Thursday, February 21, 2019

Never Say Never

You see, idealism detached from action is just a dream. But idealism allied with pragmatism, with rolling up your sleeves and making the world bend a bit, is very exciting. It’s very real. It’s very strong.
-- Bono

He’s in.

It’s not exactly a surprise.

He’s been hinting at it for a while.

So, earlier this week when Bernie Sanders announced that he’s running for president in 2020, well, I wasn’t exactly caught unawares.

Huzzah! shouted Sander’s supporters! Bernie or bust!

Motherfucker! swore everybody else. Not this asshole again!

And the fight was joined.

I was lucky. Sort of. I take Tuesdays off to spend with my wife and so I was mostly away from social media for Announcement Day and thus didn’t have to watch the inevitable screaming shitfest that began the moment Sanders declared his intention.

I came home to find my inbox overflowing like a ripe Port-O-Pottie.

That trend has continued. This morning I quit reading at a hundred emails asking what I thought.

What are you gonna to do, Jim? What are you going to do?

Will you vote for Bernie? Will you vote against him? What are you going to do?

What am I going to do?

Same as I always do. Watch. Listen. Question. Acquire information. Analyze.

And then act when the times comes.

But this isn’t the time, not yet.

Will I vote for Bernie?

Will I vote against Bernie?

We’re getting far, far ahead of ourselves here.

I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t like Bernie Sanders.


Why not.

I don’t like him. I don’t like how he looks. He’s like some old hippy refugee from the 60s, probably reeks of Werther’s Originals and burning rope. I don’t like his stupid hair. I don’t like his snotty New England accent. I don’t like…


What’s that?

Those aren’t valid dislikes? Those are just personal attacks on his appearance? Those are strawmen I just made up? My complaints have nothing to do with his actual positions or platform? I’m not being rational?

Well, yes. You’re absolutely correct.


So what?

Why should Bernie get any special treatment? It was okay to hate “Shillary” for her shrill Hillary voice, for her appearance, for her pantsuits, for her age, for the person she presumably was back in the 60’s, wasn’t it?

I mean, wasn’t it?


No. Huh. Well, okay, fine. Then I hate him because I don’t think he’s authentic enough. Yes, that’s right. He’s not authentically an old white Jewish socialist. He doesn’t really believe in free medicine for all, his promise of free college is eyewash, it’s just a con to get my vo…

You again?

Yes, that’s what I said. Authenticity. Bernie ain’t got no authenticity, man. I mean, we can determine Kamala Harris’s authenticity as a woman of color from her awkward use of hot sauce, right? That’s fair, isn’t it? Why should Bernie get a pass? I wanna see this guy eat some potato salad.

What do you mean that’s silly?

Okay, geez. Fine. Fine.

Fine. I hate Bernie because he’s too …

For the love of … what now?

How much longer am I going to do this?

Well, that depends on how much more of this silliness it takes for me to make my point.  I mean we’ve got Biden, Booker, Beto, Buttigeg, and maybe Bloomberg – and that’s just the b’s. I haven’t even gotten to all the reasons why my social media feed hates Castro, Delany, Gabbard Gillibrand, Klobuchar, and, of course, Warren.

And if you really want to have fun, there’s Oprah’s spiritual advisor Marianne Williamson.

I mean, I could probably do this all day.

But, sure, I’ll stop.

Folks, we’re year and half out. Take a breath.

Sincerely? I admit that I’m not a huge fan of Sanders.

So what? I don’t particularly hate him, but there are all kinds of things about him that bug me. I’m not going to go into detail on that because, at the moment – because at the moment – it’s irrelevant. Sanders has declared his intention to run, that’s it. He’s putting together his campaign. He’s raising money. But he’s just another politician in a field of similar hopefuls. All those candidates who’ve declared their intention to run, from Kamala Harris to Elizabeth Warren to Joe Biden to, hell, Howard Schultz, all of them have things I don’t like -- some have things I really don’t like and it’s got nothing to do with appearance or their facility with condiments. And some things I might like, depending.

I’m not excited, or enraged, over any of them.


What I am, is glad to see a huge crop of possible candidates in opposition to the current nightmare.

I’m happy to see a wide selection, something for everybody, lots of ideas, and I’d like to see more.

If one of them happens to be Bernie Sanders, that’s fine with me.

No candidate for office is perfect. Not one.

I don’t support any of them at the moment.

I don’t prefer any of them. I am glad they’re here. Even Howard Schultz.

But we are a long ways out from me endorsing any of them.

I want to know more.

I want to know a lot more.

Some of these people have run before. So what? That means nothing.

No. Stop. I’m not even vaguely interested in refighting The Bernie Hillary Battle of 2016.

Try to relight that fight and I’ll either ignore you or toss you out the airlock depending on how I’m feeling.

Every candidate reinvents themselves every new time that they run. I don’t care (mostly) who they were back in the day, or what they campaigned on previously. I want to know who they are now. Who they expect to be in the future. I want to see how the campaign shapes them, how they respond to criticism, how they respond to Trump. Where I do think the past matters is if they’ll admit their past mistakes, up front, without excuse, and tell us how they’ve changed and what they’ve learned. I want to see how ideas – yes, even Bernie’s socialism, for example – from other candidates change and modify their own positions. I want to know where their money comes from – they have to have money, that’s how America works at the moment. So I want to know where it comes from and what those who provide it expect in return. I want to know where they stand on the issues. I want to know who they’ll pick for their cabinet, their Supreme Court Justices, their advisors, their confidants. I want to know what their priorities are. I want to know if they’ll fight for the things I believe in, even if it means their ruin.

I want to see how they treat each other.

And I especially want to see how they treat us. You and me, Citizen.

My loyalty is to the Republic, not to any politician or political ideology.

I don’t know enough yet.

And I wager you don’t either.

Watch. Listen. Acquire information. Analyze. Act at the appropriate moment, armed with as much knowledge and verifiable fact and reasoned consideration as is possible in that moment, for the Republic, for the good of the nation, as best we are able.

Here’s what it comes down to: I don’t yet know who any of these people really are this time.

I don’t. Not yet.

But I for goddamned sure know who Donald Trump is.

Would I vote for Bernie Sanders?

If he’s the only viable alternative to Trump? You bet I would.

If the next year shakes out, water flows under the bridge and Bernie is not only the survivor but he’s the number one candidate in opposition to Trump, then I will support and vote for him without reservation.

Just as I did Hillary Clinton – someone else I didn’t particularly like.


Oh just stop. Like is irrelevant. I don’t have to like somebody to vote for them. I spent most of my military career working for leaders who I didn’t much like. They were competent (most of them anyway), experienced, and out front. They got the job done. But I wouldn’t care to have a beer with most of them. We weren’t friends and that’s perfectly fine.

I’m not looking for a friend or somebody to have a drink with. I’ve got plenty of friends.

What I’m looking for is a leader to take this country into the future.

Those are in short supply.

Citizen, your duty to the Republic has nothing to do with who you like.

It’s a long way to the primaries.

Democracy is messy, loud, and fractious. That’s how it supposed to work, it was designed that way on purpose. Your job as a citizen right now is to look, listen, question, acquire information, analyze.

If you’ve already made a decision, picked a candidate and don’t intend to budge no matter what, you’re a dogmatic fool and you risk all of our futures.

It’s a long way to the election. Between now and then I’ll opine, I’ll cajole, I’ll shout, I’ll fight, I’ll curse, I’ll demand answers, and I’ll likely do my damnedest to convince you of whoever my favorite is whenever he or she emerges. Because that’s what primaries are for.

But, in the end, when that primary election is over, then I will support whoever stands in opposition to Donald Trump.

If that’s Bernie Sanders, if Bernie Sanders is the Democratic Party Candidate, then it’s Bernie Sanders and I’ll be there. I will.

But, if it’s Kamala Harris, then that’s where I’ll be. All the way.

If it’s Joe Biden, then I’ll be there.

If it is Oprah’s goddamned Fortune Teller, well, then I’ll be there.

I expect the same of you in return.

No more. No less.

Idealism loses to pragmatism when it comes to winning elections.
-- Danny Strong, actor, writer, director.


  1. I'm from Vermont. I was all for Bernie in 2016. Then I saw an NPR article where he acknowledged there were Russian bots posting in his support back then. Now, I am taking a wait and see attitude.

    1. Could you post a link to said article please?

    2. I think this article might have links to what Lena was talking about, though there's a bit of unpacking there of whether Bernie actually knew or if it was a staffer acting independently.

    3. Russian bots posted for Bernie because Russia wanted Trump. They didn't want Hillary. Dividing the left achieved that goal, not for any love or loyalty for Bernie. And the bots most certainly weren't authorized or paid for by Bernie.

  2. Love him or hate him, much of what Democratic candidates are proposing this year came out of Bernie floating those same idea in 2016 and finding that, well, as policies people actually like them. Raising taxes on the rich, closing the income inequality gap, raising minimum wage, etc. Bernie didn't invent them, but he talked about them enough and still got enough votes that Democrats finally stopped running away from talking about them. Good enough for me!

    1. Why is that good enough for you? Just because he was the guy talking about the ideas that are getting a ton of air time now doesn't mean he's the best guy to put those ideas into play. In military terms, the guy who created the strategy might be the wrong guy to execute the strategy. I'm definitely in the wait, watch, analyze part of the process.

  3. Couldn't agree more...watching the spin cycle on the announcements within the progressive movement is painful. When you have a host of candidates who would make amazing Cabinet members across the board, denigrating them a year and a half out from elections is just ridiculous. Learn, ask, dig, and assess. Then Act. If the result isn't what you wanted and a different candidate wins, support that one.
    As you say, we know who the other option is...

  4. Whoever stands up against #45, I am standing with that person.

      Thanks for NOTHING, Jill Stein!

    2. That's a bit disengenious. Final tally indicates that if all Stein voters in battleground states had voted Hillary she'd have won. But extrapolation from exit polling and frankly, logic and reason, show that the necessary votes weren't there.

  5. "I want to know more.

    I want to know a lot more."

    Knowledge is power. Knowledge is King. The more you know, the greater possibility of understanding. Through your understanding, you'll be able to make better decisions.

  6. I‘m right there with you, Jim. Way too soon to go nuts, mainly because there are already a lot of balls in the air, and this Citizen will not allow herself to be distracted. Plenty of time next year to see gow it all falls out, once a frontrunner emerges. Thank you for the sanity.

    1. I mean, the guy's a thousand years old and could be dead by then.

  7. I will not vote for Bernie in the primaries because after joining the party to run in 2016 he did not remain. As he has no loyalty to us I have no loyalty to him.

    1. This right here is the problem, not the solution. Like it or not, Sanders did what was necessary to be a viable candidate for the office. Once he was out of the game, he was 100% on board the Hillary train, right to the end. I don't give a damn for party loyalty, it is stupid. What matters is having a candidate that is loyal to we the people when all is said and done. Sanders was that guy, and probably still is. If he's who ends up running against Drumpfenfurter and the Drumpfwaffen SS, then he's got my vote, and he should damb well have yours as well.

    2. The party didn't give him loyalty. The DNC worked to undermine every step of his campaign. Re-hashing all that isn't the point of this story. The point is that if Bernie is the most qualified (or has the best positions) that he deserves the vote.

    3. Did you READ Jim's article? Loyalty to a person has NOTHING to do with it. If he's got a shot at ridding us of Lord Dampnut, I'm all for it.

    4. No, he was not "on board the Hillary train 100%". As often as not his support was tepid at best. He brought forward some good points in 2016. This is 2020. He has multiple opponents, most of whom are closer to his positions than HRC was. And, he does not get the boost of having a single opponent with a dedicated haters' club. His moment, if he indeed had one, was 2016. In 2020, he will find the road to nomination much more difficult. He will not have my support in the primaries, but if he gains the nomination, I will support him, work for him, and vote for him in the general election, without hesitation, regardless of the GOP nominee. End of story. Fade to black.

    5. It is with the urgency of the fate of our democracy that Democrats need to listen up here. Thank you. High moral ground won't keep you safe from the ICE brownshirts or the MAGA militia.

    6. if he had no loyalty, he would run as an independent and ruin any chance we (dems) had of winning the presidency. be damn glad he doesn't do that.

  8. A term I've seen you post, sir. Huzzah! For freaking real.

  9. My major problem with Bernie, and I had the same one with Hillary, is they are older than I am.

    I don't have the kind of physical stamina needed, and my age is as good an arbitrary cut off on age as any. I could also say 70. I remember the fofara when Ike turned 70.

    That said, they are not Trump.

    1. Both Biden and Bernie will need to be VERY careful about their VP pick, IMO. They could cement their candidacy or destroy it like McCain. Their picks should probably be at minimum a good 20 years younger than them, and more liberal (yes, than EITHER of them. Bernie talks a good talk, but some of his votes have been far from liberal).

  10. I agree, in politics and life there are no unicorns. So we all need to stop looking for them and run with the horses we do have.

  11. Thank you for one sentence in particular. "No candidate for office is perfect." Apparently that's incredibly easy and convenient to forget, or to ignore in the first place. And it's probably the key concept for us to remember if we want to get the Orange Thing out of the White House in January of 2021.

  12. Thanks again, sir. You speak truth and I appreciate it greatly.

  13. "in opposition to Trump".
    Yep. That's my candidate.

  14. Exactly what I would expect from someone like you, who analyzes people and situations based on reality. Not by what may or may not occur. I don't know how anyone could be sure who'd they support at this time. If they've already decided who they support, I question their decision because so little is known at this time. Thanks for your thoughtful remarks with an appropriate amount of humor thrown in.

  15. We're a year and a half out. Thanks for once again stating the obvious that seems to roll over most people's heads.
    Personally I'll sit back and watch the inevitable shit show of American politics till it's down to the primary, and then I'll worry about who I'm voting for.

  16. Bernie does NOT have a snotty New England accent, he has an annoying Brooklyn accent

  17. Well stated, as usual, bro. This nonsensical hair-pulling has got to stop. Settle in and learn the values, strengths and weaknesses of each candidate. Vote your conscience in the primaries and may the best candidate win to go on and soundly defeat the asshole-in-chief.

  18. If an area rug wins the nomination, I will support that area rug, send cash to elect that area rug, and shout my adulation for area rug from the treetops. Not another 4 years of Trump. Not this time.

  19. I agree entirely. Thank you for articulating it better than I ever could.

    Also, I think I saw one typo: “I’m not exciting, or enraged, over any of them.” Should that be “excited”?

  20. Words of wisdom, per the usual. Thanks, Jim.

  21. Citizen, your duty to the Republic has nothing to do with who you like.

    Thank you for that sentence, it says it all.

  22. I have had friends tell me that they donated to Bernie's campaign and that they're locked in.

    Um, no. I'm not doing that. Last time around the political merry-go-round, I voted for Bernie in the primaries and then Hillary in the General, and I was totally okay with it.

    Like you said, we don't have to like that person, we just have to pick the best person to lead the country. I'll be checking everyone out and discussing it on my wall for my friends list, and hopefully, we get IQ45 out of office. I would prefer tomorrow, as a better date, but at least in 2020, let's get that jerk out of office.

    1. Sunk cost fallacy as applied to politicians. Bad idea.

      My best friend is a die-hard Bernie fan, who was a phone volunteer for his campaign in the Spring of 2016. When she heard he was running again, I nearly needed to pull her off the ceiling. But even she is pragmatic enough to vote for whoever she considers the most qualified candidate in the primaries. Quite honestly, we'd both vote for Voldemort if he won the
      Democratic nomination. Anyone is better than our current nation-destroying scoundrel.

  23. "I don’t have to like somebody to vote for them." <--- THAT. THAT, RIGHT THERE.

    Perfect. And I couldn't possibly agree with you more. I will vote for whoever the eventual Democratic nominee is, without a qualm and without hesitation. I'm gratified to know you feel the same way, Chief.

    Between now and the end of the primaries, yes, we have a lot to learn about all the candidates, including those we may think we know already, just as you said. It's going to be a long, fractious, and probably maddening ride, but there's no shortcuts and I won't settle on a preferred candidate until well along in that process. But whoever wins the Dem nomination gets my vote, period.

  24. The enemy of my enemy is my friend and candidate. Absolutely. Work hard to get the best candidate nominated, but when that process concludes if YOUR best candidate lost, the one left facing Trump must be the best for the party. Help that person win.

    Any other approach deserves ridicule, scorn, and air lock treatment.

  25. Yup. Not a friendship. Not a marriage. A hiring decision.

  26. This rings true to me because I'm seeing so many of the younger generation constantly express frustration that (mostly Democratic) candidates don't keep all their campaign promises or support everything they (the voter) does. I know we can all reflect on some level of naivete back in our early voting days, but this frustrates me greatly. No candidate keeps all their promises. Looking for one who agrees with everything you believe in AND has the ability to get it all done is not realistic. I have no idea who I most want to win at this point, other than knowing it will be anyone BUT the current occupant of the White House. He has got to go, even if we all cast our opposing votes for someone who isn't the Perfect Candidate. Spoiler: that's exactly who we will vote for. No candidate is perfect.

    1. Someone recently commented that Democrats eat their own in the quest for the perfect candidate, while Republicans will vote for a rock if that's their nominee. While I hate to admit it, seems 2016 proved that they're right. I have no idea who I'll be voting for, but I do know it won't be Trump.

    2. I fully expect even AOC to change her mind on some things, as the reality of DC politics sets in.

      If she didn't, I'd question her judgement, as people who never change their minds in the face of new evidence tend to screw the country horribly (Dubya and tRump, for example).

  27. Bravo! Yes, we do not have to "like" someone to vote for her or him as a leader. I will really, really like anyone who stands against Trump.

  28. i would vote for a flea-bitten mangy Yellow Dog before i would ever ever vote for Mr. Trump. Sitting out an election just because your favourite candidate didn't -for whatever reason- survive the primaries is childish, selfish, and just plain stupid... All you 2016 Bernie Bros, i'm looking at you.

  29. I'm going to vote for Bernie in the primary, just like last year.

    I will give him my money, because I believe in him and his message.

    And if he loses I will vote for whomever is the winner against Trump.

    Because even a dog would be better then Trump, because a dog is not malicious in their policies.

    And dogs would be the best at kissing babies

  30. I think the biggest problem in the coming election is going to be the predictable fear- and hate-mongering. It's likely to come from both 45's supporters and from outside, just as it did in 2016. We as responsible citizens need to vet our sources of information and do our best to avoid being taken in. We really, really don't want 45 to be able to pick his opponent; the choice should be ours as informed participants in the selection process.

    1. Engrave "We really, really don't want 45 to be able to pick his own opponent.." in our thought process as we consider the best options.

  31. I think you meant to write "excited" rather than exciting. I also think that you don't publish enough recipes, but that's just me! Your mileage... etc.

  32. "Citizen, your duty to the Republic has nothing to do with who you *like*."
    Jim, this is SOOO true. I wish more citizens would realize that and pay attention accordingly.

    1. I kept telling Bernie Bros in 2016 that if their principles insisted that they still vote for Bernie, or anyone but HRC, then they didn't really have any principles, because they put their feelings over the suffering of tens of millions of people.

      "The Republic" instead of "tens of millions of people" might have gotten *some* of them to listen. But still not many.

  33. You're right, Chief. We're a year and a half out, and it's still too early to make any kind of decision. I expect some of those throwing their hats in the ring won't even make it to primary season, let alone the primaries. So,there's no point in even getting excited at this point, let alone devolving into fisticuffs this early in the game.

  34. Well sure. It is not a horse race. It is a marathon. A marathon is a hot, messy, sweaty and muscle aching trudge over Heartbreak Hill. Between now and then we must as a country see and hear and read more than the lead stories on TV. Or what any internet sages think. Ultimately it comes down to our decisions to think of what we want. Competence. Experience in managing. A gift for eloquence is nice. A recognition that we got problems here in River City. What else? We will see. We will think. We will get Deliverance. If we are lucky. A republic and we gotta keep it, folks. So, as Jim counsels, keep a steady hand on the helm for now.

    1. "Experience in managing" - but not a business. Too many people think a businessman would make a good President, but the goals of business and the goals of government are nearly diametrically opposed.

      And tRump epitomized that. Someone whose goals involve Business Think to the point that they bankrupt frakking CASINOS is not someone you want attempting to run a country.

  35. Straight shooting to the point. If you want better YOU need to do your part. I am all in.

  36. I will support Bernie until he is no longer in the race. Ultimately, I will vote fervently for whomever runs against trump. Nothing is more important to this nation than getting him out of the White House.

  37. I will not support Sanders. His non-apology to the women who were mistreated during his 2016 campaign made it clear that he is not nearly as progressive as he would have us believe. It should have been an eye opener for his supporters.

  38. Well done. I have to say I started getting a bit riled in the beginning, thinking we're over a year away and somebody else is already ragging on Sanders. You got me. I'll admit it.
    I'll also admit that I, too, will support whoever comes out on top. I love that old Jewish guy, perhaps more than is healthy. But, while I agree with just about every word that comes out of him, I'll wait and see who makes the best case.
    Also, this is a different year, a different crop.
    I mean Jim Webb? What was that, comic relief?

  39. There was once a candidate for Prime Minister in UK who was losing his hair - at quite a young age, poor chap. However, the number of people who said they couldn't possibly vote for him because he was bald simply blew my mind! Who gives a damn about whether a candidate is bald, wears glasses, has bunions, has
    an irritating voice (and by golly you can't get much more irritating than 45's voice and look where he is right now) or any other damned physical thing. It's policies that matter, my petals; policies and the ability to get most of them done.

  40. Nailed it!>> "If you’ve already made a decision, picked a candidate and don’t intend to budge no matter what, you’re a dogmatic fool and you risk all of our futures."

  41. Short & to the point -- Bernie's accent has nothing to do with New England. It's a strong (and quite annoying) Brooklyn accent.

  42. "I’m not exciting, or enraged, over any of them"

    So you admit to not being exciting?

  43. The POTUS is a spokes person for the party behind him / her. Each has its own agenda for the nation. Voters should vote on a presented plan for the future and upon a candidate's voting record. Sadly many vote on appearance, personality on camera, and acting ability.

  44. SO GLAD YOU WROTE THIS!!!!! A million thanks!

    I agree 100% ! (Except I liked Bernie after answering those questions for my SELF:) It's probably why I was ALWAYS registered as an Independent. Having that in common with Bernie also probably gave him a point or 2 for me because I understand that. In the end of course I voted against Trump though, which meant for the woman rather far from my ideal, or from being excited about, though I am a woman. But that was then.

    Because I supported Bernie in the primaries the last time, I received a text today from a Bernie supporter saying they were taking a pole and asking was I still "in" for Bernie. It felt really premature to ask me that. So after a bit I texted back. "I may be. Too soon to say." A had a moment of wondering if I really needed to even respond but NOW I'm glad I did. The point is very worth making and thanks again! I truly admire your ability to be comical while arguing your case so eloquently! You've lightened my mood many times in this era of chaotic (and un-funny) insanity. :-D

  45. This. It's waaaaay too soon to throw too much support toward any candidate. They all have to prove themselves - even Bernie.

    Sure, I was pro-Bernie in the primary last time, because he was to the left of Hillary. But I voted for HRC in the general. No puerile "protest votes" here.

    So instead of trashing all but your favorites, lets actually compare and contrast their positions. I don't care if they're "unlikeable" (a term reserved mostly for women, it seems.)

    I don't care if they have the fashion sense of an asphalt road, I don't care if they're fugly, or "shrill", or "inauthentic" or ..... whatever.

    I want to know their platform, how they've learned and grown in their career, and how well they represent my interests and those of people like me, plus the rest of the country. I want to know how they are going to unfuck our country after 4 years of the disaster that is Trump and his GOP lapdogs.

    I want to see them lead. I want to see them debate without rancor.

    The Democratic party does not need its own members to tear down its candidates. There are plenty of GOP and Russian operatives ready and willing to do that. We need to sort through the opposition noise and pick based on qualifications, not who the opposition hates least.

    Whoever our nominee is in the Democratic party, they will get my vote in the general election. But I have made no decision WRT the primary, it's too soon.

  46. Let me add another name to the mix - Andrew Yang. I'm not suggesting anything other than listen to his ideas. They may have merit. The interview with Joe Rogan is worth a listen: https://youtu.be/cTsEzmFamZ8

  47. Thank you, sir. I've been avoiding making any decision yet for the reasons you cite. Having said that, I'm fortunate (for a change) that California has changed the date of its primary so I can perhaps have some influence on the nomination when I do make up my mind.

  48. I absolutely agree. We are too far away. I am much more interested in the idea that our candidates debate the issues in ways that will not damage the winner (whoever that is). I want them to all discuss ideas and ways to implement them. I want them to talk about how we will move forward and repair the damage. It is too early to decide who will win.

  49. Sent some loot to Liz Warren's campaign. That should indicate who I think is best for the job. But just like Jim, when it's Crunch Time, my vote will go to any candidate with a D next to their name, whether it's Gomez Addams or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. To do otherwise would sentence my country to four more years of that treasonous asshole with the orange hair.

  50. "I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t don’t like Bernie Sanders"
    Not sure if typo, or deliberate double negative to stir things up.

  51. Actually, Sanders has a chance to win my vote...but it's not just policy. It's how he handles bumps and controversies and it's how he manages his campaign.

    He gets definite plus points for hiring Faiz Shakir as a campaign manager; he's progressive and has respect in the Democratic Party.

    He gets a minus for his handling of sexual harassment problems from his 2016 campaign; I don't buy for a minute he didn't notice $30K that he had to sign off on to take care of a harassment problem.

    He gets a minus for minimizing racial problems; previous attempts at socialism consciously excluded blacks from getting them--how is he going to stop a repeat of those problems.

    Let's keep track.

  52. Whoever emerges as the strongest opponent for the party of Trump, not just Trump himself (whom I still don't believe will be in office a year from November) No matter who that is, they will get my vote. https://ranthonysteele.com/2019/02/an-article-of-impeachment-against-donald-j-trump/

  53. I have not enough information to make a decision on which Democratic candidate I will vote for in the primaries. Looking forward to seeing their official platforms. One candidate, however, I do know. In the primary I will not vote for another old white man. And if I have to vote for that old white man to defeat the other old white man? Yeah, I'll do it. And hate having to. So, please, let's elect someone else in the primary.

  54. I feel exactly the same way. I will vote for anyone who will beat Trump. In Bernie's defense I heard someone on MSBC comment today that they wondered how he would be able to distriguish himself since his opponents are supporting most of the issues he ran on last time.

  55. There were things I liked about Bernie the last time he ran. There are things I'll probably like about him this time. There are things I like about Elizabeth Warren. There's a lot I don't know about most of the other candidates. I expect to learn about them. In time I expect I'll figure out which one I prefer. I hope others will agree with me and my preference will be the nominee (whoever that preference turns out to be). But I'll be voting for the nominee of the Democratic party even if it means holding my nose all the way to the polls.

  56. Marianne Williamson is really running? Oh, man, I thought that was a joke.

  57. And here we have "Florida Democrats are denouncing Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for refusing to call Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro a dictator." (Politico)

    For those enemies, I could love him.

    (And no, I don't think he can win, but I wish he could. I think we're get another damn "social liberal, economic conservative" and in the next financial crisis we will again bail out everyone but the man or woman in the street.)

  58. I voted for Bernie in the primaries last time, but I'm not a Bernie or Bust kinda guy.

    Hell, I'm not even a Bernie or AnybodyButTrump kinda guy.

    I'm just an AnybodyButTrump kinda guy at this point.

    So many of the possible candidates cover the issues Bernie has brought up that he might be largely irrelevant this time. And his track record for actually *doing anything as a Senator* beyond talking is pretty inconsequential.

    But if he's the choice, he meets the AnybodyButTrump qualification, and damned right I'll vote for him.

  59. Thoughtful piece and as usual a good, and funny, reminder why we shouldn't yet start the internal war in the loyal opposition. Removal of trump is the goal, who will do it at this point, is less relevant. BTW, Bernies accent is Brooklyn..... but you knew that

  60. While I have some concerns about Sanders regarding the likelihood of being a divisive candidate who would end up throwing the election to the GOP, my real concern is this: It's waaaaaay too soon to start campaigning for president or any other office. By the time the election rolls around, every viable candidate will have been attacked, dragged through the mud, mocked, degraded, vilivied and shown to be unfit for public office, and this by members of our own party who want someone else to run. If we had a lick of sense, we'd follow the lead of European nations that limit campaigning to 45 or 90 days prior to the election. These people aren't unknowns who need years of PR and prep to tell the public who they are and what they believe. We already know that. If they can't get their message across in two or three months of active campaigning, they shouldn't bother running. All it accomplishes is to weary the public and run up the cost of political campaigns to where few can afford to compete.

    We've watched as Putin's Orange Poodle has been campaigning for the next election before the votes were counted from the last one. He's treated the whole process like a television game show, with teasers, upcoming attractions, cliffhangers and, in the process, degraded our entire political process.

    People fuss about needing term limits for Congress. We don't need them, any more than we really needed presidential term limits. What we do need are campaign limits. We need to limit the time that people can campaign for any office, and limit the ability of wealthy people and corporations to dominate the electoral process with huge contributions that essentially buy the candidate and buy the office.

  61. Reading comments here and elsewhere it becomes clear that some don't realize that not only is Sanders not running as a Democrat, he cannot. The DNC changed the rules since last time. Therefore to read folks saying they will support him in the primaries is confusing... if he and Howard Schultz continue their campaigns, the only chance anyone will have to vote for them will be on November 3, 2020.

  62. New England accent? No part of NE I have lived in or visited produces people who sound like Bernie Sanders. Or me. We’re from Brooklyn.

  63. Excellent Jim. Nothing else that I could say would better express my thoughts on this, so I won't even try. Thanks!

  64. I would vote for a 100 year old corpse over Trump.

    1. As in, they were born 100 years ago, or died 100 years ago? Not that it matters much.

  65. Once again a measured and well thought out essay, Jim. Whoever the candidate running against Trump is, he or she has my vote.
    As I might say, when asked who I would vote for among Democratic potentials in the next election, "Hey, I don't have 2020 vision."

  66. 'The "republic" implies that we have a strong head of state (the President) and elected officials representing the people.'

    It's corrupt right?

    Doesn't the republic need reform?

    Putting the choice of so many, into the hands of so few seems archaic. There is plenty of history that shows the US republic has sold out its people consistently for decades.

    This notion that my duty is to a corrupt republic seems counterintuitive. Trump is the republic.

    There has to be a change.

  67. Good essay Jim. My mind is decided at the moment, because I, like many who posted above, voted for Bernie in the primaries, but dutifully aligned myself with Hillary in the general.

    You might enjoy this guy, I don’t know. He reminds me of a young Thomas Frank because of his, what seem to me, astute political observations. He’s just a kid, but maybe it’s the young ‘uns who we should be listening to.

    “I realize that it’s still considered too early to talk about this, that there are midterm elections before then, and that A Lot Of Things Could Happen In The Meantime.”

    There is still only one clear way to get rid of Trump


  68. Just one quibble from a lifelong New Englander: That's no New England accent. He brought Brooklyn with him.

  69. If a bag of frozen mixed vegetables was a Democrat running against Trump, I'd be all in on frozen mixed vegetables 2020. I've tried to be fair and impartial, voted in every single election possible and honestly? A bag of veg in the Oval Office would do less damage than Trump has even if the veg was left there to thaw and rot for four years.

    I just really really loathe Trump.

    1. The old insult "yellow-dog Democrat" definitely applies for 2020. Nothing could induce me to stay at home or to vote for Trump or a 3rd party next year. NOTHING.

  70. AMEN! As a fellow Floridian, you and I have over a year before the primaries. Let's see who these people are and not get distracted by DNA tests and hot sauce and whatever BS people drag out to distract us from learning about the potential candidates' actual policies and political stances. :)

    (I have a few that I like more than the others, but after 2016, I'm not nearly stupid enough to say that my current favorite HAS to be the nominee or else. We all saw how well THAT line of thinking works.)

  71. Totally agree, Jim. Am doing the wait & see. Having said that...I lived near South Bend, Indiana, and have seen Mayor Pete ‘s work up close. He is Harvard & Oxford, former Marine, brilliant, well-spoken, genuine, caring, compassionate...people are listening to this voice from the wilderness. He’s young, but has done a lot in his 7 years as Mayor. Check him out!


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