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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:15 pm 
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It was less than a month ago that I said it was too early to start a thread about the 2020 presidential election (when Michael Avenatti announced that he was not running, thank Eru). Well, now that Elizabeth Warren has become the first official candidate (she has announced that she is forming an exploratory committee, which has become the traditional way of saying you are running without actually saying you are running), it is no longer too early.

I like Elizabeth Warren a lot, but I'm not sure she is the right person to run against Mr. Trump. On the other hand, I'm not sure that should really be the standard. I think we could do a lot worse. But there probably are going to be 20 or more other contenders for the Democratic nomination, so there is a long way to go.


Here is Warren's website, featuring her video announcement that she is running: https://elizabethwarren.com/ For a policy wonk like me, it is impressive. But we had a female policy wonk run for president last time, and that didn't go very well. Warren doesn't have the baggage that Hillary Clinton has, but she her own baggage. Still she could potentially combine the best of what Bernie Sanders brought to the table with the best of what Clinton brought. In the end, though, I think her misstep in announcing her Native American heritage (which ended up pissing off Native Americans and making her the butt of jokes) is going to doom her campaign. We'll see!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:57 pm 
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Reminding people that a new presidential election will be coming in the very near future is a terrible way to start the new year. :nono:

The idea that the silly Native American thing could hurt Warren, despite Trump saying or doing 1000 more preposterous things in the past 3 years, is insane and maddening, because it is probably true.

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Last edited by yovargas on Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:18 pm 
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Happy New Year, yov! :love:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:42 pm 
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:nono:

:P

:love:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:05 am 
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A friend of mine over here who's a bit of an American politics buff said six months ago that if Elisabeth Warren ends up being the Democratic nominee, Trump will get another four years. I must ask him again why. Does she not play well with the center? Is she too left wing?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:13 pm 
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For American politics, she is pretty far left (though perhaps not as much as Bernie in some ways), though she would probably be considered pretty center in most European governments. However, I don't think that is what the issue with her is. I think it is more a question of her not being a forceful enough personality to withstand Trump's attacks. I think it is pretty likely that the Democrats are going to go with someone pretty progressive. But I think someone like Kamala Harris would be more successful.

I'd be curious to hear what your friend says, Al!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:37 pm 
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I asked him:

Quote:
Warren will lose the centrist people who didn’t like Hillary Clinton, she is perceived as too left wing, and voters in swing states either won’t vote for her or will stay at home. Some will vote for anyone but Trump but enough could stay at home for a repeat of what happened Clinton in Wisconsin. Joe Biden is the Democrats best option. Qualified, former senator and VP, from Pennsylvania, highly respected in foreign relations. Historically seen as a friend of blue collar Americans, the demographic that got Trump elected.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:43 pm 
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I am far from an expert on this stuff but I don't think "Warren will lose the centrist people who didn’t like Hillary Clinton" is true. Hillary was primarily disliked for reasons that had almost nothing to do with her actual policy positions.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:51 pm 
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I am so tired of hearing about the centrists, to be honest. It wasn’t a bunch of centrists driving turnout in the recent blue wave. And I would like to see Democrats elected who are willing to govern and legislate like Democrats, not Republicans writ small. That’s how we got Social Security, Medicare, the Civil Rights Act, and the Affordable Care Act.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:26 am 
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As an independent, fairly centrist voter who recently voted for some Democratic candidates, it's really not nice to hear my support and viewpoints dismissed by, in this case, a Democrat who is so tired of hearing about people like me. Of course, my viewpoints are just as happily dismissed by plenty of Republicans too. Let's not pretend that isn't just as huge a problem. I think it is a little bit wrong to assume the recent voting was not at least supported by a bunch of middle of the road people who dislike the Trumpian Republican party.

I think the two-party system is dumb and broken. I'd like to have more politicians who, instead of pandering to the outliers of their respective bases which tend too far left or too far right for my tastes, listens to me and the swathes of people like me who just want a fair, just country with a robust economy.

Depending on what polls you believe, there are ~31% D, ~25% R, and ~42% I in the voter base. And yet, those D's and R's want us to only have L <----- and -----> R choices. :nono:


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:33 am 
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I don't think that is it is unfair for a person on the left to want the party on the left to be strongly on the left. There should be a strongly left party just as there should be a strongly right party. The problem is that, you know, where is the party for everybody else?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:42 am 
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Absolutely, yov. My question is indeed, where is the party of everyone else?

I will apologize, I unfairly bristled at the implication ( just me reading to much into it I guess ) of "your vote for a Democrat didn't matter, centrist you, us Real Democrats really don't care that you and yours helped elect Democratic candidates in the 2018 election, we now want all those candidates to fall in line with what we Real Democrats want". We just got done electing Donald J. Trump with the help of a wave of non-traditional support who was tired of the previous Democratic administration and we're now living his base forcing everybody into their lane. That pendulum will probably next swing to the left, who will again hijack everybody while pretending that now they have the mandate of the people.

Fair enough, strongly left and strongly right people. While you're the only choices out there, you can pretend people chose you. But I want representation too. The center may from time to time cast votes for the only options ( strongly left, strongly right, as it goes nowadays ) just because they're sick of the previous strongly left / strongly right, but in the end that means they don't get to vote for candidates that actually represent them because For Reasons we get only two parties, and the primaries for those are increasingly dominated by the far right ( and apparently, far left ) fringes. As moderates get disgusted with either party and go Independent, they also get disenfranchised in the primaries, and so the two parties' candidates self-select for the extremes, I guess? If so, that's just an unrepresentative mess. I'm tired of holding my nose to vote, too :P

What would it take to break the 2-party stranglehold? Could both parties' registration can go down into the teens, percentage-wise, and we'd still be stuck with their candidates? Where's the line?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:15 am 
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Well, we don't have to be a two-party system. The Republican and Democratic Parties are private organizations with what is effectively a duopoly on US politics. They both need to be broken up but they'd rather compete with each other than do it like they do in other Western democracies, where you've got lots of parties and coalitions that form, dissolve, and reform as desired/needed. I have no idea what the path forward is. I suspect, however, that we'll get a taster in Colorado - we recently switched from caucuses to primaries and voters without a party affiliation can vote in the primaries. We made the change by ballot measure, even though various lawmakers whined that it would cost the state more money (parties cover a caucus, states cover a primary). Independent voters have to pick a primary ballot for one party and one party only, but they can vote. However, this change is very recent and it's hard to say what impact it will have on the candidates ultimately chosen. I suspect it will veer us away from Trump-esque candidates in statewide and national elections as Colorado independents tend to hate Trump and they expressed their disdain quite emphatically this past election.

Maine's also moving to a ranked choice system. We'll see how that plays out in coming years. I don't quite understand how that works, though my impression is it can keep solve the problems that occur when two good candidates split enough votes that a total nutjob actually wins.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:47 am 
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I think people with strong and consistent ideological views can often overestimate the importance of ideology in winning or losing elections. Many voters do not have consistent positions on issues themselves (e.g. they might like the strongly Republican position on border protection and the strongly Democratic one on healthcare) and so pick and choose or vote based on other factors. You can see this with the Goldwater-Reagan effect – even though both nominees were strongly conservative and had many similar ideological positions, Goldwater suffered one of the worst-ever losses and Reagan won one of the greatest-ever victories. Reagan’s far greater electability wasn’t really a matter of his positions, even though, in fairness, those positions were more acceptable to the electorate in 1980 than they had been in 1964.

Sanders was the more extreme candidate than Clinton in terms of his views, in retrospect he may have been the more electable one, even outside the Democratic base. So I don’t think a candidate from the left of the Democratic Party is necessarily less electable than a moderate, even among moderate voters, if there’s other factors in play.

As for Senator Warren, I would be genuinely surprised if she became the 2020 nominee. She doesn’t seem to have a particularly enthusiastic supporter base or niche for herself in the field in the same way Sanders and O’Rourke do. And as 538 points out, she didn’t make a particularly strong showing in her re-election last year considering she was running in a very Democratic state in a strongly Democratic year.

She looks to me to be the sort of high-profile early-entry candidate who ends up getting overtaken by someone newer and more exciting, like Clinton in 2008 and Jeb Bush on the Republican side in 2016.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:12 pm 
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Warren won't get elected because she's a woman. That's the ugly truth of it.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:21 pm 
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Lalaith wrote:
Warren won't get elected because she's a woman. That's the ugly truth of it.


That was my first reaction as well, but then, that was also my reaction to Obama running (not the woman part, obviously) so perhaps there is a possibility of change, but it won't be easy or well received by a large number of people.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:44 pm 
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River wrote:
we recently switched from caucuses to primaries and voters without a party affiliation can vote in the primaries (snip) Independent voters have to pick a primary ballot for one party and one party only, but they can vote

This is how Michigan has done things for as long as I can remember, except party affiliation is not formal here, so any voter may vote in any primary (but only in one). I'm not really sure I'd say this has had any sort of moderating influence, but of course we haven't had the opposite arrangement done here for comparison.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:19 pm 
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Lalaith wrote:
Warren won't get elected because she's a woman. That's the ugly truth of it.
I don't really buy this because:
1) Hillary won the popular vote
2) She almost certainly would have won the election if she didn't have 20 years worth of smear campaigns working against her.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:34 pm 
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There is no question that Hillary Clinton had other liabilities. There is even less question that she would have won if the U.S. wasn't a sexist nation.

That having been said, I still think it is likely that our next president is going to a woman, with Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar the most likely candidates.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:43 pm 
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I mean, Hillary came so close to winning, I honestly think just not having the damm email scandal would have put her over the finish line. Remember it's very possible that the reason she is not currently president is because of Comeys email announcement mere days before the election.

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