Patterico's Pontifications

5/18/2019

Trump’s Influence On The 2020 Democratic Primary

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:33 am



[guest post by Dana]

Upon his announcement that he was throwing his hat in the ring for 2020, Joe Biden’s early polling numbers have consistently shown him dominating his nearly two dozen competitors. In a fractured party where many of the candidates are running from the far left lane, Biden is now viewed as the moderate Democrat. In light of this, it is interesting to consider whether candidates who have been desperately trying to outwoke each other may have actually done themselves a disservice:

It’s not just Biden’s rising poll numbers that suggest that the activist left is out of step with most Democrats; it’s the ideological makeup of the entire Democratic Party. Fifty-six percent of Democrats self-identify as “moderate” and 9 percent even embrace “conservative,” according to an April poll from the Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. While leftist activists pine for the end of the legislative filibuster to grease the skids for partisan legislation, a December GW Politics poll found that 66 percent of Democrats said they prefer elected officials who “make compromises with people they disagree with” over those who “stick to their positions.” Only 36 percent of Republicans said the same.

[…]

The Democrats didn’t just underestimate Joe Biden’s personal appeal (at least so far), but it appears they also underestimated the size of his ideological lane. As Democrats stampeded left, with even more “moderate” candidates like Beto arguing for tearing down existing border walls, Biden was left largely alone to position himself as the ideal candidate for a whopping 65 percent of the Democratic electorate. Which of the “woke” candidates is best-positioned to challenge Biden for that enormous slice of the Democratic voting public? Meanwhile, the progressive (mostly white) wing of the primary is crowded and competitive.

Moreover, key candidates have made such extreme statements in the effort to appeal to what turned out to be the Democratic minority that they’ve rendered themselves more vulnerable in the general election. It’s hard to walk back pledges to wipe away private health insurance or tear down border walls, for example. It turns out that dreams of a united, energized progressive tidal wave may well die in the face of a more-moderate electorate that mainly seeks a return to normalcy, modest reforms, and an end to daily political drama.

Which leads to Rich Lowry wondering about the reality of Trump’s influence on Democratic voters:

What if Donald Trump hasn’t driven Democrats insane, sending them into a spiral of self-defeating radicalism, but instead made them shockingly pragmatic?

Biden’s early strength suggests it may be the latter, that the reaction to Trump is so intense that it has crossed some sort of event horizon from fevered fantasy of his leaving office early via resignation or impeachment to a cold-eyed, win-at-any-cost practicality.

If this is true, one of the exogenous factors that could appreciably increase Trump’s odds of reelection — a zany Democratic nomination contest leading to a nominee much too far left for the American electorate — may not materialize.

The commonsense play for Democrats has always been to nominate a nonsocialist with appeal to Obama-to-Trump voters in former blue wall states — if not necessarily Biden, then someone with a similar relatively moderate profile.

If hardly dispositive, Biden’s robust numbers at least suggest that this play is more likely than it seemed in the very early going, when candidates were stumbling over one another apologizing for sundry alleged offenses in the Woke Olympics.

If that’s not going to be the true dynamic of the race, I’m as surprised as anyone, having written often about the leftward lurch of the party. What’s extraordinary, though, is that almost every Democratic candidate might have been misreading it as well and chasing the wrong rabbit down the track.

Whether the general election ends up between these two rich, old white guys remains to be seen. As it stands now, in spite of Biden’s many liabilities, early polls focused on the general election show Biden leading Trump. Biden is reportedly going to focus on a unity v. division theme at his kickoff rally, claiming that Trump has divided the country on race, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation, and that America needs a president who represents all Americans, not just Trump’s base. Although it’s still early, Trump has locked onto Biden, with his familiar lay-him-low-from-the-get-go strategy:

[S]ome Democrats, having witnessed how Mr. Trump lampooned and eventually bulldozed the Republican field in 2016, are nervous that Mr. Trump has shrewdly chosen to define Mr. Biden as the front-runner early on, identifying him as the greatest threat in a general election.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

96 Responses to “Trump’s Influence On The 2020 Democratic Primary”

  1. It would be amusing to see Biden, the rich old white guy, take the nomination in light of the desperate attempts of almost all of the other candidates to outleft their opponents. What diversity does Biden bring to the Party of Diversity?? If he takes the primary, what a slap in the face it would be to the wing of the Democratic party that continues to insist that diversity and wokeness are foundational planks and primary goals of the party.

    Dana (779465)

  2. Bonus points for running on “unity” after telling blacks that Republicans wanted to reinstitute slavery in 2012 (and double bonus points for brazenly reversing the historical roles of the two parties vis-à-vis slavery).

    That a loon like Joe freaking Biden actually IS the moderate, statesman-like candidate demonstrates clearly the damage Donald Trump has done to our country. Sad.

    Dave (1bb933)

  3. Also, in a run-off between Trump and Biden, Pennsylvania appears to be up for grabs, in spite of Trump taking the state in 2016 by a higher margin than anyone expected. But that was then:

    The results could also be a reflection of Biden’s deep ties to the state. He was born in Scranton, and he affectionately refers to the former industrial city as his hometown…that has to count for something.

    Trump was favored by 90 percent of Pennsylvania Republicans. But Biden was supported by 93 percent of Democratic voters and 51 percent of independent voters.

    The Quinnipiac University poll did find a gap among men and women, though. The results showed 60 percent of Pennsylvania women supporting Biden. Men were more divided, with 49 percent supporting Trump, compared with 45 percent for Biden.

    Dana (779465)

  4. RotaryDialPhonePoll 2020 question for Jill Biden: what is a “station wagon?”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  5. I think it signals a resignation to defeat of the Dem candidate- let’s run the old guy before he… – especially if a lot of half-loaves and bones are thrown to various apparatchiks and groups on infrastructure, glaring omissions in immigration reform (e.g. the other column today), criminal justice reform. I think the slap comes when a Rust belt straight white man or hail Mary southerner or Az’r (Buttgieg may merely be battle prep for Synema one day) is selected as Bidens VP.

    urbanleftbehind (743b03)

  6. If he takes the primary, what a slap in the face it would be to the wing of the Democratic party that continues to insist that diversity and wokeness are foundational planks and primary goals of the party.

    If he can find a black lesbian (lookin’ at you, Stacey Abrams…) willing to serve as his running mate, all will be forgiven…

    She’s already auditioning:

    ‘We cannot have perfection as a litmus test': Stacey Abrams defends Biden amid allegations

    Dave (1bb933)

  7. DCSCA (797bc0) — 5/18/2019 @ 10:55 am

    That’s DOCTOR Jill Biden to you.

    Dave (1bb933)

  8. PA could be the pyrrhic victory – even it drags MI, WI, and IA back to blue, look for a Trump play for MN or VT (dont laugh, it could happen, especially without Bernie on ticket)NH/ME-all 5 to wash it all back.

    urbanleftbehind (743b03)

  9. The rest of the Dem field is at risk of the phenomenon that propelled Trump to victory in the 2016 GOP primary: The field is too big, and name recognition eventually becomes the determinative factor if the rest of the field isn’t winnowed down quickly to no more than three or four, and then to two. If Bernie is as stubborn as he, Rubio, and Kasich all were in 2016, then Biden might ride name recognition all the way to the nomination.

    Biden has already invested so much time and energy in lowering our expectations of him that his inevitable gaffes during the campaign will be instantly forgiven and forgotten by Democrats. He’s pretty much already weathered the #metoo storm.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  10. Also working for Biden’s chances of getting the nomination:

    With the exception of Bernie (probably), everyone else in the field would be satisfied with being his Veep nominee; given Biden’s age and medical history, that’s the slickest path to the presidency in sight for any other Democrat.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  11. Biden is a standard leftist. Will do everything that the radical left wants as they own the modern day communist party.

    On the bright side, Australia had an upset against all odds that the left thought they had in the bag. Seems like people don’t want to self-destruct unless they are fully brainwashed like Mao’s children.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  12. “Folks?! Folks?! Folks?! Folks?! Folks?! Folks?! Folks?! Folks?!” — times ten to the 23rd power, eh, JoeyBee?

    Folks. Station wagons. ‘Swimmin’ pools; movie stars…’ Enough already, plagiarist:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggX0h7uk7AY

    “We’re taking command of this ship, Captain…” – Kramer [Anthony Perkins] ‘ffolkes’ 1980

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  13. @7. Given his mental and medical history- he needs one in some discipline around him 24/7. And she can make an old-fashioned house call- without a station wagon– or rotary phone. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  14. With the exception of Bernie (probably), everyone else in the field would be satisfied with being his Veep nominee; given Biden’s age and medical history, that’s the slickest path to the presidency in sight for any other Democrat.

    Yes, any of them would be that opportunistic.

    One thing that will be telling too, is if Biden can gain momentum and carry it through to the primary without Obama’s endorsement. Of course, had Biden had O’s endorsement from the get-go, I think the deal would have literally already been sealed. Which makes me wonder who Obama will be endorsing…

    Dana (779465)

  15. Lowry wrote: What if Donald Trump hasn’t driven Democrats insane, sending them into a spiral of self-defeating radicalism, but instead made them shockingly pragmatic? So, if the Dems nominate a radical, it’s Trump’s fault, but if the Dems nominate pragmatic non-radical, it’s also Trump’s fault. The whole world doesn’t revolve around Trump. Dems will choose their candidate and their platform, regardless of who their Republican opponent is.

    David in Cal (0d5a1d)

  16. Yes, any of them would be that opportunistic.

    Although in considering this further, how would it look to Democratic women voters if a female candidate accepted second billing when the big push has been for a woman president, especially after Hillary had the election stolen from her by a white male? And particularly, how would it appear if Harris, a minority female, accepted the second slot? Wasn’t there already an outcry about Biden floating Stacy Abrams name (tokenism)?

    Dana (779465)

  17. It’s name recognition.

    He won’t win; he’s too damn old.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  18. Latest poll groper joe vs groper trump. Groper joe 32% which means 68% of democrats want someone else. activists will be out voting in primaries and over voting in caucuses. Your poll shows all democrats not likely primary voters. Clinton had to buy off or scare off black candidates to win southern primaries to beat bernie. Groper joe says he will put stacy abrams on the ticket to get black turnout in general election but black candidates will get black votes in primaries. Clinton’s woman voters will have to decide to vote for groper joe or women candidates running. Finally democrat establishment worries if left democrats vote green again if nominee is groper joe.

    lany (bff643)

  19. lany,

    While the media pushed the line that Biden asked Abrams to be his running mate, both parties have denied it. Wishful thinking.

    Dana (9be73b)

  20. @ David in Cal, who wrote (#15):

    The whole world doesn’t revolve around Trump. Dems will choose their candidate and their platform, regardless of who their Republican opponent is.

    I agree with that first sentence.

    I’m genuinely unconvinced of the other. The one respect in which I give Trump the highest possible grade is in making Democrats more crazy. I think given the choice between (a) a magic wish which would instantly and successfully establish universal healthcare, free college for everyone, and reducing worldwide carbon dioxide by 10% in each of the next ten years, but all with Trump as POTUS, on the one hand, and (b) defeating Donald Trump in 2020 on the other, a substantial plurality, and possibly a majority, of Democrats would choose defeating Trump.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  21. So in other words, incapacitated Trump + Ja-vanka vs. generic Dem, still generic Dem.

    urbanleftbehind (743b03)

  22. While the presumptive candidate often gets the nomination, they seldom win the election. Dole, Gore, Kerry, McCain, Romney and Clinton all failed. Only HW and W succeeded.

    When an upstart gets the nomination, they often win: Clinton, Obama and Trump.

    It’s way too soon to call this for Biden, and we haven’t seen the ABB crusade yet. Those 22 candidates on the left may all be in single digits, but there will be a winnowing out and a champion will be found.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  23. defeating Donald Trump in 2020 on the other, a substantial plurality, and possibly a majority, of Democrats would choose defeating Trump.

    Even if it meant sacrificing Obamacare on an altar of coal.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  24. With the exception of Bernie (probably), everyone else in the field would be satisfied with being his Veep nominee; given Biden’s age and medical history, that’s the slickest path to the presidency in sight for any other Democrat.

    Probably part of Pence’s decision, too. VP’s are rarely elected on their own (only once since the 1830s), but a lot of them have succeeded to the office (5 times in the 20th century).

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  25. It is easy to compare the Democrats’ race with the GOP in 2016, if only because of the number of candidates. Will the 2016 and 2020 nominees be the result of name recognition? I find that distressing.

    DRJ (15874d)

  26. @Kevin M – interesting observation. However, causation may go in less obvious direction. Upstarts don’t win because they’re upstarts. Someone with whatever it takes to win can grab the nomination despite being an upstart and then go on to win. I think this applies to Bill Clinton and Trump.

    David in Cal (0d5a1d)

  27. > VP’s are rarely elected on their own (only once since the 1830s

    Arguably twice — Bush in 88 is clear, but I think Nixon in 68 counts. He hadn’t been veep for eight years, to be sure, but it WAS the highest office he’d held, and the most recent.

    aphrael (7962af)

  28. Kevin – I think it’s a tough call, because I think that the effect Trump is having on our political norms and our norms of governance is massively corrosive, and ending and rolling back that corrosion may well be more valuable than any particular policy goals.

    aphrael (7962af)

  29. I think the primary for Dems will be the flip of how so many Republicans viewed 2016: vote the candidate who can beat Trump. Platforms and policy will be superfluous. Name recognition and celebrity will go a long way toward that end.

    Dana (779465)

  30. I think Nixon in 68 counts.

    I should have said SITTING VPs.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  31. Anyway, I sincerely doubt that Pence will be a factor in 2024. He has the charisma of a rock.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  32. Whens Oprah Winfrey getting in?

    mg (8cbc69)

  33. howdy doody compares Christianity to Wahhabism, and wants to erase Thomas Jefferson from all documents, that’s focusing on the issues of the day,

    narciso (d1f714)

  34. Jerry Springer is only 75. I’d love to see Springer vs Trump. If you can’t fight crazy, bring your own.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  35. I’m an independent swing voter. I won’t be voting for Trump. At all. Ever. Unless something egregious occurs I will vote without problem for anyone else except Bernie. My vote for 2020 will be “literally almost anyone else”.

    Nic (896fdf)

  36. Half of the Democrat field is to Bernie’s left.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  37. Bernie a gen-u-ine old-school communism lover and as much as the right likes to say OMG!SOCIALISM, most of the rest of the field is only mildly on socialism side, mostly they don’t like the rich all that much, especially given the irresponsible actions of the very wealthy over the last 30-40 years. They are more into talking about climate change, race, and gender/sex issues but I’m not against being on the cutting edge of new industries, even if it does mean change-over from old industries, we need to deal with Miami’s future inundation, regardless of what is causing rising oceans, there are still race issues, and I don’t care who other people sleep with or which pronouns they prefer unless the person they are trying to sleep with is me. He or she or they or xie, I don’t care, it’s fine, whatever.

    Nic (896fdf)

  38. OT: GOP congressman Justin Amash calls for impeachment.

    Here are my principal conclusions:
    1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
    2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
    3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
    4. Few members of Congress have read the report.

    Welcome to the party, pal!

    Dave (1bb933)

  39. “He or she or they or xie, I don’t care, it’s fine, whatever.”
    Nic (896fdf) — 5/18/2019 @ 7:40 pm

    I’m guessing you don’t have young daughters having to compete against male volleyball players calling themselves she.

    Munroe (8e3726)

  40. I’m a school admin. If anyone wants to know what most of this stuff actually looks like in school, on the ground, I’m certainly willing to talk about it.

    Nic (896fdf)

  41. My experience with school admins is that they, for whatever reason, couldn’t give a damn what the parents think about things of this sort. Nothing personal. I’m sure it’s a matter of hands being tied by the sorts of politicians you’re planning to vote for.

    Munroe (61cf9f)

  42. Nic,

    You can call yourself an independent, but your policy preferences speak for themselves.

    NJRob (319119)

  43. “Above all else, we must defeat Donald Trump,” is the 2020 rally cry of Potus-wannabe-JoeyBee at his endless third-presidential-campaign-kickoff.

    You know, like when JFK’s ignited the New Frontier with an inspiring and fiery rally cry to Americans of all ages declaring, ‘Above all else, we must defeat Richard Nixon!”

    Stop and smell the Philly cheesesteaks, Delaware Joe. It ain’t Scranton. But the Pennsylvania Union of Carbon Paper Inkers endorsed you again- this time in triplicate.
    _____

    @32. Not soon enough, that’s for sure.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  44. Bonus points for running on “unity” after telling blacks that Republicans wanted to reinstitute slavery in 2012 (and double bonus points for brazenly reversing the historical roles of the two parties vis-à-vis slavery).

    That a loon like Joe freaking Biden actually IS the moderate, statesman-like candidate demonstrates clearly the damage Donald Trump has done to our country. Sad.

    I know, right? That Joe Biden seems relatively sane is, well, insane.

    Patterico (506110)

  45. @42 Nah, this is that thing where partisans think that anyone who isn’t on the exact same page that they are is a partisan of the opposite type.

    Nic (896fdf)

  46. @41 If you’d rather believe whatever random fearmongering is out there, that’s fine but like I said, I’m certainly willing to talk about what it actually looks like on the ground.

    Nic (896fdf)

  47. 38-Dave,

    If it’s any comfort, that patrolman is now the Police Superintendent (Chief) of Chicago. And Amash is part of the “ish or get off the pot” brigade in my book.

    urbanleftbehind (743b03)

  48. Nic, did you really think it was a hypothetical situation conjured up by random fearmongering? Do you really think I’m any less “on the ground” than you? Did you think those actually weren’t my daughters?

    Munroe (b04614)

  49. Nic,

    Your post in #37 speaks for itself.

    NJRob (319119)

  50. @49 It’s possible there might be one trans kid trying out for volleyball at your kid’s school. It isn’t a situation that is epidemic and your implication is that it is a situation that is so common that there might as well not be a girls volleyball team. It isn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, common for a trans kid to try out for girls sports. And implying that it is, is exactly how fearmongering starts.

    @50 I do not find your ability to parse what is or is not independent thought to be accurate. You probably think Nichole Wallace and Joe Scarborough are far left Democrats.

    Nic (896fdf)

  51. Nic, the dismissiveness must come in handy as a school admin.

    Munroe (9ac6d0)

  52. Admittedly, 1 trans trying out for a sport where 6 are on the floor it’s not as egregious as the other more common cases where individual track athletes are winning girls competitions far afield of the true female competitors. In the middle term it will accelerate the move to travel/club prep sports which seems to be taking hold across prep sports outside of football.

    urbanleftbehind (743b03)

  53. There are none on my daughters’ team. The situation is that there are two other teams in the league with boys calling themselves she, and they absolutely kill the ball.

    But, I should believe Nic’s “on the ground” take instead of my lying eyes.

    Munroe (94cb7e)

  54. If they weren’t rare, they wouldn’t be freaks. They would be the norm. And how many drops of cow pee does it take it to spoil the whole bucket?

    nk (dbc370)

  55. @52 Yep, I generally find that it comes in handy in almost all situations to deal with real reality.

    @53 I am not a doctor. At this point, the data seems to suggest that it is current or near-current testosterone levels that give a muscular advantage, so a transwoman athlete who has been on hormone blockers and estrogen replacement therapy for a while wouldn’t necessarily have much of a muscular advantage over a non-trans woman athlete. I don’t think it’s definitive so they are still doing research. Elite athletes, in general, though are a pretty niche group if we are considering all of society.

    When we are talking about volleyball specifically, at the high school level there would be varsity and junior varsity teams, so we are talking about probably 20 players total. Even if you assumed that the trans student had an automatic advantage, Monroe’s daughter could still be worse than 18 other girls and still make the team.

    Nic (896fdf)

  56. @54 I’m sure there are no XX athletes who are good at volleyball on the other teams.

    @55 I hate to tell you this, but probably something at some point has peed in your water source and you’ve survived so far. I know this is a difficult thought to handle.

    There are a lot of different people in the world. If we spend all our time putting them in little boxes and then berating them and trying to make them exactly like us, we won’t have time to live our lives and those other people are just trying to live their lives too. There are people who think the world is flat. I’m uninterested in telling them they aren’t allowed to be pilots.

    Nic (896fdf)

  57. Bucket of milk. I always have typos when I type something mean.

    As for putting people in little boxes and berating them, etc., I won’t even bother to respond to that kumbayah pap. Or to the Obamaesque flat world analogy.

    nk (dbc370)

  58. Oh, no, you used the O word in reference to something I said. I’ll have to run away now.

    Would you like a better analogy?

    There are people who think eating honey is animal abuse. I’m not going to stop them from being chefs.

    There are people who believe hunting is murder. I don’t police whether or not they can live in the country.

    There are people who think polyamory is a functional long-term lifestyle choice. I’m not offended if whatever random church they belong to ordains them.

    Living peacefully with people who believe differently from ourselves is one of the founding American values, it’s why we have freedom of speech and religion and such and if that’s kumbaya pap, you can take it up with James Madison.

    Nic (896fdf)

  59. Red herring smorgasbord.

    Munroe (1bb904)

  60. Not really, you’re just more weirded out by trans people than vegans. At least transpeople don’t harangue me for my restaurant order.

    Nic (896fdf)

  61. Groper joe vs groper trump. Its like when hitler attacked stalin you didn’t know who to boo for!

    lany (8046d8)

  62. mittens and Amash should team up and run as non christian democrats in 2020.
    When Omar and Talib praise you…..
    gtfoh.

    mg (8cbc69)

  63. Nic,

    There is a difference between “live and let live” lifestyle situations like vegans or gays or whatever, and people with Y chromosomes competing in girls sports where they prevent others from having a fair competition. It is not any exaggeration to call it cheating.

    When students are caught cheating on a test, presumably you don’t look the other way.

    I suspect the extent to which “it’s not common” could vary a lot depending on where you live. Also, it’s my impression that this wave of child abuse – allowing teens or even pre-teens to hormonally and surgically mutilate themselves – has become considerably more common over just the last few years.

    Dave (1bb933)

  64. Most democrats except for groper joe and his running dogs at the dnc and donor class realize the electorate has change in the last 20 years from attracting swing voters (obama/trump voters were not swing voters they hated mitt romney) less then 5% of voters are really true swing voters who could have voted for trump or clinton and this includes independents. Trump knew this and tried to drive turn out of his base. clinton did not or her establishment donors wouldn’t allow her to appeal to the base and she went out try into convince republicans who hate and every thing she stands for to vote for her. Trump got as many votes as romney. clinton turned off democrat base to appeal to republicans and 6 million democrats didn’t vote in 2016 over 2012 and 1.4 million voted for jill stein. Groper joe better appeal to the base and not pull this clinton crap of trying to get republicans to vote democrat or AOC is president in 2025(she will just be 35 in jan. 2025.

    lany (8046d8)

  65. If you don’t like Obamaesque, would you prefer Lysenkoian? Political science. No, not the study of politics. Science as dictated by politics.

    But we’d be doing Lysenko an injustice. It was Obama who dictated: “The science is settled. Women have testicles, men get pregnant. If you don’t believe that, you’re a wrecker who thinks the Earth is flat.”

    nk (dbc370)

  66. Munroe, Nic’s point is that those two boys who think they are girls are not nearly as common as you seem to think.
    (How many teams and players are in your daughter’s league? For that matter, how old are they?)

    BTW, your original comment on this read, to me, as rhetorical/hypothetical.

    Kishnevi (eabe14)

  67. BTW, as a general comment, don’t try to be a tourist in DC at this time of the year. Every school district in the Midwest seems to have picked this week to send their students on the annual trip to Washington. They are almost all well behaved, but thousands of kids clogging up lines at the major museums is an annoyance. DC traffic is worse than that of Miami or New York.

    Least impressive: the National Archives…the Declaration and Bill of Rights have faded into complete illegibility.

    Most impressive: the pieces of the Berlin Wall and guardtower displayed at the Newseum.

    Kishnevi (eabe14)

  68. Kishnevi (eabe14) — 5/19/2019 @ 6:26 am

    I hope you’re staying at the best hotel in town.

    Dave (1bb933)

  69. Every school district in the Midwest seems to have picked this week to send their students on the annual trip to Washington.

    My school (yes, in the Midwest) did indeed do an annual field trip around this time of year, but it Mr. Corwin’s Civil War history class field trip to the eastern battlefields. The closest we got to D.C. was Sharpsburg, MD and Manassas, VA. Good times.

    Dave (1bb933)

  70. Maybe the upper third, the middle rank in greater Chicagoland go to state capital Springfield for a lengthy day trip. Last night was peak prom photo on my FB feed.

    urbanleftbehind (743b03)

  71. Photos here (I am flying home right now)
    https://flic.kr/s/aHsmDyo5Gh
    Museums involved
    Smithsonian Museums of American History, African American History, American Art and National Portrait Gallery…I had time only to see at most one floor or so of each
    Also, Clara Barton Missing Soldier’s Office.
    Obama’s portrait actually looks nice, compared to how posed and formal with a realistic background most of them are. Best modern portraits (I think) are Reagan and JFK. Clinton’s is oversized glitzy and superficial just like the man himself.
    Grand finale Lincoln Memorial at 10 PM. Still a crowd, but not as big as during the daytime.

    Kishnevi (367d80)

  72. 6. Dave (1bb933) — 5/18/2019 @ 10:59 am

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, Charlene McCray, is a black lesbian.

    She told him when he first started courting her, but he said words to the effect that they shold take things as they come.

    https://observer.com/2015/05/are-you-still-a-lesbian-bill-de-blasios-wife-doesnt-have-an-answer

    Never shy about expressing his love for his wife, Mr. de Blasio said he aggressively courted Ms. McCray before she returned his affections.

    Sammy Finkelman (3fda43)

  73. > VP’s are rarely elected on their own

    VPs weren’t all that important until the 1950s. It was Cabinet members who won a party’s third term.

    Madison, Monroe and John Qunicy Adams inthe early 19th century (Elections of 1808, 1816 and 1824) – Martin Van Buren (1836) had been a Cabinet member before he became Vice President. After 1844 nominees tended tpo be decided at the convention.

    Taft and Hoover in the 20th century. (1908 and 1928) Eisenhower (before 1956) suggested that Nicon would be better off being a Cabinet member, but Nixon didn’t want it.

    In 2016 a (former) Cebinet member was he front runner. Former because now they can’t take part in politics at all almost.

    Sammy Finkelman (3fda43)

  74. 56. Nic (896fdf) — 5/18/2019 @ 10:11 pm

    Monroe’s daughter could still be worse than 18 other girls and still make the team.

    He isn’t talking about her making the team – after all the (probably) two boys are on two other teams – it’s the ability of her team to win games AND COMPETE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP.

    Sammy Finkelman (3fda43)

  75. 68. Kishnevi (eabe14) — 5/19/2019 @ 6:26 am

    Least impressive: the National Archives…the Declaration and Bill of Rights have faded into complete illegibility.

    Were they in better condition 30 or 50 years ago, or has this been the case for 100 to 150 years at least? Was there any kind of booklet sold giving the history of its preservation? Did you get it?

    Most impressive: the pieces of the Berlin Wall and guardtower displayed at the Newseum.

    That’s a private (non-governmental) museum.

    Sammy Finkelman (3fda43)

  76. Agreed that Biden and Trump are “two rich, old white guys,” but Biden’s net worth is less one thousandth of Trump’s.
    So far, Biden is running a smart campaign, and his gaffes pale before Trump’s incessantly false and over-the-top statements.

    Paul Montagu (7968e9)

  77. From what I recall reading, there was essentially no effort to preserve the founding documents at all until sometime around WWII.

    Dave (1bb933)

  78. By the way, while they are definitely faded, with all due respect to Kishnevi, I would hardly call the founding documents the “least impressive” sights in Washington.

    Being in the presence of those documents is a moving experience, for me at least, and the ideas they express are eternal even if the ink is not.

    Dave (1bb933)

  79. That a loon like Joe freaking Biden actually IS the moderate, statesman-like candidate demonstrates clearly the damage Donald Trump has done to our country. Sad.

    Alternatively it demonstrates the degree to which the Democrat field lives on the leftward fringe.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  80. Mr. de Blasio said he aggressively courted Ms. McCray before she returned his affections.

    Please tell me how this is different from sexual harassment? Asking for a friend.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  81. VPs weren’t all that important until the 1950s.

    Except for the 7 who succeeded dead Presidents.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  82. VPs weren’t all that important until the 1950s.

    83. Kevin M (21ca15) — 5/19/2019 @ 11:01 am

    Except for the 7 who succeeded dead Presidents.

    They were often used to “balance the ticket”

    The Vice Presidents elected in 1840 and in 1864 were even (basically) from a different political party.

    In the 20th c entiry they were more substantial. But it was a route to no wowhere. In 1900, Mark Hanna thought he had sidelined Theodore Rossevelt by making him Vice President.

    Sammy Finkelman (3fda43)

  83. 81. That a loon like Joe freaking Biden actually IS the moderate, statesman-like candidate demonstrates clearly the damage Donald Trump has done to our country. Sad.

    He was also the most moderate statesmanlike candidate among the Democrats in 2008. Barack Obama recognized that.

    Sammy Finkelman (3fda43)

  84. Dave @79 and 80:

    From what I recall reading, there was essentially no effort to preserve the founding documents at all until sometime around WWII.

    By the way, while they are definitely faded, with all due respect to Kishnevi, I would hardly call the founding documents the “least impressive” sights in Washington.

    But are they legible? I think they are the first printed copies.

    The original constitution, I take it, is in better shape than the the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, (12 proposed amendments, ten ratified by 1791, one ratified in 1992) or is it not in the same place in the National Archives?

    Sammy Finkelman (3fda43)

  85. @64 I’m in California, it’s probably most common here and it isn’t common at all. Unfortunately there’s been a wave in general of parents getting plastic surgery for their kids. I don’t, personally, believe a boob job for a 16 year old is much better than a No-Boob job for a 16 year old.

    @66 I don’t really care if you call something I say obamaesque. It’s republicans who use that term as some kind of magical “Haha! I’ve got you now” pejorative. It doesn’t affect me more than any other pejorative you might use because the magic doesn’t work on me. I’m not all afright of the O word.

    Nic (896fdf)

  86. R.I.P. Herman Wouk, at the age of 103, almost 104. (born May 27, 1915)

    He died in his sleep in his home in California Thursday to Friday, May 16/17 2019.

    When I saw the obituary story about I. M. Pei, who died shortly after celebrating his 102nd birthday, I thought: Herman Wouk is still alive.

    I thought it is maybe about time he might write another book, considering that he found himself alive, writing another book like the two short books he published in recent years, “The Language God Talks” in 2010 and “Sailor and Fiddler” in 2016. He was working on another book, although he hadn’t told his literary agent what it was about.

    He wrote “This is My God” in 1959.

    He is also famous for writing “The Caine Mutiny” which contains Captain Queeg. It was inspired in part by his time in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific during World War II.

    He also wrote two panoramic novels about World War II: “The Winds of War” (1971) and “War and Remembrance” (1978) They have a main character who seems to interact everywhere, like later Forrest Gump. He originally intended to write only one book, but it took him nearly 1,000 pages to get to Pearl Harbor so he split it in two, making it longer than Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.”

    They were pirated in China, and were published by the government or becasue of the government in order to give their people some kind of knowledge about the events of World War II outside of China. When Herman Wouk learned that that’s how the people in China learned about the Holocaust (because that was one of the story threads in the book) he was content. (IIRC what I read.)

    Those were among his novels made into movies and even plays. Another was “Marjorie Morningstar.”

    He wrote a number of other books, some of which are obscure and some of which I never heard of but sound interesting.

    One is “The Lawgiver” described in his obituary as being very interesting because it is an epistolary novel, except that besides letters, it uses memos, emails, transcripts of meetings, text messages, faxes, diary entries, transcripts of phone calls and Skype conversations, aide memoirs and Twitter posts, 234 pages of it in a wide variety of typefaces, and including some marginalia, but with a lot of blank pages, so it’s really shorter. He actually wrote that after 2010. It is supposed to be comic, and is a book about making a movie about a book, and he made himself and his wife characters in the book. (He is originally commissioned to write the script, but, having difficulty, settles on an arrangement where he must approve the script. He gets a lot of his ideas in this book, about Moses, about Cecil B. DeMille, about Hollywood etc.)

    He had long (for 50 years) wanted to write a book about Moses, covering the missing years, (in this book, at least, his semi-abandoned novel about Moses is narrated from Aaron’s perspective) but decided eventually that he couldn’t do that, so he did this. It is described as a parody about Hollywood. An Amazon reviewer compared it to two other books he’d written: “Don’t Stop The Carnival,” (1965) and “Youngblood Hawke.” (1962 – about a Thomas Wolfe like writer.)

    His work could probably fall mainly into a few separate genres, including autobiographical fiction and nonfiction. He also wrote a few stand alone plays and had been a staff writer for radio comedian Fred Allen in the 1930s starting in 1936.

    Sammy Finkelman (3fda43)

  87. But are they legible? I think they are the first printed copies.

    Originals of The Declaration, Constitution and Bill of Rights are all in the same permanent exhibit at the National Archives.

    They have high-resolution scans posted on the National Archives website, if you want to see the condition of the actual documents.

    A remarkable hand-made engraved facsimile of the Declaration was made in 1823, and has unsurprisingly aged much better. It is a painstakingly accurate reproduction of the original.

    The Declaration was hung on a wall in the US Patent Office for 35 years, across from a sunlit window, to give you just one example of how carelessly it was handled in the past. The Patent Office was gutted by fire only a few months after the Declaration was moved elsewhere in preparation for the 1876 centennial. Its long history and travels, from 1776 to the present, and attempts to preserve and/or restore it, are documented here.

    As you can see from the scans, the Constitution and Bill of Rights are quite legible, discoloration of the parchment being the main issue, but all the documents are displayed in low light (I recall it being an unnatural greenish color, probably chosen to be a wavelength that doesn’t react with the ink), and that plus the protective enclosure makes the tiny cursive script hard to read.

    Dave (1bb933)

  88. @88. Meh. Fred Allen quilled a hilarious book himself, titled ‘Treadmill To Oblivion.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  89. Joe Biden would be 82 in 2024. He’s a one term President and so is Bernie. Don’t elect President who are so old they might die in office from old age.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  90. Dave, the BoR was just as impossible to read as the DoI: about the only legible words are the topmost lines written in bigger letters. Both scans are more legible than the documents as now exhibited. The Constitution otoh looks like it was written yesterday. The facsimile you mention is displayed a few feet down from the original.

    I said least impressive. Perhaps “most disappointing” is a better word, because of the documents’s condition.

    That’s a private (non-governmental) museum.
    It is also getting ready to close in a few months. Johns Hopkins is taking the location over to use as graduate school facilities, and no new location has been announced.

    Kishnevi (a3416d)

  91. Meh! It unsees itself. There are three components of memory — intake, storage, and retrieval. Banality has little impact on any of them.

    nk (dbc370)

  92. OK, so this made me laugh. Trump’s tweet this morning:

    Looks like Bernie Sanders is history. Sleepy Joe Biden is pulling ahead and think about it, I’m only here because of Sleepy Joe and the man who took him off the 1% trash heap, President O! China wants Sleepy Joe BADLY!

    Dana (779465)

  93. 95/ I guess this tweet adds a couple of lies (or things which Trump himself does not believe)

    1. Bernie Sanders is not history – yet. (Biden probably jumped in the polls because the fact he wasn’t officially in the race held people back from naming him or his name was not included in the pol.l)

    2. I suppose the claim he’s here only because of Obama and Biden is based on the notion that if the economy had grown more during Obama’s two terms, he wouldn’t have been elected. And that Obama is responsible for anemic growth. Possible to say.

    But…

    While maybe he’s only there because of Sleepy Joe and the man who took him off the 1% trash heap, he’s not there only because of Sleepy Joe and the man who took him off the 1% trash heap.

    He owes even more to Hillary Clinton.

    What’s his nickname for her? Oh yes Crooked Hillary.

    3. The President of China (Trump forgot his name – he can call Number Eleven if he wants to) probably doesn’t want Biden in particular, but he’d prefer many many people.

    Although he knows he could get worse for him, too.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)


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