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InDefenseOfPOMO

What are Democrats thinking?

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InDefenseOfPOMO
Posted (edited)

My premise is that since LBJ voters in the U.S. have overwhelmingly shown a preference for a conservative in the Oval Office and that when the Democrats have won they won close contests with a moderate to conservative white Southerner.

 

I do not have time to fact check my facts here. Please keep in mind that I am going by memory.

 

There is one exception to my premise: Barack Obama.

 

Well, I believe that there is a simple explanation: after the 8-year disaster known as George W. Bush there was little chance for a Republican victory in 2008. The Democrat, white or non-white, male or female, gay or straight, would have had to have run one of the worst campaigns to lose. The Republicans seemed resigned to that. Obama's charisma--No Drama Obama--greatly helped. But the electoral landslide that has otherwise been unheard of for Democrats since LBJ tells me that it didn't matter who the Democrat was, he/she was going to win.

 

Other than that there has been little margin for error for Democrats. Bill Clinton won only a plurality of the popular vote in 1992 and may have lost were it not for Ross Perot. Jimmy Carter didn't overwhelm anybody in 1976 in spite of the Republican corruption that preceded him. He then lost badly in 1980.

 

It seems clear to me: most things kept constant, the Democrats have since LBJ lost badly (remember Mondale only winning one state in 1984?) and have won--barely--only when their nominee is a moderate to conservative male white Southerner.

 

Yet, now the Democratic Party is determined to nominate anybody but a white male, and the further from white and male the better. The DNC conspired to make Hillary Clinton--a woman--the nominee in 2016 even though voters preferred Sanders and he was clearly more electable. If the party ends up in 2020 nominating a non-minority, non-female, such as Joe Biden, they will do it begrudgingly.

 

Furthermore, they are determined to nominate a liberal extremist.

 

What are they thinking? Do they not see that the U.S. is largely conservative and that Americans have preferred Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump over more-than-slightly-left liberals/progressives? Do they not see that they have BARELY won with moderate to conservative Southerners as their nominee?

 

What has changed?

 

The only thing that I can think of is that they have conceded the 2020 presidential election and are trying to instead regain control of Congress.

Edited by InDefenseOfPOMO

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The Terrible Travis

The two candidates leading the polls, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, are both white males, so your statement that the Democratic Party is determined to nominate anybody but a white male is just simply untrue. The notion that they're determined to nominate a "liberal extremist" is even more ridiculous - as you yourself admit, in 2016 the DNC preferred Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. They wanted the more conservative candidate. 

 

Also incorrect is your point that U.S. is largely conservative. In fact, what the polls show us is that America is a largely progressive country - progressive policies such as Medicare For All, tuition-free college, the Green New Deal, stricter gun control, a $15 minimum wage, and a wealth tax are all supported by the majority of Americans. Donald Trump is in fact unpopular among Americans, and trails behind all of the Democratic candidates in the polls. 

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InDefenseOfPOMO
Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, The Terrible Travis said:

The two candidates leading the polls, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, are both white males,

 

Because they have much better name recognition than the rest of the field.

 

And because the people who prefer Biden say that defeating Trump is their biggest concern.

 

None of this changes the fact that the left in particular and Democratic party in general do not want a white male to be the nominee.

 

When former Kentucky governor Steve Beshear gave the Democrats' response to the State of the Union the choice of an old, white, male Southerner was heavily criticized by liberals.

 

 

57 minutes ago, The Terrible Travis said:

the DNC preferred Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. They wanted the more conservative candidate. 

 

They preferred Hillary before Sanders was a factor.

 

 

57 minutes ago, The Terrible Travis said:

Also incorrect is your point that U.S. is largely conservative. In fact, what the polls show us is that America is a largely progressive country - progressive policies such as Medicare For All, tuition-free college, the Green New Deal, stricter gun control, a $15 minimum wage, and a wealth tax are all supported by the majority of Americans. Donald Trump is in fact unpopular among Americans, and trails behind all of the Democratic candidates in the polls. 

 

Then every four Novembers we usually elect people like Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Donald Trump.

 

Of course, liberals will blame the Electoral College.

 

But if it wasn't for the Electoral College the Democrats might have lost even more elections. Bill Clinton won only a plurality of the popular vote in 1992. If I recall correctly, the popular vote was close in 1976 between Carter and Ford.

 

Anyway, you did not respond to the point I actually made. Given a choice between a conservative like Ronald Reagan and a liberal like Walter Mondale, Americans have overwhelmingly preferred the former.

Edited by InDefenseOfPOMO
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The Terrible Travis
12 minutes ago, InDefenseOfPOMO said:

Because they have much better name recognition than the rest of the field.

 

And because the people who prefer Biden say that defeating Trump is their biggest concern.

  

None of this changes the fact that the left in particular and Democratic party in general do not want a white male to be the nominee.

Uh...yes it does. If the Democrats didn't want a white male to be the nominee, then two white males wouldn't be the ones overwhelmingly leading the field. Your response is a dodge. 

 

16 minutes ago, InDefenseOfPOMO said:

But if it wasn't for the Electoral College the Democrats might have lost even more elections.

The Electoral College has never once handed a Democrat an election. 

 

19 minutes ago, InDefenseOfPOMO said:

Anyway, you did not respond to the point I actually made. Given a choice between a conservative like Ronald Reagan and a liberal like Walter Mondale, Americans have overwhelmingly preferred the former.

This isn't 1984. 

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Homer

Where does this strange obsession with race and gender come from? Being of a certain gender is not a quality in its own. Your skin being of one colour or another isn't a quality in itself.

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InDefenseOfPOMO
Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, The Terrible Travis said:

If the Democrats didn't want a white male to be the nominee, then two white males wouldn't be the ones overwhelmingly leading the field.

 

They don't want the nominee to be a white male.

 

Not long after the 2016 election it was revealed that Democrats looking ahead to 2020 were focusing on a minority female.

 

The early polls do not falsify my thesis. All things being equal, Democrats are now determined for a non-white, non-male to be the face of the party.

 

But all things are not equal. For one, Biden and Sanders have a huge advantage in name recognition.

 

 

39 minutes ago, The Terrible Travis said:

The Electoral College has never once handed a Democrat an election.

 

The Electoral College has never handed ANYBODY an election.

 

 

39 minutes ago, The Terrible Travis said:

This isn't 1984.

 

I already asked what is different now. "This isn't 1984" has already been established.

 

No Cold War now?

 

I do not think that the Cold War is really what is different now.

 

What is different now is that the neoliberalism that became the norm under, ironically, Ronald Reagan has had thirty years to take a toll on the working class and middle class in America.

 

Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton each supported neoliberalism in one form or another. It was Bill Clinton who gave us NAFTA. It was Bill Clinton who deregulated the banking and insurance industries. It was Bill Clinton who gave us the World Trade Organization. Even Jimmy Carter can be associated with the destruction that neoliberalism has caused--deregulation started under his leadership.

 

This is not a good time to continue ignoring poor or working class white people, it seems clear to me.

Edited by InDefenseOfPOMO

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The Terrible Travis
Just now, InDefenseOfPOMO said:

They don't want the nominee to be a white male.

What actual evidence do you have that the majority of Democrats don't want the nominee to be a white male?

 

1 minute ago, InDefenseOfPOMO said:

The Electoral College has never handed ANYBODY an election.

It's handed elections to Republicans who lost the popular vote. 

 

2 minutes ago, InDefenseOfPOMO said:

I already asked what is different now. "This isn't 1984" has already been established.

 

 No Cold War now?

 

I do not think that the Cold War is really what is different now.

 

What is different now is that the neoliberalism that became the norm under, ironically, Ronald Reagan has had thirty years to take a toll on the working class and middle class in America.

  

Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton all supported neoliberalism in one form or another. It was Bill Clinton who gave us NAFTA. It was Bill Clinton who deregulated the banking and insurance industries. It was Bill Clinton who gave us the World Trade Organization. Even Jimmy Carter can be associated with the destruction that neoliberalism has caused--deregulation started under his leadership.

  

 This is not a good time to continue ignoring poor or working class white people, it seems clear to me.

I agree, so I don't see why you're arguing against nominating a more progressive candidate. 

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nineGardens

 

1 hour ago, InDefenseOfPOMO said:

The Electoral College has never handed ANYBODY an election.

"Handed a victory" may well refer to situations where someone wins an election despite losing the popular vote...

 

See list here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_presidential_elections_by_popular_vote_margin

 

 

Also.... not the electoral college exactly, but....

https://sinews.siam.org/Details-Page/detecting-gerrymandering-with-mathematics

 

Coming from the outside, the US has one of the weirdest voting systems I have ever seen. I suspect it made a whole bunch of sense back when communication was via horseback riding, but now that we have telephones etc, it really does look like a system designed to screw people over.

 

In particular "The political party in power in state legislatures uses census information to alter congressional districts in its favor via a process called redistricting."

It seems unwise to let the group currently in power change the rules for the election which is designed to determine if they stay in power.

 

 

Also, potentially of interest....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact

 

 

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InDefenseOfPOMO
11 hours ago, The Terrible Travis said:

What actual evidence do you have that the majority of Democrats don't want the nominee to be a white male?

 

Everything that I read and hear about the election.

 

Like late last fall or early last winter a news story reported that observers were SURPRISED that a poll showed Biden with a big lead among likely Democratic voters. They were expecting a minority and/or female candidate to be the leader.

 

 

11 hours ago, The Terrible Travis said:

It's handed elections to Republicans who lost the popular vote.

 

They won legal, fair elections under the U.S. Constitution.

 

Nothing was "handed" to them.

 

 

11 hours ago, The Terrible Travis said:

I agree, so I don't see why you're arguing against nominating a more progressive candidate. 

 

I am not arguing against it.

 

I have simply said that history shows that what they want won't will lead to defeat--often humiliating defeat.

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The Terrible Travis
Just now, InDefenseOfPOMO said:

Everything that I read and hear about the election.

 

Like late last fall or early last winter a news story reported that observers were SURPRISED that a poll showed Biden with a big lead among likely Democratic voters. They were expecting a minority and/or female to be the leader.

That's not evidence. 

 

1 minute ago, InDefenseOfPOMO said:

They won legal, fair elections under the U.S. Constitution.

 

Nothing was "handed" to them.

It's because we operate under an Electoral College system that those candidates won their elections. Otherwise they wouldn't have. That was my point. 

 

8 minutes ago, InDefenseOfPOMO said:

I am not arguing against it.

 

I have simply said that history shows that what they want won't will lead to defeat--often humiliating defeat.

FDR won four consecutive elections, so no, history actually does not show that. 

 

And anyway, what really matters is not the results of elections from years ago, but rather the political reality on the ground *right now*. And that reality is that Trump is historically unpopular, progressive policies are supported by most Americans, and all the Democratic candidates lead Trump in the polls. 

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ByeYall!

If the democrats don't nominate Bernie or at the very least Liz Warren they will lose. Hands down. People in America are progressive but they don't like these middle of the road democrats who are not doing anything that's drastically different from the Republicans. The way I see it Biden is just as sexist and at least as tolerant of racism as any right winger. He basically campaigned for Samuel Alito who was in a club at Yale known to espouse racist views. He ridiculed and allowed Anita Hill to be raked over the coals during Clarence Thomas's hearing. I mean that's two rightwing mutters he basically put on the Supreme Court. If the Dem's go middle of the road again they will deliver the White House to Trump again. 

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ByeYall!

Oh, and the only reason most Presidents since LBJ have been conservative is because of the equal rights and civil rights bills he signed. He even said at the time that the south wouldn't vote democrat again for the next 100 years or something like that. So we can hem and haw and wonder or take the advice of a southerner: its racism, plain and simple. 

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InDefenseOfPOMO
5 hours ago, nineGardens said:

Also, a random read that you may or may not agree with, but that feels like it is a comment on "What is the left wing thinking" might be...

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/may/14/why-copying-the-populist-right-isnt-going-to-save-the-left

 

 

 

The article is extremely long and I only had time to read about one third of it.

 

From the article:

 

"Confronted with a declining working class and a growing middle class, social democratic parties started to target the latter at the expense of the former."

 

In other words, it is all about demographics.

 

When will we have leaders--conservative, liberal or in between--who represent the people? That is what democracy is: the people are the government.

 

Instead we have so-called leaders appealing to particular demographics such as white evangelicals, college educated unmarried women, people who frequent Starbucks, people who dine at Cracker Barrel, etc.

 

To me the article is further evidence that the left is not radical enough.

 

A true radical--never mind his/her race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.--is who the Democrats need to nominate.

 

I don't know if anybody in the field represents anything other than cosmetic changes to more of the same.

 

And if you pay close attention you will see more than a few observers, such as Morris Berman and his Dark Ages America blog, showing that we are deluding ourselves if we think that any of the presidential candidates will be willing or able to try to stop the U.S.'s Roman-Empire-style collapse that is already well underway.

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ByeYall!

What do these people want that is more radical than a socialist? A Leninist figure ? Or worse, a Stalinist or Maoist? And if the people are the government ( which technically isnt true we are a Republic) why do they keep picking idiots? Somewhere our culture and educational system has failed and the only people who are truly winning are the corporations and the super wealthy. To paraphrase my man Richard D. Wolff, its economics, stupid! ( not calling you personally stupid that is what he said about some fools who were trying to argue otherwise).

And, by the way, I agree that identity politics isnt the right way for the left to win, there is no unity in the identitarian left. 

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ByeYall!

And don't worry, the middle class is shrinking so it will all be one giant mass of lumpenproletariat soon anyway. 

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InDefenseOfPOMO
5 hours ago, ByeYall! said:

Oh, and the only reason most Presidents since LBJ have been conservative is because of the equal rights and civil rights bills he signed. He even said at the time that the south wouldn't vote democrat again for the next 100 years or something like that. So we can hem and haw and wonder or take the advice of a southerner: its racism, plain and simple. 

 

An immediate backlash against Civil Rights legislation may have helped elect Nixon.

 

But other things happened after that. The humiliation of the Vietnam conflict. Roe vs. Wade. The Sexual Revolution. The Moral Majority and the reemergence of evangelicals after decades of hiding due to the Scopes Trial.  Wages stagnating in the early '70's after decades of growth after WWII. A recession. The Sun Belt. An overall depressed mood in the U.S. at the end of the '70's that was momentarily relieved by the Miracle On Ice at the 1980 Winter Games. Compounding inequality. Women entering the work force in unprecedented numbers--mostly for low-paying service-sector jobs that replaced good-paying manufacturing jobs. Etc.

 

I think that the appeal of conservative Republicans starting with Reagan was the promise of military and economic superiority. Kind of a Cold War version of Trump's "Make America Great Again" 

 

To attribute the conservative Republican hold on the Oval Office since LBJ entirely to racism is very simplistic.

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ByeYall!

You don't have any idea how simplistic people can be. I do applaud your optimistic outlook though. 

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Sally
18 hours ago, InDefenseOfPOMO said:

The Electoral College has never handed ANYBODY an election.

 

 

Trump won because of the Electoral College.  Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million votes.  

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Nevyn

There's a difference between the popular vote nationally and the popular vote in a state. There's no good reason why a state Electoral College should vote by any other way than the states popular vote. If they voted with the national popular vote then they wouldn't represent the people of their state. Trump carried enough states to counter the large democratic stronghold states.

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FaesariPrincess

My boyfriend studied political science for his undergraduate degree so a lot of the information I'm getting comes straight from him:

 

1. The only reason republicans have won elections in the past years is because of the electoral college, at least in recent years. Democrats tend to dominate the popular vote in most areas.

2. Polls show those who tend to vote republican tend to be not as educated. Their "fan base" (conservatives) tend to drop out of college (at least when compared to liberals) because they can't handle the "world opening" views that college tends to force on its students because of the nature of how diverse college students are (all races, all religious backgrounds, etc.)

3. There's a handful of times where the electoral college chose someone who didn't win the popular vote, Trump is the most recent incident of this.

4. Many states right now are actually trying to pass laws that basically state "No matter what you think or feel, whatever the popular vote demands, that is how the electoral college of our state will vote" (basically trying to avoid another Trump situation)

 

My views:

1. Arguably one of the few good things to come out of the Reagan era is that he introduced "no fault" divorces. 

2. The democrats are honestly just desperate to have anyone but Trump be president. Ignoring wherever you fall on the political spectrum, there is no denying that Trump has done some seriously ethically bad and questionable things during his term. It doesn't help that he's vehemently attempting to revive the oil companies (despite them being a huge enviornmental health risk). 

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The Terrible Travis
1 hour ago, Nevyn said:

There's no good reason why a state Electoral College should vote by any other way than the states popular vote

There's no good reason why the person with the most votes should lose the election. 

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InDefenseOfPOMO
10 hours ago, ByeYall! said:

Oh, and the only reason most Presidents pince LBJ have been conservative is because of the equal rights and civil rights bills he signed. He even said at the time that the south wouldn't vote democrat again for the next 100 years or something like that. So we can hem and haw and wonder or take the advice of a southerner: its racism, plain and simple. 

 

I don't have the resources to do the math right now (a laptop and a mouse rather than a mobile device would work much better), but looking at the Electoral maps:

 

1.) Jimmy Carter won all Southern states in 1976. Therefore, a Democrat won a narrow victory BECAUSE OF, not in spite of, Southerners allegededly so racist that they will vote their bigotry.

 

2.) I know for sure that even if Carter won the entire South in 1980 (he only won his home state of Georgia) Reagan still would have won the election.

 

3.) Mondale only won one state in 1984. Therefore, IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING that the South, racist or otherwise, did not decide the election. Not even close.

 

4.) I don't know for sure, but I think that it is safe to say that in 1988 even if Dukakis somehow won every Southern state he would have lost.

 

Reagan and Bush Sr. won by landslides! The South and its alleged racism at the polls have little, if any, part in the story.

 

That leaves the victories of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Four out of seven of those were Electoral victories for Democrats aided by Southern states.

 

Simple inductive reasoning dictates that the thesis "Southerners' racist response to Civil Rights laws of the 1960's has dominated presidential politics and elections since LBJ" is false.

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InDefenseOfPOMO
1 hour ago, FaesariPrincess said:

Democrats tend to dominate the popular vote in most areas.

 

A victory of less than 3 million people is not dominance.

 

A victory of the population of Kansas is not dominance.

 

Gore's victory was even smaller.

 

 

1 hour ago, FaesariPrincess said:

Polls show those who tend to vote republican tend to be not as educated. Their "fan base" (conservatives) tend to drop out of college (at least when compared to liberals) because they can't handle the "world opening" views that college tends to force on its students because of the nature of how diverse college students are (all races, all religious backgrounds, etc.)

 

Being uneducated causes them to be conservative.

 

Being conservative causes them to be uneducated.

 

Which is it?

 

And don't forget that Jonathan Haidt has shown that it is differences in moral views that divide liberals and conservatives. Wikipedia puts it this way:

 

"The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012), examined how morality is shaped by emotion and intuition more than by reasoning, and why differing political groups such as progressives, conservatives, and libertarians have such different notions of right and wrong.[3]"

 

Notice that it doesn't say that conservatives use emotion while liberals use objective things that they learn at universities.

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InDefenseOfPOMO
11 hours ago, ByeYall! said:

The way I see it Biden is just as sexist and at least as tolerant of racism as any right winger. He basically campaigned for Samuel Alito who was in a club at Yale known to espouse racist views. He ridiculed and allowed Anita Hill to be raked over the coals during Clarence Thomas's hearing. I mean that's two rightwing mutters he basically put on the Supreme Court.

 

Biden's behavior does not begin on any scale of misogyny to compare to the way that Bill Clinton treated women. Yet feminists were some of Bill Clinton's most ardent supporters.

 

Furthermore, Biden did not put Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court. The full Senate was ready to vote to confirm Thomas, but female lawmakers at the last minute demanded that Hill's allegations be heard. Were it not for their actions (correct actions, in my estimation) Hill never would have gone through what she went through.

 

If someone brings horrible charges against a Supreme Court nominee then they should be cross-examined thoroughly.

 

Or was it Biden's job to believe Hill and without due process say that Thomas was guilty of the charges?

 

 

11 hours ago, ByeYall! said:

What do these people want that is more radical than a socialist? A Leninist figure ? Or worse, a Stalinist or Maoist? And if the people are the government ( which technically isnt true we are a Republic) why do they keep picking idiots? Somewhere our culture and educational system has failed and the only people who are truly winning are the corporations and the super wealthy. To paraphrase my man Richard D. Wolff, its economics, stupid!

 

Radical change would mean that the people are the government.

 

If the people are not already the government (like you say, the U.S. is a republic, and its officials are puppets controlled by multinational corporations) then they can't be blamed for idiots being in power.

 

A true radical would not be beholden to any special interests, donors, etc. and would directly represent the people. Can we say that about ANY of the presidential candidates?

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Sally
3 minutes ago, InDefenseOfPOMO said:

If someone brings horrible charges against a Supreme Court nominee then they should be cross-examined thoroughly.

 

Or was it Biden's job to believe Hill and without due process say that Thomas was guilty of the charges?

 

Hill did not bring charges against Thomas; she was asked to testify and she did, and she certainly was cross-examined.

 

This was not a trial, and Biden was not a judge.  This was a confirmation hearing for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land.  What Biden should have done was call as a witness the other woman who was Thomas' former employee, who was ready to confirm Hill's allegations.  But he didn't.  

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Nevyn
6 hours ago, The Terrible Travis said:

There's no good reason why the person with the most votes should lose the election. 

They didn't. 

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The Terrible Travis
8 hours ago, Nevyn said:

They didn't. 

They did. 

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Nevyn
4 minutes ago, The Terrible Travis said:

They did. 

They didn't. The popular vote is an interesting metric but little else. The States elect their representatives to look after the interests of the people of their states, which means they cast their vote according to the majority winner in their state. Why should the people who live in different states get to influence that?

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daveb

Why should some people's votes count more just because they live in less populous states?

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