to dissect, and that mostly means actual primary and caucus votes. I am particularly interested in seeing how much actual enthusiasm our individual candidates can generate for themselves, because I believe voter enthusiasm is a much more important factor than many give it credit for being. It drives the fervor that ultimately propels a campaign to victory in a tightly contested race. Trump, for example, would be doomed now were it not for the fervor of his base. I am also interested in tracking the support that our candidates receive from Independents in contests that allow them to participate in Democratic primary challenges. I am also paying close attention to who does best at motivating Democratic leaning voters who too often fail to show up on Election Day to actually engage this time (think young voters for starters).

I get that Biden up to now has almost always led the field. I also get that a lot of his support comes from people who believe that he is the Democrat best positioned to defeat Trump, which for them would be reason enough to back him. And of course, like most of our candidates, Uncle Joe has a cadre of true believers behind him also whose loyalty he has well earned over years. I am not anti-Biden. I am pro-Sanders. But like many others, this year I am feeling more pragmatic than usual. Ask me again where I stand after the first few contests and you may get a very different answer from me.

I had leaned Warren because I was giving her a chance to show me that she could mobilize a broader and deeper coalition than could Sanders. Maybe she still will, and maybe I will shift again toward preferring her. For awhile her surge fed that hope, but now my sense is that her drive actually has stalled. It isn't just a temporary illusion. She has been bruised by authenticity criticism (almost never fair in my view) in a way that Sanders is fundamentally much more resistant to due to differences in their past, among other factors. Her slightly lagging fund raising compared to Sanders unexpectedly strong showing I think is a leading indicator.

Right now there is way too much of the "I am supporting so and so because I think other people will support so and so" smoke filling the air. I think almost all of our candidates can ultimately count on strong support from those who traditionally show up to vote Democratic. Moderate Democrats will pull the lever to support a strong Progressive against Donald Trump. Strongly progressive voters will pull the lever to support an avowed more moderate Democrat in a show down against Donald Trump. But who can expand our voting coalition to mobilize apathetic and cynical alienated voters, and who can peel off more votes from the relatively small fraction of voters who chose Trump last time but who still remain "reachable"? Even though partisan battle lines are sharply drawn and feelings are running strong, there are still some potential votes up for grab. And that may be how the election is settled

There are two opposing views on the question. On one hand there no doubt are moderate Republican voters who are disillusioned by Trump who would support someone like Biden who they find centrist enough to tolerate, but not a strong progressive. On the other hand though there is a real restlessness in the electorate in recent years, not just here in America, but in Democracies around the world. People have lost faith in traditional politics, votes swing wildly from left to right and from right to left, but even more so to whoever seems least identified with perceived politics as usual. Once powerful political party dynasties in many parts of the world have been decimated by brand new grass roots political coalitions gathered under brand new banners. Europe is full of examples of this.

In my mind there is a wide spread fundamental sense that the "little people" of the world are having their lunches eaten by the powerful bullies of the economic elites.and Americans are not immune to those feelings This has been gathering steam for generations, and traditional liberals in the eyes of many have not done enough to reverse that trajectory even though they have often slowed its pace. In arguing for a return to stability and prior norms of civility, while giving support to supposed unity facilitating "moderation" in policies, some Democratic candidates are making a gamble. They are betting that voters will embrace an at least temporary return to the "normality" that so many had become deeply dissatisfied with before America began its current experiment with a no holds barred break from tradition under Trump, leading many to be scared shitless while minimally exhausting almost everyone else, whatever their politics might otherwise be. And that might be the right bet to make. Or not. In order for that to be true, in my opinion, American voters would have to be out of step with the sentiments driving election results in recent years almost everywhere in Europe and, some make the case, here in recent years also. A young Black President who ran on hope and change while arguing that we are not defined as a people by blue and red state identification. was a sharp break from the status quo. Trump running "against political correctness" while formulating grievance politics and division was again a break from a newer surface status quo. While the redistribution of wealth from the bottom and middle to the top continued in essence unabated throughout all of it.

I'll tell you what I don;t give a fig leaf about. I simply don't care if the Democratic Party gets dissed at times in the process of electing a new President who restores America to greatness and moves us back on the path to social and economic justice. And I'm an elected Democratic Committeeman and former Chair of the Democratic Party in my Town. We are so far beyond that mattering now, so spare me this or that perceived outrage. It is possible that more votes can be corralled by a candidate who appears to be less tied to the traditional political power structures in America than by one who has repeatedly proven his or her loyalty to our Democratic Party and its current or prior leaders.

I'm not certain about any of this, but that is what I am thinking about lately. For now though I stand with Sanders.





If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Reply For now, I'm shifting my preference here to Sanders [View all]
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2020 OP
RobertDevereaux Jan 2020 #1
booley Jan 2020 #2
CountAllVotes Jan 2020 #3
ritapria Jan 2020 #4
Nanjeanne Jan 2020 #5
caraher Jan 2020 #6
RobertDevereaux Jan 2020 #7
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2020 #15
InAbLuEsTaTe Jan 2020 #52
Uncle Joe Jan 2020 #8
InAbLuEsTaTe Jan 2020 #53
The Velveteen Ocelot Jan 2020 #9
CentralMass Jan 2020 #10
Joe941 Jan 2020 #11
myohmy2 Jan 2020 #12
Beringia Jan 2020 #13
Ferrets are Cool Jan 2020 #14
BeyondGeography Jan 2020 #16
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2020 #17
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corbettkroehler Jan 2020 #23
blm Jan 2020 #55
NYMinute Jan 2020 #20
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2020 #21
vsrazdem Jan 2020 #26
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Tom Rinaldo Jan 2020 #40
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NYMinute Jan 2020 #43
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secondwind Jan 2020 #27
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2020 #28
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RussBLib Jan 2020 #57