Discuss-the-election thread

In my absence, I’m giving readers the opportunity to air their views about last night’s Democratic primary results in Nevada, in which The Bern got twice as many delegates as his nearest contender (Biden). Again, the results (given as delegates accrued):

It’s still early, of course, and only three small states have had their vote, but still—Bernie managed to do well among diverse voters, not just white ones. These include Hispanics and African Americans. The pundits—yes, I know, we’re all pundits—are prognosticating that Bernie is now unstoppable, almost a shoo-in for the nomination. I’d prefer someone more centrist, but that doesn’t seem likely. What does seem likely is that Elizabeth Warren, unless she somehow pulls off a turnaround in the next two weeks, she’s toast. (Super Tuesday, on March 3, comprises voting in 11 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia).

Warren was once my favorite candidate, but I lost enthusiasm for her when she turned a bit mendacious.(As I keep saying, I’ll vote for whomever the Dems nominate.) Now I have no favorite, although I still like Mayor Pete. Everyone says he’s too inexperienced, but to me experience is overrated—intelligence and ability to learn can overcome that. But it’s unlikely that Buttigieg can overcome his lack of support among black voters, a key part of the Democratic coalition.

But I digress. Here are some questions to discuss:

1.) Is it too early to prognosticate? Even if that’s the case, do you think Bernie will win the Democratic nomination?

2.) AT 78, and having just had a heart attack, is he too old?

3.) Should we be worried on both medical and promissory grounds that he said he’d release his medical records but now refuses to do so?

4.) Do you think he can beat Trump if he’s the candidate?

There are lots of other questions, including those involving the other candidates. Have at it.

Au revoir à mes amis!

192 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    1)I don’t know, but I suspect Sanders will win the nomination.

    2) Yes, he’s too old. So is Biden. So am I.

    3) I think he should release the medical records. But so should all of the candidates. Just like tax records.

    4) I think he can defeat tRump.

    • A C Harper
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Looking on from the UK it seems (somewhat simplified) that Trump was a Republican Protest candidate and that Sanders could be a Democratic Protest candidate. Both threatening the business-as-usual interests.

      So the question becomes how a presidential election between two ‘protest’ candidates would turn out. This departs from the usual expectations perhaps.

      I wish the USA well… good luck.

      • rickflick
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Actually, it’s not just the USA we should wish good luck. The US president has a worldwide impact. Maybe the entire rest of the world should get a couple of dozen electoral votes (but not Putin)?

        • Robert Van Orden
          Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

          To be sure, Putin has had his say already.

          • Alexander
            Posted February 23, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

            “has had”? I’m sure you can replace his by “has.”

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted February 24, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

          I always thought the US was inviting that objection when they spoke of themselves as ‘leaders of the free world’. You’re the leaders of the free world?….Well, let the rest of the free world have a say in things then.

  2. Posted February 23, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I do think Bernie is too old, as are Biden and Bloomberg. Refusing to release health information is not a good sign. At best he is a one term president. I don’t think he can beat Trump, but if he does it will energize the Republican party. I could see one term of Bernie followed by eight years of a Republican unless Democrats can find a less extreme populist liberal who will appeal to independents and centrists as well as the Democratic base. Obama was able to do that.

  3. notsecurelyanchored
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    1. Yes, too early. Maybe.

    2. Yes, I’m 77 and I know what old looks like.

    3. Yes, worried. And worried about VP?

    4. No, I love in a county that has gone from blue to red in the last ten years.

    • Greg Geisler
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      “No, I love in a county that has gone from blue to red in the last ten years.”

      It may appear that way but the numbers show that the total of American citizens that lean Democratic is larger than those who are Republican. Of the almost half of the country that didn’t vote in 2016 it was mostly Dems who didn’t show up at the polls.

      Providing that the polls aren’t hacked (a big concern), if Dem turnout is even a fraction better than it was in 2016 it will be a landslide win for Dems.

      2016 turnout:
      231,556,622 eligible voters

      46.9% didn’t vote
      25.6% voted for Clinton
      25.5% voted for Trump
      2.8% voted third-party

      It was mostly younger Dems and people of color that didn’t turn out in 2016. Bernie seems to have a lock on those demographics so I feel confident that, barring any hacking, he is more than capable of pulling off a victory.

      • Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        That is interesting data. It seems obvious that younger voters are a huge demographic, only they don’t tend to vote. If they did, Dems would be unstoppable, and government would become more progressive. Dems would do far better in midterms too if our younger people just got out there on Election Day.
        Signed: Captain Obvious.

        • Posted February 23, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          “It seems obvious that younger voters are a huge demographic, *only they don’t tend to vote*.” But who comes out to vote depends strongly on who’s running. Until Bernie’s critics fully grasp this fact, their election math will be suspect.

          On the other hand Bernie faces a huge election obstacle that the doubters have underplayed: he has the hostility of the mainstream media, including many liberal standard-bearers. Trump showed last time that getting media to give free coverage to your talking points is a huge advantage. This time he may show that getting media to publish unpaid attacks on your opponent is also a huge advantage.

          • Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

            Bernie fans’ election math will be suspect as long as they fail to grasp that Bernie will turn off large numbers of Obama 2008/2012 –> Trump 2016 voters and general working class voters.

            This conclusion is crystal clear; and these voters have a track record of showing up.

            Which the youth do not.

            It’s a judgement call. Who knows? No one.

            No one would be happier than me to hear on the news on Wednesday, Nov 4, 2020, “President-elect Bernie Sanders.”

            I just have a low confidence it will happen.

  4. Barry Lyons
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Sanders isn’t THAT old, and as far as his health is concerned, remember that Dick Cheney has had FIVE heart attacks. Yes, Sanders can beat Trump provided he seizes control of the conversation and ridicules Trump at every turn.

    While I’m here, here’s a tweet I posted yesterday:

    • Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      I see no real difference between a ‘socialist’ and a ‘Democratic socialist’. The end result from enacting those kinds of policies is the same.

      • GBJames
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        True, we’ll see evils like public ownership of police and fire departments.

        • Barry Lyons
          Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

          Also, there’s the horror of seeing government snow plows on the highways. And don’t get me started on public libraries!

      • amonymouse
        Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:12 am | Permalink

        You will also risk having a functioning 1st world health system that doesn’t cost twice as much other advanced countries for health outcomes half as good.

      • Posted February 24, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        What you see has no relevance in deciding what the two terms actually mean. These argument as as disingenuous as calling a laissez-faire libertarian the same thing as a fascist theocrat because they both occupy a place on the right wing on the political spectrum.

    • Historian
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      We have to distinguish between a social democrat and a democratic socialist. They are not the same. The former wants a system similar to Norway or Sweden. The latter wants, through democratic means, to nationalize the means of production. By calling himself a democratic socialist, Bernie is opening himself up to severe attacks by those claiming that he wants to end capitalism. As far as I can tell, Bernie is not advocating this in his rhetoric, although perhaps in his heart he would love to eliminate capitalism. In his speeches, he tries to portray himself as a latter day FDR, who was certainly not a democratic socialist.

      Nevertheless, we are beginning to see attacks on Sanders as a democratic socialist. Such is the case in an article by Daron Acemoglu on the Project Syndicate site. He claims that social democracy, not democratic socialism can help solve the nation’s economic problems. In other words, Bernie is labeling himself something he is not (a democratic socialist) and this can get him in trouble. He should refer to himself as a social democrat.

      https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/social-democracy-beats-democratic-socialism-by-daron-acemoglu-2020-02

      • GBJames
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        I thought he was a member of the Judean People’s Front.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted February 23, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          🤣you beat me to it!

        • Posted February 24, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          Autonomous collective!

      • Posted February 23, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        The issue that concerns me is not what sort of socialist he identifiea as, but how he is going to be portrayed. Sanders has left a 40-year record of views that are deeply unpopular with at least half the country. Trump’s campaign ads have been handed to him.

        • Alexander
          Posted February 23, 2020 at 11:58 am | Permalink

          Is a national health service unpopular?

          • Posted February 23, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

            You are missing my point. There are dozens of examples of Sanders advocating for things few agree with. In the late 1980s he told a reporter that he was “physically nauseated” by JFK’S speech because Kennedy was opposed to the Cuban Revolution and Communism. It is naive to think Trump’s marketing team won’t drag out stuff from Sanders’ pre-presidential aspiration days to great effect. People vote against their own interests all the time.

            • Posted February 24, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

              These will play nonstop from 17-Jul through 3-Nov:

              Bernie saying he’s a Socialist

              Bernie praising bread lines in Nicaragua

              • KD
                Posted February 25, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

                Here is the truth:

                Most people don’t give a f___ what you call yourself, probably don’t even know what a socialist vs. social democrat vs. democratic socialist means, but they do know they are getting ripped off for health care and college.

                They sure aren’t going to vote based on some geopolitical conflict from 40 years ago concerning a country they probably can’t find on the map.

              • Posted February 25, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

                I hope your “most people” assessment is correct. I do know that the Trump hard-core [and the Russian trolls] will be bloviating about this until the cows come home.

              • Posted March 5, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

                KD: I disagree pretty strongly. “Socialist” and “Socialism” are used as pejoratives in the US Midwest, where I live and where the 2020 election will be decided (along with VA and FL).

    • Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      What scares me is the probability of AOC becoming president (as she’s seems likely to be Sander’s VP choice) given the not insignificant odds of his death (~25% if death risk is about 1/15 per year for that age).

      I would likely have voted for Bernie last cycle if I could have, but this cycle he seems like a different entity.

      • Historian
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        No, AOC will not be his choice even if he should want her. Per the Constitution (Article II, Section 1), a person must be 35 to attain the presidency, so the V.P. must be 35 as well. On inauguration day in 2021, AOC will be 31.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted February 23, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          Traditional political wisdom would suggest that, if Bernie is the nominee, he’d balance the ticket with someone from the Party’s center-left progressive wing, ideally someone from the nation’s interior — say, Amy Klobuchar or Ohio senator Sherrod Brown.

          But then, traditional political wisdom seems to have gone the way of the buggy whip.

        • merilee
          Posted February 23, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          Thanks goodness, re:AOC

          • Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

            + a large number

            • merilee
              Posted February 24, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

              ❗️❗️

  5. Nancy Holst
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    I”m voting for Elizabeth, but will definitely back Bernie if he ends up being our candidate.

    I think Bernie will end up being our candidate. I know all SIX of my kids (ages 25-40) have been “feeling the Bern” since he announced, and all will be voting for him. Our of my 5 siblings, 3 (sisters) will vote blue and my 2 brothers (no surprise here) still support Trump.

    Yes, Bernie is too old.

    I don’t care about his medical records. I already KNOW he’s NOT the picture of health, but I figure he’s good for one term.

    Finally, YES, I think he can beat Trump.

  6. Historian
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    There is no question now that Bernie Sanders is the front runner for the Democratic nomination even if he only averages 35% in the popular election due to there being several “moderates” (Biden, Bloomberg, Klobuchar, and Buttigieg) who are splitting the moderate vote. This means that the party rules regarding “delegate math” strongly favor Sanders, particularly if none of the moderates drop out by Super Tuesday on March 3rd, which seems unlikely. John Cassidy at the New Yorker explains these rules:

    https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-delegate-math-now-favors-bernie-sanders

    So, the remaining big question is whether at convention time, Sanders has a majority or just a large plurality of the delegates. If it is the former, then the party has no choice but to unite behind Sanders as the only way to beat Trump. If it is the latter, we will have to see how willing one or more of the other candidates will be to switch their support to Sanders on the second ballot (or possibly on the first if another candidate drops out before the first ballot and releases his/her delegates to vote for Sanders to give him a majority and the nomination. If Sanders doesn’t get the nomination on the second ballot, we can expect a protracted and chaotic fight, which of course would work to Trump’s favor. If, when all is said and done, Sanders is denied the nomination, Trump will very likely win the election because the Bernie supporters will be incredibly bitter and may not vote all or will support the Green Party.

    This analysis leads me to the conclusion that the Democratic Party must support Sanders’ nomination even if he does not have a majority of delegates going into the convention. This would be the least of all evils because at least Sanders would have a chance of winning the general election. It is not at all certain that he would be a sure loser. Denying him the nomination would result in a very likely disaster, not just on the presidential level but “down ballot” as well. Of course, once the election is over the Democratic Party will once again re-examine how it should nominate presidential candidates.

    Yes, Bernie is too old as is Biden and Bloomberg. Nevertheless, if he wins the nomination, we will have to go with him and give special attention to whom he picks as the vice-presidential nominee.

  7. Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    1 – Yes, but it is looking like Bernie is taking a big lead and has some momentum.
    2 – Yes. Bernie will be a few months short of 80 by the time inauguration day arrives. That’s just too old. The job is pressure packed and high stress and his age will be a limitation imho.
    3 – Yes.
    4 – No. The socialist mantra and the crazy talk from some of his employees makes me cringe so am not really supporting him. I consider myself a centrist and feel that many like me will not vote for Sanders. Heck just the endorsements from the squad is enough to make me run away. No way Bernie will utter the words “Islamic terrorist” because it will ‘offend’ people. *Sigh*

    Just like the last time, Bernie has split the Democrats in at least two parts which will give the victory to the Republicans by default.

    • Don
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      My worst nightmares of a Sanders presidency are still 100 times better than the reality of Trump.

      • Posted February 24, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        Yes: The DP must unite behind whoever is nominated, including Bernie supporters if he isn’t chosen.

        Super Tuesday and SC will tell the tale, IMO.

    • Posted February 24, 2020 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      And Bernie doesn’t care about that, since he is not a Democrat and never has been.

  8. Topher
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    1.) It is a bit early, but in 7 days if he wins in SC, then 3 days later is Super Tuesday and I think Bernie will put it away then.

    2.) He is a vibrant and energetic man – nuf said

    3.) Nope

    4.) With one hand tied behind his back! If you haven’t seen Bernie doing townhalls in red states you have no idea how well he will do with Independents and Never-Trumpers.

    What is the number one issue in American today? Healthcare – Bernie is the leader and NV Union voters showed his strength because they bucked their own leadership to vote for Bernie and give him the win

  9. merilee
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Sub

  10. JB
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Bernie has remained consistent for 30 years; he says that and I believe it. But 30 years ago he was touting the wonders of the USSR. He has never condemned communism even though that system kills tens of millions. I am worried.

    I too like Mayor Pete. People immediately say he’s too inexperienced, but wasn’t Obama fairly new to politics as well? But will America vote for a gay man yet? I feel like a lot of people aren’t ready for it…

  11. C.
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    tRump hides his medical checkups, refuses to release his tax returns, and threatened to sue any school that releases his grades. Do I care if Bernie refuses to release his medical records? Not one damn bit. He’s old. So what? So is tRump but Bernie isn’t bat-shit crazy. Reagan was losing his mind in office, tRump goes in and out of reality faster than digital tv in a thunderstorm, and Cheney was a heart and head case. All old as hell, none the picture of youth or health. So, why should the age of any of the democrats matter?

    And for the record, I’m not a Bernie supporter, I’m a “any damn body but tRump” supporter.

    • Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      “‘any damn body but tRump’ supporter”

      Right on brother!

  12. Randall Schenck
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    All of the discussion is just so much sand on the beach. It makes no difference who gets the nomination and everyone should agree to this. The only thing that matters are two issues – taking Trump out in November and removing the republicans from control in the Senate. Nothing else matters. If you think it does, you probably are not paying attention or you pay way too much attention to the wrong things. If we cannot do this, the country is without hope. Four more years in the current direction and you have nothing left. You just as well be living in Ukraine, the eastern part.

    • Historian
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Yes, defeating Trump and winning the Senate is all that matters. Unfortunately, there are all too many people, who claim to despise Trump, that get up in too many relative petty differences. And then they wonder why democracy is going down the tubes.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Yes, my theory is that both parties have gone down the tubes, but we have overlooked it. The republican party died before the last election and proved it with Trump, a guy who use to call himself a democrat. The democrats failed as proven by Clinton’s loss and the rise of Bernie. What we need are new names for these parties and just throw out the old. Why call something it isn’t? So the republicans should be Autocracy of the rich. The Democrats could be Semi-Socialist. Maybe if people had better labels on this they would know what they are voting for?

      • Eric Grobler
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        One of the reasons why “democracy is going down the tubes” is that the presidential candidates are terrible from both parties and the democrats are alienating a lot of voters with divisive rhetoric about race and gender.

        That is why I cannot stand people like Elizabeth Warren for example.

        Perhaps the democrats have the same problem as Labour in the UK, they have such a radical base that come the election their candidates do not appeal to the average voter.
        Examples are Jeremy Corbyn who proudly announced his “gender pronouns” and Warren who promised that she would give a transgender child a veto on the Education Secretary.

        • KD
          Posted February 24, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

          I would be careful about analogies to Corbyn. First, Sanders is a better politician, and second, England is about 30 years behind America demographically, basically about where America was in 1990’s.

          The “Great Replacement” may be a conspiracy theory, but I would count on many of the centrist white liberal politicians finding themselves replaced over the next 20 yeas, and I don’t think AIPAC will be able to maintain bipartisan influence. The future Democratic party nominees are going to be closer to Hugo Chavez than Joe Lieberman.

        • Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

          the presidential candidates are terrible from both parties

          Do you mean terrible to be the figurehead for an election or terrible presidents? I think Hilary Clinton would have made a good president even though she proved to be a poor candidate.

    • Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      This!

      Yes Sanders is too old, but there is no way he is worse than the incumbent. Whoever the Dem candidate turns out to be, everybody who thinks Trump is a danger to the country and the World (which he is) must get behind them. And I think that is what will happen.

      • Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        I don;t think anyone is saying Bernie is worse than Trump.

        Many of us fear he wouldn’t beat Trump.

    • Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      It’s not true that “nothing else matters”, even if we’re sworn to support any Democratic candidate nominated, as I am.

      It peeves me that you keep saying that my concerns, as well as everybody else pondering the candidates, are irrelevant, and we aren’t paying attention. Could you please be more polite? Remember, many of us are going to support who the Democrats nominate, so why kick us around?

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        I said may be paying too much attention as well. But you can bend my words all you want. It is your site. I just happen to think what is being done here is exactly why we have the nightmare of politics we have in this country. Here we are about to lose more than two hundred years of work while we discuss the merits of one candidate over another. Sorry I am not polite enough for you.

        • Posted February 23, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

          Lol two hundred years of work on what? If you think the US is only recently turning into an oligarchy you are the one not paying attention. It has been an oligarchy from the very beginning; only begrudgingly and with bloodshed did the ruling class cede a modicum of power to black, women, and the poor. Don’t take it from me, take it from James Madison: the government “ought
          to be so constituted as to protectt the minority of the opulent against the majority”. So it has. It just gets more blatant under Trump.

  13. Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    1: Yeah, Sanders is going to win.

    2: Yes, so he needs to pick a good VP.

    3: He probably should release his medical records. No matter how bad they may be, they cannot be worse than speculation.

    4: I give him about 30-70 odds. Trump has a strong economy (at least at first blush) and Sanders doesn’t have the backing of his party establishment.

    So here is my message to the youth vote: No cloaking laziness behind cynicism here. Sanders is not the same as the Republicans, and if he wins with enough support in both houses, it means major benefits for the next generation of Americans.

    We’re talking healthcare, we’re talking the student debt crisis, we’re talking environmentalism. Sanders is not the older voter’s choice, he’s the youth choice, so damn well show up on election day because if you don’t, and Trump gets another term, it will be forty years before you see another leftist presidential candidate.

    If you’re going to push Sanders as the candidate, you’ve got to come out and vote, get your friends to come out and vote, and make damn sure that the people in the Midwest come out and vote. All your Twitter activism means jack shit if you don’t show up on election day.

    • yazikus
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      If you’re going to push Sanders as the candidate, you’ve got to come out and vote, get your friends to come out and vote, and make damn sure that the people in the Midwest come out and vote. All your Twitter activism means jack shit if you don’t show up on election day.

      Preach it!

    • Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      “Sanders doesn’t have the backing of his the Democrat party establishment”

      Bernie is not a Democrat and never has been.

      • Posted February 24, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        That argument you’ve just put forward is one of the reasons why I think Sanders is the primary candidate with the best chance of winning the general.

        Not because of anything I’ve got against the other runners, every candidate has their downsides, but because no other candidate has had their membership of the party so thoroughly denied despite the popularity of their campaigns.

        That means for Sanders, he can run as a Democrat with some assurance to the supporters of his opponents that he is at least on the same side. He’s not denied their party membership, whatever else he’s said about them he hasn’t declared that degree of distance.

        Sanders supporters have no such assurance from any other candidate, which means because of this stupid meme those other candidates are going to have a much harder time winning over Sanders’ support base for the general.

        • Posted February 24, 2020 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

          No, really, Bernie has never been a Democrat.

          He’s made a head-fake a couple of times and that’s about it.

          Take a look: He lists himself, today, as “I-VT”. https://www.sanders.senate.gov/

          What he wants is access to the DP “means of production”.

          And if he can do that, more power to him.

          As I’ve said, ad nauseum: I am afraid Bernie won’t beat Trump.

          If anyone had a crystal ball that could prove he would, I’d be all-in.

          If he gets the nod, I am voting for him and I will promote him.

    • Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Trump has a strong economy

      Not for much longer IMO. Economies run in cycles and we are due a downturn in the next couple of years. TRump’s trade wars and coronavirus are likely to hasten that. The only real question is whether the downturn will happen in time for it to affect the election.

  14. GregZ
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    1. Yes, it’s too early to prognosticate.
    2. Yes, Bernie is too old.
    3. Yes.
    4. No, Bernie is not electable. And if he is not the Democratic candidate, his supporters won’t vote at all.

    • GBJames
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Not much point in having an election at all, then, is there? May as well just declare Donald President For Life now and be done with it.

  15. Harrison
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    • Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      I have a copy of mine, and I carry it from doctor to doctor. It’s getting pretty heavy these days.

  16. Kevin
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    No. He is a socialist and I believe Trump will destroy him. However, I was certain Trump couldnt win, either, so what do I know?!

  17. rickflick
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    1.) Yes, it is too early, but Sanders now has some good momentum. It is somewhat likely Bernie will win the nomination.

    2.) No, he’s not too old. He seems robust enough to endure 4 years at least. I think a young female VP choice would alleviate worries in that department. Amy is the obvious choice.

    3.) It’s his strategic decision that releasing his medical records would do more harm than good. Given the urgency of the tRump problem, I’ll give him a pass.

    4.) Yes, he can beat Trump, perhaps by a landslide. It just depends on how he comports himself as the nominee. He’s been steady in his views for 40 years, I don’t think we’ll see much change. I don’t think there is a chance the congress will pass medicaid for all, so his effect will probably be some incremental compromise. Note that, without Democratic control of the Senate. Not much of anything will happen anyway. Sanders might have to wait for his second term to get any legislation past Mitch.( the second term might have to be led by a different candidate).

  18. Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    It does seem to me that the centrist candidates (Biden, Buttigieg, Bloomberg) will now be splitting the centrist voters among them, so none will win although one could do quite well if the others would just butt out.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted February 24, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      It’s almost identical to the Labour leadership contest in 2015(?) – a large cluster of barely distinguishable moderates…versus the only far-left candidate in the race.

      I would make it clear that the Democratic candidates in this case are vastly, vastly more charismatic, qualified and credible than any of the Labour candidates for leadership were back then, but the overall situation is pretty much exactly the same: the outsider candidate scoops up most of the far-left votes while the moderate vote is split between a selection of candidates who fail to distinguish themselves from one another sufficiently.

      P.S. I think Sanders is the only candidate that can actually win now, and I did say the same thing a few months ago. I think he’ll win the nomination…and I think he’ll beat Trump. For what my opinion is worth, which is nothing given how fucking insane politics is these days.

      If the nomination is NOT Sanders, the biggest danger seems to me to be the total disillusionment among the youth vote and the far-left of the party, at ‘their candidate’ being ‘cheated'(whether he was or wasn’t isn’t the point, they’ll say he was) out of the nomination yet again. Trump has already started sowing discord there, and that’s why I think even if Buttigieg/Biden/Klobuchar/etc. won the nomination he/she would be hamstrung by the resentments of Sanders supporters who would not have learned their lesson from 2016, and who would refuse to vote Democrat.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 24, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        Your Bernie will win theory has merit in that both Bernie & Trump are populists just with a different ideology. That means their demographic overlaps somewhat so it could mean that Bernie could take votes away from Trump if he does things right. What that is, I don’t know but I hope he knows.

      • Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        Your last paragraph is spot-on and it is what gave der Drumpfenführer the win in 2016: The Bernie supporters (enough of them) sat on their hands.

        And much good it did them.

      • Posted February 24, 2020 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        The Labour Leadership vote in 2015 was held under an AV system. The split between the moderate candidates wouldn’t have been an issue.

  19. Simon Hayward
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    1) Most likely, but might still be a little early.
    2) Yes. Actuarial tables give him a life expectancy of about 8.7 years. He just had a cardiac “event” so his personal numbers might be worse than the tables (same issues apply to Biden and Bloomberg)
    3) Yes
    4)Yes, he can. The question though, is will he? Probability IMO is too close for comfort.

  20. Rick Bannister
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    As a Canadian I have no vote in this issue but will be deeply affected if Trump is re-elected. Here is a video of the U.S. Founding Fathers singing (to the tune of American Pie) their feelings about the coming election.

    • Historian
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      This video has been posted on this site several times before (I did so myself last week). But, I am glad to see it again. Yes, it is a parody, but it cuts to the truth. In a few verses it makes clear that this election is not an ordinary one. I hope people realize that more than their parochial interests are at issue. It is not hyperbole to state that democracy is at stake. I hope the video inspires people to get out to vote.

      • EdwardM
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        Very well done and I totally agree with the message – this election poses a real existential risk for our republic, so; “vote for anyone but this guy”. And may I add; “…for fuck’s sake”.

        But I’ve got to say, those singing founding fathers were creepy as hell. Gave me the willies, they did.

        • merilee
          Posted February 23, 2020 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

          They no more gave me the willies than the original American Pie song, which I’ve never liked. Good lyrics in the parody, though.

          • Servatius
            Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

            I’ve always really disliked this song but these lyrics almost saved it.

        • Posted February 23, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, those animated faces are smack dab in the middle of the “uncanny valley” (<– worth a Google if you're not familiar with this useful concept)

  21. Clark Yerrington
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    The electability argument starts to look a lot different in light of a series of Sanders wins. He performed admirably in a wide range of voter demographic profiles in NV. The party establishment is going to see their Vote Blue No Matter Who directive flipped on its head — let’s see if that still applies to Sanders if he’s the nominee? Lacking the details from his doctors and surgeons — at least, he looks great, seems to have boundless energy, is not overweight [all in contrast to Trump who is five years younger; both are in their 70s]. He’s consistently polled well, beating Trump in a hypothetical matchup a couple points more than any of the other Dems [though all lead, vs. the incumbent]. Trump and the GOP are going to call him a communist. Hardcore right-wingers will never be swayed. To persuade those on the fence, we will need to clarify the difference between FDR-style Democratic Socialism and Socialism as it’s been practiced in other places. They are not the same and efforts to conflate the two should be shown to be disingenuous and intentionally deceptive. I’ve been voting for 42 years, a registered D since 2004 and undeclared before that. In every election with one or two exceptions for special circumstances voted a straight D ticket. I do believe that the Democrats have drifted to the right over time and in many ways, we have a corporate-oriented duopoly and not opposition parties. Really like the Matt Stoller article in The Atlantic, How Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul that goes on at length about when a younger generation of Ds took over the US House in 1974 and kicked many of the elder New Deal reps to the curb — deciding to embrace corporate donors and make social issues and not financial ones the main focus — setting the table for Reaganomics and forty years of wage stagnation. Sanders represents a return to the Democratic Party’s roots and I welcome his agenda.

    • Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      The near-universal chorus I heard from callers on my local NPR station was: “I hate Trump. Give me a Democrat I can vote for. Bernie and Warren are not that.”

      This same, even from “life-long GOP voters.”

      “Socialism” is a poisonous word in USA politics. Bernie enthusiastically embraces it.

      I don’t see Bernie energizing a large segment of the DP. I see him energizing an activist left-wing slice (which typically includes lots of young people).

      Bernie got 39,000 total votes in NV. Not exactly a tidal wave there.

      SC and Super-Tuesday will tell us much.

      I hope we unseat Trump. If Bernie is nominated, I will vote for him.

  22. Robert Van Orden
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Sanders isn’t a shoe in yet, but he’s the favorite and he can be the presumptive nominee as soon as Super Tuesday is over.

    No, I don’t think Sanders can win in November. He isn’t a socialist in the strict definition of the term but he’ll be painted as one by the Trump campaign. They’ll play the old tapes of him praising the USSR and such. They’ll play current tapes of him advocating for entitlements for the undocumented. They are going to tie him to ‘woke’ leftists. Trump is very good on playing on people’s fears.

    I’m also more then a little concerned about the anti-establishmentarianism coming from both sides of the political spectrum right now. Like a horseshoe, the far left and far right are closer to each other then the center in this regard. Putin’s greatest achievement, BTW.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      “They’ll play the old tapes of him praising the USSR and such”

      Did he actually do that?
      I am interested to know to what extend did he support Marxists governments in the Cold War like Cuba.

    • EB
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Good riddance to the establishment. They’ve done more than enough damage to the country as it is. Working people are tired of choosing which party will ship their jobs overseas, and deciding between which combination to run the country: (Wall Street + Silicon Valley) or (Wall Street + Fossil Fuels). But really, only the Democrats are fielding an anti-establishment candidate, in substance. That hasn’t yet happened to the Republicans, outside of temporary deviations in rhetoric.

      • Eric Grobler
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        However, I do not think the working class is in favor of open borders, and Sanders seemed to have changed his position on that?

        • EB
          Posted February 23, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

          I take it we are talking about the “abolish ICE” slogan. But Bernie just means to break up that agency, and transfer its responsibilities to other existing agencies. I don’t think he has ever indicated that crossing the border will be permitted as a legal act for anyone who wants. And I doubt he will make it a priority to take down the border fence, but he won’t add to it either. Deportations of long-time residents will presumably go way down, and will be restricted to serious criminals. He will emphasize penalties for corporations that hire illegals at substandard wages, a plan that will drive down the incentive for taking in foreign labor in the first place.

          I think it is mostly his staff and young surrogates (AOC included) who see it as their historic mission to “pull Bernie left” that are making the strategic error of elevating ‘abolish ICE’ and ‘open borders’ rhetoric. I bet, or hope rather, that Bernie will fire most of the DSA types for the general. Lest they abolish clapping at Bernie rallies in favor of jazz hands (I presume you’ve seen the viral video of their absurd convention last July).

          • Eric Grobler
            Posted February 23, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

            Common sense analysis, thanks

  23. Jon Gallant
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Alas, the Democrats threw away the opportunity to nominate an effective, pragmatic Liberal like Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana. Instead, the nomination seems to be headed toward Uncle Bernie, with the following, quite predictable consequences.

    It is not too unlikely (but not especially likely) that he could win: if the young things who adore him show up and vote in numbers great enough to offset the centrists, independents, anti-Trump Republicans, and individuals not born yesterday who will not vote for Bernie. However, as James Carville points out, it is beyond question that Bernie at the top of the ticket will assure that the Republicans retain control of the Senate. In that case, under President Bernie, the Democrats will be unable to push so much as the naming of post office through the Senate.

    It follows that those of us who are not keen on Uncle Bernie’s “program” (vaporizing medical insurance, awarding a free pony to everybody, whatever) can nonetheless vote for him, happily secure in the knowledge that his “program” will remain no more than hot air.

  24. johnjfitzgerald
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Questions:

    1.) Is it too early to prognosticate? Even if that’s the case, do you think Bernie will win the Democratic nomination?

    Bernie is a strong candidate and gains strength every day. The moderate Democrats have done very little for the country. Sanders offers real change. He has the winning coalition for the nomination. Economic inequality and malignant corporate power are the main issues.

    2.) AT 78, and having just had a heart attack, is he too old? He is old, but he has serious gravitas and character. He is healthy enough.

    3.) Should we be worried on both medical and promissory grounds that he said he’d release his medical records but now refuses to do so? It bothers me that he has not released his full medical record.

    4.) Do you think he can beat Trump if he’s the candidate? Yes, he can beat Trump. Hillary turned off a large number of Democratic voters. Bernie turns them on. Turn out is key to defeating Trump.

    • Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      “The moderate Democrats have done very little for the country.”

      This is the nonsense DP=GOP trope.

      Der Drumpfenführer and the GOP are disastrous for our values.

      Compare the priorities of the congress in 2009 to the priorities in 2017.

      Compare the SCOTUS justices appointed (and attempted, damn you lyin’ Moscow Mitch) 1993-2001 and 2009-2017 with those appointed 2001-2009 and 2017 to now.

      Obamacare
      Defense of Social Security and Medicare
      Defending environmental legislation
      Standing up for human rights at home and abroad
      Defense of women’s rights
      Defense of gay rights

      (How would all this have gone under all-GOP rule?)

      You have noticed that the country has (by voting patterns) shifted significantly to the right since I started voting in the 1970s, haven’t you?

      They (the DP) have been engaged in a defensive battle since 1968 (at least). Especially since 1980.

      I fear a Bernie nomination; but if he gets the nod, I’ll be voting for him and pushing him as hard as I can.

    • Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Bernie will also turn off a large number of voters by his embrace of “Socialism”.

      It’s a judgement call whether he’ll bring in more young voters or turn off more people who are saying: “I hate Trump, give me a Democrat I can vote for.”

      I fear the latter will predominate.

      On (2), how can you know this?: “He is healthy enough”

      I suspect he probably is; but who knows? I have very low confidence in such a judgement (from anyone except his physician).

  25. yazikus
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    2.) AT 78, and having just had a heart attack, is he too old?

    I, personally, don’t really have an opinion on the age question, but a much respected former colleague said this during the last election:

    I won’t vote for Clinton or Trump. I am their age, and I know what it means to be past your intellectual prime. They are both too old.


    That said, intellectual prime is a bar we haven’t seen in a few years.

  26. EB
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Turnout was way up, thought to be past 2008, if I’m not mistaken. That’s driven by Bernie surely. Pete has little chance to win over minority voters this late in the game and his neverending Obama impression is getting a bit tiresome. Liz is banking on the party committing suicide at their convention, and nominating her on a contested ballot as a compromise between centrism and socialism; that would leave neither wing of the party satisfied. Biden will drop out after Super Tuesday, or even S. Carolina if he loses, which will help secure Bernie’s place. Contrary to the recent media practice of adding together the votes of centrists on one hand, and those of Bernie and Liz on the other, quite a substantial share of Biden fans like Bernie as their second choice.

    Bernie admirably stuck to his principles for 5 years now and it’s paid off handsomely. I suspect he will moderate a bit on immigration after securing the nom, and we won’t see AOC in swing states. She is unlikeable to the unwoke.

    I certainly don’t think Bernie is too old. He exhibits no sign of mental decline and remains spry. That could change in 4 years, and so he may well be a one-term president due to his age. That’ll make his choice for VP especially important, as it was in 2008 for McCain. It’ll definitely be a woman. Perhaps Barbara Lee.

    • rickflick
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      “Bernie admirably stuck to his principles for 5 years”

      Don’t you mean, 55 years?

      • EB
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        You’re right, he’s been the same since forever ago. I meant he has been consistent since coming into the public eye, and so people can see that he hasn’t adopted his positions out of the blue, just for this election cycle.

  27. Geoffrey Howe
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Don’t really see how Bernie can defeat Trump. The guy’s potential as an anti-establishment vote was hurt significantly when he kow-towed to Hillary. His ‘been steady for 40 years’ thing wore off when he went from “Illegal immigration is a Koch brother scheme” to “Let’s include illegal immigrants in free healthcare”.

    What’s more, Trumps baggage, that he was a lout, was already well known. It was baked in. But I’m routinely shocked at how few people know about Bernie Sanders MANY instances of praising Communist dictatorships. Even the recent Project Veritas videos got little coverage (and last I heard, he still hadn’t fired those gulag-supporting staffers). Trump is going to hammer these points home HARD, and Bernie will be devastated by them. He’s holding back (by his standards) for now, because he wants to use all that ammo against the actual contender, and not get such an easy target to lose the Primary.

    What’s more, and this is the most important thing, incumbent presidents almost never lose the election. The largest cause of an incumbent losing an election is being the former-vice president, and running for the 4th term in a row for a given party. Think George HW Bush and others like him. But when you’re finishing up the first term after 8 years of the other president being in power. I don’t care to look up how often that happens, but I think a high-school shop teacher could count it on one hand. And given that the economy is booming right now (it doesn’t matter what you think the cause is, rightly or wrongly, it always helps the incumbent), I don’t see why this will change.

    Buttigieg was the only real hope the Democrats had. I didn’t think he stood a good chance, especially with Trump making efforts to recruit the black vote, and Buttigieg doing poorly there, but he had a lot going for him. But Bernie? Not a chance in hell. I was betting on Trump winning by a comfortable margin, including the popular vote. But with Bernie, I give pretty good odds to Trump capturing every swing state. And with the recent UK elections serving as an example… I can’t rule out him taking out some Democrat stronghold states either. I know the UK isn’t the US, but we’re pretty darn closely related. Neither Trump or Brexit were predicted, and so I think we can draw some corralaries, albeit cautiously.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      “From “Illegal immigration is a Koch brother scheme” to “Let’s include illegal immigrants in free healthcare”.”

      Madness. Again stupid pandering to the noisy woke left of the party that could loose the democrats the election.

      • Alexander
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        So you would think it is acceptable to decline the treatment of an illegal immigrant found with cancer, with a good prognosis, the full treatment, that is chemotherapy and radiation therapy? Would you just let him die? What about an American who could not afford the health insurance fees?

        • Eric Grobler
          Posted February 23, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          Are you making the argument that any foreigner should get free and extensive cancer treatment in the US?

          • Alexander
            Posted February 23, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

            Well, if he or she has no insurance or own means, as a refugee, of course, yes. You can’t let someone just die because he has no money. Or do you think differently?

            • Eric Grobler
              Posted February 23, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

              “Would you just let him die? ”
              I am sure you do not mean to, but this comes across as a bit patronizing.

              It is a question of resources.
              If an idealistic compassionate person suggest that the US should provide free cancer treatment to everyone in the world, how would you respond?

              Now you could argue that the US only has a responsibility to people inside the country, but how would you then respond to “so you do not care about people dying in Uganda?”

              • Posted February 23, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

                Given finite resources, health care rationing is a necessity. The question is by what criteria. The consensus, at least among philosophers and medical ethicists, is that you prioritize people who can get most out of the treatment (there’re debates on how to quantify that, quality adjusted life years or disability adjusted life years or whatnot). I have yet to hear anyone suggest that we prioritize patients based on immigration status. Well, maybe I just heard that. No offense to you, but I submit that a pragmatically compassionate person doesn’t *have* to favor immigration status or national border as a criterion for rationing health care. In fact, I think no such person would favor it.

              • Alexander
                Posted February 23, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

                “Would you just let him die? ”
                “I am sure you do not mean to, but this comes across as a bit patronizing.”

                Why is it patronizing? It is in fact a reality. I once was at a party in New York, and there were several nurses that worked at the Bellevue Hospital in NY. They told us that every day sick babies were just left to die, without medical care. So perhaps you are right when you say “It is a question of resources.” But how is it possible that the richest economy in the world cannot deal with its medical problems, while it can pay for Trump’s golf? The answer is that the rich feel that are entitled to first class medical treatment, and the others can… It explains why average longevity in the US is low, as compared to European countries.

              • Eric Grobler
                Posted February 23, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

                “Given finite resources, health care rationing is a necessity. The question is by what criteria.”

                You formulate the principle/essence much better than me.

        • Geoffrey Howe
          Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          Medical care has to come from somewhere. My wife has been in crippling pain for almost 2 months now due to a back injury she received working as a nurse. It’s not agonizing (anymore), but she wasn’t certain she’d be able to sit down to watch a movie this weekend because of it.

          Health care is limited. Medical staff are often overworked as it is. Supplies cost money. Insurance against lawsuits cost money. We can’t just give it away for free. We couldn’t do it for all Americans, why in the hell should we do it for anyone who enters the country without permission?

          America isn’t a perfect nation. There are still citizens dying on our streets. It’s going to take more than just money to take care of them, but it seems absurd that we should prioritize using our resources on people who shouldn’t even be here.

          I’m sorry, but the world isn’t perfect. We can’t build a Utopia. It means ‘No place’ for a reason. Does anyone on this website think we should be the World Police? If not, then why should we be the World Doctors?

          • rickflick
            Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

            I’m not sure about the numbers, but many other nations have a successful national health care system. Expensive, yes. Well appreciated, yes. There is no reason we cannot provide basic healthcare to all Americans.

            As far as illegal immigrants, I don’t know. People in desperate need should be given care. Think of a family fleeing violence in their country. Once they are here, shouldn’t we do the decent thing and at least provide basic care while their situation is handled by the courts? On the other hand, how do you encourage people to respect our immigration laws? I don’t know the answer.

            • Posted February 24, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

              Actually, not expensive. The countries of the EU and the UK get better outcomes for far less cost than we do.

              • rickflick
                Posted February 24, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

                That’s what Bernie’s been saying for 20 years.

              • Posted February 24, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

                And it’s true. Getting there in the USA is going to be a long haul. Too many sacred cows.

                I always love the right-wing line: “Do you want a bureaucrat deciding whether you get health care?!”

                My response is: Would you rather have a disinterested bureaucrat deciding (in the government) or a bureaucrat whose annual bonus depends denying as many claims as possible deciding?

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted February 24, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

                I always find that amusing since I’ve only had a doctor deciding if I get health care and in the US often it’s an insurance company that decides.

      • Posted February 23, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        What’s with this Koch brother scheme thing (I know they are for liberal immigration policy, but a stopped clock is also right twice a day), and why is that somehow inconsistent with treating illegal immigrants as people with rights and dignity, as you seem to suggest?

        • EB
          Posted February 23, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

          Bernie of 2016 was right about identifying open borders with the Koch Brothers (i.e. the Cato Institute and libertarian ideology). Absent political and economic integration between the US and Latin America, open borders is a brutal policy that pits undocumented labor against domestic residents, sending wages in a downward spiral. We can wish it were not so, but thems the cards. Angela Nagle wrote what should have been a highly effective essay (‘The Left case against open borders’), but was instantly canceled by the left twitter police, now being relegated to the occasional appearance on Tucker Carlson, which makes her double-canceled. A large segment of working people don’t need to read such essays or other tracts to get the implications of migration. Woke-scolding them as xenophobes and deplorables is about as awful a reaction as I can imagine, and yet that’s exactly been the Democratic strategy.

          Open borders under a utopian one-world government is unobjectionable, on the other hand.

          • Posted February 23, 2020 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

            I doubt anyone on the left would seriously propose open border as a stand-alone policy (perhaps there are rabid elements on twitter but I’m not online enough to know). If implemented alone open border will, of course, be a disaster, but is there any open border advocate who doesn’t want a fairer global economic order to go with it? None that I know of.

            Nagle’s essay, while she certainly deserves to be cancelled over it, seems to me to have largely missed the fact that open border is part of a bigger agenda, not an isolated “cultural” issue. Some 150 years ago when women began to enter the workforce en masse, I’m sure there was a union leader or two who argued for a “left case” against women at the workplace. They would point out that allowing women to work, usually at considerably lower wages than men, ultimately benefited the capitalists. Nagle thinks like those union leaders and she is as right as they were—that is, wrong in the larger context, and wrong in the long run.

            • Posted February 23, 2020 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

              “while she certainly *does not* deserve to be cancelled over it”

              Not a Freudian slip I assure you.

        • Geoffrey Howe
          Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

          “Rights and dignity”? You mean the fruits of other peoples hard work? Health care comes from somewhere. It’s not like Free Speech, where all the government has to do is NOT do something to give it to people. It takes money, man-hours, and a lot of physical labor and emotional stress. You can’t just declare it a right and say the government has to give it to people. It’s a product and service.

          If you believe that something being a right means the government has to provide it to people, then does that mean I am owed a free gun, because I have the right to own one?

          Anyway, that’s a side point. The main point is Bernie Sanders used to be against open borders (which is actually a better system than the radical lefts current pro-illegal immigration system, because at least then the immigrants would be legally recognized). And now he is in favor of it.

          In order to say “I will give healthcare to illegal immigrants” what you are saying is that the government KNOWS the individual is an illegal immigrant, and not only does it not deport them, but actually gives them goods and services. This means that crossing the border without permission is effectively no longer a crime. This is open borders.

          Bernie Sanders caved into Hillary after she cheated him out of the election. And now he’s caved into the radical lefts open borders insanity, after having declared it a conspiracy of big corporations.

          And if you don’t know why big corporations would support illegal immigrants… well, supply and demand. As the supply of low skilled workers goes up, the demand goes down, and their wages get depressed. Which means corporations get cheaper laborers. And that’s just under open borders. Under pro-illegal immigration, the corporations low-skilled laborers are not just the lower class, they’re second class. Which means they can be treated worse than any legal citizen.

          Bernie cannot claim he supports the working class, while also supporting illegal immigration.

          We can have all the debates we want about increasing immigration, or making it easier to immigrate… Hell, we can even talk about open borders, as insane as that idea is, but when you get to illegal immigration, to supporting the existence of a lower class of citizens, then you’ve crossed the line.

          Throw on the idea that we can afford to pay for healthcare for these people? A group of people who are even MORE incentive to come here thanks to free services, thus exacerbating the problem? This is why Bernie has no chance of being elected. It’s why no Democrat has a chance of being elected, because even Buttigieg has, I believe, been caught supporting free health care for illegal immigrants.

          • rickflick
            Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

            On immigration, I think he’s giving in to far left pressure here. But, he definitely hedges on the issue as you can see here:

            “And then you’ll see another set of 30-second ads because when I say I want to make public colleges and universities tuition-free, that also includes the undocumented,” Sanders said. “Now I hope that as soon as possible the undocumented will not be undocumented. That’s the goal.”

            In other words, I think he would like to see broad immigration reform that recognizes that immigration is going to be with us. It’s a matter of how you handle it, and I think he’s hedging on the exact mechanisms. But he’s hinting that there should be a path to citizenship for many. He’s appealing, I suspect, to the very large Hispanic population with recent ties to Central and South America. I don’t think he’s crazy. He will tie his aspirations to congress enacting new legislation which is long overdue.

          • Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

            Giving health care to illegal immigrants doesn’t mean the government has to know who is one. Just give it to everyone; don’t ask unnecessary questions.

            Or would you rather illegal immigrants not go see a doctor at the first opportunity, and then either have to be treated later anyway at a much higher cost, or just die? Even Buttigieg, the next-generation neoliberal amorality incarnate, hasn’t got to the point where he’d outright say that people should just die rather than receive “undeserved” care. Whether there is a sound moral argument for it not (I believe there is), universal health care—and universal really means what it says—just makes good economic sense.

            Open border is a larger and separate issue on which I don’t expect any agreement with you. If you want the gist, I reject “working class or freedom of movement” as a false dichotomy. The left can and should fight for both.

            But I’ll just say: stop equating universal health care with open border.

          • Posted February 24, 2020 at 2:19 am | Permalink

            Right now, you have Americans going South of the border to use Mexican healthcare. In fact there is at least one insurance company that is paying sick people to fly to Mexico in order to buy their drugs.

            So, right now the health incentive to illegal immigration is actually going the exact opposite way, which has got to sting for a nation which mythologises itself as being the go-to point for the rest of the world.

            This is healthcare we’re talking about. A big chunk of what makes universal healthcare cheaper is herd immunity,if you’ve got a bunch of people coming into the country without it, that undermines that herd immunity, raising the price of care.

            Managing the costs of the program requires you to cover everyone.

            And of course any internal control has a cost associated with it. This is why it often costs more for social security benefits to be means tested than if there was no means test requirement at all, you have to hire fairly specialised people to enforce the means testing.

            Checking immigration status – opens the door to racism and associated lawsuits because who is going to have their immigration status checked?

            It also slows down the whole process because now your doctors have to play immigration officer, and it means you may well end up with an ICE equivalent in the emergency wards waiting to bust people just as they stabilise.

            And that ICE equivalent has to be medically trained in order to deport anybody they catch, otherwise illegal immigration becomes a capital offense.

            It is also bad public hygiene. If you’ve got an outbreak, and you’re refusing treatment to sick people, and in fact deporting those sick people, you’ve now got a situation where the disease can’t be isolated.

            You deport the sick, they spread it in their home country, and illegal immigration brings it right back in again. Further, you don’t want people staying away from doctors in this case because the earlier you can spot the disease, the easier it is to put a stop to its spread.

            Aside from the sheer human aspect of this, all of this represents increasing costs. It may well be cheaper and far easier to just cover everyone.

    • EB
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Bernie and many others believe in universal human rights, healthcare among them. The income of illegal immigrants will surely be taxed to pay for healthcare, so why shouldn’t they benefit from it? If they are residents of this country, they should not stay in the shadows and forego care. That will probably end up costing the system more over time, as only expensive emergency procedures will be taken care of. Stopping illegal immigration at the border is fine. Making the lives of illegal immigrants miserable once they are already in this country is just cruel. Bernie can make that argument just fine, and I doubt this aspect will be the defining issue of the general election. More important is the candidates’ stances on free trade agreements and political coups in Latin America, which are driving this situation in any case. This is not a difficult case to make to the public.

      • Eric Grobler
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        “The income of illegal immigrants will surely be taxed to pay for healthcare, so why shouldn’t they benefit from it?”

        Perhaps, but one could argue that this decriminalize and encourages illegal immigration.

        “The income of illegal immigrants will surely be taxed to pay for healthcare”
        I assume illegals are not on employers books, how will they be taxed? Or is the plan to give amnesty to all current illegals?
        (which would just kick the can down the road until there is a new influx?)

        • EB
          Posted February 23, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

          I agree, the plan probably would encourage illegal immigration, so upping border enforcement is a wise move, as is upping foreign aid to Latin America.

          The majority of illegals do file legit income taxes and are paid on-the-books due to a combination of dubious identification and unscrupulous contractors/temp agencies. I don’t know exact numbers. Apparently, something like $12bn is added to Social Security annually by illegals, despite their not benefiting.

          Bernie’s plan, as I recall, is to give a one-time amnesty to 5+ year residents without a serious criminal record. I think all this will indeed, as you say, merely kick the can down the road without an investment in the Latin American economy, and definitely if they don’t continue with their endless string of coups. (We can blame Hillary for Honduras, as she brags about taking responsibility in her 2014 book Hard Choices, with the relevant passage scrubbed from the paperback).

          • Eric Grobler
            Posted February 23, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

            “investment in the Latin American economy…”

            Good point. How to improve Latin America’s economy should be high on the agenda of all candidates. (would would Europe have been without the Marshall plan?);

            Liberal Europeans often make the (valid) argument that the West steal the natural resources of the Third World. However they do not realize we also steal the human resources – all the best doctors, engineers etc are lured into the West, which causes a brain drain and destabilizes many countries.

            If people make the argument that immigration is “good for the US”, my provocative question is “Oh, is than an imperialist argument?”

            • Geoffrey Howe
              Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

              “However they do not realize we also steal the human resources – all the best doctors, engineers etc are lured into the West, which causes a brain drain and destabilizes many countries.”

              Another excellent point. While much more peaceable, I don’t see a fundamental difference between taking away natural resources from a country, and tempting away so many mental resources from a country. Either way the country is deprived. And “Let’s import them all” is hardly a workable solution. Perhaps “Let’s just anex this country” might be, but there’s the imperialism.

              Open borders in our world as it exists does nothing to help encourage these countries become better. The hard-working, the intelligent, the risk-taking citizens of terrible countries are the kind of people who will come to western nations, legally or otherwise. What will be left will be the kind of people who just aren’t built for changing their country for the better. Salt of the earth people who are, at best, capable of maintaining the status quo. But when the status quo is terrible, that’s hardly a good thing.

              If you don’t have a problem enticing these high-achievers away from their homeland that desperately needs them… then how is that not nationalism? Not that nationalism is a bad thing (it can be in excess, like most things), but I doubt people who support open borders are nationalist. But that’s what you get. The strong country becomes stronger, the weak country becomes weaker.

              And lest anyone try to contrast this with my other posts about illegal immigrants being working class, and not high-skilled people… this is about legal immigration, through general policy, or through open borders. Illegal immigration is a whole other can of worms, and I would generally consider a pro-illegal immigration policy to be far worse than an outright open borders policy.

    • KD
      Posted February 24, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Buttigieg was the only real hope the Democrats had.

      You are aware that on surveys about 2/3rds Black Democrats report that homosexuality is always or almost always morally wrong. They are more anti-gay than White Republicans.

      The Democrats can’t win the election without solid turnout from Blacks, who don’t appear nearly as anti-Trump as white progressives.

      For many Blacks, Trump is just another white guy who just happens to be honest about his feelings about race, rather a patronizing white liberal who says the right things but lives in an all-white suburb and sends his kids to all-white schools.

      • Posted February 24, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Spot on. Data show that 20% of blacks say that the would NEVER vote for a gay person and another 20% say that they would have a very difficult time voting for a gay person. Buttigieg’s “black problem” is more a “blacks have a gay problem.” Of course this is both disingenuous and duplicitous since many who hold such views support the serial adulterer and professional liar in the White House.

  28. yazikus
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    It might just be me, but I suspect a few commenters in this thread could do with a snack and a nap.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      I nap and post at the same time.

      • yazikus
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        I most certainly snack’n post.

  29. Posted February 23, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    So to beat the most dangerous president in history, the Democrats are set to nominate a 78-year old hunched-over grumpy socialist with a questionable ticker. Who da thunk.

  30. Mehul Shah
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    1 – Yes too early.
    2 – No, he is not too old. Hope that he will chose a good VP.
    3 – No, Trump’s health is probably worse.
    4 – Yes. I think he will appeal to Trump’s base – rural, less educated, older, white working class voters. I think he will turn out more young people. He can definitely win.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      “No, he is not too old. ”

      In my opinion any candidate older than 70 is too old and is of high risk of senility.

      I suggest that candidates must be between 30 and 60 for the first term.

      • yazikus
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        I’ve oft heard that 65 is the intellectual prime, and I would worry about a 30 year old – too much hubris of youth and all that.

      • Mark R.
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

        POTUS must be 35 y.o. minimum.

      • Mehul Shah
        Posted February 24, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        I would prefer a 60-year old who appeals to democrats at the moment, but that’s not on the menu.

        Plenty of people work effectively well into their 80s and some into their 90s.

        POTUS has better healthcare than any individual on this planet! Bernie will be fine.

  31. Historian
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I stand in awe of those who proclaim with absolute certainty that Bernie will win. I also stand in awe of those who proclaim with absolute certainty that Bernie will lose.

    After the election, I will stand in awe of those who admit their certainty was a tad misplaced. I will stand in awe that despite their teeny-weeny error, they will predict fearlessly the next election with absolute certainty.

    • GBJames
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      If anyone needs a lesson in humility, a look back at the prognostications of 2016 would be of use.

    • sugould
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      My concern is that global corporate interests will doom us all and that anyone other than DJT who wins with electoral college and a spare 9 million votes, will have to contend his rabid followers and DJT himself, if he decides not to leave quietly. (That used to be a crazy thought, but with “Mr Perfect Call,” now totally exonerated, is free to really let his freak flag fly.)

      I predict this one will be decided by god, determinism, fate, karma, whatever, and the apocalypse and the singularity, all determining our fate.

      I predict America’s unCivil War.

    • Posted February 26, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Amazing, isn’t it?

      “Bernie” does *poll* as winnable, so there’s that at least.

      Also the policies are actually in line with what most Americans say they want, if it is framed neutrally. Of course he will be called a “commie” or worse, but what else is new?

  32. Eric Grobler
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    “30 year old – too much hubris of youth and all that.”
    Valid point, lets make it 40 to 60 then!

    “I’ve oft heard that 65 is the intellectual prime”
    Really? there is still hope for me?

    • yazikus
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Indeed! Though the context of that age was when talking to attorneys and accountants. You are then old enough to have accumulated a vast body of knowledge and to be a true expert, but are not yet hampered by the intellectual decline of old age.

  33. Charles Sawicki
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Bernie is too old, but seems to be the only candidate who motivates large numbers of younger voters. None of the others, including my favorite Klobuchar generate excitement in most people. I think he will be nominated to run, but if he isn’t, we may have another election where the young don’t vote and Trump wins. If the turn out is large enough we may also take the Senate which is essential. No Senate, no judges or legislation, just more deadlock which the Dems will be blamed for.

    I used to think he was a loser, now I’m not so sure. He gets very excited which plays an important part in his appeal. Hopefully he chooses a good VP and doesn’t give himself a stroke since he seems to turning all red as he jacks up his blood pressure.

    • Posted February 23, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      “turning all red”

      Sorry, there are too many links and tweets embedded in this comment. I can’t put it up.

    • Posted February 24, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Oh well I probably messed up trying to embed a tweet. This one: https://twitter.com/kthalps/status/1181808556535959552

      CNN apparently makes Bernie’s face look redder compared with AP’s photos from the same occasion. MSNBC pulls the same trick.

  34. Charles Sawicki
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    With regard to medical records: Anyone think that the “medical records” are valid?

    • Mark R.
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      And if everyone is in such an uproar about his medical records, what about Trump’s? He’s barely released a damn thing, and those that have been released could have easily been manipulated and the doctors coerced. Then there was that episode a few months back where he had some kind of medical emergency and not one peep.

      • Charles Sawicki
        Posted February 23, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Left out Trump in above comment. His “records” are clearly distorted.

  35. Mark R.
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    The democrats can beat anyone if they get turnout like Obama got, or even what the 2018 midterms turned out. Can Bernie achieve this? I don’t see why not. It’s all up to the 18-30 year-old voters and Bernie has the most support among them. I was heartened to see that minorities (esp. Latinos who will be very important in Texas and a few other red states) came out in droves in NV. Also, the 60,000 members of the Culinary Workers Union went against their union to support Sanders; this is no small factor.

    It’s still too early to tell how the GOP’s smear campaign will work, but I think Sanders can take it as well as dish it out. Just think of all the smears Sanders has against Trump; surely more than Trump has on Sanders. The question is how savvy will a Sanders campaign be at fighting back and using Trump’s own words and actions (WAY more damning than Bernie’s btw) against him. It will also be easy to point out all the “promises” Trump failed to keep: eliminating Obamacare and providing the best healthcare ever, bringing back the manufacturing sector, helping out farmers and coal miners, Mexico paying for a border wall, grow the economy 4%/year, cut taxes for everyone, eliminate the federal debt in 8 years…the list is enormous, and easy to attack.

    Lastly, if Sanders wins, his choice of VP will be paramount, and if he picks someone like Stacy Abrams or Kamala Harris, I think his support will be staggering.

    That’s my 2cents worth of punditry, and I’m sure it’s worth just that.

    • Posted February 24, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Yes, if we can generate 2008 turn-out, we crush the GOP and the orange abomination.

      2016 was an historic squeaker: 4th closest EC margin since 1920 (and further back than that as well).

      Just 77,000 votes in WI, MI, and PA gave Trump the EC.

      HRC won the popular vote by 2.9M votes (2.1%, not close).

    • Posted February 25, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      I agree fully with the last bit.

      He needs to pick a black woman for VP. K. Harris would be great.

  36. max blancke
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I want to start out by saying that I believe Sanders is the best person running for president this cycle. I think he will do what he believes is the right thing for the citizens of the US.
    The discussion at our house is whether we should vote for the most decent and likable person as president.
    When choosing a surgeon or pilot, likability is irrelevant. The same probably goes for lawyers. Whether POTUS is in the same category, I just don’t know.
    Sanders is a Eugene Debs socialist. He has always had a picture of Debs in his office, and he did the Debs voice overs for the 2017 film “American Socialist”. Sanders knows exactly what the difference between Social Democrat and Democratic Socialist is. He tends to deflect questions about the subject because he knows his answers might be somewhat unpopular.

    I really hate communism, but I still support Sanders. I wish Ann Richards was still with us, and was running.

  37. FB
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure that all the people that want to see America go down the drain (Putin, Maduro, Iran, China, etc.) would like Sanders or Warren to win the nomination and beat Trump. To ruin a country, what you want is a divisive person with an extreme ideology who threatens to crash the economy.

    • Posted February 23, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      I think Wired magazine is probably right about the Putin-supports-Sanders thing:

      But the distinction between Russia’s support for Trump and Sanders then [2016], as now, is that Russia wanted only Trump to win. Promoting Sanders was simply another means to that end, driving a wedge between two already fraught factions of the Democratic Party.

      In short, they think this will divide the Democratic Party and help Trump win.

  38. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    There’s something happenin’ here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.

    • Mark R.
      Posted February 23, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      But something is happening here and you don’t know what it is
      Do you, Mr. Kukec?

      Sorry, couldn’t help myself. ack!

      • GBJames
        Posted February 24, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

        Trying to prove that his conclusions should be more drastic?

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted February 24, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          Proving that for every “For What It’s Worth” quote, there’s a “Ballad of a Thin Man” rejoinder.

          • Posted February 24, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

            🙂

          • GBJames
            Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

            Perhaps my reference was a bit too obscure, Queen Jane.

            • merilee
              Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

              Do you (think so) Mr. Jones?

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted February 24, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

              Perhaps my reference was a bit too obscure …

              Yeah, approximately anyway.

              • merilee
                Posted February 24, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

                🤣

              • GBJames
                Posted February 24, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

                You’ve got a lot of nerve, Ken.

    • Posted February 23, 2020 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      Appropriate in 1967 and 2020.

    • Posted February 24, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      I play and sing that song. It’s a good one. I need to get it back out again! 🙂

  39. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    1) To early to be sure, but it looks like it.
    2) Yes and no, not if he gets a really good running mate.
    3) Not really, his medical record per se, but his backing out.
    4) No.
    As Historian pointed out under 6: if Mr Sanders does not get the nomination, the Democrats are f*cked, if he does win the nomination the Democrats are f*cked too, as Geoffrey pointed out under 27. Can he win in swing states, that is the real question, IIMO.
    As several have pointed out, the Senate is even more important than the presidency. The outlook is not rosy there either. Less than 20% of the population can elect (theoretically) a Senate majority. And a majority of these sparsly populated states are ‘red’.

  40. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    1) To early to be sure, but it looks like it.
    2) Yes and no, not if he gets a really good running mate.
    3) Not really, his medical record per se, but his backing out.
    4) No.
    As Historian pointed out under 6: if Mr Sanders does not get the nomination, the Democrats are f*cked, if he does win the nomination the Democrats are f*cked too, as Geoffrey pointed out under 27. Can he win in swing states, that is the real question, IIMO.
    As several have pointed out, the Senate is even more important than the presidency. The outlook is not rosy there either. Less than 20% of the population can elect (theoretically) a Senate majority. And a majority of these sparsly populated states are ‘red’.

  41. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted February 23, 2020 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Sorry for the doubly don’t knowhow that happened

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 24, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Something weird with WordPress. It has happened to me a couple times too.

  42. KD
    Posted February 24, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Sanders’ prospects, assuming he doesn’t get creamed in the next debate, and assuming there is more-or-less a draw with Biden in SC, is that he should leave Super Tuesday with a strong lead in delegates, and he will be the clear front-runner.

    The issue is to what the Democratic Establishment will do to attempt to stop him, and whether they can. If he wins a majority of delegates, its not clear that much can be done within the party apparatus. The real question is whether the Democratic Insiders would rather have 4 more years of Trump, while they remain in control of the National Politics, or is the prospect of Bernie and the ensuing purge of the DNC more of a threat. The reality is that, of course, Sanders is a bigger threat to the party operatives than Trump. So they are going to do everything they can to deny the nomination to Sanders, and then everything to throw the election to Trump.

    Can Bernie win the nomination and the Presidency? I think he can, but he will face opposition from the Democratic Establishment and the Donor Class, who will be doing all they can to boost Trump (can you wait for the pro-Trump coverage on MSNBC)? Unless Bernie runs against the Democratic Party, the way Trump ran against the Republican Party, he is going to lose. If he does run against the party, then I think he will bring in a lot of disaffected voters and nonvoters and will smash Trump.

    I’d like to believe that the Democratic Party Establishment was less self-interested, but their model of raising money from corporate donors, pushing unpopular economic policies, and then using identity politics to divide the electorate is dead. Sanders has established that you can raise money enough money to compete in a national election from real people, and then you aren’t beholden to pushing economic policies that benefit the donor class to the detriment of everyone else. The Tony Blair/Bill Clinton thing is going extinct, and the people in Washington beholden to that model are going extinct as well, and they are going to fight to forestall the inevitable, and delude themselves that the politics shifts we are experiencing are the result of Russian espionage and that everything will simmer down and go back to the 90’s. They remind me of the Conservative Establishment types who are still living in the 80’s and pushing the doctrines of Reaganism as if they had any relevance to the problems of today.

    • KD
      Posted February 24, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      On the age thing, yes, Sanders is too old, but you go to war with the army you have.

      On the other hand, China has had very successful politics with octogenarian rulers such as Deng Xiaoping, who gained power at 74 years old, and stepped down at 88. Eight years of Bernie would get him to 86, right in the middle of Deng’s career in politics.

    • sugould
      Posted February 24, 2020 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      “So they [DNC]are going to do everything they can to deny the nomination to Sanders, and then everything to throw the election to Trump.”

      Do that, and they’ve killed of the Democratic Party the same as Trump did to the Republicans.

      • KD
        Posted February 24, 2020 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        The difference between Sanders and Trump is that if Sanders wins, don’t expect Cabinet-level appointments for “Never Sanders” Democrats and obdurate Swamp Creatures.

        • rickflick
          Posted February 24, 2020 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          Hard to say. He doesn’t strike me as the vindictive type.

  43. Posted February 24, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    1) Too early
    2) Too old
    3) Seems fishy

    But, on 2&3: So what?!

    4) Yes, if all the Dems show up and vote.

    I am not an enthusiastic Bernie support (as anyone who has read these threads will know); but if he’s the nominee, I will vote for him and do my best to get as many others to do the same as I can.

    • rickflick
      Posted February 24, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Such good news we should have.

  44. Jimbo
    Posted February 24, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    1) Yes, it’s too early to prognosticate but I think our instant gratification culture driven by social media will compound Bernie’s momentum. A week ago, I thought Bloomberg, Buttigieg, and Biden would take significant delegates but now they’ll split the moderate Dems leaving Bernie (and Warren) with all the progressive voters. Last time, Bernie got 1,865 delegates to Hillary’s 2,842 (2,382 needed to win). Assuming Hillary’s delegate count gets split 3 ways, Bernie wins. Warren may still hurt Bernie’s count too so we’ll see.
    2) Yes, he’s too old but so are Biden and Bloomberg.
    3) No. Trump won’t so Bernie shouldn’t.
    4) No. As Greg points out above, 25.6% of votes went to Clinton to Trump’s 25.5%. Based on the 2016 primary, Bernie’s progressive wing of Dems is smaller than the moderate wing. The risk is not that Dems will vote for Trump, it’s that they just won’t show up to vote, so Bernie doesn’t get the numbers to defeat Trump. Trump has the incumbent advantage and will mangle him with ads about the cost of his healthcare plan + free college + green new deal.

  45. Posted February 24, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    My Take: There’s no clear great candidate (which is why we are on this thread, is it not?).

    Bernie:

    Pros: He’s in the lead
    He may bring in young voters
    I like his policies*
    He seems to be the nearest thing the DP has going for a rallying point

    Cons:
    His embrace of socialism
    His embrace of socialism
    Too old
    His crotchety-ness
    His health
    His embrace of socialism
    (though I might rank his embrace of socialism higher in the list)

    Mayor Pete:

    Pros: He’d be great
    He’s level headed
    He’s a thoroughly admirable guy
    I’m sure I’d be good with his policies

    Cons:
    He’s gay (numerous other comments touched on this with the black vote)
    I’m not sure the USA is ready for a gay Prez (I’m very sorry to say)
    He’s very inexperienced
    He’s not well known

    Biden:
    Pros: Steady middle of the road
    I’m sure I’d be good with his policies
    He’s seen (to some extent) as a “safe” option

    Cons:
    Boring, no excitement
    Too old
    Too establishment, too “machine”

    Klobuchar (full disclosure, I have voted for her in the MN primary):
    Pros: She’s super smart
    She’s a clever politician
    She works across the aisle well
    She gets things done
    She middle of the road and safe
    I would agree with her policies

    Cons:
    She’s not well known
    She tends to get rattled sometimes (I happen to find the endearing; but it’s a worry)
    She’s trailing pretty badly
    I’m not sure she can excite the party
    She was a prosecutor in the most “urban” place in Minnesota for many years and thereby has tried many black suspects: This will be spun as being anti-black.

    (I voted in the primary based on who I would best like to see in the office.)

    Warren:
    Pros:
    She’s really smart
    She’s a clever politician
    I would agree with her policies*
    She might energize the Bernie supporters (or at least retain them)

    Cons:
    She’s trailing badly, worse than Klobuchar
    I think she’s too far left to bring back the “Trump Dems” from 2016
    I don’t find her very exciting as a candidate

    Bloomberg:
    Pros:
    Middle of the road and safe-ish
    I would likely agree with his policies
    Many uncomfortable with the other listed “cons” above might be OK with him
    The people disgusted with Trump (GOP, Obama voters who went Trump) would feel comfortable voting for him

    Cons:
    Late-comer
    Not another billionaire
    Sexual harassment issues
    Past policies like stop-and-frisk
    He’s “buying the election”

    (*Except for the get-out-of-jail-free cards for student debt.)

    Apologies for length

    • rickflick
      Posted February 24, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Bernie is also Jewish, which might hurt among some constituents.

      • KD
        Posted February 24, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        Bernie has also refused to attend the AIPAC conference, which might hurt among some constituents.

        • rickflick
          Posted February 24, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          I suppose he’s just jockeying for position.

      • Posted February 25, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        I agree, I missed that one.

        (Though, in reality, I’d wager he’s an atheist and Jewish by tradition only.)

        • rickflick
          Posted February 25, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

          He has mentioned only some vague spirituality, I think. He doesn’t want to admit to atheism. That would be fatal. Worse than having a Jewish heritage or being a socialist.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted February 25, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

            I wonder if Trump will call him godless to bring that out.

            • rickflick
              Posted February 25, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

              Among many other things. But, you won’t have to look up any of them in the dictionary.

  46. Posted February 24, 2020 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Glossing over virtually all the details, Bernie is the Trump of 2020. He is widely shunned by the establishment and has a massive grass roots following. On actual positions, he is the polar opposite of Trump as Bernie is probably one of the most consistent and honest candidates we’ve seen in decades.

    I do disagree with some of his specific implementations, but when it comes to the ideas like healthcare being a human right, I’m right there with him. Count me in the group that thinks he is hands down the most likely to knock Trump out. Put a standard establishment candidate in and I can see a repeat of 2016–big popular vote margin for the Democrats and an Electoral College win for Trump.

    • rickflick
      Posted February 24, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      I certainly hope you’re right.

    • Posted February 25, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      “[Bernie] has a massive grass roots following”

      I am unsure about this. 39,000 votes in NV is not massive. NH an d IA are small potatoes in the overall scheme of things.

      We shall see.

      SC and, more so, Super-Tuesday will tell us much.

      In reality, I would prefer for one candidate (any candidate; but Bernie seems like the one) to rapidly sweep up the delegates, so we can move on to going after der Drumpfenführer.

      I fear a Bernie nomination; but I will support him very vocally if he gets the nod.

    • Posted February 25, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Really, I’m just afraid because our team doesn’t have a super-candidate with no big negatives.

      But, hey, Obama is black and was running against a fine man, McCain in 2008 (ignore the Hail-Mary VP choice), and he won handily.

  47. Posted March 19, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    The U.S. is a deeply conservative country outside of the Northeast, west coast and pockets of big cities. Biden will easily get the nomination. Many of Bernie’s ideas I agree with but it’s time for a moderate who can more likely beat Trump.


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