I can’t abide Biden


Please wipe that smirk off his face.

Especially not a Biden who is getting cocky. He thinks he has this whole thing in the bag. But it’s this failure of the system that really annoys me:

Biden’s confidence also rests on his position in South Carolina and a raft of Southern Super Tuesday states that include more diverse populations and more conservative Democrats. To that end, Biden said Monday, if he faltered in Iowa, he could still win the nomination. But if he won Iowa, Biden argued he’d be almost unstoppable.

And Biden said he doesn’t see anyone even close to him in South Carolina polling who could surge even if they won Iowa.

Iowa. South Carolina. Because of the screwy way our primaries are set up, these unrepresentative states early in the game have undue weight in determining who the rest of the country gets to vote on. Biden is relying on pandering to a few conservative states to game the system, and then the media will follow along and use the horserace model to let the early front-runner run away with it. Then, like Trump, he’ll rely on the aberration of the electoral college to give him a win. It’s no way to elect a president.

It’s a national office, have a day for national primaries. Then elect someone to the office on the basis of the popular vote with a national election. We have the last bit, but the rest…nope. It’s a disgrace.

That said, if he gets the nomination, even if it’s due to our broken, corrupt system, I’ll vote for him on election day. He’ll at least slow the country’s downward slide into fascism, but I don’t think he’ll do more than maintain the status quo.

Comments

  1. Marissa van Eck says

    To be honest, I believe the Democrats are and have been split down the middle since the second term of the Clinton Administration…and one half, the half with the power and money and control (think “DNC” here…) is essentially the not-totally-insane wing of the GOP. Reagan Republicans. People who just, but only just, fall more into “poisonous” than “venomous” if you take my meaning.

    Didn’t Obama recently say that if Sanders won the nomination, he, Obama, would personally take steps? He’s on the wrong side. I predict another GOP win in 2020 just because the Dems are reaching the logical endpoint of their decision to rip out the populist engine of their car following their loss to Nixon: they are nothing, say nothing, do nothing, and when one of them wants to be/say/do something, the corrupt corporate wing destroys them.

    We need Sanders. We won’t get him. The Dems are going to run Biden, who is basically Bob Dole with a groping problem.

  2. Dunc says

    It’s no way to elect a president.

    Well, it’s no way to elect a president who actually represents the people… On the other hand, if your objective is to protect the oligarchy, it’s just dandy.

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    <

    blockquote>I’ll vote for him on election day. He’ll at least slow the country’s downward slide into fascism, but I don’t think he’ll do more than maintain the status quo.

    <

    blockquote>

    That’s been the overall strategy for the Democrats since Clinton lost the Congress in 1994: Don’t rile up redneck old farts with all that crazy social change talk. Don’t wreck the money train by offending high-ticket donors with campaigning on more regulations and taxation. Guilt-trip the Left into voting for status quo centrists with the threat (albeit somewhat real) of impending Republican authoritarianism if they dare risk losing an election by running progressives.

    One or two things have to seriously change before the Dems will be forced to embrace a more liberal agenda. Frist, the Baby Boomers and lingering members of the WWII generation, who are the most conservative and most likely to get out in vote, are going to have to die off. Sadly, present medical technology is allowing these elderly cultural millstones to cling to our nation’s throats longer than before. Secondly, we need to start convincing the younger generations to get out and vote in numbers great enough to overwhelm the Republican’s electoral college advantage and the political influence of the rich. However, the Millennials are no longer wide-eyed, optimistic kids anymore, and they’ll sure to start to turn more conservative as is required to enjoy anything resembling “the good life.” Also, younger voters are not going to go to the polls if the choice is between “same-old-same-old moderate” or “fascist shithead.” There are real problems that need to be solved NOW or things are going to get much, much worse, but policies that amount to “do pretty much nothing lest we displease our old fart and billionaire masters” are not going to inspire anyone to vote Democrat.

  4. stroppy says

    It will hardly matter which Democrat ends up in the WH if they don’t have solid majorities in both the House and Senate, and that’s discounting Dems from far right districts.

    Think you’ve been seeing crazy from the right? Just wait…

    And don’t bother about Obama, between some talking gig$ he’ll be back to lounging on yachts with his celeb pals in no time.

  5. joel says

    “these unrepresentative states”

    And an example of a representative state is -?

    No matter where the primaries started someone would be making that complaint.

  6. Hoosier X says

    Even if everything Trump World said about Biden was true, he’d still be 1000 times better than the best Republican. So I’ll vote for him in November 2020 if the choice is between him and any Republican.
    But I can’t say I’m much impressed with his ability to memorize and repeat Republican talking points. If I was the kind of voter that would fall for that stupid gibberish, I don’t know why I wouldn’t just vote Republican.

  7. Porivil Sorrens says

    Tbh by this point I am just legitimately uncomfortable watching Biden, if he’s not actually sundowning, he’s doing a good impression of someone that is.

    Watching him burst a blood vessel while calling two different European politicians “Margaret Thatcher” and ramble about made up gangsters named “Corn Pop” reminds me way too much of my grandfather’s recent descent into dementia.

  8. Porivil Sorrens says

    @5

    And an example of a representative state is –

    Ones that have a population bigger than individual cities in my state, might be a good place to start.

    My vote counts for a fraction of a fraction compared to a voter in SC or Iowa, because either of their populations could wholly fit inside the county I live in.

    No matter where the primaries started someone would be making that complaint.

    That doesn’t logically entail thay all parties would be justified in making that argument.

  9. Michael I says

    Iowa and New Hampshire shouldn’t have the oversized influence that they do in the nomination process.

    However, this influence isn’t actually favorable to Biden’s candidacy. Biden is relatively weak in both states compared to nationwide (Both states are almost all white, and the Democratic primary (New Hampshire) and Caucus (Iowa) electorate in both states is more liberal than the Democratic primary electorate nationwide). South Carolina IS a strong state for Biden, because Biden has consistently been dominant among Black voters and strong with moderate/conservative Democrats (which still make up about half of the Democratic primary electorate nationwide).

  10. says

    Biden won’t protect the status quo unless by “protect the status quo” you mean “make sure the Republicans can continue to make everything worse just as they are doing now, regardless of whether the Democrats have control of Congress or not”. That’s what the Democrats have meant by that phrase for the last several decades.

    He, like Hillary Clinton, wants to give us a third term of Obama. Well, what did Obama do? He unnecessarily conceded vast realms of policy to the Republicans claiming that there was a need for bipartisanship even though voters had just thrown out the Republicans on purpose. He refused to prosecute the Too-Big-To-Fail banks (and defended them for giving their failed management bonuses after being bailed out by taxpayers), made Bush’s temporary tax cut for the rich permanent, asked for another “surge” in Iraq and tried to negotiate to keep the troops there longer than Bush’s original withdrawal timeline, deported a record number of immigrants, expanded ICE and renewed the contracts of ICE contractors who had been sued for mistreating those in detention centers, tried to indefinitely detain immigrants (and got slapped down by the courts), refused to talk to Occupy Wall Street or Black Lives Matter, started a war based on lies in Libya, kept drone bombing after even the CIA (which started the program) admitted that the process is entirely counterproductive…

    …and all of that was while he had a majority in Congress. Once he lost the majority he basically threw up his hands and let the Republicans dictate policy without any significant attempt to resist. If the Republicans hadn’t been so racist that they refused to make a deal with him, he would have basically killed off Social Security and Medicare in his “Grand Bargain”. Meanwhile he signed off on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would (if Congress had ratified it) have made all forms of regulation basically impossible. Centrist Democrats loved Obama’s second term, because they could pretend to be opposing the Republicans while still being sure that Republicans would dictate policy, which is the centrist goal.

  11. Dunc says

    joel, @ #5:

    And an example of a representative state is -?

    Wisconsin, apparently. (In 2006 anyway.)

    The Badger State comes closer than any other to state-by-state averages on 12 key measures, according to a new analysis by CNN Polling Director Keating Holland that takes a fresh look at U.S. Census data.

    “For years, politicians who put the presidential calendar together have wrestled with the question of which states really are the most typical or more representative of the country,” Holland said. “Here is one way to determine that.”

    Holland identified 12 key statistics — four that measure race and ethnicity, four that look at income and education, and four that describe the typical neighborhood in each state — and added up how far each was from the figures for the average state on each measure.

    Holland said he chose these 12 different categories because “they have a strong impact on the political landscape in every state.”

  12. Susan Montgomery says

    Again, it doesn’t matter which Democrat gets elected in 2020. Congressional Democrats don’t have the political will to go up against the GOP or to take the steps needed to enact any meaningful reforms. Paradise has a price, remember, and even the noblest plans will cause a lot of disruption in the short-term (Obamacare, anyone?)

    What the progressive left really needs to do going forward is to make the Dems more afraid of upsetting us than the rednecks and big money people.

  13. microraptor says

    Marissa van Eck @1:

    Didn’t Obama recently say that if Sanders won the nomination, he, Obama, would personally take steps? He’s on the wrong side.

    That was reported in a few places, but he personally denied it. And we do need to be careful of fake news generated by Russian trolls again, since it appears that absolutely nothing has been done to actually stop that particular threat.

  14. raven says

    Even if everything Trump World said about Biden was true, he’d still be 1000 times better than the best Republican.

    That is true but so what.
    The bar is so low here that you can say that about countless numbers of people.

    I have zero interest in Joe Biden also.
    He is too old at 77.
    It’s not just his age, his ideas and thoughts are too old and not the least bit interesting or worthwhile.

    Yeah, I would vote for him as 1000 times better than a Rethuglican and that is it.

  15. says

    I do think it’s funny that Trump blew his presidency up to get dirt on Biden, who I’d just as happily see under the bus with Trump.

    I see Warren as a stealth corporatist who’s running as an alternative to Bernie and if she gets in she’ll flip to the center like Obama did. So, yeah, yay Bernie! I wish Trump had managed to mess Biden up, but just give Biden a mic and he can handle it. Presidential debate between Trump and Biden: my prediction is Trump won’t do it. But if it did happen it’d be the geriatric old white guys rumble in the uh I forget what were we doing?

  16. says

    I live in Indiana. We don’t do our primaries until the beginning of May when they are typically only one or two candidates left to vote for. This system sucks.

  17. kome says

    I’m so tired of voting for the lesser of two evils. That mentality is why people like Biden run. They don’t have to be good, they just have to be not as bad. It’s how we end up with conservative extremists winning elections, like W or Trump, because the selfishness and contempt at the core of conservative ideology appeals to the conservative base, while “not as evil” is not really a winning message to try and garner support from either the left or, more importantly, the centrists who end up being the ones to not bother showing up on election day. Actual leftists and progressives will vote for the “lesser of two evils” while holding their nose, but bored centrists who don’t think either candidates’ politics will affects them directly all that much are the ones who don’t show up on election day.

  18. microraptor says

    Ouabache @18: I have a similar problem living in Oregon- 2008 was the first time in my lifetime that the race hadn’t been decided by the time of our primary, the last time before that was when Bobby Kennedy was running.

  19. justanotherguy says

    All caucuses should be replaced by primaries. Basically, caucuses are like a poll with too small a sample size to give any confidence they reflect the rest of the electorate. And to top it off, caucuses discriminate against working people because in-person attendance is required, so they favor activists. So not only are caucuses too small a sample, they are a skewed sample.

    Sanders would probably have been absolutely nowhere in terms of delegate count in 2016 without caucuses. And the same will probably be true in 2020.

  20. says

    And to top it off, caucuses discriminate against working people because in-person attendance is required, so they favor activists.

    I’m not saying that they don’t favor activists. But the real problem is that they favor olds even more than they favor activists. They are inherently conservative because of that. The disproportionate, but still minority, presence of activists only somewhat ameliorates the bias towards older and therefore more conservative voters.

  21. unclefrogy says

    Frist, the Baby Boomers and lingering members of the WWII generation, who are the most conservative and most likely to get out in vote, are going to have to die off.

    if you mean the most conservative of those generations I would agree but if you mean that as a blanket statement I would remind you the the “60’s counter culture” was primarily just those same people who you say are the most conservative I seem to remember a lot of anti-war, civil rights and human rights, and women rights demonstrations led by those same age cohorts.
    over broad statement ? just saying.
    my understanding of things tends to lean toward the problem being ignorance and the inability to think clearly and relying on political leaders to know what is best
    uncle frogy

  22. microraptor says

    unclefrogy @25:

    if you mean the most conservative of those generations I would agree but if you mean that as a blanket statement I would remind you the the “60’s counter culture” was primarily just those same people who you say are the most conservative I seem to remember a lot of anti-war, civil rights and human rights, and women rights demonstrations led by those same age cohorts.

    And then many of those former hippies graduated college, traded their tie-dies in for business suits, and started voting for Republicans because they wanted lower taxes and less government regulations for corporations more than they wanted spending on public education and environmental protections.

  23. jrkrideau says

    Since I (not from the USA) have never understood why there are such things as primaries, I’d suggest just abolishing all of them and letting parties select candidates in some reasonable way. It might even allow other parties to grow.

    And, possibly, reduce the campaign time period to under 364 * 4 days.

  24. unclefrogy says

    @26
    for some definition of many maybe but I have not heard of any study that indicated how many anti-war, pro-human rights people having graduated from college got a job and turned republican
    none that I know personally , anecdotal I know.
    all of any generation that can be carved out by some arbitrary method will not be identical and only tend to share what ever criteria they are grouped by.
    there is only one way for a democracy to thrive and that is by the involvement of the citizens that make it up, no great leader nor party organization can do that for you.
    uncle frogy

  25. patricklinnen says

    unclefrogy@29
    Anecdotally, The ones I’ve heard of were all men, displayed as anti-war and pro-‘human rights’ to bang the hippie chicks, and totally bought into ‘If you aren’t conservative when you are older, you have no brains.’

    Youstabees, all of them.

  26. patricklinnen says

    21 & 22;
    2016 caucuses favored Sanders over Clinton. The only reason Nevada caucuses went for Clinton was that the youth vote thought it was in the bag and went home early.

  27. Ishikiri says

    So it’s going to be the same shit as 2016, when Clinton won nomination on the strength of primary victories in states that turned around and voted for Trump anyway? Christ…

    If Biden wins nomination, I’ll vote for him but I’ll view his campaign as a lost cause and urge people to focus their energy on House and Senate races instead. We really need to make sure good people get elected to Congress anyway, but it would be that much more crucial.

  28. F.O. says

    @gijoel #24 “Maybe you should look into proportional representation as well.”
    @DanDare #27 “Preferential voting guys, really.”

    Fixing the voting system, while attractive, it’s a patch at best.
    I think you might be underestimating the enthusiasm of the average voter for the main two parties.
    Australia is too stuck between two largely shit parties.
    Yes, it might make the system slightly better, but won’t fix anything.

    You still believe that you own the system, that it was put in place for you and act in disbelief and frustration when the system act as it is supposed to do, preserving the status quo and further entrenching power.

  29. anat says

    jrkrideau @28:

    The parties used to select candidates. It worked until in 1968 it stopped working, the Democratic base rebelled when the party selected a candidate that had little popular support. As for allowing other parties to grow – the First Past The Post system encourages consolidation into 2 parties. Another party can rise to significant levels of support only if one of the top 2 collapses for some reason (see the Whigs in the 1850s).

  30. jrkrideau says

    @34
    the First Past The Post system encourages consolidation into 2 parties.

    Sometimes? I live in Canada with more or less 3 1/2 main parties at the national level (1/2 == the Bloc) and often varying numbers of “significant” (for some value of “significant”) parties in differing provinces. The FPTP system makes it more difficult for younger or smaller parties but does not seem to really encourage consolidation. Also see the UK.

    It may be as much the difference between a parliamentary system versus a presidential system as a FPTP set-up.

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