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 Post subject: Sanders vs Warren
PostPosted: September 18 19, 8:50 am 
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This is going to be a bigger deal soon, and is already in full swing on Twitter. I may have to unfollow a bunch of people. This has been intensified the past couple days because Working Families Party - a left/liberal org - endorsed Warren.

I'm effectively on the fence btw these two, but I like them both and it's just a question to me of who's able to get more done in 4-8 years, while understanding a larger movement has to happen to support the changes they'd like to make over the long-term.

This is the crux my concern with Bernie's approach

(I'm nobody's boss, but I hope we can avoid cliches about neo-liberals and Bernie Bros when discussing this and take either side on it's merits)



Green Lanternism here means more or less making things happen by force of will using the power of the office.

Given that he's (Bernie) not for ending the filibuster, this requires a major groundswell of activism that would get 60 sufficiently liberal Senators elected, or sufficient constituent pressure on Republicans and Democrats like Manchin and Sinema.

Or you just concede that you're not going to get much of anything done, and it's more about doing what can be done via executive actions and holding the spot until a broader movement coalesces in advance of someone like AOC running.

These are all things I've heard pretty rational Bernie supporters make. Long term it all makes sense to me as a strategy, but I have to say I'm not at all confident in the willingness of enough people to stay sufficiently politically active. I COULD be wrong. It might be that growing up in the 80's and 90's has cynicized me too much. It does seem to me that Americans have to get more comfortable with day to day politics in order to achieve something like Bernie wants, but the scale required to maintain pressure on legislators seems frankly beyond reach. And I consider myself pretty optimistic about left causes the next 10-20 years.

But - getting back to the tweet - if it's about moving people to the left, hasn't Bernie done that with Warren and others in this election? I'm also a little wary of treating Bernie like the magic key to everything. He's a 78 year old man who could literally die tomorrow - what's the plan after that? Wait for AOC? Is this a movement or is it about specific leaders?

Bernie makes all the sense in the world to me if you stipulate all the above strategy AND work to get rid of the filibuster in the short term, while hopefully making the Senate liberal enough to pass his agenda.

That's a lot of rambling, but it's what's bumping around in my head as I'm reading this stuff the past couple of days.


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 Post subject: Re: Sanders vs Warren
PostPosted: September 18 19, 8:58 am 
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Foreign policy is a large difference here where the individual holding the Presidency will be decisive.


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 Post subject: Re: Sanders vs Warren
PostPosted: September 18 19, 9:06 am 
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ghostrunner wrote:
Long term it all makes sense to me as a strategy, but I have to say I'm not at all confident in the willingness of enough people to stay sufficiently politically active. I COULD be wrong. It might be that growing up in the 80's and 90's has cynicized me too much. It does seem to me that Americans have to get more comfortable with day to day politics in order to achieve something like Bernie wants, but the scale required to maintain pressure on legislators seems frankly beyond reach. And I consider myself pretty optimistic about left causes the next 10-20 years.


A mass movement is the ONLY way we are going to get where we need to get. We have no choice. We have to build this mass movement, or face climate death, a descent into fascism, and other horrors.

I worry that if Bernie wins and then fails (as you imply in your post) that momentum will be lost. So part of me almost wants Warren to win, and then for the Bernie-inspired left to keep the pressure on her for 4 to 8 years.

The other thing is, if we plunge into another great depression, which is not that far fetched, suddenly lots of people will be a lot more interested in day to day politics. I hope it doesn't take an event like that to get people engaged, but it might. And if that does happen, we need a strong left to engage all these struggling people...because the fascists will also be out there trying to engage them.


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 Post subject: Re: Sanders vs Warren
PostPosted: September 18 19, 9:14 am 
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Not just Working Families. Also MoveOn.org and literally millions of voters have migrated Sanders 2016 -> Warren 2020.

Literally LOLing inside at the idea that Warren would require Sanders supporters to keep on her so that she'd do the right thing. If we don't get past this idea that Sanders and his supporters are some kind of morally pure "always on the right side of history" crowd who are the only people who hold the keys to paradise (sounds a lot like a [expletive] religious cult) then we're really not going to get anywhere.

Sanders is too old, he'd be like 87 on his final day in office if he were a two-termer--he would not make two terms b/c he'd either die a physical death or a political one when he tried to use his ridiculous idea of abusing budget reconciliation rules to force laws through the senate. Warren is 8 years younger but comes across about 25 years younger, full of energy.

I'm also LOLing at the idea of Sanders supporters who want to wait for AOC to be POTUS to get something done. To quote Pelosi: "You have four votes." Let's not presume that the country in 20 years goes from fairly moderate to incredibly liberal and pre-anoint as POTUS a one-term Congressperson who regularly has to be reminded just how small her caucus is and that she's actually in a tiny minority.

Let's also keep in mind that Sanders's populism rooted in the idea that America is bad and does not work comes across a lot like Trump's populism that America is bad and does not work, whereas Warren's message of technocracy is that America is off the tracks and we need to regulate our institutions so they can go back to working for all economic classes again. This thread could be Populist Socialism Vs. Democratic Techoncracy, because that's the defining division between the two. And the Democratic Technocrat who is on the right side of the issues does not need the populists to keep her in line on Twitter.


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 Post subject: Re: Sanders vs Warren
PostPosted: September 18 19, 9:27 am 
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Arthur Dent wrote:
Foreign policy is a large difference here where the individual holding the Presidency will be decisive.


What do you think the big difference is there? Israel and Palestine I hear brought up a lot. Her rhetoric is certainly worse on that.

Do you think she's more likely to go with whatever the expected response is on something like Iran or 9/11, or with what the military wants?


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 Post subject: Re: Sanders vs Warren
PostPosted: September 18 19, 9:41 am 
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ghostrunner wrote:
Arthur Dent wrote:
Foreign policy is a large difference here where the individual holding the Presidency will be decisive.


What do you think the big difference is there? Israel and Palestine I hear brought up a lot. Her rhetoric is certainly worse on that.

Do you think she's more likely to go with whatever the expected response is on something like Iran or 9/11, or with what the military wants?


Temperament is a big one. That thing in the debates where while the moderator is still asking her question, Sanders is wagging a finger at her so that she will for the love of god shut up so Sanders can start talking? That won't fly with Putin, Kim, Netanyahu, Boris Johnson, anyone. No one wants to talk with someone who isn't listening and is waiting to talk. Warren listens--this is a big difference between an old man and a woman of any age.

I think she's likely to start with her stated plan to rebuild the state department with professional ambassadors with specific experience in the country of need rather than appointing campaign donors (again, technocracy > populism), while building a state department around foreign service rather than foreign conflict.

She's not dropping bombs without the consent of Congress, and as someone who's not interested in cronyism I doubt she'd lie to Congress to advance her pals' corporatist agenda.


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 Post subject: Re: Sanders vs Warren
PostPosted: September 18 19, 10:24 am 
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My approach to the primary is vote for my ideals and find out how that aligns with the rest of the dem primary voting public. If it's not aligned with what I want, I can either try to get involved locally or just give up with the assumption that we're gradually moving left as a party and embrace the incrementalism.

ghostrunner wrote:
Or you just concede that you're not going to get much of anything done, and it's more about doing what can be done via executive actions and holding the spot until a broader movement coalesces in advance of someone like AOC running.

Since you brought her up, AOC's hesitancy to endorse a candidate is in itself pretty telling. If she is representative of the kind of congressperson who we will need to elect to eventually build the movement that will get our federal government where it needs to be in order to face the challenges ahead and she herself endorses Warren, or at least doesn't endorse Bernie, that will be a big moment (and I think if she was going to endorse Bernie, she already would have). A lot of people will assume she sold out to incrementalism over idealism. Maybe she will have. That's not really important. Top down change from the executive branch never works and Bernie himself can't be the only figurehead of the movement. I can use my primary vote to support the candidate that espouses the most of my beliefs, but that's not necessarily the way we're ever going to make change happen in this country and I get that.

That combined with the fact that, compared to most presidential candidates I've ever had or ever will have the opportunity to vote for, Elizabeth Warren [expletive] rules and would cause the biggest nationwide sigh of relief we've ever experienced if she beats Trump, is why I'm not all that up in arms about Bernie in this primary. He's getting my vote, period. I'm just not going to feel quite as hopeless as I did in '16 when there wasn't a Warren-level alternative.

And for the people who are more about the Bernie cult of personality than I am, he doesn't need to be President to seal his legacy as one of the most important politicians in modern american history. He doesn't need to win a ring to go in the hall of fame. He can be the Ted Williams of progressive politicians and let Warren be Joltin Joe.

Also, just looking at polling, even if only half of Bernie's supporters support Warren (intentionally conservative estimate) if/when he endorses her if/when he drops out or concedes at the convention, she's going to trounce Biden. If I were more worried about an establisment dem beating them both (B+W), I'd probably be a lot more heated about this issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Sanders vs Warren
PostPosted: September 18 19, 11:22 am 
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thrill wrote:
And for the people who are more about the Bernie cult of personality than I am, he doesn't need to be President to seal his legacy as one of the most important politicians in modern american history. He doesn't need to win a ring to go in the hall of fame. He can be the Ted Williams of progressive politicians and let Warren be Joltin Joe.

Also, just looking at polling, even if only half of Bernie's supporters support Warren (intentionally conservative estimate) if/when he endorses her if/when he drops out or concedes at the convention, she's going to trounce Biden. If I were more worried about an establisment dem beating them both (B+W), I'd probably be a lot more heated about this issue.


Big facts from Thrill today.

Sanders was a roadblock to a Clinton presidency. He stayed in long after the point at which he was mathematically defeated. He softened her up for Trump. His message of populism for non-critical thinkers emphasized Trump’s message of populism, but for a lot of people the valuable stuff in his message stuck. That is his legacy: he pushed the Dems farther to the left than anyone had since McGovern with a message that was necessary and resounded, fighting for that message in a campaign he could not win but making the message last, at the expense of Hillary Clinton.

Now. If Sanders does that again, it will tarnish his legacy. If Biden ekes out the nom with 34% and Warren at 33% and Sanders at 15% and Harris at 7% and Booker at 6% and Pete at 5% or something, then seriously: [expletive] Bernie. The message is out. He’s not needed to see it to reality. It’s not about him and AOC, it’s about Warren right now, it’s her time, and she can carry the torch. Also: she can win, now and anyone who’s like “well if we lose to Trump again but get AOC in 20 years it’s ok because the only progress is extreme and immediate, slow burns don’t work” is off their rocker. Sanders needs to not be arrogant and to get out when it’s clear that he’s not winning, and it should only take 4 states for him to see that. If he doesn’t, he tarnishes his legacy by being a guy who got a message out but who also helped enable 4 and possibly 8 years of Trump.


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 Post subject: Re: Sanders vs Warren
PostPosted: September 18 19, 11:52 am 
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33anda3rd wrote:
Sanders was a roadblock to a Clinton presidency. He stayed in long after the point at which he was mathematically defeated. He softened her up for Trump.


Staying in as long as he did tested the market for his ideas across the country and brought more attention to them, and it's arguably the reason we have Warren and others advocating for Medicare for All, which is not something she was doing back then and something Clinton dismissed as unworkable. Winning 22 states was huge for his agenda. Had he dropped out in May, I think it could have been more easily dismissed.

What is "softened her up" based on other than speculation? How do we know it didn't make her a better candidate?


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 Post subject: Re: Sanders vs Warren
PostPosted: September 18 19, 1:15 pm 
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ghostrunner wrote:
33anda3rd wrote:
Sanders was a roadblock to a Clinton presidency. He stayed in long after the point at which he was mathematically defeated. He softened her up for Trump.


Staying in as long as he did tested the market for his ideas across the country and brought more attention to them, and it's arguably the reason we have Warren and others advocating for Medicare for All, which is not something she was doing back then and something Clinton dismissed as unworkable. Winning 22 states was huge for his agenda. Had he dropped out in May, I think it could have been more easily dismissed.

What is "softened her up" based on other than speculation? How do we know it didn't make her a better candidate?


There are plenty of resources online for you to read about Sanders’ softening Clinton up for the general. I don’t really care to re-hash it and ramble about it other than to point out that Sanders inspired a LOT of people, largely angry white men, to undertake online personal attacks on Clinton, and I’ll add that we need to agree that this happened and that it was bad for Clinton and ultimately for all of us.

If we stipulate that Sanders’ lengthened campaign was to take the temperature of the nation, then what did Sanders learn? Not much, if he ran in this field, where he’s worse now than he was four years ago.


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