Welcome back. It’s been a long time since I’ve made a post of any kind (It’s Been A Long Time), and even longer since I made a political post (Check-In 06/11/2019). I think it’s time I get back in the saddle and ride.
What’d I miss in the last few months? Apparently everything. I’d love to go into detail on the Ukraine Impeachment and the aftermath, but here’s the short version: Trump is a criminal and the Republican Party proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they would rather serve the interests of said criminal than uphold their oaths to do their jobs or represent their voters. For the first time in American history, the Senate voted against hearing witnesses in an impeachment trial. It was a gross miscarriage of justice and emboldened Tangerine Tojo to go even more authoritarian and go after those that oppose him. And he’s doing so with William Barr and Mitch McConnell having his back.
Oh, by the way, in the last month there’s a possible pandemic breaking loose with the Coronavirus. No, this isn’t the shits you get in the morning after drinking cheap knock-off Mexican beer that requires a lime in it to be palatable. Coronavirus is a version of SARS called COVID-19. It spreads faster and is deadlier than SARS, and like the previous versions it started in China. Cases have spread across the world and are now being reported in several areas of the United States, with the first confirmed death happening on February 29th and the second today. This wouldn’t be so scary if the White House still had a rapid response team in place to handle a pandemic, but Trump fired them a couple years ago and never replaced them. Why? Because it was an Obama thing, that’s why. The Daughter Fucker put Mike “Pray the AIDS away” Pence in charge of the government’s handling of COVID-19.
So, assuming that any of us live long enough to get to November, there is a presidential election scheduled where Donald Trump will run as the Republican nominee against the winner of the Democratic National Convention. How is that figured out? Who will be the nominee? Good questions. I’ll start with the How, then go to the Who.
The way that the nominees are chosen is by this cryptic and byzantine system of acquiring delegates to represent them at the convention. Each state, territory, and even ExPats living abroad have people that travel the convention in the summer to represent their chosen candidate. These delegates are split how each state party committee feels like splitting them. Some states are all for one, but most break them down to a total for the whole state and then by congressional district. As long as a nominee receives at least 15% of the vote, they can get delegates to the convention. Whoever wins the state gets the most, and then whoever gets the most districts gets those, too.
Ballotpedia has a good description on how this works.
In 2020, there will be 4,750 delegates: 3,979 pledged delegates and 771 automatic delegates—more commonly known as superdelegates.
To win the Democratic nomination, a presidential candidate must receive support from a majority of the pledged delegates on the first ballot: 1,991 pledged delegates. If the convention is contested and goes to a second ballot or more, automatic delegates will be able to vote and a candidate must receive majority support from all delegates—2,375.5 votes.
Make sense so far? Don’t worry, it gets more confusing.
Automatic delegates are unpledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Automatic delegates, who are often called superdelegates, are not required to pledge their support to any presidential candidate. Automatic delegates include members of the Democratic National Committee, Democratic members of Congress, Democratic governors, or distinguished party leaders, including former presidents and vice presidents. They are free to support any presidential candidate of their choosing.
The 2020 Democratic convention will be the first to operate under new rules surrounding automatic delegates which the DNC adopted in August 2018. Under the new rules, automatic delegates will be prohibited from voting for a presidential nominee in the first round of voting unless that nominee has enough support to win the nomination in the first round with pledged delegates alone. Although automatic delegates will be free to vote for any candidate in subsequent rounds, no major party presidential convention has gone to a second round of voting since 1952.
Now that that’s clear as mud, here’s how that works in English. In the first round, the only delegates that count come from those won from elections. The Superdelegates don’t get to vote in the first round unless there are enough votes for one candidate and the party as a whole thinks this would be such a monumental disaster to nominate them. It’s the party’s way of say “Ah, fuck no. Not them. No fucking way.” It could be attitude, health, or some terrible secret comes out that destroys their chance at winning the presidency, but this mechanism in in place to protect the party. These rules came around following the Bernie Bros getting their panties in a twist in 2016 after he lost to HRC. Even with the new rules in place, she’d still beat him. Don’t worry, I’ve got more to say about Bernie later on, and some of it is actually good.
If a candidate does not have a majority after the first round, then anything goes. This is called a brokered convention. What happens is the delegates are “free” to vote how they want on the second and consecutive ballots, and the Superdelegates get in the game, too. This is when deals are made. Let’s say one candidate came up a few hundred delegates short of winning. Say, they had 1700 of the 1991 needed. The fourth place nominee had 300 delegates. They might make a deal with each other. The fourth place nominee would pledge their delegates to the person with 1700 in exchange for a big favor, like the Vice Presidency. The last time this happened was in 1952 for the Democrats. Adlai Stevenson was nominated but lost to Dwight Eisenhower in the general election. Presidents who won after being nominated in a brokered convention were Harry Truman and Abraham Lincoln.
How does one win delegates? Win elections. The more primary races they win, the more delegates they win. The more delegates they win, the more likely they are to receive the nomination. And one day has more elections than any other day. Super Tuesday.
Super Tuesday is the name given to the first Tuesday in March when the restrictions on which states can have their primaries or caucuses is lifted, and every remaining state can get in the fray. Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Carolina got to go first. Now the bulk of the country goes. 15 states and territories hold their elections on Super Tuesday, including California and Texas. 1357 of the 3979 pledged delegates are up for grabs. That’s one third. If one candidate has a great showing they could wrap up the nomination before Spring starts. If one bombs here, it’s all over but the crying. It’s possible to recover, but not likely. It’s like being down by ten points in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. Unless Kyle Shanahan is on the other sideline, you’re screwed.
Super Tuesday’s races consist of Alabama (52 delegates), Arkansas (31), American Samoa (6), California (415), Colorado (67), ExPats (13), Maine (24), Massachusetts (91), Minnesota (75), North Carolina (110), Oklahoma (37), Tennessee (64), Texas (228), Utah (29), Vermont (16), and Virginia (99).
Now that I’ve gotten us lost in the weeds of why Super Tuesday is important, let’s talk about the participants and the recent drop outs. One of the things I regret during my absence was not doing a deep dive on all of the candidates that ran for President for the Democrats. Most of my top ten have already dropped out of the race, and the couple that are left are either on the ropes or not looking too good. I’ll start with the recent drop-outs.
Tom Steyer – Billionaire.
Tom was one of these “outsiders” who has more cash than sense and wanted to give it an honest shot to win the presidency. He’s been running ads against Trump since 2017. Instead of throwing his money behind one nominee that he liked, he ran in a crowded field. He was out of his element. He dropped out of the race on the 28th without any delegates earned. Due to the firehose of money he can launch in the general election, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him “honored” with some ambassadorship down the line if the Democrats win.
Pete Buttigieg – Mayor of South Bend, Indiana
Mayor Pete’s going back to South Bend. The 38 year old openly gay and married mayor of one of Indiana’s most progressive cities called it quits on Sunday, March 1st. He was a moderate choice from Middle America that was safe like Helman’s Mayonnaise. But just like mayo, it shouldn’t be the base of the dish, just a condiment. He “won” the Iowa caucus and earned 26 delegates so far. He’s still very young for politics and after he gets some experience could be a leader in the party for years to come. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his name brought up for a Cabinet position in the future, like the Secretary of the Interior.
Amy Klobuchar – Senator from Minnesota
The senior senator from the state of Minnesota is polling far behind the rest of the pack at this point, and nothing short of a miracle will push her into the top 3. She’s expected to carry her home state, but that’s about it. She’s running on a centrist platform and currently has 7 delegates. She could easily pick up another 40 from Minnesota, but outside of her home state, she’s not looking good. I’d expect to see her drop out of the race as early as Tuesday night or Wednesday.
Elizabeth Warren – Senator from Massachusetts
Senator Warren is a favorite of mine, and her more liberal platform intrigues me. She takes no shit from anyone, and will throw down with anyone at a moment’s notice. Her ideas actually make sense, and she’s been one of my favorites since day one. Unfortunately, she’s losing the progressive vote for the most part to Bernie Sanders and the experienced safe vote to Joe Biden. I’d really, really like her to pull something off and move forward, but I’m afraid that’s not going to happen.
Mike Bloomberg – Billionaire Former Mayor of New York City
FUCK. MIKE. BLOOMBERG. Fuck his stop and frisk policies, fuck his buying every ad in existence, fuck his stupid face, fuck his stance on women’s rights, fuck his greed, fuck his sexual harassment cases that make Trump look like a choir boy, fuck his Wall Street cronies, fuck his greed, fuck anyone who looks like him. He wins my “Hoping he has a heart attack before July and reconsiders his choices in life and quietly retires” award. He’s trying to buy the presidency and instill his form of fascism into our lives. My doomsday scenario involves Bloomberg and Trump fighting for the White House. Whoever wins, we lose.
Joe Biden – Former Vice President
Joe missed his window in 2016. We wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in if he decided to run back then. Instead, he’s giving it a shot in 2020, and that extra four years has caught up to him. He’s 77 years old, and every time I see him on screen he looks older and older, like he’s running out of energy. I’m hesitant as fuck to vote for a man in his late 70’s, knowing that statistically speaking he’ll be dead soon. He’s still my “Name recognition and the safe vote to beat Trump’s ass in November” vote, but I’m not sure how viable he’ll be come the summer.
Bernie Sanders – Senator from Vermont
Time to open a can of worms. This one is complicated. I’ve made no secret about how much I don’t like Bernie Sanders the man (Trump vs. Bernie ) and how I like the early Bernie Bros even less (Horseshoe Theory). But at the same time, I’ve professed how much I like his policies and how I identify as a Democratic Socialist. It’s a very simple concept on how Democracy should help the people, not the corporations or the powerful. It consists of little things that help society like providing health care to everyone, fire departments, or ensuring that people have a fair chance. You know, LIKE THE REST OF THE CIVILIZED FUCKING WORLD!!!
Democratic Socialism scares Boomers because they grew up with the boogeymen of Socialism and Communism during the Cold War. Even though the Soviet Union was neither truly socialist or communist but cronyism based on a top-down economic model which used names opposite of its meaning to confuse. Sort of like how the despotic state of North Korea is called the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. The only words used correctly in that sentence were “of Korea.” What’s fucked up though is while Boomers were running from the Red Scare, they ran straight into unabashed capitalism. The kind of capitalism that lies and cheats and steals to make the rich richer and poor poorer. They’ve done a great job of convincing the Boomers that helping your neighbors is bad because fuck’em, that’s why. It’s like why I left Libertarianism: I developed empathy for my fellow humans. As I’ve gotten older, I see that our job is to leave the world in a better place than we found it. If only our parents felt the same, we wouldn’t be in this mess.
So that’s why Super Tuesday is such a big deal. It’s the make or break moment for most candidates. By Wednesday we’ll have either one or two viable candidates, or a clusterfuck ready to go. That all depends in my opinion on how well Mike Bloomberg does. I hope he gets dunked on like LeBron James playing against a racist white midget. Bloomberg doesn’t give a shit about anyone but himself. Most of the people voting for him would vote for Biden instead, and I’d genuinely rather see a Bernie vs. Biden battle than have Bloomberg in the race for more than few hours. Bloomberg’s only shot at the nomination is to win out across the board and hope the fervor for Bernie dies off.
I live in Pennsylvania and won’t vote in the primary until April 28th. By that point, it’ll either be a foregone conclusion or a clusterfuck. Either way, I still plan to vote. We don’t have ranked choice voting in my state, but if we did, here’s how my top 5 would look like.
- Elizabeth Warren
- Joe Biden
- Bernie Sanders
- Amy Klobuchar
- Donald Duck
- Daffy Duck
- Fuck Mike Bloomberg
- A Ham Sandwich
- The random guy next to me at the polling place
- Not Mike Bloomberg
Spots 2 and 3 are likely a coin toss, but I’m not thrilled about voting for a man in his late 70’s. The actuary tables are not kind to men their age dealing with the stress the job entails. Like I said, I prefer Bernie’s policies but I don’t like him as a person. That could change in a few months, but I’m getting behind whomever the nominee is, as long as it isn’t Bloomberg. Even then it’ll be a vote while holding my nose and hoping for the best kind of moments in life.
I hope to get back to regularly posting. I’m no where near ready to come back to a daily schedule, but I’ve got some things I want to talk about, like the results later this week, how things might go, and how tax brackets work.
Thank you, and have a good one.