Electability as a Fig Leaf

I have no doubt that many Democrats support Biden because they think he’s the most likely to win. Others think that he was alright with Obama, so he’ll probably work out (needless to say, I don’t think that…). But amidst all the talk about electability, there’s another reason why some Democrats like him: they don’t want what left-ish Democrats are offering. While the ideological appeal of ‘centrist’ neo-liberalism was overrated, a fair number of Democrats kinda liked it (note: I’m using neo-liberal as a descriptor, not a pejorative. Mostly).

Someone who voted in the Democratic primary found Clinton’s exhortations about the horrors of ‘free college’ appealing. If we go back a few years, many Democrats liked welfare reform, an immensely punitive criminal justice system, and a whole bunch of other bad policies. Maybe some have “evolved” to use Obama’s phrase, but some, maybe many, haven’t. And as I keep pounding over and over (and over…), a non-trivial fraction of Democratic voters are decidedly unwoke. Biden is very appealing to these Democrats (though some might have drifted over the Republican Party). That’s why the Biden-or-busters are potentially a problem.

So, sure, many voters just want to win, baby. But some of them are probably using electability as a fig leaf. It avoids having to declare that you just don’t want left-ish policies, that you think they’re wrong on the merits. The New Democrats still walk among us

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4 Responses to Electability as a Fig Leaf

  1. Scottie says:

    Reblogged this on Scotties Toy Box and commented:
    Hello Mike. I agree. The fact is no one really knows who is electable or what electability is until they announce the winners and losers. In the past we were told someone could never win and they did, or we were told someone couldn’t lose and yet they lost. The primary is about picking the person you want because you believe in their programs, policies, and platform. In the general is where you work to get the nominee elected no matter if it is different from your primary candidate. At this point the leaders in the primary fluctuate almost daily and history shows many of the leaders at this same stage were not in the lead closer to the election. One good thing is the top five of our Democratic candidates beat tRump soundly in the polling. Hugs

  2. coloncancercommunity says:

    This is definitely true, particularly among the more affluent Democrats. They have grown wealthier beyond their dreams on inequality and the don’t want to see the gravy train end. The blind, deaf, and dumb game that party elites and mainstream Democrats are playing is getting very old. They stick their fingers in their ears screaming “La, la, la, I don’t HEAR YOU!” while losing yet again. When party leaders are willing to follow a LOSING strategy over and over again, their endgame has nothing to do with getting their people elected, their goal has shifted towards keeping the policies they WANT in place.

  3. plch says:

    I just met one on line yesterday and she did not seem even rich( she’s apparently a nurse): if either Warren or Sanders wins the primary she will write in Biden, why she did not say, just repeated that Biden has integrity, intelligence, experience and was a gret VP and told me to get lost when I asked too many questions.

  4. sglover says:

    Centrist Dems dislike Trump as a fluke, an aberration. But they absolutely hate their left wing, which every so often forces the centrists to look at themselves and realize that except for some differences of style they’re pretty much Republicans themselves.

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