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Your host, PM 'Papa' Carpenter


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January 19, 2020


Now might be a good time to remind Andrew Sullivan, (just as an example of his capacity to flip flop) about his rabid, vocal, support for the Iraq war. Until a decade later he was a one man mea culpa. And wrote an e-book about it.

In other words, Andrew is adamantly right until he realizes, adamantly, he was wrong. Then he'll write a book about it. Or at least a long article. Or many. Rinse. Repeat. And I don't care to read the one he will write if he helps Bernie help Trump get re-elected.

And this is why I don't read Andrew Sullivan. To be honest, when I see him on Bill Maher's show he seems like a bit of a dick.

Interesting that Sullivan managed to overlook that Biden is already doing a fine job connecting with those white working class voters. By age very reliable voters too. I concur with PM that many of Bernie’s policies are designed to appeal to the most progressive, read far left, voters. In which contest he and Warren persist in outdoing each. This way madness lies electorally speaking.

Warren seems, at least, to have sensed the peril. Or learned how to read polls. Too late perhaps to regain traction with more moderate voters on health care. Meanwhile she is losing support to Sanders. There is still time to reverse this but not much. Of her icy demeanor I will say this. She should watch videos of herself at podiums behaving like the lecturing professor she was and for contrast watch herself in the selfie lines ( not really selfies I know) where she has demonstrated the ability to be warm and engaging. Try that on the stage maybe.

He's a deeply intellectual man who is also an absolute hysteric. It's a bad combination. On his blog, short entries written in real time which he could then correct or reconsider in a days postings, it wasn't a real problem. And it was diluted with sometimes charming commentary on a variety of topics beyond politics. But in long form, or given a platform to preen on camera, he can be a pain in the neck.

He is a well educated and capable writer with a demonstrated ability to see individual shrubs but not forests. Like most of what passes for intelligentsia on the ideological right, his comfort zone, he likes his ideology straight up. The central problem of this sort of conservatism is that it really lacks broad appeal. To be electorally successful it must look the other way while it makes common cause with racists and religious bigots and such. The existence of those deplorables, which he deplores himself often enough, are clearly the fault of liberals. They just wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for those darn liberals not accepting their beliefs.

Sullivan and others of his ilk speak of recapturing the Republican Party from these odious barbarians. Which is very unlikely because conservatives like Sullivan are vastly outnumbered and held in complete contempt by the Trumpers who have seized control of the party. And if they did it might make for a nice social club but they couldn’t win elections.

In this matter Sullivan is just doing classic concern trolling.

Who on this planet thinks Sullivan’s opinion carries any weight with the conservative Trumper masses? I mean besides Sullivan.

Nobody. Maybe his dogs? (He does have cute dogs.)

I read his endorsement of Bernie as the opposite of rabid. In fact, It's so unenthusiastic, that I think it's probably not correct to call it an endorsement.

Remember, Sullivan is not a Democrat, and any choice for him, in this instance, is definitely of the "least-of-evils" variety.

I, too, was gobsmacked by Sullivan's piece. I think his choice of Sanders tells you more about what Andrew thinks of Biden than it does anything else. He certainly shows awareness of Bernie's considerable shortcomings, but he thinks Bernie has a better shot at Trump than Biden does.

Pretty damning of Biden and the rest of the Dem field, but, there you have it.

That's true. It was more in the "damning with faint praise" variety.

What bugs me is that this election is going to be a squeaker. (What was it, something like 70,000 votes in 3 states or something along those lines last time?) And Andrew is no dummy. He knows that Bernie is a perfect target for the GOP attack ads. Yes Biden will give them fodder in his own right if we're narrowing the front runner down to these 2, but nothing like Bernie. Andrew knows better. And he knows he knows better.

True. He wishes Biden were ten years younger. Even though Biden is younger than Sanders and hasn’t had a heart attack. Go figure.

"Remember, Sullivan is not a Democrat..."

Neither is Bernie. If Bernie's elected, he will (as usual) renounce the Democratic Party, having ripped the party off for campaign funds.

How that differs from Trump conning investors is quite beyond me.

I don't think it means that Sullivan can't figure out which one is chronologically older. I think it means that Andrew has been paying attention to Biden.

To me, Warren comes across as earnest, not cold. She has a good sense of humor, she is quick on her feet. She has strung together her plans with a narrative and is relentlessly on message.Men sure seem to have a problem with women as lecturing professors. She was not my first choice, but she has become that as my first choices drop out.

I cannot stand Sanders. I hate the way he shouts, while never saying anything. He attracts supporters who are bullying and rude, and does nothing to rein them in. He hasn't been vetted at all by the press.

I wish Biden were 10 or 20 years younger. I wish he had sharper, clearer answers. He's a decent, compassionate man - wish he would show his fighting side more.

I don't know who reads Andrew Sullivan anymore and agrees with him.

Sue in Seattle

Maybe. So have the people who put him in the lead by a substantial margin. Earlier theories that his lead was due only to name recognition and was a gaffe away from complete collapse seem to have themselves collapsed. Right now I am keeping my eye on the Warren\Sanders war. The candidates are themselves trying to tone down the rhetoric. Not so their supporters. It is grimly humorous to behold.

That is what I see. You could describe this as cold but I think a more apt description is humorlessness. HIllary had a bit of the same problem in retail politics. Being less humorless does not mean getting off a few zingers during debates. Oddly the thing that has cost Warren support has enhanced my opinion of her. She is starting to get that the Democratic Party is not just a herd of cats milling around waiting to be led by progressives. And if she wishes to get elected and then achieve anything she needs to listen to those people.

And now Hugh Hewitt announces he will vote for Sanders in the Democratic primary in VA (despite neither being Democrats) - and Trump in the general. This is why the Democratic party in WA state stuck to caucuses instead of a primary for so long. Sigh. It's always been my contention that not many people will do that - but I suppose when only one party has multiple people vying for the nomination, it will happen.

Sue in Seattle

No one has collapsed yet, because no votes have been cast yet. All that has happened so far is that 26 hopefuls of the summer have been whittled to 10.

I have told you before what I think of the polls w/r/t/ the primaries. They are not much more than part of the media smoke and mirrors show, in my opinion.

I do know, however, that way back in the spring/summer, Biden was routinely leading those polls with 30-35 percent . Now, I notice he is leading most frequently in the range 20-25 percent.

Losing 20-30 percent of his support, during the same period that 60 percent of his competitors exited the race, does not strike me as a show of strength on Biden's part. But I am an incorrigible Biden skeptic, I admit.

That’s okay Ed. I am an everybody skeptic.

Sully puts a lot of stock into gut instinct, and I actually admire him for this. Gut instinct is often correct as long as you’re willing to be self-critical. He has a certain revulsion or attraction to something or some person, and then tries to reflect and reason himself as to why. I’m actually experiencing the same thing with Buttigieg. Sully’s reasons for cooling on him are weird but I get it, and I’ve heard similar things from my friends about Mayor Pete. On paper, there’s little to criticize him for, but he’s starting to come off as a little too canned. I think that’s a result of campaigning where the candidates have deliver the same lines over and over, kinda like what you do when you’re going through a bunch of job interviews. Pete needs another decade. But to throw your lot in with Bernie?!? Yep, Sully needs to change up his station of cannabis because that’s cray cray.

This Democratic primary is making neurotics of all of us who follow it closely. We simply don’t have an Obama this round.

Strain, not station

"He has a certain revulsion or attraction to something or some person, and then tries to reflect and reason himself as to why." That's a really good analysis of what Andrew does. He used to do that all the time on his blog. As mad as he makes me sometimes it's actually not a bad thing. It's better than opinions set in stone with no room for reflection or revision. Except in this instance.

That said he used to be fond of "magic mushrooms". I wonder if this Bernie episode is part of a bad trip. ;-0

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