Slate: "Beto 2020 Has No Reason to Exist"

Well, today, according to the Texas Tribune, former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke is going to announce that he's a candidate for the Democratic Party's nomination for U.S. President in 2020. Slate's Josh Vorhees has penned what, in your humble blogger's opinion, is one of the best political campaign takedown pieces I've read in quite awhile. (And--you'll just have to take my word for it--I've read a lot of 'em!)

Beto 2020 Has No Reason to Exist
Of all the major candidates, he brings the least to the Democratic primary.

By Josh Voorhees
Slate
March 13, 2019 5:14 PM

Beto O’Rourke is finally ready to end the suspense. The former Texas congressman is expected to formally kick off his presidential campaign Thursday, one day after tipping his hand to a local TV station in Texas. “I’m really proud of what El Paso did and what El Paso represents,” O’Rourke told KTSM El Paso via text. “It’s a big part of why I’m running.” His apparent confirmation came on the heels of a new Vanity Fair cover story—complete with glossy photo shoot—in which he told the magazine that he wanted to run. “I want to be in it,” he said, after describing our current political moment as an existential fight. “Man, I’m just born to be in it, and want to do everything I humanly can for this country at this moment.”

O’Rourke would seem to have much of what he needs to mount a serious run for the Democratic nomination. He has political celebrity after his stronger-than-expected challenge to Sen. Ted Cruz in the midterms. He has a devoted base of fans and network of small donors that would make him instantly competitive. He is already better known and better liked than a number of national Democrats who have been running for weeks. And in preparation for his launch, he reportedly beefed up his already valuable email list, lined up potential campaign hires, and has planned a multiday swing through Iowa this weekend.

Beto is missing one important thing, though: an actual reason to run.

O’Rourke would enter the race as a man without a clear political ideology, a signature legislative achievement, a major policy issue, or a concrete agenda for the country. Those in the know tell the Atlantic that Beto is planning to run as a candidate “offering hope that America can be better than its current partisan and hate-filled politics, and that the country can come together,” but that—brace yourself—he hasn’t yet “landed on how he’ll propose to actually make that happen.” That’s more of the same empty words Beto’s been offering in public since his loss to Cruz. “I don’t know where I am on a [political] spectrum, and I almost could care less,” he said at a recent stop in Wisconsin. “I just want to get to better things for this country.”...
...
...You don’t need to be a policy wonk to be president, but O’Rourke’s allergy to specifics is worsened by his refusal to give voters any real clue of his guiding ideology. As he put it at his final congressional town hall last year, when asked whether he was a progressive: “I’m not big on labels. I don’t get all fired up about party or classifying or defining people based on a label or a group. I’m for everyone.” Labels like progressive and moderate have limited meaning—especially as White House hopefuls blur the lines between both—but they’re not devoid of meaning. If O’Rourke is not going to get specific, the least he can do is get general. Unless he does, he won’t add anything of value to the Democratic race other than platitudes, which are hardly in short supply.

There’s nothing special about O’Rourke’s dream to heal the partisan divide in this country when he can’t explain how he’ll do it. Because as exciting as his bid to take down Cruz was, it also showed the limits of bipartisanship for bipartisanship’s sake. Case in point: Last summer, Beto declared he was putting “country over party” when he declined to support the Democratic challenger to GOP Rep. Will Hurd, whom he had joined on a 2017 road trip from Texas to D.C. that doubled as a 1,600-mile ode to reaching across the aisle. Hurd went on to win re-election by less than 1,000 votes. Asked last weekend whether he’d back O’Rourke over Trump in a hypothetical 2020 general election, Hurd was clear: “My plan is to vote for the Republican nominee.”

Yeah, apparently, when all's said and done (you really have to read the entire article; the link's in the headline), Beto really is a vacuous, New Democrat(ic), big cup o' nuthin'. I'm sure he'll perform well in 2020.


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...from their favorite political satire flicks in the comments. It's Bob (freakin') Roberts!

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

@bobswern was that like a Ted Talk? It must have inspired many democratic politicians.

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

janis b's picture

@bobswern

He sounds like a bad supporting actor in a flop of a film. I have no idea what would be an appropriate film clip since I don’t tend to remember those that fit the bill. But after watching your clip I remembered watching as much of this as I could stomach. It is also for real ...

So I apologise in advance, and can understand if you don't watch much either.

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@janis b

...of another big cup o' nuthin'. (Pretty well known here in the U.S., too.) Didn't realize he was the Ambassador to New Zealand. So, Janis, you totally get it! Cool!

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

janis b's picture

@bobswern

inside as American, and outside as a NZ resident.

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@janis b thanks, before I turned it off I think I learned he is the US Ambassador to NZ now? Sorry, I hope not. dailybeast gossip: Scott Brown’s Newest Campaign: Shady Diet Pills

Centerfold campaign winner:

Career UniParty
cash grabbers supreme
Obama Orourke 2020

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janis b's picture

@eyo

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@eyo

He is embarrassing, but I bet he is not embarrassed.

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...until then, have fun in the comments!

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

"I'm Phillip Mamouf-Wifarts and I approve this message." I can't believe the Ds are going to bet on another O-name, do they think the public are idiots? YES! WE CAN we can we can we can... echo much

Honest Political Ads - Gil Fulbright for Senate 2014

There are a few Gil Fulbright ads still floating around the tubes. have fun

Obama Orourke
meh 2020

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janis b's picture

@eyo

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janis b's picture

@janis b

when it was so obvious. I think it's because he (O'Rourke) is so totally forgettable.

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@janis b I want some of what your smokin', I think? lol

tempus fugit
chess dimension
him him her

Can't we just drone clone him? --Her

It seems kinda dumb just spitting out random words in a group, but it's become a habit now. habitually dumb

PEACE

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janis b's picture

@eyo

for my altered mind. I'm still trying to figure out yours ; ).

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janis b's picture

@janis b

I have fresh fennel seeds galore.

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OzoneTom's picture

@eyo

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gulfgal98's picture

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

@gulfgal98 Impressive record. The KOS Kids are going nuts about him. Wonder how he'll do on the Kosability Polls? I mean, it's only Bernie Bros who pack the votes, amirite?

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@gulfgal98

GG, your comment is awesome! Thank you!

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"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

Cassiodorus's picture

protecting us from a Joe Biden candidacy.

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"The sustainable and just civilization that we hope to create... cannot be built using a capitalist economy" - Kim Stanley Robinson

janis b's picture

@Cassiodorus

That's a frightening vision. It sounds like this is going to be quite a bizarre election season again. It makes me wonder if I should just quit the scene now.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@janis b Remember what the lawyers said when some Florida citizens went after Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in court: we're under no obligation to host a fair primary process.

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"The sustainable and just civilization that we hope to create... cannot be built using a capitalist economy" - Kim Stanley Robinson

Centaurea's picture

Here's the official announcement, from ABC News' YouTube channel.

Bless his heart, it's really awful. One cliche after another. Constantly borrowing phrases from other candidates. His right arm keeps going up and down like he's playing the slots. I was worried he was going to fall out of his seat from all the gesticulating.

Did you know that O'Rourke is going to have "the biggest grassroots campaign in American history"?

"At this moment of maximum peril and maximum potential, the USA is the last great hope for the Earth."

Lots of alliteration, and fancy words that sound great, but I'm still not sure what he says he stands for.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea Well he was an English major.

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Wally's picture

I'm still wondering if it's better for Bernie if more candidates are running or if this or that candidate wasn't in the mix. Seems to me Robert Beto (sic) is gonna be taking votes away from Biden and maybe Bernie.

To get the nomination, a candidate needs 50% plus one of the pledged delegates. That's gonna be a pretty hard row for any candidate to attain even if a bunch of candidates drop out before the convention.

My best understanding at this point is that the rule still stands that if a still-standing candidate declines their name being put into nomination on the first ballot, he or she can asks his or her delegates to vote for this or that candidate but they don't have to abide by the request. So, there's going to be some horse trading going on unless there's a really clear front runner which might be the case. Who knows? Super Tuesday was set up early this go-round (March 3, 2020) and it now includes California, and maybe NYS will sign on, too.

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Centaurea's picture

@Wally @Wally that this is the DNC's plan. Force a brokered convention. As of today, unless the Clintons still own the DNC and still want Hillary to be POTUS, I bet it hasn't been decided who the superdelegates will go for.

As to whether the DNC's plan will pan out, that remains to be seen. Sometimes a plan doesn't come together.

I'm not ruling out Bernie winning it on the first ballot.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

Wally's picture

@Centaurea

. . . even if she doesn't run in the primaries.

Sorry if I just ruined your day.

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Centaurea's picture

@Wally because I was already aware of that unfortunate fact.

At this point, I don't think that she will run. If she is still aiming to be president, and if she and Bill still control the DNC, the plan is more likely to have her installed as nominee at the convention. Either via a brokered first ballot, or by having the superdelegates locked in to vote for her on the second ballot.

From what I can see, it's not clear what the current extent and nature of the Clintons' power is with respect to the DNC. The state of the Dem party seems very chaotic right now. (Reminds me of the kind of chaos that comes with entropy, but I guess we'll see.)

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Wally gee we're gonna need a bigger spreadsheet, yuge. LOL Did you read the demrulez PDFs yet? The DNC won't even put their final final final rules in writing until October 2019, yeah nobody knows. NOBODY

After you figure out their byzantine national formulas, then you have to go state by state. I like the greenpapers, here is their California page, we have 55 electors.
California Democrat

Democrats

  • Democratic pledged delegate counts are determined by the jurisdiction's Presidential vote in 2008, 2012, and 2016; along with the jurisdiction's electoral vote allocation based on 2010 census for the number of electors in 2020.
  • Democratic unpledged delegate counts are determined by the number of DNC Members, Democratic Governors, Democratic U.S. House members, and Democratic U.S. Senators serving at the time of the convention. The count for DNC Members, Distinguished Party Leaders is from the 2016 Convention. The tallies of Governors, Democratic U.S. House members, and Democratic U.S. Senators are the current officeholders.
  • Democratic Bonus Delegates and penalties are not included in these delegate tallies.

The other states are linked below the pledge chart. yet another rabbit hole

It is complicated and expensive on purpose, takes a lot of time and money to participate meaningfully. disenfranchised tent

Anyway, it would take a bigly spreadsheet to track which super bonus soft hard pledged unpledged delegate is going to "vote" for which candidate at the convention. The "horse trading" is happening right now, I think. It's obvious the Ds are trying to harsh Bernie's buzz again. fuck those guys HOPE Bernie has better math surgeons, but still...

You know the DNC can legally pick whoever they want, right? It doesn't matter who votes or when, not at all. Their big club decides what is "best for the country" in the end, or at the beginning like last time. The convention is kabuki theater to sell on TV.

It is better to give any extra money or time or love or energy breaking the duopoly, that's what I think. Speculation is entertaining, for a minute. The D-Delegate count is proprietary information, "pay up or shut up". Not you, I mean the D-Thugs who charge for lists and stuff. Monetize public information for private profit meh. No Ds No Rs, Dump Plutocracy

We're Not Trump 2020!
preemptive wah

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Wally's picture

@eyo

.... is to at least do everything we can to put the fear of Be-Bernie into them, istm.

I don't think it's a good idea to get ahead of ourselves at this point and wind up as a movement like Rosa Luxemburg.

Remember what happened not long after her demise?

If Bernie and "Our Revolution" can't pull it off this time around, maybe I'll consider your plea.

Cheers!

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Wally

Not much chance of that, given that the human race has, at the most optimistic estimate, 30-100 years before it's curtains for most of the species.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Wally's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

No reason to go full apocalypse now.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Wally

Because obviously, supporting people to the left of the Democratic Party is not the same thing as going full apocalypse...and neither is being a socialist, or having a socialist movement.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Wally's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

If you find a way to vote for Bernie in your state primary, I'll vote Green in my Dem-locked state in the general election. Otherwise, if Bernie doesn't pull off a miracle, I'll probably write in Vermin Supreme.

We agree it seems that eco-catastrophe is well-nigh upon us and given that scientists have given us a window of 12 years to stem it's tide, that gives us about 3 election cycles to effect the necessary changes. Given that it will take time to pass the necessary legislation, there's at most only 2 election cycles given the need to elect more folks to congress who will vote for it . So even if an AOC or even a better feasible candidate comes along in 2024, that probably's probably too late because even after such legislation passes, it will take time for the reforms to be implemented to come in under the remaining time window. So my sense is that if we don't pull something off that at least puts us into a position to make the broad sweeping changes we need, we're sitting up shit's creek. I really figure this is our last shot at trying to get done what needs to be done. So this time around is it unless you really believe there's gonna be a grand glorious revolution of some sort to turn the bastards out in time. Or if you think there will be a greening of America and people will simply stop being piggies all on their own without government getting involved. Of course, you can throw in the towel, too, and try to live your life on it's own as best and decent as you can. But even then, I bet someone will find fault with you using the internet, or riding the wrong vehicle, or using too much of this or the wrong that.

BTW, that GND at this point is just a blueprint to try to get sponsors to sign on in principal. I'm sure you know how a bill is introduced, goes through committees, blah blah blah until it is voted on. It will get nitpicked and transformed as it jumps through the hoops. You don't like the provisions that aren't explicitly environmental and science-based, then you'll probably be more satisfied even if you're not happy because you don't think it'll be far-reaching or perfect enough. Oh well. Such is life. So it goes.

Finally, sorry I missed your post and it took me til now to respond. I try to respond out of politeness but I also don't want it to seem like I'm just out to get the last word> I really don't know what the proper etiquette is and I doubt if I'll ever get it just right.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Wally @Wally

attack on me. You're clearly not.

To the issue at hand: we do agree on the timeline:

We agree it seems that eco-catastrophe is well-nigh upon us and given that scientists have given us a window of 12 years to stem it's tide, that gives us about 3 election cycles to effect the necessary changes. Given that it will take time to pass the necessary legislation, there's at most only 2 election cycles given the need to elect more folks to congress who will vote for it . So even if an AOC or even a better feasible candidate comes along in 2024, that probably's probably too late because even after such legislation passes, it will take time for the reforms to be implemented to come in under the remaining time window.

So yes, of course, if we lived in a republic with rule of law and the possibility of rational people being elected to Congress and continuing to act rationally, you'd be more than right, and I'd be either an idiot or an incredibly selfish malcontent (I'm not saying you called me either one, but that's what I'd be). And in that case, my allegiance to socialism would be an actively destructive force. But is that the situation we're in? Just consider a few facts:

1)George W. Bush got away with election fraud twice.

2)Hillary got away with election fraud in the 2016 primary.

3)Let's assume Donald was committing election fraud in 2016 too, as Greg Palast says; people, including the media and politicians, are really bitching about that. But isn't it odd that they are simply bitching? They say they want to impeach him. Wouldn't gaining his office via fraud count as a high crime or misdemeanor? I mean, they impeached Clinton for lying to Congress about a blow job. One would think that gaining the office through racist voter suppression would be at least as bad as that. I could even ask why they're fiddling around with Russian Facebook memes when they could just talk to Greg Palast, but I don't want us to get distracted too much by Russiagate. But seriously, why are Pelosi and the rest not engaging in impeachment proceedings on the basis of election fraud for which there is evidence?

4)Let's say they can't impeach him for that. Shouldn't Mueller be concerned with the evidence of actual election fraud within the United States, rather than wasting time with 13 Russians who posted political memes on Facebook? Putting out political ads does not constitute fraud, and is not illegal, even if it's foreigners who are doing it. Freaking out over a meeting Donald Jr had with a Russian lawyer, a meeting in which info about Hillary seems to have been simply bait to get Donnie there so the lady could lobby him about something completely unrelated, also seems beside the point when you've got actual evidence of actual stateside fraud.

5)Before leaving office, Obama put the Department of Homeland Security in charge of our elections. That was his response to Trump's victory. Not to tell his DOJ to investigate the claim of Trump election fraud with all speed, which would be the lawful thing to do. It's almost as if Obama thought the problem was not Trump's wrongdoing, but the elections infrastructure. And yet he didn't order an investigation into how that infrastructure might be failing; no discussion of fraudulent voting software, no sensible discussion of actual "hacking" of the vote (bitching because the DNC lost some emails does not constitute investigating and prosecuting an actual hack of the vote). No investigation into voter suppression either; Greg Palast had to do that his own damned self.

All of this taken together certainly seems to indicate that election fraud will not be prosecuted in this country, even when claims of election fraud are endemic and sensationalistic in the press, and are being used to steer the country toward war with another superpower.

So, how do we get anybody in office that the elites don't want in office?

That's just the first problem, but I'm being called for breakfast. More later.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Wally's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Oh wait.

I may have gotten you mixed up with someone else. Are you a Green Party person or a Movement for a Peoples' Party person or a non-voting or a voting-for-a-Vermin Supreme-like cynic?Am I missing a grouping?

I voted Green in the general election as a strategic protest in a Dem-locked state in 2016. I just don't see how the Greens will get anyone elected nationally in the time we need it to happen.

I threw Brana's Movement for a People's Party group some bux for a t-shirt when they started out. I doubt that they will even have any kind of ballot presence anytime soon if ever.

I think we need governmental intervention on a large scale to contain and put the brakes on climate change. If people want to make a moral witness (I try) by living better with nature, that's great. I just don't think the results will offset the humongous extent of crap with which corporations are poisoning us and the earth.

I think Bernie's "Our Revolution" has established a critical mass. Maybe it's not enough. But we're at an epochal historical moment given that damned doomsday nuclear-climate change clock is now at two minutes to midnight. I've explained my own pessimism elsewhere her at C99%. This is the last electoral go-round for me in terms of any kind of political activism. I figure it's make-or-break for me no matter the odds or possibilities.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Wally

Aside from the legal problem of election fraud, there are certain political realities to be taken into account.

1)The politicians have known about global warming since at least the late 80s. George H.W. Bush actually sent people to the first Rio conference on global warming in 1992. At that point, the idea was that governments were actually going to try to figure out what to do to stop it, like rational actors would (that would change fairly quickly). It's good to remember that they've known about an oncoming apocalypse for over thirty years, just as a background for the rest of the data.

2)It's obvious that the phenomenon of the Republican environmentalist, a la John Heinz, more or less died around the same time he did. Please understand I don't mean ordinary average Joes and Janes who are Republicans; I mean Republican media figures and especially Republican politicians. With the exception of Lindsay Graham, Republican politics has been anti-environmentalist since Newt Gingrich took over Congress in 1994. Those who disagreed with their party on this issue were marginalized starting in the 90s. Many of them eventually left the party. Therefore, there's nothing to be hoped for on that issue from Republicans. Much consternation and hand-wringing over right-wing religious fanatics who "don't believe the science" has elucidated that point.

3)Unfortunately, chemical reactions in the atmosphere don't give a shit what people believe. Democrats' belief in "the science" amounts to nothing if one is actually concerned with stopping an apocalypse. As Meteor Blades once said, "Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do, and I'll tell you what you believe."

So what have Democrats done about climate change? This question has always been deflected by people bemoaning the evil Republicans and how they keep Democrats from doing anything. Yet there's no denying that the Democrats had two chances to do something, and let's remember that for "do something," I mean stop an apocalypse. One chance was under Bill Clinton, from Jan 1993 to Jan 1995. The other was under Obama, from Jan 2009 to Jan 2011. I was not in D.C. in the 90s, so I can't speak to the details of why action against global warming didn't happen then, though I'm guessing that the presence of the Koch brothers on the board of the DLC probably had something to do with it. But I can speak to why nothing happened under Obama: powerful Democrats, including most of Democratic leadership, sabotaged the effort, both the Democratic Senate, which ignored the climate bill passed by the House, and the Obama administration, which sabotaged the last effort John Kerry made to get a powerful climate bill out of the Senate. There was even a direct appeal from Chris Van Hollen to Obama to include a bill that would finance green job creation in Obama's proposed Jobs Bill. Van Hollen was Obama's voice in the House on Budget, and a staunch ally of the administration and they ignored him. (Actually, like Henry Waxman and John Kerry, Van Hollen was one of the good guys on this issue. Perhaps he didn't want to see Maryland's coastline fall into the sea.) The point is, the evil faith-based Republicans were not the reason that we have pro-global warming economic and environmental policy. The Democrats shot climate change legislation in the head, repeatedly. Credit where credit is due: I have to admit that Pelosi was basically on the right side of history at this point--the one time, one might argue, that she's done anything good with her leadership position. But of course she must have known that Harry Reid and his caucus would kill it.

In 2012, she told climate activists that global warming was a dead issue, just as in 2019, Feinstein told a bunch of children that no change was going to happen in the next ten years. What this amounts to is that Democratic leadership doesn't care if we all die. Claims of impotence do not excuse them. If leaders can't protect the very lives of their followers, they are not leaders, but existential failures, and have no right to their positions.

4)The undeniable conclusion is that both Republican and Democratic politicians are ensuring the arrival of an oncoming apocalypse. You might almost say that they are defending an apocalyptic historical outcome. They intend to allow billions of people to die. That's what lies beneath all the prevarication and partisan mudslinging.

5)If they are protecting an apocalyptic future, it seems self-evident that their donors are OK with that. So the rich, or at least the most powerful of the rich, are OK with that. If you have ever seen what happens when bankers and oil barons get really motivated to produce a political result, you would know that these powerful actors must have no interest in preventing apocalypse. Neither do their brothers in the pharmaceutical industry, corporate industrial agriculture, or weaponsmaking, or we would be seeing quite a different political scene (the immigration issue is a pretty good example of what happens politically when elites disagree). I believe that covers all the most powerful industrialists and financiers apart from Big Data, whom I really don't want to discuss. Let's just say that smart, geeky IT billionaires aren't interested in stopping apocalypse if it involves standing against other rich people and leave it at that.

6)Further, the security state also has no interest in preventing apocalypse. There is some dissent on this issue at the Pentagon, because some people at the Pentagon still believe that their job is to defend the nation from security threats, and post-9/11, their purview has expanded to keeping order stateside. The line that used to exist between the army and the police has blurred considerably. Therefore, some people at the Pentagon have been pointing out, correctly, that climate change is the worst security threat facing the nation, both overseas and here at home. But it doesn't matter much, because the CIA, the NSA, the other fifteen intelligence agencies, the Dept of State, and the rest of the Pentagon knows that their job is not to defend "the nation" from security threats, but rather to provide opportunities for themselves and their political allies to monopolize essential resources and make a lot of money. They don't give a shit if their efforts speed an oncoming apocalypse.

You might ask what this has to do with elections, and if so, I refer you to both Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, both of whom independently stated that most politicians wouldn't dare oppose the CIA because "those guys can find ways to get back at you."

So when you consider an electoral answer to the climate issue, what you are really proposing is that you will find a candidate--and hopefully more than one--who will stand against the following:

1)The Republicans and associated right-wing organizations
2)The Democrats and all their associated organizations, including most of the media
3)The elites who fund the Republicans and Democrats
4)The security state, who ensure that any actual divergence from our current trajectory gets quashed; who, in fact, make sure that nobody can successfully stand against the Republicans, the Democrats, and the elites who fund them.

In fact, it would take at least a Tea-Party-sized political movement willing to do all those things, and do them consistently and persistently, for an electoral strategy to make sense. That also assumes that we have a viable way to combat election fraud. We can't find a Democratic candidate, apart from Tim Canova, who is willing to consistently and persistently stand against election fraud even when the fraud is perpetrated against them personally. In fact, it's more the norm that the defrauded campaign for those who perpetrated fraud upon them. And at one level, who could blame them? since clearly neither judges nor prosecutors have any interest in addressing this crime legally.

I think it's important that we acknowledge how heavy a lift true resistance to the brutal, genocidal politics of our time would be. It requires taking a stand against almost all of the powerful in our society, including some people who are, quite frankly, terrifying; people whose entire job is to figure out how to blackmail, assassinate, and torment other human beings to achieve their political goals. After the Iraq War and Abu Ghraib, this is not an unrealistic nor excessive description of our security state.

To stave off ecological destruction through electoral means, a political candidate would have to be as brave as a member of the French Resistance, as savvy as Mahatma Gandhi, and as good at creating political infrastructure as Martin Luther King. It would also help if that candidate had a way to get intel on what the elites were doing: essentially having inside men to keep him current. Especially that would be important when dealing with the security state. Finally, you would need more than one such person. In fact, it would be essential to not only have a candidate with those characteristics. That candidate should be supported by a strong and widely disseminated group of staff who have those characteristics, so that if the fellow in the limelight is taken out of the game one way or another, the organization could continue to move forward with a new front man.

There is next to no chance of accomplishing these goals through an institution which has been designed (or, actually, re-designed) to be the primary means of quashing movement toward these goals. But let's say there is a chance, because we don't want to give up. Let's say we can still reform the Democratic party and wrest control of it from the people who have controlled it for over 30 years. Let's say we can succeed by using the same means we have repeatedly used over the last thirty years with no success. In that case, the primary target of our change agents must obviously be the people who have controlled the Democratic party for the past thirty years. Therefore, supporting those people must be in direct opposition to our goals: more like shooting oneself in the gut than shooting oneself in the foot. So if our change agents do things like campaign for Hillary Clinton or vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, their actions simply confirm that most people will not be able to stand against the entrenched powers that Clinton and Pelosi represent. In fact, such actions confirm that it is not possible to succeed via an established political path. We can either beat a new path into existence, or we can "throw in the towel." Inventing a new path will probably take longer than twelve years, but whether we succeed in preventing genocide or not, there are benefits to inventing a new path, as Lookout has often said. We will have longer, better lives if we do so. But the work is hard and not at all glamorous, and we are all exhausted from decades of resource extraction and scorched earth, with us playing the part of the earth. The Democrats have strip-mined our minds, hearts, and in some cases, bank accounts; the elites generally, both Democratic and Republican, have engineered a situation in this country where our resources, material and spiritual, are constantly pillaged, so it's hard to recover from that exhaustion. Even confronting the truth of our situation increases the exhaustion to a level that generally precludes getting anything done. And so, those who support an electoral strategy tend to triumphantly say So what's your plan, then, you Negative Nancy? in a kill-the-messenger style of politics quite popular today, when in fact it's crazy to expect anyone to have an effective plan in their back pocket to combat a metastasized fascist police state bent on ecological destruction which laid its plans more than 45 years ago, and is now entrenched.

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1 user has voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Wally's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

There are no winners if we can't pull it off in 2020.

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0 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Wally

that if people like me get too far left and refuse to support Democratic candidates humanity will face climate apocalypse. Unless, of course, I can prove that a left-wing revolution will work in this country.

Confronted with such a hypothesis, which is illogical and unfair to the point of being absurd, given the history of this country, who's been in charge, and what the results of voting for Democrats has been over the past thirty years, I chose to show you my reasoning rather than simply shrugging and saying YMMV, good morning.

Your mileage may vary. Good morning.

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1 user has voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Wally's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

What do you mean by "too far left"? What strategy/tactics correspond to such a political demeanor or grouping? Is something just spontaneously going to happen to drive history forward towards socialism or some other viable solution which is what? Within the next 12 years before the window is closed to avoiding catastrophic climate change? Before the doomsday clock strikes midnight?

What Democratic candidate(s)?

I have no idea what your alternative is to voting at this critical juncture in history so I could not ascribe one to you, but I certainly posed and continue without success to pose to you the question.

Let me guess your answer (which in a way you already answered): It's absurd to pose the question. . .

Have a good day and hang in there.

PS: Did you ever figure out the lyrics to the songs on Fables of the Reconstruction before the advent of the internet?

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0 users have voted.

@Wally is that he's been singing the same song for decades. Everyone else is me tooing it, and Beto ain't even doing that. Look, anyone can grow up to be president, it's just you have to do the growing up part first.

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17 users have voted.

@Snode

"...you have to do the growing up part first..." Love it!

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6 users have voted.

"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

OzoneTom's picture

@Wally
Senator Harris is supposed to be the "natural" favorite there, but Senator Sanders will be running a serious campaign and may drink her milkshake. Especially with so many other "lite" candidates splitting the non-Bernie votes.

Delegates for candidates who fail to reach the 15% threshold are distributed proportionally to the candidates who reach the threshold.

There are nearly 500 delegates at stake in the CA Democratic primary. I expect Senator Sanders to reach the threshold. With as many non-Sanders candidates running as there are it is hard to imagine more than one hitting the threshold.

The primary contests before Super Tuesday could change the dynamics, but at this point, the Sanders campaign emerging from the Super Tuesday primaries could have a very large delegate count advantage.

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13 users have voted.

@Wally Usually the field things out pretty quickly with a lot of the field gone after New Hampshire.

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2 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

I have come to the conclusion that Beto O'Rourke is the perfect candidate to represent the Democratic party. Another empty suit to represent a party devoid of ideas and policies.

Can you imagine a Presidential contest between Trump and O'Rourke? Bad

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24 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

OzoneTom's picture

@gulfgal98
Unfortunately, yes. And O'Rourke could even win.

Followed by his "third Obama term," and then someone worse than Trump.

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8 users have voted.

@OzoneTom that the Trump camp fears Beto maybe more than any other candidate. Thus Trump's quick tweet ridiculing Beto's frequent hand gesturing in his announcement message.

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3 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@gulfgal98

in which case whoever runs against Trump wins, as long as they aren't genuinely to the left of Hillary Clinton--or genuinely concerned for the common good.

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4 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Lookout's picture

Poor little rich boy...Obummer 2.0

Funny I rarely agree with the club for growth. Interesting how they a campaigning against one of their own kind.

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14 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Unabashed Liberal's picture

Biggrin

Hey, no one detests a 'New Dem'/Third Way/defunct DLCer/corporatist Dem more than I, but, methinks that Mr Voohees may be missing the point.

Beto is 'O's' third run. Period. Full stop. IOW, this is a proxy run for 'the O.'

So, yeah, Beto has a major and clear purpose--to carry on and protect O's so-called legacy (which many say DT is/has been determined to dismantle).

Having said that--hope he fails, miserably.

But, have to admit that he may have a couple advantages, to off-set being a white male--his youth, likely O's and the rest of the Establishment's fervid support and his donor network, his own relatively impressive fundraising capabilities, and, perhaps, most of all, (as a talking head mentioned this morning) he's positioning himself to run as an 'outsider.' Not certain, but, I'm 'thinking' that most of the Dem candidates are current officeholders. So, it's possible that he could claim that 'lane,' as well. Not to mention, TX would be a huge electoral win, if he can take it.

Well, he's finally quit speaking. And, yes--he was quite vague, as usual. But, hey--worked for 'O.' Frankly, considering the makeup of the Dem Party Base, I could see it working for him, as well. Especially, if 'O' backs him. (Which I figure he'd gladly do.)

I'll try to post the transcript of his vacuous and rambling remarks, if I can find it.

IMO, it doesn't hurt to keep up with all the contenders--after all, can't fight something, if you don't understand it, or know "where it's coming from." So, thanks for posting this piece, Bob.

Everyone have a good one!

Blue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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14 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

@Unabashed Liberal "Well, he's finally quit speaking." Yay and LOL again! you guys are killin' me.

High security top drone deployment: Brains can't even think while it is talking. Perfect!

I can't imagine O'Him debating Trump, that would be funnier if it wasn't possible. zzzz

thanks

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7 users have voted.

Hey Wayne Messam announced today too (well, an exploratory committee), presumably planning on gaining mementum. You can join me in saying who. This list of candidates is getting ridiculous, and I suspect its really going to come down to who can find some box of voters all to themself.

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10 users have voted.
Bollox Ref's picture

Rich nonentity runs for president.... because reasons.

Happy days.........

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22 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Bollox Ref

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3 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

IOW another grifter looking to feed at the trough.

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16 users have voted.

@The Voice In the Wilderness

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7 users have voted.

"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I'm above all those nasty politics you hate. I want to bring the country together. Ideology is stupid and mean, isn't it? I don't have much of that. Nor am I partisan. I'm not loyal to any faction or political belief over any other. I'm a pragmatist. Despite being so practical, though, I'm really light on the specifics. I don't have any particular goals beyond making politics less nasty and making people hate each other less. Nor do I have a specific plan or strategy to achieve those goals. I don't have much in the way of specific policies either. I can't tell you any specifics of how I'm going to be pragmatic or about what. I'm pragmatic in the abstract. I'm good at saying a bunch of abstract nouns that sound good. I'm good at decrying the abominable state of politics in this country. Really I'm asking you to trust me because I'm saying that I hate the same politics you hate. Trust me without the specifics. I sound trustworthy, don't I?

That's why I'm trying to get as involved in politics as one could possibly be, without having the slightest plan for actually changing the politics we both hate.

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23 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

accurate characterization of his candidacy and pitch than mine.

(I suppose that Obama 2.0 came to mind because of his reported 'visit' with 'O.')

Anyhoo, that would really have a lot of pizzazz in some quarters, I would think -

"Bill Clinton 2.0 with a side of Obama"

(Why couldn't I think of that? Biggrin )

Blue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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11 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

People in those age groups would be more likely to remember Bill's first presidential run and what he actually won on. That's how I thought of it. It's just like hearing the same guitar riff in dozens of different songs for three decades.

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10 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Guilty! I did vote for this guy the first time, he was cool did not inhale. Did NOT (edit:oops forgot the not) vote for Him the second time, are you kidding. deja vu all over again

Bill Clinton playing saxophone on Arsenio Hall Show

I am a Boomer, born at the tail end of the '50s. BOOM

And I voted for Obama the first time too, stupefied by the BFD. Not the second time, are you kidding.

Fool me three times...then what happens? I don't know. Trump is making everyone stupid.
KEK pepe
good luck

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9 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@eyo

Don't have a real excuse; I was in grad school and didn't want to spend a bunch of time and energy on politics, and I sure as hell wasn't going to vote for a Republican. Also, it was a different time; I didn't understand that he was a monster.

I voted for Obama the first time and really believed in him, in the sense that I thought he would take action against climate change, prosecute bankers and brokers who committed fraud, and launch a Green New Deal. Job creation. Yeah, the words "Green New Deal" existed before 2019; people were talking about the concept under that name as early as 2006, in my recollection; the concept itself began to take shape in the late 80s.

One of the things I dislike about the recent talk of a GND is that, like so much else these days, it is amnesiac about what happened between 2000 and 2012. I'm criticizing the way the topic is being discussed on the news and elsewhere; I'm making no statement here about Cortez or her plan. But it really gripes me that everybody's acting like she (maybe with some help from Bernie) created this idea out of thin air. Not just because a lot of good people worked and fought very hard to create an actual Green New Deal that would actually help both the working class and the planet, and they're going to get no credit for their work now, but also because I hate it when somebody swipes an eraser across history. And this is recent history. I'm talking 13 years ago or less.

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6 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

somewhat recently (close to 2 years) aged into Medicare, which is why it's consistently one of my main topics of discussion.

BTW, I heard on CNN this afternoon that Beto is visiting 3 counties in Iowa, over the next couple days, that were carried by 'O,' but, won by DT in 2016. So, I still wonder if he's serving as a proxy candidate for 'O.' (since he's term limited)

At any rate, your characterization was more accurate, fitting, and catchier, for sure.

Like Eyo, I'm embarrassed to say that I voted for Clinton/Gore--but, only once. You know, that "twice shy" thing.

Wink

Anyhoo, nominate you for Comment of the Month, at the very minimum. Clapping Especially, got a kick out of the 'pragmatic' line that Deja mentioned.

Have a good one!

PleasantryMollie

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

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4 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Deja's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
Glad I wasn't trying to take a drink when I read that.

Good one!

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9 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Deja

It's been bugging me for about ten years or so. That was when it occurred to me that saying "I'm a pragmatist" meant nothing. You literally can't be a pragmatist without a specific context.

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5 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

gulfgal98's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Pragmatism means that you stand for nothing and are willing to fight for nothing. In other words, you allow what is the lowest common denominator to define you.

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7 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@gulfgal98

never having to say you're sorry. [ducks]

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2 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

zoebear's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Representing the farce of our electoral politics, why can't the Democrats?

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6 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zoebear

Isn't that Starbucks dude running as a Democrat, or is he doing the Ross Perot thing?

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5 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

zoebear's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Of Starbucks and not a barista?

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4 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

zoebear's picture

@zoebear

Might give Beto a run for his money.

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5 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

@zoebear rec'd a good former bartender, almost the same thing. But she's too young. I think AOC would first be eligible in 2028 -- but probably won't be a USofA by then the way things are going, sadly ...

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3 users have voted.
zoebear's picture

@wokkamile

Is some one truly organic rather than a barista/bartender fiananced by wealthy capitalist war mongering centrists. But, hey. To each his own.

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5 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zoebear

Yes, the CEO, but the idea of running a random (yet photogenic) barrista for President is sensational.

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5 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

zoebear's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

It's about where our politics have descended. It's all a media circus anyway.

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6 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zoebear

the President still has, but my guess is the office is trending toward where Congress has already gone: figureheads reciting lines on tv.

So the barista might do it as well as anybody.

And if the President still has significant power, then given the kind of shit ideas purveyed by CEOs, maybe the barista would be a genuinely better choice.

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3 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

(Perhaps, "the best." But, there are two or three other outstanding ones.) Thanks CStMS!

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5 users have voted.

"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@bobswern

Beto pitched me a nice fat one right over the center of the plate. It was just sitting there, y'know?

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7 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

zoebear's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Me thinks you know a little about Baseball.

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4 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@zoebear

I've kind of made a tour of the various sports: NFL when I was a little girl, no sports to speak of when I was in high school, college football while I was in college, baseball and hockey when I was in grad school, and back to the NFL again mainly because I watched it with my boyfriend. He watched hockey with me, too, until somebody did something so violent that we both turned away in disgust (after a certain point, you're no longer watching a game). It took several more years for us to conclude that the NFL was horrendously corrupt to the point that most of the playoffs looked like pro wrestling (but less honest), so we watch very sporadically. The NBA has been the place I've finally come to rest, because it seems the least horrendous in its management of its game of all the major sports--though I've heard that hockey has gotten better.

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2 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

zoebear's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

And watch women's basketball. They were pretty awesome. I also enjoyed going to the U.S. Open to watch tennis too. Saw some amazing games back in the 1990's. But my first interest in sports, as a spectator, was baseball. At 17 years old I was "forced" to watch the L.A. Dodgers when I hung out with my boyfriend. After awhile I noticed the baseball players were not only kinda cute and I began understanding there was more going on in the game than what you saw in front of you. Strategy, defense, offense, and personal histories created an underlying drama to the game that you'd only appreciate if you knew about baseball. Eventually I moved to New York where I swore I'd never go to a Yankee game. But then those amiable guys from that plucky 1996 Yankees team scraped their way into the World Series and I softened my stance. Glad to have been able to see them play in the old Yankee stadium. It was a helluva run.

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1 user has voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Deja's picture

I just saw it on ABC. Someone asked the idiot in chief about fake name Beto. When a certified nutter wonders if you're crazy . . .

Good times!

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6 users have voted.

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10 users have voted.
zoebear's picture

@MrWebster

Would be better than pretty Beto boy.

up
4 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

EdMass's picture

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3 users have voted.

Help me Mr. Wizard!

Drizzle, Drazzle, Druzzle, Drome;
Time for this one to come home.

Stop the War!

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

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2 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

of this being a cycle for the progressive wing of the party, it appears they are being outnumbered by the centrists/incrementalists. I count 5 of these modest creatures so far -- Biden (on the verge), BOR, Booker, Hickenlooper (sic), Klobuchar. Julian Castro strikes me as possible for this category by temperament, and Love Train's Cory Booker for his corporatist inclinations.

Progressives: Sanders, Gabbard, Liz Warren, M Williamson (is that all???).

Hybrid mod/liberal: Kamala Harris, Gillibrand, maybe J Castro.

Gabbard is going to have a tough time just making the debate stage let alone getting the nom. And M Williamson is an even longer shot at either, so potentially only 2 bona fide progs in the debates?

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6 users have voted.

Where do they find these soulless barnacles?

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10 users have voted.

@OPOL

Thanks, OPOL! Keep on...

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4 users have voted.

"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

EdMass's picture

@OPOL

Couldn't help myself. Posted it to GOS. They are not dealing very well with it...

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7 users have voted.

Help me Mr. Wizard!

Drizzle, Drazzle, Druzzle, Drome;
Time for this one to come home.

Stop the War!

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@EdMass

but my hat's off to you nonetheless. Well done, sir!

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3 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@EdMass thanks a lot you rascal, I had to go looking and saw someone has a poll up:
Beto O'Rourke 2020 Presidential Candidate. With Poll

Bernie has 83% ha ha! and Beto has a 5% reason to exist. good luck

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6 users have voted.

@eyo
I just took a peek, and they've cratered to 81%.

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6 users have voted.

Sigh

zoebear's picture

@UntimelyRippd

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3 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

EdMass's picture

It is Robert Francis O'Rourke.

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6 users have voted.

Help me Mr. Wizard!

Drizzle, Drazzle, Druzzle, Drome;
Time for this one to come home.

Stop the War!

Strife Delivery's picture

I feel like I should do a diary on this but I'll keep it here.

This is once again a fusion of identity politics and narcissistic, sociopathic, empty-suit kabuki theater.

To start, he is a billionaire (married to a billionaire heiress), horrendously right-wing, narcissist "I was born to be in it", smooth-talking, platitude-filled, capitalist.

What is his appeal? He's a young, smooth-talking, white Obama.

And this is where identity politics kick in.

Because since O'Rourke is "young", that means that millennials and gen z will flock to him...because they are young too. A completely absurd and untenable grasp on reality but yet Democrats believe this garbage.

Same thing with Harris, Klobuchar, Warren -- since they are women, that means that women and especially young women will go to them. Why? Because they are women.

Of course, this flies in the face of the giant case study known as the 2015 primary where young women avoided Clinton like the Black Death and millennials didn't flock to 50-something Martin O'Malley instead flocking to a grandpa.

But Beto is their best shot now that everyone else has launched and crashed. More meaningless platitudes, more hopium which in reality translates to more pain, suffering, and death.

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14 users have voted.
Deja's picture

@Strife Delivery
The establishment is so far removed from the actual demographic, they haven't the slightest clue.

You completely nailed it!

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6 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Strife Delivery

without college degrees actually vote for Trump?

It didn't work with Hillary; why would it work for Kamala or Amy?

Well, actually, I can answer my own question: because they will control the outcome more meticulously this time. The Department of Homeland Security is on the job!

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7 users have voted.

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Strife Delivery's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Um... didn't a lot of women without college degrees actually vote for Trump?

It didn't work with Hillary; why would it work for Kamala or Amy?

Well, actually, I can answer my own question: because they will control the outcome more meticulously this time. The Department of Homeland Security is on the job!

Well on the first part, there are a plethora of excuses that the media and the Democrats gave:
1) Women are inherently and unconsciously misogynistic, they just can't get over their internalized patriarchy and support a woman.
2) Those were white women, which depending upon whom you talk to in Dem circles range from acceptable to bad.
3) Women were controlled by their husbands and had to vote for whom their husband voted for.
4) Russia made them hate Hillary.
5) Those women are bad and going to hell, at least according to Madeline Albright.

But yes, of course it didn't work, but that's the religion of identity politics. Even though they just had a giant case study not only in the 2015 primary but the 2016 election, they will adhere to it.

If there is a woman candidate, women must support her.
If there is a black candidate, black people must support said candidate.

Now, if say you're a black woman and are stuck between say Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar, are you supposed to side with your race or your gender? Of course these dilemmas never really get parsed out in the theory of identity politics and they just brush it under the rug.

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4 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@Strife Delivery

You did the work for me. Thanks.

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3 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Here's his plan for MFA

What's not to like? And Biden just said that we all need to just get along and whined about the flack he took for saying that Pence is a nice guy. Then he rambled on about our our unalienable rights and freedom and prosperity and lots of other bullshit. I'm thinking that the plan now is for the DNC to grab some cigars and go into their back room and decide that it's going to be Biden/Beta and deal with it.

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10 users have voted.

The public has been conditioned over time—in ways that would make Pavlov’s dawg seem like an in independent thinker

@snoopydawg Spare us the kabuki and just do it already.

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8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

He voted with republicans so many times that Obama's anger finally showed up because there was a few things he did want to pass.

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8 users have voted.

The public has been conditioned over time—in ways that would make Pavlov’s dawg seem like an in independent thinker

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg

said exactly the same thing in a Debate with John McCain--he even used the expression about not being able to "kick the can down the road" any longer.

Somehow, it didn't seem to matter to the Dem Party Base*. (Most of whom appear to be clueless about policy, anyway.)

And, as if that wasn't bad enough, there was this, before 'O' was inaugurated:

'O' - WaPo Editorial Board - Grand Bargain_0.JPG

If you think about it, WJC ran on a bunch of right-wing issues, too--only difference, he was more open and direct about it (than 'O').

Sadly, if Beto can appeal on an emotional level to enough of the Dem Base, he may have a decent chance of getting the nomination. Especially, if 'O' throws his support behind him, sealing the AA vote, early, in the primary process.

No doubt, the large (corporatist) donors are probably already lining up to support him.

For certain, it would be a travesty if that were to happen--again.

*[Edit: referring to the part of the Base that mostly comprises conservadem blogging communities like DKos--not everyone who casts a vote for a Dem. Removed emoji.]

Blue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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10 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Amanda Matthews's picture

the minute you start looking into him it’s obvious that he’s not at all what he’s pretending to be, a left leaning progressive. I liked him. For about a week. Then the lights came on.

In order to maintain control, the Dims are going to HAVE to nominate a fake without a conscience like the Empty Suit (and we have plenty of those to spare.) The Clinton Creature is still their ‘ideal’ candidate but Beto will do nicely.

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9 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

snoopydawg's picture

@Amanda Matthews

Listen to him on some of the tweets here and elsewhere. He doesn't say anything about anything and no one knows what he is running on. This is why we will have Biden and Beta.

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7 users have voted.

The public has been conditioned over time—in ways that would make Pavlov’s dawg seem like an in independent thinker

snoopydawg's picture

@Amanda Matthews

Is Beto O'Rourke the next Obama?
The Beto version?

I notice he’s not proposing higher taxes on the rich. I’m ok with that even though I strongly favor such taxes. Two reasons:

1) It comes down to what can pass the Senate,

2) Our crippled IRS is incapable of collecting taxes, and it will take several years before agents have the training and experience to take on rich tax cheats.

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8 users have voted.

The public has been conditioned over time—in ways that would make Pavlov’s dawg seem like an in independent thinker

Amanda Matthews's picture

@snoopydawg
to see what he’s said and done in the past, it’s easy to see that he’s just another huckster working the political circuit. He’s like a flim flam man working the traveling carnival circuit.

Which is what the American political system has turned into. Without the fun and the cotton candy.

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4 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

Unabashed Liberal's picture

Beto's Dog Photo.JPG

furbaby.

Yep, Beto's got my vote, now!

Biggrin

/s

Blue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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7 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

TheOtherMaven's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

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6 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@TheOtherMaven

shaping up, I might just do it! Smile

If that happens, suppose I'll have to consider voting for ol' Liz Warren's Golden Retriever, Bailey.

Warren's Golden 'Bailey'.JPG

(Bailey was our Mr B's name, and, now, we have a Golden Pup.)

Have a good one!

PleasantryBlue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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5 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Bollox Ref's picture

@Unabashed Liberal
he looks as though he could have been the 5th Monkee.... the really talentless one they cut before going into production.

Still, I imagine he's very serene, with a teevee in every room... playing betamax tapes over and over again.

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4 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Bollox Ref

to his dog--but, that's a good line about the 5th Monkee!

BiggrinBlue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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5 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

@Unabashed Liberal John Kerry in some of these pix. That long chin and the eyes. This is not necessarily a flattering comparison. But for the MSM, he's the reincarnation of RFK. Only in the smile, imo.

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9 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@wokkamile

seen you around 'till very recently. So, welcome. It's very good to meet you!

PleasantryMollie

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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6 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

Hey, at least he has a platform.

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7 users have voted.

AOC : GND :: BHO : ACA

Beto sends like Howard Shultz with charisma and fewer principles: a Texan Obama, oh boy!

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5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

I told my friend that I didn't understand that show because all they did was sit in an unnamed restaurant and talked about nothing. Then I learned that was exactly what the show was about.

Beta says a lot of things about things he wants to do, but he offers no way of doing them. I'm going to make America a happy place to live again and we will all have nice things and the sun will shine on us night and day and "..."....... but not say how he's going to do it.

Beta Seinfeld.

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6 users have voted.

The public has been conditioned over time—in ways that would make Pavlov’s dawg seem like an in independent thinker

@snoopydawg

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4 users have voted.

"Freedom is something that dies unless it's used." --Hunter S. Thompson

After doing a bit of research I think he ought to go as Zero O'Rourke.

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4 users have voted.
Mark from Queens's picture

Shane Ryan writes:

But 11 years later, having witnessed the failure of Obama, having watched how Republicans obstructed him and then fell in line totally with Donald Trump—in short, having borne witness to the utter failure of the pragmatic centrism espoused by Obama, and the total, unyielding corruption of the Republican party—I feel nothing, upon reading that Beto O'Rourke quote, but the deepest sense of revulsion and dread. Compromise?! Anyone who has paid even marginal attention to American politics since 2008 knows that compromise is a dangerous illusion; it's another term for giving Republicans special concessions and getting nothing in return.

I have no special foresight, but it doesn't take a crystal ball to see that an O'Rourke presidency would be a sad retread at a time when we can't afford to lose a day, much less four years. The future, if it includes Beto in the oval office, will follow the same path, and the path is grim.

And anyone on the nominal left who believes otherwise—this is too important to mince words—is an idiot...

What has Beto actually done that people might like? Well, he gave a nice speech about Colin Kaepernick that a lot of people wanted to cast as bold, but was actually so bold that Nike employed the same tactic a few months later. He did some air drumming at a fast-food drive-thru. He skateboarded. He was in a punk band. He has lots of energy, he's young-ish, he's tall, he's good-looking.

Again, all aesthetics. His appeal is the appeal of the surface, of the pathetic yearning to feel good without fixing anything....

On a policy level, he’s one of the most conservative Democrats in the field. He doesn’t concretely support Medicare for All, except in some “it would be great, eventually!” sense. He voted against free public college. He makes vague noises about liking the Green New Deal without signing on. He gets money from oil and gas executives, and thus he won’t take a hard position against fossil fuels. He folded on the Israel Iron Dome question under the slightest pressure, he voted to let Obama negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (which cost him the AFL-CIO endorsement in his race against Cruz), and the sheer amount of awful Republican bills he’s supported is enough to fill an entire article...

He’s good enough at what he does that he’s going to make other people believe that, too—the most gullible, the most naive, the most vapid. Let’s return to a key word: The premise of his campaign is the premise of transcendence. He’s the comic book hero that many liberals have been waiting for, the man who will return us to the golden days of Obama and erase the nightmare that was Trump. He’s the savior, and because he’s the savior, he only asks for our most superficial support. He doesn’t need a grassroots movement that extends beyond the ballot box, he doesn’t need a political revolution at his back, and he doesn’t need to be anything more than a viral superstar who captures our hearts for the duration of the campaign season.

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t even try to understand the failures that brought us Donald Trump, or who doesn’t even try to see the failures of the Obama presidency, or who doesn’t like to look too deeply at the systemic injustices of late-stage capitalism underlying the modern American experience, Beto O’Rourke provides a great deal of comfort. You can close your eyes, project whatever you want onto the blank slate he presents, and hope for the best.

You can ignore the fact that transcendence and compromise are ugly myths that perpetuate inequality, and that when the concept of transcendence meets the reality of hard-nosed Republican opposition, it immediately decays into craven compromise that drags us further and further to the right. You can ignore the fact that Beto has already demonstrated this Obama-esque tendency to capitulate even while operating in the safest possible blue district. And you can ignore, above all, the obvious, unsettling conclusion: If we elect this man, we are screwed.

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0 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut