I’m so tired of this year.

Crossing my fingers for the best-case scenario: Trump is actually ill. He ends up having a case that’s serious enough to keep him isolated and unable to debate or campaign for at least the next few weeks, but not so bad that Pence assumes the Presidency (and possibly brings anti-Trump Republicans back to vote for a ticket with Pence at its head). His sycophantic followers, used to gleefully following a bellicose, bellowing bully of a god-king, have to reconcile that with reality and decide if they still support a frail, sickly man, laid low by the very thing that he told them shouldn’t be worried about and that they decried as a hoax. From his sickbed in isolation, he watches in impotent fury as his campaign crumbles, his family and advisors turn on each other as they scramble to hold on to whatever power they can, his base stays home, either unwilling to brave a virus that suddenly seems real or simply uninterested in supporting a mere mortal, anti-Trump Republicans and Republicans unwilling to vote for someone in undeniable ill health either don’t vote or vote against him, and Biden/Harris solidly and unequivocally win the election.

We’ve had a year of worst-case scenarios, of course, so the odds are against this. But I can hope.

Bernie Sanders Drops Out Of Presidential Race, Ceding Nomination To Biden

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) ended his bid for the White House on Wednesday, effectively handing the Democratic nomination to former Vice President Joe Biden and ending hopes that a progressive challenger would take on President Donald Trump in November.

I know a lot of people on my list are going to be upset about this. There’s nothing wrong with that — I’m still upset that my candidate of choice this year dropped out, and I’m still upset that my candidate of choice in 2016 only won the popular election, but lost the electoral vote (\suchBS\). Take the time to grieve, to be angry, to rant and rave about how poorly our system works.

But once that’s done, please: Prioritize the good of the many, and recognize that however much you don’t like Biden, he will in no way be as bad as Trump. Sure, he’s not as good as you’d like, so push him to be better than he is! Continue pushing, fighting, and protesting in favor of all the causes that led you to support Bernie! Do everything you can to move Biden further to the left.

But please, please, please: Don’t throw a fit and refuse to support Biden, whether through giving your vote to a third-party candidate who has no chance of beating Trump, however ideologically closer they are to you than Biden is, or by not voting at all.

You’ve all seen what’s happened over the past four years. Please do everything you can to make sure we don’t have four more years of Trump in office.

I know that Warren’s campaign was looking like more and more of a long shot–but I’m disappointed and frustrated that she did as poorly as she did. I still believe that she is, by far, the single best candidate, and it’s frustrating that, yet again, an immensely intelligent and capable woman is being sidelined in favor of less qualified men.

I do hope she sticks around until the convention. Partially, sure, because I’ve already sent in my ballot for Washington’s primary with her name checked, but also because I think it’s important to have her voice as part of the discussion. She’d continue to push both Sanders and Biden on the more problematic aspects of their campaigns, make it so we’re not just listening to two old men yell at each other, and–and here’s a hail Mary pass for you–if the convention is so contested that it’s clear that neither Sanders nor Biden are a consensus choice, maybe she could end up being the consensus candidate. Yeah, a long shot that won’t happen, but it’s fun to dream.

I found this analysis of why Biden did so well in the south to be quite interesting. The argument here is that for many black voters, particularly older voters, the primary concern is which candidate is the best possible choice that most white voters will support.

My read of the South Carolina vote is that black people know exactly what they’re doing, and why. Joe Biden is the indictment older black folks have issued against white America. His support is buttressed by chunks of the black community who have determined that most white people are selfish and cannot be trusted to do the right thing. They believe if you make white people choose between their money and their morality—between candidates like Sanders or Elizabeth Warren (who somehow finished fifth in South Carolina, behind Pete Buttigieg) and candidates like Biden and Michael Bloomberg—they will choose their money every time and twice on Election Day.

The New York Times interviewed a 39-year-old African American voter in South Carolina. I found his analysis instructive. He told the Times: “Black voters know white voters better than white voters know themselves.… So yeah, we’ll back Biden, because we know who white America will vote for in the general election in a way they may not tell a pollster or the media.”

The best result, though? Bloomberg is out. Thank goodness. And I do hope that he follows through with his promise to put his immense wealth behind the eventual Democratic nominee.

I guess the other bright side is that there’s very little question of whether I’ll bother watching any of the Presidential debates. I would have enjoyed seeing Warren go up against Trump on the debate stage: not only is she always incredibly well prepared, capable, and very good at thinking on her feet as she’s answering questions, but she’d have the benefit of being able to study the Clinton/Trump debates. As it is, though, I have no interest in either a Biden/Trump or Sanders/Trump debate. I know I’ll be voting for the Democratic nominee no matter what, and it’ll save me more hours of watching old white men yell at each other.

I just wish Warren had a better chance at being our next President. She’d be great.

Addendum: Also: Yes, as many of my Sanders-aligned friends on Facebook are pointing out through links and memes, Biden is very problematic, with all sorts of questionable statements and votes in his history.

He’s still far better than Trump, and if he’s the nominee, please recognize this and vote for him instead of staying home or casting a “protest vote” (that has no functional result other than taking a vote away from the one candidate with a hope of beating the incumbent). So much depends on getting someone else in office (not least, our nation’s judiciary, from the Supreme Court seats on down, which Trump has already done a frightening job of skewing rightward in the past three years).

And then, once he’s in office, keep up your dissent. Point out when he fucks up. Call your representatives and senators and make sure they know where you stand and that they should push against any poor decisions and missteps. Make your voice heard, beyond just the once-every-four-years vote, and push for things to improve. Don’t give up just because your preferred candidate didn’t end up winning–push for the remaining candidates, the eventual nominee, and (hopefully) the new President to do better.

The Root ranks every Democratic candidates’ ‘Black Agenda’. Comprehensive, and well worth reading for the details and commentary. But here’s the spoiler-iffic end results, listing the candidates from worst to best (all scores out of 100 possible points)

  • Tulsi Gabbard: 0
  • Amy Klobuchar: 22
  • Michael Bloomberg: 43
  • Bernie Sanders: 50
  • Tom Steyer: 62
  • Pete Buttigieg: 66
  • Joe Biden: 70
  • Elizabeth Warren: 79

There you have it. Elizabeth Warren’s “black agenda” is the blackest of them all. Unfortunately, she also seems to be invisible to everyone except Mike Bloomberg. But that’s only because she keeps punching him in the face during the debates.

Then again, we’ve only counted the white votes.

There’s Nothing Revolutionary About Harassing Critics:

Perfect, superhuman leaders do not exist in life. They exist in propaganda, and what toxic Sanders supporters seem most vehemently interested in is not hurting individual people, but creating a state of play in which only propaganda about Sanders can be spoken without reprisal. By doing so, they’re creating the conditions for a president who acts without accountability, a president who gets to create his own truth and use his passionate following to terrorize anyone who contradicts him—a president very much like the one we have now.

End the filibuster, flip the Senate: the debate Democrats almost had

We’re deep into the primary now. There have been 10 Democratic debates (12 if you count the debates broken into two nights), and even more forums, town halls, and so on. We know, at this point, what the candidates want to do. It’s time for debate moderators to start pressing them, in a serious and sustained way, on how they’ll do it.

We went out to Elizabeth Warren’s rally at the Seattle Center Armory tonight. Warren was great. So glad we went out and got to see her. She’s really does come across just as good as you’d hope she would: incredibly intelligent, passionate, articulate, engaged, warm, and through everything, energetic and having fun.

She went through about a fifteen minute stump speech, then took five questions from pre-selected attendees, and spent about 30 minutes total answering them. Her answers were incredible—both because she gave good answers to the questions, and also because she very deftly was able to use each of them as launching points for touching on other focus points and areas of her campaign, but always coming back to the original question and never giving the impression that the question didn’t actually matter. I didn’t record the stump speech, but did record the Q&A; I’ve got it going up to YouTube now and will add it to this post later…but rather than bother with my amateur, from-the-crowd video, here’s King 5’s video of the full thing (Warren starts speaking at about 25 minutes in):

So, yes. Warren is my preferred candidate. I absolutely believe that she has a plan for everything, and knows exactly how to get about getting it done.

Once again, very glad we got to go.

Now, though, we’re exhausted.

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From Cosmopolitan: I WANT an Angry Woman as My President, Actually:

Warren’s anger is a great thing. She’s not using it to fight for herself. She’s fighting for the less privileged, a trait I actually really, really want in a leader. For instance, during the debate, she was furious as she stood up for the thousands of men of color who have been stopped and frisked, the millions of black and brown families who were preyed upon with redlining, and children with disabilities who faced budget cuts while billionaires got a tax break this year.

Warren’s rage is almost always in the service of others and that’s her secret weapon. Nothing made that more obvious than when Pete Buttigieg pressed Amy Klobuchar about forgetting the name of the president of Mexico. Warren jumped in, not to prove that she knew the answer, but to stand up for the only other woman onstage, even if she’s her competitor.

“Let’s be clear: Missing a name all by itself does not indicate that you do not understand what’s going on, and I just think that’s a mistake,” Warren said. Even when an injustice is lobbed at her opponent in a way that could totally benefit her, Warren doesn’t take the bait. Isn’t that precisely the quality we want in the person we elect to the highest office?

And, related, an image I found on Facebook and reposted earlier today:

Warren was not mean, nor angry. She was _effective_.

There is nothing wrong with women expressing anger. We’ve certainly given them enough reasons to do so.

And any blather about Warren’s debate performance being too mean, or aggressive, or not pleasant enough, is astoundingly obvious sexist claptrap (but of course, to my utter lack of surprise, is plentiful).