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Sunday, November 17, 2019


So now Pete Buttigieg has jumped to the front of the pack in Iowa.  I recognize that this is a test of just how totally I am committed to defeating Trump, but I wish the good Lord would find a less painful way of testing me, such as perhaps fasting or scourging myself with whips or walking on nails.


s. wallerstein said...

Better than Biden, better than Bloomberg, better than Clinton.

He's young and opportunistic enough to swing left if we pressure him from the left.

David Palmeter said...

s. wallerstein

As a president, I'd prefer him to Biden Bloomberg or Clinton. But that's not why I worry about him. I worry that he can't get elected, and four more years of Trump would be a catastrophe. I'd take Biden, Bloomberg, or Clinton in an instant over Trump; hell, I'd take Pence over Trump.

To me, the most encouraging thing I've seen in the past couple of days is Elizabeth Warren's starting to back-track a bit on M4A. Again, I would prefer an M4A system, but I believe it's a political loser, particularly in key states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. And that would give us four more years of Trump.

It's important to keep in mind, I think, that while the left is flexing its muscles in the Democratic Party, the left, despite its gains, is still far from a majority in this, at best, center-right country.

David Zimmerman said...

aall said...

The problem on the left is the insistence on excessive granularity and the problem with the center is its willingness to cynically exploit that and scare folks. At any given point the extent to which we move towards universal health care will be a function of what the Speaker of the House and the 1 - 3 most conservative Democratic Senators will agree to (and that assumes a Democratic House and Senate). If Warren is going there then good. The problem with BBB&C is that we can no more afford another neo-liberal presidency then we can another Republican Administration.

David Palmeter said...


If you see no difference between a centrist or neo-liberal Democrat and a Republican, then we aren’t on the same page.

The Republicans held the White House for 20 of the 24 years from 1968 to 1992. The only exception was Jimmy Carter, an admirable person but not exactly a progressive. In between the Democrats lost with McGovern, Mondale, and Dukakis, winning only with Bill Clinton in 1992.

In the 2000 election, Gore was not left enough for many, and the result was Bush. But I’m confident that, had Gore won, there would have been no war in Iraq; there would have been no Samuel Alito or John Roberts on the Supreme, no huge tax cut for the rich and on and on. When Bill Clinton had his chance to appoint two justices to the Supreme Court he gave us Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. I’m confident that had Hillary Clinton had her chance we would not have had Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. We would not have left the Paris Climate Accord or the Iran nuclear agreement. The State Department would not have been eviscerated. Children would not have been separated from their parents at the border. This list is almost endless.

Would you really sit out an election between Trump and Biden or Bloomberg?

aall said...

Just to clarify: While there is a lot of ruin in a nation the ruin started with Vietnam (if one wants to pick our failure to differentiate between Russian imperialism and the legitimate aspirations of post colonial nations back then, well OK) and the well was already low pre-Trump. Carter governed to the right of his Congressional majority and how did that turn out? There is no long term advantage to centrist candidates using rightist talking points to attack opponents to their left.

"Would you really sit out an election between Trump and Biden or Bloomberg?"

Of course not, but that wasn't my point which is that a center or left neo-liberal isn't going to have the necessities to deal with a rightist vanguard bent on revolution (Obama did back-flips negotiating with himself in attempting to deal with Republicans - the fever never broke and then we got Trump - Roosevelt had Eleanor, Perkins, et. al. while O had Geithner and Emanuel).

We need more then mere respites between Republican wrecking. While a respite is better then nothing (and I'd vote for that given the other option) we need a change of direction not momentary plateaus on our downhill plunge.

We are at a Constitutional dead end and the Sixth Party System is well past its sell by date.

Re: Gore. Had 911 happened with a Gore presidency, the Republicans would likely have impeached him and successful (president Lieberman?) or not would have likely defeated him in 2004. Oh, and 12/12/2000 was a Republican coup by the Gang of Five on the SC.

While most Greens are merely naive and clueless and Nader is hopelessly narcissistic, that nothing seems to have been learned since that election might well involve a different calculus (can't get that pic of Flynn, Stein, and Putin sitting Animal Farm-like around that table).

R McD said...

Here we go again. Falling into the trap of thinking about politics as a game/horse race. Trying to figure out who to bet on. To be sure, that’s the dominant political idiom. But it’s pretty pointless and pretty boring.

Still, for every David there’s another David pointing us all (via salon) towards actual policy considerations. And there’s aall urging us to at least contemplate whether or not we can actually survive not just more Trump but also the return of the neoliberal juggernaut—as if that juggernaut had not already helped bring on Trump.

So maybe there’s some hope.