Can Joe Biden "Thread the Needle" Among Democrats?

The New York Times posits five questions about the Democrats' virtual convention which begins Monday. Chief among them:

As Mr. Biden seeks to excite skeptical liberals while reaching out to moderates disillusioned with President Trump, Monday will demonstrate how Democrats hope to thread that needle.

For some of us, we can count the probable number of presidential elections left in our future on one hand -- and that makes this election all the more important. Can we afford another four years of the Megamaniac Donald Trump having a desk in the oval office? What kind of world would we be leaving the next generation? [More...]

The young are more difficult to predict. Those under 30 see a lifetime of elections in their future. To many of them, 2020 was the year the Democrats had multiple candidates who would change the status quo. Democrats had the chance to make a bold choice, to move in a forward direction, to excite and bring a new generation of voters into the party. Instead, they fell for the bait put out by Republicans that the progressive candidates were radicals and leftists and Marxists and they rejected them, one by one, leaving the oldest and least progressive candidate imaginable.

And then Joe Biden chose Kamala Harris, who spent her career as a prosecutor working inside our arbitrary and unfair criminal justice system without bringing any real change to it. She could have chosen to be one of Liberty's Last Champions, working as a public defender, a fighter against the death penalty, a lawyer representing the powerless and the downtrodden, fighting in the trenches every day. But instead she chose a career which put those same powerless and downtrodden people in prison. You can't change a system like the criminal justice system from within. You only end up becoming the system. (h/t to Bernie Sanders, talking about our economic system).

But here we are. As Donald Trump says, "It is what it is." So, what are you going to do about it? Run and hide, like Donald Trump does when faced with a difficult choice? Or put on your big pants, hold your nose, and vote for the politics of yesteryear?

Don't follow my lead, because I will never vote for Joe Biden based on his 35 year record on crime legislation in the Senate. Most people have other priorities.

So use your head and watch out for third party candidates in your rear-view mirror. Not the trivial, mentally unstable Kanye West, but the Green Party candidate who has the values we needed in a Democrat candidate (and who chose a woman of color for his running mate before Joe Biden.)

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  • Display: Sort:
    The influencers on the left (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by MO Blue on Sun Aug 16, 2020 at 10:39:07 AM EST
    are working to mobilize their supporters to vote for Biden to defeat Trump. Meanwhile, the ancient relics of the Democratic establishment are doing theIr best to sabotage this effort.


    "My message to our supporters is we have got to do everything that we can to defeat Donald Trump, who I view as the most dangerous president in American history," Sanders said."

    Sanders says his first priority is to defeat Trump


    Since Biden became the Democrats' presumptive presidential nominee earlier this year, Ocasio-Cortez has emerged as a key figure in attempts to bridge the ideological gap between the party establishment and the more populist camp represented by Sanders. Shortly after Sanders exited the race, she joined the party's "unity task force," which developed policy recommendations designed to satisfy both factions and build a common front against President Trump heading into November.

    Meanwhile Ed Randall and Chris Dodd are providing talking points to O'Connell and the Republicans against this unity effort and the selection of Harris as VP.

    O'Connell noted that some establishment Democrats are already seeking to diminish Ocasio-Cortez's role in the convention. He pointed to comments by former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) suggesting Ocasio-Cortez speaking would be unnecessary.

    The Hill

    Every Woman Has a Chris Dodd -- A Man Whose Reported, Petty Grudge Imperils Kamala Harris' Shot at Being Vice President

    Democratic unity and motivating the ultimate turnout on November 3 would be best be served if these Dinosaurs got on the "Unity Train."

    Sounds Like an Unfair Rap to Me (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by RickyJim on Sun Aug 16, 2020 at 02:15:12 PM EST
    And then Joe Biden chose Kamala Harris, who spent her career as a prosecutor working inside our arbitrary and unfair criminal justice system without bringing any real change to it...
    You can't change a system like the criminal justice system from within.

    I have made no secret over my years on this board that I think the US criminal justice system is inferior in fairness and efficiency to others in the world; in particular, I advocate that judges and prosecutors be civil service rather than elected or politically appointed.  But to say that somebody who had accepted such a position in the past won't get my vote, even if the alternative candidates who  might win are much worse, is something I can't imagine doing.

    Jeralyn, please reconsider. Third party votes (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 16, 2020 at 02:30:18 PM EST
    help Trump destroy our country for four more years.  Think of your grandchild.  

    PS. Harris opposed the death penalty even though she was an elected DA and AG.

    PPS. Some prosecutors are investing time and resources in employing sophisticated DNA testing to exonerate persons convicted of crimes who accept that assistance.

    The reality of the binary choice (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by christinep on Sun Aug 16, 2020 at 05:20:22 PM EST
    Yes, we can & should dream.  But, anyone who has been around for awhile and observed how close the vote can be in key electoral vote states must know the importance of voting for one of the two major parties at this time in our electoral history.  The reality of what can happen when even a small percentage of voters refuse to make the pragmatic choice staring at us now can be seen in 2016 ... along with the consequences of "purity" or whatever resembles the I'm-not-pleased routine.

    We all know what the choice is; and, we surely must know the pragmatic result turning away from what faces us. My unsolicited & not-so-humble advice:  Be a responsible adult and vote for one of the two major parties ... throwing one's vote away at this time in our history makes only one "statement" ... one of irresponsibility.


    I have never said I would (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 01:18:13 PM EST
    vote for a third party candidate or suggested any one else do so.  I have said I would vote down-ticket only. I fully intend to vote for John Hickenlooper for Senator, who by the way, is also a moderate.
    If Harris were the presidential nominee, I would vote for her, even though I don't admire her record as a prosecutor.

    Biden is another story. He has  bragged about drafting almost every horrible piece of crime legislation that has been enacted over 35 years he was in the Senate. One or two laws I might overlook. But his is a career's worth of pushing draconian bills that have been arbitrarily enforced in a discriminatory manner against the poor and people of color. His record on drug offenses is abysmal. He created bills that increased the number of death-penalty eligible offenses.

    Even today, he can't bring himself to support decriminalization of marijuana at the federal level.

    I have also said I would stop criticizing Biden when he gets the nomination and I will. I don't want Donald Trump to win either.


    I'm from Wisconsin, and I ought know (5.00 / 6) (#6)
    by Towanda on Sun Aug 16, 2020 at 09:38:27 PM EST
    as ought you, Jeralyn, as we are the same age, that this header quotes a tv commercial from our childhood.

    And you also oughta know what the purity voters did in Wisconsin in 2016. They have given us almost four years of h*ll, and you will vote, effectively, for four more?

    Look, I also swore that I never would vote for Biden. His handling of the Anita Hill hearings not only appalled me but also had personal impact on my career, as those hearings fueled attacks on me -- as a historian of women, with my first book --  at a crucial time in my career and cost me tenureL And that cost me physical custody of my firstborn, which meant absolute agony for years.

    So, I am not voting for Biden.  I am voting for Harris.

    And for my grandchildren.

    And yours.

    "So, I am not voting for Biden. I am voting (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 01:21:02 PM EST
    for Harris"

    I'll think about that one.


    And not just in spirit. It seems quite (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Peter G on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 01:36:00 PM EST
    possible that if the Biden-Harris ticket wins, Harris will be president in less than four years, and even if not will be president for much longer than Biden ever will.

    Thank you, Jeralyn, (none / 0) (#10)
    by Towanda on Mon Aug 17, 2020 at 07:28:14 PM EST
    Btw, my granddaughters today received yet another book from Grandma, titled Kamala and Maya's Big Idea, by Kamala's niece about her mother and her aunt as girls.. It is good. Does  TL grandkid need a copy, if grandma decides to vote Dem?

    My grandgirls can't read yet, but they like to turn pages. They can put it on their shelves next to a favorite, A Is for Activism.


    Trump (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Aug 16, 2020 at 02:20:03 PM EST
    Is sure acting like he expects him to

    Thread the needle

    I've never seen anyone act so much like they expect to lose.

    "For some of us... (none / 0) (#11)
    by unitron on Tue Aug 18, 2020 at 03:03:02 AM EST
    ...we can count the probable number of presidential elections left in our future on one hand --"

    Just because that is true doesn't mean that I'm going to forgive you for making me aware of it.