I will vote for Bernie Sanders if he is the Democratic nominee for President. I will do this cheerfully, with a spring in my step and a song in my heart, and there is nothing on this planet or in the heavens that can prevent me from voting against the shitgibbon next November short of my own death.
I would prefer nearly every other serious Democratic candidate currently running to be the nominee. I might end up choosing Bernie over Biden at this point, honestly.
While I am not a fan of Sanders, I bear the man no actual ill will. I’m happy for him to remain in the Senate for as long as he’s able, and I’m grateful for his role in bringing the more leftward elements of the Democratic party more to the forefront.
I’m glad he’s recovering and out of the hospital.
He is 78 years old, will be 79 when inaugurated, just had a heart attack, had two stents put in, and his campaign lied about it for three days.
That is not as catastrophic of a medical disaster as it would have been even ten or fifteen years ago. My mother and my father-in-law both have stents in various parts of their bodies. It’s a fairly simple procedure, as these things go.
He needs to drop out anyway, and everyone who knows him and loves him needs to be telling him this until he listens.
I’m genuinely sorry to have to be saying this right now, despite the fact that I have gleefully called for Sanders to drop out of the Presidential race more than once in the past, and fully expected to be doing so several months into the future. But I was expecting for some votes to have been cast before we reached this point. I don’t like the idea that the guy needs to drop out so that the race doesn’t literally kill him. But this is it. It’s enough. He’d be the oldest President ever inaugurated, and it’s the toughest job on the damn planet, and a 78-year-old man who just had a heart attack and whose campaign’s first instinct was to hide from it is not up to the job. I am aware that one of my preferred candidates is 70, and believe me, I wish she were a decade or so younger. But this guy is five years older than the monster in the White House is now, and that guy’s visibly falling apart on a daily basis, and I’d expect Bernie to actually pay attention were he to become President.
It’s time for Bernie Sanders to withdraw gracefully from the race, before his body betrays him again and he has to do so under less voluntary circumstances.
4:08 PM: Anticipating a busy evening, I get this post set up in advance. Unlike last night, I know who nearly all of these people are, and also unlike last night, there are only about one and a half of them on stage who I am even slightly interested in seeing as President. Maybe two, if Buttigieg and Gillibrand count as half each. At least two of them, Williamson and Yang, don’t belong up there at all, and three are also-rans of the Delaney/Ryan type. I enjoyed last night’s debate; I do not expect to enjoy this one.
Talk amongst yourselves for the next few hours, if you like. I’ll be back.
5:58: So, thinking about this a bit more: prior to it actually happening, last night’s debate was kind of widely panned as the B team plus Warren, and it was really interesting to me how 1) Castro and Booker, certainly, and probably also Klobuchar showed themselves to be ready for prime time and 2) absolutely everyone on stage was noticeably deferring to Elizabeth Warren for the duration of the debate.
This debate is going to have a very different feel, I think; there is not anyone out there who is going to hold back in attacking Sanders and Biden if they get a chance, and of the four A-tier candidates (Sanders, Biden, Harris, and Buttigieg) three of them have either seen serious drops in their poll numbers or have taken a hell of a beating in the press lately or both. There’s blood in the water at this debate in a way there really wasn’t last night; it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.
For the record, I think Kamala should be able to mop the floor with most of these bozos. It’ll be interesting to see how Buttigieg does; I kind of feel like he’s the wild card tonight but he’s had a seriously rough couple of weeks and I won’t be surprised if he’s way off his game.
8:43: I put on my Jackass wristband.
8:44: In addition, I have an honest-to-God bottle of an alcoholic substance at hand, because I don’t think I can get through this without it. It will likely go unfinished, but still.
8:48: I find a selection of pictures to liven the post up with.
8:55: The debate has not started yet and somehow I am already aware that Andrew Yang decided this wasn’t worth putting on a fucking tie for.
8:57: The closed captions are on and I don’t know how to turn them off. They were not on last night and I haven’t changed anything.
9:00: I see that Jesus didn’t give Chuck Todd throat polyps overnight like I asked him to. That guy never does anything I want.
9:02: Mr. Orange Tie has made some bad decisions.
9:03: First question out of the box is to Bernie: “Will you raise taxes on the middle class?” C’mon, now. He’s not gonna answer that. They give him 10 seconds to try again and he actually says they’ll pay more tax but they’ll get better health care as a result.
9:04: One of the people who doesn’t belong up there tries to interrupt. Already? Sit down.
9:06: Biden gets asked about his “nothing will change” statement and makes no attempt at all to answer the question.
9:08: Kamala points out that no one ever asks Republicans how they’re gonna pay for stuff. Hickenlooper starts yapping about how we don’t want Republicans to call us socialists. They’re gonna do that anyway, no matter what we do.
9:09: Ah, so Hickenlooper is gonna be the Inslee tonight.
9:10: Bernie says the way to beat the shitgibbon is to “expose him for the fraud he is.” Good man.
9:11: Did Gillibrand actually get asked a question or was that an interrupt?
9:12: Why does Bennet get to talk before Buttigieg? And why isn’t he paying enough attention to know he’s being talked to? He goes straight after Sanders– like I said, tonight’s gonna be more combative.
9:13: OF COURSE BUTTIGIEG IS THE FIRST TO SPEAK SPANISH.
9:14: Swalwell jumps in to point out that he is also young. Andrew Yang looks weirdly pissy. He gets asked about his UBI proposal and literally acts like he didn’t hear the question at all. He’s talking way too fast and I’m pretty sure a lot of his numbers are voodoo.
9:16: Somebody online already pointed out that Swalwell looks like a televangelist and they are absolutely right. He uses Biden’s words from thirty years ago against him and starts repeating “pass the torch” over and over again. Biden gets a rebuttal and literally says he’s keeping the torch.
9:18: Oh Bernie I dare you to wag a finger in Kamala and Kirsten’s direction. You’re not getting that finger back. And bam, Kamala’s the adult and shuts the whole goddamn stage down.
9:20: “No American should have to have more than one job to put a roof over their head and food on the table.” Harris won the last 30 seconds.
9:21: You can tell Gillibrand’s a New Yorker. She takes no shit from anybody and shuts down Hickenlooper when he tries to talk over her.
9:22: Has Marianne Williamson said a single word? I mean, I don’t mind, but still. Also, his name is booty-judge, not buddha-jitch.
9:23: As someone who has been going through some similar calculus regarding his parents’ health recently, I am also extraordinarily grateful to Medicare for making sure I didn’t have to worry about bankruptcy on top of everything else. Good answer, Pete.
9:26: I’m actually genuinely surprised that Williamson hasn’t horned into a question yet. I wouldn’t even blame her.
9:27: yooman! yuge!
9:28: Williamson gets a question finally. She chides everyone for being superficial and then says that the person in the White House won by saying “Make America Great Again,” which is … literally a four-word superficial slogan.
9:30: Some nerd goes after Sanders again and I’m tired. Harris jumps in and just talks until he shuts up. Swalwell was absolutely taking notes from de Blasio last night.
9:32: The answer to “why would your government health care program cover undocumented immigrants” is “Because they’re people.” Biden took WAY too long to put his hand up.
9:34: …and then he immediately gets called out on it by the moderator. He points out that undocumented immigrants pay into Social Security but gain no benefits from it. And then, okay, I was typing, but it seems like he just … stops? Mid-sentence?
9:38: And now let’s move into the immigration debate. Harris gets first shot at it. She takes a minute but gets around to “what will you do about asylum seekers” eventually. And then knocks it the fuck out of the park. I love this lady.
9:40: Hickenlooper gets a question and Williamson starts to answer it. I think she genuinely thought it was for her. Is there something going on with the mics again? This isn’t the first time it’s happened.
9:41: Williamson has this energy going where if I’m just listening to her I like what she’s saying, mostly– and I’m halfway through typing that sentence and she goes off on a crazy-lady tangent about how no one is talking about Latin American foreign policy when the immigration section of the debate just started like 30 seconds ago. Anyway, the point was she probably comes off better in print?
9:43: We need to abolish for-profit prisons, period. End of conversation.
9:44: Buttigieg smoothly takes over the stage after another hand-raise question and nobody tries to talk over him. He goes straight to his liberal Christianity and sticks a shiv in the religious right. He’s the first candidate to mention God on stage, and I think that includes last night.
9:46: Did the Obama/Biden administration deport three million Americans?
9:47: I am halfway through my hard lemonade.
9:48: I note that they are talking about Central American foreign policy, but Sanders gives credit to Biden for it. Hmmm. I note that I can’t figure out who at least one of the white guys on stage is. The guy standing next to Swal … well? Is that his name? Does the guy who looks like a preacher have a name that sounds like Falwell? Goddammit get these folks off the stage.
9:49: Harris stumbles a bit with the beginning of this answer. By the end she warms up and gets back on stride.
9:50: Can we not do the one-word answer thing again? Oh, that guy’s name is Bennet.
9:52: He did a lot of yelling while I was looking for that picture and I didn’t hear most of it but I suspect I’d have thought it was crazy talk if I did.
9:54: Buttigieg is doing a good job. He’s staying out of the scrum for the most part and being his typical self when he gets to talk.
9:57: Second commercial break. They’re gonna bring that nitwit on now. One thing about tonight so far: no one is impressing me who I didn’t expect to impress me.
9:59: It would be cool if Chuck Todd’s mic stopped working but not anyone else’s.
10:00: Ooooh shit, Rachel Maddow goes straight at Buttigieg about Eric Logan. I was wondering if this would happen. She asks how the police force is still only 6% black and he answers, simply, “I didn’t get it done.”
10:02: We know the answer to that, Mr. Hickenlooper. It’s racism. Swalwell hollers at him about firing the police chief– the current one! — and holy shit the daggers in Buttigieg’s look back at him.
10:05: Harris demands to get to talk about race as the only black person on stage and goes directly at Biden about his comments about palling up with segregationists. Harris gets one of the biggest rounds of applause of the night.
10:06: Biden basically says he’s okay on race because he had a black boss.
10:06: I really think Swalwell needs to watch his back on the way home tonight. Pete’s gonna cut him.
10:07: Kamala’s basically bathing in Biden’s blood right now.
10:08: Wait, are we asking the guy from Vermont about diversity?
10:09: Oh, hi, Kirsten! Still up there, huh?
10:11: Wait, I think Chuck Todd just asked a good question. Unfortunately Bennet is answering it.
10:12: Biden is shook, y’all. He’s bragging about raising taxes. (Also, I don’t understand why we talk about “permanent” tax cuts or increases. We have the word “indefinite’ for a reason!)
10:16: Took me a minute to find this. Kamala Harris:
10:17: Okay I’m paying attention again.
10:19: Kamala Harris comes from the Hillary Clinton school of An Anecdote for Every Question.
10:20: I am not sure that the question Todd just asked Buttigieg is completely coherent but at this point he ought to be able to answer a climate change question half-asleep. He uses the 1000-year and 500-year flood story again. Bernie is waving his Taunting Finger around but Maddow calls on Hickenlooper instead.
10:22: How, exactly, is Hickenlooper a scientist?
10:23: I hadn’t noticed it until now, and I’m not sure if it’s been ongoing, but Biden is really slurring his words a lot. Is that just how he talks or has something changed in the last twenty minutes or so?
10:25: Williamson and Swalwell sniping at each other is something I can get behind. She says “included” really weirdly.
10:27: Chuck really thought he was gonna get two-word answers from these folks?
10:28: Audible laughter in the audience when Yang talks about his UBI program again. Williamson doesn’t even try to answer the question.
10:31: Commercial. It’s muggy in here. Or maybe it’s the alcomohol. I don’t drink, like, ever, so one bottle is actually gonna Do a Thing for me.
10:32: *checks thermostat* I think it’s me.
10:34: Maddow tries to go to somebody in the audience and it doesn’t and then has a serious womp-womp moment as she tries to joke about it. Nah, we were watching last night and you don’t get to joke about tech issues now.
10:35: Oh, wait, shit, that’s why Swalwell is wearing an orange tie and the orange ribbon: gun violence. I take back the tie criticism.
10:36: Sanders accuses Maddow of mischaracterizing his gun record and she immediately claps back that she’d just read a quote from him. Oops!
10:37: Swalwell goes after Sanders’ record on guns and comes off ahead for it. Good man.
10:38: “If more guns made us safer, we’d be the safest country on Earth.” YOU GO MAYOR PETE.
10:39: Biden claims to have banned “number of magazines sold.” He’s still kinda stammery. And now we’re to Lester in the audience again. The question is “How are you gonna fix the fact that the shitgibbon fucked everything up?”
10:41: NO MORE FUCKING DOWN-THE-LINES, CHUCK. GODDAMMIT.
10:43: The best answer is Buttigieg’s, who says that he can’t predict who he’d call first because we don’t know who the Current Occupant will have pissed off most recently. Williamson has already said that she’s calling New Zealand first earlier tonight (and out of nowhere, for no clear reason) but does not mention them when asked specifically who she’d call first.
10:49: I feel like I might like Eric Swalwell if he wasn’t Eric Swalwell. Unfortunately I think he’s probably pretty committed to being Eric Swalwell.
10:50: My feed goes nuts while Williamson is talking and I’m okay with that. She’s radiating homeless lady crazy energy right now in a major way.
10:51: Bennet has the ability to make simple things incoherent.
10:52: Hickenlooper is apparently also a small-business owner in addition to being a scientist. He abruptly ends his 45 seconds by warning everyone against the dangers of socialism. God, shut up.
10:53: Gillibrand made less of an impression on me than I was expecting her to. And I just finished my hard lemonade. Woo.
10:54: The rich tech businessman is not a good example that anyone can become President. Frankly, Buttigieg and Harris are both better exemplars of that.
10:55: Harris/Warren or Warren/Harris. I don’t even care which. I love her.
10:56: Buttigieg is about to mention the word “again,” watch. (EDIT: Wrong!)
10:57: Bernie, who has been in Congress forever and has no accomplishments whatsoever to his name, should not be giving the closing speech he is giving right now. You’ve had plenty of time to have guts, Bernie, and there’s no damn legislation with your name on it anywhere.
10:58: It is not true at all that the shitgibbon is the only white supremacist ever to occupy the White House, Mr. Biden. Not remotely close.
10:59: Whoooooa Biden has a hell of a bald spot going back there.
11:00: Well, I think Harris walked away with that, with Buttigieg close behind, which is pretty much exactly what I thought would happen. Biden got his ass slapped around hard, by multiple candidates; it’s too bad that it’s so early that it won’t make much difference.
11:01: I interrupt myself to point out that Biden is talking to the moderators while everyone else is in the crowd or still talking to each other.
11:02: Actually maybe I was done. Williamson, Swalwell, Bennet, Hickenlooper and Yang can all go away now. We’ll see how the rest of them sort themselves back out over the next couple of weeks.
11:05: Probably not a good sign for Gillibrand that she made so little impact on me that I forgot to include her on the list of folks who should head for the door. I was looking forward to hearing from her, too. Too bad.
8:55 PM: I put on my Jackass wristband. Livetweet won the poll from earlier; I’ll probably do both.
8:56 PM: I need you to understand that I pay close attention and I do not know who half of these people are just from their faces. I only care about the four on the outside. One of them might be Jay Inslee, I suppose, who is interesting but I don’t actually know which of the white guys he might be. There are too many white guys. The dude on the bottom row next to Castro looks like Jon Stewart in old man makeup.
8:59 PM: Man, Julián Castro is way shorter than I thought he was. I wonder if his people made a stink about podium heights.
9:01 PM: Oh, shit, I think Jon Stewart is Inslee.
9:02 PM: “We are not gonna be shy about making the candidates stick to time.” Sure, right.
9:03 PM: Was that the first use of the word “Latinx” in a debate? Nice opening statement, Sen. Warren.
9:04 PM: Sen. Klobuchar, would you like to attack Senator Warren’s ideas?
9:06 PM: “If billionaires can pay off their yachts, students should be able to pay off their loans.” It’ll be interesting to see how much the candidates actually go directly after each other. Beto is speaking Spanish. Slow Spanish. I don’t know if this is a good move or not. Interesting.
9:07 PM: Beto and Klobuchar have already stomped all over the time limits. I don’t know this lady’s name but she’s trying her damnedest to get people to go after Warren.
9:09 PM: Jesus, Cory, blink. I’m gonna stop putting PM on everything. It’s all PM.
9:10: Come see the violence inherent in the system!
9:12: Castro, who is actually Hispanic and not Irish like Beto, does not speak Spanish in his first answer. Gabbard gets a question and immediately mentions her military service which I’m not convinced has anything to do with the question.
9:13: Wait, is that Jon Stewart? Shit, are Bill de Blasio and Jay Inslee the same person?
9:14: “There’s plenty of money, it’s just in the hands of the wrong people” is a good line. I don’t know who is talking right now– he’s bald so he’ll never be President– but he was the first person to mention education.
9:16: Boy I had something really snarky to say about Jay Inslee just now and I’ve forgotten it already. This thing is moving fast. Nice green tie.
9:17: I don’t know who this guy is either but he’s terrified.
9:18: Warren gets another question. Klobuchar is literally waving her hands around trying to get noticed. My feed is starting to stutter a little bit. Drink every time Warren says “this is what I propose.”
9:21: Klobuchar is using her time effectively. It’ll be interesting to see who I like more at the end of this debate than I did at the beginning and right now she’s doing well.
9:23: We’ll see if Beto dodges this question in Spanish again. He gets extra points for me for bringing up mental health care. Good answer, Beto.
9:24: de Blasio takes control of the debate and all hell breaks loose. The hand-wavers are just jumping in now. Chaos! Worth pointing out: when they asked who supported moving directly to Medicare for All, Warren’s hand went up immediately and de Blasio distinctly looked around first before his did.
9:26: I’m behind now, but whoever it was that made the point that hospitals would close under Medicare rates: I don’t know that I actually believe that statistic, and would like to see how closely interrogated it’s been. I hate to keep harping on Booker’s appearance but he’s got a weird skin color thing happening around his eyes and I don’t know what’s going on with that.
9:28: And now Warren’s in charge. Good job enforcing those rules, guys.
9:29: Jay Inslee touts his bona fides in defending choice and reproductive health and Klobuchar slaps him down like he’s some sort of wild animal.
9:31: Julián Castro also winning the “Do I like you more now?” contest.
9:33: I think Cory Booker has a shank strapped to his leg. Beto’s talking about weed all the sudden and I think I blacked out and someone changed the subject. I like his tie too. Good ties all around, guys.
9:36: Who the hell is the preacher and how did he get on stage?
9:37: Julián is knocking the immigration question the fuck out of the park.
9:38: Wait, Booker speaks Spanish too? I feel like I’m kind of being unfair to him right now; if I don’t look at him while he’s talking I like him a lot more but he’s seriously creeping me out.
9:40: de Blasio has clearly decided that he’s not gonna get to talk if he doesn’t interrupt. He’s right, but he’s still kinda being a dick and the moderators are letting him get away with it. That said, I gotta admit I like what he’s saying.
9:42: Now the moderators are speaking Spanish. Castro is getting a splitscreen while Beto answers an immigration question and he doesn’t look like he’s having Beto’s answer at all.
9:43: More tie talk: Beto and Julián are wearing nearly identical ties. Castro may be getting just a little bit too much in the weeds on the law here; I genuinely don’t quite know what he’s talking about.
9:45: I want a .gif of Klobuchar’s eye-roll to that question, and the Internet being what it is me asking for one brought it into existence. Warren is about to do something interesting, I know it. She’s probably taught herself Spanish since her last question.
9:47: Tim Ryan is undeniably winning the Not Ready for Prime Time award for this debate. He looks like he’s going to vomit at any moment. He pulls it out by the end, but he’s the most obviously uncomfortable of anyone on stage.
9:50: I’ve been blowing Inslee a bit of crap but that was a good answer. I predict Gabbard gets an Iran question.
9:52: Amy Klobuchar’s body language is pure She’s an Asshole but She’s My Asshole right now. Honest admission: I don’t know shit about what we should do about Iran, but I’m certain that the current administration shouldn’t have anything to do with making those decisions.
9:53: And, hey, look, Gabbard gets an Iran question. Did you know she’s a veteran?
9:55: Wait, is this a 90-minute debate? I thought it was an hour. de Blasio is trying to horn in again as they cut to commercial for the second time.
9:56: Warren has gone awfully quiet. I think Castro won that section.
9:57: By tomorrow’s liveblog I need to have some images ready before the debate starts. This one’s gonna be awful bare, sorry about that.
10:00: Everyone’s mics are on and we cut back to commercial. Oops!
10:02: I genuinely don’t know if they’re just re-airing those last couple of minutes or they’re reenacting it. Wait, we’re back to technical issues. Now the mic is screaming. Whee, competence!
10:04: Back to commercial again as the audio’s still all screwed up. The candidates clearly can’t hear anything the moderators are saying.
10:07: Still at commercial. NBC done fucked up.
10:09: I think I’m actually behind the debate now, because I’m seeing Tweets that seem to be responding to stuff I haven’t seen yet. That’s frustrating.
10:10: Repeal the fucking second amendment.
10:11: Chuck Todd has been moderating for four minutes and has annoyed me twice. Booker’s intensity really works for a guns question.
10:14: Oh crap is Tim Ryan actually the best candidate on education right now? Because this interruption was 100% on point and the right thing to do. Good answer, congressman.
10:16: O’Rourke is entirely right about the Stoneman Douglas kids.
10:16: Gun buybacks are not confiscation you idiot.
10:17: Which Klobuchar says immediately; good for her.
10:19: New biggest loser of the night is Delaney, who Rachel Maddow just shut the fuck down– and, hilariously, then pivoted to de Blasio, who has been profiting the most from interruptions.
10:20: I note that Warren has not spoken much during this section either. Pretty fucking ballsy of de Blasio to pull the “I have a black son” card with Cory Booker standing on stage. Ryan looks like he’s about to fall over.
10:21: I’m not 100% sure that Warren just answered the “how do you handle McConnell” question but I like what she said anyway.
10:22: Delaney is the kumbaya candidate on stage right now and he can sit down.
10:25: Nearly an hour and a half in and Inslee finally gets a climate change question. I don’t think this guy is ever gonna be President but if he doesn’t end up in the Cabinet somebody seriously dropped the ball.
10:26: This is going to be over in four minutes, right? Is this a two hour debate? Oh shit this is a two hour debate isn’t it.
10:28: What the fuck is Chuck Todd talking about people “living where they shouldn’t be”? Can we have him go away and just let Maddow run the rest of the debate? He’s an idiot.
10:29: They pull away to a wider shot and at this point I actually think Ryan has thrown up at some point during this debate.
10:31: I said sit down, Mr. Delaney.
10:32: Listening to Todd repeatedly blabber “thank you” while he gets steamrolled by the candidates is getting old. Gabbard is now talking about her views on LGBTQ people and I’m pretty sure I heard someone in the audience laughing.
10:34: Booker actually brings up the murder rate of black trans women, and Goddammit this is why I’m a fucking Democrat because there is no chance at all that that ever gets mentioned at the Republican debates.
10:36: Good answer, Mr. Castro. Oh, God, we’re not doing viewer questions, are we? We’re doing viewer questions. Let’s not and say we did.
10:39: “God forbid there is a genocide, but not without Congressional approval” are the words that just came out of de Blasio’s mouth.
10:40: Tim Ryan is going to unhinge his jaw and eat de Blasio whole.
10:41: God please grant me this split screen as a .jpg, because he’s gonna eat Gabbard after he eats de Blasio.
10:43: Ryan and Gabbard are getting an awful lot of minutes to yell at each other. Can we hear from someone else?
10:44: Jay Inslee answers “Donald Trump” to the greatest geopolitical threat and I can hear his poll numbers go up. de Blasio is the only one to mention Russia, which is the correct answer if we’re discussing a country. Ryan says something about China “wiping us around the world” and I guess after all the eating of the other candidates he maybe needs a nap.
10:46: I’m genuinely unsure who has done the most talking but I’m absolutely certain it hasn’t been Warren. She’s been middle of the pack at best.
10:47: Delaney thinks Pelosi knows more about impeachment than “all the 2020 candidates combined” and now he doesn’t get to sit behind his podium any longer. It’s under the stage for you.
10:48: My laptop just blacked out for the second time while I’ve been sitting here. I can’t afford a new laptop right now, Goddammit.
10:51: I think they get closing statements now. Is this almost done? This is almost done, right?
10:53: Going from Delaney straight to de Blasio implies that Warren will have the last closing statement, which means I can sleep for a couple of minutes.
10:55: I would like to point out that I do not like Tim Ryan’s boring-ass tie. I also do not like Tim Ryan’s boring ass.
10:57: Julián’s introduction of himself in Spanish would have had more impact if half the goddamn stage hadn’t said something in Spanish already.
10:59: Somebody else just mumbled something in Spanish and I’m not sure who it was. Klobuchar is the second candidate on stage who I’m pretty sure is carrying a shiv.
11:00: Beto had to think very carefully before saying his daughter’s age, and I actually am not snarking at him about that because that’s totally something I might fuck up under similar circumstances.
11:01: Laptop cuts out again. Shit.
11:02: Elizabeth Warren for motherfucking President, y’all.
Okay, honest moment: I just spent two hours snarking, but that was fun. I actually do like the vast majority of these people and I think overall that went very well. But I have to go to bed now, because tomorrow I have to do this again, only Joe Biden and Bernie fuckin’ Sanders are going to be on stage, and I don’t know that I can do that without alcohol.
So here’s the thing: it is impossible– completely, flatly impossible– to get the Democratic nomination without substantial support from the African-American community, and in particular without support from black women. Go ahead, if you like, and look through my posts about the 2016 primary: you will discover, as I quickly did, that one of the reasons Hillary Clinton’s nomination was damn near inevitable after a while was that Bernie reliably lost any state that had fewer than (if I remember right) 60% or so white voters. The only exception to this rule was Hawai’i, which is heavily nonwhite but is heavily Asian and Pacific Islander and not so much as black and Latino as the rest of the country.
It’s no secret that Buttigieg’s base is well-off white liberals. This is not, in and of itself, bad– that was actually Obama’s base when he started his presidential run too, and look how that turned out. But while Obama definitely had to convince black voters of his viability, he was never literally polling at zero percent with them. Pete is, at least in South Carolina, and I suspect in a whole lot of Super Tuesday states as well.
(Don’t bother arguing with me about this. No body cam means the cop is guilty. If I end up sitting on the jury you can talk to me about bias. Until then, fuck this guy. Cops lie, and I am going to be 100% on the side of the dead people for the foreseeable future until America’s police forces clean house.)
So Pete’s done. It’s all over but the shouting at this point. Much like Sanders, his path to the nomination is basically closed without black support and statistically speaking he doesn’t have any. I do not, at this point, see that changing. He hasn’t put in the work and he keeps shooting himself in the foot.
What about Biden?
Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo is currently commanding the lion’s share of the black vote, much like he’s commanding the lion’s share of the polling in general. I went on a tear trying to find a Biden supporter yesterday and eventually managed to find one person who admitted after two tweets that he was her #1 choice but she couldn’t name anyone else running as a Dem.
I’m not actually criticizing this person. There’s a long goddamn time until any voting starts, and frankly it’s probably smarter to tune all of the nonsense out right now. No grief from me about this. But it really makes me wonder how soft Biden’s support actually is. And he spent yesterday saying all sorts of nice things about segregationists and how they never called him “boy.”
This is what I meant, yesterday, when I said that Biden has done his level best since deciding to run trying to erase any goodwill I ever felt for him. We can’t just Kumbaya our way to governance, no, we have to choose some of the worst possible examples we possibly can of literally evil Senators who he got along with just fine. The man has the instincts of a headless turkey and given that he’s run for office several times before on his own and never gotten close to the nomination I have to feel like he’s going to continue fucking up and voters are going to start looking elsewhere. And if you want to fuck up your numbers with the black community, there are probably a few ways more effective than telling everybody how well you got along with people who praised Emmitt Till’s murderers but you’re gonna have to work at it a bit.
The interesting question: assuming the voters do flee, where do they end up? Obviously I’d hope they end up with Harris or Warren, but anything can happen. There’s always the electability argument, which I think is mostly bullshit (Biden is polling best against the Current Occupant for the same reason he’s on top of the primary polls: everyone knows who he is) but has the advantage of being simple and truthy.
Only seventeen more months of this shit to go, y’all!