The adults in the room

October 14, 2015

Do you want to talk about what a pleasure it was to see actual adults in the Democratic debate yesterday?

And about what a contrast it made with the preening, unserious clowns running for the Republican nomination?

My take is this: Hillary is the most Presidential of any candidate running….on either side and by a considerable margin. Bernie has the right policies. Clearly. And O’Malley made great strides in introducing himself to a national audience. His closing comment was really strong and you should check it out. Maybe the Dem’s bench isn’t empty* after all?

Second take: I am of the opinion this is the Republican’s election to lose. It just seems to me that enduring inability to see what Obama has accomplished (with Repubs holding one of his hands behind his back) will put another Democratic administration far behind in this race. No matter who the Democratic candidate is. Well, Bernie and Hillary gave me a little more hope last night. Decency may win out after all.

*I still say Hillary and Bernie are too old and am disappointed there has not been a very deep bench on the Democratic side this cycle.

57 Responses to “The adults in the room”

  1. Philapodia Says:

    I foresee a Clinton/Sanders ticket next year after the primary.


  2. dsks Says:

    Short of some major game changer (a corruption charge that sticks, death, alien invasion, Jesus returns) Hillary will be nominated and win the election without fuss. She might drop a few EVs compared to Obama’s last go around the block, but when you look at the map the Republican path to victory looks severely limited for even a serious candidate (the question is, where have demographics opinion shifted so severely that a former Obama voter is going to vote Republican or not vote at all?). As it is, none of the GOP candidates are serious, and whoever pulls through is going to be seen as a nose-holder for Republican voters, like Romney and McCain. Hillary will also have the benefit of Obama’s feckin’ stellar tech-heavy campaign infrastructure, which the GOP still haven’t come close to even trying to replicate.

    That said, I think congress could well tilt a little more red, so if we think it’s fustercluck now, it’s probably only going to get worse.


  3. duke of neural Says:

    I’m not sure who on the republican side is more effective at campaigning than Hillary. None of the front runners obviously. If you can’t convince your fellow republicans that you would be a better president than DONALD TRUMP, how are they going to convince sane people they’d be better than Hillary?

    “enduring inability to see what Obama has accomplished” isn’t really fair ATM: it’s the republican primary time. These are republican psychopaths talking to republican psychopaths. The conversation assumes that Obama is literally worse than the devil. Once there’s real back and forth between Hillary and whatever republican gets coughed up, and they’re vying for sane people’s opinions, Obama’s accomplishments will likely be recognized.

    Unless the economy sinks.


  4. drugmonkey Says:

    Philapodia- Bernie is still a Senator. Can’t see him wanting to go VP. He’ll ride his wave / media clout to do more bully-pulpit in Senate. My guess.

    Dofn- how do we keep getting Republican congress critters if the voters aren’t blaming Obama?


  5. drugmonkey Says:

    dsks- My hope is that a continued impression of competence brings the gut-level Hillary haters to see the light. But it is not a strong hope.


  6. drugmonkey Says:

    Someone tell Hillary to stop talking about “first woman President”. Those who are keen on that KNOW dude, we don’t need reminding. And it just flares up the anti- folks’ opposition.


  7. eeke Says:

    Philapodia and DM – Sanders will never go on a Clinton ticket because of his principles. She panders too much to Wallstreet; it goes against his message. O’Malley seems to be the one who is running for VP. The other two guys (republicans dressed as democrats) should really just go away. I can’t blame them though for wanting to have a discussion about issues with grownups.

    And no, DM, certainly Clinton is not too old. fuck that. She probably has more stamina than all of us put together. She is also younger than Donald Trump. No one complains that he is too old, but is unqualified for other reasons. I really think there is some sexism behind that remark. Sanders is the only one who is of really advanced age, but despite his age, his campaign is phenomenal.


  8. drugmonkey Says:

    Reagan was too old, McCrazy was too old, Hillary *and* Bernie (did you miss that?) are too old. I am consistent in this.

    It isn’t just energy. Or health. It is being in touch with the country.


  9. eeke Says:

    Being “out of touch with the country” has nothing to do with age. Look at Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum or any of the other crazies. I should not have to name them all, you don’t have to look too far.


  10. eeke Says:

    oop, I meant “in touch”. Whatever touching with the country, it’s independent of a person’s age. Get over that.


  11. duke of neural Says:

    DM, Republicans get local elections because of low voter turnout during non-presidential elections.


  12. qaz Says:

    DM – We get republican congress-critters because the house seats have been gerrymandered. In the 2014 election, Democratic congressional candidates got many more votes than Republicans, but the Republican representation in the house became more Republican. If states were split randomly (even within state, rather than gerrymandered), the house would have a Democratic majority.

    We should also note that a large part of the problem is that the republican party has moved farther and farther towards Leninist party-loyalty-wacko-world, where compromise is heresy and anathema.

    As people have noted, the electoral map is difficult for a republican to win the presidency, but I don’t see how we solve this until we break the hold they have on lower seats (house, state houses, etc.)


  13. Grumble Says:

    “how do we keep getting Republican congress critters if the voters aren’t blaming Obama?”

    Doh, haven’t you noticed? Republican congresselephants keep getting elected even when Obama is on the ticket and wins the election. In the last few Congressional elections, Democrats actually got more votes in total than Republicans (or, in some cases, the Republican vote majority was not as great as the disproportionate number of Republican Congresspersons actually elected). In other words, other factors contribute to the Republican Congressional majority. For instance, they have been extremely good at capturing state governments and then gerrymandering Congressional districts.


  14. Grumble Says:

    “[the problem with being old] is [not] being in touch with the country.”

    Doh again. Have you noticed that a good chunk of the enormous throngs Bernie draws are young people?

    You know, the ones with the most to lose if they can’t pay off their college loans due to the fact that the few greedy billionaires who control all the wealth refuse to provide American workers with decent middle class incomes?


  15. Grumble Says:

    “I foresee a Clinton/Sanders ticket next year after the primary.”

    It seemed to me that at the debate, O’Malley was running for veep. Which at this stage means, running to become either Hillary’s or Bernie’s choice of running mate.


  16. drugmonkey Says:

    You people are begging the question….


  17. sel Says:

    Yeah, I too disagree with the idea of “too old = out of touch”. Heck, in previous elections the younger folk were all fired up for Ron Paul, who’s not exactly a spring chicken. Some oldsters are gutsy enough and with-it enough to espouse new or at least unconventional ideas.

    Now get off my lawn, you whippersnapper.


  18. drugmonkey Says:

    Ok, even if you are ok with septuagenarian candidates…. Where is the Dem bench? Is nobody else worried?


  19. drugmonkey Says:

    Another question: Should we be talking indepth about the Vietnam conflict in 2015 race for POTUS? Or is this an unfortunate feature of the age of the candidates involved.


  20. qaz Says:

    You can see the Democratic bench in the quality senators (Warren, Franken, lots of others) and in the speeches made at the last convention. They’re not running for president because they like our current crop of options. If you want to see the Democratic bench, go watch Julian Castro’s speech at the Democratic convention in 2012.


  21. Grumble Says:

    “They’re not running for president because they like our current crop of options. ”

    Or, more likely, they are not stupid enough (as Webb and Chafee apparently are) to think that they could win against Clinton.


  22. eeke Says:

    qaz – DM’s ageism would deny Warren a presidential run (she is only a year younger than Hillary).

    DM – ffs, Vietnam was mentioned only to contrast Sanders objections to Webb’s service. At least they didn’t go on about abortions and denying women’s access to health care. You think that’s a suitable topic for 2015? Or any year? Those issues should not be up for debate. That was kindly pointed out by O’Malley.


  23. zb Says:

    There’s no official Democratic presidential bench because Hillary Clinton has been seen as the presumptive candidate for a long time and many of her potential competitors draw from the same political base as her.

    I heard someone else leave the debate yesterday with the exact same thought, how refreshing it was to see grown ups discussing the issues rationally.

    I think much of what happens in the presidential election will depend on how votes break down in specific states and that the analysis really requires very local knowledge — and, importantly, how (and whether) minorities (african americans and hispanics, but also asians and others) vote in many of the states.


  24. Adam Says:

    Betting markets (such as PredictIt) favor Clinton 2:1 over the top Republican contender (Bush). Polls and pundits are fairly unreliable, but people seem to do a lot better when cash is on the line.

    The problem I see is that the extreme right freaks out the moderates too much for the Republicans to advance a message that can sway independents in the general election. There could be some Electoral College wackiness, I guess…


  25. LadyScientist Says:

    If Republicans win the next election, the world AND science are f*cked.


  26. NeuroAlex Says:

    nonsense. But keep up the hysteria!


  27. drugmonkey Says:

    I did like Castro’s speech but I’m looking for more sustained activity from more people. Yeah, Warren is too old and Franken isn’t going to be nationally viable as a real leader. Joke about the Republican clown car but there are a lot of them, they are going to be around for a long time and they get a national megaphone. Promoting Republicanism like a cancer. Where is the opposing team?


  28. drugmonkey Says:

    [pssst. Chafee and Webb are also running for VP. As ticket balancers. Webb in particular. I might actually have to go with his Dixiecrat ass for this reason. ]


  29. Grumble Says:

    There you go again with the “X is too old.” Reagan was old and he was hugely popular. Why the automatic assumption that advanced age disqualifies a candidate? Well, there are cases in which it does, such as James “Who am I? Why am I here?” Stockdale. But Elizabeth Warren is not that old, and she’s the polar opposite of senile.


  30. Busy Says:

    NeuroAlex: can you possibly string together two words into an argument?

    Coming here and stating nonsense achieves nothing. Please explain why science would do better under Trump or Rubio that under Hillary. I honestly would like to hear more about this.


  31. qaz Says:

    There are a lot of great Democrats building their resumes for later cycles. They don’t want to run for president now because they like Clinton. (She is extremely popular among the Democratic establishment – and anyone on deck is definitely part of the establishment).

    Warren is not old for a world leader (or for someone to be elected president). Franken is much more popular in his state (while still being a policy wonk!) than people realize. Castro is now secretary of housing and development (an up and coming position historically). There is a large bench of young Democrats in the senate and governorships. The issue is that you are not seeing them because they are not in the debates.

    And in that I agree with you. Because the republican debates have been playing so loud, they have set the tone and are successfully moving the Overton window. (Something the Republicans have been shockingly good at.). My only hope is that some of the Democrats, led interestingly by blogs and the new movements arising now, are starting to push back.


  32. Jonathan Badger Says:

    “Should we be talking indepth about the Vietnam conflict in 2015 race for POTUS? ” Considering the never-ending “War on Terror” is basically Vietnam 2.0, it sadly isn’t just an irrelevant baby-boomer obsession.


  33. Philapodia Says:

    “nonsense. But keep up the hysteria!”

    Clinton E-mail server!
    Remember Monica?!
    Planned Parenthood selz babiez!
    Benghazi (again!)!
    Secret Kenyan Muslim Dictator!
    Death Panels!
    Fast and Furious!
    War on Christmas!
    Obama’s takin’ yur gunz!
    Obamacare (again!)!

    I think concern that another republican administration will be bad for science and the world is not nearly on the same level as normal RWNJ hysteria.


  34. Busy Says:

    I am of the opinion this is the Republican’s election to lose.

    I don’t agree. I think that’s one reason why no republican “adult” threw his hat in and exactly the same reason why there’s only one strong candidate on the democrat side: all internal polling and analysis points to an HC victory.

    This is the same reason why Bush the Elder ran uncontested with only “rookie-no-chance-in-heaven” Bill Clinton stepping up on the dem side. Then the economy went bonkers, and the rookie turned out to be a bona fide GOAT candidate.


  35. Busy Says:

    his hat –> his/her hat


  36. bagger vance Says:

    Glad to see at least you agree that Clinton is ‘too old’. She is about the same age that McCain was in 2008 and that was a common refrain then.

    Republicans are a long way out still. Everyone talks so much at this stage that it ensures months of MSM ‘gotcha’ moments for the remainder of the cycle. It might be more instructive to figure out what voters are mad about or concerned about, instead of thinking that any particular candidate is getting traction.

    Surprised that Biden isn’t making a hail mary at this yet. Personally find him acceptable if not exceptional, if you know what i mean.


  37. dsks Says:

    My tinfoil hat is buzzing with the idea this whole goddamn circus is king helluva Clinton operation. HC is the only game in town. Bernie is just running to animate the lefties, who he’ll then gift to HC when he bows out and endorses her. This mitigates the only serious concern the Dems have; low voter motivation and turnout, which they probably fear most from young disillusioned Obama voters. O’Malley has been vetted and selected as a well-behaved, stand-in-the-background and-do-as-your-told future VP. As for those other guys, they were just brought in to make up the numbers.

    On the other side, Trump and Carson are so obviously Clinton agents provocateurs (either willingly or through crafty manipulation) it hurts my head to imagine such a large fraction of the republican electorate can’t see it. Fortunately, the pain is balanced by laughter and joy.

    Frank Underwood is amateur night compared to HC. She’s been planning this gig for 20 yrs, and I think it’s almost certain now to pay off.

    I hope she beats her Rep challenger like a gong. It’s gonna be awesome.


  38. drugmonkey Says:

    Personally find him acceptable if not exceptional, if you know what i mean.

    Mondale, Dukakis, Dole, Gore, Kerry …Biden. oh, I know what you mean. Dull as ditchwater, “it’s my turn” and guaranteed loser.


  39. eeke Says:

    bv – Hillary is NOT the same age that McCain was in 2008, she is several years younger. Do the math. However, Biden IS. Amazing how you think Clinton is too old, but Biden, ~5 years her senior, is not.
    The monkey appears to hold the same standard, though. He cites men about 5-10 years older than Clinton and Warren as being too old, and those women, in their 60s, as too old. Sexist. I’m curious, what’s the cut-off?


  40. drugmonkey Says:

    Ronnie was 70. Hillary would be 69. One year, dumbass, one year.

    Are you aware of men in their late 60s that I have affirmed as being sufficiently young?

    Biden is not in the race. If he were, I would also knock him for age in addition to the aforementioned boring guy in suit problem.


  41. Grumble Says:

    Being ageist is just as bad as being sexist. Knock it off.


  42. eeke Says:

    Women live longer. I agree with Grumble.


  43. chall Says:

    thanks for reminding me that there are a lot of newer/younger democrats – but we don’t see them since they aren’t running for president today (as the republican block).

    I still think it would be nice to hear more about younger/different Democrats than same old, same old. Someone are doing things in congress, surely?


  44. bagger vance Says:

    @eeke–The McCain/Clinton age (“about”~2-3years/70=3-4% error?) isn’t so much my problem as the convenient excuse a lot of people (who are otherwise filled with concern about ageism!) gave in 2008. I just appreciate consistency. As for Biden, yes, that would also be an issue. I just have less of an aversion to the guy.

    @drugmonkey–I would prefer “dull as ditchwater” since I have to listen to years of the winner’s being in the news and i don’t think anyone on that list makes as many people grit their teeth. It would appear that supporting candidates who are more divisive and then complaining about the other party’s ‘obstructionism’ is a winning strategy. But then you might not be able to say that it is the other party that’s all extremists that have polarized the process.


  45. bagger vance Says:

    @LadyScientist–hmm, who was it that was president the last time the NIH budget doubled? Let’s see, it wasn’t Clinton, it wasn’t Obama…

    “began as a movement among Senate Republicans”

    So if that’s your definition of ‘fucked’, well, good enough.


  46. Philapodia Says:

    @bagger vance

    “@LadyScientist–hmm, who was it that was president the last time the NIH budget doubled? Let’s see, it wasn’t Clinton, it wasn’t Obama… ”

    The doubling started in 1998 under the Clinton administration and ended in 2003, year 2 of the Bush administration. Bush gets no credit for that one.

    Also, show the full quote:

    “The effort to double the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget began as a movement among Senate Republicans and has had bipartisan support in both the House and Senate since the first session of the 105th Congress.

    The Republican members of the 105th congress would be considered RINOs today. The Tea Party did not exist then, and Newt Gingrich didn’t have to deal with the current crop of RWNJs.


  47. jmz4 Says:

    “Being ageist is just as bad as being sexist. Knock it off.”

    Wait, is it really ageism to ask if an elderly candidate is fit for such a role? I don’t think people think it’s sexist to have separate female and male sports leagues, for instance, so surely some acknowledgement of biological reality (your brain and body stop working as well as you age), is valid when discussing the age of presidential candidates and potential liabilities.


  48. eeke Says:

    @ jmz4 “Wait, is it really ageism to ask if an elderly candidate is fit for such a role? ”

    yes. Age discrimination is just as illegal as sex discrimination. That said, it’s true, a president’s life is always at risk for many reasons. I can agree that an advanced age increases risks of dementia or other age-related disease. However, a younger person can also be at risk for life-threatening disease. Whoever is running for president is in the genetic lottery like the rest of us for maintaining a sharp mind and good health. Given the stamina required for a national campaign, I’d say they are already ahead and have a good chance of lasting at least another 8 years. Unless they were so obviously fucked up from the getgo (example, the panel of candidates for the GOP), I would not hold age against anyone in making a decision as to whether to vote for them.


  49. drugmonkey Says:

    Grumble- wrong.


  50. drugmonkey Says:

    Btw, for all y’all “age discrimination” whiners….you DO realize there is an age test to be POTUS, yes?


  51. Grumble Says:

    It’s literally impossible to argue with this “Animal Farm”-like assertion: “Grumble – wrong”, but I’ll try:

    DM – bad. Grumble – good.

    (BTW, the only age test for POTUS that I’m aware of is the one the voters administer.)


  52. eeke Says:

    Monkey – yes, a minimum age for all elected offices. What’s your point. It’s never been challenged as far as I know and likely a response to the child monarchs that were not uncommon at the time that rule was written. I think you’re the one who is wrong on this one. I hope you’re not as discriminatory when you hire people to work in your lab – it is illegal, you know that right? We’re all (except those subject to voter ID, etc) free to vote as we wish though.


  53. jmz4gtu Says:

    “I can agree that an advanced age increases risks of dementia or other age-related disease. However, a younger person can also be at risk for life-threatening disease.”
    -Yeah, but you’re talking orders of magnitude differences in probability. It’s like comparing a thousand apples to an orange seed.


  54. Eli Rabett Says:

    The problem with the House is that Obama never saw building the party as part of his job, and got rid of Howard Dean as soon as he could.

    Debbie Schultz sees here job as destroying the Democratic Party and is doing a good job of it. Sadly she is Hillary’s creature.


  55. Grumble Says:

    Throw them all out. Feel the Bern!

    Like he said at the debate: we need a political revolution.


  56. bagger vance Says:

    @Philapodia–since the sum of LadyScientist’s statement was “If Republicans win the next election, the world AND science are f*cked”, simply demonstrating that a massive increase of funding coincided with such an election should be sufficient to discredit her supposition. Finding that this was a direct result of those demonized Republicans in the Senate was just an added bonus.

    As Drugmonkey points out, running the most polarizing candidates you can find is a winning strategy. I’m pretty sure in 2000 everyone here would have called those Republicans ‘dangerously extreme’ too. Just don’t pretend like this was a unilateral process.


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