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Just had a surreal debate with somebody who was incredibly bitter about Hillary losing, especially as she won the popular vote and Obama lost the popular vote in 2012. I said Obama did not lose the popular vote in 2012. He said he did. I said he didn’t and told him by how much Obama had beat Romney (just under 4%). He insisted Obama had lost the popular vote. I showed him a link to the official election results. He said so you are saying ABC was wrong and posted an article from today. In it, Donald Trump is insisting in a 2012 tweet that Romney won the popular vote. Trump was lying, of course, but no matter. This young progressive Democrat believed Donald Trump over, well, reality. In case you were wondering how Donald Trump became president.
Hoover flags, they called empty pockets in 1931, and they became emblematic of Herbert Hoover’s abject failure in dealing with the Great Depression. I suspect homemade face masks are becoming Trump’s Hoover Flags.
I admit it, I voted for Mike Bloomberg. I think it was the last one hundred mailings that won me over. Not that I read any of them. But there were so many it just had to be presidential. Liz Warren only sent a few, which I read. She had my vote for the first five hundred pieces of Bloomberg mail. But then came that last weekend before Election Day. I forgot to get the mail on Friday and then on Saturday the mail box burst with astonishing violence. Maybe you saw it in the news. All the neighbors thought it was the coronavirus. But no, it was Mike Bloomberg mailers. They never did find the mail delivery person. Somewhere under all those pictures of Mike Bloomberg I suppose. But that was enough for me. I waited in line for a day and a half and voted for Mike Bloomberg. But next time I’m voting for Phil Swift. A little dab of FlexSeal will fix anything.
If you really want to see the extent of Bernie’s problem this year, compare the results of the Vermont primary yesterday with those of 2016. Not the exit poll data, but the votes themselves. He won with 85% last time, or just shy of 116,000 votes. Yesterday, with 16,000 more Vermonters coming to the polls than in 2016, he got 50%, about 80,000 votes. In a four year span Bernie lost over 35,000 voters in his home state. That is, one of every three Bernie Sanders for president supporters in Vermont in 2016 voted for someone else this time. And that in a state that is 94% white and 1.3% African-American.
You can’t lose a full third of your base in your base and expect to win the presidency.
I once vaporized a nationally known California politician’s entire donor database. All of it, including what looked like half of Hollywood. One wrong key stroke and it was gone. I can’t tell you what that first minute was like. Luckily IT had archived an older version and I was able to recreate it over the next few days.
Bernie did great today and he did really well in Nevada last time too. I’m not sure if he matched today the numbers he got four years ago. But he was the only one this year who had an organization already in place. I would have been flabbergasted if he hadn’t done this well.
I don’t think you all appreciate just how catastrophically disorganized the Democrats are on the ground this year. Bernie’s ground game, as they call it, is a mess compared to say, Obama’s or even Jimmy Carter’s was 44 years ago. Yet Bernie’s is by far the best there is. There has been a complete breakdown in the way nomination campaigns are run this season. This is completely opposite the way that the Democrats ran their campaigns in 2018. You can’t even believe it’s the same party. I’m not sure what this means for the fall campaign.
This was only round one in Nevada, incidentally. Next round is the county conventions in March. The final round in April at the state convention. That’s when the delegates are chosen. Each round in 2016 was more bitter and angry than the one before. A lot of drinking was involved.
I think because nearly all the press are new on the beat the presidential election beat this year, they report each event as if it were the first time ever. I’ve never seen a campaign with so little sense of the past before. Indeed this might be the only thing you’ll see on the Nevada caucuses today that mentions 2016. It’ll certainly be the only one that mentions that until 1980 Nevada had a very competitive and very simple primary without any of this ridiculous caucus crap. I remember Jerry Brown won it in the wild 1976 campaign. But none of that ever happened apparently. Welcome to the Digital Age.
On now to South Carolina where Tom Steyer is likely to get the third most delegates. Like I said, welcome to the Digital Age.
I see why you’re a Sanders supporter I said to the Sanders supporter. You don’t have to insult me, she said. I said it wasn’t meant as an insult. I meant that based on your stated positions, I see why you support Bernie Sanders. Well it sure sounded like an insult, she said.
Politics has gotten so toxic on the Democratic side of the internet that I’ll be likely foregoing any comment here until safely after the convention. And it’s not even the New Hampshire primary yet. I had been planning to do a running commentary on this blog on the nomination race up through the last contest–the Virgin Islands caucus on June 7th–but damn, it’s the French Revolution out there.
See you in September.
I just looked at the 2020 Democratic schedule and only three states are holding caucuses this year. Iowa’s is still melting under the media glare. Nevada (36 delegates), if they’re using their traditional three step, three month process might see the same sort of press and social media cataclysm that leveled Iowa (41 delegates). I remember when Nevada used to have a primary. Wyoming (14 delegates) will likely be too late in the season and too small a game to notice. Only three non-state caucuses are happening this year: American Samoa (6 delegates), Guam (7) and the Virgin Islands (7), each of which might find themselves under the glare of media due to the magic of Twitter. It’s Twitter that fueled the hysteria over Iowa, incidentally. Every second—probably quite literally every second—a breaking news item was tweeted by a vast herd of reporters on the ground or in the ether. And just for old times sake the Northern Marianas will be selecting their six delegates to the Democratic National Convention at a territorial convention, just like in The Man Who Killed Liberty Valence.
What an excruciatingly dull time this is turning out to be. Everything is anger and agitprop, and the not particularly bright people on all sides have found their voices and shout down all shades of in between. You know what the news will say before you turn it on, you know what opinions people will have before they utter them, you know how every movie will end. Everything is political, objectivity is betrayal, shading is cowardice. I’ve always thought times like this would be exciting and brilliant, but no, it’s just angry and artless jabbering.