Election 2020 Open Thread: Buttigieg & the Primary Season Are Both Still (Comparatively) Young

Mayor Pete seems to have, among other assets, the priceless politician’s gift of timing in his gaffes. The gopbots and cosplay socialists who’d otherwise be laboring all night to gin up internet dissension over Buttigieg’s unfortunate remarks are too busy huzzahing their idiot king to make things worse, and it’s still a long year until the first primary votes are actually cast. Here’s the ever youth-romantic Dave Weigel at the Washington Post:

Buttigieg, who was elected mayor of South Bend, Ind., before he turned 30, is used to the double-takes. As his dark horse candidacy has gotten more attention, he’s leaned into his age, declaring himself a member of the “school shooting generation” that will live through the “business end of climate change.” The people who come to see him, sometimes clutching copies of his memoir, marvel at how he graduated from Harvard, attained a Rhodes scholarship and fought in Afghanistan — all before he combed gray hair.

“He’s the smartest guy I’ve ever met,” said Eric Schronce, 43, an Indiana-based attorney who left his family vacation in Myrtle Beach to drive to a Buttigieg event in Columbia, 150 miles away. “The last election was about emails and porn stars and whatever. I want an election about issues, and Pete knows the issues inside and out.”

The Indiana Democrat, who is expected to officially launch his candidacy next month, has turned years of “next big thing” coverage into a genuine presidential boomlet. He raised more than $1 million after a CNN town hall and appeared to have met the standard for entering the first Democratic debates. He’s adding to a skeletal staff, expanding his campaign headquarters and beginning to build the sort of operation that could compete in early states…

My emphasis; I for one had forgotten that Mayor Pete is not officially a candidate, just yet, under the arcane rules of our quadrennial political circus. Which is more reason to weight how much the current outrage will actually hurt Buttigieg, assuming he can avoid repeating his mistakes.

Long story short, for those of you who are not Extremely Online, at least during the weekends: Tweets from last July where Buttigieg ‘defended’ Mike Pence resurfaced, leading to some heated discussion over whether a mayor refusing to whole-throatedly attack his state’s former governor was permanently disqualifying or merely a mistake that his enemies would weaponize.

Then came The Interview:


If only he’d stopped there:


In a less fraught era, I’m not sure this boilerplate would rise past the level of Problematic, much less all the way to Disqualifying. But I’m not a person of color, or even a refugee from The Heartland(tm), so I’m not the best judge here.

I will say that, IMO, Buttigieg might be suffering from a problem that’s not uncommon among Rhodes-Scholar-qualified individuals: From his exalted perspective, the average American voter seems the intellectual equal of Donald Trump and his most ignorant supporters. This attitude can come across as extremely condescending to those of us in the vast unsorted middle ranges of the IQ/scholarship rankings…

But, to repeat: I don’t think it’s too late for Buttigieg to repent / reboot… at least as a VP candidate, eventually. I still think he’d make a great backstop for Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris or one of our other exciting candidates, if only as visual reassurance for the ever-skittish BUT THERE MUST BE A WHITE GUY / PENIS ON THE TICKET!!! voters.






117 replies
  1. 1
    plato says:

    There bursts the buttigieg bubble?

  2. 2
    WaterGirl says:

    I was hesitant to watch the video and read about the horrific things Buttigieg said because I have really liked him so far and wasn’t sure I could take any more discouragement tonight.

    But I did watch and I did read what was written here, and I have to say that I don’t see what’s wrong with what he said.

  3. 3
    justawriter says:

    Democratic firing squad, circle up!

  4. 4
    B.B.A. says:

    Fuck it, let’s renominate Hillary.

  5. 5
    WaterGirl says:

    Normally I listen to political podcasts as I fall asleep, but not tonight.

    I just downloaded 4 comedy specials from netflix – big thanks to the person last week who mentioned that jim jefferies had some specials up on netflix.

    I see that they have a “download and go” feature now where you can download a show and then watch it offline. That worked for the 4 comedy specials but wasn’t available for the TV shows I thought I could fall asleep to.

    Ray Romano is first, then Jim Jefferies. Please don’t disappoint me, it’s been a rough day.

  6. 6
    Anne Laurie says:

    @WaterGirl:

    But I did watch and I did read what was written here, and I have to say that I don’t see what’s wrong with what he said.

    Well, that’s why I wrote this up! I *personally* don’t see any of it as disqualifying, but it’s better if we’re discussing what Buttigieg actually said, versus ‘I saw on the internet where… ‘

    I’d still happily vote for him, if the election were tomorrow. He’s one of my top four or five picks, because we’ve got so much talent in the pool right now!

  7. 7
    guachi says:

    There are many, many people invested in the idea that white people and anyone outside cosmopolitan areas (doubly so for white people outside cosmopolitan areas) can be and should be written off by the Democratic party.

    Buttigieg does not appear to be one of them.

  8. 8
    NotMax says:

    I tend at this point to view him as the parsley garnish on the dinner plate. Not necessarily purposed to be consumed but intended as a complement and counterpoint to the entree, a pleasing accent to tie the presentation together.

  9. 9
    SFBayAreaGal says:

    So tell me why should I believe he is going to change his views? Once again we need to worry about those white people that voted for Orange Crush? Uh no thanks.

  10. 10
    Mike J says:

    Please, please, please, if you’re in Washington, tell the Washington Democratic party to kill the caucus. They’re asking for public comment on the primary where people can vote from their homes without taking off work or getting someone who can drive a disabled person vs a caucus where insane Bernie supporters will tell you to kill yourself if you think candidates should disclose their income tax.

    Washington Democrats are going to have a primary no matter what. In 2016, there were 26,345 votes cast in the caucus. In the primary, which wasn’t counted, 802,754 votes were cast. Which one was more [Dd]emocratic?

    I’m not telling you how to vote, but you know how you should vote.

    https://www.waelectioncenter.com/

  11. 11
    Raoul says:

    ” BUT THERE MUST BE A WHITE GUY / PENIS ON THE TICKET!!! ”

    As veep, yes maybe so. If we’re gonna have that, it seems like a pretty nice turnabout that he be a gay cisgender, white male condescending Harvard type.

  12. 12
    Yutsano says:

    @WaterGirl: He’s trying to chase the white whale of the white vote. It’s almost as if he’s ignoring the backbone of the party. I hate to say it, but a lot of gay white men have a blind spot to minority issues. I would hope his Navy experience would have given him more exposure to what makes those stories different and why so many find solace in what the Democratic party offers that for some reason only a minority of white people do. It’s his biggest blind spot, and Beto has it too.

  13. 13
    guachi says:

    @SFBayAreaGal:

    Exactly what I was referring to.

  14. 14
    lamh36 says:

    For some people his whiteness is enough for them to listen to what’s he says…the fact that he is gay is something some folks didn’t even know.

    Yet there are folks who who doesn’t give the same courtesy to say Joaquin Castro. who HAS declared his candidacy and yet still hasn’t had folks donate to his campaign as they are for Mayor Pete.

    What I think is interesting is that Chump has already changed the way folks see Presidential candidate.

    There wa a time I recall when a bunch of folks thought that experience mattered in a candidate…wasn’t that the knock on Obama even though he had been a IL State Senator as well as US Senator.

    Now U barely hear a whisper about inexperience…as long as it comes with a white guy’s face.

  15. 15
    Raoul says:

    Eh, can’t say a word that FPers can say. Never mind, post that got eaten isn’t worth dredging up.

    As a gay man can I just enjoy that a gay candidate is getting some traction for freakin’ potus before he a) implodes and/or b) gets taken apart for non-gay reasons?

    No? Oh, ok, no.

    Well, I was part of the 65,000+ who gave a modest amount to his pre-not-quite-announced-candidacy. I don’t regret it. Let him see if he can figure things out. Yes, he’s young. 2024 isn’t honestly that far away, or 2028.

  16. 16
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SFBayAreaGal: What about those people who didn’t see the point of voting? Here in Wisconsin we are trying to get people the IDs that they need to vote, and, if that is successful, things will be fine here. OTOH, if someone can find a way to engage the psychologically disenfranchised without appealing to bigotry and intolerance, a win can become a landslide.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    @WaterGirl

    While not available for every single offering, both Netflix and Amazon Prime provide a watch offline option, usually (but not always) with a time limit on how long it remains watchable without being deleted and then downloaded anew. Have found it handy if going to be stuck someplace cooling my heels for an indeterminate time, or as a way to watch stuff while on a plane ride.

  18. 18
    guachi says:

    Wow.

    The anti-white comments are really out in force tonight!

    Thanks to all of you for proving my point.

  19. 19
    Yutsano says:

    @Mike J: My comment:

    As a disabled person, I have a very difficult time if a caucus is held in a location that is not ADA compatible. Also, only 26,000 people participated in the caucus while over 800,000 (including myself) voted in the primary. The true nature of the party is that which gives the most voices. Primaries will always win that battle.

  20. 20
    Raoul says:

    @Yutsano: Yeah. And frankly Beto running for potus annoys the crap out of me. I’m glad he ran against slimeball Cruz. I think he should have run against Cornyn.

    His semi-centrist stuff frustrates me, and I’m not excited to see Buttigieg aiming for a similar approach. I hope Pete will get the message about who the base of the party is and that he can’t be the un-reflective white dude who steps all over POC out of lack of awareness.

  21. 21
    Lyrebird says:

    I will say that, IMO, Buttigieg might be suffering from a problem that’s not uncommon among Rhodes-Scholar-qualified individuals: From his exalted perspective, the average American voter seems the intellectual equal of Donald Trump and his most ignorant supporters. This attitude can come across as extremely condescending to those of us in the vast unsorted middle ranges of the IQ/scholarship rankings…

    May I offer an addition to this?

    I’m no Rhodes scholar, but I’m definitely an egghead.

    If I had the honor of speaking with Mayor Pete about this particular take, I’d bring a printout of what Sir Willis and Sir Lobster said, plus I’d like to find out why he doesn’t see the point Dingell (RIP) made about abolishing the Senate.

    Those disgruntled and predominantly white and relatively land-rich voters in his state have WAY MORE POWER when they vote than the supposedly equal coastal or city voter.

    A nice bit from Dingell:

    With my own eyes, I’ve watched in horror and increasing anger as that imbalance in power has become the primary cause of our national legislative paralysis. In primaries, the vocal rump of a minority of obnoxious asses can hold the entire country hostage to extremist views. This insanity has sent true public servants fleeing for the exits. The Electoral College has the same structural flaw…

    Even Sarah Kendzior, who to my mind is at least the Mayor’s equal when it comes to academic pedigree, seems at times to fall into that same blindness of talking about “coastal elites” like there were no ordinary working stiffs, unemployed people, struggling people, etc., here, wishing to have their votes count, too.

    This whole primary season has just begun, and I am sure whoever wins will endorse views I disagree with. This particular response bugs me because I really want a strong DEM candidate, one who’s proud (like Sen Harris among others) of the field, and I want someone who respects Nancy SMASH!

    Give her and Rep. Nadler a few days at least or even weeks to get the real report before making pronouncements about any of this, I’d say.

  22. 22
    B.B.A. says:

    @guachi: White people will never vote Democratic again. Someday we’ll figure this out.

  23. 23

    @WaterGirl: agree with this mostly, and AL’s comment that this is pretty boilerplate stuff, if slightly dated. Then again, I had food poisoning while this was going on I guess, so I didn’t see the capital-O Online kerfuffle. This gets one and a half cringes from me, far less than Warren’s Whole DNA test thing and she’s still a good candidate too.

    As for the “regional mix” thing wasn’t that just Howard Dean’s strategy that we liked until recently?

  24. 24

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    OTOH, if someone can find a way to engage the psychologically disenfranchised without appealing to bigotry and intolerance, a win can become a landslide.

    I think most of those folk view all politicians as dirty, both sides ya know.

  25. 25
    Mike J says:

    @Yutsano: Thank you. I went on to the next level caucus and it was nasty. Got there at 11am, left at midnight. There was screaming, demanding that the votes of absent people be counted, an all around shit show. The third level at the Tacoma dome is the only time in my life I thought I’d see physical violence at an American political meeting.

    Caucuses are for people who think they know how everyone else should vote, and want to enforce that desire. They’re very much like something teabaggers would demand.

  26. 26
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    I think most of those folk view all politicians as dirty, both sides ya know.

    You are probably right. Maybe a charismatic “outsider” who isn’t evil could change some of that. We have a while yet to let the pool of candidates listen, learn, and experiment with with campaigning methods. Right now, I like everyone in the mix, and I am interested in seeing who seems best able to win this marathon. FWIW, if the WI primary was held tomorrow, I would probably vote for Harris despite my innate distrust of career prosecutors.*

    *Klobuchar gets side-eye for that too.

  27. 27
    Raoul says:

    @B.B.A.: Hah.

    Ilhan Omar won MN’s 5th with 78% of the vote (against a white GOP woman). MN’s 5th is 70.2% White, 15.6% Black, 5.8% Asian, 1.2% Native American, with 9.7% Hispanic ethnicity.

    If anyone can point me to the demographics of who actually cast a ballot (or crosstabs for any exit polling in MN05), I’d be obliged.

  28. 28
    Peale says:

    @B.B.A.: well then we’re done until 2060 and might as well close up shop.

  29. 29
    Mike in NC says:

    Our rancid corporate media will never stop supporting wealthy white rich guys for political office at every level above dog catcher.

    Pence/Gohmert 2024!

  30. 30
    eemom says:

    Beto had a rally on Friday at my boy’s school that drew the attention of as esteemed a prognosticator as the distant New England based Mr. Pierce, and the young ‘un — who is reasonably politically aware for a 20 year old — didn’t even know it happened. So there’s that.

    I like Mayor Pete.

  31. 31
    NotMax says:

    @B.B.A.

    Twenty pounds of wrong in a one pound bag. One thing, you’re consistent.

  32. 32
    smike says:

    @NotMax:
    Hey now, parsley is a nutritious, flavorful green.

  33. 33
    lamh36 says:

    @lamh36: Dmanit!!!! I mean Julian.

    Kamala Harris is my candidate, but Julian Castro deserves to be part of the debates so as much as Mayor Pete or Beto. So donate if you can.

    Send Julián to the Democratic Debates!

    My son Julián needs your help to make it to the debate stage. The DNC has created a new rule that requires over 65,000 online supporters in order to qualify for the first Presidential Debates in June.

    For $1 or more, you can ensure that the civil rights battles we fought for years ago are just as important today.

    Thank you for your support,
    Rosie Castro

    To Make a Contribution by Check:

    Julián for the Future
    PO Box 501
    San Antonio, TX 78292

    Donate: bit.ly/t-rosiecastro

  34. 34
    hervevillechaizelounge says:

    I find it really rich he’s saying it’s the Democrats’ fault Indiana isn’t turning red—motherfucker, if it’s possible to turn Indiana red why aren’t YOU STAYING THERE AND DOING IT!

    He’s young so he doesn’t understand republicans are evil, not economically anxious. I’m pretty sure a few years sporting a pink triangle in one of Mike Pence’s reeducation camps will clear things up for him, though:)

  35. 35
    Kattails says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Umm, didn’t see the point of voting– because they had no idea that the differences in the platforms were? Because they didn’t see how global climate change, massive tax cuts to the wealthy leading to massive budget deficits, the end of Roe v. Wade, voting rights vs. disenfranchisement, Supreme Court nominations, and other matters might affect them? Or am I misunderstanding what you’re saying, if so sorry!
    I’m sorry, this truly baffles me, I have talked with a couple of people who didn’t vote for either candidate and my sense was that they really just swallowed the most superficial lines. Perhaps candidates need to do a better job of connecting the dots, which Elizabeth Warren seems to be specializing in. The only other thing to do is somehow demand that journalists do their damned jobs and report on the actual issues, hahahaha just kidding.

  36. 36
    Raoul says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Who knows how this whole thing may play out. So many candidates (and near-candidates)! I’ll be curious to see if Buttigieg’s flash in the pan steals some O2 from Amy K — I sort of think it could, they both push some wonk buttons, if a bit differently, and have a midwest flavor.

    As a Minnesotan, I like her OK and have no doubts she could be senator for life here. Her county prosecutor schtick I’m sort of meh about.

    But if the MN primary were this coming Tuesday, I’d probably vote Harris as well. We have RCV (ranked choice voting) in Minneapolis now for city races. I’d love to see that expand as well.
    If somehow we had RCV for the primary, I’d be:
    Harris
    Warren
    Abrams
    (if it has to be from declared, then third is a tossup Klobuchar/Castro)

    I’m only doing three as I think that’s if for how we do RCV here (plus my parenthetical waffle above). There might be a strong trend in my choices.

  37. 37

    @justawriter: This. Purity police, activate.

  38. 38

    @Anne Laurie: We really do! And we need to just enjoy learning about them, stop expecting them to be perfect and let them get their legs under them. Right now, almost any one of the Democrats would have my vote. Because, compared to what we are living with at the moment, any one of them would be a big step up.

  39. 39
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    I know i’m not around much these days (writing a book is HARD and TIME CONSUMING), but I keep wanting to stick my nose in on the Mayor Pete conversations… having known PB for a lot of years (we were at Oxford together) and followed his career, I just can’t take him seriously as a candidate at this time. He means well and he’s damn charismatic, but I just don’t see him as the sort of fired up transformative person we’re going to need running things if we want to have a hope in hell of getting through the wreckage of the Trump years. Maybe in 4 or 8 years he’ll be that person but honestly I’m not convinced. I wish I were. He’s a nice guy who (again) means well–and I do like a lot of what he stands for–but I think we need more than ‘means well’ right now.

  40. 40
    Peale says:

    I guess the question is whether his message could appeal to the voters of states representing 39 electoral votes. Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania. If we’re maxed out of votes in those states, it won’t matter what message soothing major metropolitan area we decide to send. I’m thinking NC, AZ, GA and possibly FL voters that are needed relatively rural, but not nescessarily going to respond to the same upper Midwest

  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kattails:

    Umm, didn’t see the point of voting

    The people who I have met who fall into that category believe that all politicians are corrupt and that no one will do anything to improve their lives. They are n’t rally that much different than the people in the threads below who are saying that the Barr letter indicates that we are all fuck and democracy in the US is over. I think that both groups are wrong.

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yutsano:
    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/why-some-democrats-say-don-t-sleep-mayor-pete-buttigieg-n985906

    Buttigieg campaigned in South Carolina, Saturday, where he met with white and black voters, and a Friday profile in Ebony Magazine — “I have no idea what it is like personally, for example, to be a transgender woman of color. But I know that I need to stand up for her,” he said — suggests there may be a new level of interest in him within African-American circles.

  43. 43
    NotMax says:

    @TaMara (HFG)

    a) It’s a gilt-edged tradition.
    b) If it is bound to happen, better to have it over and done with during the preliminaries than sprung amidst the main events (when the audience is largest).

  44. 44
    Kattails says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Ah. Your comment must have popped up while I was typing… That was certainly the attitude of the (white forty-something middle class) persons to whom I referred in my response to Omnes. And yet, the system is working fairly well for them.
    I think we have a very good, smart, articulate field and will be able to knock back some of that cynicism.

  45. 45
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Lyrebird: There are more Republicans in California than in most of the flyover states combined. Their votes don’t count at all because of the Electoral College.

  46. 46
    GxB says:

    @WaterGirl:

    But I did watch and I did read what was written here, and I have to say that I don’t see what’s wrong with what he said.

    You’re not alone there. If lefties want to keep looking for every excuse to torpedo one another, well learn to enjoy being continually ruled by the minority. Really this makes it all too easy for ratfvcking from any and all sources.

  47. 47
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: @Omnes Omnibus: Some of these Americans do not vote because they do not believe they know and understand enough about what is going on to vote. The idea of voting makes them uncomfortable as an exercise in decision making. Some do not vote because they see politics as so messy and unsettled that it turns them off. These are Americans who do not vote because they have bought into the propaganda and influence operations that tells them that their vote must only be given to the ideologically pure. For these voters the good or very good electoral choice is always the enemy of the perfect one! A third group on non-voting Americans do not vote because they are thoroughly disgusted by how American politics functions and with the outcomes of the American political process; they basically declare a pox on everyone’s political house and do not participate out of disgust, contempt, and frustration. There is a fourth and final group within the non-voting portion of the electorate, those who just do not have the time and the resources to vote. These Americans feel overwhelmed in their daily lives; their existence as Americans is a struggle to get by from day to day. So they choose to focus their limited resources and energy on trying to survive to the next day, rather than pay attention to politics. Whichever candidate can make inroads into this large pool of potential voters who do not vote will be able to tap an electoral resource that is waiting to be mined.

  48. 48
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Would add another group (or perhaps subgroup) – those who truly (as opposed to correctly) believe their single vote carries no weight, doesn’t count any more than does spitting into the ocean.

  49. 49
    lamh36 says:

    @davidplouffe

    270 on 11/03/20 was always the only real route to making this a 4 and not 8 year nightmare. He’s not resigning, he’s not getting impeached and the popular vote is not getting established. With a strong nominee and millions of committed volunteers working hard, we can do it.

    https://twitter.com/davidplouffe/status/1109950667962105856?s=21

    Good night BJ.

    Spent my evening at theatre to see the touring company if Hamilton here in NOLA, after spending all day OFFLINE! (It was fantastic of course).

    Came back to this and the Barr bullshit and the MSM working overtime to placate Chump.

    Time for a self imposed break. I’m still ok twitter be FB and aim sure to be lurking in BJ, do see y’all when I see y’all

    life is short.

  50. 50
    Sab says:

    @Peale: Not responding to your comment in particular. What is the Upper Midwest? I keep hearing that term, and I think it means Michigan, Wisconsin, maybe the Dakotas. Ohio, Indiana and Illinois are absolutely not the Upper Midwest. They all border southern states. The southern half of their states speak with a mild southern accent. Just because they are Great Lake states doesn’t make them Upper Midwest..

  51. 51
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Sab: You didn’t ask me, but I would say Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, northern Illinois, and arguably Iowa.

  52. 52
    Sab says:

    @lamh36: Joaquin Castro is impressive. I get confused because their are two Castros who are both impressive, and both on TV a lot, so when I see one of them on TV I forget which it was. Annoying for twins in real life. In meatspace I have never had trouble telling twins apart. On TV it’s an issue.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Sab: One is growing a beard. I think it is Joaquin.

  54. 54
    Sab says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Point taken. You actually live there. I don’t, and I think people who consider Ohio to be Upper Midwest are seriously misunderstanding us.

    For example, Sherrod Brown is wildly popular here (and with me) and I believe his mother was from Georgia. He understands us.

  55. 55
    lamh36 says:

    @Sab: Julian is the one running for Prez. Joaquin is the one who may challenge Coryn for Texas Senate.

    Julian was member of PBO cabinet.

    i like what I’ve see from Julian and I hope folks do contribute so he can be in the debate stage

  56. 56
    CaseyL says:

    I hate to be the one to defend white people, since I can’t stand most of them (and I am one), but it should be noted that white people in the “heartland” are in crisis. Their drug addiction and suicide rates are skyrocketing as one industry after another packs up and leaves forever. Manufacturing, the auto industry, textiles, retail – the consolidation of the US economy into fewer and fewer players, with most of them outsourcing what used to be decent-paying union jobs, has hollowed out at least 25%, possibly 30%, of the adult population.

    And now agriculture is collapsing all across the Midwest, between climate change and tariffs and god knows what else.

    It’s one thing to say they brought it on themselves and continue to bring it on themselves by continuing to vote for the GOP. That’s like lecturing people with PTSD to pull on their Big Boy pants and just snap out of it: it doesn’t actually help with anything, and ignores the profound sense of dispossession and lack of purpose a sizeable part of the country feels.

    We keep hearing that it wasn’t those folks who voted for Trump; that it was the more well-off who were happy to fly their bigot flags openly again. Well, if that’s true, then maybe there is a good reason to try reaching out to the desperate and dispossessed.

    I don’t speak their language. I can’t get past their stupidity in voting against their own self interest for the last 40 years. I don’t know how to speak to them without sounding condescending. Maybe Mayor Pete does know how to talk to them without alienating them, without sounding like he’s talking down to them, without making them feel like idiots. Maybe they’ll listen to him.

    When Reagan was destroying the safety net way back when, I’d try talking to people who were all for it, who had the idea that poor folk were living high off the hog while they had to go work for a living. I knew appeals to generosity and compassion were going to fall on deaf ears, so I said, “Look. What do you think the people who can’t work, can’t earn a living, are homeless… what do you think is going to happen to them if we yank the rug out from under them? You think they’re going to disappear in little puffs of smoke? Crawl off somewhere and quietly die? Because, you know, they’re not going to do any of those things. We’re going to pay a lot more for abandoning them than we ever did for enabling them to live, however poorly, on public assistance.”

    Now I feel I have to say the same thing about today’s forgotten and despised white people. They’re NOT going to disappear, they’re not going to quietly die in a corner. I really, really don’t like them; but I don’t see how we can write off 25-30% of the country and not pay a dreadful price for doing so.

    ETA: Which price we are already paying, seems to me.

  57. 57
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Yeah, the boundaries are fluid depending on what one is looking for or classifying.

    The Upper Midwest is a region in the northern portion of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Midwestern United States. It is largely a sub-region of the Midwest. Although there are no uniformly agreed-upon boundaries, the region is most commonly used to refer to the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

    The National Weather Service defines its Upper Midwest as the states of Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The United States Geological Survey uses two different Upper Midwest regions…. Source

  58. 58
    smintheus says:

    I welcome our new Democratic Party overlords from Wyoming.

    Seriously folks, I’ve met exactly one (1) Rhodes scholar who was not out to lunch and I spent years in Oxford. Heck one was a teacher and adviser in grad school; yes he was smart, but more to the point he was a jerk and a poseur with effectively few genuine social skills or core principles. They have their ideas already assembled, which they cling to tightly, you can’t reason them away from a preconception – evidence be damned – because one of their fondest ideas is that they’re the smartest person in the room. By the traditional selection process, Rhodes scholars are able to turn the charm on, and off, at will. Other people and other ideas generally only get a hearing in the occasional moments when it serves a purpose.

    A Rhodes scholar is not the answer to what ails America, anymore than it was the real answer in the 1990s.

    And on the question of pure smarts, Elizabeth Warren has Buttigieg lapped. It’s not even close: Warren listens better than just about anybody in politics, and listening well is the clearest mark of high intelligence. *Appearing* to listen is not.

  59. 59
    Mary G says:

    I like Pete, and think he adds value to the mix, even sent him a dollar or two to get into the debates, but though I can’t point to a specific thing he’s said, except the dissing of the “I’m with her” button, I don’t think he is ready for primetime and the “small towns are left out” schitck is horrible. He reminds me at times of Andrew Sullivan and not in a good way. In the “women and not-white people are icky and should not be speaking” way, also of J.D. Vance. He benefits from getting a much larger share of attention than is fair from the many misogynists stiil infesting the media.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Sab: I lived in C-bus for 15 years. Ohio is definitely not part of the Upper Midwest.

    @NotMax: I see the Dakotas as plains states.

  61. 61
    Sab says:

    @lamh36: This is a weird year. Normally I hold my nose and contribute to the least objectionable. I did realyy like Hillary and Obama from the get go. This year I really like at least four candidates. Hope they don’t destroy each other in the primaries.

    I didn’t like much about Reagan, but his never speak ill of another party member was spot on for primaries.

  62. 62
    Anne Laurie says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: This is a most interesting comment!

    What would be your opinion of a Warren / Buttigeig or Harris / Buttigeig ticket, come the time?

  63. 63
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Things become even more muddled when Minnesota is referred to as part of the Great Northwest.

  64. 64
    Mary G says:

    @lamh36: Been meaning to add Joaquin to my donations, but now that you put up a link, I actually chipped in. Thanks.

  65. 65
    eemom says:

    @smintheus:

    A Rhodes scholar is not the answer to what ails America, anymore than it was the real answer in the 1990s.

    With due respect, the appeal of Pete B. (gotta learn how to pronounce his name one of these days) has nothing the fuck to do with him being a Rhodes scholar, nor had it anything to do with WJC’s. The appeal was/is the combination of smarts and charisma — which is, in fact, a thing, however much anybody wants to try to wish it out of existence.

    (Then there’s the grotesquely overrated Rachel M. as another Rhodes data point, but maybe I’d better not go there.)

  66. 66
    lamh36 says:

    @CaseyL:

    If PBO said a lot of things, they voted against him, luckily he mostly won without them the 2nd time around. HRC said many of the same things…they voted for Trump.

    Ok . It seems to be the only way to get them to listen is to y’all wrap it all up in a white male package…then Dems tell non-white non-male candidates they need not apply then?

    If that’s the case then maybe folks should get behind a Biden candidacy. they seem to like him.

    I mean much of diversity, that IMHI is the strength of the Dem parry are we willing to give up so that we can give those folks a face they can feel comfortable with

  67. 67
    Sab says:

    @NotMax: Wasn’t that 150 years ago? Before the War of 1812?

  68. 68
    lamh36 says:

    @Mary G: see Julian😂😂. I have to keep reminding myself too!

  69. 69
    Sab says:

    @eemom: Buddha-judge works well. That’s what his husband uses.

  70. 70
    Mike J says:

    @Sab: Boot-edge-edge.

  71. 71
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @smintheus:

    A Rhodes scholar is not the answer to what ails America, anymore than it was the real answer in the 1990s.

    A dig at Bill Clinton?

  72. 72
    Mary Ellen Sandahl says:

    @WaterGirl: Neither do I.

  73. 73
    Sab says:

    @Mike J: @Mike J: That’s what Buttigieg says, but he speaks 8 languages, including Maltese. I can’t pronounce that like a normal normal name. Where do I put the accent? His husband’s version works better for me, and comes to the same result.

    All the people of Maltesian ancestry I know are named Borg. Easier to pronounce, but I wouldn’t elect any of them to be dogcatcher.

  74. 74
    Mike J says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The nightmare we survived in the 90s could have been avoided had we only nominated Tom Harkin.

  75. 75
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Mike J: I did, and here is my comment regarding the Washington State election system.

    The Democratic party should be about getting as many people as they can to vote. Caucus’s limit the number of people from voting because many people have to work and do not to have the means to access a caucus. Washington has a great vote by mail system, buy why not make that the official system for voting in primaries instead of just presidential elections? It should be noted that in the 2016 election. The non binding primary turned out more voters than the caucus system. Make it easier not harder to vote, get rid of the caucus system.

    Needless to say, I voted for the primary system.

  76. 76
    Irony Abounds says:

    Maybe we should just crucify the whole frigging lot of them. Fucking purity patrol can find something wrong with every single Democratic candidate. Too prosecutorial, male, female, too centrist, too Bernie, not Bernie, Russian plant (ok, I have to agree with this one), shitty girlfriend, condescending, too white, too smart, yadda yadda yadda. I guarantee you everyone is going to be hugely disappointed that the candidate who checks all their boxes isn’t the nominee, because no one checks all the boxes. Trump is going to waltz back in because Democrats believe the good is the enemy of perfection and we just can’t have that.

  77. 77
    Mike J says:

    @Sab: I say it more like boo-tdg-edge (boo-ta-gedge?) , but I’ve never met the guy.

    He seems smart, I just want to be reassured he doesn’t really believe all this listening to Republicans bullshit.

  78. 78

    @Sab: So the Maltesians are the Borg Collective?

  79. 79
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    “we love our friends from the big cities”

    Who is he talking about?

    Biden is from Scranton, Warren is from Oklahoma, Beto is from El Paso, Booker is from New Jersey, Amy’s dad was a iron miner.

    What difference does it make, anyways – Drumpf is from Midtown Manhattan and the sheeple had no problem with his gold plated toilets.

  80. 80
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: You’ve said too much. Get to your safe room asap.

  81. 81
    Fair Economist says:

    @Peale:

    I’m thinking NC, AZ, GA and possibly FL voters that are needed relatively rural, but not nescessarily going to respond to the same upper Midwest

    In all those states there are plenty of non-rural voters to win. There just aren’t that many rural voters in most states anymore. NC is 33% rural, GA 25% rural, AZ 10% and FL 9%.

  82. 82
    Sab says:

    @AnotherBruce: You must have a better postal system than we have in NE Ohio. We had a mayoral election after the recall, and 10% of the ballots weren’t counted because the Cleveland clearing office in our newly reorganized wonderful Post Office couldn’t be bothered to cancel the Akron postage, so it wasn’t counted when received because no cancellation dates.

  83. 83
    CaseyL says:

    @lamh36:What I’m hearing is that Mayor Pete gets demerits for even talking about reaching out to those people. What I’m hearing is that those people aren’t worth reaching out to.

    Now, I agree that stone hard Trumpists aren’t worth reaching out to, because they honestly can’t be reached. I just don’t think everyone that Mayor Pete is referring to comes under that heading – again, because Trumpists tend to be the better off white folks, not the dispossessed working poor/working class.

    If Kamala can reach them, fantastic; because she’s my top favorite candidate so far.

    But there’s certainly nothing wrong with Mayor Pete trying. I don’t see why we should dismiss him out of hand.

  84. 84
    Sab says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I doubt they think of themselves that way. That’s just the ones I know. The others are probably better.

  85. 85
    Amir Khalid says:

    @B.B.A.:
    The Juiitariat are mostly white American Democrats.

  86. 86
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @CaseyL: My theory is that, since today’s forgotten and despised white people vote for the Republican Party, if they want something better out of life and public policy they can get Republicans to do it.

  87. 87
    Sab says:

    @Amir Khalid: @Amir Khalid: Probably 99% Democratic, but we seem to have quite a few POC amongst the commenters.

    ETA: had to change Democrat to Democratic!! How did I make that mistake?!

  88. 88
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Anne Laurie: My guess is that this is exactly what PB is angling for – he’s had the pre-prez 5, 10 and 25 year plans since I’ve known him (and I think that’s probably necessary if you want to be president in these United States in the present political climate). He’d be a charismatic and very supportive Veep, i’m sure and then the obvious candidate for prez 8 years later. Again, I have nothing against the guy (except for a little vestigial Yale/Harvard related bellicosity) and I think he would have been an amazing presidential candidate ca 2004 and maybe again in 2024 or 2028. Now I think we either need someone with decades of experience (Warren) or steel in their veins and knives under their nails (Harris) or both.

    (ps: speaking as a former rhodes scholar… :P to the rude comments, though I actually agree with most of them)

  89. 89
    gwangung says:

    What I’m hearing is that Mayor Pete gets demerits for even talking about reaching out to those people.

    Huh. Gotta check my hearing. What I hear that Mayor Pete acts like Dems aren’t even trying to reach out to these people when a lot of Dem policies ARE targeted to them. They AREN’T being forgotten. It’s just that they aren’t the only segment and that the solutions isn’t to preserve their way of life unchanged.

    That might be a losing strategy given the shitgibbon promised them a straight up return to the 50s, but it ain’t that the solutions aren’t being proposed.

  90. 90
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Sab:

    Maltesian

    Maltese. You know, as in the movie title The Maltese Falcon.

  91. 91
    JPL says:

    Does PB bowl or own a gun? There was a time not long ago where those things were important. Unless the democratic candidate had a three way with trump and Pence, I’m going to vote for them.

  92. 92
    NobodySpecial says:

    I’m quite frankly still processing the idea that the gay guy from Indiana supposedly knows nothing about how hateful conservatives can be.

    It’s pretty obviously a strategy to get votes at the margins, which he needs as a smaller candidate in a very crowded field. Nothing sinister and certainly not campaign ending. Heck, not anywhere close to a Sister Souljah moment.

  93. 93
    satby says:

    @NobodySpecial: yeah, I read this whole thread thinking that people just insist on pasting their own bias in fucking everything. Pete Buttigieg is the mayor of a purple town in a blood red state who had to work with Pence as a governor for 4 of the years he was mayor. He’s still the mayor, still trying to get things done for his multiracial, multiethnic city while he runs. As a mayor, he represents and serves a lot of people who liked and voted for him even though they are registered Republicans. As a gay man, he’s had to work with people like Pense, who Buttigieg once said “doesn’t even want people like me alive”. He’s not the slightest bit misled about Republicans, he just recognizes that a President has to serve all the citizens, even the ones who hate him for being what he is. A majority of the country is not as liberal as the readers of this blog. Acknowledging they exist and count in our political system isn’t a betrayal, it’s simply dealing with a reality.

  94. 94
    Ramalama says:

    @WaterGirl: Can you download Kathleen Madigan…she is hy-sterical.

  95. 95
    Citizen Alan says:

    @guachi:

    I am a white man from Mississippi, and I agree with all these comments you consider to be anti-White.

  96. 96
    Jeffg166 says:

    I don’t have a purity test. Whoever gets the democratic nomination will get my vote.

  97. 97
    Citizen Alan says:

    @B.B.A.:

    Fuck you. Again, white guy from Mississippi speaking. And I’ll die before voting for any God damned Republican.

  98. 98
    Chris Johnson says:

    @CaseyL: This.

    I get angry when I see people here arguing that we have to chalk it all up to evil and racism because we CAN’T ever claim economic catastrophe. That we have to first and most of all claim this is the best of all possible worlds and we’re all wealthier and better than we have ever been, leaving only wickedness and racism as a reason for people to turn against us.

    This in a world where the Republicans have been wrecking government and drowning it in a bathtub for entire LIFETIMES and outsourcing the entire world to slave labor overseas, doing all the most evil shit imaginable, shit we KNOW is evil, and yet in economic terms we cannot say that has done harm to our people?

    I call bullshit. Buttigieg is right. He’s also tactically right, and I’ll tell you why:

    Back in 2016, Trump won not only by cheating with the aid of Russia, but also because he was making the argument that we are economically hurting and that it’s Obama’s fault. He tried to connect the angst, pain and complete despair out there to the enemy political party, while too much of that party felt a need to argue that things are fine, more of the same, we’re doing great. Look what happened. A guy who really doesn’t deserve to run for President took those same arguments and tried to have the Democrats run on the same platform (of ‘we’re in the shit, we have to fix badly broken things here’) and failed, and look how far he got in spite of obvious problems.

    Now, leading up to 2020, the roles are reversed and that is NOT in Trump’s favor. Now, he is the one who has to claim that everything is great. Now, after even MORE trashing and sacking of American infrastructure, even more collapse and ruin, now it’s TRUMP who has to go ‘no everything is fine, vote for me for more of the same’ and it’s available to the Democrats to argue ‘shit is fucked, throw the bastards out!’

    More of the old Republican diehards will have literally died from our pathetic ‘health care’ system, all while our leaders claim it’s fine and the best in the world.

    WE are in the position to call bullshit on our system as it stands, a system that has been wrecked since Reagan. Our system has been tilted towards the wealthiest special interests and companies for decades upon decades and it IS bullshit, and now we get to claim it is exactly that AND blame it on Trump and the Republicans who have always pushed hardest towards that state.

    Economic catastrophe is the fault of REPUBLICANS. Dems only went along with it for fear of being locked out of the system entirely, and now it’s time to flip the table and throw the bastards out (not become clones of them wearing different jerseys). And that means acknowledging what Pete is saying. It wins elections. It’s part of what won it for Trump, and if you think it’s just lying propaganda to justify racism you are wrong. We have to split it away from racism, pronto.

  99. 99
    tobie says:

    @Mary G: What bothered me about Buttigieg’s comments in the Esquire interview and now these comments in South Carolina is it sounds an awful lot like J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy and the endless articles written in the past two years about the anxiety of the white working class. His contention that the 2016 Democratic campaign was all about Trump or all about HRC and not the concerns of working folk is bullshit. I had to remind myself of how wrong this is by looking at HRC’s stump speech. Here’s a video of her in Youngstown that, after preliminary thank you’s and banter, gets going at the 4 minute mark.

    Anyhow, I’m the outlier on this blog because my faves at the moment are Beto, Klobuchar, Harris, and Booker.

  100. 100
    JAFD says:

    Good morning from New Jersey, everyone !

    First, I ‘stand’ within a ten-minute walk of Sen. Booker’s ‘future New Jersey White House’ (It is, literally, white.) and might be described as a minion og the Essex County Democratic Machine. So I am with our ‘native son’ until…

    The NJ primary in 2016 was the first week in June, Ghod knows when it’ll be next year, and when it is ’twill let you know me thots.

    I’m an old man, but I’m now convinced we’ll see the end of the Electorial College in my lifetime. Consider what ‘campaigns when every vote matters’ are going to be like.

    Sorry not commentd on BJ lately. Was at Cold Wars weekend before this last (spent week before that preparing), had great time but came home hobbling with gout attack. Spent last week pained grumpy uncommunicative :-(

    Have great week, everyone !

  101. 101
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @hervevillechaizelounge:

    I find it really rich he’s saying it’s the Democrats’ fault Indiana isn’t turning red—motherfucker, if it’s possible to turn Indiana red why aren’t YOU STAYING THERE AND DOING IT!

    Seconded. If he wonders why Indiana can’t be turned blue, he should try it and find out why it can’t.

    Still, at least for now, I’m glad he’s in the running for the Dem Presidential nomination, because the more voices there are in this campaign that are for ending the filibuster and packing the Supreme Court, the better.

    The main thing that galls me is the media reaction: “oh, he’s so smart!” But somehow Liz Warren’s brains and preparation are a strike against her: how can a woman so smart and well-prepared also be likable? Must be all schoolmarmy, right?

    Fuck that attitude.

  102. 102
    WaterGirl says:

    @Anne Laurie: Anne Laurie, I went to bed right after I posted my comment so I am late getting back to the thread.

    I really appreciate the compilation of all the information in one place. Especially in the age of twitter, it’s really important to go right to the source. Even people here on BJ are reporting some terrible thing that candidate X, Y or Z has done or said without actually having read or watched the so-called offending act.

    We have to be smarter than that. Both Rs — the Republicans and the Russians — are already starting their disinformation campaigns and we have to be so much smarter than we are today if we want to avoid the circular firing squad that is already on display.

  103. 103
    WaterGirl says:

    @Yutsano: Buttigieg is not blind to minority issues. He talks about reparations, for goodness sake. He talks about the black boys and men who are murdered by the police.

    What he does is acknowledge that there are people that voted for Trump and Pence and also for Obama and Buttigieg.

    If you haven’t already, please listen to the CNN town hall. He is really great on every progressive issue. Climate change is already killing people, not just on the coast but also in the midwest. He calls out Trump and Pence in no uncertain terms. He says things in no uncertain terms that I would kill for most progressives to say.

    People should at least learn about him first hand before throwing him under the bus. The guy truly wants to be the president of everyone, just like Obama did, but he doesn’t have any illusions about the Republican party.

  104. 104
    WaterGirl says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    And we need to just enjoy learning about [the candidates], stop expecting them to be perfect and let them get their legs under them.

    Absolutely! We do not need to burn our own candidates at the stake for every misstep — or worse, every perceived misstep, because we know that there are literally misinformation campaigns that are out to destroy Democratic candidates and our democracy. We need to be smarter than this.

  105. 105
    Eolirin says:

    You know, those comments are pretty much exactly the same in terms of meaning, just not as problematicly worded, as Hillary’s basket of deplorables line in its full context.

    We didn’t have a problem when she said that, except that it was said in a stupid way that was easily taken out of context and sucked up a lot of media attention. Why do we have a problem with this now? It’s the same thing minus the easily exploited sound bite.

  106. 106
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ramalama: Thank you for the rec! I have added Kathleen Madigan to my recently started comedians list. I get the feeling I’m gonna need that to help counter all the negativity of the next several months.

  107. 107
    UncleEbeneezer says:

    The reason this is disappointing to many of us is because Buttigieg is being sold as a “woke” white, gay man running for president. I’ve been researching him recently and he is. His positions on civil rights equality, systemic racism etc., are some of the best among the group of candidates. But this is a disappointing statement that makes me question how well he’s been paying attention to the direction that the Dem Party has been heading for the past 2 years. Is it the worst White People Moment imaginable? Absolutely not! Bernie says worse all the time and I’m sure that Biden will eclipse this within 5 minutes if he runs. But it’s still an own-goal and a bit of a candidate showing their Whiteness. The idea that our politicians ignore White/Rural Americans is just beyond a joke when you look at where our tax $ are spent, and the way they pander to white evangelicals, Iowa Caucus-goers etc. They constantly reach out to White voters and that’s fine. What bothers me is the fact that Buttigieg didn’t realize that he can still do that without having to make such a tone-deaf and regressive statement. I thought he was smart enough to know why this sort of statement is not helpful. I’ll still vote for him if he somehow wins the nomination, but I really hope he’ll take a moment to talk to some Black people on his staff and have them explain why this wasn’t a good idea. This isn’t burning anyone at the stake, this is urging them to do better.

  108. 108
    BrianM says:

    @Chris Johnson: Yes.

    @WaterGirl: Yes.

    Let’s not do this again.

  109. 109
    germy says:

    @WaterGirl: Isn’t she rather … problematic… when it comes to Chinese people? Describing them as invading hordes showing up in our living rooms? “This is our house now! You go home!”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=520L35iYQXo

  110. 110
    DigitalAmish says:

    By all means, anyone who acknowledges that racism is just one of the problems we need to overcome should be disqualified from any consideration. /-s

  111. 111
    Ramalama says:

    @WaterGirl: I hope you like. It’s so subjective, humor!

    I find I can only watch comedy before going to bed. Or reading. But no drama, no thrillers on the tube. Which has had me go through the Office (USA version) again, Arrested Development, 30 Rock (I forget how much I loved that show until I watch it again), Bob’s Burgers (cartoon, yes, but there are a few episodes that are still so funny to me that if I think too much about them I will be unable to continue working), and some stand-up.

  112. 112
    WaterGirl says:

    @germy: Oh god, I surely hope not! I had never heard of her until Ramalama recommended her in this thread. I just added her name to a list of comedians to check out.

  113. 113
    WaterGirl says:

    @germy: Oh my god, the ending portion on the Chinese invading, with her fake Chinese accent was cringe-worthy. I had to turn it off.

    I LOVED the jim jefferies comedy act on guns in america, but I was truly disappointed in the special I listened to on Netflix last night. It was cunt this, and cunt that and was nothing like his awesome act on gun control that left me saying “I want to marry this guy”. I know that comedians have to skate on the edge, but geez, some things are a bridge too far.

  114. 114
    socraticsilence says:

    @Irony Abounds:

    This. Let’s just all agree to cut Tulsi out and start from there (sorry, Rep. Gabbard, maybe don’t openly sympathize with Assad).

  115. 115
    socraticsilence says:

    @TheMightyTrowel:

    I mean his main issue is the same one facing Castro and Beto (to give O’Rourke credit he tried)– he’s stuck in a Red State with no obvious way to address the “needs more high-level experience” knock.

  116. 116
    Ramalama says:

    @WaterGirl: Margaret Cho, a Korean American, also has great stand up in “I’m The One That I Want.” But she got into trouble imitating Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un… Korean dictators…because of the Korean accent?

  117. 117
    smintheus says:

    @eemom: “smarts and charisma” You know that is what defines a Rhodes Scholar as far as the interviewers are concerned? The ability to impress/charm interviewers. As I said, it is a set of personal qualities that tends toward self-regard and hybris.

Comments are closed.