Biden and Sanders Offer a Choice: Unite or Fight?

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Hanna
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Biden and Sanders Offer a Choice: Unite or Fight?

Post by Hanna » Wed Mar 04, 2020 9:12 am

(for the ones still in love with Sanders)

It isn’t hard to imagine a Joe Biden administration in which Kamala Harris is vice president, Michael Bloomberg is treasury secretary, Pete Buttigieg is homeland security secretary, Tom Steyer is climate-change czar and Andrew Yang is commerce secretary—or, well, maybe special envoy for math and numbers and stuff like that. It is, on the other hand, almost impossible to imagine a Bernie Sanders administration in which that same group of former competitors would unite.

In a nutshell, that illustrates the most basic choice Democrats face now that Mr. Biden’s candidacy was revived in South Carolina’s primary just before this week’s Super Tuesday primaries. Mr. Sanders talks of waging a pitched battle against the status quo of both parties, culminating in a revolution. Mr. Biden proposes a return to the kind of calm and normalcy that prevailed before the arrival of President Trump.

So, are Democrats in 2020 looking for somebody who promises to fight, or somebody who promises to unite? Mr. Biden framed the choice precisely this way in the speech he delivered after his decisive South Carolina victory Saturday night, perhaps the most definitive address of his candidacy to date: “Winning means uniting America, not sowing more division and anger. It means not only fighting but healing the country. We have to beat Donald Trump and the Republican party. But here’s the deal: We can’t become like them.”

In a sense, this is the choice that has been before Democrats throughout the presidential primary season. Mr. Trump calculated in 2016 that the country was in such an angry and antiestablishment mood that a dystopian candidacy that both acknowledged and stoked that anger would prevail. He was right, and in his own way Mr. Sanders is making the same calculation from the other side of the partisan and ideological divide. He also is calculating that working-class anger at “the establishment” is the animating emotion running through the heart of the electorate, and he is adding in a dose of millennial disenchantment as well. Like Mr. Trump, Mr. Sanders is barely a member of the party whose nomination he seeks, and has no hesitancy about taking on and alienating the leaders of that party. The Trump and Sanders candidacies have more in common than either man would like to admit.

(snip)

The choice before Democrats has often, perhaps most often, been portrayed as a choice between liberal policies and more-moderate policies, and that certainly is true. But this choice between a fighting message and a unifying one is equally stark, and may be even more important. Political pros and pundits obsess about ideology and position papers; often average voters decide based more on mood and attitude. So now these competing visions face a nationwide reckoning on Super Tuesday this week, when 14 states from coast to coast vote. That still may not be the full or final test of the choice.

Many voters in California, Texas and Colorado cast ballots early, before the Biden bounce in South Carolina made his candidacy and message look newly viable. Mr. Sanders already had put in a lot of work there. So here’s a pro tip: Watch the live voting in North Carolina and Virginia, both of which are big and middle-of-the-road enough to provide a real test of the mood.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/Biden-and- ... 1583161983 (subscription)

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Re: Biden and Sanders Offer a Choice: Unite or Fight?

Post by John Q. Public » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:46 am

I agree that Bernie wouldn't help the division but I really don't think we're as divided as the pundits make us out to be. There's an awful lot of screaming from the far right and some from the far left (and some from the non-thinking people closer to the middle) but I think the biggest group, in the middle of the bell curve, don't disagree much more than they always have and they wish the people on the fringes would just shut the **** up and go away. Witness Democrats campaigning and contributing to non-Trumpist Republicans and moderate Republicans going big for Biden.

And one of the reasons why Bernie doesn't worry me so much is who would he stock his administration with? He's a fairly realistic guy and I'm sure he respects our system of government. And I doubt he would or could try to control his side of Congress the way Donald has. Where is he going to find a Cabinet or a bureaucracy that's in lock-step with him without sending recruiters to Venezuela?
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Re: Biden and Sanders Offer a Choice: Unite or Fight?

Post by John Q. Public » Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:58 am

Also, I don't think either Biden or Bernie would be more than a one-term president, but I think we'd be more likely to have more palatable candidates in 2024 if we elect Biden. Bernie would probably just encourage Republicans to swing back to crazy.
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