Bernie Loses Again

Most of today’s primaries were delayed and move back because of the Coronavirus.  Votes were cast in Florida, Arizona, and Illinois and Joe Biden wiped Bernie Sanders out.  By all normal logic, Bernie should suspend his campaign and acknowledge the obvious.  Continuing to contest the nomination is not only futile but it will also potentially cause voters to put their health at risk just to cast their vote in a meaningless primary.

Biden is a pompous moron and I’m not looking forward to him being president for four years.  Still, Sanders has never met a dictator that he disliked and, even with the country on lockdown because of the coronavirus, he refused to criticize forcefully criticize China in the last debate.  I’m happy to see Bernie not only lose but also lose decisively.

Thoughts On The Latest Democratic Debate

It was just Sanders vs Biden tonight.  There were three moderators, none of whom were particularly tough on either candidate.  Because of the coronavirus, there was no studio audience and that was a nice change.  There were no distracting cheers or boos.  As well, there was no audience for the candidates to play up to so both Biden and Bernie felt less scripted than usual.  This was a format that probably would have helped out also-rans like Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, and the majority of the candidates who didn’t even make it to the Iowa caucuses.  Beto O’Rourke’s campaign would have ended even quicker than it did if he had been forced to debate without an audience to cheer him on.

Biden won the debate easily, largely because Bernie’s shtick has gotten predictable and annoying.  Biden did alright, though he started to babble towards the end.  Biden does best when he knows that he’s the front runner.  When he knew he wasn’t going to win Iowa and New Hampshire, he seemed lost on the debate stage.  Now that he’s the front runner, he’s got his confidence back.  It undoubtedly also helped that Bernie doesn’t ever really have much of an argument to make beyond blaming everything on the billionaires.  There’s nothing unpredictable about Bernie and that helped Biden stay relatively on focus.

Biden promised to name a woman as his running mate.  A lot of people are speculating it will be either Stacy Abrams or Elizabeth Warren.  Kyrsten Sinema would be a better pick.

Biden looks unstoppable in the primary.  If the coronavirus situation doesn’t get better, he might be unstoppable in the general.  It’s hard to believe the Democrats couldn’t find someone younger and less confused to stop Bernie but they decided to rally around old Joe and here we are.

Checking In, Part Deux

Yesterday, I swore that I wouldn’t check on what was happening in the U.S. presidential race until Wednesday morning.  It turns out I lied.  I just couldn’t resist.

Mayor Pete and Sen. Klobuchar are now both out of the Democrat race and are endorsing Joe Biden.  It makes sense.  Pete’s not even 40 and Klobuchar is 59.  They will both have opportunities to run again and could conceivably be rewarded if Biden’s elected in November.  There’s no reason for either of them to stick around and get blamed for allowing Bernie Sanders to win the Democrat nomination.  A lot of us have yet to forgive John Kasich for refusing to drop out in 2016, even when it was obvious that there was no way to stop Trump as long as he stayed in the race.

Bloomberg, Warren, and Gabbard are still in this thing.  Bloomberg is nearly 80.  If he doesn’t win it this time, he’s never going to.  But Bloomberg, much like John Kasich before him, has an ego.  He obviously believes that he’s the only person who can save America, even if no one else does.  Warren also has an ego and is so adored by the press that she’s probably overestimating her own chances.  There’s a popular theory, on twitter, that Warren is running to be vice president and maybe she is.  As for Gabbard, who knows what her gameplan is?  As of now, she mostly seems to be running for spite, which is really the main reason that most people run.

It’s been interesting how the endorsement game is playing out.  Before Biden won South Carolina, Bloomberg was picking up a lot of endorsements.  Now, after Biden’s victory, everyone’s coming out of the woodwork to support him.  Why didn’t they endorse him earlier?  I guess they wanted to see proof that old Joe could actually win something before staking their reputation on his campaign.  That doesn’t say much for Joe.  It’s like the Democrat Party woke up one morning and suddenly said, “Whoops.  Bernie could actually win this thing.  All of the good candidates have dropped out so I guess we’ll have to go with old Joe.”

This has been a strange election cycle, not just for the U.S. but for the entire world.  The expectations and media predictions have been consistently wrong.  We were told Boris wouldn’t be able to defeat Labour and pull off Brexit.  They were wrong.  We were told there would be riots if Trump survived impeachment.  They were wrong.  We were told Elizabeth Warren was the new front runner.  They were wrong.  We were told that Bibi was out and, while we don’t have official results from Israel’s election yet, it again sounds like they were wrong.

Nobody knows anything.

Checking In

After a weekend in Paris, Lisa & I are currently back in London.  One more week in the UK and then it’s back to the United States.

I’ve made it a point not to regularly check for any news about the 2020 Presidential election.  To do so would defeat the purpose of being on vacation.  So, it wasn’t until about an hour ago that I learned that, on Saturday, Joe Biden finally won his first presidential primary when he swept the contest in South Carolina.

I don’t even like Joe Biden but I’m breathing a sigh of relief.  Though there’s still a long way to go, this victory at least suggests that a Sanders nomination is not inevitable.  It also signals that the crazies have not totally taken over the Democratic Party.

As I’ve made clear here, I don’t consider myself to be a Democrat.  For that matter, I haven’t considered myself to be a Republican since 2016.  I think Joe Biden is a moron but the fact of the matter is that the Democrats have a good chance of winning in 2020 and, even if Trump wins reelection, we will still eventually have another Democrat president within my lifetime.  As much as I dislike Biden, I’d rather have an idiot in the White House than someone who, at the age of 79, is still making excuses for Castro and the Soviet Union.  Even if Sanders is nominated and loses, just winning the nomination will normalize an authoritarian outlook that shouldn’t be normalized.

I guess the next big contest is Super Tuesday.  We’ll see if Biden can keep his momentum going or if South Carolina was just a momentary hiccup in Sanders’s march to the nomination.

I also read that Tom Steyer withdrew from the race.  He spent millions and didn’t win a single delegate.  For all the talk about how democracy is for sell, it seems like those who blatantly try to buy it always end up failing.

At DFW, Watching The Results Come In From Nevada

Lisa and I are at DFW, waiting to board our flight to the UK.  We’ll be away from the U.S. for two weeks.

I’m watching the results coming in from the Nevada caucus.  Sanders is running away with it and, just like Trump in 16, he’s benefiting because all of the sane choices were too busy fighting each other to focus on him.  Lots of conservatives and Trump supporters are rejoicing because they think Sanders will be the easiest Democrat to beat.

I’m not celebrating.  If Sanders continues to stay strong and wins the Democratic nomination, it will mean that a lifelong Marxist who surrounds himself with some of the most vile anti-Semites in public life will have a very good chance of becoming our next president.  This is nothing to celebrate.  Anyone who thinks that Trump couldn’t lose to Sanders is fooling themselves and regardless of anything, an contest between two autocrats is nothing to celebrate.

I’m happy that we’ll be away from all of this for 2 weeks.

Bloomberg Was Not Ready For Prime Time

I just finished watching the latest Democratic Debate.  It was broadcast on NBC and it’s the final debate before the Nevada Caucus on Saturday.  It was also the first debate that Michael Bloomberg qualified for.

It was certainly the feistiest debate so far.  Warren’s trying to make a comeback after blowing it in New Hamsphire and Iowa so she was on the offensive tonight.  Biden needs to make a comeback but tonight, he was just rambling Joe, bragging on himself nonstop and coming across as confused whenever anyone disagreed with him.

Everyone focused most of their attention on Mike Bloomberg and, for someone like me who has always found Mike Bloomberg to be insufferably smug, it was glorious to watch him have one of the worst debates that I have ever seen in my life.  Bloomberg’s problem is that, like a lot of 79 year-old billionaires, he’s not used to people disagreeing with or challenging him to his face.  Other than his first campaign, I can’t remember Bloomberg ever having a tough race in New York City.  (And his opponent in that first election was Mark Green, one of the few politicians who comes across as being even more smug than Bloomberg.)  Bloomberg seemed to be lost on stage and, after the endless hype that has surrounded his candidacy, that was not the right impression to make.  After spending weeks bragging about how only he could take on Donald Trump, Bloomberg struggled to even keep up with Amy Klobuchar.  Bloomberg came across as being the boss that everyone hates and, watching him live, it was easy to imagine Trump dismantling him if the two of them ever end up on the same stage.

As much fun as it was to watch Mike get taken down a peg or two, everyone spent so much time going after Bloomberg that hardly anyone lay a finger on Bernie Sanders and Sanders is the one that they should have been trying to take down if they want to stand any shot at winning the Democratic nomination.  I get that the candidates don’t want to get Sanders’s supports angry with them (because they’ll need those so-called Bernie Bros to vote for them in November) but it’s hard not to feel that the 2020 Democrats are making the same mistake that the 2016 Republicans made with Trump.  They’re all assuming that, if they can just get everyone else out of the race, they can beat Sanders in a one-on-one race or they can at least keep Sanders from winning enough delegates to take the nomination on the first ballot.  It’s a foolish plan, though.  It didn’t work for Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich and it probably won’t work for Biden, Klobuchar, and Bloomberg.

Final thought: No one, tonight, came across like someone I would trust in the White House.  I thought the 2016 election provided me with the worst options of my lifetime but it looks like 2020 is going to prove me wrong.

We Lost 3.

In the wake of New Hampshire, we’ve lost three Democratic candidates.

Do you know Michael Bennet was still running for president?  What about Deval Patrick?  They’re both out of the race now.

Patrick entered the race too late to make a difference.  Maybe if he had run in 2016, he would have had a better chance but, by the time this year rolled around, most people didn’t remember who he was.

Michael Bennet was the type of candidate who, in the past, would have been treated like a serious contender but who, in 2020, was just too conventional to make much of an impression.  Bennet tried to make his ability to win in a swing state a part of his appeal but is Colorado really a swing state at this point?

Andrew Yang has also dropped out and I’m going to miss him.  He was the last likable candidate in the race but, in retrospect, he was always more of an online phenomenon than a real world contender.  Hopefully, he’ll run for office in New York.  Since New York is going to keep electing Democrats anyway, it would be nice to see them elect one who isn’t a jerk.