Barring a personal tragedy, Joe Biden will be the nominee. My preference, given the difficulty of holding primaries during the pandemic and the need to focus on defeating Donald Trump in November, is for Sanders to concede – and I voted for him in 2016 and would have done so again. If Sanders continues to campaign, it should only be around his issues. No attacks on Biden for stands he took 10, 20, or even 30 years ago. I can think of no worse (possible) fate for the country than Trump’s re-election. Here are some final thoughts about the primaries and what comes next:
Why did Joe Biden do so much better in Michigan against Bernie Sanders in 2020 than Hillary Clinton, who lost state, did in 2016? I think the answers to this say something, maybe obvious, about the voters’ preference for Biden this year and their support for Sanders in 2016. Read More
To state the obvious: Joe Biden now has to be the favorite to win the Democratic nomination. Once he showed that he could win a primary, Democratic voters concerned above all about winning in the fall flocked to him; and Bernie Sanders is basically too radical for most of the Cold War-era voters over 40 or 45 years old. Of course, nothing is certain in politics these days, but if Biden’s lead holds up, what does that mean for the future of the Democratic Party? Read More
I could be dead wrong (I was before on this subject) but after her distant fourth place finish in New Hampshire, I suspect that Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign is over. Who knows what might happen at a brokered convention, but I can’t see her contesting much longer for delegates. And that’s a shame.
I know that I am not the only person who felt uneasy about the spectacle that took place last night on television as The New York Times’ editors sat around a table deciding who us peons should support for the Democratic nomination for president. Let me try to explain why I felt uneasy. Read More
I am not a big fan of cable media — the only TV news I watch regularly is the PBS NewsHour, which attempts to base its statements on actual reporting and tries to present both sides of issues and let me decide. What struck me at last night’s debate was the blatant hostility of CNN to Senator Bernie Sanders. Here’s how their reporter framed the question to Sanders about Warren’s claim (which she alone is in a position to make since they were the only two people in the room): Read More
After the poisonous response I got to my book, Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origin of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, I vowed to stay out of discussions about Jews and Israel, but I keep breaking my resolution. Most recently it is over the coincidence of the anti-Semitic attacks in New Jersey and New York and New York Times’ columnist Bret Stephen’s column on Jews and anti-Semitism, in which he manages simultaneously to reinforce one of the historic tropes of anti-Semitism — that Jews are a superior race — and blame critics of Israel’s rightwing government for the outbreak of anti-Semitism.
Here are some observations from an outsider about Labour’s crushing defeat in Britain’s election. There are some lessons here for the American left and liberals in the upcoming American elections.
The Brexit Factor: Labour lost — leave aside the margin for a moment — because leftwing parties cannot deal with secession crises. Leftwing parties base their appeal on class conflict (however ill defined); secession crises create conflicting cleavages around national identity. Those cleavages split Labour’s constituencies and pretty much insured the party’s defeat. Read More
At the risk of appearing foolhardy several months hence, I want to say that in the last week, it has become very likely that Elizabeth Warren will win the Democratic nomination. A two-tier race, with Warren, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders in the top tier, has become a race largely of Warren against herself.
I often complain about foreigners who write about American politics without knowing the first thing about our history. I know something, but not a lot, about British politics, so don’t take as gospel my observations about the Labour Party and its convention this last week in Brighton, which I attended as research for a book on the left in the U.S. and Europe. I may have gotten things wrong, but as an outsider, I may have seen a few things not so obvious to a native partisan. Read More