Bernie Sanders drops out of Presidential race

April 8, 2020 • 10:30 am

This was almost inevitable, and my first thought is, “Will his supporters vote for Biden, or will they stay home?” If the latter, we’re screwed come November. Oh, and will Sanders endorse Biden? I suspect so.

Click on the screenshot to read the CNN report:

And discuss below if you wish.

UPDATE:  Here’s an article that’s no longer relevant, since it argues that Bernie should drop his candidacy because he appeals to only one of three factions of Democrats, according to a division proposed not by Edsall, but by Shom Mazumder, a political scientist at Harvard,:

An excerpt:

“Establishment” voters, in this scheme, means center-left voters who make up just over 60 percent of the total. They stood out as favorably inclined to Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee — in other words, to the Democratic establishment.

“Progressive left” Democrats, at just under 20 percent, were most favorable to labor unions, Black Lives Matter, the #MeToo movement, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Democratic Socialists of America. These Democrats viewed business interests — as exemplified by Wall Street — negatively, and they weren’t happy about Joe Manchin, the centrist senator from West Virginia, either.

The third group, “neoliberal” Democrats, at 20 percent, is as large as the progressive wing. These voters like what the progressives don’t like — Wall Street, Manchin — and dislike pretty much everything progressives favor, including Ocasio-Cortez and the Democratic Socialists of America.

150 thoughts on “Bernie Sanders drops out of Presidential race

  1. Sanders will definitely endorse Biden, and the vast majority of his followers will follow that suggestion. Although a few will stay home because it’s hard to get excited about Biden, and though I almost can’t blame them for that, I still will.

    1. Bernie will mos def endorse Biden. And I can’t believe that very many of his supporters will be damfool enough to sit this one out (or to vote for some third-party candidate, such as a Jill Stein).

      1. I have to agree. I was quite worried the Bernie Bros would be idiots again, but now I think the deadly seriousness of the election is apparent to (most of) them.

    2. “Although a few will stay home because it’s hard to get excited about Biden . . . .”

      I guess not a few humans have to be “exited” (by someone else) to get them to do anything. I cheerily acknowledge that reality.

      1. You know what “excites” me? The fear of Trump getting a second term. It literally sends shivers up my spine. I think many will feel that way as we approach November.

        1. Exactly. Biden doesn’t have to “excite” anyone; this election is all about getting rid of the worst POTUS in American history, and people know it.

          1. We’re pretty well stocked. Thanks for asking. Actually, I find that I can’t drink like I did when I was younger. It still goes down fine but I can’t stand the feeling the next day of not being able to concentrate.

            1. I didn’t drink as a teen but in the business world thereafter began to eliminate the drinks I liked and/or could tolerate from those that I learned to dislike because they didn’t like me. Now, I don’t have to worry about it as I’m prohibited from drinking alcoholic beverages by virtue of being on a blood thinner. However, if Biden wins, I may have a celebratory drink for the occasion. May it be so.

  2. I saw a recent interview (remotely) between Bill Maher & Bernie Saunders and I really noticed just how sharp Bernie Saunders is. It’s really a shame he isn’t going to be the candidate. I think he would be a good president, especially because he has a track record of working with others in the Senate and is quite willing to compromise.

    1. I was under the impression that Bernie was HARD to work with in the
      Senate. Hope he backs Biden enthusiastically.

        1. Yeah, but most politicians know better than to burn bridges with other politicians in the same party. I wouldn’t expect Al Franken to be honest here. I’m no expert on the matter, but my impression is that Sanders has gotten very little real legislation done in his long career. I read “hard to work with” as meaning that he sticks to his principles to the point where he’s not good at compromising.

    2. I’ve always been a Bernie fan. He’s very intelligent and principled. Too bad he had that heart attack, as that surely made people leery about supporting him.

        1. I will go further. I don’t think his heart attack made much difference at all. Our greatest fear is not that Bernie is a socialist but that his claiming to be one (or socialist adjacent) would cause him to lose to Trump.

          1. This, plus his claim to be socialist means the mainstream media will attack him harder than they do tRump. Because the press doesn’t want to be accused of liberal bias, and they’re actually so deluded as to think anything short of complete Fox News-ism will stop conservatives from making that accusation.

            1. How many of tRump’s “Fox News-ism” fans/supporters have followed him over to his preference for mega-sycophant “OANism” support?

              (Can’t help look at OAN and think of/read it as “Onan”.

            2. How many of tRump’s “Fox News-ism” fans/supporters have followed him over to his preference for mega-sycophant “OANism” support?

              (Can’t help look at OAN and think of/read it as “Onan”.

              1. ‘(Can’t help look at OAN and think of/read it as “Onan”.’

                Ah, another small marine generator enthusiast.

      1. Yeah I think that spooked a lot of to people too. I think his heart condition is something that is better than Biden’s cognitive issues (whatever they are they seem apparent).

  3. Bernie needs to give a really good speech right about now. One that convinces his most ardent followers that they need to get behind Biden and focus on defeating Trump. That said, I predict he will focus too much on pursuing his own goals by getting his followers to pressure Biden. We’ll see.

    1. Bernie just gave a really good speech. He stopped short of making an express endorsement of Biden, but left little doubt that he will eventually.

      The Bern’s holding out on that final step to exercise whatever leverage he can over Biden and the Democratic Party on policy issues, the DNC platform, and Uncle Joe’s VP pick.

      1. “He stopped short of making an express endorsement of Biden”

        Just as I feared. Biden will undoubtedly want to adjust his message to bring Bernie supporters on board but somehow that’s not good enough for Bernie. Instead, he’s just announced that he’s entering a new phase of his campaign. He will no longer call for people to vote for him but tell everyone that his ideas are better than Biden’s. This is not getting behind Biden and is exactly the intransigence that “the establishment” hates him for.

        Admittedly, I have not heard Bernie’s speech.

        1. Bernie will come around to a full-throated endorsement of Biden, and will put his campaign apparatus at Biden’s disposal, never fear.

          As Biden well understands, Bernie’s earned the right to try to exercise some influence from now until Biden’s formal nomination. It’s all aboveboard and simpatico as between the candidates.

          1. That would be a nice outcome. I’m optimistically thinking Bernie’s devoted base will work hard for Biden this time around. I think they will have learned their lesson. That’s me optimistically thinking.

      2. I look forward to such a really good speech (“signalling” to Bernie supporters) from Biden in this particular regard.

  4. “Will his supporters vote for Biden, or will they stay home?”

    Why not do both?

    IMO everyone should look into their states’ rules for mail-in voting, and if allowed, sign up to receive a mail-in ballot. I generally despise the term “the new normal,” but in this particular case, I don’t see much reason why we don’t expand mail-in ballots to cover anyone who wants one.

    1. 23% of the 2016 vote was by mail. There’s no reason to think that number won’t be matched or exceeded.

      1. I think it will far exceed the 2016 numbers, given the coronavirus pandemic and given the voting fiasco in Wisconsin yesterday.

        At his task-force presser yesterday, Trump made the risible argument (unsupported by so much as a scintilla of evidence) that voting-by-mail is a fount of Democrat voter fraud — even though Trump himself voted by mail in the Florida election three weeks ago.

        The only incident of widespread absentee ballot voter fraud within living history was by Republicans in North Carolina’s ninth congressional district race in the 2018 midterms.

        1. While Trump obvious lied about voter fraud yesterday, I am puzzled why so many people believe that the fact that Trump voted by mail is some kind of counter to his claim. After all, he didn’t claim that ALL mail-in votes were fake. (Ok, that is the kind of thing he might say but, as his supporters would tell us, if he said it he didn’t mean it literally.)

          1. Dunno if you saw the presser yesterday. Trump said pointblank that he was opposed to voting by mail, that people should be required to show up at their polling place in person and show ID to be allowed to vote.

            It was only in a follow-up question from a reporter that Trump acknowledged that he had himself voted by mail three weeks ago — because he, Donald Trump, is different; he was in Washington, DC, at the time (and never mind about anyone else, the aged or infirm or those without transportation, including those poor souls in Wisconsin yesterday who had to risk life and health to venture out to the voting booth in the middle of a pandemic as a direct consequence of big-time Republican fuckery).

            1. I’m not against voting by mail. I have done so myself in recent elections. I’m all for it, in fact.

              I did see what Trump said yesterday though didn’t watch the whole thing. I was just making the point that one can participate in something personally while still being against it generally. It isn’t illogical to believe that many people cheat by mailing in false ballots and, at the same time, know that one’s own ballot is not false.

              Of course, Trump is just trying to suppress the vote. I make this argument simply because his supporters will use such statements to bolster their claim that Dems and the press are irrational in their Trump hatred. There are plenty of logical arguments we can make against Trump. There’s no need to use illogical ones.

              1. It isn’t illogical to believe that many people cheat by mailing in false ballots …

                No not illogical, just unsupported by any thing resembling evidence.

                And in this instance, it is a part of an overall blatant bid by Republicans (along with other more-targeted efforts) to suppress the Democratic vote because they know the more people who actually exercise the franchise, the less chance Republicans have of winning elections in purple jurisdictions.

                The GOP is the minority Party (in terms of numbers) in the USA, and the demographics of its base are steadily declining. It will take whatever steps it deems needed, however ruthless and undemocratic, to cling to power.

                That, and that alone, is Donald Trump’s beef with mail-in ballots.

              2. Not only not supported by evidence, there is a lot of contrary evidence. In Oregon we’ve had solely vote-by-mail for 25 years, and every study has shown virtually no fraud. The most recent, for the 2016 election, showed 54 potential cases, one for every 38,000 ballots, .002%. Some were mistakes (a few listed as dead were very much alive, for instance), 2 people voted twice, most of the suspicious ballots were people voting in 2 states. The idea that vote-by mail is ripe for fraud is ridiculous. The country would be far better off if all voting booths were scrapped, pandemic or no.

  5. This is the math of having an Independent run in a Dem primary. By nominating an Independent, you bring in people who are not committed Dems, but they may not stick around when their candidate is out because they are … well, not committed Dems. Most of Bernie’s voters lean Dem, of course, but some may vote for whoever seems to rattle the cage of the Repub/Dem establishments or may not vote if it’s Establishment Dem vs Establishment Repub. A USA Today poll (not counting no-shows) predicts 80% will go to Biden, 15% to Trump. The Biden number sounds right, although I’d expect more of those remainders to go 3rd party if they vote at all. (I know a lot of Bernie voters but none I know personally would vote Trump.)

  6. This was inevitable from the beginning. The establishment was never going to allow a social democrat to be President I will vote for Biden, just like I voted for Hillary, but I will continue to fight for justice for all people! Maybe someday Americans will vote for their own interest. #notmeus.

    1. How did “the establishment” not allow Biden to become the nominee? If he had gotten more votes he would have been the nominee and possibly president. People voted, not “the establishment.”

    2. Biden has won more states and leads in the state-based delegate count. How is this at all a result of “the establishment”? It’s Dem voters who have put Biden ahead.

      Please, please don’t go down the paranoid conspiracy GOP route of thinking some “deep party” machination is responsible for a result you don’t like. If you want to speculate that in a neck-and-neck race, the superdelegates would have backed Biden because he was the safe choice, I will agree with you on that speculation. But that’s not the scenario we’re actually living in. The scenario we’re actually living in is that Democratic primary voters have chosen Biden in the majority of local primary elections.

        1. With the US system there’s certainly a good discussion to be had about whether winning the electoral college but not the popular vote is an issue that we need to address. But in terms of the Democratic primary, Biden was doing the equivalent of leading in both.

    3. “The establishment was never going to allow a social democrat to be President.”

      I would agree that the Democratic establishment preferred Biden to Sanders. But, when you say that the establishment would not allow a social democrat to be president, you are basically insulting the Democratic electorate. You are implying that the voters were manipulated into voting against their best interests, just as the Republican voters are. You may even be correct. This is a subject of great debate. If you are correct, however, it is a sad testament to the way people think and explains why the ruling elites have little to fear from democracy, at least in the United States.

      In his column today, Tom Edsall discusses how scholars disagree as to the extent that the Democratic Party has the interests of working and middle class people at heart or are just Republicans lite. He notes that Bernie supporters, i.e., progressives, make up only about 20% of the Democratic electorate.

    4. Did they somehow change the rules midway to keep Bernie from winning? What did “the establishment” do to keep Bernie from winning?

      Statements like this are what scare me. I see Bernie supporters all over saying the nomination was “stolen” from him, like he and all the other candidates weren’t playing by the same exact rules. I see some saying that maybe we need another four years of Trump just so the country gets bad enough that “people realize we need to do the things Bernie says.” That’s always worked out well, as seen in the USSR, Mao’s China, etc. I’ve seen others say they’d rather not vote than vote for the “establishment.”

      Sorry, that last part wasn’t directed at you. Anyway, Bernie lost fair and square. I hope more people will be like you and accept it, move on, and do what’s best for the country (vote Trump out of office). Anything else is selfish. I’m glad you’re a reasonable person who, though disappointed, is willing to put in your vote for Biden. Really. Thank you. Just please try to influence your fellow Bernie supporters to do the same.

      1. There is a group of people on the left, rather small in actual numbers I suspect, who do subscribe to the notion that things must get much worse, at least economically, to set the stage for a revolt of the masses that will usher in an age of leftist nirvana. These type of people have been active since at least the 1960s. What annoys me is that because of their lack of historical knowledge of the United States, they fail to grasp that the masses will turn to center-left figures such as FDR and Obama or embrace the far right when things go bad. What they don’t do is look to the far left for salvation. As a result, these far leftists enhance the electoral chances of the far right. If they should withhold their votes for Biden, Trump’s chances of re-election will be enhanced. When will they ever learn?

          1. The lyrics to that song are some of the most brilliant ever written (that sentence could be about many Beatles songs). At the height of the hippy movement, they published a song saying, “hey, we like all the peace and love, but if you think we’re gonna be down for some communist utopia or ‘eat the rich’ BS, you got another thing comin’!” Sheer genius.

  7. And once again a candidate drops out and headlines say he/she “suspends” his/her campaign.

    Do these idiots ever read a dictionary? “Suspend” means “interrupt for a period of time”.

    1. I suppose they’re thinking that a candidate could always resume their campaign should something happen to the leader. Biden could suffer a heart attack, stroke, or be found to have done something bad in Ukraine or with someone other than his wife. I’m sure Bernie would jump right back in the race should anything like this happen to Biden.

    2. They suspend for reasons. For one thing, it allows them to continue to raise money. More important, it allows them to control the delegates they have already won. If they end their campaign, the delegates go to state Democratic officials to allocate as they see fit. Suspended campaigns can also spring back to life.

    3. They are not idiots. Suspending your campaign allows you to spend your already gathered campaign contributions to support your favorite causes or candidates. It also allows you to maintain certain other legal structures. If you just quit a whole new set of legal restrictions apply.

      1. From another source:

        “Suspending” a campaign allows a candidate to publicly withdraw from a race while preserving the ability to raise funds beyond what’s needed to retire debt. This may include the ability to continue to receive federal matching funds, if the candidate has previously qualified for them.

        When candidates announce they are dropping out or ending their campaigns, they may then only raise money to retire any remaining campaign debts or to pay for other costs related to shutting down a campaign committee. They may not continue to amass warchests beyond that if they drop out.

      1. That’s because in practice he has dropped out, but not legally. Also, headline writers and reporters are not part of his campaign.

        1. “Also, headline writers and reporters are not part of his campaign.”

          To my mind, reporters and their ilk should simply report that a candidate “says” (which they do a lot anyway) he’s “suspending.” Or quote someone (someones opinion) all they like.

          (They also like to insert words in headlines and reporting like “may” and “might.” What possible fact is being reported – what can’t be uttered – when using such words?)

          1. Semantics. As pointed out, “suspending” is a legally necessary term for various reasons. Warren, Buttigieg, etc., all suspended their campaigns. Biden said, in his speech, “While this campaign is coming to an end…”

      1. That’s the practical effect by whatever name its called. As others here have explained, candidates ALL use the terminology “suspend” for reasons having to do with campaign-finance laws and to maintain control over delegates previously won.

        None of this should be difficult to comprehend.

      1. It isn’t a legal term or legally defined “position.” It’s merely a convention or tradition. The legality of the matter is that the campaigner does not legally end their campaign. That’s it. A candidate doesn’t officially change their status with the governing agency from “Active” to “Suspended,” a status that doesn’t legally exist. They simply don’t legally quit.

      1. The candidate is the face of the campaign, but the actual actor is the campaign committee. To end the campaign, the committee must file a termination report. To do so, the committee must meet certain criteria, including:

        *It no longer receives (or intends to receive) contributions.
        *It no longer makes (or intends to make) expenditures

        You can read about the other requirements at Terminating a Committee on the FEC website.

        Delegates are a separate matter and handled by each state. In general, when a campaign committee is terminated, the delegates are the state party’s to allocate as they wish.

        1. More on delegates; Sanders said during the livestream that he’ll stay on the ballot in the remaining primary states and continue to gather delegates in order to “exert significant influence” on the party’s platform at the Democratic National Convention in August.

          He would not have this option if his campaign committee were terminated.

          1. Is his campaign over or not?

            He said he’ll stay on the ballot. But his livestream chyron says “While the campaign ends the struggle for justice continues on.”

      1. What is it you don’t understand? He said he was ending his campaign. It’s been explained over and over why he’s staying on the ballot, why his campaign is “suspended” rather than terminated. Warren and Buttigieg have also suspended their campaigns, do you think they’re still in the race? It’s really not that hard to figure out if you think about it.

        1. tomh
          What is it you don’t understand? Sanders did not suspend his campaign, he ended it. “Suspend” means a temporary interruption. Sanders has no intention of resuming his campaign and he explained why: he has no chance of winning.

          Sanders remaining on the ballot has nothing to do with campaigning.

          1. “Sanders did not suspend his campaign, he ended it.”

            All would-be candidates suspended their campaigns, just as Sanders did. To say he didn’t is simply wrong. As you should know by now, it is not ended until it is formally terminated by the committee with the FEC.

            1. tomh,

              From the FEC link I posted:

              Determination of ineligibility date

              After the candidate’s date of ineligibility, the candidate may only receive matching payments to the extent that the candidate’s committee has net outstanding campaign obligations. The date of ineligibility is the earliest of these three dates:

              Date of inactive candidacy. The ineligibility date in this case is the day on which an individual is no longer actively conducting campaigns in more than one state in connection with seeking the presidential nomination, and thus ceases to be a candidate. This date shall be the earliest of:
              The date the candidate publicly announces that he or she will not be actively conducting campaigns in more than one state; or

              tomh, do you agree Sanders has “publicly announced that he will not be actively conducting campaigns in more than one state and thus has ceased to be a candidate”?

              1. That doesn’t really have anything to do with your problem with the word “suspend.” His campaign committee hasn’t filed a termination report with the FEC. So his campaign is not terminated. Simple as that.

              2. To answer your question: Yes, Sanders has ended his campaign, but no his campaign is not terminated. Both things can be true, since the FEC has to approve a termination report before his campaign is terminated.

  8. Bad news, even though it was expected. With a nominee whose cognitive faculties are in decline; who is a serial gaffe producer; a creep, where the outrage about Trump’s sexual scandals appears hypocritical; who is not much vetted by a hostile press and who has a career of Republican politics (before the Republicans went over the cliff altogether), it’s a surefire loss — again — for the common American. Corporations have decided the election again.

    Western countries generally have healthcare for everyone, paid vacation days and so on. The USA, an obscenely rich country, has the largest incarcerated population (one of Biden’s achievements), has a massive military that could comfortably take it up with the next biggest dozen militaries, and tied-healthcare to employments: we’ll see how this will shake out very soon.

      1. I am not American. I can afford to have principles and from that vantage point maintain I would not vote for Biden.

        However there are some lessons learned:

        (1) Americans don’t want a healthcare system as in other western nations (alternatively, the US isn’t a democracy and the insurance industry won). Something to keep in mind in the coming weeks. I respect that when the covid19 tsunami washes over the USA in the coming month, Americans take it on the chin.

        (2) The Democratic, liberal and left strategy is once again to go with the “moderates”. It was warned in 2016 this was a bad idea as there was little enthusiasm for Clinton. There is little enthusiasm for Biden now. The lesson moderates should take away: you get what you wanted, again. If that fails, again, it’s on you. Democrats are not entitled that everyone who dislikes Trump (a remarkably low bar) endorse their candidate, especially not with someone as bad as Biden. You cannot always blame someone else for what I believe are self-made failures.

        (3) I have the suspicion (i.e. I‘m not too confident here) that Biden’s nomination, as was Clinton’s, was metaphorically decided by landline-vote between 8am and 10am. Allegedly, the Democrats really love the guy as determined by such a vote. A lot of confidence is placed on this, and a lot of confidence is placed that this process of finding the best candidate is accurate also later on. And I doubt this. Even Clinton was kind of forced. For everyone who didn’t show up to vote, there are ten who voted holding their nose. I think a Rogan endorsement along with a general mood online is closer to the pulse than the gnarly mechanisms the DNC used.

        (4) Biden is on camera going around sniffing hairs and for being unconcerned where he put his hands. There are sexual assault allegations against him. Since there were other candidates without such a track record, I must now assume that sexual assault is generally no issue for Democrats (either). That means also that America as a whole, represented by both parties, doesn’t care. It’s just rhetoric to tar the other side if convenient.

        1. IMHO, the lack of enthusiasm for Clinton wasn’t based on her being a moderate. Instead, she suffered from political tone-deafness, a poorly run campaign, Russian interference, right-wing conspiracy theories, and fallout from Comey’s poor decisions.

          I don’t care about Biden’s touching of hair and long hugs. They were all done in public and seem innocent to me. My guess is that the sexual assault case would have been made already if it amounted to anything. Of course, there’s always the possibility someone’s got an October Surprise up their sleeve that will do him in. On the other hand, Biden could shoot someone on Park Ave. and I’d still vote for him over Trump.

          1. Jesus Christ, it’s getting so you can’t safely walk the streets of New York because of the gangs of presidential candidates marauding with guns trying to prove the loyalty of their supporters.

        2. I have to say that while I’m far from enthusiastic about Biden I disagree with some elements of your analysis.

          Mostly I don’t think that the vote for Biden was ONLY due to political strategies from the Democratic establishment.

          Biden is apparently very popular among Democratic voters, especially older voters, the black community, and suburban voters.

          Sanders’ popularity was limited to younger voters, who don’t go to vote as often, and he didn’t manage to expand on his 2016 numbers, indeed he lost ground in many states.

          In part this was because Hillary Clinton was a highly unpopular candidate for a number of reasons while Biden is much more popular, but in part I think it’s because the average Democratic voter is much less to the left of Sanders, and he didn’t manage to get his policies to be accepted as normal.

          I don’t think Sanders is as extreme as many Americans seem to believe, but the US are also politically to the right in terms of economics of many European nations.

          Biden’s eight years of being Obama’s vice president also gave him plenty of name recognition and turned him into someone that Democratic voters trust to be dependable and safe in a race where innovation and change have taken a backseat to a need to beat Trump.

          Biden having been Obama’s VP also very likely helped him to become very popular among black voters, especially those older than 30.

          Biden had already decisely won the South Carolina primary when Buttigieg and Klobuchar dropped out. Bloomberg and Warren dropped after Biden swept Super Tuesday.

          I also don’t think that Biden will necessarily lose just because Clinton did.

          I don’t think Clinton lost because she was a moderate.

          She lost because was unpopular for a series of reasons (which included a lot of Republican propaganda through the years and the infamous “email scandal”) and she made several big mistakes (ignoring Wisconsin, the “basket of deplorables” soundbite, “learn to code”, general elitism).

          She also definitely underestimated Trump, although to be fair to Clinton so did pretty much everyone in the Democratic party and in large parts of the media.

          I don’t think that Democratic voters and campaign managers/political actors will underestimate Trump in 2020. Indeed I think that the election will be turned into a referendum on Donald Trump.

          Biden has plenty of weaknesses and I agree with you he’s not the strongest candidate possible, so I’m not completely sure he’ll win. I just don’t think that he and the Democratic party will repeat the same mistakes of 2020.

    1. where the outrage about Trump’s sexual scandals appears hypocritical

      Huh? You know Trump’s a rapist, right? There are at least 24 women who have come forward saying he either raped them or sexually assaulted them. Sniffing hair and touching shoulders or whatever is no comparison to Trump’s malfeasance.

      1. True but that hasn’t stuck so far so I doubt it will gain any traction going forward. His base tacitly acknowledges that he’s a sleazebag but he’s their sleazebag. They seem ok with ignoring potential rape as simply part of his “take no prisoners” approach which they like.

    2. who is not much vetted by a hostile press

      Yes, the one thing we can be sure about a candidate who was the most recent former VP and has been a Senator since 1973, is that the press has never investigated his background.
      [eye roll]

    3. In two primary elections, Bernie Sanders has now proved that, no matter how laudable his policies are, the American public don’t want him to be the Democratic candidate for president. He’s actually not even a Democrat. He’s only in the Democratic primary because he knows independents never get anywhere.

      The progressive left in US politics shouts loudly but that gives a false view of how significant they are.

      Biden won’t give the USA proper healthcare but he won’t be packing the judiciary including the Supreme court with under qualified GOP cronies either. That, by itself, is good enough reason to vote for him.

  9. I wouldn’t blame any Sanders voters for staying home. He is the only real left . Any other left (other than Yang) is fake bought and paid for left. Americans will never achieve actual left if you keep nominating what you call “centrists” who are not centrists at all. They are the bought and paid for fake left. Bernie supporters know this. They seem to be the only ones who know this. Nominate Hillary over Bernie and you deserve Trump. Nominate Biden over Bernie and you deserve Trump. Sorry but that is how I see it.

    No need to listen to me though I’m just a mouthy Canadian. I should probably just butt out and leave it in your capable hands.

    1. Right now, dumping Trump is orders of magnitude more important than moving Left. Voters didn’t buy Bernie’s claim that moving Left would ignite voters’ passions. The “revolution” was largely in Bernie’s mind.

      1. It’s like that Chinese finger trap. The more you make it about getting rid of that scumbag Trump the tighter his grip on power becomes. The more you make it about getting food, shelter, and healthcare to the poor, the looser his grip on power becomes.

        Just like the Chinese finger trap it seems counter intuitive but the way to get rid of Trump is to stop focussing on getting rid of Trump. It just makes his supporters dig their heels in. It tightens the finger trap. Offering them health coverage and living wages does not make them dig their heels in. It loosens the trap.

        If getting rid of Trump really is the most important thing then stop saying that getting rid of Trump is the most important thing because saying that getting rid of Trump is the most important thing will do the opposite of getting rid of Trump.

        “Getting rid of Trump is the most important thing” = “Basket of deplorables.” Same game. And you’ll get the same result.

        Basically you just nominated Hilary again and are expecting a different result.

        1. That’s a nice theory and I wish it were true since it reflects so well on the American people. Unfortunately, most voters care about themselves over others. For decades Dems have done a very poor job of convincing people that fighting poverty and working on a humane immigration policy is in their interest. It’s wishful thinking that this will suddenly change. In short, this hardly seems the time to take the nice guy angle. The GOP hasn’t fought fair in decades. Playing nice with them is just not going to get us anywhere. The demographics are against them and getting worse. They know it and will be even more desperate to hold onto power this time around. If the GOP don’t win in 2020, they will never win again, at least not in their present form. Trump certainly won’t pull any punches.

    2. Let’s grant you your premises for the sake of argument. Still, only the purblind could fail to see sufficient distinction between Biden and Trump to motivate them to go to the polls to vote the lesser evil.

      1. Revenge is a powerful emotion. Some of those Bernie supporters will undoubtedly vote to punish the Dem establishment for, in their minds, strangling the Bernie revolution. The best we can hope is that their numbers are tiny.

        1. Yeah, purblinds gonna purblind. No use straining after those unreachable by reason. Better to maximize turnout among the rationally sentient.

          1. I can’t remember which of the many states’ charts I’ve seen recently that reported on Dem voters in the 2016 election that voted for tRump when their candidate, Bernie, didn’t receive the Dem nomination. It was bad enough when Bernie Dems chose not to vote rather than vote for Hillary. In addition, Bernie, is/was not a Democrat. He ran under a number of different political categories.

      2. For some people you’re asking them to stand in line for eight, ten, twelve hours to cast a ballot for someone whose policies will not materially improve their lives. Basically “I won’t help you but you damn well better crawl over glass to help me” is not a good sales pitch.

        Biden’s got my vote because I’m semi-rural and never had to wait more than thirty minutes to cast a ballot, but lots of people are gonna stay home.

        1. Actually, I thought Wisconsin’t voter turnout was deemed good even though voters had to wait in long lines. Perhaps that was only relative to other non-national elections. Of course, if any voters choose to stay home it probably helps Trump.

        2. “For some people you’re asking them to stand in line for eight, ten, twelve hours to cast a ballot for someone whose policies will not materially improve their lives.

          I don’t doubt the logic, but the premise is false. There is real data and it’s clear. The economy does better under Democratic administrations throughout nearly every living persons life time. Lots better. I don’t have the time to find and point you to resources, but perhaps Jblilie will drop by and post some pertinent statistics he’s been keeping updated.

          Now, I do agree that some people think that premise is true and their erroneous belief will lead them to not vote, vote for a 3rd party or maybe even vote for Trump. Unfortunately for them, and all of is, they will be voting against their own best interests. Convincing people to do that time after time has been the great strength of the RP for decades.

          1. When people say “the economy” they usually mean “the stock market.” But the S&P 500 doesn’t mean a whole lot to someone who’s drowning in medical debt or just worried about making rent. Mass unemployment is here, now, and it’s not going away. Biden’s platform as it existed two months ago is woefully inadequate to address it, and he’s not going to suddenly embrace the kind of bold policy that’s actually needed. So yeah, a lot of people are looking into a future where they’re doomed to die in poverty, and fairly soon. Ask those people to sacrifice more for a future they won’t be around to enjoy.

            1. I agree that often people commonly mean the stock market as a metric when they talk about the economy, but that’s not what I mean. The data is clear across nearly every single metric that economists and sociologists use to measure the wealth and well being of societies. I know many people have never seen such data or believe what it shows. That doesn’t change the fact that for anyone that isn’t wealthy enough to be financially independent the actual historical evidence clearly shows that their best bet to improve their lot is to vote for Democrats for POTUS and both houses of Congress.

              The DP may not be even close to the best leadership one could reasonably imagine is possible but there is simply no contest between the 2 choices that our system of government has locked us into. The DP is clearly the sure bet over the RP if you want the best chance of improving your lot.

        3. If sufficient availability and security can possibly be established and maintained, I think it would be a good test of the rectitude of voters’ intentions to have the vote online, and (if it can possibly be compared) compare voters’ willingness to trouble themselves to vote with that of (spending money and) placing an order with Amazon and the like.

    3. “American voters don’t want the same things I want for them, therefore they deserve more of the worst president in history”.

      That’s how you are coming across.

  10. Bernie should have dropped out long ago. He’s an idea guy and never really expanded beyond his base. I expect many Bernie supporters will not vote at all. I was a big Warren supporter, I hope Biden picks her as his VP running mate.

    1. If Biden picks Warren, I trust that she will tone down what I perceive to be her breathless, quasi-histrionic modus operandi. I find that that does not “excite” me. No doubt I’m delusional.

        1. Her plans are quite reasonably acceptable. But they don’t “excite” me. She doesn’t help herself with (me) how she comports herself. But no doubt a lot of selfie-obsessed whooo-hooo types eat that up.

            1. Style still counts as it reveals who they really are and what they really think. It can be wrong, of course, but it can’t be ignored as a source of information.

              1. How one speaks/gestures/looks/dresses can all be learned to the advantage of anyone interacting with the public. We are not all natural “speakers/gesturers/lookers/dressers” by any means, but can be taught.

                As a singer when young, I learned the importance of eye contact inclusive of all in the audience, nuances of phrasing and volume (when to sing softly vs. loudly and how often to use them for best effect), when to use moments of silence, etc. In high school, I took a drama class and was shocked to learn how difficult it was to move my arms away from my body, but I learned the importance of body language when communicating.

                What is believed is much more effectively conveyed using these tools and they can be learned by any who want their particular important messages to be conveyed effectively to any public via any media.

              2. “How one speaks/gestures/looks/dresses can all be learned to the advantage of anyone interacting with the public.”

                How does one (a political candidate) know how to speak/look/gesture/dress? I gather that one consults experts in market research, public relations, advertising, management, psychology, sociology, among others (fashion?).

                I wonder if Hitch ever consulted these experts. (Well, of course he wasn’t running for political office or concerned about persuading the Herd.)

              3. “Fillipo. Hitch had a style. What we most remember about his speaking was the way he combined a sharp intellect with a very sarcastic wit.”

                Yes, he had a style, but it did not depend one whit on toadying to anyone.

              4. You don’t have to toady to your audience to gain their attention but you do have to engage them. Trump knows how to engage an audience. Lock her up. Build that wall. Hillary, not nearly as much. It matters.

                Yes newspapers don’t do style too much in their insightful analyses but guess what, nobody reads them. (Yeah, I know I’m a bit hyperbolic there.) Millions of Americans will fight to the death over whether WAR or OPS+ are the bast measure of a baseball player’s performance. Warren’s child care plan? Not so much. The difference is the passion that these disagreements bring out. If you haven’t got the ability to bring out some passion, your ideas mean squat.

              5. “Trump knows how to engage an audience. Lock her up. Build that wall. Hillary, not nearly as much. It matters.”

                Trump certainly knows how to positively (for him) engage an audience of a certain psycho-social-cultural mindset/worldview.

                And of course he has equally if not more succeeded in negatively engaging millions of others. (“Negative Charisma”?)

            2. “I suppose, though there are actually a few people who think substance is more important than style.”

              I think substance very much more important than style. I resent the theatrics in which the substance must, apparently, unavoidably be dressed.

              (I trust that substance remains the emphasis in parts of the print media, which does not include the likes of the NY Times “Styles” section, where the smallest details of female politicians’ sartorial, tonsorial and cosmetic appearance are religiously scrutinized and reported.)

              1. “I think substance very much more important than style. I resent the theatrics in which the substance must, apparently, unavoidably be dressed.” Breaking news: Man rails against wind.

                Offer me the chance to manage the campaign of a person with rock solid plans and no capacity to deliver their message against someone with no idea what they are doing but tremendous charm and charisma, I’ll take the charisma if all I want to do is win. I mean, that’s Trump, right?

                Do you think millions of pet rocks were sold because of the rocks or the pitch that accompanied them? To paraphrase a quote, the universe doesn’t care what you resent.

              2. “Breaking news: Man rails against wind.”


                ” . . .no idea what they are doing but tremendous charm and charisma . . . that’s Trump, right? ” . . . the rocks or the pitch . . .?”

                Obviously the pitch, for those who are unable or unwilling to resist succumbing to its siren call, and pitching onto its rocks.

                “To paraphrase a quote, the universe doesn’t care what you resent.”

                I congenially note your congenial admonition, which is no less true of and applicable to any other human primate who has ever lived.

  11. It’s about time. What was he waiting for I wonder. He’s a little ahead of his time on policy. Probably after his death, they’ll enact the Bernie Sanders Health Reform Act.

  12. In regard to “far leftists”, Historian asks: “When will they ever learn?” Let’s look back a little. In 1948, the Progressive Party ran against Harry Truman (who endorsed national health insurance 60 years before the ACA) because Truman had failed to smother Stalin’s gulag state with love and kisses. In 2000, the Nader campaign in Florida handed the presidency to George W. Bush. The answer to Historian’s question is evidently: never.

    1. Pace the Chicago Tribune headline, Truman actually defeated Dewey in ’48, despite Henry Wallace’s having bolted the Democratic Party from the Left (and Strom Thurmond and the Dixiecrats from the Right).

      1. The “Progressives” didn’t know ahead of time that their campaign would fail to throw the
        1948 election to the GOP. They simply ignored that danger, just as Nader & Co. did in 2000, demonstrating the never-learning character in action—again. In 2016, by the way, the never-learners of the Jill Stein variety can probably take credit for the Democratic narrow failure to win in Michigan.

  13. Bernie will endorse and work for Biden. If tRump hasn’t scared the shit out of Bernie followers with what has done to the USA in his first term, we are in big trouble and they would have to be stupid.

  14. I’ll reiterate my earlier prediction: Biden will scrape a win because anti-Trump sentiment is just that high. Then he will govern poorly and lose in four years to a newer, better, Trump-style Republican (or possibly just Donald himself again) and we’ll be back in the exact same hellish landscape we currently reside in where we’re told we have to line up behind the next unambitious backwards-looking Democratic candidate because better things just aren’t possible.

    1. I think that after a loss in November, particularly a close loss, Trump will act so badly during the lame-duck period following the election — that his public conduct and statements will grow so outrageous and ugly — that most congressional Republicans will find themselves forced to renounce him. Their doing so may create a fault line with die-hard dead-end Trumpers that will tear the GOP apart.

      If not — if congressional Republicans and the ostensibly less-crazy portions the Party nonetheless remain loyal to Trump despite such outrageous behavior, if they follow him into that abyss — it may tear the nation apart.

      1. I agree. If Trump loses, he will largely be abandoned by the GOP and have both parties against him. On the other hand, I would expect him to spend most of his lame duck time trying out various legal challenges to the election. He won’t want to do anything that would engender more hatred in order to play the victim effectively. If, on the other hand, he loses by such a landslide that no election challenge would stand a chance, he’ll be a right terror.

        It has been pointed out that even if he goes relatively quietly, he’ll be on Twitter stirring up trouble. The always ratings-conscious media will have a hard time ignoring him.

    2. One thing he (the leader of the Land of Intellectual Curiosity) must avoid at all costs is to be labelled (like Obama was) “professorial” by Maureen Dowd.

  15. I enjoy your optimism, Ken, and cross my fingers in hope to see it verified. But maybe, when Donald throws his first tantrum after the election, Mitch McConnell will have
    him locked in a room at Mar-A-Lago, and hire an actor (perhaps Alex Baldwin?) to take his place for the rest of the lame-duck period.

  16. Full disclosure: I’m British and I can’t vote in the US general election.

    This makes me very happy. Coronavirus was making the remaining primaries look very tricky, so it is good that the Democratic party has effectively selected its candidate already.

    I know Biden is not a great candidate but, if there’s any Bernie supporter out there thinking of not voting, just think about what the Supreme Court is going to look like on January 20th 2025 if Trump remains president.

  17. Stephen Colbert has a good line on Bernie:

    “Bernie Sanders is saying Bernie Sanders can’t win? Man, he is going to catch hell from Bernie Sanders supporters.”

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