The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Brief Notes on the Democratic Primaries

Bernie Sanders

The polling is all over the place, but generally Biden is in first place, with Sanders or Warren in second. In early primary states, it’s generally Biden, but only slightly ahead of Sanders.

The clear truth about Biden is that he’s senile and gaffe-prone. Even if you like his politics (which, obviously, I don’t), this is the case. He’ll be a bad candidate in the general–I think Trump will eat him alive. Yes, Trump is senile also, but Trump is channeling some genuine anger and hatred, whereas Biden is channeling his elite entitlement, along with “Can’t we go back to Obama?” My suspicion is that the first wins.

As for Sanders and Warren, whichever one isn’t doing well in the early primary rounds had better drop out fast and endorse the other, otherwise it’ll be Biden.

All that said, who the hell knows? Things change and perhaps one of Biden’s senior moments will get through to people and they’ll realize that he’s no longer all there.

I prefer Sanders over Warren. Warren wants to save capitalism, she’s been very clear on that. Markets aren’t working well, and she wants to fix them. That’s her raison d’etre, that’s why she was a Republican most of her life, and why she switched her party to Democrat: Republicans were fucking up markets. She’s clearly said, for example, that she wouldn’t nationalize utilities, which is actually an extreme position among market disciples; many would say these are natural monopolies and should be owned by government.

This isn’t to say Sanders is anti-markets. He isn’t going to replace them or any such thing, he’s just a social democrat. He’ll modify them, make them more democratic, put more under public control, and so on.

He also seems the most credible on strongly tackling climate change. One might say that makes him a “must vote.”

As I’ve said before, I trust Sanders more. He’s been very consistent over the years, he’s not going to take oligarchs’ money even after the primary (Warren’s position), and he doesn’t think things were substantially “okay,” even in the 80s. (They weren’t, or we wouldn’t be here.) None of this is to say he’s perfect; he’s bad on some people’s key issues and not great on foreign affairs.

He’s still, in my opinion, better for ordinary people than anyone else, including Warren.

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Remembering 9/11


Open Thread


  1. bruce wilder

    “What are they thinking?” !!!

    The favorite question about Trump voters asked by repulsed Dems could be asked about every variety of prospective Dem primary voter.

    Taste in candidates is less important imho than the absence of a movement from below, or even from the professional classes. In fact, expressing one’s personal preference for a candidate’s personality is part of the problem.

    In the interest of full disclosure, i lean toward Sanders. Because his personality is anti-charismatic and he at least talks about the need for a movement. But he is ridiculously old and where’s the movement?

    The degree of political disengagement generally is remarkable. The need to turn to rich donors for campaign funding is subverting almost all the candidacies — the open hypocrisy of Biden and Harris damages them less than it would in a functioning democracy. Where is the anger at being screwed over by billionaires and unregulated finance? Where is the distress about climate change? Or perpetual war?

    It feels like we are waiting for a vote from collapse in the impending catastrophe primary to stir things up. Or maybe we should just admit voting stopped mattering in 2000 or before.

  2. Eric Anderson

    “[H]e’s bad on some people’s key issues … .”
    Among the left (not the CAP types) I can only read gun control into this statement.

    “ … and not great on foreign affairs.”
    I’ve never understood this charge. Who, living, is great? Who, living, is not perfectly horrible?
    His comments on Venezuela are the only ones I’d begin to take issue with. But that said, as a political strategy I really don’t think he wants to tie his “socialist” image to Latin American socialism. He wants it tied to european socialism. His Venezuela stance is actually a pretty good example of political savvy, in my opinion. It’s kept his attackers on the right (and I don’t mean conservatives) at bay on the issue.

  3. scruff

    Where is the anger at being screwed over by billionaires and unregulated finance?

    It’s in Trump’s voting base, ironically (or so I heard every damn day for a year after the election).

    Or maybe we should just admit voting stopped mattering in 2000 or before.

    I keep thinking about this. At what point does it become possible or necessary to admit that the reform measures we’re trying to convince ourselves are enough are not actually enough? Also, if it’s true that Trump’s ascension was powered by populist anger at neoliberal policies – seems reasonable as long as we don’t expect people to be able to articulate it the way someone reading Ian’s blog would – would a Warren presidency be worse in the long run than another Trump term?

  4. Bill Hicks

    Sanders is indeed the best of a very bad lot, but he won’t even have the support of much of his own party if elected. America is sliding towards economic collapse, and none of the candidates is going to be able to stop it.

  5. Ché Pasa

    The Dem problem is intrinsic. In the 1980s they ceased being a leadership party and became an administrative caste of eunuchs utterly reliant on the Rs for leadership (thanks Ronnie!).

    We’ve seen this displayed over and over again since the start of the Dem primary season: one administrative solution after another, one nostrum after another, reliance on process, restoration of the way things were, rebuilding one brick at a time the way things are supposed to be and would have been if not for… And yet the problems in many cases have been created and fostered by administrative actions. It’s self-reinforcing. You identify a problem. You create an administrative solution. Which creates more problems, each and every one requiring their own administrative solution, and on and on infinitely. No vision. Simple maintenance will do.

    The Rs only play that game to “own the libs.” Which Ronnie Reagan figured out when he was governor of California: give the Dems an administrative bone to chew on, and they’ll be happy forever. The Rs can have and do pretty much anything they want while the Dems chew away. As we’ve seen with endless wars, tax cuts and feeding of the rich while beggaring everyone else and jeopardizing the planet.

    This is where our politics has been locked for more than a generation, and none of the Dems currently on show has any leadership ability — or I think leadership desire — to break through. They all essentially want to come up with an administrative fix to what’s gone wrong.

    But there isn’t one.

    Rs seem to know that instinctively. So they don’t care — as long as they are guaranteed their reward in power and money — no matter what. And so they are.

    I’ve said I don’t think any of these current candidates will be the Dem nominee, but I have no idea who might emerge to lead with a vision out of the morass the Dems long ago fell into.

  6. A1

    Good luck to Sanders. Sanders got a lot of support when he was the only person running against Clinton, but this does not translate into much support outside of this one, special time. Sanders has 10 to 20% max of the democrats and has no chance. Sanders is also too old, and his supporter alienate the rest of the party.

    The Bernie Bros should realise the D party does not want them and support Trump as it is the only place for them to go. (The traditional R party does not want you either) Face it Ian, Wilder, the modern D party does not want to hear from people like you for some obvious reasons. You intimidate them with by being you. Accept reality and get on with it.

  7. anon y'mouse

    Sanders has stated he will end the death penalty. not sure if he can do that, since it seems to occur state-by-state. but for this reason alone i am considering registering just to vote for him. if he does half of the things on his published list to reform the “justice” system (as i say, if he has that power. i believe he will Executive Order it, which means the next guy will simply reverse it?), then he will make the whole fight for Civil Rights immediately more real. the entire list are all things that Obama could have and should have done, if he hadn’t been so eager to suck up to moneybags and greedheads and make himself look tough blowing up children.

  8. Dan Lynch

    Agree 100% with Ian’s assessment, but there is zero chance Bernie will be allowed to be the party nominee. At the moment it does not look like Bernie can win the primary, but if it did look like Bernie could win, the elites would arrange for something to happen to Bernie. Maybe they have an embarrassing file on him, if not, there’s always deranged lone gunmen, or private charter planes that fall out of the sky.

    Also, regardless of how one feel’s about a candidate’s domestic platform, most of those proposals are dead on arrival.

    Instead, domestic policy is mostly under control of Congress, which will remain divided until such time as a political leader emerges who can unite the country. That does not bode well for addressing climate change — any fixes that can pass our divided Congress will be weak tea.

    So in the meantime, a vote for President is mostly a vote for foreign policy. There, Warren is a straight up Republican, possibly even to the the right of Trump. Bernie is nothing to brag about on foreign policy, plus in the unlikely event Bernie set foot in the White House, he would be McCarthyized just as Trump was McCarthyized.

    So no matter who is elected in 2020, not much will change. The empire will continue, capitalism will continue, etc.. Maybe there will be a small carbon tax, or a few more solar panels and wind turbines, but not enough to matter. As the saying goes, if you want to live the American dream, move to Finland.

  9. Tom

    I’m surprised people still believe in the polls given how they always been wrong. It also doesn’t help the DNC is deliberately trying to fix things to exclude Gabbard and Williamson and undermine others to put Biden up.

    Meanwhile 100+ million Americans are unlikely to vote again…

    At this point we don’t have a functioning democracy. Attempts in the past 2 years to change the DNC were beaten down and now the final struggle is playing out.

    AH well…

    Hmm, didn’t realize cement added so much carbon and how much more superior and environmentally friendly Roman Concerete is.

  10. Stirling S Newberry

    If this were the UK, Trump would win reelection easily, because in the UK 30% can win a majority of seats if 2 major candidates are splitting the rest of the vote. But this is the US, and in the US, there are only 2 parties. The unfortunate problem is that the majority of a party will not win the nomination, instead it will divide the nomination in 2, leaving a loser who has nothing to say in will eventually say it just well enough to get elected. Of course, Warren and Sanders could change that, but we saw what happened with that in 2004 – the meteor intervenes decisively in favor of the status quo. Only Kerry was at least bright, which is a word not applicable in the same sentence, or even the same paragraph, as Biden.

    So the 2 liberals need to figure out when the time for one to drop out and leave the other one to win the nomination, or we will be holding our head in our hands wondering how this happened. The answer is that the money wants a president who will not do anything, and they have 2 massages the nomination process get that.

  11. Hugh

    I agree with Ian. The Establishment has no idea –it’s simply beyond their sense of entitlement–how hated they are by most of us. It will never occur to them to do anything we want. Real change? You must be FAR LEFT. You must be some kind of demented Trumpster. Their whole strategy for 2020 is to stuff down our throats the most conservative Establishment face they can, and then it’s TINA. What? You want Trump? If you don’t vote for our shit awful candidate, you want Trump.

    I saw a couple nights ago Chris Matthews of MSNBC state matter of factly that Sanders will have to get out of the race and throw his support to Warren just to keep any “progressive” in the primary race. It did not even occur to him that it might go the other way and Warren get out for Sanders. A few days before that I heard the Mika from Morning Joe (and no, I don’t actually watch either of these shows that much) opining that only a centrist/moderate Democrat could pull votes away from Trump (meaning Republicans from the suburbs). Completely overlooking a populist candidate like Sanders who could pull away far more working class voters, especially independents, who went Trump in 2016.

    Re monopolies or areas where markets have ceased to function, they should either be broken up and kept broken up (Google, Facebook, Amazon), their functions nationalized (a public or post office bank, Medicare for All). I can see in some cases a heavily regulated public utility like Ma Bell was before it was broken up. The problem is though as corporations get bigger and bigger they become harder and harder to regulate effectively. This is an argument for government takeover because then obeying the regs becomes part and parcel of what the decision making process, not some exterior add-on.

  12. edmondo

    Bernie isn’t going to win anything because he doesn’t WANT TO win. He is perfectly happy talking about him and what he wants to do in some ideal world but he has no way to implement any of them. Vote for Bernie all you want. It’s political masturbation – it’s harmless and you feel a little bit better afterwards.

    Oh, and don’t be too surprised when he heartily endorses that senile old fuck at the Democratic Convention next year.

  13. mago

    edmondo wins

  14. Hugh

    Lots of Pelosi think around here. Unless victory can be guaranteed in advance, with no fight and at no cost, pack it in. Surrender at once.

    Sanders is a start. He is not the end. You start the fight from where you are, not where you want someday to be. Maybe you feel you deserve a savior with the morals of Mother Teresa and the looks of Brad Pitt. Maybe you do deserve someone like that, but the world will grow old long before somebody like that shows up, if ever. Sanders may not be the ideal candidate, but he is the first one in a long time who is not the lesser of two evils.

  15. Ted

    Bernie isn\’t going to win anything because he doesn\’t want to win. Apparently that was written by someone a lot younger than Bernie. So for me about to reach my seventh decade I admire his determination to get out his message. Why would anyone go around the country making speeches and talking to people about his ideal world unless he he is sincere in his heart. The old saying about if someone has never seen snow how to you describe it to them seems to fit this younger generation that has only seen a country where greed is good and helping other Human Beings is looked at with disgust . I don\’t know why Bernie wastes his time and energy trying to help make the world a better place but I would vote for him in a heart beat if he could get through trash being piled on year after year.

  16. S Brennan

    Tulsi Gabbard threw her political career away for Sanders, in 2019, when the shoe was on the the other foot, Bernie walked away without so much as a quiet murmur…what a gutless prick. Bernie ‘folds like a cheap suit” Sanders is a backstabbing buddy, Edmondo says it well:

    “Vote for Bernie all you want. It’s political masturbation – it’s harmless and you feel a little bit better afterwards….Oh, and don’t be too surprised when he heartily endorses that senile old fuck at the Democratic Convention next year.”

  17. MojaveWolf

    I have not yet given up on Tulsi as an actual winning candidate, in part because of how bad everyone else looks and because, much as the DNC and the MSM refuse to admit it, Independents and even a lot of Republicans like her and would vote for her. * another Unlike most of those people, I actually have occasion to converse w/independents and Republicans. She also is the only one I trust on foreign policy. (domestically, she’s a mixed bag, but so is everyone else; even Bernie has some problems here)

    Bernie was resoundingly unimpressive in the last debate and I dislike many things about his campaign and I’ve begun to question his judgement, and am deeply disturbed by his acceptance of the MSM narrative about Maduro and by some of the people he’s chosen to surround himself with this campaign, and, well, a lot of things, yet he still wins a runaway second place simply because there is no third choice. Bernie, Tulsi, or I’ll vote 3rd party (to all the “do you want Trump to win????” people–no, but I might want him to win more than I want most of the democratic candidates to win; if you’re a dem strategist your most likely response to this is to try and convince me to go vote for Trump because I’m not a team player and dems only want party loyalists because everyone else sucks, which says pretty much all you need to know about Dem strategists and how they keep snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and why they don’t want paper ballots everywhere)

    Re: Warren — I do not like her nearly as much as Ian does. I would like her fine for a cabinet position in a good administration, she’s clearly a very capable person, but I have near-zero trust in her on much of anything, and expect that while she would lack Hillary’s or Cheney’s gusto for war mongering and profiteering, she, like almost all the dems, would go ahead and war monger and profiteer in exchange for good publicity. Yes, she’s smart and speaks well. Neither of these things means that much by themselves. Booker is smart and speaks well and has some good points amidst the bad and I won’t be voting for him either.

    On the speaks well front, special post-debate shout-out to Julian Castro–I don’t like him and intensely dislike a lot of things about his campaign and won’t be voting for him, but his closing statement at the last debate was pretty awesome. No idea if it was true or not, but it sounded sincere and was one of the best moments any of the candidates have had at any of these three debates, and very well delivered. Props to him if it was true.

    Yang says we need UBI because automation is taking all the jobs and they won’t come back, but we need more immigration. So we can have more people with no jobs? Yang fans cheer. He seems likable enough, but I don’t get the policy appeal (other than, “he wants to give me 1k a month and I don’t need to think further than that!”, which, well, that may be the appeal)

    Essentially, Tulsi has proven herself to me, and Bernie has too (apologies to SBrennan, as I basically agree w/you about his not having Tulsi’s back and agree it’s problematic, but go off in a wildly different direction from there), and if it’s anyone else I think we’re all screwed.

    *w/the usual caveat that there is a reason no establishment pol wants to go back to paper ballots, and they plan to rig the votes, and Biden could conceivably win in a landslide right after giving a televised speech about how “I saved Obama’s life on the beach while we were surrounded by Germans during the blitzkrieg in Casablanca where I pinned a medal on a bus driver named . .. named . . . who stopped the Russians from sending nukes to Venezuela because … and Trump told Saddam Hussein that snorkle furged the frumioius bandersnatch, and there were ants on the picnic table; and . .. because . .. after . .. otherwise the Chinese will take over.”** This will result in the Washington Post running headlines about how Biden’s great speech catapulted him to victory, which will be accidentally released online before the election results are tallied, and everyone will pretend not to notice, and those who do will be demented conspiracy theorists in the employ of Putin.

    Let us hope things are not this far gone, otherwise we need to be having an entirely different conversation.

    Assuming they are not, I stand by my “Tulsi still has a better than most people think chance, and Bernie has a very good chance” stance.

    **No, he wasn’t THAT bad, and was fully coherent at least half the time, and has some good points, as does everyone. Honestly, despite all the awful things he has done in his life, I feel genuinely bad for him and genuinely angry at the people who convinced him to run.***

    ***Yes, I know, he was one of the cheerleaders for the Iraq war, and the Anita Hill hearings and the Hyde Amendment and I shouldn’t feel sorry for him, yet, c’mon. This is sad.

  18. “Vote for Bernie all you want. It’s political masturbation – it’s harmless and you feel a little bit better afterwards…”

    Let me fix that for you. Vote for Bernie all you want. It’s political masturbation – it feels good but ultimately accomplishes nothing.

  19. NRG

    Biden and Bernie are older than Bill Clinton. They’re older than Al Gore. They’re older than GW Bush, and John Kerry. They are older than damn near anyone in public life apart from Supreme Court Justices and. . . Nancy Pelosi. Maybe that does not give anyone pause. Not everyone lived through watching Reagan’s brain rot, but we’re all watching the same happen in real time today.

    Take a look at Bill Clinton. Take a look at GW Bush, or John Kerry. Anyone here think that any of them are more capable of being President today than they were when they were (or in Kerry’s case nearly were) President?

    And so now we decide. 70s or 80s? How far in the past is the new way forward?

  20. Mike Barry

    In shoving Biden down our throats, TPTB are trolling us – openly laughing at us. If they were smart, they’d settle for Warren.

  21. Leaving aside that Biden is a Republican, as are Gabbard and Williamson, since we’re getting personal: I just passed sixty-three and will not vote for anyone older than me. Warren is great, I wish it were otherwise, but … no. No Bernie, no Biden, no more protesting all the way to the box and holding my nose to choke out a vote for the lessers of evil. The lesser of evil is none-the-less evil, and I’ve choking down the lesser of evils since Cheney ratfucked Carter. Fuck that. It has got me, and the country, where we are today. Fuck that. If the dems can’t pull their heads out of their asses and run someone with some brains and a stake in the future fuck ’em. I have voted since McGovern, maybe it’s time to sit it out. Or engage in alternative democracy.

    We have to stop doing what we’re doing. It isn’t working.

    Throw a monkey-wrench in it.

  22. nihil obstet

    For the most part, judgments on candidates based on campaigning is being a drama critic rather than a political actor. Exceptions are the honesty of the positions, the choice of advisors, and the direction and control of the organization. Otherwise, it’s preferable to look at what the candidates accomplished in the situation in which they found themselves. As an independent who called himself a socialist, Sanders has a very good record both as mayor and congresscrittur against the rising tide of neoliberalism. Warren’s work in the Senate was good in working towards a kinder, gentler neoliberalism. Criticisms would be more persuasive if they explained why those records irrelevant compared to the writer’s insight into how the candidates really think.

  23. StewartM

    It’s funny, it’s old people who care more about Bernie’s age than young people. Bernie does very well with the young, much better than the younger candidates in the race:

    So if it doesn’t matter to them, why should it to you? Most of the Berniacs I know are in their twenties. As for the breath of his appeal I also know a certified ‘hillbilly’ here who likes him, and like I said in 2016 I saw just as many “Bernie” signs on yards as “Trump”….but nary a single “I’m with her” Clinton sign.

    Yet another marvel is that young voters themselves don’t seem to care. Tracking with his long-standing support among young people, an Emerson poll recently found 77-year-old Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt,) carrying 41 percent of 18-to-29-year-old Democratic primary voters, compared with Joe Biden’s 11 percent. Meanwhile, two teenagers are running the presidential campaign of 89-year-old former senator Mike Gravel (D-Alaska). And young people are warming to socialism — and, crucially, socialist policies — across the board. No wonder it has been such a hard primary thus far for candidates such as O’Rourke, who seemed to hop into the race banking on a boost from a boyish, punky flair that seemed to fizzle as fast as it flared.

    How to explain the affinity of young voters for old socialists — even with so many newer models on the market, and when so many strategists counsel against voting left or gray (much less both)?

    While I agree with Ten Bears on the importance of the future, I differ with Ten Bears about drawing an equivalence with being a parent or grandparent to one caring for the future. With the very rich, I have noticed, they are often such Ayn Rand acolytes they don’t give a crap about their offspring or spouses, life is all about improving things for #1, Nor do I think it corresponds with age; there are plenty of young rich assholes who are willing to drive the planet off the cliff because they have convinced themselves they’ll still be ok (doubtful, as societal collapses always take out the upper crust) or that they’re so habitually fixated on short-term rewards (i.e., capitalist thinking) that they just can’t help themselves.

  24. Willy

    Maybe they’d been traumatized by the mumblings of ole Strom Thurmond?

    Older candidates can credibly describe how things worked better back in New Deal days, how the future seemed far brighter growing up back then. Biden would be far easier for Trump to debate (namecall) than Sanders.

  25. different clue

    There may be some overlap between Warren supporters and Sanders supporters, but they are mainly different sets of people. They are all decently-intended and good-intentioned in their own way. But it is doubtful that either support-base would switch support to the other nomination-seeker just because their choice of nominee-wannabe dropped out and urged them to support the other nominee-wannabe.

    And since Sanders and Warren are drawing mainly two different sets of people, those two different sets add up to a lot more people than either set by itself. So it is understandable that some would hope for one of the nomination-seekers to drop out in hopes that ex-contenders’ support would go to the other one. But it won’t, for psycho-mental emotional investment reasons.

    So it would be better for both to stay in the race till the final few weeks before the Convention.
    When the last primary and the last caucus has been held, the two prospective candidates and their staffs and supporters can see which one has more First Ballot delegate votes than the other one. And if the two sets of First Ballot delegate votes would add up together to be just above the magic 51% margin needed to win on the first ballot, then the leaderships AND the millions of movement members can all have deep and intense emergency conversations about whether the prospective candidate with fewer First Ballot delegate votes should drop out and request that all their delegates vote for the remaining nomination-seeker of-the-two who has the greater number of First Ballot delegate votes.

    If all those millions of people . . . from the two candidates themselves all the way down to their lowest-level supporters in the field . . . . all agree that they could all accept either of the two candidates as The Democratic Nominee . . . then they could all support the nomination-seeker who comes to convention with the greater number of First Ballot votes.

    Because doing that will be the one and only chance that the combined SandersWarren delegates will have for short-circuiting the DNC-engineered process for nominating a Catfood Candidate. Right there, in the convention itself.

    But suggesting one of them drop out beFORE the primary and caucus process is done? In the fond hope that the dropper-outer’s supporters will support the stayer-inner? Well . . . to assess the chances of such support ever shifting from one to the other beFORE the convention, I suggest the following experiment.

    Go to a thread on Naked Capitalism and ask how many Bernie Backers there are. Now ask how many of them would support Warren if Sanders dropped out “prematurely”. Then go to a thread on The Confluence and ask how many Warren supporters are there. Then ask them how many of them would switch their support to Sanders if Warren dropped out “prematurely” and said “please support Sanders”. I predict that near-zero answerers of that question would make such a switch. But somebody could go to those two blogs and do the experiment, and if the numbers prove me wrong, then I will consider accepting that.

  26. different clue

    @ S Brennan,

    Gabbard is still in Congress. And she is still young. It is premature to suppose that her political career has been “thrown away”.

  27. different clue

    And remember what that wise old political operator Ronald Dumsfeld once said:

    ” You go to convention with the Democrats you have, not the Democrats you might want or wish to have at a later time.”

  28. Tom W Harris

    Julian Castro performed a much-needed service at the last debate when he (too politely) called out Jughead Joe. What needs to happen at the next debate is for someone to get fed up and yell: “Off the stage, ya senile old bozo!”

  29. Ché Pasa

    Our entire political system appears to be in a stranglehold by the ancient ones. A gerontocracy indeed. Us old folks are concerned about the age of the candidates and ruling politicians of both parties because we’re all too aware of the frailties and worse that the old are prone to.

    But the youngsters coming up are in thrall to the Old Ones — some like Tom Cotton and Jim Jordan eagerly so. This is where they see power resides and they want some — or all of it if they can grab it. They don’t challenge the old so much as emulate them, even someone like Young Pete, who sometimes seems to be a thousand years old with his focus on abstractions like “process” and “values.”

    But the old have brittle bones and addled brains, their attention wanders, their decision-making may be based in a world that no longer exists, their memories are faulty, their overall health precarious, the more so the older they get. 80 may be the New 60, and the lives of the old may be prolonged indefinitely if they’re rich enough, but some of the attributes of aging are irreversible.

    We see it on display with our dysfunctional politics and governance every day.

    So no, I don’t have much hope for Rule by Elders of any party, nor much for the young who want to be like them. It doesn’t mean that I dismiss them from consideration at all, it means that the standard models aren’t working, no matter the age of the candidate, but none are ready for a clean break to correct and rebalance the situation.

    But the old and the youngsters who want to be like them are all we have to choose from, aren’t they?

  30. ttu

    No predictions, just a couple of observations and a question:

    1. It’s my understanding that Sanders and Warren are not enemies and are at least collegial. If that is true there is no particular reason one would not throw their support to the other in a timely manner.

    2. The number of potential wildcards aka unexpected events-including but not limited to deranged acts by the current nightmare-in-chief-is rather high. This does not mean that standard structures must fail. But they might fail, or be thrown off-trail.

    3. My question is for Gabbard supporters. After reading the 2017 New Yorker piece and the one this June in New York I am perplexed as to why people would support her because I find it difficult to avoid the inference she is a pawn in someone else’s agenda. What am I missing?

  31. edmondo

    “Go to a thread on Naked Capitalism and ask how many Bernie Backers there are. Now ask how many of them would support Warren if Sanders dropped out “prematurely”. ”

    If the people who read Naked Capitalism – whatever number that may be – were anywhere near the average voter in the US – then Jill Stein would be running for re-election next year. I don’t think they are exactly a major force to be reckoned with.

  32. bruce wilder

    The New York magazine piece you cite has this remarkable paragraph:

    The most obvious obstacle between any noninterventionist candidate and mainstream success is D.C.’s foreign-policy Establishment — the think-tankers and politicians and media personalities and intelligence professionals and defense-company contractors and, very often, intelligence professionals turned defense-company contractors who determine the bounds of acceptable thinking on war and peace. In parts of D.C., this Establishment is called “the Blob,” and to stray beyond its edges is to risk being deemed “unserious,” which as a woman candidate one must be very careful not to be. The Blob may in 2019 acknowledge that past American wars of regime change for which it enthusiastically advocated have been disastrous, but it somehow maintains faith in the tantalizing possibilities presented by new ones. The Blob loves to “stand for” things, especially “leadership” and “democracy.” The Blob loves to assign moral blame, loves signaling virtue while failing to follow up on civilian deaths, and definitely needs you to be clear on “who the enemy is” — a kind of obsessive deontological approach in which naming things is more important than cataloguing the effects of any particular policy.

    The truth of that paragraph is why I support Gabbard. Gabbard is the only candidate willing to stand against perpetual war sold on the basis of childish moral narratives of who is a good guy and who is a bad guy, without any regard for the morality of consequences for large numbers of people or the agenda of political movements and organizations.

    [and yes, I read NC and voted for Jill Stein.]

  33. Hugh

    ttu, in 2016, Warren who wasn’t running never supported Sanders, although she certainly could have.

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