2020 U.S. Presidential elections

Cristalle

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What I find so aggravating is the focus on the presidency. As others have said, notably including Isabeau's explicit statement, is that what really matters is promoting progressive voices in the other governmental chambers. In large part the folks who complain about the presidential race are mostly quiet about this. For example, very little has been said about important victories like Jamaal Bowman's upset primary win. Nothing is going to get done without that support, and it does not matter who is the president. Without such support a more progressive president, and most certainly Senator Sanders in particular, would be a lame duck the day after being sworn in.
Funny to be lectured about this in a thread literally entitled "2020 U.S. Presidential elections." If this was "The US electoral system" then I could see the point about not discussing important progressive wins.

What I find most ironic about this bizarre focus on the President, is that former VP Biden is being criticized for his long record of getting things done (even if I do not like them) while not being the President. It is a bit discordant to be continually scolded about how we will have to "demand" more from Biden because of what he will do as President. That is nonsense. Biden is going to do what he is going to do, and as President we have little to no power to impose anything on him. The only way change will come is from pressure from the legislative branches, and that will require a focus on supporting people like Mr. Bowman or Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, and other progressives. This constant drumbeat of being told that Biden will not do anything we want is silly because it is beside the point and a silly distraction. The issue is not what Biden will do but who we should turn to for leadership. Constantly tearing down Biden does nothing and is a tedious distraction.
He's not being criticized for merely getting things done, but for the destructive nature of the policy choices he's made.

But here we get to the crux of the issue, at least between you and I and not speaking for anyone else. We have differing views on power, and how to wield it. You think that we have little power, and in a broad sense that's true. Yet, if we really had no power, then you all wouldn't bitch at me for the alleged attempts to get people to not vote (which, as I have already said a number of times, is not my goal), because it wouldn't matter. No, we have the power of the vote and you choose to give yours away without asking anything for it.

Some people want something for their vote. Every other organized group gets this. Some of them exercise power through money, which is why Biden has assured his donors that "nothing will fundamentally change." They like the status quo, and that's what we're going to get, short of a wave of strikes (or something worse) that forces our representatives to, you know, actually represent our interests. The monied people pretty much always get something for their vote. People without money only have their vote, since money doesn't vote, and a mass of them can force change if they are willing to let the candidate lose. Giving your vote away incentivizes your needs, your voice being ignored. Browbeating voters for withholding their vote to demand change instead of encouraging the candidate to move is, to me, nonsensical unless you don't give a shit about things changing in this lifetime.

The focus has been on the president because presidents have become de facto leaders of their parties, unlike in the past where the party bosses have wielded more leadership and influence over the party's direction. The president sets the agenda, and as Biden has shown with regard to Medicare for All, may be the most difficult obstacle to getting legislation passed. The veto requires that we have a 2/3 supermajority to get anything done. That wouldn't be such an issue if we had a president who chose to lead in a way that reflects the will of the base of his party and - more importantly - of the American people more broadly. It's probably easier to get a charismatic president that will lead and can do things via executive order and a simple majority in most instances than it is to get 2/3 of the Senate to endorse progressive issues.

Yes, we need to walk and chew gum and do all these things, and it's great that the Squad will be growing. But that group of people and progressive politicians in general requires a longer discussion, in their own thread, to do it justice.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Isn't the hard fact of the matter, though, that for the purposes of the Presidential elections, the people whose votes count are the swing voters in however many states it is that Biden has to win in order to secure a path to victory in the Electoral College?

Biden and the Democrats have to focus on the target demographics of wavering Republican and Democrat supporters in a dozen or so target states -- they're the voters they're going to be courting in this election, no matter what they intend to do later, when actually in power.
 

Cristalle

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Isn't the hard fact of the matter, though, that for the purposes of the Presidential elections, the people whose votes count are the swing voters in however many states it is that Biden has to win in order to secure a path to victory in the Electoral College?

Biden and the Democrats have to focus on the target demographics of wavering Republican and Democrat supporters in a dozen or so target states -- they're the voters they're going to be courting in this election, no matter what they intend to do later, when actually in power.
Not necessarily. Bush showed that turning out the base (plus a little cheating) is all you need to win. Trump basically won the same way. The largest block of voters in the US is nonvoters, and if you can turn out the nonvoters that lean in your direction - especially in said swing states - it is possible to win. Conventional Democrats don't follow this model. They'd rather run Republican-lite to appeal to the other side, and then wonder why the real Republican wins.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Not necessarily. Bush showed that turning out the base (plus a little cheating) is all you need to win. Trump basically won the same way. The largest block of voters in the US is nonvoters, and if you can turn out the nonvoters that lean in your direction - especially in said swing states - it is possible to win. Conventional Democrats don't follow this model. They'd rather run Republican-lite to appeal to the other side, and then wonder why the real Republican wins.
Are you seriously recommending that as a winning strategy for the Democrats?
 
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Cristalle

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Are you seriously recommending that as a winning strategy for the Democrats?
Not the cheating part, no. But the idea of turning out your base, to excite them and make them want to come out, absolutely.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Not the cheating part, no. But the idea of turning out your base, to excite them and make them want to come out, absolutely.
Sorry, but I thought you were talking about bringing out the non-voters and winning that way?
 

bubblesort

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The democrats will never seriously court non-voters in the party's current state. They don't even go after votes from registered democrats.

I think the national strategy is to use the platform to court the mythological moderate republican vote. I've never met one of these moderate republican people, but, you know, they keep saying that's why we can't have nice things.

The problem is, they change the platform for these mythological snipes and gnomes, but then don't actually campaign for their votes in red areas, or even swing states that are starting to lean more red now, like where I am, in Pennsylvania. You can't just say you believe in private health care in some committee meeting and expect conservatives to incorporate that into their voting decisions. You have to actually campaign, and argue for private health care. Nobody actually has the courage to do that, though. That's why we lose.

If the democrats looked at the platform as something they actually have to argue for, rather than something they can shift around and play games with, using 'earned media coverage' and crap like that, I think the party would be going in a much different direction right now.
 

Cristalle

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Sorry, but I thought you were talking about bringing out the non-voters and winning that way?
I agree that actually appealing to non-voters and getting them out is the way to win. There is usually some amount of people that don't turn out, for various reasons, that would be inclined to vote in the party's direction. This is true of both parties, and in 2016, that was the white vote for Trump. But the way things are going, it makes people cynical about things ever changing. Young people should have gone out to vote if they wanted Sanders, but while a good number of them were frustrated through voter suppression, the sad truth is that too many others couldn't be bothered. That's a fact, but it's also likely to sour a lot of young people on voting as well, if they don't think that anything will change.

Honestly, part of it is our civic education process. And a lot of young people are not political very early on. I didn't start voting in primaries until my early 40s because I was NPA until 2016 and I didn't really see myself as being political, and had no real party loyalty. I am not the only one and that's something that the party is going to have to fix in the future, because it could very well lose a generation after this year.
 
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Cristalle

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The democrats will never seriously court non-voters in the party's current state. They don't even go after votes from registered democrats.

I think the national strategy is to use the platform to court the mythological moderate republican vote. I've never met one of these moderate republican people, but, you know, they keep saying that's why we can't have nice things.

The problem is, they change the platform for these mythological snipes and gnomes, but then don't actually campaign for their votes in red areas, or even swing states that are starting to lean more red now, like where I am, in Pennsylvania. You can't just say you believe in private health care in some committee meeting and expect conservatives to incorporate that into their voting decisions. You have to actually campaign, and argue for private health care. Nobody actually has the courage to do that, though. That's why we lose.

If the democrats looked at the platform as something they actually have to argue for, rather than something they can shift around and play games with, using 'earned media coverage' and crap like that, I think the party would be going in a much different direction right now.
There is a lot of truth here. I remember driving through rural Florida and only seeing signs for Ron DeSantis. I didn't see any signs for Andrew Gillum until I got to the urban areas. It was apparent to me that the biggest divide was urban/rural, and I honestly think that in a lot of places, the Democratic Party leaves that on the table. They don't challenge the Republicans in a lot of the parts of this state, because they consider it lost cause. It's understandable, because resources are scarce, and so you need to put them where you are more likely to win. But to me, this speaks to needing to take all that donor money and instead of paying worthless strategists and consultants to produce media, get that to build state party infrastructure. Bloomberg blew half of a billion dollars on this election just to stop Bernie Sanders. If he was serious about building Democratic power, he'd be taking another half billion to really bulk up at the grassroots level and give the state parties what they need to compete.
 

Aeon Jiminy

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And this dehumanizing bullshit, right here. "A certain person," she who shall not be named. Acting like I'm fucking Beetlejuice, as if saying my name three times will call down some crazy demon. I don't need you to un-ignore me, but it would be nice if you'd treat me like a normal human being instead of a piece of dirt that you need thick gloves to pick up.
I'm afraid this is where the Democratic Party is. There's no policy or democracy left in it. It's a tribal dance around a fire appealing to the spirits to bestow their compassion down on the group. The forbidden chant could anger the gods and blow this whole thing apart.
 

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Sort of related.

 
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Cindy Claveau

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The democrats will never seriously court non-voters in the party's current state. They don't even go after votes from registered democrats.
I don't know where you live, but in my red state the Dems are VERY active. We won the Gov race in '18, and we're aiming for our right wing Congressmen right now. So, in short, you're wrong.
 

bubblesort

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I don't know where you live, but in my red state the Dems are VERY active. We won the Gov race in '18, and we're aiming for our right wing Congressmen right now. So, in short, you're wrong.
I don't know where you are, but from what I can tell, they aren't canvassing, phone banking, or leafleting where I am in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at all. The party leadership also opposes single payer and mairjuana legalization, which tells me they absolutely do not want my vote. Biden rarely gives speeches or interviews. At the same time, Trump is all over the media, every day, for the last 5 years, campaigning constantly, earning votes. How is Biden countering that? He hasn't been on TV since last week, I think. Maybe the week before? He has attempted online rallies, and they are attended by dozens of people, because he doesn't advertise (I doubt anybody here has attended one, and you guys are the most digitally literate Biden Stans I know). He has one ad in my market, and it's an iPhone shot video of a dude in a kitchen talking, while Trump runs ads that hit like Daisey. It's like Biden is terrified of exposure. I don't know what he's spending all that donation money on. He must have the most well paid consultants in the world.

2020 is a repeat of 2016. The national democratic party leadership does not want to earn votes. They want to just purchase the election.
 

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Oooh, shenanigans...

  • A group of Biden allies, including a few of his top donors, initiated a campaign against Harris close to a month ago, just weeks before a decision is expected.
  • The concerns focus on her attacks on Biden during a primary debate last year, bringing into question her loyalty to the former vice president.
  • Some also argue that she’s too ambitious and that she will be solely focused on eventually becoming president.
Concerns about her attacks on Biden would effect any choice who also ran in the primary. Concerns about her being too ambitious is pure sexist bullshit.
 

Cristalle

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