More on Which Democrat

Published at 07:37 on 3 August 2019

Time to expound a bit more on some subjects raised in yesterday’s entry.

Odds Really Do Favor Biden

His lead is so significant that it’s going to be difficult (but not impossible) for someone else to overtake him. Maybe of one of either Warren or Sanders dropped out and threw their support to the other that would happen, but I don’t see either candidate doing so before the convention.

Odds Favor Warren as His Running Mate

Biden is weak when it comes to the progressive base, and the two progressive candidates together command approximately as large a chunk of the primary vote as Biden himself does. It would be extremely unwise for Biden to ignore that. Then again, Biden has done extremely unwise things multiple times during his political career (e.g. supporting the Iraq War).

But let’s be optimistic and assume he knows better. That means picking a progressive standard-bearer, either Sanders or Warren, as his running mate. And it’s not going to be Sanders, whose independent, anti-Establishment streak annoys Establishment Democrats almost as much as Trump himself does.

On top of that, Warren is a woman, so choosing her lets the Democrats tick off an identity-politics feel-good box (and doing so may well help them appeal to female voters in key suburban swing districts).

It Will Be Necessary to Save Establishment Democrats from Their Own Incompetence

Having Warren stump for him in the general election will certainly be a help, but Biden will still be a weak candidate that fails to energize the base sufficiently. This is where Michael Moore’s “Operation Orange Crush” comes in. Running progressive ballot measures on popular issues in key swing states will energize the base, who will then tend to say “Well, what the hey, since I’m here to vote for {legal pot, a $15 minimum wage, etc.} anyhow I might as well cast a vote for Sleepy Joe, too.”

This Will Conveniently Save the Progressives from Their Own Incompetence

Biden, not Warren, will be at the top of the ballot, so the Democratic candidate won’t be campaigning for something stupid and unpopular like abolishing all private health insurance. The progressive issues being campaigned for will be the initiative campaigns on issues that actually do have popular support.

Biden Will Still Be a Hot Mess

The optimistic scenario has him kicking Trump out of office. Let’s assume that happens. It still means a Democratic Party led by Joe Biden, laboring under delusions about a bipartisanship that died long ago. Biden will continually be begging Republicans to love him, and will continually be frustrated when they don’t.

That preoccupation with foolish pandering will stop Biden from being able to do anything serious about the problems that created Trump in the first place. The GOP will remain as fascistic and Trumpy as ever, and be well-poised to make big gains when the business cycle does its inevitable thing and Biden gets blamed for it.

Don’t Harbor Delusions

It’s still the bourgeois state. It still leans strongly to the political right. It’s still biased to going fascist at times. This is still one of those times. The best we can hope for from electoral politics is a temporary reprieve. Any lasting solution will have to come from more grassroots organizing.

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