From The Staff Lounge – Stripping Bernie For Parts

So, we talk about a lot of stuff in the luxurious Torchlight offices, and occasionally between gulps of filtered water and saltines something interesting bubbles up, and we decided to share them with you.  Enjoy.

David Spitzley, Senior Contributor
Wow, this is solid –  Joe Biden Is Winning The Primary But Losing His Party’s Future

Josh Kyu Saiewitz, Senior Managing Editor
I get the overall analysis of the party’s long term trends. I find it funny that the prescription for solving it is, essentially, to become Bernie Sanders. Biden can appeal to Bernie’s voters by taking on his policies, his attitudes, his staff, and his protogees. Perhaps he could also get glasses and put on a NY Jewish accent.

David
Basically the article is arguing that, in not so many words, older democrats voted for Biden for who he is, while young democrats supported (if not voted) Sanders for what he stood for. So by this argument as much of what Sanders was selling and as many tokens of good faith as can be stomached should be taken on to bring Sanders’ supporters onboard not only for this election but the future of the party. At some level the alternative is to send them back to the kids’ table on the assumption the dinner party will get along fine without them…

Josh
I think it’s clear from the results of the primary that the table believes it doesn’t want the kids at it. I’m not arguing that strategically there is some merit to uniting the party.

David
Well, the primary showed the kids are still running around and not sitting politely at the table like grown ups, but that’s a different issue.

Josh
I think that A) the Biden folks don’t seem to think so, and they’re winning so maybe they’re right, and B) as your side is losing maybe it’s time to reflect on what your side did wrong and not go “let’s saddle the winner with all our shit”. I mean that article literally recommends that the Bernie staffers who contribute to the online toxicity (or as it calls them, the sharp-elbowed ones) be brought into the Biden campaign! Maybe we shouldn’t bring that kind of toxicity to the general campaign.

David
The staffers weren’t the folks my pro-Warren friends seemed to be turned off by, it was his supporters who were ganging up on folks online. In any case, the main thing Sanders seems to have been saddled with was a major inability to consider race as a critical issue separate from class, leaving a critical constituency with justifiable trust issues.

Blake Smisko, Lead Artist
I’m frustrated by the online bullying and also the people unable to deal with online bullying. Politics is messy and mean. What do these people think the general is going to look like?
But also as someone pointed out “for leftists in the context of American history this is winning”.

David
So, I think he coupled an inaccurate model of the electorate with an insensitivity to critical constituencies. But his issues and personnel weren’t the source of those problems.

Blake
The only thing I’ll say is the race thing seems to also be the same generational thing just exaggerated.

David
You’re right about the race/generation thing. But anyway, Biden can reasonably strip Sanders for parts to soup himself up without sacrificing the things that have earned him support.

Josh
I’m not sure Biden can do those things, is all. Or will. Or that Sanders supporters should be asking for it this way. This is a negotiation between campaigns and this article is an absurdly high opening offer.

David
My question is: would doing it gain him much? And if so, what would it actually cost?

Another question: if Warren and Sanders’ levels of support had been switched, would you be responding the same way to the article about a Warren?

Josh
Mmm… probably? I’d be hoping Warren would trade her influence for policy.

David
I sense there’s an element of “fuck you, Sanders” in play. And I’ll note I’m saying this as a Warren suporter!

Josh
It’s easier to see the mote than the beam, I’m sure.

David
I just recall that the Nader movement was never targeted for absorption, and you know how well that’s worked for us.

Josh
I’ll say that the outcome of the primary feels similar to the 2016 general, in that people who were following it closely had one sense but their understanding was not accurate to actual voters. My general stance at this point is kind of a resigned “I guess Biden knows what he’s doing?”

Christopher Dahlin, Politics Editor (aka Christo)
At least, the people he employs.

David
I think it’s closer to “older African-American voters have their reasons, so I guess I can live with Biden”.

Josh

Christo
One can only hope.

David
But I am also acutely aware that a campaign that can win the popular vote still won’t get the presidency without a major margin of victory, so I want to see Biden actually put in the work to pick up Sanders voters.

Blake
I am still worried about his cognitive decline. So many little things that remind me of my grandfather and other people I know that were like… 6 months from being put in a full time care facility.

David
And by pick up I mean mobilize not just get them to vote.

Christo
When Obama was elected, he was more than twice my age.

That shouldn’t be happening 12 years later.

David
Would this whole discussion be worth posting on the site? “From The Staff Lounge”?

Josh
Uhhhh sure, why not.

—FINIS—

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