Stymied in my lecture preparation by the fact that I have too much to say and not enough time in which to say it, I decided to relax by reminding myself of the rules governing the Iowa caucuses and by checking 538.com for the last month and half of Iowa polls. It was as I thought. Candidates getting less than 15% in the first round are eliminated and their supporters sort themselves, if they so choose, among the remaining possibles. For the past six weeks, the polls indicate that only Biden, Sanders, and Warren would make it past the first round, freeing up anywhere from 45% to 28% of caucus goers to reassign themselves. Biden leads all the polls, save for one outlier, but the two crucial questions are obviously: First, which candidates can get their supporters to the caucuses? and Second, who is the second choice of those caucus goers freed up by the cut?
I think [which is to say, I hope against hope] that this is bad news for Biden. If his current lead is more or less his ceiling, then Warren or Sanders should beat him out for the win. Since the number of delegates at stake is tiny, what matters is the momentum and publicity of the win, not the actual group of delegates awarded. My hope is that his huge lead among the African-American vote, based apparently on his popularity with older Black voters, will evaporate should he come out of the caucuses [and perhaps also the New Hampshire primary] a loser.
I really, really, really don’t want Biden.
We've spoken before here of bumper stickers. "I really, really, really don't want Biden" could be a popular one. You should market it right away.
This brings to mind a couple bumper stickers I've noticed in recent days around town. They weren't identical, but they had messages akin to "Any functioning adult | 2020." Okay, that's good for a chuckle, but after a moment's reflection it's actually a little disturbing, because it expresses compromised aspirations, even if mostly ironically. This, to my mind, is the consequence of advocating for candidates not according to one's firm political principles (behavior that some condemn as "purist" or "ideal"), but according to a strategic pragmatism mired in desperation. It also misses an obvious point, namely, that there is no requirement that the President be a "functioning adult," and there is some precedent to the contrary. Others here have recounted the litany of barbarisms committed by other Presidents in recent history. These men might have been individuals with whom one would prefer to have the proverbial beer, and so one doesn't condescend to their capacities to function as adults. Wouldn't that also be a species of dysfunctional purism?
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