The Problem with Biden’s 2019 General Election Campaign

Greg Sargent at The Post says there’s a “fault line in Democratic politics” between those who believe Trump is the problem and those who see Trump as a symptom of “broader pathologies afflicting the Republican Party — its increasing comfort with ethnonationalism, authoritarianism, and procedural and policy extremism, all of which predate, helped create and will outlast Trump.” A snippet of the column:

Biden took a beating Monday night for offering a stark version of this rhetorical move [focusing on Trump rather than calling out the GOP in general], while explaining how he’d work with Republicans as president.

“With Trump gone you’re going to begin to see things change,” Biden said at a fundraiser. “Because these folks know better. They know this isn’t what they’re supposed to be doing.”

As many pointed out, this prediction is profoundly absurd. Biden should know this, having lived through scorched-earth GOP opposition as Barack Obama’s vice president.

What’s more, as others noted, the notion that many Republicans feel secretly apprehensive about Trump’s many degradations is belied by the George W. Bush years. We saw authoritarianism and lawlessness (torture, secret prisons), politicized law enforcement (the political firing of U.S. attorneys), procedural radicalism and hostility to science (violating the law by refusing to regulate greenhouse gases) and disinformation (the Iraq War).

Given all this, does Biden really believe what he’s saying about Republicans?

Two things: 1) I don’t think there’s a significant split among Democrats at all on the question of whether Trump is the disease or a symptom, and 2) It doesn’t matter if Biden is really that gullible or if he’s cynically appealing to low-info voters who just want the orange blob off their TV because they’re sick of hearing about him and want to go back to ignoring politics. Either way, it’s bad politics for the Democratic Party.

But if I’m right about it being bad politics for the party (more on that in a minute), that doesn’t necessarily make it bad politics for the Biden campaign. Maybe what we’re seeing is Biden defying conventional wisdom, which is that candidates should run to the left during the primary and sprint to the center during the general. Maybe Biden is staking out a general election strategy now. If that’s the case, will it work?

So far, Biden’s poll numbers are pretty good, but it’s hard to know how much of that is based on fear (i.e., “electability”-based support) and how much is based on genuine agreement that Republicans can quickly recover from the radical extremism they’ve exhibited for decades and/or that things will return to “normal” once Hair Furor is gone.

Every candidate has to signal willingness to work across the aisle, and they’ve all done so to varying degrees. No candidate can afford to call tens of millions of Trump voters out for being racist, sexist, xenophobic morons, so they’ll talk about how Trump snookered people instead. But Biden seems to be the only one who’s making “Trump is an aberration” the centerpiece of his campaign. As far as I know, no other candidates have praised Mike Pence or said nice things about Dick Cheney.

I don’t see how this general election plan flies once we get to the debates. To paraphrase Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” Biden’s Democratic primary opponents will be lining up to take a shot at this fantasy about Republicans, and my guess is that either Biden will get a fucking clue, or we’ll nominate someone else.

But more importantly, the “Trump is an aberration” strategy sucks for the general election too because it undermines the urgency of separating the nihilists from the levers of power. The eventual nominee needs to level with voters about the problem, which is that the Republican Party is radicalized and corrupt.

Otherwise, even if you win, what do you gain? Yes, Trump’s ouster will be a reason for rejoicing all by itself, but unless the Republican Party is also kicked in the nuts (and hard), a Democrat in the White House with McConnell’s rapacious claws around his or her throat for four years sounds like an ideal set-up for a smoother, more competent Republican demagogue to come along in 2024.






171 replies
  1. 1
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Biden worked under President Obama and saw how Republicans refused to work with him every step of the way. There’s no working with Republicans. I’m hoping these are just taking points which Biden is spouting to look bipartisan but that once he wins, he goes all out in getting a progressive agenda through Congress.

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  2. 2

    It’s the sign of the split between conservatives and liberals in the Democratic Party; Biden is a conservative, chosen to placate the party’s conservative wing in the 2008 Democratic ticket.

    Should Biden become President, I expect him to continue giving away the store, as conservative Democrats have been doing for 30 years.

    I hate this timeline.

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  3. 3

    Biden is wearing thin. Quickly.

    In the meantime, McConnell is stealing democracy with his every breath.

    WASF

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  4. 4

    That said, should Biden become President, it would at least make space for the liberal wing of the Democrats in Congress. In the long run, there is no substitute for sending the fascists back to gamma quadrant where they came from. In our system, that means destroying the Republican Party, or establishing a multi-party democracy.

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  5. 5
    JaySinWA says:

    I am in the camp of Biden’s poll numbers being largely the safe bet in getting rid of Trump. Not because there is great love for his campaign but because he is less likely to inflame significant parts of the electorate. Like an old shoe, it might have looked better in times gone by, but it isn’t likely to pinch in ways that stop you from going forward.

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  6. 6
    laura says:

    The problem with the Republican party is not trump, it’s that it’s full of republicans.
    Driftglass has been covering this for at least 11 blog years. If a not trump had been nomi ated and elected, we’d still see tax cuts for the obscenely wealthy, continued attacks on the ACA, guns, Guns GUNS, revanchist court packing, ladies losing bodily autonomy, less migrant demagoguery but no real immigration laws. . . ad nausea.
    Why Joe B is insisting on stating that they’ll surely revert to pre-Gingrich rules is indeed a mystery. But it ain’t helpful. At all. Self own like this is not going to increase turnout. Mitch does not care and will continue to refuse to respect any suggestion that Democrats have the right to govern.

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  7. 7
    the Conster says:

    I don’t think this is a policy election – I think it’s a return to norms election and the country isn’t going to swing from so far right to left without inching back to the middle, which is what I think Biden represents at the moment.

    That said, I don’t think his polling will hold up because he’s Joe Biden, and when he falls there will be a big center lane for someone like Klobuchar, Gillibrand, Inslee or Bennett to occupy if they can get any traction.

    That said, I hope Harris gets more traction, but she needs to run away from Kiss of Death Wilmer Sanders.

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  8. 8
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Raven Onthill: We have a multi-party democracy. It just that only one party actually believes in democracy. (Yes. I know what you’re getting at – coalition government.)

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  9. 9
    Plato says:

    A.G. Barr will ask Trump to assert executive privilege over documents from the admin's decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census if House Oversight Democrats proceed toward holding Barr in contempt. https://t.co/LbQBuK5drc— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 11, 2019

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  10. 10
    eclare says:

    10-0 US.

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  11. 11
    Plato says:

    The House has just taken its strongest step yet in the standoff with Trump over congressional oversight, voting to seek court enforcement of subpoenas for A.G. Barr and former W.H. counsel Don McGahn. It was a party-line vote of 229-to-191.https://t.co/feAq6PxPBo— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 11, 2019

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  12. 12
    rikyrah says:

    But more importantly, the “Trump is an aberration” strategy sucks for the general election too because it undermines the urgency of separating the nihilists from the levers of power. The eventual nominee needs to level with voters about the problem, which is that the Republican Party is radicalized and corrupt.

    Dolt45 is NOT an anomaly.
    HE is the GOP.
    And the GOP is him.
    Not a millimeter bit of difference between them.

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  13. 13
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    I still can’t get too worked up about the nuts and bolts this early in the primary process, although I do have at least two top candidates I prefer/support right now.

    I do think we are fighting a war on two, equally important fronts and may not be able to do that through the vehicle of one, single candidate. It’s gonna take a village.

    The first is definitely the Presidency and the Executive Branch. But the second is getting these toxic Republicans out of power in Congress and nationally, across statehouses and legislatures.

    Biden is wrong on working with Republicans, period. There are no more sane Republicans left in power to work with and the Party needs to die a painful and humiliating death as all but the most warped minority remains a part of it.

    But he is absolutely right to remind America of what civility and decency mean to us in our elected representatives, even if it seems a bit nostalgic because THAT trust and faith in a working, non-corrupt Democracy needs to be restored or we can never again implement a progressive or positive agenda for our nation. As long as he’s out there, being “Decent Uncle Joe”, keeping Donald Trump awake at night, mocking and denigrating him and everything he is in order to draw fire forcing Trump to behave in even more absurd, unbecoming and reprehensible ways, I’m cool with it.

    Because the bonus for Democrats maybe his candidacy on the first front gets folks bailing from Trump and listening to some of the stuff the true, “New and Better Ideas People” in our party are saying, and if they’re logical, sane human beings on any level, they’ll realize just how great things could be in this country. And they’ll join us in fighting the war on the second front.

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  14. 14
    eclare says:

    Shit 11-0 US.

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  15. 15
    eclare says:

    Make that 12-0 US.

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  16. 16
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @laura:

    Driftglass has been covering this for at least 11 blog years.

    “Holy shit. The Republican party is full of Republicans!”

    had trump not been nominated and elected, we’d still see tax cuts for the obscenely wealthy, continued attacks on the ACA, guns, Guns GUNS, revanchist court packing, ladies losing bodily autonomy, less migrant demagoguery but no real immigration laws

    Yup. JEB!, Ted, Marco, Lindsay, Rand, Huckabee, etc – it would’ve been the same shit but smoother. No going on Twitter and yelling the quiet parts, but the same fuck-everyone-but-the-rich policies.

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  17. 17
    Llelldorin says:

    @rikyrah:

    This is absolutely true. I wonder if we can convince some fraction of the Republican-leaning types that it isn’t? If we can convince enough of them that a tiny cabal of lunatics has taken over their party, we might be able to wedge them off into our column.

    I suspect that some version of the above is Biden’s plan. I have no idea if it could actually work.

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  18. 18
    eclare says:

    Most goals in a single match in WWC history.

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  19. 19
    Martin says:

    Biden’s problem is that he’s going to get fucking dumpstered by Warren in the first debate.

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  20. 20
  21. 21
    Cacti says:

    The problem with Biden’s election campaign:

    Is that it has a large polling lead over most of the front pagers’ favorite candidates.

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  22. 22
    ballinger says:

    It doesn’t matter if Biden is really that gullible or if he’s cynically appealing to low-info voters

    I’m going with gullible. Biden is dimwitted, lethargic, and totally uninspiring. He’d be a disaster as the nominee. We need someone who is nimble and quick on his or her feet and Biden is definitely not that person.

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  23. 23
    eclare says:

    13-0 US.

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @eclare: Thanks for the spoiler. Guess I can just erase my TiVo now. /:-

    ReplyReply
  25. 25
    eclare says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: I’m sorry! People were talking about it downstairs, I will be more careful, I’m truly sorry. Lesson learned.

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  26. 26
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @eclare: 13-0 Final.

    Ouch!

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  27. 27
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @eclare: WTF are they just standing in front of the goal practicing free kicks now? What ever happened to the mercy rule?

    Never mind. DON’T TELL ME.

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  28. 28
    Jay says:

    “Two things: 1) I don’t think there’s a significant split among Democrats at all on the question of whether Trump is the disease or a symptom, ”

    Conservative Democratic Party leaders and voters sometimes see The Insane Clown POSus as disease. Some, don’t see him as a problem at all,

    Manchin, cough, cough,……

    @the Conster:

    Adam covered this last night. There is no return to norms, too much has been broken, there is only through.

    https://www.balloon-juice.com/2019/06/10/the-only-way-out-is-through-there-can-never-be-a-return-to-what-was-normal/

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  29. 29
    JPL says:

    @eclare: So I guess there is no mercy rule.

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  30. 30
    Betty Cracker says:

    @eclare: Just caught the end of match. Holy moly! There should be a mercy rule!

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  31. 31
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @eclare:LOL I’ll still watch it. I wanna really get to see these girls and how they work together before the pressure gets worse.

    Just remember for later, ;-)

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  32. 32
    Baud says:

    But more importantly, the “Trump is an aberration” strategy sucks for the general election too because it undermines the urgency of separating the nihilists from the levers of power. The eventual nominee needs to level with voters about the problem, which is that the Republican Party is radicalized and corrupt.

    Otherwise, even if you win, what do you gain? Yes, Trump’s ouster will be a reason for rejoicing all by itself, but unless the Republican Party is also kicked in the nuts (and hard), a Democrat in the White House with McConnell’s rapacious claws around his or her throat for four years sounds like an ideal set-up for a smoother, more competent Republican demagogue to come along in 2024.

    I don’t like Biden as the nominee or his strategy but this argument seems hollow to me. The rhetoric of the campaign won’t mean anything the day after inauguration. And I don’t seeing it having much effect on whether voters vote out Republicans, as compared to a candidate who is straight with voters about Republicans.

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  33. 33
    JPL says:

    CNN said that bipartisanship was the third most important issue for democrats. Since efg is no longer with us, I say fuckem

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  34. 34
    Martin says:

    Man, that Thai goalie needs more hugs. I’ve been dunked on like that, and it shakes you.

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  35. 35

    I miss the days when we were going to crawl over broken glass for BS of Vt. This is going to be a long primary.

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  36. 36
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Otherwise, even if you win, what do you gain? Yes, Trump’s ouster will be a reason for rejoicing all by itself, but unless the Republican Party is also kicked in the nuts (and hard), a Democrat in the White House with McConnell’s rapacious claws around his or her throat for four years sounds like an ideal set-up for a smoother, more competent Republican demagogue to come along in 2024.

    This.

    It’s not just Trump, it’s Mitch McConnell, and all the rest of the GOP bastards who fall in line behind them.

    “We need to beat Trump, but we can work with Republicans” gives no reason to do what is even more essential – retake the Senate, and kill the filibuster. Because unless we do both of those things, all we do is temporarily stop things from getting worse. But we know what happens to an ineffectual Democratic President: he gets killed in the midterms. And then whether in 2024 or 2028, a more competent GOP demagogue takes over.

    And then we’re out of time to do anything effectual about global warming. (And the DNC won’t even hold a debate about climate change, but they’ll cut you off if someone else hosts a debate like that and you participate. Worthless fuckers, can only play hardball against their own.)

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  37. 37
    geg6 says:

    Of course I’ll vote for Joe should he be the nominee, but he’s nuts if he believes his own bullshit.

    Currently, I am leaning Warren/Booker or Warren/O’Rourke. Booker just because I really like him and have for a long time. I also think he’d be a really good president, but he’s just not getting the numbers right now. O’Rourke because I think he can pull in votes from and excitement among Hispanics, youngs and more cautious liberals. Plus, it would be great to have SPW grooming him for the top of the ticket after the first woman president.

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    eclare says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: I will, I promise!

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    Martin says:

    @JPL: There really can’t be due to goal differential being used for tiebreakers in group.

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    CarolPW says:

    Sometimes I wonder if Biden thinks that since he is not Black of course when he wins the republicans won’t do to him what they did to Obama. Takes an amazing level of forgetting past history if so, but it would not surprise me at all if that is what he thinks. Sort of the Democrat’s great white hope.

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  41. 41
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Martin: Mom of two goalies here and there’s nothing more heartbreaking than a situation in which the team literally just gives up and lets the goalie play the game for them.

    When my last two ended up being forwards I was so freaking happy.

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  42. 42
    Betty Cracker says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Figured it went without saying that I’d crawl over broken glass to vote for Biden if he’s the nominee, but just to make it clear: I’d crawl over broken glass to vote for Biden if he’s the nominee.

    @Baud: I disagree. Pretending Republicans who are not named “Donald Trump” are the loyal opposition is a form of both-sides bullshit.

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  43. 43
    --bd says:

    No mercy. With only 3 round robin games in the group, you need to grab those goals where you can find them since goal differential is usually the first tie breaker. With two of the four advancing, if a couple of teams go 1-1-1 in the group, the goal differential is the difference between 2nd place in the group and advancing compared to 3rd place and going home.

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  44. 44
    GideonAB says:

    I would say that Obama was not beaten in
    the midterms of doing too little.

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  45. 45
    Cacti says:

    The problem with the Warren campaign is two groups of voters: those who don’t know her and those who do.

    The problem with the Wilmer campaign is his decades long crush on the Soviet Union.

    The problem with Buttigieg campaign is that his entire governing experience consists of being mayor of the 293rd largest city in the country.

    The problem with the Booker and Castro campaigns is no one cares. Ditto for everyone else not named Kamala Harris.

    ReplyReply
  46. 46

    @Betty Cracker: I knew you would and so would I. I was being snarky.

    ReplyReply
  47. 47
    JPL says:

    @Martin: I keyed in mercy rule in Soccer and it explained the various organizations that use it. It also showed the US Women’s score. lol I have a feeling that it will be trending.

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    eclare says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: Yeah, I felt really bad for that goalie.

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  49. 49
    zhena gogolia says:

    @geg6:

    he’s nuts if he believes his own bullshit.

    He doesn’t. And he isn’t “dimwitted,” as someone called him above. Not my candidate, but he’s Einstein and Jesus rolled into one compared to Drumpf.

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    JPL says:

    In my dreams, I want a Biden/Harris ticket. After they win easily, and after the inauguration I want Biden to resign for health reasons and Harris to select Buttigieg as her VP. Why not dream big.

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    zhena gogolia says:

    @JPL:

    My husband wants a Biden/Harris ticket, but he wants Biden to stay there.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    Mike in NC says:

    In 2024 the Republicans will nominate some loon like Gohmert or Steve King.

    ReplyReply
  53. 53
    tokyokie says:

    @geg6:

    Currently, I am leaning Warren/Booker or Warren/O’Rourke. Booker just because I really like him and have for a long time. I also think he’d be a really good president, but he’s just not getting the numbers right now. O’Rourke because I think he can pull in votes from and excitement among Hispanics, youngs and more cautious liberals. Plus, it would be great to have SPW grooming him for the top of the ticket after the first woman president.

    Por qué no Julián Castro?

    ReplyReply
  54. 54
    eclare says:

    @JPL: I could sign on to that. He’ll be 78 at the inauguration, might not take much convincing. I could also see Mayor Pete as SoS with his language skills and ability to think fast and on his feet.

    ReplyReply
  55. 55
    JPL says:

    @zhena gogolia: Okay I’ll change my dream and let him stay for six months.

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
    JPL says:

    @eclare: If you haven’t seen his foreign policy speech from today you should. He is really good.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFEqpwADCCs

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  57. 57
    kindness says:

    Betty you are right. Yea we get that Biden thinks he can snooker the middle folk by appearing so reasonable and moderate after the dumpster fire Trump has been.

    Except this is the man who was Vice President for all of Obama’s 8 years in office and for that entire time Republicans NOT ONCE acted as a party of loyal opposition. In every instance Republicans used bad faith to delay Obama if they couldn’t deny him. Biden setting up the meme that he can convert Republicans to become moderate or at least loyal opposition is a case of Biden painting himself into a corner when Republicans keep doing what they’ve been doing since the 90’s with Newt. It’s dumb and I really doubt it brings enough votes along with it to matter all that much as a message.

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    Cacti says:

    @eclare:

    I think Beto O’Rourke should be Secretary of Commerce, because he seems really cool and he lives close to Mexico.

    ReplyReply
  59. 59
    eclare says:

    @JPL: Oh wow, a one and a half hour speech on policy! Will watch later tonight, thanks for the link.

    ReplyReply
  60. 60
    NotMax says:

    Modern day Republican standard operating procedure upon losing is to declare they didn’t move far enough to the right and double down on the crazy.

    If Biden is blind to this he has no business running for president. If Biden recognizes this and chooses to sweep it under the rug he has no business running for president.

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  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    This is the guy who was put on trial for leaving water in the desert for the undocumented.

    https://twitter.com/NoMoreDeaths/status/1138546239404793856

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  62. 62
    GideonAB says:

    @kindness

    Is there any reason why Biden would have
    to restrain himself, when in office, if
    there is no cooperation from Republicans?
    I would see myself as free from any such bonds

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  63. 63
    Martin says:

    @Cacti: Beto should be challenging Cornyn.

    ReplyReply
  64. 64
    Jay says:

    @rikyrah:

    Goodish news.

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
    laura says:

    @rikyrah: those who would prosecute a good samaritan would line up and pay to nail Jesus to the cross.

    ReplyReply
  66. 66
    tokyokie says:

    @–bd:

    No mercy. With only 3 round robin games in the group, you need to grab those goals where you can find them since goal differential is usually the first tie breaker. With two of the four advancing, if a couple of teams go 1-1-1 in the group, the goal differential is the difference between 2nd place in the group and advancing compared to 3rd place and going home.

    Case in point, the 1974 World Cup. Brazil, Yugoslavia, Scotland, and Zaire made up one of the groups. Brazil, Yugoslavia, and Scotland all tied when they play one another, and all three shut out Zaire. However, the Scots had the misfortune of playing Zaire first, and were satisfied with a 2-0 victory. But by the time Yugoslavia played Zaire, they’d already tied Brazil and knew that Brazil and Scotland had tied, so they laid a 9-0 thrashing on Zaire. Brazil played Zaire in the last match of group play and knew they merely needed to best Scotland’s goal total to advance, and accordingly, beat Zaire, 3-0. Scotland thus became the only undefeated side in the tournament but failed to advance.

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  67. 67
    Cacti says:

    @Martin:

    I think we should make Julian Castro the Secretary of Defense, because he has nice hands.

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  68. 68
    Jay says:

    @GideonAB:

    Unless the Democratic Party takes the Senate, which is a long shot, there is not much a Democratic Party President and House can do.

    Painting the ReThugs in Congress as “The Loyal Opposition” doesn’t do much to get voters to change out the Senate.

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  69. 69
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    Also (and acknowledge I may be reading too much into it), smacks of a “They wouldn’t dare do with me in office what they did with Obama. I’m white.” mindset.

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  70. 70
    kindness says:

    @GideonAB: If Biden ran as a smooshy middle moderate and then is shocked (shocked I tell you !) that Republicans only try to monkeywrentch him & the Democrats, that leaves Biden in a terrible position of trying to claw back what he said in order to actually lead.

    The MSM will demand it’s meme be honored, even though Republicans never would honor such a thing.

    It’s an unforced error on Biden’s part. Another one.

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  71. 71
    Cacti says:

    @kindness:

    If only his 3 decades in the Senate and two terms as Vice President of the United States had given him the political savvy of every anonymous internet rando. Amiright?

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  72. 72
    MCA1 says:

    Forget the goal differential stuff – you can’t have a mercy rule in the World Cup, period. It’s the highest level of competition in the game. If there aren’t enough teams that can legitimately compete to hold a 24 team tournament without mockeries of the sport like a 13-0 finish (or 10-0 and 10-1 in the last WWC), that’s on FIFA. Don’t expand to 24 teams until there are.

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  73. 73
    MJS says:

    @kindness: Joe is the patron saint of unforced errors. If he has any more in him, I hope he gets them out of the way during the primaries.

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  74. 74
    NotMax says:

    Is it possible Biden has lived so long and never once seen a Lucy and the football Peanuts sequence?

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  75. 75
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Martin: That horse may have sailed from the station now that MJ Hegar is in the race. I mean, O’Rourke could drop out of the presidential primary and declare for the senate race now, but it would seem dickish to Hegar supporters and would be endless fodder for Cornyn.

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  76. 76
    Cacti says:

    @MJS:

    Another new person thinks Joe Biden is the worstest?

    This is my shocked face.

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  77. 77
    MJS says:

    @Cacti: Or we can look to his stellar previous runs for president. That might also be indicative of how well he’ll do long term. Also, he won’t be debating Paul Ryan.

    ReplyReply
  78. 78
    Cacti says:

    @MJS:

    Bernfeeler or St. Petesburg farm troll?

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  79. 79
    Kent says:

    @–bd: They don’t need a mercy rule. This isn’t football where weaker teams can actually get injured. The problem is that Thailand simply doesn’t have a world cup caliber team but due to the way FIFA advances teams from each region of the world regardless of merit they got in. There are a LOT of European teams not at the world cup who are a LOT better than Thailand but there just weren’t enough European group spots. #17 Denmark, #18 Switzerland, #20 Belgium #22 Iceland, #23 Austria, #24 Ukraine, #25 Russia, and #26 Mexico all missed the world cup and could have aquitted themselves much better than Thailand.

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  80. 80
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    To a large extent, those of us who are “crawl over broken glass” voters have made ourselves irrelevant for the primary. If a candidate can see a path to the nomination that doesn’t cater to us, the candidate can take that path safely. We’ll show up for the general. This is not necessarily true of others in the broad centrist to liberal coalition that is the Democratic Party.

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  81. 81
    MJS says:

    @Cacti: Except I don’t, at all. I was thrilled when he was picked as Obama’s VP. I just don’t think he’s the best we can run in 2020.

    ReplyReply
  82. 82
    trnc says:

    Repubs literally made up a senate rule and slapped Biden’s name on it to thwart the duly elected president from seating his supreme court nominee. Why doesnt he just wear a big Kick Me sign during his rare campaign appearance?

    ReplyReply
  83. 83
    Cacti says:

    @trnc:

    Da comrade, why indeed?

    ReplyReply
  84. 84
    NotMax says:

    @Kent

    Andorra? San Marino?

    :)

    ReplyReply
  85. 85
    MJS says:

    @Cacti: Sooo tired. How about you respond to the point of the comment – the last couple of times Biden tried to run for president, the results were absolutely atrocious. If he makes his way through the primary, then talks about someone being “clean and articulate” or is credibly accused of plagiarism, we’ll be scratching our heads as to why we thought someone with his track record was the ideal candidate.

    ReplyReply
  86. 86
    Cacti says:

    @MJS:

    Have you even mentioned who you support comrade noob?

    ReplyReply
  87. 87
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @JPL: In my dreams, I want a Biden/Harris ticket. After they win easily, and after the inauguration I want Biden to resign for health reasons and Harris to select Buttigieg as her VP. Why not dream big.

    You know, that kinda works for me. I don’t think Biden is stupid, but he is kind of arrogant, he’s always had too much faith in his friendships, and he seems a bit messianic about his own family (“my word as a Biden”) and sees himself as having to fill his son’s shoes. Seems to me it’s good politics to go after Mitch McConnell at least as much as trump (a message I would also send to O’Rourke, Bullock and Hickenlooper). All the rhetoric is pretty well meaningless is McConnell is still majority leader in January ’21. Go campaign in Maine and hang a turtle around Susan Collins neck, regretfully, you’re so sad to see your old friend betray her legendary and oh-so-admirable independence. Etc.

    @NotMax: I wouldn’t go that far, I take his stated admiration for Obama at face value. But I do think he has the Beltway “I’ve known [X] for over twenty-five years….” disease.

    ReplyReply
  88. 88
    JPL says:

    @eclare: fyi fast forward through the introductions .. Pete is only on about half of that.

    ReplyReply
  89. 89
    patrick II says:

    he eventual nominee needs to level with voters about the problem, which is that the Republican Party is radicalized and corrupt.

    And do that in the context of asking voters to vote for Democrats for Senate. “If you intend to vote for me, also vote for a Democrat for Senate. I cannot be a dictator, and if you like the sound of my policies, then vote to make them possible”.
    I never hear presidential nominees in the general say something like that, and there may be some sophisticated reason for not doing so since no one does, but I don’t know what it is.

    ReplyReply
  90. 90
    Mart says:

    @MCA1: In 2015 they expanded WWC from 16 teams to 24. Really should go back to 16, but $$$.

    ReplyReply
  91. 91
    Splitting Image says:

    @Cacti:

    Another new person thinks Joe Biden is the worstest?

    This is my shocked face.

    Thinking that Joe Biden won’t win the primary because people are parking their votes with him until they learn more about the other candidates isn’t the same as saying he’s the worstest. Tulsi Gabbard has that locked up, and if it comes down to Biden and her, Biden is the obvious choice.

    It’s not going to come down to a choice between Biden and Gabbard, though. It’s probably going to come down to him and either Warren or Harris. In either of those situations, I think Biden loses.

    ReplyReply
  92. 92
    GideonAB says:

    @Jay
    Is there an image he should paint them, in order
    to win in PA? It is not like there is an established
    playbook here. Clinton went all in, calling
    Trump supporters deplorable. It was not enough

    ReplyReply
  93. 93
    chopper says:

    @laura:

    those who would prosecute a good samaritan would line up and pay to nail Jesus to the cross.

    QFT.

    ReplyReply
  94. 94
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @NotMax: Maybe Lucy will let Charlie Brown kick the football tomorrow.

    ReplyReply
  95. 95
    debbie says:

    So far, at least, Joe Biden is more interested in attracting Republican voters than Democratic voters. He’s living in a daydream of winning Republican legislators over. That he doesn’t seem aware of how he’s alienating the Democratic base and especially that he couldn’t even bother to send a video message to the Democrats’ recent meetings (which, by the way, his boss did when he couldn’t attend) says everything I need to know about Joe Biden.

    If I have to vote for Biden in the general election, I will be very unhappy. I will not be enthused.

    ReplyReply
  96. 96
    Another Scott says:

    I’m of about 15 different minds on this:

    1) It’s something to talk about besides Donnie. So Yay! ;-)

    2) How else would Biden run? He was the loyal soldier for Obama, didn’t make too many waves, wasn’t out there as the attack dog going after McConnell when he said he wanted Obama to be a one term President. If he ran now as a guy with a flamethrower ready to burn the GOP down, it would look fake.

    3) It’s still 15 days before the first debate. Something will happen that will up-end Biden’s (and everyone else’s) plans.

    4) I’m all for comity and getting along and arguing over ideas and respecting the voters choices and trying to work together in Congress and between the Branches. Yes! More please! But I’m much more for running up the score and making our majorities as large as possible so that we can get good things done (and fix bad things). The case can be made that riling up our supporters and doing everything we can works better than appealing for Mythical Moderates to join us. And the case can be made for the opposite. At present, we don’t really know what will work in November 2020, (but I’d wager more on the former than the latter).

    5) Biden has hardly done anything thus far except hold fundraisers. He’s not been tested. He will screw up, but will he be able to recover? How much of a weathervane will he be? Who will call him out on it when he is shown to be so (as he was about the Hyde Amendment)?

    Etc.

    I agree with Baud that the rhetoric that Joe is using now won’t matter on January 20, 2021. But what will matter is finding the language and inspiring people to turn out and vote. “Vote for me because everyone on the other side likes me” doesn’t sound like an inspiring message to me, but I thought Hillary was going to win by a surprisingly large margin so what do I know…

    tl;dr – it’s still early. Just about every pundit will be wrong.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  97. 97
    Cacti says:

    @GideonAB:

    Actually, she hedged on the deplorable thing. She really shouldn’t have.

    ReplyReply
  98. 98
    MJS says:

    @Cacti: “Noob” apparently means, “has commented off and on for the past 3 years or so, but not nearly frequently enough for Cacti’s taste.” Whatever. Here’s who I would prefer – Harris, then Warren. Or vice versa. Biden I would put third, but a distant 3rd, because I do not believe he will get through a general election without giving the media fodder for “look what Joe did today” stories.

    ReplyReply
  99. 99
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Cacti:
    Wow, what a content free comment

    ReplyReply
  100. 100
    debbie says:

    @rikyrah:

    Despicable creatures.

    ReplyReply
  101. 101
    Cacti says:

    @debbie:

    Cool story. Is that why he’s polling double digits ahead of Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts?

    ReplyReply
  102. 102
    chopper says:

    @Cacti:

    noob

    according to the google, the commenter has been posting off and on at least two years.

    ReplyReply
  103. 103
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Jay:
    Who are these “conservative” Democratic leaders?

    ReplyReply
  104. 104
    Mandalay says:

    @Mike in NC:

    In 2024 the Republicans will nominate some loon like Gohmert or Steve King.

    Liquidate all your assets and use the cash to bet on Liz Cheney.

    She hates gays and brown people, and would happily bomb any other country including Canada. Plus she’s a mom.

    The perfect candidate.

    ReplyReply
  105. 105
    Cacti says:

    @chopper:

    My groupie has shown up to blow me some kisses. How sweet.

    ReplyReply
  106. 106
    chopper says:

    @Mandalay:

    which is interesting, cause without her dad there telling her what to say and do, she has the political instincts of a potato.

    ReplyReply
  107. 107
    Jay says:

    This is amazing: Forbes, The Hill, the Daily Caller and The Federalist all published articles by an Iranian opposition activist who does not exist and is actually just a fake Twitter account run by a bunch of dudes in Albania https://t.co/UTlfwtssXB— Tom Gara (@tomgara) June 9, 2019

    ReplyReply
  108. 108
    trnc says:

    @Cacti: Seriously? Everyone less than enamored with Biden is a russian troll?

    You’re kinda weird.

    ReplyReply
  109. 109
    geg6 says:

    @tokyokie:

    I like him a lot and have sent him $$. But I think it’s not happening for him.

    ReplyReply
  110. 110
    debbie says:

    @Martin:

    NPR just ran this feature. It includes audiotape of their “sparring” over the bankruptcy bill. Warren comes off far better of the two and god help me for typing this out loud, but Biden was borderline Trumpian in his comebacks.

    ReplyReply
  111. 111
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Cacti:
    Dude cut that shit out! You’re far from the only one who has done that in the past (I know I have), but MJS isn’t saying anything unreasonable

    ReplyReply
  112. 112
    debbie says:

    @Cacti:

    Yeah, bet the bots are loving him.

    ReplyReply
  113. 113
    Mart says:

    The Problem with Biden’s 2019 General Election Campaign – Is He Will be 78 Nov. 2020.

    Of course I would vote for him, but the Trump will be puking up old slow Joe punches non-stop. Think it makes him vulnerable in the general giving the in depth thinking of typical voters. Hehe, you hear what Trump called Biden? So awesome.

    ReplyReply
  114. 114
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mandalay: Maybe, but my money is on Tom Cotton as the demagogue in waiting.

    ReplyReply
  115. 115
    debbie says:

    @Splitting Image:

    It’s probably going to come down to him and either Warren or Harris. In either of those situations, I think Biden loses.

    And one reason for that outcome will be his cold-shouldering of the base, especially younger voters.

    ReplyReply
  116. 116
    Cacti says:

    @trnc:

    You see comrade, when a bunch of new or rarely seen people all start showing up at the same time to tell us how terrible and awful ___________ is, who just happens to be polling the best against the R incumbent at present, it sets off my bullshit detector.

    We had a similar experience with “Sanders supporters” who showed up in 2016 and disappeared shortly thereafter.

    ReplyReply
  117. 117
    Cacti says:

    @debbie:

    Yep. It must be a conspiracy.

    Or maybe it’s Warren’s lack of name recognition in her own state. ;-)

    ReplyReply
  118. 118
    StringOnAStick says:

    A tiny part of me thinks Biden is only in the race now to draw fire from Mango Moron and the R’s so the rest of the field can get sorted out. That’s a wish though, it’s probably fully attributable to the usual titanic ego needed to be a politician. Biden is the guy people are familiar with so that explains a big chunk of his polling numbers I suspect. Once he has to debate and has a few more encounters that make it clear to both him and the public that it isn’t 1984 anymore and all sweet collegiality, I think his numbers will drop from him looking out of touch with the current moment. Who knows though? We’re an echo chamber here of people who care enough about politics to discuss this stuff, and those magical “undecided” (yeah, right) voters are the ones who tip it either to the D or the R so it matters more how the message is massaged into their general direction. Which completely and utterly sucks.

    ReplyReply
  119. 119
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Cotton scares the shit out of me the most. His eyes are dead and he’s a nutjob

    ReplyReply
  120. 120
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cacti: The big problem with what you are saying is that a lot of the people you are accusing have been commenting here for quite a while.

    ReplyReply
  121. 121
    GideonAB says:

    @Cacti
    What makes you think that Clinton
    should have been even more extreme in her deplorable
    comments and that that would have worked?
    I remember a big fuss over her emails.
    If that is the level of things that influence the
    low-information voter, then it is hard to see what
    tactics we can be sure will work.

    ReplyReply
  122. 122
    Mart says:

    I fear this woman has a real shot at the Democratic nomination. She does not seem too bad on policy but… “Meet Marianne Williamson, spiritual guru, friend of Oprah Winfrey and 2020 presidential candidate” what could go wrong?

    ReplyReply
  123. 123
    Cacti says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Define “quite a while” counselor.

    ReplyReply
  124. 124
    rikyrah says:

    @JPL:
    I don’t remotely believe that 😠

    ReplyReply
  125. 125
    rikyrah says:

    Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) Tweeted:
    Here’s a key finding from the new Quinnipiac poll:

    70% of voters rate economy positively — but only 41% give Trump credit.

    Among college whites, 80% rate economy positively — but only 44% give Trump credit.

    This big disconnect is a thing.

    New piece:

    https://t.co/z4tdO29q3m https://twitter.com/ThePlumLineGS/status/1138552829252112392?s=17

    ReplyReply
  126. 126
    Cacti says:

    @GideonAB:

    In that case, it just played into the R caricature of her that she was someone who will say anything to get elected, depending on the audience.

    Or as is more commonly said in politics: “If you’re explaining, you’re losing.”

    ReplyReply
  127. 127
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cacti: Long enough that I recognize the ‘nym.

    ReplyReply
  128. 128
    Jay says:

    @GideonAB:

    Use their own legislative votes against them,

    List them by name, name the bill, briefly describe the good it would do for America, ( pick the most eggregous examples)

    Do a call back, “don’t you think this would be good for America”,

    note “they” voted against it. Do it a couple of times in a row, ( reinforcement),

    Explain briefly that good policies for America need support in the Senate

    Move on with the speech.

    Every cantidate should do this State by State.

    ReplyReply
  129. 129
    MJS says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Let him have his delusions. Another one he has is that polling 17 months from the election means something. Remember the Clinton vs. Giuliani election of 2008? No? Probably because it didn’t happen, even though both were leading in the polls by substantial margins at the same point in that election cycle.

    ReplyReply
  130. 130
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @MJS:
    Or Fred Thompson. Wasn’t he polling big back in 2008?

    ReplyReply
  131. 131
    debbie says:

    @rikyrah:

    And it’s killing Trump! He’s even taken to calling in to CNBC to whine. I wonder if Fox is getting jealous?

    ReplyReply
  132. 132
    Mike in DC says:

    My issues with Biden:
    1. His last two presidential campaigns were terrible.
    2. His actual politics are to the right of the center of the party right now.
    3. His attitude re bipartisanship nostalgia is way out of step with reality.
    4. He seems to be coasting on Obama nostalgia.
    5. He’s really old. Two old white dudes fighting for control of the country is not the contrast I’d like to see in 2020.

    ReplyReply
  133. 133
  134. 134
    chopper says:

    @Mike in DC:

    watch it, comrade.

    ReplyReply
  135. 135
    MCA1 says:

    Back to the point of the thread.

    (1) I think Biden is currently coasting on name recognition and lack of engagement from anyone who doesn’t hang on political blogs at this point. The moment people dial in and the debates winnow this down to the top 5 or so frontrunners he’ll start falling back to the pack.

    And (2) I could understand using the “he’s an aberration who conned everybody” gambit if the goal is simply to give GOP voters the license they need to admit to themselves they f’ed up and turn on Dotard as a general election strategy, and hope that’s enough to get you the coattails necessary in a pendulum swing election to flip a couple Senate seats. But I agree with Betty that, in addition to whatever electoral risks it might have as a strategy, it doesn’t address the reality of shameless bad faith and nihilism on the part of every other elected Republican. The only thing that will fix that is a Democratic Party that talks constantly about the spineless complicity and corruption throughout the entire GOP until the message sinks in. A fever is the wrong medical analogy – it’ll never break on its own. There’s an infection that needs to be expelled by the body politic, but the central nervous system has been so damaged by Both Sides that it doesn’t even recognize it. The problem with “Trump’s a one-time exception” is you can’t accept that as true while having the other conversation. So the only way Biden’s “those are good folks, they just need to come back to us” schtick works is if a President Joe abandons it the minute McConnell predictably acts like a dickface, and gives 15 press conferences where he does nothing but righteous indignation about how he tried to give them the benefit of the doubt and look at those degenerates betraying all Americans who wanted to move forward to a more congenial place after the dark years of Trump. That’s rhetorically hard to pull off (and I have only moderate faith that Joe could do so), carries multiple different political risks, and because it relies on a capacity for shame that by all accounts has been eliminated from much of American society, might not do anything, anyway. Especially if you just spent a year and a half convincing people that the depravity was confined to Trump and their atonement consisted of nothing more than not voting for him again.

    ReplyReply
  136. 136
    Jay says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    Biden, Manchin, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Dog_Coalition

    Anybody who’s passing out the koolaide that ReThugs can be worked with and that the US just needs to return to the past.

    https://www.balloon-juice.com/2019/06/10/the-only-way-out-is-through-there-can-never-be-a-return-to-what-was-normal/

    Between the damage done, the challanges ahead, and the ticking clock,………

    ReplyReply
  137. 137
    Jay says:

    @trnc:

    Cacti is a troll.

    ReplyReply
  138. 138
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @MJS:
    Thought so.

    ReplyReply
  139. 139
    JPL says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Yup.. He withheld the nomination Cassandra Butts because Obama really liked her. He’s the face of evil.

    ReplyReply
  140. 140
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Betty Cracker: @Mandalay: Maybe, but my money is on Tom Cotton as the demagogue in waiting.

    I am always out of step with the broad electorate, never mind the GOP, but I think Cotton’s that-boy-ain’t-right vibe is too strong, without the visceral appeal to the non-fundie parts of the base that trump has (edited). He’d be strong in the primary, but I don’t think Wall St would want him as the nominee. Nikki Haley and Chris Christie are both trying to be a little bit pregnant with trumpism, no official role, no direct criticism, criticisms aimed at his staff and underlings. I think that’s their 2024 strategy, and they’re both more appealing, I suspect, to the big donors

    ReplyReply
  141. 141
    JPL says:

    @rikyrah: The anchor Alisyn Camerota this morning questioned the poll also.

    ReplyReply
  142. 142
    Keith P. says:

    @MCA1: I think he’s just trying to stand out from the very large crowd by ignoring his primary opponents and going after Trump. And does seem to work – we all clutched our pearls and pulled our hair over Biden “vanishing” (no more than Beto IMO), but all he had to do was email CNN a speech going after Trump, and he’s the focus of the day’s news – goes after Trump, Trump goes after him, polls show Biden in double digit leads in a shit-ton of states plus a lead in *Texas*. Seems like a good day for the Biden campaign

    ReplyReply
  143. 143
    Another Scott says:

    In other news… GovExec:

    With the White House now negotiating fiscal 2020 spending levels with Republican senators, the House Budget Committee chairman on Tuesday said he’d been told that acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney wants to delay a deal until “as close to Sept. 30 as possible” to maximize leverage.

    Speaking at the annual Fiscal Summit on government debt, sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation [ the home of The Deficit Will Kill Us All in Our Beds So We Have To Eliminate Every Social Program folks ], John Yarmouth, D-Ky., said Mulvaney “has his own attitude” with his goal of keeping defense spending high while slashing nondefense spending. But in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, D-Ky., who is up for reelection, is less interested in drama over a shutdown or the requirement that Congress raise the debt ceiling.

    President Trump, Yarmouth added, “has his own ideas” as the “unpredictable” third element in budget talks, he said.

    Democrats, he explained to an audience at the Newseum, favor maintaining “parity” between defense and non-defense spending and want to avoid a threatened $125 billion cut to both under the 2011 Budget Control Act. “The nondefense side covers a lot of national security spending,” he said, citing funds for the Homeland Security Department, the FBI, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Food and Drug Administration.

    […]

    Mulvaney, who spoke hours later to the gathering for which numerous experts of differing ideologies offered proposals for controlling government debt, didn’t address Yarmouth’s charge concerning brinksmanship that risks a shutdown. But he cited progress in talks between Republican senators and Vice President Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and acting Budget Director Russell Vought after initial meetings.

    “I talked to McConnell today, and there’s lots of time left,” he said. “We know how to get it done—it all comes down to what will be the spending level, flat or last year’s plus, he said. But he acknowledged that Republicans and Democrats do not have a plan for getting together to raise the debt ceiling. And in the talks, “There’s always that sinking feeling you get when someone gets a phone call—and it happens with both parties—and suddenly we’re three steps back.”

    […]

    The last shut down worked out so well, Donnie wants to try it again. The GOP normally doesn’t do shut-downs in election years, so don’t put it past them… Grr….

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  144. 144
    GideonAB says:

    @Jay
    (replying to 128)
    It is an interesting idea.
    Trump won in 2016 by large margins among those
    who thought terrorism and immigration were the
    most important issues.
    So, that is the reason I wonder how effective it will be.

    ReplyReply
  145. 145
    Jay says:

    @GideonAB:

    “The late, great, American middle class is broke. “America is the world’s poor rich country,” writes Umair Haque at Medium. “Not a poor country like poor countries, but a poor country of its own kind.”

    A study released in May by United Way’s ALICE Project reports 51 million American households are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. The figure includes 16.1 households officially poor plus another 34.7 million ALICE families. That is, while they may exist above the official poverty level, managing to pay for housing, food, transportation, child care, health care, and essential technology remains a daily struggle. Every month they face trade-offs. With no savings, they are one car repair or medical bill away from financial crisis. That’s 43 percent of American households.”

    https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2019/06/a-poor-country-of-its-own-kind-by.html?m=1

    “Almost half of Americans are working to support an economy that isn’t working to support them. They live and die in debt, Haque observes. They are effectively Neo-serfs:”

    It’s the economy,
    Medical debt,
    Usury credit,

    The list goes on and on.

    Warren ( I think) did a Townhall ( in Virginia I think) where she started out asking how many people in the audience lost someone to opiod addiction or knew someone struggling with opiod adriction.

    Over half the audience raised their hands.

    From there, she started outlining her plan to help.

    She should have “called out” the Republican Senators in the State for making the problem worse, ( guarenteed they did),

    Did the President needs a Senate that works for America spiel,

    Then outlined her plan going forward.

    ReplyReply
  146. 146
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @JPL:
    Nom for what?

    Edit: nevermind. She was nominated for deputy White House counsel

    ReplyReply
  147. 147
    laura says:

    @Mart: I wouldn’t mind living in the world she describes. But it is not the world we’re currently in. She’s a lovely person, but I do not see her as presidential – and we’ve got a wealth of qualified and capable women in the race.
    That she brings good things to the table that can be included in a platform, as with most of the candidates, is all to the good.

    ReplyReply
  148. 148
    ballinger says:

    @JPL: @zhena gogolia:

    Biden is too dumb and too old to merit any consideration for President or Vice President.

    Listening to him talk is cringeworthy, because I know he’ll say something stupid and then his staff will have to clean up the mess he made.

    Biden brings nothing to the table. He was wrong on the crime bill, wrong on the Iraq war, disrespectful to Anita Hill, and his political judgment sucks.

    ReplyReply
  149. 149
    Cacti says:

    @ballinger:

    It’s funny to see how wide a chasm exists between internet lefties and the actual party base re: Biden.

    ReplyReply
  150. 150
    Kirk Spencer says:

    @Cacti:

    The problem with Biden’s election campaign:
    Is that it has a large polling lead over most of the front pagers’ favorite candidates.

    Just for context (and why I give your point the weight I do) in June 2003 Lieberman had the same degree of lead over Kerry (and everyone else in the Democratic party) that Biden has today cite. And in June 2007, Clinton led Obama 33% to 21% cite 2. (source both is Gallup. Your poll of preference will vary some.)

    You can understand, then, why I’m not ready to quit supporting my preference.

    ReplyReply
  151. 151

    @ballinger: Try to keep in mind that the Crime Bill was supported by the CBC at the time.

    ReplyReply
  152. 152

    @Kirk Spencer: J

    ust for context (and why I give your point the weight I do) in June 2003 Lieberman had the same degree of lead over Kerry

    Joementum!

    ReplyReply
  153. 153
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: /whispers/ and Bernie Sanders

    ReplyReply
  154. 154
    Juju says:

    @zhena gogolia: That’s a pretty low bar. My dog is Einstein and Jesus rolled into one, compared to Trump.

    ReplyReply
  155. 155
    Jay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    If you watch Cacti’s MO in Cantidate Comments, his focus is short comments shitstirring other commentators. Sometimes it’s for, sometimes against, sometimes injecting someone else or some long past or MSM smear. Never longer than a twitter comment or short thread. Almost like he’s trying out his material here before he takes it to the main stage on Twitter during the primaries and the election.

    ReplyReply
  156. 156
    japa21 says:

    @ballinger: In other words, he’s a lot like Bernie. Basically useless.

    ReplyReply
  157. 157
    J R in WV says:

    @eclare:

    Wondered what the hell you were talking about.

    WWC history.

    Most goals in White Working Class history???? Whut?

    ReplyReply
  158. 158
    Anonymous says:

    @Jay:

    Conservative Democratic Party leaders and voters sometimes see The Insane Clown POSus as disease. Some, don’t see him as a problem at all,

    Manchin, cough, cough,……

    Joe Manchin is a mobbed up greedy crook. His membership in a party is only determined by how much money that party enables him to steal.

    ReplyReply
  159. 159
    Procopius says:

    … run to the left during the primary and sprint to the center right during the general.

    Fixed it for ya.

    ReplyReply
  160. 160
    Cacti says:

    @Jay:

    It’s cute that you think you know anything about me.

    ReplyReply
  161. 161
    Jay says:

    @J R in WV:

    FIFA WWC ( Womens World Cup), football.

    ReplyReply
  162. 162
    Jinchi says:

    @Kirk Spencer: Also, Rudy Giuliani was dominating the Republican field, polling near 40%, until early December 2007. After which his support cratered.

    Anyone who thinks Trump is an aberration needs to reconcile that Trump’s lunatic lawyer was almost president, himself.

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  163. 163
    Vhh says:

    @eclare: Mayor Pete definitely an interesting guy, but don’t be so impressed by superficial language skills. His French could be OK, but the rest is likrly skin deep

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  164. 164
    Jinchi says:

    @Keith P.: The problem with Biden’s strategy is that his mandate would be completely fulfilled the day after Trump leaves office. And then what?

    This is bound to come back and bite him during the debates when he has to start answering questions about the issues. I don’t think his strategy is going to cut it as long as there are candidates like Warren and Harris and even Buttigieg on the stage with him.

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  165. 165
    ballinger says:

    @japa21: @Cacti: @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    This is going to be the dirtiest and ugliest presidential campaign because Trump is a creature of the gutter. It’s imperative that the Democratic candidate be someone who’s nimble and quick on his or her feet to deal with the toxic sludge that Trump and his surrogates will unleash. Biden is neither nimble nor quick on his feet. He’s a gaffe gushering buffoon which is why he’s keeping his public appearances so light. We have much better options than Biden such as Warren, Harris, Inslee, Klobuchar, or Gillibrand.

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  166. 166
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: His troops should have Niedermeyered his ass in Iraq.

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  167. 167
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay: He’s been a commenter here for years. Long before I ever noticed your ‘nym.

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  168. 168
    Brachiator says:

    Coming late to the thread. Damn. Lots of interesting comments. But this from the top stood out.

    Maybe what we’re seeing is Biden defying conventional wisdom, which is that candidates should run to the left during the primary and sprint to the center during the general.

    The conventional wisdom is just dumb. Hell, there are pundits still looking to see if Trump is going to pivot to the center.

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  169. 169
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Brachiator: You’ll sooner get a room full of monkeys attempting to replicate A Tale of Two Cities to happen than Villager pundits being right about anything.

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  170. 170
    Vhh says:

    @eclare: Mayor Pete definitely an interesting guy, but don’t be so impressed by superficial language skills. His French could be OK, but the rest is like skin deep.

    ReplyReply
  171. 171
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of glurp.”

    ReplyReply

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