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

Why Buttigieg Beats Harris and Beto to Be the DNC’s Champion

A lot of the candidates are running to the left in one way or the other, but the party itself is uneasy about that. Party insiders, (which 538 mislabels “activists”), dislike Harris most. Many people thought it would be Beto; charismatic, but policy- and conviction-empty.

But the best centrist candidate is like Obama: Comes from a minority, is charismatic, is not in any way actually left-wing, and is empty enough for people to project their hopes onto. Beto makes three of four; Harris has the problem that she has a terrible record as a prosecutor–i.e. she’s not empty enough for people to project their hopes onto.

Only Buttigiegg checks all four boxes: minority (gay), charismatic, not left-wing and empty enough for people to see what they want in him.

To defeat actual left-wingers the best play is to find someone with a non-white male identity, who wants to win badly and has no radical bones or record at all.

Hail, Buttigiegg, saviour, and soon-to-be favoured son of the DNC.

The results of the work I do, like this article, are free, but food isn’t, so if you value my work, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.


Trump Will Leave and Will Not Launch a Coup


Disney Explains that the Reason Poor Working People Are Poor Is Executives


  1. bruce wilder

    I have an elderly friend, who is completely enamoured with him — watches the numerous videos on YouTube, made a small contribution to the campaign, talks him up — gave me a b t-shirt!

    So, I get to see his effectiveness as a personality on one voter up close.

    I don’t even attempt to argue on policy grounds. I just observe and make mostly neutral comments acknowledging his charm.

    I think Buttigieg is at his weakest when he lapses into talking most like Obama, but maybe that is just me. I cringe. I also think he is going to have serious difficulty appealing to anyone under 40. The shtick just does not seem tuned to the younger half or more of the electorate.

    The resemblance to Macron in mindspace is remarkable. I wonder what happens when he attracts the attention of hostiles.

  2. StewartM

    He’s squishy-Democrat on all the issues (“we should move towards Medicare-for-all but not embrace it immediately’). Moreover, when I hear that he’s the most capable of “working with Republicans” I cringe (Obama, all over again).

    And you’d think our current prez shows something of the danger of vaulting someone into office with no relevant qualifications.

  3. edwin

    looks like around 60% of the support for candidates is for the “left” wing. Bernie Sanders, the second least favourite of the establishment has a very commanding lead with Elizabeth Warren coming second for around 50% support. Is the democratic party going to do something like it did in either 64, 68 or 16?

  4. midmo

    Mayor Pete is in my top tier of choices at the present. I think his values will stack up well against Trump. Although his lack of foreign policy experience is troubling, I trust that he would surround himself with better advisors than the current president has.
    Despite her age, Warren would be my top choice for president, but I am not certain that she could do well against Trump in the general. Biden and Sanders, the purported front runners, are both too old –I am ready to put this gerontocracy to rest.

  5. Ché Pasa

    He’s the current Democrat It-Boy. He says himself that he checks off all the right boxes. I wouldn’t underestimate him. He’s benefiting from almost Trumpian levels of free media, no doubt to the chagrin of so many other Democratic candidates, some of whom at least have articulated policy positions.

    I suspect that Pete B will wind up in the top three or four Democratic candidates as things shake out. He is clearly favored some of the graybeards and bluehairs of the party, in part because he’s so much like they wish they were when they were his age: too smart, Republican lite, attractive, well spoken, easily guided to serve the right kind of people, groomed for greatness… or something. IE: a shorter, whiter, younger, gayer Obama. Perfect. And very comforting for People Who Matter after the chaos of Trump.

  6. bruce wilder:

    The resemblance to Macron in mindspace is remarkable. I wonder what happens when he attracts the attention of hostiles.

    That remarkable resemblance is why I call Pete and his ilk (cf.Obama, Trudeau, Beto, etc)Macronies.Let’s marshall our hostility to youngish, articulate, vague-sounding neoliberal front-men with sparkling credentials and not get fooled again!

  7. someofparts

    I was impressed the first time I heard him. Since then became clear that he is vying to be Obama-lite. It was encouraging to learn that he isn’t gaining any traction with the young.

    I thought this was the strongest, sharpest critique of the guy.

    Beyond the horse race for the presidency, I’m beginning to learn that for every high-profile young progressive that just got elected, a much greater number of troubling right-wingers got in too. Getting a genuinely good candidate into the presidency will be a limited gain until there is significant support in Congress and the states to back up good policies.

  8. Effem

    In general i agree…but with one big caveat: i’m not sure a gay man can get the black vote.

  9. bruce wilder

    The Democratic establishment went to a lot of trouble in 2018 to recruit a number of new members of Congress with backgrounds in the military, police or intelligence services. Mayor Pete fits that bill: Naval Reserve intelligence officer.

  10. S Brennan

    Good article SoP, I will warn readers once the DNC has anointed it’s choice* articles that offer a critical look at a candidate will be “disappeared” from the internet.

    The Obama team was king of this, Obama’s team made articles exposing Obama’s disgusting record in Chicago/Illinois vanish like James Hoffa and like Hoffa no amount of digging will unearth them. If you are not researching the candidates now, you will have no choice but to be a low information voter.


    On another note, while I strongly support Tulsi Gabbard as the ONLY genuine antiwar candidate, I think she should drop out now/soon. The strategy employed by the DNC’s minions to exclude her from all discussion is working. For example;

    The other day Norm Chomsky said he had heard of Tulsi Gabbard but was totally unaware of her stance on foreign policy…the only consistently antiwar candidate and Chomsky is completely unaware of her. That is a pretty hopeless situation.

    Plus, I think most “lefties” don’t really care about the treasure and lives lost in these decade long wars that are still advertised as low cost by the 3letter agencies but, have so far, cost ~3.5 trillion above the DoD spending Budget**.

    But as Carter tried to explain [and failed] the other day, nothing of value can be done domestically for the country, not climate, not social justice/security, not decent paying jobs, not education, not medicare expansion et at until the massive hemorrhage of foreign wars/deployment is staunched.

    In other words, domestic policy is wholly driven by foreign policy. Any candidate that has not forcefully spoken out against the shortcomings of our foreign policy of the last 3 decades is not serious about improving conditions at home. Which is why I find Sanders/Warren/lefties-in-general, domestic policies a cruel pathetic joke.


    *which I believe will be Harris given her support from Hillary [the other woman who tried to sleep her way into the White House].

    **”War budgets are not part of the DOD budget each year. War budgets are “off-budget”and are passed with supplemental spending bills each year, that were included in the CBO end of year budget figures and deficit figures….Off-budget is the revenue and spending of certain federal entities that Congress wants to protect from the normal budget process…Off-budget spending is excluded from budget caps, sequestration, and pay-as-you-go requirements”

  11. different clue

    Naked Capitalism has been writing about Mayor Wuttipig’s actual actions in office, including the cynical fast-forward condemnation, seizure and demolition of black and/or hispanic-owned houses under the convenient rubric of “removing blight”.

    I am not surprised that Wuttipig would call Trump and Sanders ” two sides of the same coin”. This is the standard Catfood Clintobamacrat Establishment view. It is safe to make the conditional ” if-then” prediction that IF the two main nominees are Trump and Sanders, THEN tens of millions of Catfood Clintobamacrat Establishment mainstream voters will refuse to vote for Sanders at the very least. Hardcore ” Jonestown” Clintonites will go farther and vote for Trump in order to get revenge on Sanders and try their hardest to make Sanders lose.


    Sanders seems pretty active and healthy to me. Also, he was never part of the Inner Elite Gerontocracy which brought us Forced Free Trade, Corporate Globalonial Plantationism, etc.
    Also, Sanders’s ideas and agenda-desires are fresh and relevant to our own time. I do not hold Sanders’s age against him.

    @S Brennan,

    Should we really believe that Chomsky “has not heard” of Gabbard? As brilliant of a Renaissance Man hyper-intellectual as he is supposed to be? I think he knows all about Gabbard. He just pretends not to. Chomsky has been referred to by some unbranded and unbought Rebel Leftists as a “Gatekeeper Leftist”.

    and . . .

    I myself would not be surprised if Chomsky were a long-time CIAgent of mental misdirection.
    His dismissal of considerations of “who shot John” is a case in point.

    If I were to travel to Europe, I would brush up on my Chomsky. Knowing all the right buzz-words and book titles could help one get along in Left Wing social circles.

  12. drumlin woodchuckles

    I just remembered a funny little story from one of Kurt Vonnegut\’s books of non-fiction essays.
    He was reminiscing about some nasty names that Gore Vidal had called him and he said \” I think Gore Vidal wants an awful lot of credit for wearing a three-piece suit.\”

    In that same vein, I think Noam Chomsky wants an awful lot of credit for calling himself a \”Syndico-Anarchalist\” or whatever it is that he calls himself.

  13. different clue

    Oooh! Oooh! Another conditional prediction!

    IF, by some strange chance, Bill Weld can win the Republican nomination and Sanders can win the Democratic nomination, so that it is Weld versus Sanders . . . THEN tens of millions of Catfood Clintonites will EAGERLY vote for Weld, who will win the election.

  14. paintedjaguar

    Time someone mentioned the elephant re Buttigieg as a candidate. I suspect that the gay part hasn’t really sunk in yet. Specifically the “gay married” part. While lots of people nowadays will at least tolerate gay, faced with the actual fact of the First Lady being a guy… I doubt even the Dems are ready to go there. Way too much symbolic freight involved. Doesn’t mean though that Mayor Pete won’t serve his purpose as a distraction.

  15. Hugh

    It goes with not left wing, but Buttigieg also is very well credentialed in a totally Establishment way. Education: Harvard, Rhodes Scholar (his parents were both professors at Notre Dame); Business: McKinsey (prestigious corporate consulting pirates); Military: Naval intelligence; Politics: Mayor of South Bend (by Notre Dame) and one unsuccessful statewide campaign for Treasurer.

    Policy-wise, the only things I’ve heard are that he is for a “public option” (folks remember that old con from the great healthcare debate that gave us Obamacare?), not Medicare for All. He is pro-Israel and was endorsed by a former head of AIPAC and the DNC from the 90s, Steve Grossman. His website, peteforamerica, has pretty much nothing on what his actual positions are: think about the future, climate change, automation, globalization, blah, blah, blah.

    Buttigieg is, as far as I can tell, a conservative Establishment candidate. I agree he is doing so well at the moment because he is getting a huge amount of free, favorable media time, good ol’ Mayor Pete.

  16. dbk

    I recommend Nathan Robinson’s review (“All About Pete”) in a recent issue of Current Affairs of the Mayor’s recent autobiographical tome .

    It provides – in the form of a critical review with extensive commentary on the Mayor’s actual actions on the ground – all the background one needs to know at this point.

  17. Jeff W

    Aside from the critiques at Naked Capitalism and Benjamin Studebaker‘s blog, there are Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s actions to clear the homeless from their encampments under the Main Street railroad viaduct, using the pretense that the city needed to clean the sidewalks. A non-profit group had brought 30 wooden skids to the viaduct for people to sleep on—those skids were later seized by the city and destroyed.

    Buttigieg has a record, one of unmitigated neoliberal failure. Even by his own terms—turning South Bend into a “Silicon Prairie”—he failed miserably.

  18. different clue


    Your comment reminds me of a quote I once read in an Alan Nation interview in the paper Acres USA. I can’t remember the specific context, but it in general had to do with trying to be too different from all your neighbors or onlookers all at once.

    ” Americans have a weirdness tolerance limit. You can be a nudist, or you can be a Buddhist, but you can’t be a Buddhist nudist.”

  19. midmo:
    What are his values? Doing what ever rich donors tell him to?

  20. different clue

    @S Brennan,

    Have you looked to see if any of the blogs or sites from which articles and posts were disappeared were also saved over at the Wayback Machine- Internet Archive? If they were, and if they still are; are the disappeared posts still preserved over there at the Wayback Machine?

  21. S Brennan

    No I haven’t but the article I used to link to was in a Chicago black paper that did a devastating piece on Obama. I used the article a lot, [which was from a link on BAR] because, back in the day and to a certain extent even now, any criticism of Obama was deemed racist, the cynical use of “racism” was a teflon coating for Obama…a man who’s ancestry was never singed in the American crucible of slavery & Jim-Crow.

    Well, except his caucasian ancestry was involved in owning slaves and….his African ancestry in aiding the British to reduce Kenyans to colonial serfdom. Oddly enough, Obama was not well received when he visited Kenya last year…imagine that.

  22. different clue

    @S Brennan,

    I remember Obama being very well received in Kenya when he was President. Perhaps the Kenyans thought Obama would steer vast amounts of American money to Kenya. Perhaps they were disappointed with the less-than-vast amounts of money and other favors they actually got from America. Perhaps they felt that Obama had reneged on his tribal and familial responsibilites in that regard.

    At any rate, Obama has nothing to give Kenya now. Well . . . he could give them some of his own money, but considering how hard he worked for it during The White House Years, why would he share any of it with anyone. One doesn’t scratch and scuffle for the “big Tubmans” only to give them away. So why would Obama be especially well received in Kenya nowadays?

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén