Discussion post: 2024 and other things

July 10, 2022 • 9:20 am

I’ll be downtown most of the day, although I’ll definitely be avoiding Millennium Park, for the whole area is teeming with tourists here for the Big Food Ripoff, otherwise known as “The Taste of Chicago“. That’s a three-day capitalistic festival in which credulous visitors pay large amounts of money to secure small portions of “classic” Chicago food. Meh. I can go to the places directly and eat much better.

I spent much of yesterday with my oldest friends, who live in Cambridge, MA and who I visit about twice a year and talk to weekly. They are a married couple (I was in their wedding in 1972), and I’ve known the male half since 1967 when we lived on the same dorm hall at William and Mary. The woman half (womb-bearer?) arrived at W&M two years later. I was in their wedding at Bruton Parish Church in colonial Williamsburg. Dressed in an ill-fitting suit borrowed from the groom’s father, and having hair down to my shoulders, I was asked to escort the guests to their places at the proper side of the aisle. The bride, from the South, had invited a lot of proper Southern friends and family, and when a southern guest took a look at me as I offered her my arm, she remarked to a friend, “Do you mean that I have to be walked down the aisle by RASPUTIN?”

We’ve had many adventures since the late Sixties, and that was one of the tamer ones. We talked about those old times, about getting old, and about our mutual friends who were gone. But we swore that if we ever started discussing the condition of our bowels, we’d shoot each other!

But I digress, that’s just a story to introduce a discussion thread. I’ll be gone again most of the day spending time with my friends downtown, and so proffer you the chance to spout off in the comments.

There are many topics you can discuss, and the floor is open, but here are a couple on everybody’s mind: who can the Democrats run for President in 2024, and who will run for the GOP? And who would you like to represent the Democrats, and fear will represent the GOP? (I’m assuming you’re center-Left or Left here, but Republicans are welcome to join in).

My own view is that Biden should not run again. His approval ratings are in the dumpster, his age is showing, he’s incapable making-off-the cuff remarks without a gaffe (this isn’t new), and all his remarks are written down on a piece of paper. His record is mixed; the economy, while not in recession, is squeezing nearly everyone; gas prices are through the roof, and of course the elections are “about the economy, stupid.” Voters won”t care as much about the Ukraine as about their weekly grocery bill, and as for domestic policy, Biden hasn’t particularly done anything about immigration (that was Kamala Harris’s job), while the Build Back Better plan didn’t get off the ground. (Granted, that’s the fault of two “Democrats”, but Biden takes the ultimate responsibility for getting stuff through Congress. Further, even my friends, who are more woke than I, agree that Biden has gone too far towards “progressive” Leftism—in a way that will hurt Democrats. Believe me, Republicans will do everything they can to capitalize on every bit of Wokeism they can find in the Left, including the email recently sent out by Oregon health officials postponing a meeting because “urgency is a white supremacy value”. When Biden was elected, I was relieved that he wasn’t a Woke Democrat, but he’s turned out plenty malleable to Wokeism, including his administration’s proposed and damaging revisions of Title IX.

Biden, then, is a no go  for me, though I’d certainly vote for him as President over any Republican opponent. Although next in the traditional manner of succession, Kamala Harris won’t run, or, if she does, she’ll be buried. She simply hasn’t shown that she has the stuff to run the country, having failed at the one big task assigned her.

Who, then, do the Democrats have as a viable candidate for President? Weigh in below. As for me, I’d like to see Cory Booker run.  He’s got the experience, the smarts, the rhetoric, and he’s also black, which will help pull minority voters back to the Democratic party. If not him, Pete Buttigieg, though he’s a second choice. But Mayor Pete is also really smart, rhetorically skillful, quick on his feet, and has done a good job in a difficult position: Secretary of Transportation. When he’s asked a question by reporters, he answers with refreshing honesty.

Both Buttigieg and Booker are on the right Ii.e, Left) side of issues I like, and neither is a “progressive” of the “Squad” stripe.  Of course if both houses of Congress turn Republican this fall, and stay that way, we’re screwed seven ways from Sunday.

So those are the Dems I’d like to see run, though there may be dark horses out there, and if you know of any, name them.

I’ve been thinking that the GOP has only two viable candidates at this time: Ron DeSantis and, of course, The Donald. I cannot believe that Americans would elect Trump again, and yet I think that his candidacy is the most likely outcome—if he’s not indicted. (I hope he will be, which will both knock him out and perhaps put him in a uniform that matches his hair.) DeSantis will run, I believe, if Trump doesn’t: right now DeSantis has a national profile and seems hungry for bigger things.  Ideally, Liz Cheney would be the Republican candidate, but she doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell given her (admirable) behavior on the January 6 committee and Trump’s hatred of her. And remember, she’s still a Republican with a Republican view on many issues. I’ve heard some people say she should run as a Democrat, but even if she were elected as such it would be a disaster.

So, who do you think will run, and who do you want to run? Who would you vote for gladly, and who while holding your nose. I’m off and will see you anon.


120 thoughts on “Discussion post: 2024 and other things

    1. He’s not doing too well in CA, though. Approval is 48% or so in a very blue state. His biggest weakness for voters is he hasn’t been able to tackle homelessness and crime adequately. I’d gladly vote for him for POTUS, as I think he’d be better than Biden, but I see him more of a contender for 2028- assuming he improves as governor and gets his approval numbers up.

      I don’t live in CA (Mr. Topping?) and I don’t know what democrats in that state think of him in general.

      1. Yes, I’m in CA but I don’t follow state politics that closely. As far as I know, Newsom is popular though I don’t think he’s been seriously considered by voters as a candidate for national office, let alone as president. He strikes me as much like Biden at his age. Popular, personable, a pure political animal, but prone to gaffes.

  1. Thanks for the reminder that The Taste is this weekend, I was almost thinking of taking LSD through Grant Park, will now avoid! There are a couple Governors who could run for president, one R, one D, that I can think of who are neither Trumpist, or Wokester. Jared Polis and Glenn Youngkin. A race like that is probably too much to hope for!

  2. As for me, I’ll vote for any Democrat. I hope Democrats manage to maintain unity because the country can’t afford anything but the destruction of MAGA Republicans.

    Will Liz run? Maybe. I would never vote for her despite the respect she’s earned since Jan 6, 2020.

  3. My biggest nightmare scenario is that Trump runs and wins the Republican nomination, while Biden runs for the Democrats with such low approval that Trump actually does have a chance at winning. I’m terribly afraid that this scenario is more likely than I would like to imagine.

    And just a question out of pure ignorance: If Trump is indicted but not yet convicted, does that really mean he can’t run?

    Among Democrats that have run recently, I would prefer Elizabeth Warren.

    1. If Eugene Debs is a precedent, it would appear that Trump could run for president, even if convicted. Per Wikipedia, Debs, the most famous socialist in American history, was convicted of sedition for speeches he gave during World War I. He was even disenfranchised. But, he still was able to run for president in 1920 – from his jail cell. Eventually, President Warren Harding commuted his sentence to time served.


    2. Trump can still run, even if indicted. Hell, he can still run even if indicted, convicted, and imprisoned. Labor leader Eugene V. Debs ran as a candidate while a convict at the federal penitentiary in Atlanta GA in the1920 US presidential election.

      It’s not like an indictment will cause Trump to bow out gracefully. (Graceful ain’t in the Trump repertoire.) If anything, it will make him more likely to run, since he’ll see it as giving him a platform to battle the charges publicly (especially given that he’s lost his Twitter account, apparently for good). That’s why I’m looking for Trump to announce a 2024 run early, perhaps before this fall’s midterms, and maybe even any day now. (He may also see it as a preemptive chance to chase off some of his wannabe GOP opponents, who are all still scared shitless of Trump’s dead-ender base.)

      1. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment:
        No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

        That seems to be our only hope of getting Trump out of politics permanently. Of course, it requires that he be convicted of insurrection for his part in January 6.

        1. Weird thing is, were Trump to be convicted of a felony, he’d be disenfranchised from voting (in Florida, which he now claims as his home state), but would still be eligible to run on the national ticket for president (assuming his conviction was for something less than insurrection).

          If the Republican congressional caucus were polled anonymously on whether he should be the Party’s 2024 nominee, I don’t think Trump would get more than 3-5 votes in the Senate or 20-30 in the House.

      2. Maybe Trump’s grifter DNA will guide him, as he’s already making $$$$$ by openly fleecing his willing followers. Go for the easy money, Donald. Keep the adulation but with no pesky rules that Presidents are supposed to follow.

    3. Regarding Elizabeth Warren, I just listened to her reading her 2014 book, “A Fighting Chance” on a trip to the beach. The book balances her personal history with her efforts to improve the plight of ‘hard working families’. Unfortunately, she has several strikes: she’s a woman, is viewed as too liberal, represents an ‘elite’ state, did poorly the last time around, and the coffin nail – she’s too intelligent (?) Too bad we can’s select well-rounded, competent people, but the candidate list on both sides is uninspiring, not to say, depressing.

      1. I had Liz pegged as the 2020 nomination favorite until she stumbled badly even before the campaign got underway by letting herself get baited into taking the genetic test regarding her claimed Native American ancestry.

  4. On the Democratic side, we need VIGOR! Biden is too old and is getting shaky on his feet and in his speech (and even more gaff-prone than before). Harris doesn’t seem vigorous either. She has done nothing with the opportunities that have been presented to her. The VP must remain in the President’s shadow, so that puts her in a bad spot, but she has done nothing to indicate that she can do anything on her own.

    I’m a Cory Booker fan. He’s vigorous, smart, and very personable—easy to like. Buttigieg is next for me as well. He’s done a good job as Transportation Secretary and he’s been far more visible than Harris. After those two, there’s what’s left of the list of 2020 candidates, including Bernie Sanders (too old), Amy Klobuchar (a possibility but needs to set herself apart from the others in some way), and Elizabeth Warren (kind of mean-spirited if you asked me and too anti-business). Gavin Newsom is young and vigorous, but he’s from that evil State of California.

    On the Republican side, we desperately need Trump to go away. Or, if not, to lose in the general election. If Trump goes away and doesn’t run, there are other Trumpers that can take his place (and possibly win, unfortunately), but there are also some moderates who I might be able to stomach if they win (but would never vote for).

    It’ll be interesting.

    1. Re “too anti-business”. I suppose she is perceived this way by some, or many. I see her not as anti-business, but as anti-corruption, anti-tax evasion, anti-exploitation, anti-trust etc.

      1. It’s what Warren says about some of those things that makes me suspect she’s just pandering to the anti-business component of the Democratic base. For example, she says she wants to force corporations to lower prices. Rather than do the hard work of finding out why a certain market is not performing competitively and fixing it, she seems to favor passing laws that directly set prices. I suspect that’s all talk as such laws will be thrown out by courts. She’s definitely smart enough to know this but thinks her voters aren’t, evidently.


  5. I’ve heard some people say she [Liz Cheney] should run as a Democrat …

    Liz Cheney has done an admirable and gutsy job as co-chair of the J6 subcommittee, and she well-deserved the Profile-in-Courage award given her by the JFK Library Foundation. But there’s nothing anybody can say that’s going to make Democrats forget who her daddy is — any more than there was anything Jules could say to Jimmy in Pulp Fiction to make him forget that he loves his wife.

    I’ve always thought old Uncle Joe should be a one-termer, although it would’ve made no sense for him to have announced it from the jump and immediately to have taken on lame-duck status. I think the Dems should throw the race open after the midterms. I like Cory, and I like Pete, and I like MN Sen. Amy Klobuchar and some others, too. Let all the contenders throw their hats in the ring and battle it out in the primaries and on the debate stage for the opportunity to take on whomever the GOP coughs up, be it the Big Sore Loser who got his ass handed to him in last two popular votes by a combined 10 million ballots or someone else.

  6. As the token libertarian here, I won’t be voting for either major party. Unfortunately, the Libertarian Party has taken a turn to the alt-right, so I won’t be voting for them, either.

    That being said, a repeat of Trump v Biden would be a disaster. Hopefully Trump will be behind bars before the next presidential election. While I wouldn’t vote for her, Liz Cheney is the closest thing to a states(wo)man in either major party. Cheney v someone principled and not woke would at least raise the tenor of political discourse in the country. It’s unfortunate that even that is too much to hope for.

    1. Out of curiosity, if there were some kind of unicorn ticket, like Booker-Cheney, would you consider voting for that?

      1. Are you sure your pseudonym shouldn’t be Satan? Tempting principled libertarians with potential chaos like that….

    2. Cheney is an extreme rabiately right wing politician. Her main redeeming property is that she has some integrity. Something lacking in most Republicans (and several Democrats for that matter).
      So no, I’d never vote for Cheney, unless the alternative were Trump, or Cruz or Taylor Greene or such clowns.

    3. Patrick, I heard something about a takeover of the LP by the “Mises caucus.” Is this what you are talking about?

      1. Yes. Some of the MC are just trying to inject more energy into the party and appeal to younger voters, which is great. Unfortunately, too many of the leaders are overly friendly with the alt-right. Even worse, in the recent national convention, they removed the pro-choice plank and, in a spectacular demonstration of not understanding political optics, removed the line saying “We condemn bigotry as irrational and repugnant.”

        Here’s a fairly unbiased summary of the situation: https://reason.com/video/2022/06/15/inside-the-mises-caucus-takeover-of-the-libertarian-party/

        I voted libertarian in the past because I refuse to support the lesser of two evils. I’m certainly not going to support the lesser of three.

  7. I think Biden has been a very good president, apart from his giving in to the Woke with his title IX revocations.
    Kamala Harris disappointed, to my regret. She won’t have a chance.
    I think Al Franken has done his penitence for what I still think was a very minor misdemeanor. I couldn’t think of a better Democratic candidate.

  8. Corey Booker or Pete Buttigieg. I would be happy with either one, but I do get cynical I-am-not-proud-of pros and cons for both of them. Corey could energize the minority vote, like Obama did, and that can be a huge difference maker. But he is based in New Jersey and that tends to be a blue state already. Pete is based in Indiana, and his candidacy could flip that red state for us. But I don’t think he excites the minority vote as much.

  9. In my dreams, I sometimes imagine a new US party. dedicated to a bold, novel idea: representative, democratic governance. It would propose proportional representation, and publicly financed election campaigns, with limited and transparent private contributions. In politics, it would entertain ideas from rational conservatives (e.g., George F. Will) and rational progressives (e.g., Elizabeth Warren), and seek to fashion them into compromises. Its presidential ticket could be headed by champions of accountability in government, such as Bennie Thompson or Adam Schiff, and Liz Cheney. Of course, then I wake up and remember what we have.

  10. A Trump/Biden is the absolute worst we can do. Civil War 2.0 with no rules at all, lots of open-carry guns, and state election officials happy to decertify legal votes.

    How can the Democrats even run against a narcissist who won’t admit that he lost, or a would-be-dictator who has no regard for laws that inconvenience him? That is the real elephant in the room.

    If Trump runs again, this country is lost.

    1. I still am hoping that Trump and DeSantis enter into a mutual destruction pact. At this point, it seems unavoidable and I suspect it would make a big dent in MAGA enthusiasm.

    2. As far as “If Trump runs again, this country is lost.” With Trump’s/McConnell’s SCOTUS, I can say, sadly, that this country is already lost. The only glimmer of hope (and it’s truly just a photon) is that a much stronger (D) POTUS than Biden has the will and the Congress to unpack the court by packing the court.

    3. We’re already in “Civil War 2.0 with no rules at all, lots of open-carry guns, and state election officials happy to decertify legal votes”.

  11. I’ve decided that food festivals are a complete waste of time. I have yet to go to one that has any redeeming value. Most of what’s on offer are novelty foods, many in the form of “deep-fried X” or “see what happens when I put these ingredients together that don’t belong”. Even when they try to prepare serious foods, the chefs are challenged by the need to make things on-site without the proper equipment or must prepare some of the items ahead of time. If the stuff is any good, you have to wait in a long line to get a tiny taste. Finally, you probably had to pay a fairly exorbitant entry fee. No thanks!

    1. I went to a “Sausage and Cider Festival” a couple of years ago. The cider part was disappointing to say the least, but the sausages were great. The fundamental problem though is that, once you’ve had a couple of “sausages in a bun”, you can’t eat any more.

      1. The exception that proves the rule! (Don’t really understand what that means but I hear it’s appropriate.) I knew there must be some good ones out there.

        1. No, that is not what the saying means (though a testing ground is called a proving ground). The German word for “test” is “prüfen”, cognate of “prove”, but the German expression is “die Ausnahme bestätigt die Regel”, “the exception confirms the rule”. OK, that could be (mis)translated from English.

          However, how is an exception supposed to test a rule? It really doesn’t make sense. People have tried to shoehorn some meaning into the phrase.

          What it really means (and it should be used only in such situations) is “the exception proves the existence of the rule. For example, a sign which says “free parking on Sundays” is an exception which proves the existence of the unstated rule “parking on other days is not free”. Similarly “officers are allowed to leave the barracks on weekends” emptied that enlisted soldiers are not. And so on.

  12. Buttigieg seems like he has the best shot. However, his sexuality will be his biggest problem. The cretins on the Right won’t hesitate to make it an issue and be really nasty about it. While the country seems mostly past homophobia, it would be a hugely damaging distraction.

    1. A big bloc of cretins in the Democratic base also doesn’t warm to homosexuality. This was the elephant in the room in 2020. If Buttigieg is nominated over the head of the entitled sitting VP who is part West Indian, the bloc would probably stay home on Election Day.

      1. I’m not sure what you mean by 2020 in this context but I can easily believe there are some Dems that are homophobic. Still, I suspect it is much more prevalent among those on the Right.

        1. Black people, especially religious ones who vote, won’t get behind a gay man, if you need a finer point on it. They might not vote for his GOP opponent, but they will stay home. The power brokers saw this in 2020 and went with Biden because he enjoyed residual affection as Obama’s VP and they could not afford to alienate Black maybe-voters after a summer of valourizing George Floyd and BLM at substantial political cost elsewhere in America. The Democratic Party is now controlled by a bloc that faithfully votes >90% for them and therefore enjoys a veto. You think homophobia is more prevalent on the Right because that’s where your opponents are. You can’t see it as something that your allies whom you must not alienate at any cost wallow in as well.

          Put another way, it doesn’t matter if the bigots on the Right won’t vote for a gay man. They aren’t going to vote for any Democratic candidate. But if an important bloc in his own party won’t get out the vote for a gay man, nominating one is folly.

          1. “But if an important bloc in his own party won’t get out the vote for a gay man, nominating one is folly.”

            Using that kind of thinking, we wouldn’t have nominated Barack Obama. Considering that Trump is the price we paid (and are still paying), perhaps we shouldn’t have.

  13. I posted a comment like this before, but it did not come through, so my apologies if it doubles.
    I think Biden is a decently good POTUS , and if not for his giving in to the Woke with his title IX revocation a pretty good one.
    Harris has disappointed, maybe not entirely her fault, but she would not be a serious candidate.
    I think Al Franken, having done his penitence for what I still think was a trivially minor offence, would be a great candidate.

  14. One thing that worries me about Democrats is that they keep saying they want to “fundamentally transform” the United States. This started with Barack Obama:

    “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” — Barack Obama, October 30, 2008

    Democrats echo this phrase very often if you listen.

    I am basically a Bill Clinton Democrat, and he never said he wanted to “fundamentally transform” the U.S.

    Personally, I don’t want the U.S. to be fundamentally transformed. I think we have a pretty good system that can use some tweaks, but in my view is not in need of a fundamental overhaul.

    Some of the ways the Democrats want to fundamentally transform the U.S. include:

    1) moving from a merit-based society to an equity-based society

    2) weakening due process procedures for out-of-favor groups

    3) moving too quickly away from fossil fuels, which will devastate the working class and lead to social instability

    1. I think you’re reading way too much into this phrase. I suspect every politician that ever lived has wanted to fundamentally transform the office for which they are campaigning. The alternative is to just win and do nothing. I see no signs that Dem politicians want to do any of those things you list, except move away from fossil fuels of course. Most of your list is straight from the Right’s scare agenda. You might add “support pedophilia” to complete the set.

      The world does have to move away from fossil fuels. I take that as not in the least controversial. How we get there, though, obviously is. There are many reasonable discussions to have. Whether any policies on the table should be considered fundamental transformations is an exercise left to the media. Of course, we’re bound to hear the phrase, or something like it, from politicians.

      1. Is there any chance at all that the woke left wing of the Democrats WON”T torpedo themselves? Just a curious Canadian.

      2. Like I said, I am a Bill Clinton Democrat from the 1990s. I’m afraid my views really haven’t changed very much. I like “safe, legal, and rare,” for abortion, and I like “the era of big government is over.”

        I think we should pursue excellence over equity, but I am all in favor of of a robust social safety net.

    2. Everyone likes to believe that their own success is entirely the product of their own hard work and talent but the reality is that they have usually also benefitted from some lucky breaks. The most reliable of these is being born wealthy. I don’t think it is necessary or desirable to aspire to a society in which everyone ends up with the same degree of wealth but it seems quite reasonable to me to blend equity and merit such that it is more feasible for those in the bottom strata of society to advance.

      Failing to move away from fossil fuels fast enough will also lead to social instability and will disproportionately affect the poor (worldwide).

  15. I won’t win any points for originality with my take: I think Biden is too old to run again, but if he does, I will crawl over broken glass to vote for him against Agent Orange; I like Mayor/Secretary Pete and Cory Booker; I don’t think Kamala Harris has a chance of winning.

    So, instead, here is a controversial take!

    I think the “Remain in Mexico” policy was a good idea in principle, but not the way it was done. Refugees ended up living in squalid camps at the border, where they were victims of predation and violence. Instead, here is what the POTUS should have done: pay AMLO good money to resettle the refugees in peaceful, safe areas of Mexico, like Oaxaca. Not in big camps, but in houses/apartments intermingled with Mexican citizens.

    Two advantages of this policy over allowing migrants into the U.S.:
    1. Easier for Spanish-speaking Central American migrants to assimilate to life in Mexico than in the U.S.;
    2. Cost of living: for a given amount of $$, you can probably house at least 5x as many people in Mexico as in the U.S., especially the higher-COL American cities.

    Then, the migrants’ claims could be processed while they themselves are living in (relative) peace and safety in Mexico, and Biden wouldn’t suffer from backlash against “OMG he’s letting all these illegal immigrants into the U.S.!”

    What do other readers think? Is this a good idea?

  16. The US has a long history of: (a) running state governors as presidential nominees (e.g., Jimmy Carter); and (b) nominating local figures with little national reputation (e.g., Jimmy Carter). Now, suppose that Beto O’Rourke pulls off an upset victory over Greg Abbot this November in Texas, and is thus the governor of Texas in 2024. We might find ourselves with a rock musician (and computer hacker) presidential candidate. ???

  17. Biden was too old last time.

    Anyway, I’m more concerned about who our next prime minister is going to be (or actually, the one after that) than what will go on in the USA in 2024.

    Edit: I’d also like to see how Elon Musk worms his way out of his Twitter deal. The Twitter board seems intent on forcing it through but I don’t think he can afford it.

    Edit 2: It seems a bit previous to be talking about the next president when you haven’t even done the mid terms yet.

      1. Yup. For a lot of people it doesn’t really matter though. The next PM will be another Tory which for them is the same as BJ staying on. The one after that – after the next general election – may not be a Tory.

  18. If Dem runs Pete Buttigieg, he will get outed.
    I do not refer to his personal life.

    He is very deeply sutured into the extremes of Critical Theory. He is a “child” of it. His father was a leading Marxist intellectual at Notre Dame, and Mayor Pete grew up in a deeply Socialist if not Communist milieu. The flag of Antonio Gramsci metaphorically flew high in that house. That flag is one of those at the root of CRT and Woke.

    This does not automatically make Pete the same as his father. However, if he is not … the opt-out of the worldview of his formative years will be called for, and will be quite interesting.

    I’m not saying Pete is a communist. Or a socialist. Or a neo-Marxist. I’m only saying he will be challenged on this. James Lindsay is all over it, and his cohort (I belong to it) will not be quiet. His stated positions are standard Progressive (see below). The challenge will be: that is just a smoke screen, Pete is far to the left of “Progressive.”

    from an article …


    Lis Smith, communications adviser for Buttigieg’s presidential exploratory committee, declined to comment on how his father influenced his political beliefs or on Pete Buttigieg’s thoughts on Marxist thinkers such as Gramsci.

    Pete Buttigieg said in an MSNBC interview on March 20 that he considers himself a capitalist but that the system needs changes.

    “The biggest problem with capitalism right now is the way it’s become intertwined with power and is eroding our democracy,” Buttigieg said, noting the influence of big businesses in government.

    A self-described progressive, Buttigieg has called to abolish the Electoral College system, supports a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and thinks that climate change is a national security threat.

    In another MSNBC interview in February, Buttigieg said that socialism “is a word in American politics that has basically lost all meaning” and “has been used as a kill switch to stop an idea from being talked about.”

    1. If he’s only going to be “challenged” on these topics by the likes of James Lindsay, Buttigieg will do just fine. He can just show people a video of Lindsay brandishing his sword and no one will take him seriously. Lindsay probably did good work once upon a time but he’s gone off the deep end in the last couple of years.

      1. You wish. The establishment right, or Trump, will take it and run with it. The connection, if true, between Pete growing up under the roof of an important communist father will be spun up to the middle of the American electorate. Sure, the ‘base’ left, perhaps 20% or voting, will see it as sunshine and butterflies that Pete grew up in a communist intellectual cement mixer. But when the “communist” element is connected with grooming and indoctrination of children to Woke identarianism in schools– which edification Lindsay has driven — Pete will be “challenged” all right.

        We like it that Left thinks James Lindsay has no gravitas on the non-intellectual middle. Stay comfy with that.

    2. Although I can see how bits of this can be spun and made somewhat toxic by Republicans, very little of it seems an actual problem to Democratic leaning voters who actually think before they pull the lever.
      Most of the base thinks that capitalism needs checks and balances.
      The only viable solution to the illegal immigration problem is some sort of path to citizenship.
      Its democrats that see the Electoral College as a deep problem in national elections, since it gives far too much weight to low population deeply red states. It should at least be adjusted.
      And so on.

    3. … Buttigieg has called to abolish the Electoral College system, supports a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and thinks that climate change is a national security threat.

      Those are all considered mainstream views — even according to conservative observers anywhere to the left of The John Birch Society.

      1. @Ken Kukec

        Perhaps from your view those are “mainstream.” Not for most of America. Left thinks their “normal” is America’s normal, quite cute. Stay asleep about actual America please.

        Moreover, as I said, these ‘moderate’ progressive constructions will be claimed — and perhaps shown — to be but a mask on his face.

  19. Hillary Clinton for president. “She’s tan, she’s rested, she’s ready.” Just kidding.

    Seriously, The Democrats need to nominate someone from the mid-west and south, I think. A nominee from either coast, good as they may be, is a recipe for disaster. My dream ticket (at least today) is Val Demmings of Florida for President, and Mallory McMorrow of Michigan for VP. Or Visa- versa.

    If only there were a way to dispense with the College of Cardinals that now are in conclave in the US Supreme Court.

    1. In the 59 presidential elections held thus far in this nation’s history, only once has a sitting member of the US House of Representatives been elected president — James Garfield in 1880.

      I like Rep. Val Demings, a lot, and have heard good things about MI state senator McMorrow, but at the top of the charts in terms of name-recognition, they ain’t.

      Plus, if Val D were to beat Marco Rubio in the Florida US senate race this fall, it would look a might politically opportunistic should she immediately turned around and announced a run for the presidency. (Barack waited four years, and there were still some Party regulars who started out thinking he’d jumped his place in line.)

      Not that it’s my usual place to be a font of conventional wisdom.

    1. For the past 3 days I have been getting “web site has crashed” messages. It’s been almost impossible for me to read any of Jerry’s posts or comments.

      1. There are problems, especially on Safari. My website guy is working on them. I would suggest moving to Chrome or another browser like Firefox for the interim. Believe me, I know about this and am doing what I can.

  20. None of those strikes against Warren resonate with me either. My complaints is that she seems to be anti-business (regardless of her claim to be a capitalist) and her outrage always seems faux. She’s too much a political animal and will triangulate her “beliefs” as she sees fit for campaign purposes.

  21. I’m a bona fide Independent, having voted Democrat and Republican evenly since voting for JFK in 1960. More recently, I voted for Trump over Hillary and for Biden over Trump. The only circumstance in which I’d vote (holding my nose) for Trump again is if he were to run against Biden or Harris or someone even deeper in the woke camp. Otherwise, I’d vote for any of the Dems that our host mentioned rather than vote for Trump. I keep hoping that Trump would fade into the woodwork much as Hillary has, but the Dems seem bent on keeping him in the spotlight. Quel dommage!

    1. Really an Independent, as that is another party. I have ditched independent for the more accurate unaffiliated

  22. I would agree that Biden is too old to run again, his poll numbers are terrible, the future of the economy is uncertain, and he projects the total opposite of dynamic leadership. Regardless of his policies, most of which are good, he will have a struggle to win in 2024, even if his opponent is Trump. But, the important thing is that he must voluntarily announce that he will not run again, and he must do this soon. Unfortunately, he seems to be preparing to do the opposite. Therefore, barring a serious health incident prior to the election, the only way to replace him will be by a Democratic challenger via the primary system. Such a challenge could tear the party apart such as when Teddy Kennedy challenged Carter in 1980, and Reagan went against Ford in 1976. In both cases, the incumbent won the nomination, but was badly damaged and lost their election.

    So, even if Biden is contested in the primaries, he would still probably win the nomination. Even if should lose it to another Democrat that person will be hurt by a damaged and divided Democratic party. For the good of the Democratic Party and the nation, Biden should voluntarily announce that he will not run again. But, politics is all that he knows, and he will not go quietly into the night.

    1. … the only way to replace him will be by a Democratic challenger via the primary system.

      One of the leading factors in an incumbent’s failing to get reelected is facing a primary challenge. Kennedy vs. Carter in 1980, as you mention. Also, Pat Buchanan vs. GHW Bush in ’92. And it was Eugene McCarthy’s 42% showing in the New Hampshire Democratic primary in 1968 (coming, as it did, hot on the heels of the Tet Offensive) that chased LBJ out of seeking reelection.

  23. Pete Buttigieg was my favorite in 2020, and I’d love to see him run again. However, I’m afraid the GOP (and Fox, etc.) would have a field day pinning all of the supply chain problems on him since he was secretary of transportation (even though I don’t see how anything can honestly be blamed on him).

    On the GOP side, if Trump doesn’t get the nomination again, I think Pompeo and DeSantis have the best chances. Trump won’t be able to stop talking about how the election was “stolen” from him in 2020, and that’s what will give other GOP candidates the best chance to beat him: They’ll say, “We need to move on from 2020,” and that will drive Trump nuts.

    The Trump cult isn’t dead, though, and he stands a real chance of winning in 2024, especially if Biden runs again.

    1. I think the answer to the supply chain argument (and many similar ones) is that the whole world has suffered from the same problems. In fact, it is by its very nature a worldwide problem.

  24. There is a socialist publication called Current Affairs, edited by Nathan J. Robinson, who writes many of the articles. He dislikes Democrats almost as much as Republicans, but realizes that Trump must be defeated. What surprised me is that in a long article, he endorsed billionaire governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker. Why? He argues that Pritzker has advocated for and passed many laws that the former considers good. I suspect that Pritzker is weighing his options. As a real billionaire, money should not be a factor for him. If Robinson’s views are indicative of those on the far Left, Pritzker represents the possibility of uniting those on the Left and Center against whomever the Republicans nominate.

    Pritzker is running for re-election this fall as Illinois governor against a Trumpist Republican. If he wins decisively, bucking a potential national red wave, he may be someone we will hear a lot more about starting next year.


  25. Would you vote for Trump again if Biden were to run again? For a seditionist that wanted to overthrow US democracy? Don’t you see the enormity of what happened?
    I would not call that a bona fide independent, but one flirting with dictatorship.

  26. I had the nickname ‘Ras’ many years ago.
    I still let my hair grow as long as it wants. Not very these days.

  27. I second Lysander on the issue of fundamental transformation. I used to complain about politicians who use their office primarily as a way to enrich themselves and their families. That seems, in retrospect, pretty mild compared to the potential damage that can be done by one who is motivated by utopian aspirations.
    The sort of people who can get by as leaders and representatives in times of security and prosperity are not going to be of any use to us if we experience real problems, like disruptions to our agricultural infrastructure. It is bad enough that unexpected setbacks have been occurring, but there are a lot of voices that want to “fundamentally transform” it as well, along with many of the other systemsthat make modern civilization possible.
    I think we need a completely different class of people in government than we currently have, with different skill sets and motivations.
    My opinion, anyway.

    1. Please d*g not Hillary.

      I would vote and campaign for Amy Klobuchar because she is a smart, moral, not ancient, and effective centrist.

    2. I second Lysander on the issue of fundamental transformation. … That seems, in retrospect, pretty mild compared to the potential damage that can be done by one who is motivated by utopian aspirations.


      I think we need a completely different class of people in government than we currently have, with different skill sets and motivations.

      So you want a fundamental transformation. That seems like a utopian aspiration.

      1. It does sound a bit utopian, but I don’t want to transform the country. I just think our representatives should be qualified for office and not morally retarded.

  28. I don’t get to vote (UK/Canuck citizen), so this is an outsider’s viewpoint. It seems to me that Liz Cheney is about the best thing going in current American politics. No MAGA-droid will ever vote for her, so she will be lost from US politics unless someone else votes for her. Her future in her present role will be up to the people in Wyoming. What, though, if she ran as an independent for the presidency? Sometimes we vote to get a candidate IN, and sometimes we vote to keep another candidate OUT. And you know exactly who I mean…I wouldn’t want my finer scruples to let Trump have another go at ruining a lot more than just his country.

  29. In an article just published today (July 11th), the NYT reports the following:

    “President Biden is facing an alarming level of doubt from inside his own party, with 64 percent of Democratic voters saying they would prefer a new standard-bearer in the 2024 presidential campaign, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll, as voters nationwide have soured on his leadership, giving him a meager 33 percent job-approval rating.”

    When a sitting president has lost the confidence of a majority of his own party, there cannot be greater proof that Biden should announce now that he won’t run for a second term.


    1. On the other hand, polls show that Biden would still win over Trump in 2024. There’s also the unknown factor to consider by going with that fresh face. For example, we know Biden can handle Trump’s insults but who knows about someone else?

      1. Polls showed Hillary would win last time, and Democrats were so sure of that, they could indulgently say “I guess I will hold my nose and vote for her.”

        Tr*mpsters didn’t care about the polls then,the past election results (they still think it was stolen), any possible indictments of DJT, or even future elections, because in their minds, Tr*mp wins in every scenario.

  30. If a Democrat blames Biden for the failures of a 50-50 Senate and a House with a tiny majority, then why should the Democrats run anyone at all? There is NO Democrat who could have succeeded because there is NO Democrat who could have moved the ball forward. And you have basically rewarded McConnell and the rest of the GOP’s obstruction.

      1. McConnell is the lead architect of the “obstruction at all costs” policy. He followed it during the Obama administration and he is following it now. What Biden has been able to get done has been strictly limited by what he can get through with 100% Democrat cooperation. It’s one thing for the media to be lazy and say “the Democrats can’t get it done”, it’s another thing for Democrats to accept that simplistic analysis – and by accepting it, you have rewarded McConnell’s strategy.

        As much admiration as I have for Lyndon Johnson’s political skills, it is not at all clear that they would have helped him to get things done now. The GOP is not Johnson’s GOP – not by a long shot. Would the majority of the House GOP of Johnson’s time refuse to certify the results of a free and fair election? No senators in today’s GOP would have gone to Nixon and convinced him to resign.

        Only if Biden gets 100% of the Democrats in the Senate to support his agenda can he get anything through Congress. I have fantasies about Biden putting the screws to Manchin and Sinema, but neither you nor I know if that wouldn’t just result in Manchin or Sinema changing parties. And in West Virginia, Manchin could easily do that and be reelected.

        All this notwithstanding, I don’t disagree with you that the Democrats may have to go to someone else in 2024. I just wish Democrats, at least, would recognize that it’s just a matter of electoral strategy, because thinking that anything much accomplished without a clear and convincing drubbing of the GOP is unrealistic. From the days that Warnock and Ossoff won in Georgia, I never expected much more than to stop the bleeding.

        1. Yes, McConnell is quite up-front about his intent to simply prevent Dems in office from doing their job. It’s all part of the GOP trope that Dems are simply evil rather than object to specific policies. This has been a theme of theirs for many decades, perhaps starting with Reagan’s claim that government is bad for you.

      2. Lyndon Johnson could have succeeded with a 50/50 Senate.

        I’m not so sure Lyndon could. But if anyone could, Lyndon could.

    1. It’s the result of the same kind of voter laziness that blames Biden for high gas prices, etc. Whoever is in charge when the bad thing happens is to blame. It’s a tradition of sorts.

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