Having watched Fail-Safe and Our Little Sister, I’ve earned this diversion. Continue reading
I have no idea to what degree Sanders’ not being a Democrat prevented him from taking advantage of what pollsters I know call “the mechanics.” He had enthusiasm but no one to drive people to polls. These numbers in Michigan show a decline from 2016. I’m embarrassed. This is not Joseph Biden’s fault — it’s ours. We underestimated what the rest of the Democratic electorate who’s not a Biden fan wanted — and they swamped us. Sanders got the youth vote. They just aren’t enough. He needs the youth vote, the protest vote, suburban people, and, most importantly, the older black vote. He’s only got slivers of every vote except the older black vote. He failed, and it shocks me.
I’m on record as a fervent Warren supporter, with Sanders as a close second. I had serious doubts they’d win. Events have changed in the last 10 days. An epidemic has spooked people. The stock market looks like Publix totals on a Sunday night. What a difference since some pundits declared Trump formidable after the Senate acquitted him last month (last month!) Biden may lose in November; we may be marching to our doom, as I wrote last week. He still opens his mouth and looks amazed at the bats, robins, flies, and sparrows that fly out. After a life spent mocking presidents from Reagan onward for poor English, I’ve realized it doesn’t matter at all to many voters. But the odds were stacked against Sanders and Warren too because incumbency is powerful. Rather than get sad, rally against Trumpism. I’m in Florida, a POC, and queer — I don’t have time for this shit.
Reading Lil Loofbourow’s mournful appraisal of the Democratic race for the nomiination, I laughed as I bit my knuckles through until they bled:
Many are speculating—as if it would console or ameliorate the fact that the worst person for the job inexplicably got it—that Biden might appoint a competent woman of color for his vice president. It’s also true that this fight isn’t over; Sanders might claw back some support if his campaign manages to learn any lessons at all from the Super Tuesday results. But if it doesn’t, Biden is it: the least agile thinker, the least fluent talker to appear on that stage will run against an even more incompetent incumbent. If he wins, Biden will break the record for oldest man to be sworn in as president of the United States. (Donald Trump holds that title now.) If he loses to a president who has literally been impeached, it will be easy to see why: He’s in decline. Biden’s liabilities aren’t just the scorn with which he’s dismissed the concerns of the sizable demographic currently powering Sanders’ campaign, or his refusal to take seriously women’s discomfort at his massages and hair-smelling, or that he made up an outrageous lie about getting heroically arrested while trying to see Nelson Mandela; it’s that anyone who has watched Biden speak can attest to the fact that the man speaks in fragments that jostle into an agrammatical approximation of sense.
This after a field in which Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Julian Castro ran campaigns — flawed candidates but what else is new. Then there are Elizabeth Warren and the senior senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders. Continue reading
For a year I’ve spent uncounted hours reassuring and in some cases arguing in person or online about Bernie Sanders’ powers to woo the young and weave them into a formidable coalition. He’s learned since 2016, I said. Continue reading
I voted today. Guess for whom. Nevertheless, I’ll vote for one of the decrepit, querulous late septuagenarians in November, don’t you worry. As Elizabeth Warren’s chances have diminished, so have my hopes. Whether she’ll fight this battle to the convention gates in a few months we’ll know soon, but a candidate as smart as she wouldn’t bumble, I assume, into that catastrophe. Continue reading
While the news shocks no one, it’s worth pointing out:
Former vice president Joe Biden is far and away the favored candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination among black Americans, boosted by his personal popularity, his service in the Obama administration and perceptions that he is best equipped to defeat President Trump, according to a national Washington Post-Ipsos poll.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) occupies second place in the Democratic field among African American voters, easily outdistancing the remaining candidates in the race. Sanders is leading among black voters under age 35, replicating his success with younger white voters in other national polls. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) runs third.
Wherefore the Boy Mayor?
The survey finds meager support for former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is among the leaders in polls in the predominantly white states of Iowa and New Hampshire but stands at 2 percent among Democratic black voters nationally. A lack of familiarity with him and concerns about his experience and sexual orientation appear to be contributing to his current standing. Buttigieg has said that as African Americans get to know him, he will gain more support, but the poll undercuts that assertion. He receives only 3 percent support among black voters who are familiar with him.
Many younger African Americans, however, are drawn to Sanders rather than to Biden. Terrell Askew, 33, a community organizer in Baltimore, said that in 2016, he believed Sanders was the candidate with the best policies but felt then that the Democratic Party wasn’t ready for someone like Sanders. Today, Sanders is his preferred choice.
“I prefer his track record, particularly around housing, which is a major issue,” Askew said. “And the conversations that he’s had around debt, student debt and things like that. And addressing the economic disparities between the poor and wealthy individuals in our country.”
He sees problems that weren’t addressed aggressively enough by Obama and wonders whether Biden would be more of a status quo candidate, rather than someone who would take on conditions in the country that he thinks contributed to Trump’s victory four years ago.
If my readers think they’re invulnerable enough to hang out in political Twitter and Facebook, they’ve seen the speed at which younger white left-identified voters can, with a capacity for negative capability that would impress Keats, dismiss Biden, mention Sanders’ support among younger black voters, and say nothing about how to woo the older black ones. On a particularly gruesome FB thread last weekend, a commenter — a person of color — averred that Barack Obama was the best president we’ve had. We can have reasonable objections. But the resistance — the contempt — came not from conservatives, but from white dudes in their twenties with nothing to say about health care or judges and Supreme Court justices. They can’t address why black voters over thirty-five prefer Biden: he stood behind the first black president in a subsidiary role for eight years without genuinely seeming to mind. Many will not understand this basic point.
In your weekly reminder that the GOP has suffered from brain tumors since January 1981, George W. Bush at this stage in his presidency had killed more foreigners than Donald Trump. Twenty-nine Democratic senators and eighty-one Dem representatives sided with Republican colleagues to give the president his permission slip. Among them: John Edwards, Bill Nelson, both long gone from the scene; Hillary Clinton, still the president of the United States, according to the GOP; and Joseph Biden. Continue reading