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2020 and the Democratic Message

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Sarah Jones argues that Sanders has a valuable role to play in the party going forward but probably isn’t the ideal candidate in 2020:

Still, there is a strong case for Sanders abstaining from making another presidential run. The first obstacle is obvious: He will be 79 next Inauguration Day. Basketball notwithstanding, advanced age is a vulnerability for any politician. This is particularly true of a politician who inhabits the Oval Office—and this critique applies to Joe Biden and other potential contenders of a certain age.

Second, while Sanders’s campaign ignited public interest in democratic socialism, he was hardly the perfect candidate. He could have been stronger on gun control, particularly at the beginning of the primary campaign. And he too often ceded ground on foreign policy to Clinton—an unnecessary failing, considering her deeply troubling record on the issue. These are questions that Sanders will have to answer all over again if he chooses to run in 2020, and they’re a reminder that there may be a better progressive candidate out there.

And there is the matter of his fame. Name recognition is key to victory, but it can also strangle movements. Sanders the individual now gobbles up so much airtime and column inches that he threatens to eclipse the American left, to its long-term detriment. This is hardly his fault, but Sanders must now consider the broader interests of the left.

Reasonable people can disagree about whether Sanders is the best messenger for 2020, and the issue will essentially take care of itself through the primaries. (Like Paul, I agree that Bernie’s age is a real issue, although not necessarily a dispositive one. Obviously Biden 2020 is a terrible idea.)  To echo what I said about health care earlier, the key takeaway here is that if only Bernie can carry his economic message, it can’t succeed legislatively anyway.  The better test of his effectiveness will be whether every viable aspirant for the Democratic nomination runs on a platform comparable to Sanders’s. Gillibrand’s close alliance with Bernie after the election suggests that this is highly likely.

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  • Anna in PDX

    I feel like he could have a role to play in the party, if he were actually a member of the party. One of my biggest beefs with him is that he seems to want to direct the Democratic Party’s priorities and organizational goals while staying aloof from it.

    • Steve LaBonne

      That’s how I feel. Actually be a Democrat or STFU.

      • Dilan Esper

        I finally got around to reading “Shattered”. The Clinton people basically bragged to the reporters about all they did to keep Democrats from running against Hillary, including threatening to punish not only Dem pols but even any donors or strategists who helped an opponent.

        And they also bragged about the stuff they did to block Biden

        They made it impossible for a Dem to challenge her, which is why we got Sanders.

        That’s on Hillary. If she had welcomed challenges from within the party, Sanders wouldn’t have become the tribune for the intra-party opposition to Hillary. But she and her team did all these things, and only a non-Democrat could oppose her. If you don’t like the rise of Sanders because he isn’t a Dem, blame Hillary.

        • Rob in CT

          You know, all that could be true (haven’t read Shattered), but Bernie is still responsible for his own actions/omissions.

          He has chosen, quite deliberately, for decades, to brand himself as an independent, not a Democrat (except for when he ran for the nomination). That may or may not be a good choice, but it is his and is not on Hillary Clinton.

          I’m torn on this subject, as I have the same emotional reaction as Anna and Steven, but I also recognize that that indy cred that Sanders has is something that has real appeal to the sort of voters who swing our elections. And what really matters, in the end, is good governance (which requires we win elections), not annoyance at Mr. I’m too good to call myself a Democrat ;)

          • Dilan Esper

            He did choose that. But he was also perfectly fine allowing other people, like Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich and John Edwards, to pick up the mantle of left-wing challenger to presidential candidates.

            Hillary deliberately created the situation where someone like Sanders had to run. And yes, the party does need those voters.

            And with respect to the emotional reaction– Sanders supporters have emotional reactions too. That’s the way coalitions work. You have to hold your nose and work with people you don’t like. Centrist types are no more exempt from that principle than the left is.

            • Rob in CT

              Well I’m an odd duck in that I voted for Sanders but totally have the emotional reaction to his purity positioning. So whatever.

              Anyway, this post is about 2020. You were responding to a comment about Bernie not calling himself a Democrat. You used this to blame Hillary for “clearing the field,” even though Bernie’s branding has nothing to do with that. Your point strikes me as a non-sequitur.

              • Dilan Esper

                To be clear, I think Sanders needs to go away now for exactly the same reasons that Hillary Clinton needs to. I’ve had enough of that generation in politics. They are old and spent.

              • ThresherK

                but totally have the emotional reaction to his purity positioning

                “the”?

                No snark, but obligatory: “Phrasing”.

                As in, I’m not disagreeing with you, I just don’t know what that sentence fragment means, and think there’s a wrong word edited into it.

                “no emotional reaction”
                “the same emotional reaction” (as Esper, or Lemiuex, or someone else)

                • Rob in CT

                  The same emotional reaction as Anna & Steve, which I said in my preceding comment.

              • Anna in PDX

                I also voted for Sanders in the primary. I thought he had joined the Democratic party and would stay in it. When he immediately fled it right after the election I thought it was really difficult to understand how he is still making all these statements about what it needs to do but he does not want to be a member. So, he has no standing. I don’t like people calling this view “emotional”. It is not “emotional” it is logical. If you don’t belong to a club you cannot vote on its rules and you cannot reform it.

            • cpinva

              “Hillary deliberately created the situation where someone like Sanders had to run.”

              i’m sorry, but i missed the part in the book where HRC and/or her people talk about holding a gun to their heads/knife to their throat, and forcing all those other highly qualified candidates not to run against her. that only Sen. Sanders, locked in his office’s “safe room”, was able to avoid this fate as well. could you show me what page that’s on?

              these people presumably have agency, and make their own decisions. if not, they have no business running for public office, especially president, to begin with. they convinced themselves to not run against her, for whatever reason(s). that’s on them, not her. it’s not her job (or any politician’s, for that matter) to encourage other candidates to run against her, it’s their job to convince people that they should run, and get their support.

              that’s the way the game is played, in democracies, and Hillary just played it better than all those other “highly qualified” non-candidates. too effing bad for them.

              • liberalrob

                Who knew that Hillary Clinton could be a savvy and effective politician?

                • phrenological

                  Only when she’s working her evil spells.

              • Scott Lemieux

                The idea that Clinton could muscle the Vice President of the United States out of the race is quite simply absurd. If Biden had no independent ability to raise money, that means he was a shitty candidate, not that Clinton wouldn’t let him run.

                • MDrew

                  The idea that Clinton could muscle the Vice President of the United States out of the race is quite simply absurd.

                  It quite simply isn’t, because it’s quite simply possible that the president of the United States was supporting her efforts.

                  (It isn’t anyway.)

            • efgoldman

              Hillary deliberately created the situation where someone like Sanders had to run.You’re less coherent than usual. What does this even mean? He ran as Democrat because he knew an independent run would be seen as a Walter Mitty gesture (which it was, anyway.)
              But eventually. slagging an organization who’s endorsement you’re trying to slag, from the outside, is a useless gesture.

            • ForkyMcSpoon

              The thing about coalitions is that the other members of the coalition might start doubting your commitment to the coalition if, you know… you conspicuously refuse to join the coalition.

              Sanders joining the party would be committing some symbolic capital to the party. It would instantly gain him good will from the wings of the party that he needs to win over. It’s not unreasonable to ask why he’s so unwilling to do so.

              • cpinva

                “It’s not unreasonable to ask why he’s so unwilling to do so.”

                simply put, if he did, he would no longer be the crusty, old, mavericky mcmaverick of the left, fighting for truth, justice and the American way. leaping over tall buildings in a single bound, etc. that’s been his whole schtick since about forever, and why he must remain an unsullied “independent”. if he actually joined the party, he’d be just another old, white guy politician. hell, I still, to this day, have no fucking idea what he’s talking about, when he rambles on about “social(ist?) democracy”, and I doubt 1 in 10 people in room with him do either.

                • searcher

                  Honestly I suspect he’d lose half his following if he permanently joined the Democratic Party, but I think he could do a lot of good (for the party, for the country) with a good “come to Jesus” conversion (err, that’s an awkward metaphor for a Jewish politician).

                  If Bernie Sanders stood up and said “I’ve been an Independent all my life, but today I am joining the Democratic Party, because the Republican Party has become an existential threat to Western democracy and the Democrats are the only thing standing between us and corporate fascism.” (but you know, jazzed up, in his crowd-drawing patter), I think he could pull in at least some of his outside-the-party following.

                • Redwood Rhiadra

                  @searcher – except that he’s already *done* that just last year, and RENEGED. No one would believe him if he did it again.

          • Murc

            You know, all that could be true (haven’t read Shattered),

            Don’t waste your time. The central thesis of it is “Hillary Clinton’s loss was completely and utterly her own fault, she shouldn’t have run and ran a bad campaign, and this was all rather obvious in late 2015 except you idiots didn’t see it.”

            Not worth the paper it is printed on.

            • Dilan Esper

              The thesis is wrong. But the reporting is totally solid.

              • rea

                The reporting struck me as fantastic, and not in a good sense–every negative fantasy about Clinton brought forward.

            • so-in-so

              Don’t waste your time. The central thesis of it is “Hillary Clinton’s loss was completely and utterly her own fault, she shouldn’t have run and ran a bad campaign, and this was all rather obvious in late 2015 except you idiots didn’t see it.”

              Not worth the paper it is printed on.

              Recycled comments from some trolls on LGM?

          • ForkyMcSpoon

            The thing is that the kind of voter who is most appealed to by the “too good to be in a party” stance is just someone who is anti-politics.

            And it doesn’t seem to me that you can build a durable coalition on anti-politics. So if possible, I’d prefer not to promote such wankery. And it seems to me that there are viable progressives who don’t.

            • Davis X. Machina

              …just someone who is anti-politics.

              And it doesn’t seem to me that you can build a durable coalition on anti-politics.

              Get the parties out of politics!
              Get the politicians out of politics!
              Get the politics out of politics!

              That is how you fix politics.

        • sibusisodan

          It’s difficult to identify the missing politicians though. And I’m not sure I buy the idea that Clinton could have stopped Biden running if he was able to.

          • N__B

            Why? Have her hired assassins retired?

            • sibusisodan

              No, I mean it’s literally difficult to identify them. Hillary uses BleachBit, remember?

            • cpinva

              not according to this book and Dilan. they’re still taking out targets right and left. as they have been for the Clintons for nearly 30 years now.

              • Hogan

                I’ve been buried in a shallow grave since 1997, when I criticized Bill in a local union newsletter. True story.

                • Are you okay?

                • tsam

                  No way. He had to have pulled a hammy.

          • Dilan Esper

            I think it’s fairly easy to identify them actually. Biden and Elizabeth Warren would have very likely run, for starters. Plus you would probably have some more longshot candidacies like we used to have in every non-incumbent primary cycle.

            • Murc

              Biden and Elizabeth Warren would have very likely run, for starters.

              This thesis requires Clinton to have somehow been responsible for the death of Biden’s son, which is the primary thing that kept him out of the race.

              • Dilan Esper

                “Shattered” makes clear that this was a cover story. He wanted to run.

                He has also said himself that he wanted to run. Make of that what you will.

                • Murc

                  “Shattered” makes clear that this was a cover story. He wanted to run.

                  Nothing was stopping him.

                  You keep citing Shattered, a book written by deranged anti-Clintonites, in support of claims that are dubious at best and crazy at worst. I am not prepared to accept claims that thinly sourced.

                  The statement “Clinton somehow forced a sitting Vice-President over whom she had zero personal or political leverage to not run for president” is an enormously extraordinary claim. It requires extraordinary evidence.

                • cpinva

                  “Make of that what you will.”

                  what i make of it is that, for his own reasons, he decided not to. as for Sen. Warren, she made it clear from the start she had zero interest in running for president. publicly and multiple times. i guess she was, according to this book, lying all along?

                • tsam

                  Especially considering that the man himself fully admitted to being in a place where he was trying to work through losing his son and didn’t feel like taking on the shit-show that is presidential politics.

                • MyNameIsZweig

                  “Shattered” makes clear that this was a cover story. He wanted to run.

                  He has also said himself that he wanted to run. Make of that what you will.

                  Okay, but while I will accept the idea that HRC and her people may have engaged in aggressive deck-clearing prior to the campaign (and to be clear, I don’t see this as an automatic Bad Thing), I have trouble with the idea that the threats you describe would have much scare power when directed at the sitting vice-president of the United States, who doesn’t actually need the job, or *any* job after the one he currently has is done.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  The idea that Sanders was able to raise money but Warren wouldn’t have is insane.

                • cleek

                  he’d run before, and he suuuuuucccccked.

              • SatanicPanic

                I’m surprised the theory that Clinton had him killed hasn’t been floated already. I’m sure the usual crazies would have no trouble believing it. If it has then nevermind.

              • mongolia

                the other thing that kept biden out of the race is that at his peak he was polling about 20%, and after hillary’s benghazi hearing he dropped to something like 16% before formally dropping out of consideration for running

              • bender

                I don’t think it particularly likely that Warren wanted to run.

                She was done out of the job she worked for and really wanted, head of the Consumer Protection Agency or whatever it’s called. She ran for Senator as a substitute. Warren’s passion is financial justice for the masses. As a Senator, she can focus on what she cares about, and has the job for life. Running for president is a full time job. If she caught the car, a lot of her time would be taken up by things she does not care about very much, and at the end of four or eight years she would be old, exhausted, and termed out.

            • wjts

              Alas, Dick Gephardt! Alas, Mike Gravel! Alas, John DeStefano Jr.! Pity their vanity campaigns that never were, crushed under the high heels of overweening ambition!

              • Lost Left Coaster

                Not to mention the machinations that surely must have taken place to keep Lyndon Larouche from running.

                • cpinva

                  “Not to mention the machinations that surely must have taken place to keep Lyndon Larouche from running.”

                  i believe he, like Franco, is still dead.

                • djw

                  Absent some conspiracy to cover it up, Lyndon Larouche is not only not “still dead”, he’s not dead at all. He seems to have moved to a “so anti-anti-Trump he’s basically pro-Trump” position now. Stop the FBI coup!

                • Are there still Larouche people handing out flyers at the University of Washington? It’s almost a tradition there!

                • Lost Left Coaster

                  Maybe the Queen of England is behind it all!

                • sharonT

                  Larouchies were still active during the 2008 primary and general election. They had a table at the DuPont Circle Metro stop. They were handing out copies of Executive Information Bulletin. But yeah, wLyndon was still dead back then if I remember it correctly.

                  Now my candidate who was blocked from running was Monroe Cornish. Erstwhile Democratic Mayoral candidate for Baltimore City in 1982.’He ran on the “justify Every Nutty Thing That John Hinkley Ever Said or Wrote” ticket. It’s a shame that there’s no video of that debate, it was one for the ages!

                • I remember a Larouche protest I ran across in 2012. Obama as Hitler poster but also anti Romney. Why? Because Glass-Steagall! This seemed to make sense to them. “Why does not Romney also have a Hitler mustache then if he is just as bad?” I asked. They looked at me like I was a crazy person for asking that.

                • Colin Day

                  Replying to cpinva

                  No According to Wikipedia Larouche is alive.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyndon_LaRouche

                • djw

                  Not just UW, but SU, community colleges, Farmer’s Markets, etc. A robust premise. During the ACA year, they became quite aggressive with the Obama = Hitler metaphor, using gigantic posters of Obama superimposed with a Hitler mustache.

                  I once allowed myself to start to get sucked into arguing with one of them, and tried to end it with “I’ll take some of your free literature to learn more about your fascinating theories,” a picked up a magazine from their table, only to learn it’s a “free” issue only if I sign up for a $150 dollar subscription or some such. My peels of spontaneous laughter were not well received.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  handing out flyers

                  Flyers? The Federalist is a serious publication!

                • Dr. Acula

                  I saw them hanging out outside the Palo Alto post office last fall, handing their usual brand of stupid shit; anti-Obama conspiracy crap, weird shit about NASA and Mars, etc.

                  Back in ’92, his cultists plastered a bunch of LaRouche posters in the tunnel that connects the Palo Alto Caltrain station with downtown. “The only Democrat tough enough to stand up to George Bush”, they said. I laughed every time I saw them.

              • nemdam

                Man, if Dennis Kucinich ran, think about how much better the Democratic party would be. But Queen Hillary just had to threaten and Vince Foster everyone.

                This talking point is also funny considering 3 vanity candidate did end up running. (Webb, Chaffey, and Lessig) And a real candidate did run, but got zero traction (O’Malley). Queen Hillary is all powerful except in stopping James Comey.

                • liberalrob

                  It’s as though a majority of Democrats actually wanted her to be their nominee for President.

                • bender

                  The Democratic vanity candidates were of a higher grade than the Republican vanity candidates.

                • cpinva

                  “No According to Wikipedia Larouche is alive.”

                  I stand (well, actually, sit) corrected. for some reason, I could have sworn he died years ago, while sitting in a federal jail cell. it must have been another, similar nutjob, though the name escapes me at the moment. this happened back (I believe) in the late 80’s, and I remember thinking at the time, that there would end up being a wrongful death lawsuit out of it, which there was.

                  my apologies to Mr. Larouche, for prematurely entombing him.

            • sibusisodan

              Total numbers in the D primary were a little smaller than ’08, but only by 2 (8 vs 6).

              I struggle with the idea that the bragging you report was effective. Biden and Warren have their own clout, do they not?

              One would expect such a threat to be more effective for the long shots, but we see the same numbers of long shots as ’08.

            • randy khan

              Count me in the camp of people who are skeptical that Clinton could have kept Biden out if he really wanted to run.

              As for Warren, I certainly could have missed evidence that she wanted to or planned to run, but all I recall are people saying *they* wanted her to run. I would be interested (genuinely, not as a rhetorical pose) in specific information suggesting that she had an interest.

              • Brien Jackson

                Warren is a big leap. She had a bunch of people ready to support her and a ton of people who thought she would beat Hillary in the primary, me included. It REALLY seems like she legit did not want to run.

                • randy khan

                  That’s how I recall it as well, but I’m open to evidence to the contrary.

            • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

              I’d argue that anyone who would allow another candidate to intimidate them into not running probably isn’t cut out to be President.

            • Aexia

              Warren had absolutely zero interest in running. ZERO. Her staff were actively annoyed at all the various “Draft Warren” grifting operations.

          • wjts

            Former Allegheny County Prothonotary Michael Lamb would have won if Clinton had let him run.

            (Former because the office of Prothonotary was sadly abolished in 2005, depriving us of what Harry S Truman once called the most impressive political title he’d ever heard.)

            • cpinva

              did you mean only in that one county, or the entire Commonwealth of PA? I ask, because it would appear that several counties in PA still use the title, for basically the clerk of the court position (an elected office in most jurisdictions). I’d never heard of it before, until just today in your thread post.

              • wjts

                Just in Allegheny County. I’d never heard of it before I moved here. PA has a lot of governmental idiosyncrasies, like the ludicrous State Constables.

        • addicted44

          The fact that basic politicking like this is considered unsavory when Hillary Clinton does it just goes to prove Clinton Rules all over again.

          You only need to look as far as Rubio/Jeb (where Jeb actually failed to prevent Rubio from running, despite trying hard) to see how prevalent this is.

          But it doesn’t just happen in high profile races. Preventing strong competitors from participating is a significant part of any political campaign.

          • Dilan Esper

            YMMV whether you think it’s unsavory. I think, at the very least, that you should be consistent as to how you view (1) a left winger refusing to support a Dem candidate and (2) Bill Clinton threatening to refuse to support a Dem politician in a contested district or state who did not commit early to endorsing his wife for President or who met with a potential opponent.

            But further, I think it is unsavory in at least one way. There were obviously a lot of Democrats who didn’t like Hillary. They were basically entitled to a candidate in the primaries. Keeping such a candidate off the ballot is tantamount to disenfranchising her opponents. It’s basically using Kim Jong Un’s approach to democracy. A true believer in democracy should welcome competitors and try to beat them.

            • Murc

              There were obviously a lot of Democrats who didn’t like Hillary. They were basically entitled to a candidate in the primaries.

              No. That’s not how it works. You are never “entitled” to a candidate who is ideologically congenial to you.

              Keeping such a candidate off the ballot is tantamount to disenfranchising her opponents.

              No. It isn’t. You are wrong.

              A true believer in democracy should welcome competitors and try to beat them.

              Clinton absolutely did beat her competitors. She either made them like her, or she made them think “I can’t beat this woman.” That’s how the game is played.

              I absolutely do not welcome competitors. I would do cartwheels if we had an election where the Republicans just stood home. Competitors should be allowed because allowing political competition is one of the cornerstones of a free society, but why on earth should I welcome people who are trying to murder my friends entering political races?

              • MyNameIsZweig

                It’s all just a game to some people, and you can’t have a game without a competitor.

            • No. The whole argument is so dumb that its not even wrong. So all it deserves is: No.

              • Murc

                To be more fair than Dilan maybe deserves, if Bill Clinton really was out there telling Democrats “I could support you in the general election, and help you beat Republicans, but only if you sign on to help my wife in her primary” I would view that with more than a little disfavor. That kinda crosses a line.

                • sibusisodan

                  In House of Cards or Yes (Prime) Minister, that sort of thing is just part of the joyously high stakes of running for leader.

                  People in strong positions get what they want without needing threats. There are always obvious consequences for opposing a frontrunner who wins, and one neednt be so gauche as to point them out.

                • Murc

                  House of Cards? The highly realistic show in which a Democratic President proposes massive and immediate cuts to Social Security to fund a one-time stimulus and infrastructure effort, and this is treated as a savvy political move? :)

                  (I kid because I love.)

                • sibusisodan

                  No, House of Cards, the worryingly realistic book wherein the Tory party are displayed as calculating, highly effective velociraptors in human skin.

                • nemdam

                  Without reading the book, my guess is this means he won’t campaign for a Democratic candidate, or wont’ support him or her in the primary. A little gauche for my tastes, but politics ain’t beanbag. Assuming that outlandish deviousness about a Clinton is wrong even when I don’t know the facts rarely leads me astray.

                • Murc

                  Without reading the book, my guess is this means he won’t campaign for a Democratic candidate, or wont’ support him or her in the primary. A little gauche for my tastes, but politics ain’t beanbag.

                  Oh, yes, this of course would be garden-variety internal party politics. “Support my person in the primary, and I’ll support you in turn” is plenty cool. I’d be surprised if Hillary didn’t leverage Bill in that way, she’d have been dumb not to do so.

                • sibusisodan

                  > I’d be surprised if Hillary didn’t leverage Bill in that way, she’d have been dumb not to do so.

                  Plus, if Bill is losing his fastball, the leverage still works, but in the other direction!

                • liberalrob

                  He’s not allowed to support his wife by conditioning his support for other candidates on their support for her? I don’t see anything wrong with him doing that, at all. Why should he campaign for Democratic candidates that run as being against Hillary?

                • Murc

                  He’s not allowed to support his wife by conditioning his support for other candidates on their support for her?

                  To be clear: the very specific scenario of Clinton making the offer “I will support you in the general, against Republicans, but if and only if you support my wife in this primary, against other Democrats.”

                  That would be bullshit.

                  Why should he campaign for Democratic candidates that run as being against Hillary?

                  How many Democratic candidates ran explicitly against Hillary in the last general?

                • EliHawk

                  Something people are missing about “support you in the general.” At the absolute worst, I would bet this isn’t “If you don’t back my wife, I’m gonna conspicuously not endorse you and/or support the Republican” and more “There are only so many days before the 2014 election, and if you back Hillary, I’ll be right here with you on the stump. If you don’t, I’ll endorse you, but I’m gonna be spending my valuable time over in PA-12 or wherever stumping for the guy who did.”

                • cpinva

                  “That kinda crosses a line.”

                  I am honestly at a loss as to what “line” you’re referring to. this is perfectly acceptable in politics, and is done all the time. just because a Clinton does it, it is not now, by definition, wrong, though many would have you think that. of course, many of those people are also baying at the moon, so there is that.

            • randy khan

              I do feel like there’s a little ex post reasoning going on here. O’Malley is the kind of guy who looks like a perfectly good candidate in every respect except his actual ability to get support in the campaign for the nomination. He was a two-term governor from a heavily Democratic state who had a fairly progressive record, after all. He kind of looks like a President, even. He’s no less plausible a candidate than any number of people who actually have been nominated and elected, let alone some of the people who chose not to run. (The other two were a different story.)

              • King Goat

                Didn’t his blue state just go red right before his candidacy?

                • Murc

                  … Maryland? No. Good god, no. We won Maryland. I don’t even want to think about what an election where we don’t looks like. Yeesh.

                  Unless you mean “elected a Republican Governor” which isn’t at all the same as “going red.” Do you think Louisiana has “gone blue” because it elected Jon Bel Edwards?

              • nemdam

                No joke, if Bernie had not run, I may have voted for O’Malley. I did a little research on his background and liked it. And he was clearly running to Hillary’s left.

                I think O’Malley’s problem was Bernie sucked up all the left wing real estate. Without Bernie, I think O’Malley gets some real traction with those who wanted to move the party to the left and wanted an alternative to Clinton i.e. mostly the same people who voted for Bernie.

                I never understood why he was never seriously considered for VP. He was my sleeper pick.

                • rea

                  O’Malley bears a lot of responsibility for the atrocity-committing Baltimore police

            • nemdam

              It’s basically using Kim Jong Un’s approach to democracy.

              Has someone taken over your account? You just compared Hillary Clinton to f**king Kim Jong Un. If not, no wonder you keep citing Shattered as your case of CDS is as strong as its authors.

            • efgoldman

              It’s basically using Kim Jong Un’s approach to democracy.

              Oh for Christ’s sake, Dilan. Your CDS has taken you totally around the fucking bend.
              You don’t like her.
              Your pet bunny came nowhere near the fucking nomination.
              OK. fine.
              Get in or get out, but that was last year. And that’s an odious comparison AT BEST.
              AND YOU FUCKING KNOW IT!

            • Oh FFS

        • King Goat

          Predictable rushing pile on by the Clinton Cult to any suggestion she was anything other than the Bestest Nominee We Ever Could Have Had.

          Other than, you know, losing* to a ‘terrible candidate running a terrible campaign’ she really had no flaws…

          * And of course, she didn’t *really* lose, and the other side totally cheated to win (which they actually didn’t, of course!). Derangement runs both ways.,,

          • nemdam

            And here I thought your only issue with Clinton was she under FBI investigation.

            • King Goat

              My issue was she put our winning in jeopardy. That issue was one big reason.

              Turned out I was right. Lots of others here at the time preached she was awesome, she was doing great, and then election night…lots of tears.

              But nothing was learned, of course. Cuz she totally was the best after all, and she really won, and the other side cheated, and the media was mean…

              And all those people losing health care and getting deported? Well don’t they know we supported the Bestest Candidate We Ever Could? That should console them I guess…

              • sibusisodan

                > Turned out I was right.

                Yes, but not for reasons that were reasonably foreseeable.

                The idea that nothing was learned is risible. Clinton won’t be running again, and future Democrats will be a lot more circumspect about appointing acknowledged Republicans to their cabinets.

                • LosGatosCA

                  Circumspect?

                  That’s not nearly good enough for two reasons:

                  1. If you aren’t 3 deep at every position and ready to take all the reins of government you are not a serious political party

                  2. No fucking way has always been the right answer no matter what the circumstances of 2016 turned out to be.

                  But hey, they’re Democrats, so if circumspect is all we can get, then that’s all we’re going to get.

              • nemdam

                The other side did cheat but thanks for playing.

                Note that the previous observation does not imply that Queen Hillary was infallible. I never met a single Hillary supporter who thought that.

                • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

                  I’m sure every Hillary supporter thought exactly that just the way every Obama supporter thought the same thing about him.

                  Oops, somehow I just mind-melded with nearly every Republican. Sorry.

                • JMP

                  Somehow the sufferers of Clinton Derangement Syndrome think that generally liking her is the same thing as worshiping the ground she walks on and believing she has no flaws, because they hate Hillary so much they can’t imaging that other people actually like her fine.

          • efgoldman

            Ah, just in time. King Goat to derail the thread with irrelevancy.
            Hi, troll. Took ya’ long enough.

            DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL DERAIL

            • ColBatGuano

              I want to hear more about KG’s leftist positions like:

              1) The FBI Director’s rogue press conference utterances about Hillary Clinton are definitive proof of her guilt.

              2) Black people should sit down and shut up about police shootings.

          • Why do you keep on saying that “terrible candidate running a terrible campaign” thing? He won the election. Obviously the metric for terribleness needs some adjustment.

            • LosGatosCA

              I think a better description is a horrible person ran a racist, misogynist campaign that put him in position for an unconscionable act by a partisan Republican appointed by a feckless Democratic president to clinch an unorthodox win despite the national polling being accurate.

              But hey I’m such a skilled poker player I’ve drawn 4 cards to a royal straight flush, so I can appreciate Trump’s mad campaign skillz.

        • joel hanes

          Dilan, confirmation bias is a serious drug, and you appear to have a problem with it.

    • tsam

      Yeah this–part of the problem with not being a Democrat is the temptation to trash the party over things like who gets the DNC chair position, which turns that into an unnecessary and kind of silly fight. I don’t believe the party suffered much from it, but fomenting factionalism is the opposite of coalition building.

    • Yup. Running as a democrat the first time was one thing. Returning to the Senate as an independent is a huge slap in the face to every democratic voter and democratic senator and congressperson. Its intolerable in someone asking for our money, votes, and support.

      • wjts

        For what it’s worth, I don’t feel slapped in the face.

        • tsam

          Take your hand, open it, swing it forcefully through the space your face occupies. Now you feel slapped.

          Anything else I can help with?

          • N__B

            I opened my hand and all I see is bone and tendons. And there’s ketchup everywhere.

            • tsam

              WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU SLAP?

              • so-in-so

                Nothing, he followed the directions about opening his hand…

                • tsam

                  THERE SHOULDN’T BE BONES AND KETCHUPS

                • Schadenboner

                  Well, there shouldn’t be Ketchups, at least.

                • so-in-so

                  No bones? Kinda limp shake ya got there.

                  Ketchup, Marinara, red stuff – I expect there’s a lot if you really “open” your hand.

        • cleek

          i do

      • I do. I always will. I would never give money or work for someone who 1) won’t release his tax returns, 2) failed to support the first African American President, 3) did not fully support the nominee of the Democratic party when he had the chance to do so and 4) turned his coat after accepting the money and support of the democratic party during the election and returned to playing holier than thou outsider and referee of the fight to the death between the two viable parties in the US.

        • Murc

          What do any of those points have to do with Sanders? He did none of those things. Unless you’re defining “failed to support the first African American President” as “voted for all of Obama’s landmark legislation, but also criticized him harshly on other occasions.”

          And number three is a straight-up, baldfaced lie and you should feel ashamed for even typing it.

          • ForkyMcSpoon

            On #3, I would say that when I saw Bernie’s general election appearances, I heard a lot of praise for “our platform” and not a lot of making the case for Hillary Clinton.

            I do recall others saying that this was the best approach for him to take, so it’s reasonable to interpret that as him offering full support if you think so. But if you don’t think it was the best approach…

        • wjts

          1. Point. I think that’s a reasonable stance to take for any primary election, but in a hypothetical general election matchup between Sanders and a Republican it’s not any different than saying, “I can’t give money to Clinton – she voted for the Iraq War.”

          2. Huh?

          3. What do you mean by “fully support”? What else should he have done? (I’ll grant that he should have conceded earlier. Clinton should have conceded earlier in 2008, though, and I think the difference is degree, not kind.)

          4. Sanders has been a reliable vote for liberal interests in Congress for a quarter of a century. He has never hinted at leaving the caucus. So long as that’s the case and he’s willing to work with the party establishment at that level, I don’t care if he calls himself a Democrat, an Independent, a Socialist, or the Bernie-Sanders-in-Chief of the Bernie Sanders Terrific Show Starring Bernie Sanders.

          • Murc

            2. Huh?

            Aimai is almost certainly referring to Sanders saying it would be a good idea for Obama to face a primary challenge in 2012.

            Now, this was an enormously boneheaded move on Sanders part, but I don’t view it as illegitimate. Frankly, I’d like it if sitting presidents felt like they had to justify themselves to their party more than they do rather than basically always cruising to re-election. There’s also the fact that Sanders didn’t have a candidate in mind (he had no intention of running himself) and if he had I don’t think they’d actually have been better than Obama.

            It’s perfectly fair to hold that against Sanders, but speaking only for myself, I do think it is possible for one to separate the hats of “President” and “my party’s presidential nominee” even if they’re the same person, and support one without supporting the other.

            And Sanders endorsed, voted for, and if I recall correctly campaign for Obama both times he was the nominee, and voted for basically all his landmark legislation without any arm-twisting. That counts as support in my book.

            • wjts

              Now, this was an enormously boneheaded move on Sanders part, but I don’t view it as illegitimate.

              Not illegitimate, no, but deeply, deeply stupid for purely strategic reasons. As I’m sure you know, this has never actually worked in the modern era: no sitting president has been successfully primaried since Chester A. Arthur. More importantly, no party whose sitting president has faced a serious* primary challenge has won the general election, presumably for the obvious reason that any president who can’t rely on the support of the party is too weak politically to survive a general election challenge.

              *I mean things like Carter/Kennedy or Bush/Buchanan, not when the former state Agricultural Commissioner gets on the ballot and gets 4,000 protest votes.

            • tsam

              Frankly, I’d like it if sitting presidents felt like they had to justify themselves to their party more than they do rather than basically always cruising to re-election.

              This makes total sense, but the built-in advantage for an incumbent who’s approval isn’t absolutely floored is pretty hard to pass up.

    • sleepyirv

      The problem there is Democrats will likely always need people who do not identify as Democrats to vote for them. And while I believe in party loyalty as the next person, I don’t see the benefit in getting into this fight with Sanders. It’s clear he won’t become a Democrat. Okay, that’s annoying. But it’s also a problem Dems have to deal with.

      If Democrats want Sanders voters to identify as Democrats (which would be good!), they’re going to have to reach those voters without Bernie.

      • nemdam

        This suggests that the only reason Democrats get any independents to vote for them is because Sanders is an independent. This is ridiculous. There are no independents in the Republican caucus yet they get plenty of independent votes.

        • Bill Murray

          well it’s ridiculous, because it doesn’t suggest what you think it does

        • sleepyirv

          You’re right.

          Nobody voted for Bernie and it’s odd we even talk about him.

          • nemdam

            ??

            The OP said she thinks Sanders should join the party if he wants so much influence. You said this is a problem because Democrats need to get non-Democrats to vote for them. I said this is silly as it suggests without Sanders as an independent, Democrats wouldn’t get any independent voters. Somehow this means nobody voted for Bernie?

            I will reiterate that I think it’s silly to suggest that it’s a problem if Sanders joins the party because independents will abandon the Democratic party. I don’t see how Sander’s status as an independent is meaningfully driving independents to vote for Democrats.

            • sleepyirv

              You keep arguing against a point I didn’t make.

              Bernie supporters, be they self-identified Democrats or Independents, or Republicans for that matter, are important. They apparently don’t care if Bernie identifies as a Democrat or not. Democrats should be trying to get them without worrying too much about what letter follows Bernie’s name.

              • nemdam

                Well now I know why we are talking past each other because this has nothing to do with the OP’s post and Democrats already are trying to appeal to Bernie voters.

                • Anna in PDX

                  Right. We can appeal to non democrats without putting them in charge of our party’s strategies.

  • Mike in DC

    An unforgivable failure to know the how of his own proposals would be my primary reason for saying “thanks, but no thanks” to a second Bernie run. Warren is a decade younger and would not evidence the same shortcoming with respect to policy details. Ditto for many other potential candidates.

    I’d note that the most prominent potential contenders about which the base seems most enthusiastic are mostly women and/or POC.

    • SatanicPanic

      The resistance is being driven by women. We should keep that in mind and nominate a woman. Or two. Harris/Gillibrand is my dream ticket.

      • q-tip

        Why Harris at the top? Or was that intentional?

        Harris would be a fine Dem president, as would Gillibrand. They both also come with baggage that alienates people on the left, sensibly or not. I won’t say Harris’s baggage is heavier, but it sure is fresher. What do others think of her record as California AG?

        (I also think Harris comes off very slightly worse on The Stupid Personality Optics That Probably Don’t Matter [But After Clinton Lost, Who Can Say For Sure?] Metric. It is, of course, insanely early to bet on any horse in the 2020 race, but I would love to hear from people who put her out front as to why.)

        • SatanicPanic

          Partly state pride- I’m from California. Partly because the people who answer her phones are the nicest and even thanked me for my activism. And she seems smart and pragmatic. I wasn’t a consistent follower of her AG career but I liked her work on behalf of homeowners and her opposition to the death penatly.

          • q-tip

            Well, shit, those are good reasons! I’m a Californian too, btw. I direct all my call-your-Senator energy to Feinstein for (I hope) obvious reasons. But I’ll try calling Harris — to refresh my batteries — based on your experience :)

            • SatanicPanic

              Feinstein’s people are kinda unenthusiastic. As are my rep’s. I feel like it speaks well of Ms. Harris that her people are so nice.

              • q-tip

                It does speak well of HER — and I’m looking forward to calling and getting treated respectfully. But Feinstein’s the one who needs pressure from voters!

              • joel hanes

                Feinstein’s people are kinda unenthusiastic.

                They know perfectly well that DiFi is going to do whatever she does without giving a moment’s thought to what rank-and-file CA Democrats think or want, so they’re just going through the motions.
                Also, she’s famously autocratic as a boss.

          • Pete

            Harris sure knows how to question witnesses. You can tell she was an effective practicing trial attorney more recently than all the other lawyers in the Senate.

          • Dr. Acula

            I’ve been watching her since she was the DA in San Francisco, and think she has been absolutely fantastic. I just wish she had replaced Feinstein instead of Boxer.

      • econoclast

        I kinda think Obama really was hurt in the early years of his Presidency by his lack of experience, so I prefer Gillibrand on that basis. Plus she has a potty mouth, which is a plus in the age of Trump.

        Though I wonder if Harris’ lack of legislative history will help her with the voters. Unless there’s some way she can be smeared for being insufficiently brutal to black people as DA of San Francisco in a way that hurts her with moderates, of course.

        • efgoldman

          Obama really was hurt in the early years of his Presidency by his lack of experience

          Not that; his lack of cynicism, his trust in the system, and hos belief that the opposition party actually wanted to do what was good for the country.

      • N__B

        I’d support Harris/Gillibrand or Gillibrand/Harris with every fiber of my being. And every fiber of my wallet.

    • phrenological

      “I’d note that the most prominent potential contenders about which the base seems most enthusiastic are mostly women and/or POC.”

      I can only grit my teeth in anticipation for the berniebro media contingent to re-use all their old “Neoliberal” slurs and blogstubs leftover from the Hillary days.

  • Incontinentia Buttocks

    I was a strong Sanders supporter last year and am currently involved in Our Revolution, but I kinda hope he doesn’t run in 2020, for two reasons. First, age. Second, I think too many people in the party hate him. And I fear that a valuable — and necessary — discussion of issues within the party might become, instead, a worthless, entirely personality-based rehash of the 2016 primary campaign (which, to the credit of both Clinton and Sanders, was less about personality than the seemingly never-ending sniping between many Sanders and Clinton supporters since then has been). For the same two reasons, I hope that Hillary Clinton doesn’t run, either. Ideally they will both make their non-candidacies public very early in the process.

    • Judas Peckerwood

      Yes.

    • And I fear that a valuable — and necessary — discussion of issues within the party might become, instead, a worthless, entirely personality-based rehash of the 2016 primary campaign…

      It’s going to happen no matter who runs.

      • q-tip

        Sadly, Yes.
        (I do think the intensity of the infighting can be lessened, and per IB especially if Sanders doesn’t run himself — or get involved in the primary too early with endorsements. [Same goes for Clinton.] Let the older generation act like the elders they are; acting like kingmakers or queenmakers picks that scab too much.)

        • phrenological

          “or get involved in the primary too early with endorsements.”

          As with Clinton, even Bernie’s direct endorsements will be ignored in the fight to rend the flesh of the DNC to shreds. No reform, only revolution!

    • Murc

      I was a strong Sanders supporter last year and am currently involved in Our Revolution, but I kinda hope he doesn’t run in 2020, for two reasons. First, age. Second, I think too many people in the party hate him.

      I’m with you on the age thing. Not so much on the hate thing. If being hated by a lot of people in the party while still commanding a majority were a disqualifier we wouldn’t have picked Clinton.

      Ideally they will both make their non-candidacies public very early in the process.

      This seems unlikely re: Sanders.

      Clinton, yes. I’m pretty sure if Clinton isn’t running, she declares so early and loudly and even then people will be saying she had her fingers crossed.

      But the thing with Sanders is that he’s all about getting his political and policy preferences enacted, and he’s demonstrated a real tendency to play hardball with regard to that. He held off endorsing Clinton in 2016 not because there was ever any genuine chance he wouldn’t, but because he was deliberately using whatever leverage he could get his hands on to make the party platform more to his liking.

      If he thinks generating uncertainty as to whether or not he’ll be running in 2020 will cause other candidates to position themselves further to the left than they otherwise would because they’re scared they’ll get outflanked by a Sanders entry, he will 100% do this, even if he has zero intention of actually running.

      It’s hard to blame him for this; I’d absolutely do it too in his position. The whole point of politics is get your preferences enacted.

      • phrenological

        “But the thing with Sanders is that he’s all about getting his political and policy preferences enacted, and he’s demonstrated a real tendency to play hardball with regard to that. He held off endorsing Clinton in 2016 not because there was ever any genuine chance he wouldn’t, but because he was deliberately using whatever leverage he could get his hands on to make the party platform more to his liking.”

        Well that didn’t help his platform even at the expense of the party.

        • Murc

          Sure it did. We’re commenting on a post whose central (and so far unargued with) thesis is that it is very likely that in 2020, the viable nominees will be running on platforms that highly resemble Sanders.

          • Or rather, highly resemble Clintons which was extremely liberal and progressive.

            • Murc

              In the primary? Not as much as Sanders’ was.

              Although this is an interesting point to consider. There was certainly light between Clinton and Sanders but not an enormous gulf of it, as you’d expect there to be from two people who have been active in mainstream American political institutions on roughly the same ideological side for a long time. To what extent are people pivoting left responding to Sanders’ insurgency specifically, or merely to what that represented as a possibility that Clinton was already moving to capitalize on, just not as strongly?

              • Brien Jackson

                This is a good example of why so many Clinton supporters tune out Sanders folks when you start talking policy creds. Take out the bullshit single payer proposal, and there’s not much of an argument Bernie was even the more progressive of the two, let alone meaningfully so.

            • Davis X. Machina

              It wasn’t a revolution, though.
              That’s very important.

          • randy khan

            His stated aim at the time was to get more of his platform in the actual party platform; he didn’t have much impact because a lot of what he wanted already was what Clinton wanted in the platform, and what he got was marginal.

            Meanwhile, his decision to stay in the race and to withhold his endorsement helped fuel some of the excesses of the Berniebots and, given the closeness of the election, could have been a factor in the final result.

            • nemdam

              His stated aim at the time was to get more of his platform in the actual party platform; he didn’t have much impact because a lot of what he wanted already was what Clinton wanted in the platform, and what he got was marginal.

              Shhh. Don’t tell anyone or else we may be sparred of the never ending 2016 primary.

              • phrenological

                Sadly, even if Bernie did “win” there, we’d still not be spared the purity oaths.

      • ForkyMcSpoon

        But the thing with Sanders is that he’s all about getting his political and policy preferences enacted, and he’s demonstrated a real tendency to play hardball with regard to that.

        At some point playing hardball becomes counterproductive. To mix metaphors, I think he overplayed his hand in 2016, and I’m not eager to see him do that again.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        If being hated by a lot of people in the party while still commanding a majority were a disqualifier we wouldn’t have picked Clinton.

        It’s certainly not a disqualifier, but that was one of the problems with picking Clinton.

        I’d prefer that we didn’t make this mistake again.

    • randy khan

      Clinton already has said, and I believe this is a direct quotation, “I’m not running for anything.” Granted, there were plenty of people who inserted an unvoiced “right now” at the end of that sentence, but they would do the equivalent if she took the Sherman pledge.

      • MDrew

        It’s unvoiced because that’s what the statement means without its being voiced.

        • randy khan

          I’m actually surprised it took 11 hours for someone to say this. Have you been making preparations to oppose her campaign for mayor of New York City?

  • Jon_H11

    The Democratic party does need to capture some of the anti-authority spirit (paranoid style) of the American polity if it’s going to be competitive in state houses near-medium term.

    Part of that is accomplished by simply not being in power/the face of the federal gov, but Sanders seems to have a decent shtick that can capture some of that ground too if it can be replicated.

    Too old though, way too old.

    • q-tip

      “The Democratic party does need to capture some of the anti-authority spirit (paranoid style) of the American polity if it’s going to be competitive in state houses near-medium term.”

      God, I hope it’s not TOO much of that “anti-authority spirit” — I don’t know if I have the grip strength in either hand to hold my nose and vote Gabbard for President in 20whatever …

      Homeopathic-level doses of paranoid style? Sure, why not try that out in the primary.

      • phrenological

        I mean it worked for Trump, I can’t wait for everyone to decide the DNC needs a suicide pact with the American people, right?

        We don’t need a centrist GOP to match the hard-right.

    • Brien Jackson

      Eddie Izzard, on Maher, made a point about Trump that I think applies very well to Sanders as well: It’s easy to appeal to people when you tell them there’s one thing to blame for all of their ills and that you’re going to fix it. For Trump it’s Mexicans/Muslims, for Bernie it’s banks/billionaires.

      • Jon_H11

        That seems like false equivalence to me. While not the “one thing to blame”, banks/billionaires definitely do shoulder a lot of the blame. Taxing them appropriately would actually fix a lot of ills, if not all of them.

        • Brien Jackson

          I mean, Sanders’ position has more merit than Trump’s to be sure, but I wouldn’t call it false equivalence.

          • tsam

            His position was “break up the big banks”. Details on just where he’d get the authority to do such a thing were conspicuously absent. He didn’t peddle as much “I’m going to do all the things, possible or not!” Bullshit Trump did, but he shoveled a respectable pile of it.

            • Brien Jackson

              But it wasn’t *just* that. His positions also included “Wall Street is to blame for the Flint water crisis” and “Congressional Reublicans would vote for a carbon tax if not for corporate campaign donations.” Not that Wall Street isn’t as bad as Sanders says it is, but this is a classic example of a demagogue, and it’s relatively easy to build a following that way.

              • Jon_H11

                A demagogue uses broad rhetorical statements and scapegoats in a cynical ploy to get power.

                Sanders was not doing this– he wanted to change the terms of the discussion to focus on some of the crass absurdity of the economic system in this country. Is he guilty of hyperbole and over-promising? Yes. But it certainly wasn’t misdirection away from true problems, the way bashing minorities is. And it wasn’t a cynical grab for personal power, it was an rhetorical ploy to change the shape of the ideological discussion.

                *And don’t forget Mahar and Izzard are both high multi-millionaires. They don’t exactly lack skin in the game in terms of whether major political parties start to adopt more left-wing economic platforms.

                • Brien Jackson

                  Except that Sanders had clear blinders about problems (like race and gender based ones) that didn’t correlate to Wall Street malfesance.

                • Jon_H11

                  I agree with that. Going forward we need to address both economic inequality and social injustice.

                  But I also think that there is more overlap there than people (Sander’s included) realize.

        • Redwood Rhiadra

          Sandernistas don’t talk about *taxing* bankers. They talk, openly and without any hint of jest, about “hanging them from the nearest lamppost.”

          Which is not very different from Trump’s supporters at all.

  • msdc

    The better test of his effectiveness will be whether every viable aspirant for the Democratic nomination runs on a platform comparable to Sanders’s.

    But the most important test will be whether his followers are willing to accept a comparable platform from any other candidate. Sanders got into the 2016 primary with the goal of pushing Clinton to the left, yet when she moved in his direction too many of his followers treated it as further evidence of her neoliberal perfidy. Progressives have got to learn to take “yes” for an answer before they will win anything.

    • tsam

      Well, there really aren’t special rules for the rest of the candidate field like there were for Hillary–I mean it’s fashionable to be seen hating her because reasons and shut up that’s why. But I totally agree with your statement. It’s also worth nothing that every politician fucks up, and if we’re going to reject them out of hand for their past and ignore their present, then it’s going to be really hard to find new leadership.

      • efgoldman

        there really aren’t special rules for the rest of the candidate field like there were for Hillary

        The general rules of RWNJ – lie like crazy, throw shit against the walls to see what sticks – are always in effect.
        If there was some idea this early who the leading candidate might be, the Senator Argle/Governor Bargle derangement syndrome would already be getting warmed up.

        • tsam

          Right–but the CDS had been a thing for so long that many of Bernie’s most ardent supporters were literally born in the early stages of it, or soon before. All their lives they’d been conditioned to make that wrinkly face when they talk about her. The people around my age were young adults during the Clinton administration and therefore had no business hating her unless they were fully immersed in the nascent right wing hate media back then.

        • so-in-so

          The general rules of RWNJ – lie like crazy, throw shit against the walls to see what sticks – are always in effect.
          If there was some idea this early who the leading candidate might be, the Senator Argle/Governor Bargle derangement syndrome would already be getting warmed up.

          Democrats aren’t allowed those tactics. First, by their peers and base, but mostly by the MSM. Dump and Ryan et. al. can lie with impunity, but if a Dem even misspeaks about policy the wrath of the MSM will come down upon them!

          • phrenological

            Yup. The media has “principles” and stands up to lyin’ Hillary and the Benghazis*, but Trump gets a pass because he’s just so darn entertaining! Everyone wants to hear what he’ll say next!

            *It’s my garage band, okay?

            • sibusisodan

              I would buy your album, but only if it is 11 hours long.

              • N__B

                Is Yes still in the league?

      • msdc

        Well, there really aren’t special rules for the rest of the candidate field like there were for Hillary

        I take your point, but my fear is that the special rules may start applying to anyone who isn’t Sanders. We’ve seen a little bit of this in all the meaningless and pointless Clinton/Sanders proxy fights since the election, usually on behalf of candidates who like each other and aren’t all that far apart in political terms, although it remains to be seen how much of that is just bloviating in the blogospheric bubble and how much of it translates into actual voting.

        But we cannot have a repeat of the 2016 infighting, or we’re all well and truly fucked.

        • tsam

          But we cannot have a repeat of the 2016 infighting, or we’re all well and truly fucked.

          Quoted because it bears repeating.

          • random

            The infighting will continue apace, but that doesn’t necessarily imply that we’re screwed. Infighting has characterized the post-recession GOP and resulted in them controlling everything.

          • phrenological

            “Quoted because it bears repeating.”

            We’re fucked then, because the NeverHillary contingent is planning on the same shit no matter the candidate, they let us know as much when the DNC chair and co-chair took their positions.

        • Murc

          But we cannot have a repeat of the 2016 infighting, or we’re all well and truly fucked.

          Based on… ?

          There was a shit-ton of infighting in 2008 as well. The GOP engages in a shit-ton of infighting every single cycle.

          “We can’t have infighting or we’re doooooooooomed” seems to me to always be a massive case of presentism. We lost, therefore infighting bad. Had Jim Comey not stolen the election for the guy who then fired him, the Sanders/Clinton infighting would be a goddamn footnote, in the same way that the Obama/Clinton infighting was.

          Infighting has to get to the point where it’s like Republicans in 1964, where it genuinely almost rips the party apart. The Sanders/Clinton infighting never got to that level. It was perfectly normal intraparty political infighting, period.

          • so-in-so

            Can’t wait for the next fart-in.

            • liberalrob

              Political infarting really stinks. Especially when there’s a shit-ton of it.

          • msdc

            There was a shit-ton of infighting in 2008 as well.

            The losing candidate in 2008 (who lost by a much, much smaller margin) did not wait six weeks to endorse the winning candidate. She didn’t claim the nomination system was rigged against her, and her supporters didn’t attempt to change the results by disrupting the state conventions to select delegates. She didn’t demand and receive spots on the platform committee only to see one of her most prominent surrogates turn around and endorse the Green party candidate. Her supporters didn’t try to disrupt the convention and heckle the speakers.

            There were moments during the 2008 campaign when the losing candidate came close to the kind of sabotage we saw from Sanders and his most intolerant supporters (suggesting that Obama wasn’t ready for the 3 am phone call comes to mind), but they were all over within two days of the last primaries. She didn’t let the resentments fester, she didn’t question the legitimacy of the results, and she didn’t undermine the nominee, not even through neglect or inattention. Sanders did all of those things.

            In an election lost by the most razor-thin of margins, everything contributes. You can say that without Comey the infighting would be a footnote, but you can say just the same about the reverse. Until we are willing to face up to that we’re just setting ourselves up to repeat the same mistakes.

            • Murc

              There were moments during the 2008 campaign when the losing candidate came close to the kind of sabotage we saw from Sanders and his most intolerant supporters

              Sanders never attempted to Sabotage Clinton’s general election campaign. This is a lie.

              She didn’t let the resentments fester, she didn’t question the legitimacy of the results, and she didn’t undermine the nominee, not even through neglect or inattention. Sanders did all of those things.

              This is also a lie.

              There may be some legitimate points in there, but when you seed them in with lies I’m not sure why I’m supposed to take them seriously.

              • msdc

                You play this outraged denial card every time someone brings up Sanders’s insinuations that the primary system was rigged or otherwise illegitimate. He did this so often that it shouldn’t require constant reaffirmation, but just to make it official, here’s one video where he said just that.

                He called the Democratic primaries a “rigged system” and accused the party of rigging them against him. He was referring to superdelegates, which is fine… except by this point his campaign had already started calling on superdelegates to vote for him even if it meant overturning the results of the primaries. Oops. Beyond that specific hypocrisy, though, any insinuation that the system was rigged only delegitimized the results and fostered distrust and disengagement among his supporters.

                There may be some legitimate points in there, but when you seed them in with lies

                “I’m not willing to deal with your points, so I’ll just call some of them lies and claim that blanket denial invalidates everything you wrote.”

                • Murc

                  You play this outraged denial card every time someone brings up Sanders’s insinuations that the primary system was rigged or otherwise illegitimate.

                  No, I don’t. I “play this card” every time someone lies about what Sanders did, or tries to extend some of the shit he did well beyond what it actually was in a way that’s patently and, in my opinion, usually knowingly dishonest.

                  You claimed that Sanders attempted to sabotage Clinton’s general election campaign. That was a lie. You also claimed that he undermined the nominee. This is also a lie; at best, if you twist words to their breaking point, it is a gross exaggeration.

                  They were both lies, and I named them for what they are.

                  “I’m not willing to deal with your points, so I’ll just call some of them lies and claim that blanket denial invalidates everything you wrote.”

                  And here we have another lie, a complete and willful mis-statement of my positions.

                • msdc

                  You know, you could actually address some of the points or examples I’ve provided instead of doubling down on the outrage.

                • Brien Jackson

                  ““If the Democratic Party is to be successful in November, it is imperative that all state parties treat our campaign supporters with fairness and the respect that they have earned. I am happy to say that has been the case at state conventions in Maine, Alaska, Colorado and Hawaii where good discussions were held and democratic decisions were reached. Unfortunately, that was not the case at the Nevada convention. At that convention the Democratic leadership used its power to prevent a fair and transparent process from taking place.”

                  https://berniesanders.com/press-release/statement-nevada/

                • Brien Jackson

                  ““We’re feeling very good,” Mr. Sanders said, as he made his way down 46th Street. “If there is a large voter turnout out, despite the impediment of three million people not being able to participate, I think we are going to do just fine.”

                  In his short walk around Midtown, Mr. Sanders spoke with Michael Cantalupo, a frustrated supporter who said he was shut out of the process because he had missed the deadline to change his party affiliation to Democrat from Independent.

                  Mr. Cantalupo, who stopped the senator to explain his predicament, said he first tried to change his registration last May but that the Department of Motor Vehicles lost his paperwork. In December, he tried again, but by then it was too late to become eligible to vote in the Democratic primary.

                  “It shouldn’t be this hard,” Mr. Cantalupo, 21, said, standing alongside Mr. Sanders.

                  The senator frowned and criticized the voting system.

                  “Today, three million people in the state of New York who are Independents have lost their right to vote in the Democratic and Republican primaries,” Mr. Sanders said standing alongside Mr. Cantalupo. “That’s wrong. You’re paying for this election. It’s administered by the state. You have a right to vote. That’s a very unfortunate thing which I hope will change.””

                  https://www.nytimes.com/live/new-york-primary-2016/bernie-sanders-tours-midtown-and-criti/

                • Brien Jackson

                  “The party leadership must also always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race.””

                  https://berniesanders.com/press-release/sanders-statement-dnc-chair-resignation/

              • Brien Jackson

                “Nevada Democratic Party leaders “hijacked the process on the floor” of the state convention “ignoring the regular procedure and ramming through what they wanted to do.”
                — Jeff Weaver on Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 in a television interview on CNN”

                http://www.politifact.com/nevada/statements/2016/may/18/jeff-weaver/allegations-fraud-and-misconduct-nevada-democratic/

                • nemdam

                  Don’t want to rain on your parade, but here’s some stuff from the DNC leaks right when they were released before the DNC convention.

                  “There’s no question in my mind and no question to any objective observer’s mind that the DNC was supporting Hillary Clinton and was in opposition to our campaign,” he said.

                  “That is why, many, many months ago, I made it clear that I thought Debbie Wasserman Schultz should resign, should step down, not only because of the prejudice I think they showed during the campaign, but also because I think we need a new leadership in the Democratic Party, which is going to open up that party to working people, to young people,” said Sanders, who has endorsed Clinton but has not officially suspended his campaign.

                  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-dnc-email-leak_us_5794ceb5e4b02d5d5ed1edc4

                  Gee, I wonder why his base thinks the race was rigged?

                • Aexia

                  You realize there wasn’t actually anything in the leaked emails that demonstrated the primaries were rigged, right?

                  When you get down to it, the emails were all just griping from the DNC staffers that Sanders and his staff had been slandering for a year and a half.

                  It’s nice that Sanders was happy to demonstrate that he was willing to be a tool for Russian propaganda though.

          • msdc

            Also, two points about “intraparty fighting.”

            1. The fighting doesn’t have to rise to the level of Goldwater/Rockefeller to sabotage a party’s chances. Consider just about any primary challenge to a sitting president, which inevitably signals the party’s loss of the White House no matter how poorly the challenger fares. (This was the tactic Sanders recommended in 2012, incidentally.)

            2. Given the independent/libertarian/non-party composition of Sanders’s base (esp. his most extreme supporters) I don’t think it’s accurate to label the more extreme behavior as intraparty fighting. It was inter-party fighting dressed up as intraparty fighting, which is far more corrosive. And that’s before you even account for the bot/troll factor.

            There are healthy ways to contest a party’s nomination and fight for its identity. Somewhere around March or April of 2016, Sanders blew past them and he didn’t try to walk it back until it was already too late.

    • mongolia

      we’d have to have good data on the bernie primary -> not-hillary general voter pool to really say where the problem is. remember, a number of bernie voters in the primaries were really a fuck obama/fuck hillary voters, who are for all intents and purposes republican voters at the national level now – see the OK and WV 2012 democratic primaries. also, out of the “left-of-dem bernie voters who voted stein/johnson in the general” – how many are early adolescent purity jackasses who will essentially grow out of it and become boring rank-and-file dem voters, like i and many of my age cohort did between the ages of 24 to 28.

      my argument here being, that platform or other such nonsense likely doesn’t really matter at the margins – otherwise, you wouldn’t be going from sanders -> johnson, when the difference between the sanders and clinton platforms are minimal, while the sanders to johnson platform differences are vast. it’s that voting for sanders was like voting 3rd party for them (helps that bernie has independent cred), and that’s likely a main motivator for these folks, and not the specifics of the platform

    • wjts

      But the most important test will be whether his followers are willing to accept a comparable platform from any other candidate.

      My (anecdotal) impression is that support for Sanders came from three groups, in decreasing order of size:

      1. Regular and reliable Democratic voters who were looking for a Not Clinton candidate.
      1a. Because of concerns about her policy record, particularly foreign policy, and/or because they wanted a more liberal/left candidate.
      1b. Because of Clinton Derangement Syndrome

      2. Liberal/left/independent third-party types who wouldn’t ordinarily vote in a Democratic primary but were attracted by Sanders and/or his message.

      3. Independents/Republicans who were uncomfortable with the GOP field but couldn’t stomach Clinton, mostly because of CDS.

      Groups 1a and 1b will, I think, not be a problem. Group 3 probably won’t be relevant. As for group 2, I dunno. The ones who decided that a man who’s been in Congress for a quarter of a century was a radical outsider or the second coming of Eugene Debs probably aren’t reachable, but I’m not sure that they’re particularly numerous. Are there reliable future votes to be had from the others, and are there enough of them to make it worth the effort of courting them? Like I say, I dunno.

      • searcher

        I think there’s a:
        1c. Because they don’t want to vote for a woman for President.

        I think there’s a fair number (not all, perhaps, but a non-negligible number) who tried to justify themselves using 1a or 1b or who were really 1c, and that will still be a problem going forward.

        • wjts

          Yes, you’re probably right, and that would be a problem if the nominee is Harris or Gillibrand.

    • Murc

      But the most important test will be whether his followers are willing to accept a comparable platform from any other candidate.

      Why wouldn’t we? Nearly all of us accepted Clinton. I don’t think any kind of statistically significant number of Sanders supporters went Sanders -> Trump or Sanders -> Fuck you, I’m staying home or voting for Stein. Such people certainly existed, but in meaningful numbers? Don’t think so.

      • Schadenboner

        I saw a car eastbound on 94 a few weeks ago (bizarrely *leaving* Waukesha County although it could have come from Dane, of course) with a Bernie and Stein sticker.

        I am happy to say I was able to avoid driving them into a pylon, but only fucking just.

      • msdc

        Such people certainly existed, but in meaningful numbers? Don’t think so.

        Not thinking so doesn’t make it not-so.

        Michigan had nearly 90,000 undervotes for the presidential ballot line in 2016. They had 49,000 in 2012. Nationally, the trend was even worse with undervoting more than doubling in the states where it was recorded.

        Michigan also saw their third-party vote quintuple from 2012. That was slightly higher than the national average, which saw it triple. Some of these were Republicans switching to third party, of course, though likely not the Stein voters (and possibly not as many of the Johnson voters, given how Johnson’s polling dropped at the exact moment that Trump shored up the GOP base).

        You may quibble over whether these numbers are “meaningful,” but Clinton only lost Michigan by 11,000 votes, and the White House by 80,000 in three states. That’s pretty significant to me.

        • Murc

          You cited a lot of numbers without actually managing to pull out the only one that matters for this purpose: people who went Sanders -> other-than-Hillary.

          There’s also the fact that… well… even if those people do exist in large enough numbers to make a difference, what’s to be done, exactly? They disliked Hillary Clinton enough that even though they participated in the Democratic Primary (which usually signals a strong Democratic affinity even in contests where someone is pulling in lots of not-previously-engaged people, as Obama did in 2008 and Sanders did this year) they didn’t feel like voting for the Democratic nominee if it were Clinton.

          How do you solve that problem? Those people have always existed. Aside from “keep trying to convince them not to friggin’ do that, either with sweet reason or by running a candidate who is more congenial to them, which produces backlash in the other direction” what course do you take?

          • msdc

            You’re pulling a fast one here, defining the only relevant number as people who voted for Sanders in the primary but then didn’t vote for Clinton.

            But of course, the general election has far more voters than any primary (much less caucuses), and campaigns can influence those voters as well. A message that undercuts the nominee (say, by questioning her qualifications or implying that her nomination was rigged) can depress the vote among people who never showed up for the primary. Arguably it could have more effect among those irregular/non-primary voters than it does on the diehards.

            As to how to solve the problem, well, not encouraging it by undermining the nominee or attacking the legitimacy of their nomination would be a good starting point.

            • Murc

              You’re pulling a fast one here, defining the only relevant number as people who voted for Sanders in the primary but then didn’t vote for Clinton.

              Well, the discussion in this sub thread is in regards to if Sanders supporters will accept his platform attached to another person.

              Therefore, it seems like the relevant numbers are the proportion of Sanders supporters who did or did not do this in the past. I don’t know of a better way to measure this than by measuring people who supported Sanders by being engaged enough to vote for him, but then peaced out when he wasn’t the nominee. Do you?

              But of course, the general election has far more voters than any primary (much less caucuses), and campaigns can influence those voters as well. A message that undercuts the nominee (say, by questioning her qualifications or implying that her nomination was rigged) can depress the vote among people who never showed up for the primary. Arguably it could have more effect among those irregular/non-primary voters than it does on the diehards.

              As to how to solve the problem, well, not encouraging it by undermining the nominee or attacking the legitimacy of their nomination would be a good starting point.

              Even if I accepted all the framing in there, which I absolutely do not, how is it at all relevant to the question of whether or not Sanders supporters accepted a comparable platform coming from another person in the past, or are likely to do so in the future. Indeed, the people you refer to likely don’t give a shit about platforms at all, which makes the point moot.

              • msdc

                You’re artificially restricting a question that turns in part on general election voting patterns to the much smaller universe of people who voted for Sanders in the primary. This is a handy means of waving away inconvenient information, but it doesn’t really help us account for what happened in the general and why. And given the prevalence of independent or unregistered Sanders supporters along with the various state rules about closed primaries, it doesn’t even recognize the full extent of Sanders’s support. It’s not a particularly helpful or meaningful measure for the questions here.

                • Murc

                  This is a handy means of waving away inconvenient information, but it doesn’t really help us account for what happened in the general and why.

                  Which wasn’t the question at hand! That’s a question worth asking and will be debated for some time, but it wasn’t actually the question at hand.

          • ASV

            Here’s what the ANES time series data show for Sanders primary voters (N = 305) in the general:

            Clinton 74.8%
            Trump 10.5%
            Johnson 5.6%
            Stein 3.9%
            Other 3.3%
            Didn’t Vote 0.3%

        • djw

          There’s also the fact that… well… even if those people do exist in large enough numbers to make a difference, what’s to be done, exactly?

          I think msdc began this particular thread by answering this very question. It’s basically a negative answer: “The loser of a close and passionately contested primary should not breath life into spurious process complaints that might lead their more gullible supporters into feeling cheated, thereby potentially putting their general election reliability into question.

          I think a lot–probably most–criticism of Sanders is a overblown, but this particular complaint has some very real merit. I have no idea if it ultimately made the difference, but neither do you. If that possibility hasn’t kept Sanders up a few nights in the last six months, he’s a less decent person than I think he is.

          • Domino

            Why does Sanders get the blame, and not, you know, the people who didn’t vote for Hillary? Why didn’t those people listen to Sanders over the months he campaigned for Hillary, including a non-stop tour in the final 2 weeks before the election? Why couldn’t they listen to him endorse Hillary and state she was the best way to get his agenda enacted? Why is Bernie Sanders making criticisms about the process that stopped 5 months before the general election part of (and potentially) why Hillary lost?

            The reality too is that if 100,000 voters in 3 states go another way, we never bring this up. It’s why no one brings up Hillary’s campaign playing up racial animus in the 2008 primary – something utterly disgraceful, but gets no runtime because Obama won the general.

            • Rob in CT

              Why does Sanders get the blame, and not, you know, the people who didn’t vote for Hillary?

              I blame people who didn’t vote for HRC (and Dem senate candidates too, btw).

              I only blame Sanders for things I think he screwed up. He cannot control voters. He can control what comes out of his mouth.

              HRC took heat for things she did in the 2008 primary. Happily, the general wasn’t close enough for that shit to matter.

            • djw

              This is, to state the obvious, a false choice. The Sanders–>Not Clinton voters showed poor judgment, but that’s a permanent feature of political life. A primary candidate saying things likely to encourage or activate a particular kind of poor judgment (particularly one that aligns with an already all-too-common myth about that candidate) amongst their followers with respect to the general election is reckless and irresponsible. That he said exactly the right thing many other times mitigates, but doesn’t erase. (I agree entirely that some of the things Clinton said in 2008 were also reckless and irresponsible, and she got away with it. That doesn’t exonerate Sanders’ similar recklessness at all.)

      • stonetools

        They certainly did , and do. There are a jillion of them on Twitter.
        Ever since the election hot take of the election being decided by lots of WWC voters abandoning Obama from Trump, there’s been a ton of media analysis on those who voted for Trump, and little attention to the significant percentage of Obama 2012 voters who didn’t vote for Clinton. Eventually, they’ll get around to that, and we’ll have better data, but I have interacted with lots of Berners who sat out the election or voted third party.

    • StellaB

      For several years I listened to Bernie Sanders talk for an hour on Thom Hartman’s show while I ate my lunch and finished up the morning work. I thought he was a self-righteous ass and millimeters deep in his thinking. The NYDN interview came as no real surprise. I suppose that means that I’m not a “progressive”. Is there a category for someone that is not a Sanders fan, but would otherwise be “progressive”? Or are the only options worship Bernie or be a neoliberal corporatist shill? HRC was too hawkish for my taste, but then so was Sanders. I’m also an NRA and gun-hating neoliberal corporatist shill, so I suppose there’s no real category for me.

      • Davis X. Machina

        The NYDN interview came as no real surprise.

        Not for SCTV fans who remember Sid Dithers.

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      Apparently she deleted it, but Elizabeth Bruenig was tweeting about how Gillibrand was a non-starter for the left because it’s just “so obvious what she’s up to”.

      I really hope that’s not representative of what we’ll see in 2020.

      • msdc

        I really hope nobody is paying attention to either Bruenig by 2020, but I’m not optimistic.

      • nemdam

        It is. The left’s main objective is a hostile takeover of the Democratic party and they won’t quit until they get soundly defeated in a presidential primary. But even then that probably won’t stop them.

        They will be talking about the 2016 primary for 20 years like someone talking about his glory days of high school football at his 20 year reunion.

      • D.N. Nation

        “so obvious what she’s up to”

        What, not being a grifting anti-choice troll? That?

      • Scott Lemieux

        She was a TABACCO COMPANY LAWYER, so who gives a shit about her policy record? The left will never accept her. (This was actually Breunig’s argument.)

        And, yes, as noted above an abortion opponent presuming to speak for the left and casting out heretics — based on specious theater-critic reasons — is hilarious.

      • ASV

        Elizabeth Bruenig was tweeting

        Stop, I’ve heard this one before.

  • efgoldman

    Fourth, if he does run or anoints a successor, the Bernie-curious Democratic primary voters aren’t going to be so charitable and forgiving.
    He lost by ~three million votes in 2016 in a primary where no-one actually took a punch at him (yeah, yeah, fix was in, argle bargle). He will not be the same unknown quantity; his vulnerabilities will be well known and attacked, his one-note shouting will turn off a subset of primary voters, his attacks on the Democratic party itself will turn off others.

    And yes he, Joe Biden, and HRC, regardless of any other considerations, are all too old and should retire to elder statesperson status. My own feeling, being over 70 myself, is that nobody my age or over should be or run for president.

    • Steve LaBonne

      I’m 61 going on 62 and I’d prefer that nobody over MY age run.

      • rea

        Good news, then. I’m not running. Seriously, though, I’ll be 63 this year, and I’ve notice a drop off in energy. I could not imagine undertaking a job that demanding.

        • Thom

          I will be 63 next month. There is a lot of individual variation, but I would put the absolute limit on taking office at age 70.

          • FMguru

            Jerry Brown is 79, and arguably the best and most accomplished progressive governor in America right now.

            • He also has a Democratic supermajority to work with.

            • Thom

              I don’t disagree. But I was talking about the presidency.

    • UncleEbeneezer

      “his one-note shouting will turn off a subset of primary voters, his attacks on the Democratic party itself will turn off others.”

      Already has. Let’s not underestimate the damage he’s already done with the base of the party (loyal, black women voters.) Fairly or not, all the stumbles that kept Black voters (especially women, especially not-Millenials) from supporting him, would be brought to light again. If winning Black Southern voters is key to getting through the primaries, I wouldn’t like his chances at a second attempt. Sure Hillary had a strong grasp on Establishment Dems but this time he’d also be running against his 2016 primary performance. He’s done little/nothing to mend those fences, and given a Gillibrand or Harris, I just can’t see any reason the party base would choose Sanders.

      • xq

        Sanders polls very well with black voters now. I suspect Clinton’s success with black Southern voters had more to do with her strengths than his weaknesses.

        • Murc

          Sanders has always polled decently to well with black voters in isolation.

          But he wasn’t running in isolation in 2016, he was running against a politician with strong ties to that community who they liked more.

          Honestly. Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton among black voters in 2008. It didn’t mean black voters hated Clinton! It just meant they liked Obama more!

          The way people keep trying to map the primary either onto the general or to use it make normative judgments about whether a demo “hates” one candidate or another keeps making me angry.

          • xq

            Honestly. Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton among black voters in 2008. It didn’t mean black voters hated Clinton! It just meant they liked Obama more!

            Yes, good point. Clinton did even worse with black voters in 2008 than Sanders did in 2016.

          • efgoldman

            Sanders has always polled decently to well with black voters in isolation.

            As we (and politicians, and media) find out somewhere, every cycle, poll numbers =/= actual votes.
            Also favorability polls after the election is over don’t tell us a fucking thing abut electoral viability.

            • Murc

              As we (and politicians, and media) find out somewhere, every cycle, poll numbers =/= actual votes.

              They’re usually pretty close. Hillary and Trump both preformed within the MOE of the poll models, I believe.

              Also favorability polls after the election is over don’t tell us a fucking thing abut electoral viability.

              Yes. They do. They’re not dispositive but they’re not utterly and completely without worth, as you claim they are.

            • EliHawk

              Sanders polls OK now with African-American voters (the one poll the Murcs of the world put out has him at 73%). Given a demographic that’s between 90 and 95% Democrat and a noncomparative poll, that’s not actually a good result for him. Next thing you’ll tell me Romney polling at 73% favorable with old, white, male evangelicals is a sign he’s well positioned for 2020.

              • Any poll taken now must be considered with the backdrop of a fucking traitorous lunatic in the White House.

                Right now if I were running I would poll amazingly well amongst Democratic voters, with the syphilitic spray-tan as a comparison point. And I have no business being in any office in any place.

                (Unless, of course, you agree with me, that we must immediately declare war against and nuke electrical supply houses. And geese. Filthy vicious bastards.)

        • ForkyMcSpoon

          Sanders had high net favorability among black voters during the primary.

          I would also note that Ben Carson had high favorability among GOP primary voters the entire time, yet fared abysmally in terms of actual votes. Favorability matters, but it can be overinterpreted.

          (And Sanders gave up on black Southern voters. He wasn’t going to win a majority among them, but he couldn’t afford to be losing Mississippi by over 60 pts either.)

          • xq

            Sanders had high net favorability among black voters during the primary.

            This would seem to support the claim that Clinton’s success with black voters was due to her strengths rather than Sanders’ weaknesses.

            I don’t think we can extrapolate that much to 2020, when, if Sanders ran, his opponents would likely be relatively unknown outside their states.

            • ForkyMcSpoon

              My point is that favorability doesn’t tell you much about how they rate them relative to other Democrats who have high favorables. He may have broad favorability among black voters, but it might not be that deep.

              And what’s he doing to make sure that he doesn’t have the same problem in 2020? Just relying on there being no Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama?

              As you say, you can’t really extrapolate that much.

              • xq

                My only point is that I don’t see much evidence that it was Sanders’ “stumbles” that kept black people from voting for him, rather than that black voters really liked Clinton. What happens in 2020 depends very much on who the other viable candidates are (if Sanders even runs, which I doubt). I don’t think we’re actually in disagreement.

                • ForkyMcSpoon

                  Ah. But as I see it, Clinton started out with the advantage, and she had a few stumbles of her own (her and Bill’s response to criticism of the crime bill and the “superpredator” comment was not the most graceful).

                  But I think Sanders had an opportunity to win a higher percentage, but for various reasons he messed it up. Obviously they liked her quite a bit, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have done better. But maybe I get a biased picture from the particular black political Twitter accounts I follow.

    • Murc

      Fourth, if he does run or anoints a successor, the Bernie-curious Democratic primary voters aren’t going to be so charitable and forgiving.

      Given the current numbers Sanders is putting up in opinion polling, this seems far from certain.

      • efgoldman

        this seems far from certain.

        See my later just above. Favorability polls taken after the election is over don’t mean shit. If he runs, it won’t be against the pollsters.

        • Murc

          Favorability polls taken after the election is over don’t mean shit.

          Yes, they do. Again, they’re not dispositive but they’re also not utterly without worth.

          And don’t try and fucking tell me that if Sanders were polling at 10% favorability among Democrats you wouldn’t be flogging that number every goddamn chance you got. You know you would, and I know you would.

          If he runs, it won’t be against the pollsters.

          Nobody is claiming that he would be. Only that his numbers, at this time, indicate he is not at this moment drawing dead. That’s not useless information. Those numbers might change between now and 2020, and of course that’s if he decides to run at all, which he probably will not. (Or at least, I hope he doesn’t.)

          Your utter contempt for polling baffles me. Polling is far from perfect but if you have a better way of trying to figure out what people think of a person or a thing than “asking them” I’d like to know it. Your logic on this matter seems to be “I fucking hate Sanders, and I know a lot of people who hate Sanders, so of course if he tries to run again he’ll be utterly rejected because we fucking hate him.”

          You’re a tiny sample size.

  • mongolia

    economic message will not matter in 2020. why? because for the most part, the message any viable candidate will have is far to the left of the current status quo, and the extent to which they will be able to push left as potus will be defined by the composition of the 117th/118th congresses. unless you think president sanders would have been able to get the 115th congress to pass his national $15/hour minimum wage proposal (:eyerollemoji:) – EDIT: or hell, president clinton passing her national $12/hour minimum wage (:slightlylesseyerollemoji:)

    what matters is how well the candidate appeals to the various constituent groups of the democratic party, while being genteel enough to get a small number of low-info “swing” voters. obama was able to do this, hillary was not, but the reason for this wasn’t platform – it was a combination of “fundamentals” of the race and cultural affinity.

    • FlipYrWhig

      I’m honestly not sure “economic message” has ever meant much of anything when you get right down to it. Obama and Bill C won on youth and symbolism, Carter won on being clean and a newcomer, LBJ won because JFK was shot, JFK won on youth and symbolism, and then you’re back to Truman, which is like the deadball era. And all Republicans over that same span win on culture war crapola.

      • mongolia

        to wit – has “economic message” in a general election ever been anything but a dressing for cultural and identity politics? trump had a great economic message of being against trade, which in reality was just an excuse to be racist against mexicans and chinese (great job of some progressives of not seeing this frankly obvious fact!) reagan had a great economic message of strapping young bucks buying t-bone steaks and welfare queens.

        i’m curious if there actually was a real “economic message” that was truly successful in a way that wasn’t just cultural greivance or “holy shit the republicans fucked the economy over give dems a chance to fix it before you go back to voting republican in 8 years because of your hatred of black people”

        • nemdam

          I’d argue FDR won on an economic message. But to put it mildly, I hope we are never in those conditions again. And James Carville’s slogan from Clinton’s campaign was “It’s the economy, stupid.”

          But I think you’re basically right. Unless the economy sucks, I’m not sure voters care.

          • mongolia

            pre-empted that with:

            holy shit the republicans fucked the economy over give dems a chance to fix it before you go back to voting republican in 8 years because of your hatred of black people

            though the “8 years” was in reference to bill and barack – in fdr + truman’s case it was different because the dixiecrats could make the economic fixes not apply to blacks.

          • ForkyMcSpoon

            Did FDR win because of his message or because of the fundamentals? (i.e. the economy is fucked and it’s the incumbent’s fault)

        • FlipYrWhig

          I think the closest we’ve come to an actual economic argument was 2000, where the two candidates genuinely debated what to do with the budget surplus. It didn’t determine the winner, but it was an actual comparison between economic visions. Clinton ’92 and Reagan ’80 were both basically performances of sympathy with the people the incumbent hadn’t helped sufficiently. IMHO interpreting Trump’s win as a statement of economic anything is profoundly wishful thinking, chiefly by the left.

  • I predict that we will have 15 candidates running for the Dem nomination in 2020, and in the resulting chaos Dennis Kucinich will masterfully play one against the other to become the nominee.

    • Judas Peckerwood

      I was going to laugh, but then I remembered who currently occupies the White House.

      • Karen24

        I’m still holding out for RuPaul/ ScarJo ticket.

        • rea

          Think of all the Ron/Rand voters who would turn out for her in mild confusion. “Isn’t she Ron’s daughter?”

    • Murc

      I predict that we will have 15 candidates running for the Dem nomination in 2020, and in the resulting chaos Dennis Kucinich will masterfully play one against the other to become the nominee.

      Only if he convinces all the other candidates to come to a party catered by Walder Frey.

  • D.N. Nation

    I’d prefer Bernie lay hands rather than run himself, and I’d prefer he purge his inner circle of hacks and flacks. Even the dreaded HRC figured out that she needed to tell Lanny Davis to get lost.

  • NewishLawyer

    I think Sanders will just be too old.

    Going back to the study via Chait that was linked to in the ACA thread, the biggest difference between Sanders supporters and Clinton supporters is not on policy but on the perception of politics. Sanders supporters are more cynical about government and politics and more inclined to see it as a rigged game (correctly and incorrectly).

    So we need someone who can speak to this view while not alienating former Clinton supporters.

    The other big issue is that HRC lost a huge chunk of Obama voters something like 30 percent.

    • Rob in CT

      Not 30% of Obama supporters. ~30% of the subset of of Obama voters classified as “populists” (fiscally liberal + socially conservative).

      • Srsly Dad Y

        Yascha Mounk has an interesting take on this in Slate (“Forget Ohio”). It’s worth remembering that, in politics as in medicine, a cure doesn’t have to reverse the immediate cause of your problem. (Aspirin cures your headache without necessarily fixing what caused it.) A Democrat could win the presidency (at least) by steering past the white populists and flipping states with high minority populations like FL, GA, NC, AZ, just a couple of which could suffice.

        • King Goat

          All those states except FL maybe have more white populists than minorities.

          Any plan that has us getting back to power by winning in Georgia is one that should be laughed away.

        • LeeEsq

          This argument seems not particularly well thought out. The Democratic Party won Florida and North Carolina in the past but never really came close to winning Georgia or Arizona for a long time. There are lots of white people in those states and presumably the Democratic Party is going to need some of them to vote Democratic to win.

          • Srsly Dad Y

            On rereading the Mounk piece, I agree that it’s a bit thin.

            You know what, though? I remember when California voted Republican, Maryland was a swing state, and Virginia was solid Reagan Democrat (i.e., Republican). (These were the days before red and blue had fixed meanings on the TV network maps.) Things change. The corridor of blue has been marching down the eastern seaboard. Colorado is blue. NC and AZ aren’t so radically different.

            And see what stepped pyramids says above: Sticking with the current Dem coalition of minorities, urban whites, and a smattering of smart professional suburbanites (including LGBTQ voters) to flip states — the VA coalition — would be natural and wouldn’t require any fundamental shift in Dem thinking or messaging to accommodate white fears.

    • Joe_JP

      “The other big issue is that HRC lost a huge chunk of Obama voters something like 30 percent.”

      It’s hard for me to figure that any candidate, especially the establishment one, was going to get more than 70% of the votes unless the opposition was truly weak. It was Clinton v. Obama in 2008. The more lefty voters now had Bernie with Obama no longer the outsider candidate, but in effect the tainted establishment.

      In the general, Clinton got marginally less votes than Obama in an election where the incumbent party was likely to be fighting uphill. It turned on a small portion of the electorate.

  • xq

    Gun control and lefty foreign policy are not good issues for Democrats; Sanders was correct to focus on his popular economic message instead. I think his message was basically fine. But he is too old.

    • randy khan

      He was wise not to focus on gun control because his actual positions would have killed him with Democratic primary voters, especially compared to Hillary. In the general, it might have been a different story, but as you might recall he didn’t get there.

  • trollhattan

    I’m unimpressed with Sanders’ desire to drive the party bus whilst sitting atop/jogging alongside said bus. On or off, Bernie, none of this cake eaten and possessed business. You’re not helping.

    Before we worry about 2020 there’s the matter of 2018 and whacking away at congress and statehouses. A sideshow is DiFi’s senate seat, also up in 2018. Rumors are growing that she’s going to run. Does she want to beat Robert Byrd?

    • I wonder if Loretta Sanchez will run for the seat in 2018. She’d be better than DiFi but not much.

  • Whirrlaway

    Speaking as a septenarian myself, guys in this age bracket should have to retest regularly for their driver’s license. Many of us are able enough, but to guarantee performance will still be up to the task in four or eight years is not fair to the traffic.

  • Hells Littlest Angel

    If The Orange Better One runs for re-election in 2020, I would love to see Clinton run against him. However, I really think it’s likely he’ll either be dead or doddering away in a dacha by the Black Sea by then, so I’ll be happy to support Sherrod Brown or Gillibrand (or, honestly, any Democrat, with the possible exception of the one just convicted of sexually assaulting his 103-year old mother-in-law (him only if the Republicans nominate someone worse, which is entirely possible)).

    • Q.E.Dumbass

      William Spingler, motherfucker.

      There is literally nothing that could even be construed as right in that story. (*proceeds to vomit himself cyanotic*)

  • Spiny

    Almost everything the article mentions is right, and as a certified Bernie-skeptic I’ll even happily concede that most of the author’s praise of Bernie’s success is deserved.

    The substantive evaluation of his weaknesses as a candidate is really lacking though, and this is is the main reason I don’t want him to run. A huge portion of his fanbase is bafflingly unable to recognize or talk about his weaknesses, and it’s hard to have substantive discussions while this is the case. Not once does the author mention his difficulty addressing the specific political grievances of women and minorities. The only way she addresses his utter lack of foreign policy knowledge or interest is to ludicrously complain that he was too much like Hillary.

    It’s possible that newer, younger candidates will also meet with the same kid gloves from parts of the left eager to hear a social democratic message, but I doubt it will be quite so bad.

  • Brett

    I would be fine with Sanders running, but if he wins the nomination he needs to pick a younger running mate quickly who will support and push for his program in case his health deteriorates during his first or second term (which it certainly could, even if he’s healthy at the time). Keith Ellison comes to mind, although there are others who would certainly fit.

    • Murc

      Keith Ellison comes to mind, although there are others who would certainly fit.

      Fuck, I want Keith Ellison to straight-up run himself.

      The man ticks every single box; he’s a Muslim person of color who is also an old-school labor rabble-rouser with strong ties to unions from the upper midwest. I’d prefer if he were also a lady but we can’t have everything; if he throws his hat into the ring I’ll be an early and ardent supporter.

      • FlipYrWhig

        I’d kind of like to see him as a Senator or governor first but it’s promising on paper.

        • Murc

          I hate the bias towards Senators.

          Governors I can understand, especially of big states; it is really the only other job you could ever have that you can claim is similar to the Presidency with a straight face.

          But being a Senator is just a much easier version of being in the House. They have more prestige but functionally speaking they do the same job and usually in easier circumstances. But for some reason Senators are potential presidents and members of the House are not.

          • sibusisodan

            Didn’t one of the early US Presidents stand for the House Post-Presidency?

            • SatanicPanic

              John Quincy Adams, where he was much more effective than he was as president.

              • sibusisodan

                Thanks, and ouch!

                • SatanicPanic

                  Turns out that being a one-note, dogged moralist can be great in the House, not so wonderful in the White House. I feel like that lesson is relevant to at least one currently active politician.

            • Matty

              John Quincy Adams, who IIRC is the only one.

            • wjts

              And only one sitting Representative (Garfield) has ever been elected President.

          • FlipYrWhig

            The ability to to the job, sure. But I still think there’s something to be said for having demonstrated an ability to get elected by persuading people from farther away who didn’t know you before, and senators have to do that.

            • Murc

              But I still think there’s something to be said for having demonstrated an ability to get elected by persuading people from farther away who didn’t know you before, and senators have to do that.

              Some Senators have to do that.

          • wjts

            You can, I think, make a case that the Senate has a more significant role in foreign policy than the House.

            • Murc

              Fair point, but still.

              • wjts

                Senators also (generally) start with a structural advantage in name recognition and visibility. It’s easier to stand out of 100 than it is to stand out of 435.

                • tsam

                  They have also shown they can at least win an entire state instead of a district that’s a fraction of a state in most cases. That’s probably worth something.

                • Murc

                  Counterpoint: they only have to win that entire state (which might be something like Wyoming or Idaho, which have less people in them than my singly county does) once every six years. They’re tanned, rested, and ready every cycle.

                  House members have to get out there and win an election every single cycle no matter what.

                  I would say those two things equalize each other.

                • tsam

                  I would say those two things equalize each other.

                  Makes sense. And I share your general WTF attitude about the Senate being perceived as making a person better fit for the presidency. Seems like one of those myths that caught on and became a blindly accepted thing.

                • tsam

                  Should also add that the weird bias toward the senate for presidential candidates makes even less sense considering that the Speaker is 3rd in line for the presidency.

      • Hey Murc, you’ve used the phrase “old-school labor rabble-rouser” about Ellison several times before, and in the past I’ve tried to figure out what you’re referring to. This is a sincere question: I’m asking only because you seem to have the answer to it, and I can’t find it myself.

        What does “labor rabble-rouser” mean for Ellison? It looks to me like his pre-government career was in civil rights litigation, and it doesn’t look like he’s ever been on a labor committee in either the Minnesota state House or the US House. He’s been on the Banking Committee.

        • Murc

          Ellison repeatedly introduced a lot of massively aggressive labor legislation when he was in the Minnesota House and also while in the House of Representatives. I mean, truly aggressive stuff, the kind of things that had Chamber of Commerce type Democrats really side-eying him.

          When he was in legal practice, while he did a lot of civil rights litigation he also did a TON of employment law stuff, usually representing workers against corporations. He’s also worked hand-in-glove with unions on legal and political matters.

          He’s been down in the trenches; there’s a reason the AFL-CIO endorsed him over Perez, who was the honest-to-god Secretary of Labor under the most pro-labor president since Johnson. Ellison had more cred with them than Perez did.

          Having said that…

          I might be using a bit of hyperbole there, and should maybe dial it back. Old-school labor rabble-rouser sort of conjures up images of Perez being out there on picket lines and organizing work stoppages and sit-down strikes, doesn’t it? And that’s certainly not him. He’s been down at the ground level but not quite at THAT ground level.

          I should maybe find a term that works better. You’re right to call me on this.

          • That’s great to hear. Thanks for the info. And yeah, “labor rabble-rouser” made me think of an organizer, not a politician and lawyer. But politicians and lawyers are important too!

  • cleek

    fuck him

    if he runs again, he’ll lose again. and then we’ll have to go through all of this bullshit again.

    • Come sit by me.

    • StellaB

      If he runs again, he’ll be as relevant as Nader in 2004.

    • junker

      This is my feeling. All this BS about Bernie being cheated would be 100 times worse the second time around.

      • efgoldman

        All this BS about Bernie being cheated would be 100 times worse the second time around.

        He won’t get half as many Democratic primary votes as he did last year.
        That’s what happens to a one-trick, one-show-only pony.

  • Dr. Waffle

    The dead-enders are already coming for Kamala Harris because she *may* run in 2020. I like Bernie and wouldn’t really mind if he ran again, but the cult of personality that’s been built up around him needs to be jettisoned from the party.

    • nemdam

      Well, she is a charismatic woman of color best known for prosecuting the Russia story. We better keep our eye on her. Make sure she doesn’t get too big until we are sure she is “trustworthy” and not “neoliberal”.

      • UncleEbeneezer

        And start measuring how much oxygen she’s taking up or if she’s ever said anything nice about DWS.

      • tsam

        And make sure her staffers don’t start disappearing.

    • Matty

      I like Kamala Harris, as far as politicians with a national profile go, but I don’t think the opposition to a former state AG as presidential campaign comes entirely from “dead enders”. As opposition to the carceral state becomes a more prominent focus of groups on the left (largely through interacting with BLM/immigration justice groups), it’s going to be harder and harder for “tough on crime” types to get support from a segment of the Dem primary electorate. People who get elected to AG/DA/SA type offices are, almost uniformly, going to be out of step with that section of the electorate just due to the nature of their jobs and the self-selecting nature of those who run for them. I don’t think it would be impossible for Harris to win over that faction, but I do think that’s going to be heavier lift than a former AG might have had in, say, 2008 or 2012.

      • twbb

        I don’t know; Sotomayor was a prosecutor and the left has no problem with her.

        • They did. Kagan, too. (Remember when LGM was Kagan-skeptical, and Campos entertained us with anonymous student complaints about how Kagan was a mean professor who used the Socratic method?)

          • N__B

            the Socratic method

            Hemlock for lower-tier students?

          • twbb

            -I- was Kagan-skeptical; the ludicrous way that so many of her proponents expected us to “trust us” that she would make a good SCOTUS justice was offensive. It was the epitome of liberal elitist Ivy League arrogance. Now I think she’s done a good job, but there was no way to tell that based on her record.

            There was no significant liberal opposition to Sotomayor’s nomination.

        • Matty

          Sotomayor did not face a Democratic primary electorate, or need to turn out typically-Dem voters in an election. Back in the halcyon days of early 2016, I also recall seeing arguments in the lefty blogosphere about whether it was a good thing to have a SCOTUS stacked with prosecutors and law professors.

          This is all tangential to my original argument, though, that experience on the sharp end of the criminal justice system is not necessarily a positive resume item in Dem primaries anymore.

          • farin

            Harris does have a record of pretty aggressively resisting the death penalty as a prosecutor, including staring down DiFi and police groups and seeking life for a cop killer. Experience that leaves one skeptical of the sharp end of the criminal justice system might at least balance out.

            • rea

              Earl Warren–career prosecutor. I rest my case.

              • farin

                YOU MEAN KAMALA HARRIS COULD BE A REPUBLICAN SUPREME COURT JUSTICE???

          • twbb

            I think the liberals who would hold being a prosecutor against a candidate make up a tiny group.

  • nemdam

    Sanders the individual now gobbles up so much airtime and column inches that he threatens to eclipse the American left, to its long-term detriment. This is hardly his fault, but Sanders must now consider the broader interests of the left.

    This is funny. Maybe being plastered over TV shows like John McCain, regularly saying incendiary things guaranteed to draw attention to himself about the party he is supposed to represent, and doing nothing to tamper the cult of personality built around him has something to do with this. But I guess he is a hapless victim in all of this.

    • D.N. Nation

      Bernie, like Congressional Republicans and racist white voters, would appear to have zero agency.

      • Redwood Rhiadra

        Of course. Only Democrats have agency, and Bernie is not a Democrat. And never was.

  • Cheryl from Maryland

    I was never a Bernie supporter because I felt he didn’t get the link between social justice and economic justice. Women and African-Americans are in low paying jobs because those are seen as women’s and AA’s jobs. As a woman in the museum field (mostly women at the Smithsonian) it’s clear that generally men are at the top and women not, to the point that many women WANT to be led by men.

    I also want a new, fresh face for shallow but I feel legitimate reasons. My 93 year old mother in law LOVED Obama, dislikes Trump because he doesn’t look like a president, is currently following Emmanuel Macron because he looks like a leader. She voted for Hillary. All of this may be shallow, but it is also true, the Democratic Candidate needs to look energetic and vital.

    Finally, I think the gap between Bernie and diversity can be bridged by a candidate who believes and can articulate the philosophy of the Rev. Dr. William Barber. This is a message of hope for the poor, for youth, for outliers, for those who need help, for justice. Isn’t that what the Democratic Party should be about? CF: http://www.cc.com/video-clips/xj7k4g/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-william-j–barber-ii—shifting-the-moral-conversation-about-the-poor—extended-interview

    • scott_theotherone

      This straight, middle-aged white guy agrees with pretty much all of this.

      So. Right now I’m hoping Kirsten Gillibrand or perhaps Kamala Harris.

    • twbb

      “the Democratic Candidate needs to look energetic and vital.”

      Screw policy positions, the next Democratic candidate needs to be charismatic and relaxed on screen. That is the first qualification ahead of everything else.

    • UncleEbeneezer

      Speaking of Barber, he knocked this one out of the park.

      http://crooksandliars.com/2017/06/preach-rev-barber-takes-us-church-after

      And I would crawl miles over broken glass to vote for a Joy Ann Reid/William Barber ticket

  • Mike in DC

    At this point in time in 2001, Joe Lieberman was the front runner for the 2004 nomination.
    My gut feeling is that both the competition and the media will go after Bernie both early and hard if he runs again…and some candidates will go directly after his voters.

  • My feeling is, Bernie Sanders took up the mantle for 2016 because there wasn’t anyone else who was going to bring that message to the primary. But I agree that he’s not the best person to carry it forward for 2020. Hopefully there will be others vying to do that this time.

  • King Goat

    Touting what a great candidate Harris would be because she’s opposed to the death penalty or Keith Ellison because he’s a Muslim…Are paid Republicans posting here? Because these observations show astounding political naïveté and/or letting ideological wishes blind one to political realities…,

    I think the fact that Obama successfully ran as probably the most liberal candidate ever has made a lot of people on the left forget how historically unusual and exceptional his success was. There are significantly more conservatives than liberals, and liberals always have a harder fight (after all, we’re pushing envelopes). Traditionally we win by winning over non-liberals by moderating our message and muting, as much as possible without completely tossing our core values, backlash from constituencies that we’re not going to win but where we can cut our losses.

    It doesn’t sound sexy to committed leftists, especially activists who embrace righteous speaking of truth to power and such, but * if we continue to lose elections at every level of government* we will be in no position to do anything that’s even a scintilla of sexy. Indeed, the other side will be busy rolling back past successes, steamrolling over an ever smaller, but more ideologically pure of course, leftist opposition (heck, they’ll be conveniently using this group and its growing difference and lost in touchness with huge swaths of America to grow their coalition the whole time).

    • Dr. Waffle

      You’re right, KG. We should only allow white men to run for POTUS. No more ladies or brown people is the ticket to everlasting electoral success!

      • King Goat

        There might be some room between never run a black guy or lady and ‘a black Muslim guy would be great right now!’

        • Dr. Waffle

          Muslims Need Not Apply: The King Goat Strategy

          • King Goat

            Talk about derangement.

            Do you seriously think a Democratic Muslim nominee in 2020 would accomplish anything other than making Goldwater or McGovern out to have been fantastic choices?

            I mean, we both would love to see a Muslim not be handicapped politically in this country. But you actually want it so bad you close your eyes to the fact that it would happen, big time. Holy smokes, if this kind of wish-over-reality permeates our base we’re lucky to be doing as bad as we are!

            • Dr. Waffle

              King Goat, circa 2008: “Do you seriously think a Democrat with a Muslim-sounding name would accomplish anything other than making McCain president?”

            • Dr. Waffle

              Whitey Knows Best: The King Goat Story

      • wjts

        You don’t understand: we must not allow women and minorities to behave as though they have rights because the backlash will lead to the election of politicians who want to oppress women and minorities.

        • King Goat

          We’re in such a good position right now to defend women and minority rights following your approach, amirite?

          • wjts

            I know, you’re just doing this for their own good. If they were smart, like you, they’d understand. The poor dears.

            • nemdam

              Look, if you really cared about women and POC, you wouldn’t allow them to vote in primaries because they will nominate an unelectable candidate. Best to let the white boys decide. But as a compromise, I suggest only open caucuses. And no super delegates unless it’s the only way the electable candidate can win.

            • King Goat

              Your approach is for your own good (feeling of righteousness) and their detriment, if you look at the results.

              • Dr. Waffle

                It’s weird, because I’m guessing like 99% of minority supporters of the Democratic Party would vehemently disagree with you.

              • wjts

                I know, you’re just doing this for their own good. If they were smart, like you, they’d understand. The poor dears.

          • Dr. Waffle

            King Goat, in 1965: “Now now, we gotta slow down on this civil rights business. We may lose Southern voters for generations to come!”

            • wjts

              “And look how unpopular Martin Luther King is with whites! What the Civil Rights Movement needs is a white leader.”

              • Dr. Waffle

                “How are we supposed to help the blacks if we can’t keep Wallace supporters in the party?”

              • King Goat

                Sometimes a jackass wanders exactly where you’d like them too.

                MLK was a righteous activist. But the Dems would indeed have been fools to have nominated him for POTUS. That centrist MA Senator and his TX Blue Dog running mate were better choices for blacks, now weren’t they?

                • Dr. Waffle

                  Dude, you would have been opposed to civil rights legislation. Just admit it. It did cost the Democrats a substantial part of their base, after all. And that’s all that really matters, right?

    • Dr. Waffle

      In all seriousness: shut the fuck up and get this Blue Dog-lite bullshit the fuck outta here.

      • Pete

        Get on the front page or STFU about who can post or not.

        • Dr. Waffle

          I’m sorry, who are you again?

    • Mike in DC

      I don’t see a huge groundswell of support for Andrew Cuomo, or Jim Webb. We’re not going to out-white the de facto white party. In fact, sans the abandonment of our party base, I don’t see us getting more than 45% of the white vote in any of the next three presidential elections. So we should consolidate and motivate our base and then reach out to persuadable moderates and independents.

      • King Goat

        ” I don’t see us getting more than 45%”

        Hillary got like 37%, right?

        So by your metric, we can do better than what she did. It looks like we *have* to do better if we want to win and be in a position to help people again. Because there’s just so many of those inconvenient white people in the electorate..,

        • Mike in DC

          The white share of the electorate is shrinking by a point or two every 4 years. The Republican share of the non white vote is not rising appreciably, and has generally been declining. Clintons drop in white support was driven in part by more significant third party candidacies. But a drop in black voter turnout (in part due to voter ID laws in critical states) hurt at least as much.
          We cannot afford to alienate the base in any attempt to woo persuadable white voters. So any pitch cannot involve soft pedaling our commitment to progress.

          • King Goat

            People making this argument told us GA, TX and AZ we’re going our way any day now.

            Any day…

            Meanwhile we’re now losing Michigan, PA and WI

            • Mike in DC

              …and the margins in those states could have easily been made up by the disenfranchised poor and minority voters thrown off the rolls or lacking “voter ID”.
              Our candidate got 3 million more votes, and lost the electoral college by the equivalent of a sports stadium worth of votes. We’re on the right track but we have to fight harder against voter suppression. I don’t think radical changes in our actual policy positions are needed. We could tailor a pitch to the WWC. But the white people who see race/culture etc as zero sum? We’re never getting those voters, nor should we bother trying.

              • King Goat

                The EC is an indefensible monstrosity, as are ID laws. But those are the rules of the game for the foreseeable future. The only way of changing them is to win at them and then be in a position to change them. I like reminding Republicans they lost the actual vote as much as the next person, but when we’re talking about what we can do better this is the most foolish form of consolation. We lost to what Lemieux rightly termed ‘a terrible campaign run by a terrible candidate.’ What’s worse, we’ve been losing at every lower level rather badly lately. That’s a wake up call to change strategies

                • Murc

                  we’ve been losing at every lower level rather badly lately. That’s a wake up call to change strategies

                  Why?

                  The Republicans were losing at every lower level rather badly in 2008. They changed strategies in response to this; they doubled down. We can’t do the same?

                • King Goat

                  They have a bigger, more consistently voting base. We can’t rely on their approach.

                • liberalrob

                  We don’t need to change a strategy that resulted in a 3 million vote advantage. We need to change the strategy that resulted in narrow losses in a few key states. We need to figure out what it takes to win those close races. One of those factors, “don’t have a Clinton as your candidate,” will address itself. But there are others.

                  Starting every conversation with “you nominated the wrong candidate!” is not helpful in addressing the issue at hand. We nominated the candidate we wanted. She lost on a technicality. Let’s address the technicality.

                • King Goat

                  Maybe we can think about how to want candidates that don’t lose (but on a technicality to be sure!). I mean, certainly we’re not getting there if we’re stuck on ‘but she *really* won, so what we wanted really was the best!’

                  She won Jack and shit, *actually.*

            • nemdam

              Clinton made serious inroads to AZ, GA, and TX to the point that AZ is now purple and GA will be by 2020. It already would be without James Comey. TX might be purple by 2020.

              Again, thanks for playing.

              • King Goat

                I’m sure all those people losing health care can be consoled about the ‘serious inroads’ we make as we keep losing to those taking their care away.

                • nemdam

                  People making this argument told us GA, TX and AZ we’re going our way any day now.

                  I was responding to this false statement. I have no idea what you think this has to do with consoling those who may lose their health insurance from TrumpCare.

                • King Goat

                  You’re missing the point. ‘Making inroads’ but still losing while losing states we used to count on is a good strategy only for people that take a time machine to whatever century TX flips.

                • ColBatGuano

                  Do we need to explain the idea of “trends” to you?

        • Murc

          Hillary got like 37%, right?

          If you can’t even get basic numbers right I don’t know why we should listen to you about anything else.

          • King Goat

            Of the white vote.

            If you can’t get basic reading skills down….

    • sibusisodan

      > if we continue to lose elections at every level of government

      As the Spartans said to wotsisface, ‘If…’.

    • Murc

      I think the fact that Obama successfully ran as probably the most liberal candidate ever has made a lot of people on the left forget how historically unusual and exceptional his success was.

      No. It wasn’t.

      Barack Obama was an excellent political talent running against a party that had spent eight years fucking up by the numbers and which imploded the economy two months before election day.

      His success under those circumstances was wholly usual and un-exceptional.

      Traditionally we win by winning over non-liberals by moderating our message

      Your hypocrisy is appalling; you continually come here and propose we moderate our message and our tone because that’s the best way to persuade people. And you do this by being aggressive, belligerent, insulting, and generally refusing to ever back down and moderate.

      Take your own advice first and I’ll start taking you more seriously.

      if we continue to lose elections at every level of government

      What makes you think this is going to continue happening?

      We are now the out party. Traditionally the out party swings back into power at all levels of government over a relatively short time window.

      That’s what happened to the Republicans. They were where we are now in 2008. Now we’re in that position. By what basis do you predict we won’t have our turn in the sun again?

      • Pretty much a perfect answer. I would only add that it is essential to mobilize the voting base to have any chance of success, while also holding on and adding to the people Clinton brought in. KG’s suggestions are a recipie for demobilization and dishonorable defeat.

    • Nick056

      To hell with this. Specifically mocking people for promoting Ellison as a Muslim contender is bigoted. And not in some vague or esoteric way; it’s a fundamental believe that the party ought to preclude supporting people because of their religion. One such opinion would be unacceptable. But since the election this commenter has: said the women’s march would be too radical, specifically in the area of sex worker rights and public funding of abortions at PP; said the party should not support BLM because it is “overly provocative;” and now has said it’s per se absurd to want a Muslim politician as the nominee.

      It’s not 1992 anymore. It’s never gonna be 1992 again.

      • King Goat

        Indeed, the slogan ‘Sex worker rights, Black Lives Matter and Muslim candidates’ would be electoral gold. Only someone who hates sex workers, black lives and Muslims could ever think that these could not play politically very well.

        We’d be sure to win under such a slogan, and when we inevitably did, we could then do so much for sex workers, black lives and Muslims. It can’t fail.
        Talk about crazy town. Here’s the mayor!

        • Dr. Waffle

          Shorter King Goatse: “Enough with these n-clangs and their goddamn rights! The South Will Rise Again!!!”

          • King Goat

            I’m curious, is your inability to see the political viability of things, and therefore think those of us who see ones that seem unjust to you must be unjust themselves, something you were born with or the result of later injury/disease?

            • Dr. Waffle

              I’m curious: is your racism and fundamental contempt for minorities and women something you were born with, or is it the result of living in an sewer your entire life?

              • wjts

                Look, it’s not sexist (or bigoted or etc.) to vehemently argue that the Democrats shouldn’t nominate a woman (or a Muslim or etc.) if you add “because that’s the way it is” at the end.

            • Dr. Waffle

              King Goat in 1960: “The Dems are stupid for running a Roman Catholic. If they were smart, they’d nominate Adlai Stevenson again.”

            • Murc

              I’m curious, is your inability to see the political viability of things, and therefore think those of us who see ones that seem unjust to you must be unjust themselves, something you were born with or the result of later injury/disease?

              The voice of moderation, folks! The man who thinks that the way to win converts to your cause is to walk softly, not be bold, to go to great lengths to not offend folks!

              • ColBatGuano

                He’s the true left.

        • You keep on conflating the idea that BLM (or advocates for sex workers’ rights, or Muslims, etc.) should exist and be heard and be part of the broader left and not be rejected by the institutional center-left with the idea that Democrats should make their support for these causes their “slogan”.

          Hillary Clinton didn’t campaign on “Black Lives Matter”, either.

        • Nick056

          Yes, if 2008 and 2016 taught us anything, it’s that the electorate believes the dogmas of the quiet past are perfectly cromulent for the stormy present, and unlikely candidates or extreme messages will never prevail; in short, out-party energy in conjunction with incumbency fatigue can win, but only with conventional leaders.

      • Murc

        To be more fair than KG deserves… I definitely overstated things when I specifically referred to liking Ellison because he was a Muslim.

        That was my lizard brain talking, the part of me that really wants to fucking stick it to the Talibangelicals talking. Liking someone purely because of their ethnic or religious affinity is not, in my opinion, very cool. That’s a value-add; Ellison has a ton of stuff about him to like, and he’s a person of color and patriotic Muslim on top of that. It’s like icing on cake, not the cake itself.

        I could have been clearer about that, could have phrased it better.

        • King Goat

          I like the hell out of Ellison, I just think his candidacy would be obvious political suicide. The Keith Ellisons of America can be best helped right now by running more electable candidates who will be progressively more friendly to Muslim in America issues.

          • Murc

            I’d take this more seriously if you hadn’t repeatedly and expressly advocated that we jettison “we’re friendly to muslims” from our platform.

          • Mike in DC

            That begs the question as to your parameters for a “more electable candidate”.

            • Dr. Waffle

              Pretty much white and male and that’s it. King Goat won’t be happy until the Dems nominate Jim Webb.

              • wjts

                But that might alienate voters who didn’t like Dragnet! It’s like you want us to lose!

              • Redwood Rhiadra

                ITYM “supporter of Confederate treason Jim Webb”. *Exactly* the kind of candidate King Goat loves.

    • Your schtick here is a three-legged stool and all three legs are worm-eaten balsa wood.

      Leg one: that Democratic losses are primarily the result of white voters switching to Republicans. This is a false premise. Pennsylvania flipped almost entirely due to depressed turnout from black and Hispanic voters. Michigan flipped mostly due to white voters. Wisconsin was a mixture. The story is not the same everywhere.

      Leg two: that the Democrats can reverse the trend in white voters by selecting candidates that appeal to white identity, and that this reversal will occur without any negative effect among minority voters. This is unproven, and our best recent evidence suggests it’s false: a white candidate did not do as well with white voters as a black candidate named Barack Hussein Obama. She also didn’t do as well among black voters.

      Leg three: that the white Democratic leadership should suppress and/or ignore minority activists among the rank and file in service of pursuing that fleeing white voter. This is morally abhorrent.

      In conclusion, I invite you to consider going to black activist blogs and explain to them in person why they should quiet down for their own good, rather than wasting your spittle on the majority-white LGM community.

      • Murc

        You know who KG reminds me of?

        The character John deLancie played in a couple of West Wing episodes, who told Jed Bartlet, apparently in all earnestness, that all he needed to get white centrists back into the Democratic fold was to sponsor a flag-burning amendment. Just toss that pesky “freedom of speech” value right overboard at the same time you hippie-punch and everyone will get right on board!

        Aaron fuckin’ Sorkin saw this sort of dipshittery for what it was nearly twenty years ago, and when Aaron Sorkin has your number that’s really not a good sign.

        • I forgot de Lancie was on West Wing. Love that guy.

        • tsam

          All these “WTF with not putting a leash on the blacks?” arguments right after a cop walks free, having murdered Philando Castile…pretty fucking cold shit, man.

          • so-in-so

            Sometimes the hood slips.

  • twbb

    “econd, while Sanders’s campaign ignited public interest in democratic socialism, he was hardly the perfect candidate. He could have been stronger on gun control, particularly at the beginning of the primary campaign. And he too often ceded ground on foreign policy to Clinton”

    Oh also the fact that he’s a SELF-DESCRIBED SOCIALIST WHOSE TAX PLANS WOULD RAISE TAXES ON EVERY SINGLE INCOME BRACKET.

    It’s like I’m living in crazytown.

    • Murc

      Raising taxes will eventually be necessary to fund all the stuff we want to do, including taxes on the middle-class and on the working class. The New Deal raised taxes on the working class! By a lot! So did the Great Society!

      We have three options there: decide not to do this stuff, face what’s required to do it head-on, or just lie about it during election cycles and then enact the taxes afterwards.

      I’m okay with either of the latter two. Not so much the first one.

      • Linnaeus

        Yes. If we want the things we say we want, we will need to pay for it from a pretty broad tax base.

      • twbb

        I’m fine with it too. But the post here is not about policy but about messaging. And considering the Democrats have not successfully figured out how to sell tax cuts for the rich to the non-rich, Bernie had a ridiculously uphill climb.

        So I think option 3 is probably the best.

        • Murc

          It’s a tricky choice, isn’t it?

          The problem with option three is that the Democrats are treated like adults and held to the standards adults are, because, like I’ve said, only Democrats have agency.

          The Republicans can lie about their economic plans and numbers all they like, because it is just taken for granted the Republicans are sociopathic children and everyone in DC and in the media shrugs their shoulders, like “Oh dear, Junior staked out another squirrel by the anthill. Ha ha! That boy ain’t quite right, is he?”

          But the Democrats are means to be responsible parents, which means if WE try and lie about our shit it is the most hugest of huge scandals ever. God forbid we get a decimal point out of place or try to run an “establish the benefit, and once people like it future legislatures will be hard-pressed to not pay for it” playbook. Even other Democrats get fidgety at that a lot of the time; many of us are committed as a matter of principle to being honest about what we’re trying to do.

          • Brien Jackson

            I don’t think this is quite right: Democrats get held to that standard in very large part because Democratic voters hold them to that standard, if only because they tend to have quite a bit of skin in the game. When policy outcomes are more acutely felt in your life, you want candidates who at least appear to have a real, workable plan.

      • searcher

        There’s a moderation on the first option, “tax the balls off the 1% and use the money to further alleviate income inequality”.

        We can’t do everything we want by taxing the rich but we can do a lot. That’s part of what pissed me off so much about Bernie’s plan: he started with what he wanted to spend and then made a tax plan to support it.

        You start with the tax plan — fuck the rich — and then use the money you get from it as best you can.

        In ten or twenty years, when middle class incomes in inflation adjusted terms are going up again, people might be less angry about a modest middle class tax increase.

        • Murc

          That’s part of what pissed me off so much about Bernie’s plan: he started with what he wanted to spend and then made a tax plan to support it.

          Er.

          I can understand criticizing this as a political strategy, but this is, well… responsible policymaking. So it seems odd to actually get well and truly pissed at it.

          • searcher

            It has many similarities to responsible policy making, yes.

            The problem is that “massive tax hike on everyone” being bad political strategy also makes it bad policy making. You’re not going to get a Congress to pass a massive tax hike on everyone, and if you do you need to make sure you’re not screwing people on taxes more than you’re helping them through your spending programs. Free stuff is great, but if your take-home pay takes too large of a hit you are going to have trouble rearranging your own budget to cover rent, food and oh shit why isn’t the car starting.

            Sanders’ “tax everyone!” solution to his spending problem is both bad politics *and also hand-waving the hardest part of making a budget*.

            Which again, is not saying “don’t raise revenue”, but part of that extra work I would have liked to see Sanders do, besides belatedly adding up the costs and half-assedly balancing it, would have been to figure out how much he revenue he could raise through taxing the rich like it’s 1945 – which is alone something that gets people marching in the streets – and then figure out how much of his agenda you could implement off that. Maybe it’s not “single payer and free college” money, but it’s sure as hell “radically expanded Pell grants and lowering the Medicare eligibility age” money.

            • Murc

              This is fair.

            • Redwood Rhiadra

              Yeah, but that strategy just gets you, well, *Clinton’s* platform. Which is unacceptably “neoliberal”! Capitalism Delenda Est!

    • EliHawk

      Sarah Jones, and other left activists are 100% convinced every Sanders voter is 100% on board with the Sanders Agenda, except maybe even more socialist. Even the myriad Sanders-Justice-Trumpheads in West Virginia.

      Meanwhile, on planet earth, Clinton had ~55% of the Democratic electorate in polling in early 2015, and $200 million from Sanders later, he won most of the ~45% who were looking for ‘Not Clinton’ when nobody had ever heard of him. But the idea that Bernie’s policy shibboleths, constructed with all the details of a postcard, are the wave of the future, has become the CW for a certain lefty DC brand of pundit, from TNR to Vox. The fact that his candidates can’t seem to win statewide primaries in NJ or VA, or General Elections anywhere, and the grassroots’ biggest project this year was milquetoast suburban centrist Jon Ossoff, seems to have escaped their notice.

      • fd2

        To be scrupulously fair, nothing short of a joint endorsement from Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi was getting any candidate within spitting distance of Phil Murphy this cycle. He’d already put in a staggering amount of groundwork when most of the candidates were still deciding whether or not they were running.

  • Joe_JP

    No, the loser of the Democratic nomination who will be nearly 80 who a chunk of the Democrats are rather disgusted with and who doesn’t even want to firmly call himself a “Democrat” would not be a grand choice for the nomination in 2020. As long as he retains support, he will be a voice of the party, so to speak, though I personally rather hear other voices — specifically younger voices — speak more. My choice would be around 50 and not a retread.

    That’s the longer answer. The shorter one for me personally would be: ugh no. But, more chance to see Hillary Clinton get bashed some from the usual suspects. Fun times.

    • Murc

      You could do how I do and try and defend both Clinton AND Sanders at the same time in different contexts. That’s won me all sorts of friends!

      • joel hanes

        That’s won me all sorts of friends

        One, at least.

      • I’m going on almost two years now, it feels, of being accused in various places and times as being a “Bernie bro” or a “neoliberal Hillbot”. I will say I was much more likely to be accused of paid astroturfing when saying good things about Clinton.

        • twbb

          I can call you a neoliberal Berniebot if you want to shake things up a bit.

          • Q.E.Dumbass

            How about “Communazi Neolibcon?”

            • rea

              Hillbro!

      • Hogan

        I for one will buy you all the beers. Coffees. Goops. Whatever.

      • JMV Pyro

        Your genuine desire to at least try and build bridges has won you my respect, for what it’s worth.

      • Joe_JP

        I’m open to defending both of them, depending on what we are talking about.

  • aab84

    Just gonna throw this out there again: viewing policy as the driver of electoral performance is, in all likelihood, a colossal mistake. Put another way, the key to making Bernie’s ideas successful in 2020 may very well be, not the content of those ideas, but the charisma and telegenic nature of the person delivering them, and that person’s ability to portray themselves as an agent of change who stands outside the traditional political system.

    Edit to add: I also think there’s a good chance people have the policy causation of his supporters (and Trump’s, for that matter) backwards. You usually see people arguing that Sanders’ voters responded to his ideas. And I’m sure a lot of them did. But I’m also sure a lot of them responded to his general message (“I’m an outsider, rich insiders are destroying this country!”) and then lined up with his policy positions in response. Polling made it very obvious Trump supporters were doing this.

    • ForkyMcSpoon

      On the other hand, after 4 years of Trump, people might be in the mood for something a bit different from Trump.

      (But yes, charismatic and telegenic will still be helpful. But insider-outsider might be less relevant.)

      • Q.E.Dumbass

        Alexander Luthor 2020: I Can Actually Do Shit Now That Superman’s Not In This Universe

        …(Superboy-Prime’s still in that pocket universe, right?)

        • Aexia

          Superboy Prime is a moderator for /r/redpill.

        • farin

          Ugh, can we stop talking about Zuckerberg running?

  • EliHawk

    This article is hilariously terrible. Her case amounts to:

    We must show that this is not a personality cult by picking somebody else. But there’s a chance we won’t be able to agree on ANYBODY except this one guy, or maybe the other guy won’t actually be popular, in which case we’ll all flock back to him. To prove it isn’t a personality cult.’

    Sprinkle in some “Bernie’s campaign means everyone’s 100% on board with Socialism (Definition TBA), Our Revolution is on the march (Electoral Success TBA) and Democratic Socialists of America has almost 19,000 members in a country of 320 million, so naturally Bernieism is the wave of the future, and you have your typical garbage take from her. All you need was a little more pseudo-George Wallace defenses of Appalachia about how the Suburbanites are the REAL RACISTS and you’d hit your Bingo card.

    • D.N. Nation

      Sarah Jones is a former home-schooled evangelical who stopped getting drunk off that and started getting drunk off something else.

  • GeorgeBurnsWasRight

    Maybe I’m just not as politically smart as the rest of you, but I’m guessing that we don’t know what political issues will be important in 2020. The world is full of surprises.

  • Aexia

    “Sarah Jones”

    stoppedreadingthere.jpg

    • ProudChristianProg

      Yeah. I used to enjoy The New Republic before they turned into a mouthpiece for the Far Left.

  • MDrew

    Gillibrand’s close alliance with Bernie

    What… are we talking about here?

  • Interesting take from Matt Yglesiashttps://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/20/15830316/clinton-sanders-issues-rigged suggesting that the main appeal of Sanders was not about policy details but the sense that

    “Everybody knows the fight was fixed
    The poor stay poor, the rich get rich”

    and so on. Speaking personally, that is probably why Sanders’ message resonated strongly with me. I don’t believe the American system is fundamentally decent and sound and just needs some tweaking by competent managers to iron out the problems.

    Moving forward it will be easier to unite behind an insurgent message, if only because the ruling regime now represents the worst evils of the American system.

    And that is why we must not heed the likes of King Goat, whose approach seems to be “We musn’t do or say anything to upset anyone aside from our own supporters, who are bound to come out in droves to support us anyway, even if we make it clear that they are to be thrown under the bus for the greater good”.

    • Rob in CT

      Yes, the one clear difference in policy preference was on trade policy (which we should argue about some more and sort out. That’s important!). The other differences were small.

      The (spurious!) process complaints rubbed me the wrong way and I ultimately was sick of Bernie despite having voted for him. Some think he merely tapped into this sentiment, but I think he also fed it: everything’s rigged/corrupt and only a “revolution” can fix it. That’s playing with fire, IMO. Look who else was pushing that line. It obviously is a potent line (which is part of why it’s so dangerous).

      Things are fucked up and bullshit in many ways, but no more so (I’d argue much less so) than other times in our history. There is no lost golden age to return to (and there is no utopia coming either). Those are childish fantasies.

      Yeah, being the out party makes running an insurgent, “change” message easier. But as Matt points out at the end, what do you do when you catch the car? That’s the problem with over-promising. When you win, you are then expected to deliver. Especially if you’re a Democrat (because Democrats, and only Democrats, have agency). I don’t know how to thread the needle just so. To promise enough to bring in enough votes, including the votes of the type of people who could actually vote Obama and then vote Trump, but maintaining a firm connection to reality.

      • ForkyMcSpoon

        On the other hand, if we take the House in 2018 and look set to take the Senate by 2020 (miracle of miracles if we take it in 2018), we can probably afford to promise a bit more.

        Because they had better be planning on nuking/neutering the legislative filibuster. And then ramming DC statehood down our throats to increase their Congressional majority (and looking at PR too). Then we’ll see what can get done.

        (I’m not totally opposed to court packing either, depending on the composition of the court by then… letting the Gorsuch theft stand does not sit well with me. But I can see why it might be a bad idea.)

  • ProudChristianProg

    I want no part of a Democratic party that acquiesces to Commie troublemakers like Sanders. And if Gillibrand is intent on joining that evil cause, they she isn’t getting my vote.

    • ColBatGuano

      1955 called and wants you to come home for dinner.

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