So now that Warren is out, I really do not envy those of you who have to make a choice in the next couple of weeks. Like, I really don’t. Now that Warren is out of the race and I really don’t have anyone I am willing to crawl over broken glass, I guess I am just going to sit back and do no damage to either candidate, since the whole thing will most likely be decided before I vote on 12 May. By then all the big states will have voted, and the nominee will be settled but for the Bernie folks screaming about super delegates if he is not winning.
Personally, for me, it’s a super tough choice between the two. First off, before I go into this, I am not going to put up with a bunch of shit about where I am on this. I’ll listen to persuasive arguments, but I am not going to put up with the kind of abusive crap that fans of a certain candidate like to dish out. Again, this is just my opinion.
1.) I think one of the things that every Presidential candidate should have is a reason for running. An aspirational message, a plan to change things for the better, etc. I think Bernie has that in spades. Our society is deeply broken and skewed way far to the right, with wealth and income inequality at all time highs and getting worse, housing is unaffordable, we’re in the midst of a climate crisis, and we have not even gone into healthcare. And on and on. There is no doubt in my mind that Bernie’s ideas, if implemented, on many of these issues would advance the ball on all of these issues in the correct direction and outright fix some of them.
2.) Authenticity and Consistency. He’s been saying the same fucking thing for the last 40 years. What more can I say.
3.) Inspires great loyalty among followers.
1.) Age and temperament: He’s old as dirt, just had a heart attack, refuses to be upfront about his health, and he ain’t getting any younger and being President is a young person’s job.
2.) The flip side of his authenticity and consistency is an ideological rigidity that is loathe to compromise. None of his plans are going to get through by force of sheer will. He will need to work well with others, and I have seen little to no evidence that he can or even wants to (and this is certainly the case with many of his most extreme followers). He also, like Trump, in some regards, seems to just swallow up every conspiracy thrown out there. Sometimes people just disagree with you, Bernie.
3.) Electability: I keep seeing people point to polling showing him beating Trump, and yes, I know I am just going from the gut here, but I simply do not buy it. I live in WV, and I watched Bernie ride a wave of Hillary hatred driven by four decades of Republican villification to win the primary there. This led to people claiming he would win in the general. This is nonsense. I fear the same all over every part of the country that is purple. I just do not see the evidence that he will win. I see the polling, but I do not believe it. I also fear what impact he will have on down ballot races. He’s always AWOL for people like Cisneros, who just lost a race to Cuellar. Add to that he has never really been tested on the national stage. The Republicans are going to throw everything at him and it is going to be ugly.
4.) Judgment: This is something he shares with Clinton- Sanders consistently surrounds himself with absolute garbage human beings. His campaign hires speak for themselves- you can go to twitter and experience them lying, distorting, and shitposting for yourselves.
1.) Known quantity: Safe. Will not rock the boat. Will bring a calming presence to the office and will oversee what I think is the #1 priority for any incoming Democrat: denazification of the entire federal government starting with Justice, State, the military, Homeland Security, down to even the fucking EPA and the CDC. Will be able to staff quickly with competent, established people.
2.) Coalition Builder: It’s foolish to assume the Republicans will work with anyone given the past 20 years of behavior, but if the Senate does flip, Biden will be far more likely to work with even moderates within the party than would Bernie.
3.) Popular with the base of the party. Will have Barack Obama on the trail with him.
4.) Doesn’t think incrementalism is a dirty word. I know it’s currently popular to think we can wave a wand and get shit done, but that is not how the country works. Currently everyone wants medicare for all. Why? Because the medicare that we started out with was not what we have now- it took six decades of adding to it and fighting for it to get it where it is now. That’s incrementalism and it fucking works.
1.) Age: Also old as dirt and showing his age. Currently being smeared as losing it because of his stutter, but is in reality showing his age more than he was in 2008 and 2012, which makes sense because he is twelve years older now.
2.) Long track record: And on a shit ton of it, it is bad. From the bankruptcy bill to subservience to credit card companies and finance to the Iraq War to always being willing to be the “serious guy” on the deficit and go after entitlements, there is a helluva lot of ugly in there.
3.) Reason for running: Where as Warren and Bernie and others had pages after pages of policy proposals, Joe Biden’s entire case for President is basically standing on the stage next to Trump, pointing at him, and saying “Really? You gonna choose this motherfucker again or Uncle Joe?”
This is a work in progress, but where I am now. I will edit and add to it over the next days and weeks.