Cold Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: Candidacy Points for Joe Biden




32 replies
  1. 1
    Debbie(Aussie) says:

    Not often around when I can comment, so here goes;
    Does anyone else get frustrated by the ‘must turn som trump voters to win’ theories? I think it beggars belief, considering, number disenfranchised and non-voters (of the Democratic variety) out there. And all this from a non US citizen.

  2. 2
    oatler. says:

    James Branch Cabell pointed out (sardonically) that Lee’s writing his memoir was “tacky”.

  3. 3
    HalfAssedHomesteader says:

    In fairness, Trump will use the Mueller report to appeal to his base too. I just think campaigning on Trump is a bad strategy in general. We have to give people something to run to not from.

  4. 4
    HalfAssedHomesteader says:

    @Debbie(Aussie): Well there was a chunk of Obama voters who went with Trump. Don’t know how big that group is but I suspect they’re a reachable block. It would probably be unwise not to make some effort to outreach but if I had limited resources I’d be inclined to focus more on the “at-risk” blocks on our side.

  5. 5
    Anne Laurie says:


    Does anyone else get frustrated by the ‘must turn some trump voters to win’ theories?

    HA! Just finished setting up a post about what is delicately being called ‘electability’ — it will show up on the front page in an hour or so. Short answer: It’s bullshite, used by cowards who’d rather cater to an imaginary ‘centrist’ past than discuss what’s happening in the future.

    (Such people, IMO, are nearly as dangerous as the rabid Trumplodytes, who are if nothing else honest about their prejudices.)

  6. 6
    Nicole says:


    Does anyone else get frustrated by the ‘must turn som trump voters to win’ theories?

    Yes. Because the only way to turn Trump voters is by running as a misogynist/racist. Man, did 2016 make the scales fall from my eyes about what really motivates a large section of the population.

    Dems should stop trying to get the white male vote.

  7. 7
    Aussie Sheila says:


    Yes indeed. As a fellow Aussie it remains unfathomable to me that the US liberal/left whatever, doesn’t focus like a laser on the majority of the US working class that either can’t or won’t vote. Make voting as easy and cost free as possible, otherwise the outrageous suppression of US working class votes continues, with the policy outcomes any sentient politically aware person knows. I know it seems like a ‘chicken and egg’ problem. But it’s not really. Make voting for working class (and I mean overwhelmingly people of colour) people easy and cost free, and policies favouring that voting bloc will happen. I just can’t understand why this isssue doesn’t get the attention it should on this blog.


  8. 8
    NotMax says:

    @Aussie Sheila

    Would say that issue has received substantial attention here involving every election in blog memory, and shall continue to.

  9. 9
    Amir Khalid says:

    China banned the import of American plastic waste by recyclers, so now, CNN reports, it comes to Malaysia.

  10. 10
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: She left off the //

  11. 11
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Amir Khalid: Americans are great believers in the theory that “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and are intent on proving it to themselves no matter how many environments we have to destroy.

  12. 12
    satby says:

    Good evening, all you folks on the other side of the world!
    And a hearty blech to my friend @OzarkHillbilly:
    @Aussie Sheila: the problems of low engagement voters and engaging non-voters have been discussed on this blog for well over ten years. It’s difficult when one party, which holds power in a number of states and currently the Senate and White House, is working very hard to disenfranchise voters as fast as they can be registered. And to block voter registration as much as possible in the first place.

  13. 13
    Dan B says:

    @Debbie(Aussie): There are several flavors of “appealing to Trump voters”.
    One is they are at war with “us” so we must be at war with “them”. This seems to be the most viral at the moment. Any candidate who tries to dial this back a bit or say that I want to be president for all Americans is blasted by more flying monkeys than Dorothy.

    I’m a gay guy who has felt under attack all my life. And I’ve witnessed all but the most crazed realize that I’m not a pedophile, animal fu63r, or threat to their marriage. I waded into the lion’s den. Many close friends and lovers died, most by indifference, like MLK’s the silence of good people. I/we didn’t waste time on hopelessly hate filled but we didn’t ignore them.

    I, and my LGBT friends, don’t have to talk about the war against us. We talk about strategy and effective tactics.

    Ignoring the enemy doesn’t make them vanish into thin air but neither does attacking them head on every battle.

    The second message is that anyone who is constant in their condemnation of racism and the list of “isms” is a hero leading us into the final battle against evil. Wilmerites have this nailed down. Nuff said.

    There seems to be a strain of thought that reaching across the aisle was Obama’s greatest shortcoming. I agree with that more than I don’t. I prefer to put your values on the table and welcome the people who want to engage.

    The last part of this concept is that it’s better to focus on getting out the vote and combatting voter suppression . This serms to have merit but puts us in a box. Can we address voter suppression and disaffected GOP voters or must we choose? Getting out the vote is one on one / organizing. Getting Obama x2, Tx1 voters is probably just a “delivering a welcome back” message that takes minimal personal resources.

    It doesn’t take thousands of volunteers knocking on doors and standing on sidewalks.

    I believe we can dial back the rhetoric that blames all Trump voters with a broad, and messy, brush. It’s minimal investment for a modest, but valuable, return.

  14. 14
    satby says:

    @Dan B:

    Ignoring the enemy doesn’t make them vanish into thin air but neither does attacking them head on every battle.

    Good point. And the disengaged people of my acquaintance are hungry for a positive candidate, which was Obama’s great attraction to people as a newer politician in the national stage. People on this blog are more policy and detail oriented than most voters; most people don’t even want to have to think about politics. Which Republicans exploit, over and over.

  15. 15
    Aussie Sheila says:


    I know this issue has received attention on this blog, but my point is that the angsting about Obama/tRump voters etc, is beside the point when 40% of your electorate doesn’t vote. I get the Supteme Court issue and the gutting of the VRA , but as a union organiser let me share , nothing, but nothing , empowers the working class in a liberal democratic order, than every A hole knowing, that each and every one of those they screw has a ballot.

  16. 16
    JR says:

    @Nicole: That is of course nonsense. Something like 32% of white men voted for Clinton. In terms of demographics that is abysmal but nowhere near as predictive as being a white evangelical protestant (23% voted for Clinton) and is basically the same share as for white catholics (34% voted for Clinton).

    You need to have a coalition. That includes white dudes, although you definitely don’t need one at the *head* of the coalition.

  17. 17
    Aussie Sheila says:


    At the risk of getting pied here, how about stopping with %s of each diminishing bloc of almost politically unfathomable groups like wwc males, and just make sure everyone, particularly the working class, which happens to be by a majority, women, and women of colour, gets to cast a ballot which is honestly counted?

    The US liberal/left is into zero sum games politics, because it simply refuses to take the ballot seriously. And I include the Bernieistas in this criticism as well. They seem to be a bunch of well meaning but ahistorical young uns, who need to get a clue about real class politics, as opposed to ‘left signalling’.

    Unless and until the US ruling class fears a fully enfranchised working class, US left politics loooks like a bunch of student politicians, and the liberal middle class appears insufferable in its condescension and general cluelessness.

  18. 18
    JR says:

    @Aussie Sheila: You would rather we have discussions of fact without including facts?

    Campaigning and discussing politics are two completely different animals. If you have an issue with the latter than I have some bad news for you…

  19. 19
    msdc says:

    “A candidate and Trump sparring over Charlottesville is a terrific way to get the candidate attention while drawing the focus off of where it should be: the Mueller report, hearings, and the path to impeachment.”

    This is a fucking moronic take. Trump’s popularity dipped after his “very fine people” comments, and anything that reminds the American people that he plays footsie with actual Nazis will hurt him. The investigations will continue to generate headlines for the rest of his term in office; they’re not going away. And as pointed out above, Trump will rile up his base over impeachment just as easily as he can rile them up over being reminded that he’s a racist. Can somebody please explain why the people who obsess the most over “messaging” are always terrible at it?

  20. 20
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Nicole: Wasn’t the lesson of 2016 that Democrats who are unafraid to be progressive get votes and Democrats who try to be Repub-lite fail?

    With voters I mean. With the “electability” pundit columns it’s based on pantsuits and arugula. Or something.

  21. 21
    Nicole says:

    @JR: The Dems will get the votes of white men who aren’t assholes because those white men will understand that the Democratic platform is good for everyone, including them. I’m saying the Dems shouldn’t waste time going after the white male vote as a category because, as the stat you posted pointed out, two-thirds of white men vote own their race and gender over everything.

  22. 22
    Aussie Sheila says:


    What ‘facts’ have I missed?

    I am sure I don’t know as much about US politics as you, but I know much more about your politics than any usian on this blog knows about anywhere else. And that’s the problem. For everyone else, not you of course. As for campaigning v discussion. Yeah. I know the difference. Discussion mirrors preferences and concerns. It’s all ‘I hate these people’ and what racist morons the tRump voters are on this blog. I get it. They are all those things. But, when 40% approx don’t vote, and they are the poorest and most in need of an active state, I reckon the lack of prioritisation of this issue as opposed to focus on the revanchist A holes who always vote and who you hate, speaks volumes.

  23. 23
    Nicole says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    Wasn’t the lesson of 2016 that Democrats who are unafraid to be progressive get votes and Democrats who try to be Repub-lite fail?

    I think it’s been the lesson of several elections- why vote for the pretend Republican/bigot/racist when you can vote for the real thing? Why the Democratic Party has been so slow to learn this lesson, I don’t know.

    I think the pendulum is starting to swing back, but what with GOP willingness to ignore the rule of law to consolidate power and Russian ratfuckery, I am not hopeful for the short-term future.

  24. 24
    geg6 says:

    @Aussie Sheila:

    Why do you think we don’t try to get that 40% to vote? Here in Pennsylvania, we have a Republican majority legislature, even though our governor is a Democrat. Those legislators are not going to pass anything making it easier for, say, the black communities in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia to vote. Hell, we’re lucky they went along with getting rid of the electronic voting machines in favor of paper ballots for this election. No way would they allow vote by mail or early voting, which would increase voter participation. Until you can find s way around that, we continue to work our asses off canvassing but that can only be so effective without a structural change that our state legislature will never pass. It is a conundrum.

  25. 25
    patroclus says:

    @Aussie Sheila: It’s more complicated than that. First, it’s not an either/or thing – we can focus on getting more people to vote and try to convince Trump voters not to do it again at the same time. Second, convincing a bunch of Californian, New Yorker and Illinoisan non-voters to vote wouldn’t really change much – the key is convincing Michiganders, Floridians, Pennsylvanians and Wisconsinites to do it. And what works in California doesn’t necessarily work in Florida. Just calling Lee a traitor and lambasting white men plays differently in New York City than it does in North Carolina.

    I like that Biden has been able to bait Trump whereas the other candidates have barely made a wave. Let’s see if he can keep it up.

  26. 26
    JClaps says:

    @Aussie Sheila: Unfortunately there is an infrastructure in this country specifically focused on preventing those people from voting and it won’t change until the Supreme Court outlaws partisan gerrymandering or the next census/redistricting, assuming that the legislatures in those states are dominated by Democrats

  27. 27
    JR says:

    @Aussie Sheila: the basic reality is this — elections have very little immediate impact on a lot of people’s lives. That’s not to say there isn’t real impact, obviously legislation matters as the ACA shows. But a lot of people are making decisions in the immediate term and participating in elections is a medium-long term payout at best. And legislation involves a lot of compromise. So when the calculus is taking time out of work, taking care of your kids, arranging poor or non existent public transportation to a polling place, or some other inconvenience a lot of people are going to pass. That’s why voter suppression works. We are trying to fight it, in ways large and small, but it is just one part of the whole when it comes to winning an election.

  28. 28
    catclub says:

    Rommel was a great General, but he was fighting for the fucking nazis. Why not a monument for him, too?

    Lee was fighting for the slavery party.

  29. 29
    James E Powell says:


    We have to give people something to run to not from.

    If this were true, the Republicans would never win. They run every campaign by giving their people something to run from and some one to hate. It’s one of those things people say – like “the people want the candidates to talk about the issues, not each other” – that are the opposite of what really moves voters.

  30. 30
    J R in WV says:

    I have no sympathy for any of the dead traitors of the southland.

    I was driving cross-continent heading east to WV some years back, and planned to stop in Arkansas for the night. I was trying to book a hotel room along I-40 and kept not getting anything. I was sure it was Forest City I was looking for.

    Nope, it was Forrest City, named not for the patch of woods but for the founder of the KKK, Failed Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. And there’s a state college there, just full of not-white students. So weird.

    I did get a room, spent the night, got the hell out of KKK-land. The Deep South is like a different planet, I am so glad I don’t have to live there, or even travel through much.

  31. 31
    James E Powell says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    Wasn’t the lesson of 2016 that Democrats who are unafraid to be progressive get votes and Democrats who try to be Repub-lite fail?

    No, it was not. The lessons of 2016 were and are that this nation’s racism and misogyny run deeper and broader than we thought, that agents in the FBI can work to influence elections without anyone doing anything about it, that a hostile, foreign government has figured out how to manipulate Americans as well as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola do, and that the American ruling class will support and even promote evil things in order to amass more wealth and consolidate power.

    The single biggest lesson of 2016 is that the bad guys are winning because the good guys are playing by rules that only they care about.

  32. 32
    jl says:

    Hoarse Whisperer
    ” Trump is more than happy to be gifted chances to appeal to his base. ”

    This person produces many useful tweets, but like many twitterers, can have an arrogant attitude. Trump’s base likes authoritarianism too, and an aggressive formal action against Trump on impeachment gives him a chance to appeal to his base on that front as well.
    So, overall, I think it’s good that there are Democratic candidates who are making arguments against Trump on a wide range of issues.

    I don’t think anyone can predict very well what will be the angle the give the anti-Trump forces the greatest edge over the Trumpsters. My personal opinion is that it will be strong clear stands on strong clear progressive policies that will help the mass of the middle and working class and poor. But I could be wrong. And the Trumpsters’ attacks on our form of government and democracy itself are kind of important too, and it needs to be an issue.

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