If you despise US electoral politics, you may want to skip this one.
In Principle the idea of the party primaries is to take a field of potential candidates, and run them through a bunch of states, drumming up excitement and trying to see who’d garner the most votes. It acts simultaneously as a test-run and a marketing exercise. With me so far?That’s why you’ve got hand-wringing about Joe Biden’s largely crappy performance. He was expected to do better, but actual voters see right through him and don’t like him. Ditto Bloomberg: He expected himself to do better, but actual voters see right through him and can tell that he’s a reptoid lizard wearing a fresh-tanned human skin by Gucci, and they don’t like him. Mayor Pete is doing surprisingly well because he does seem like a genuinely decent simulation of a human being with beliefs and stuff, and some actual voters are fooled by that and others don’t like him. Etc.
The point is that the primaries are when a party exposes itself to this stuff, semi-safely in a semi-controlled fashion, rather than just having a meeting and taking the opinions of some out-of-touch democratic party brass who decide that it’s a repugnant candidate’s turn and then they are shocked to lose the election. In a sense, the primaries are a defeat mechanism against meme-based foreign interference because for foreign interference to work, they’d have to simulate the results of actual election memes. In other words, if the Russians were able to make Hillary look less popular than she already did, they were doing the democrats a favor by showing how easily her candidacy could be torpedoed by the Trump campaign. They just didn’t listen soon enough and do anything to adjust their messaging.What we have seen so far is that Bernie is stomping the shit out of the anointed ones and – if you listen to the interviews with voters leaving the primaries: they like the fact that Bernie has been saying the same thing for a long time. They are coming out in droves for a guy who has been saying the same thing for a long time. Admittedly, Biden has also been saying the same thing for a long time, but it’s incoherent other than the parts about how much he liked Obama (I didn’t!) – I can’t make out the rest. Pete gives non-answers in corporate-speak, which ought to cause flesh-crawlies in any adult individual who has ever worked for an “org chart guy” in a consultancy: they’re never around when there’s work to be done because they’re busy proactively leveraging their synergies somewhere else. Warren is someone I really had hopes for but she’s revealing herself slowly to be a mere politician, willing to compromise quickly if it’ll get her elected. So Bernie is stomping the shit out of the anointed ones and I’m increasingly drawn to the fact that he has been saying the same thing for a long time.*
All of this is upsetting to the “smoke filled room” crowd, who see the nomination as something they control. So we’ve got this really freakin’ odd situation in which Bernie kicked ass in Nevada and the democratic establishment is desperate to get him out because he’s unelectable. Or something. After just demonstrating that he can get the vote out among young people and hispanics, and the unions, that’s somehow not good? I don’t get it. The party brass has got to go, because they don’t understand how to run an election.
* I nearly insert the word “ineffectively saying the same thing”… because I don’t think Bernie has any actual ability to get things done, but maybe he’ll crack the door open a bit so that someone effective and socialist can squeak through after him. In that sense, I am pursuing the same reasoning that a tea party follower used to justify voting for Trump. Fuck it. Let’s have a revolution.