Thursday, March 05, 2020

The End Of Persistence

Thank you to Elizabeth Warren and all her organizers, volunteers, and supporters. I was proud to caucus for her and I am proud to support Joe Biden now. Since Warren is not going to be president, I hope to see her not on the ticket or in the cabinet, but where she is: in the Senate, nudging the Biden Administration in a more progressive direction.

More important thoughts for Iowa Democrats:

It is critically important for supporters of Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigeig to attend county, district, and state conventions. Not just for national delegates (which are locked in at the CD level, even for the dropped-out candidates), but for state central committee and other important offices. (And platform, if you care about that, which I don't.)

With Biden's poor showing in Iowa, if the supporters of the dropouts abandon the conventions, the Sanders faction will take over all those critical offices. Don't get me wrong, there is a place for the Sanders faction in the Democratic Party. But it should not be a disproportionately large or loud place. I welcome anyone who is willing to join the party and follow the rules (which Sanders himself is not). 
Some of those rules are: support the nominee, the national convention is not a deliberative body or place to protest, and end your campaign when the writing is on the wall.

If everyone shows up, the Sanders faction is weaker (26% of the Iowa state convention) than it was in 2016 (roughly 1/2 of state convention). But if only Biden and Sanders state delegates show up, it's 62% Sanders.

And since most of the mainstream team-player 2016 Sanders supporters abandoned him for other candidates, the remaining core of Sanders delegates is even more likely to act out in negative ways. There are good Sanders people - but at each level of convention in 2016, the supporters got more and more hard core and more and more difficult, culminating in Jill Stein signs at the national convention. Some states chose Bernie Or Busters as presidential electors who refused to support Hillary in the Electoral in College. We can't afford that kind of stupidity. A Biden win is going to be very, very narrow.

It will be a challenge, motivating the supporters of the former candidates to spend all day at a dull convention. The new no-re-align rules make it harder. But it is absolutely essential to a united party and a successful year. We need an actual effort to make this happen.

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