Monday, September 2, 2019

The Great Replacement Dudes

The Omnivore has had a multi-day run-in with a person on Twitter who defends the fear that (white) people feel with the coming demographic changes--and finds being told by people (liberals) "Hey--those are the talking points of the neo-nazis, yo," to be offensive and speech-suppressing as a political tactic (if The Omnivore has him right, anyway).

Because talking to this guy on Twitter is hard for Twitter-related reasons, The Omnivore is going to try to write up what he thinks here--and if the guy, or anyone else--wants to weigh in, they sure can.

The Great Replacement Theory (GRT)
The Great Replacement Theory is the conspiracy-theory version of demographic reality. Specifically this: over the next few decades America will be minority white (2044 is the target point usually used). That's demographic "reality."

The conspiracy theory version is stuff like:

  • The Jews / Liberals / Whoever are behind all of this! Soros is orchestrating the caravans, etc. (Twitter Guy doesn't, thankfully, seem to believe this--but a lot of people do)
  • Our Culture Will Be Replaced! The reality is that by 2044 with interracial marriage, "the culture" will just shift the way it often has. 
  • The Replacement is forcible and will be politically disastrous. White people will be relegated to second-class citizens! Black people (or brown, whatever) will vote away all our money! etc.
This theory is behind several of the mass shootings and is all the rage in white nationalist conversations. 

What The "Rational" GRT People Think
Twitter-Guy is rational--he doesn't seem to think it's The Jews. Dan McLaughlin (of the NRO) wrote a piece that took for granted that TGR is something reasonable people are afraid of--and getting screeds about "white genocide" is just the price you pay for having a shifting demographic! Oh, well, it's just a few more shootings!

The Omnivore has questions.

Immigration + Birth Rates = White Supremacist Talking Points
What Twitter-Guy wants is to focus on immigration. The idea being that libs want open borders (he really believes this) and they want open borders to turn Texas blue and whatever. Okay, that's over the top--but you can't blame him for not understanding that getting rid of ICE doesn't mean getting rid of the border patrol: he's a Republican.

The problem is that he is defending a theory--TGR--that ties birth rates to immigration and makes them both the "same problem." That's what the white nationalists do--because they are concerned about intermarriage and racial purity.

Now, Twitter-Guy holds that you can't really legislate birthrates but you can greatly reduce immigration. 

The problem is that this, alone, won't stop TGR--no, the demographics will still shift over time with just the current crop of legal immigrants (and some illegal) no matter what you do. We can see from Europe and Japan that birth-rates for the majority class are not likely to just "spring back up."

What About Just Immigration?
Saying you want to reduce immigration is fine--but if when you're asked why there are some answers that are not so good. They are:
  1. We're full! We're not full by any structural measure.
  2. They'll replace our culture! This is, again, sneaking in birth-rates in a way that suggest that suggests you think this is more than just another Tex-Mex restaurant  down the street. American Culture is not easily--perhaps not possibly--replaced. After all, we have Disney and Coca-Cola--there isn't a more powerfully branded culture on the planet.
  3. They vote BLUE! This is the telling one--if you think immigrants vote blue but have no idea why they vote blue then you're telling on yourself. If you think it's because they "like big government" consider that the Party of Trump loves big government--just not for minorities.
So What SHOULD We Do About The Great Replacement?

Nothing. Keep letting people immigrate. Maybe slow it down a little if we think it's slanted towards the low-end side of the skill set. Maybe invest some more in helping southern border governments reduce their poverty and violence? Stuff like that. Treat the causes, not the symptoms.


What about your culture? 


Tell me what that will be like--what do you think the world will be like in 2044?






Yeah, maybe you should have started with that. I'd be honest.

Monday, August 26, 2019


Joe Walsh--no, not the rocker, announced he is running for president in the primary against Trump. This was met with more media and Twitter attention than the far more reasonable choice of Bill Weld who also is running against Trump. The difference between Weld and Walsh, however is broad and important: Walsh was (a) a pre-Election Trumpist, (b) a fire-breathing Tea Party GOP representative in the House, (c) has run a conservative radio show since losing a re-election bid, and (d) is now tweeting . . . well . . . 'woke' stuff.

Joe Walsh 1.0

Lest anyone forget Joe Walsh's pre-woke politics, let's look at some of the greatest hits.
Image result for woke joe walsh tweets

Image result for joe walsh tweets
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And so on--he was Trumpy, racist, xenophobic, transphobic, etc. This is just some of what he tweeted and said--this is who he was--and, quite possibly, who he is.

2.0 #WokeJoeWalsh

The reason he's getting an Omnivore article about him though, is not because of who he was--which, alas, in today's GOP is sadly not notable (indeed, it's completely standard). No, the reason he's getting the write up is because of what he's saying now. A sample.

Image result for woke joe walsh tweets

And so on. There are a bunch--including an  apology for having said racist things and having created Trump.

Does This Exonerate Him?

It turns out that's up to you, reader. If you believe in epiphanies, redemption, and, most of all, believe Walsh 2.0 is honest? Sure. If you don't--if you think this is a ploy? Nope. If you think he hasn't done enough--or nearly enough? That's totally fair.

The Omnivore reserves judgement (although The Omnivore notes that Walsh 2.0 probably hurts Joe's GOP career prospects in a way that, for example, Bill Weld's run at Trump does not). However, this isn't the point.

The Downsides to a Joe Walsh Primary

People on Twitter have made the case that (a) Walsh can't win the primary (almost certainly true) and (b) he might take all his raised money (however much that is) and go after a Democrat for a House seat. If Walsh raises millions and millions of dollars? That might be a problem--but The Omnivore doesn't think so.

If Joe Walsh prosecutes his case against Trump that the Democrats were basically right about Trump (and the GOP) all along then he'll be toxic to enough GOP voters that a billion dollars wouldn't give him a seat.

If he wins the nomination (for example, because Trump can't be on the ballot in California because he won't release his taxes) then he'd be potentially a stronger challenger in the general than Trump--unless you count that the hard-core Trump base will have been told they're all racist assholes . . . which, again, makes it unlikely they'll vote for him.

The Upside

The #WokeJoeWalsh upside though, is pretty interesting: Walsh knows how to handle the media--he has extensive radio experience. He was a Tea Party guy--he knows that world and the language. When he punches at Trump? It may hurt--and as Trump thinks himself (with reason) a great "counter puncher" (especially at people less powerful than him)--he will be unable to stop himself from hitting back--being in a media battle with Trump is everything Joe Walsh could ask for--and it's exactly the right message that the Trumpists need to hear:

  • You're hypocrites (if Obama had done 1/10th of what Trump has done there would have been a Tea Party march on Washington).
  • You're racist (Trump's innate contextual racism, called out by a guy who once defended the n-word is going to be a gordian knot for these guys to try to untie)
  • You're following a fool (Walsh will know how to contextualize Trump's lying and exaggerating and stupidity in a way that should sting).
In other words, if Walsh can get the platform, Walsh presents a far more damning message than a more conventional primary opponent ever could. Walsh isn't really trying to win the election by appealing to the Trumpian base--he's just trying to call out Trump (at this point).

The Omnivore certainly supports that and thinks it's unclear why anyone who is NeverTrump wouldn't. That's not saying you should donate. Just that this is a popcorn level event and you should throw your moral support behind Walsh and, possibly, if you can, a primary vote. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Republicans: The Great Replacement Party

The Omnivore has observed that the major tenants of conservatism (muscular, hawkish, foreign policy which involves spreading American ideology, a character-counts Christian morality, and fiscal conservatism) has been junked by Trump.

What's left?

Well, pro-Life (but not the rest of Christian-character matters stuff). After that? Not much. Even the deficit or debt is no longer an issue (Trump says "I won't be here for the problems" and, hey, all these guys are okay with it. Paul Ryan, faced with ending-spending decided his Ayn-Rand-Bro persona was really pretty much a front and bent the knee).

No--what remains is, actually, a conspiracy theory--a vile one: The Great Replacement Conspiracy Theory. This is what passes today for Republican ideology.

The Great Replacement Theory
The idea is to create and exploit fear that "reverse colonization" is going to replace you. It can be taking away your culture (and replacing it with someone else's) or filling up the schools with kids who don't look like your kids--or whatever. The idea is a kind of mathematical racism where the wrong being done to you is happening through immigration, birth rates, and so on.

You then take a deeper layer of Blaming The Jews (TM) and show, for example, a Star of David on the side of a truck in the Mexico immigration and claim that Jews (Soros) are secretly funding these immigrants in order to replace you.

You can throw in a dash of the White-Genocide conspiracy theory that ties in "Diversity In The Workplace" (Damore) and Women's Rights (which, in turn, suppress Men's Rights and create more competition for men)--and you've got an all purpose toxic brew of nationalism (gotta defend the borders), race (it's just our White Culture, maaaan! WEST IS BEST), and incel-appeal (Juan took muh wimmin--except for the feminazis who hate me!).

It's a good recruiting tool for horrible people--and, well, The Olds (who can be recruited by the first layer).

If you want to see this in action, it's easy.

  • Watch Tucker Carlson
  • Check and see if illegal immigrants are referred to as Invaders
  • See if someone is, say, tweeting about birth-rates or showing pictures of primary schools with brown faces
If you go looking? You'll find plenty in the GOP and surrounding. Right at the top, even.

Easy Peasy.

It's Doctrine
The Great Replacement Theory is, alas, what passes for actual ideological doctrine in Republican circles now. It's on Fox & Friends (see them saying "yeah--those Mexicans are invaders"). It's on POTUS's Facebook ads for 2020. It's, well, it's everywhere. They're not hiding it.

What that means, though, is that when someone shoots up a bunch of innocents in the name of The Great Replacement you have to do some Spin Room damage control. How does that look? Like this:

The Dayton Shooter Was Antifa: This is important. The El Paso shooter had a manifesto, a clear set of targets, and a motivation that links directly to the GOP. The Dayton shooter didn't have any of that--but he'd made lefty-posts so you need to balance the scales

That's real important: ordinary Republican voters can't think they've wound up on the side with a deranged murderer. You gotta pile some shit on the other side of the scales.

The El Paso Shooter Was Left, Actually: This one is actually sad. They claim that he was set off by Democrats who want to give health care to illegals. He's not actually hating Hispanics--he's just fiscally responsible or something. Also, uh, environmental? Sure--why not.

The Press Is Against Us: Evergreen. Claim that the MSM is downplaying one and overplaying the other--maybe that'll work. If it can muddy the waters it may make suburban Republican voters feel better about harboring some uncertainty about all them brown-skinned guys--even if they don't want them shot.

That's the idea anyway.

The Problem: It's Doctrine
The problem here is that Great Replacement isn't subtext--it's actually text. This is why when confronted with someone saying at a Trump rally that illegal immigrants should be shot, Trump had to laugh it off. He can't actually scold the person--or speak from the heart about how that's bad.

That's because, it's actually his strategy--not the shooting--but the embrace of the theory--of the fear

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

How Big An Exit Wound? Trump and The Shootings

In the wake of this weekend's "shootapalooza" The Omnivore made an observation: if the twin tragedies were enough to take down the hyper-resilient 8chan--even for a little while--might they be bad enough to seriously wound Trump?

The Omnivore was asked if he was linking the two.

He wasn't--not . . . exactly.

The El Paso shooting combined several highly visceral and disturbing elements into one tidy, abomnibal package:
  1. The shooter hurt and killed a lot of people. This was a "high score" shooting that was not quite as appalling as gunning down kindergartners but came close enough.
  2. The shooter published a manifesto and got cheered on by the GamerGate /pol/ crowd on 8chan (should any GG'er be offended, The Omnivore is oh-so-happy to obligie. You earned it, you cute little sea lion, you!). The spectacle of an explanatory document combined with the stamp of incel-approval is skin-crawling.
  3. The shooter's personal political stripe--his language--his take--comes straight off of Fox and straight out of the president's mouth.
  4. Trump was silent for quite a while (golfing) and then gave a speech that was decent (in that it was teleprompteriffic)--but then pulled the predictable reverse when he didn't get sufficient boot-licking for it. He won't call it terrorism. He won't blame guns. He won't talk about how Hispanics are or are not "invaders."
In the wake of the shooting, 8chan lost its hosting--gained its hosting--and then the hosting-assholes (who also do Gab and The Daily Stormer) lost their support contracts from non-nazi businesses (did they nazi that coming?). This is pretty tectonic: 8chan survived the Christchurch massacre under almost identical conditions.

So what does this mean for Trump? Well, it means two things.

1. There Seems To Be Greater Acknowledgement Of Trump's Language
If nothing else, normal people are able to clearly see that calling immigrants invaders kinda classes them as an enemy army. They can also see Trump laughing off a yelled-out suggestion that people shoot them (he allowed it for "the panhandle"). 

They can see that he didn't refer to this shit as terrorism. They may understand that he and his media have pretty much sounded the "we're bein' over-run" alert for, well, his whole campaign since the bottom of that elevator.

Now that the language has a bodycount ordinary people may well be disturbed.

2. The Whole Guns Thing Is Still A Problem
After back-to-back shootings with high capacity high-lethality weapons--both of which produced a mountain of bodies in seconds (police responses were fast, people around were armed, etc.) the realization that the force-multiplier that an AR-style weapon gives a bad actor is, well, pretty extreme.

Even with a shining example of this--even if you think that Trump doesn't have "a racist bone in his body" or that "all this 'invader stuff'" is just lefty-finger-pointing--you still come away with the realization that Trump and McConnell don't yet seem to be motivated to do a damn thing about assault weapons.

Now, some people--the Trumpaloo voter--will wrap themselves in the comforting blanket of "it won't change anything" and, The Omnivore agrees: banning assault weapons sure won't "solve the problem."

But at this point? At this point is  your suburban voter still that disengaged? We banned fucking Lawn Darts, for God's sake. Banning assault weapons (whatever they are) might not fix everything. It might not fix anything--but at this point it's telling that Congress and the president won't even try it.

The Omnivore isn't overly  hopeful that we'll see a big decline in Trump's numbers--but if this shooting was enough to takedown 8chan in the collateral damage zone, maybe it's enough to unstick the floor of Trump's numbers a little.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

A Core Tenant Of Trumpism: The Racist Excuse

If Trumpism--the new conservatism since the old one is pretty much dead in America--has a single core tennant about racism it is this: "A real racist doesn't make exceptions in their racial hate. If I make any exceptions . . . well, then I can't be racist, can I? Checkmate, liberals!"

The logic goes like this:

  1. I have a black friend/grandson/etc.
  2. I love my family/like my friend.
  3. Thus, how can I be racist?
There are some collieries. For example:
  1. The Proud Boys have a Latin American leader! See?? No racist! No racist!
  2. Some Trumpers I know are PeOpLe Of CoLoR and therefore cannot be racist! Can they, ha! Checkmate, Liberal!
  3. I voted for Obama--so I'm clearly NOT racist!
  4. I'm Puerto Rican! See? Latinx--can't be Racist!!
How do we square these? What do they mean?

Note: The Speaker REALLY Believes They Are NOT RACIST
The first thing to understand is that the speaker really (probably) believes they are NOT RACIST (!Racist in logical notation). They believe that because for them, racism is an all encompassing, erm, black-and-white thing. Either you are all in--you wear the white hood--or you are not.

We know reality is more complex than that (studies show that people hold various gradients of negative-racial-stereotypes, for example. This is testable--you can look up the tests using a black person and a white person in front of a house for-sale for bankruptcy and ask the testee whose fault it was? The person's or the economy's. Tea Party guys, for example, tended to say it was the black guy's own fault but the economy's fault for the white guy).

But let's be completely clear here: many of these arguments--perhaps most--are in good faith.

The Blind Spot. Racists MAKE EXCEPTIONS
The key that unlocks this mystery stuffed in an enigma, wrapped in a burrito is the blind spot that Trumpism erects like a Great Wall from Sea to Shining Sea: the concept that Racists Make Exceptions (or have narrow veins of racism) MUST BE IGNORED. What does that mean?

Well, it's pretty easy when you look at it in action:
  1. "I have a lot of black friends." [ My friend is One Of the GOOD ONES. ]
  2. The Proud Boys have a Latin American Leader! [ If he spouts Proud Boy / Pro-West Rhetoric then we can accept him because he is ONE OF THE GOOD ONES. ]
  3. "I am / Trumpers I know are People Of Color" [ They Are My Allies (and my shield!)--I will Make Exceptions For Them! ]
  4. "I voted for Obama!" [ Obama wasn't in competition for MY JOB or anything. I thought--why not? He seems like an articulate black man. ]
Yes--the big secret is that Racism does and always has involved Making Exceptions (capital letters for emphasis, just like our president does). The key is to categorize Them and Us. This can be done in different ways--but it comes down to a few key components.

The Components of Exceptional Racism
  • The Ally Must Not Recognize Racism: If you are going to ally with a Person of Color that person MUST NOT recognize / admit that racism is any kind of real problem. This is why, so long, as you are a West-Is-Best guy you can be a black Proud Boy. You see the racism. You take part in the racism--but you act as a standing black-skinned refutation of it . . .so they'll tolerate you (see prominent gay Alt-Righty Milo Yiannopoulos named as marshall for the Straight Pride Parade)
  • Racism Is Directed Against An Other--But You Can Have POC's In Your In-Group: A person can hold that Muslims are dirty sharia-law bastards while the (good) black people in America are A-Ok. Or that Illegals are damn, dirty racists--but Julio who works with you in Engineering? He's a "good one." He came legally. The point is that you--the racist--make the distinction about character based on ethnicity--but you paper it over with an unrelated action (whether someone commits a misdemeanor of Illegal Crossing to get into America has no correlation to whether they are a rapist or dirty or anything--but in your mind it does).
One More Thing: Racist Is Not The Worst Thing You Can Be
If the dialog has a problem with the use of the term "Racism" it's that the charge of racism is generally seen as equivalent to Klansman Lynch-Mob Member. It's not. The kinds of racism we are talking about here are pernicious, sometimes hateful--but they are not necessarily murderous or vile. 

When The Omnivore says that Trump voters are [to a huge degree] racist--that is an observation (and it holds up)--and a condemnation (because the Trump voter is, essentially glorying in their racism while still, generally denying it)--but it is not equating them to a literal Nazi (although, yes, a not-insubstantial number do go too far--way too far--in that direction).

No, being racist is not the worst thing you could be. It's a character flaw--but we all have character flaws. If you recognize it, you can work on correcting it. 

What would that look like?

There are some easy ones: That Great Big Wall? You know (if you are reading this blog post, you are in a demographic that does or at least should know) that The Wall won't work. Most illegal immigrants come and over-stay their visas--not running across the desert. No--The Wall you want is symbolic--it's a message to Latin Americans (especially Mexicans) that We Don't Want You Here. 

Fixing the Immigration system isn't on the table. Helping Latin American countries isn't on your agenda. In other words, the practical solutions to the problem (oh, you'll get to that--just as soon as That Wall Goes Up) are all secondary to you sending your signal. Letting your Flag Fly, as it were.

Maybe start by working on that. 

As Step One for that, consider that you backed someone who led "Build The Wall" chants as a way to harness the darker inclinations of his base . . . and it worked on you (or, at least, didn't turn you off). That's not a good thing, is it?

What do you do with that?

Friday, August 2, 2019

The Eat A Baby Edition: QAnon

The Omnivore remembers the good old days when "Eats a Baby" was sarcastic code for "does the worst thing you could possibly imagine"--such as "Trump could eat a baby on live TV and people would still vote for him."

Today, the QAnon conspiracy believes that Hillary & Co. are literally pedovores. Literally--and The Omnivore doesn't mean that figuratively. Of course the FBI has finally flagged them as a threat.

QAnon is what happens when you build your political identity on being out of power and then take power. Everything is still wrong--you still don't have that all-important-respect of the elites. Your plant still closed, and so on (somebody else's stock portfolio is doing great--but that smug asshole kept telling you they were doing better and better through the Obama years and you knew that was bullshit!). You've gotten so used to blaming it all on the liberals--but now you're in power. So what gives?

What gives is the Deep State--the Shadow Masters (including, still, Hillary) who are fucking things up behind the scenes and keeping your magic-POTUS down. Yes they are. You invent a global conspiracy that emotionally keeps you in the all-forgiving position of The Bullied so that your rage is made "righteous" because of the imprecations thrust upon you.

Armed with the armor of the butt-hurt, you set off to do battle with, well, everyone.

The Omnivore Knew This Would Happen
One of the most common patterns in political discourse today is that people who support Trump work overtime to minimize the threat of the conspiracy-infested far-right. This includes things such as:
  1. Whattabout Antifa??? (Well, what about them? Who have they killed?)
  2. Rejecting any upturn in right-wing violence ("hate crimes are fake! Yes--ALL of them!" and The Ominvore's favorite: "THE FBI DATA DOESN'T SAY THAT!" . . . except it does)
  3. Trying to hand-wave any connection between the alt-right and Trump (see the epic "Bannon didn't know what he was talking about!" for a particularly sad example).
  4. Head-In-Sand Over Conspiracy Theory. In this case: "QAnon isn't any kind of movement--it's just like 1 or 2 people . . . or something?")
The reason this has to be done--and why the FBI classifying QAnon as a threat is legitimately a fairly big deal--is that if this line of defense falls then behind it is the realization that the right has been coddling racist and conspiracy theorists for, well, a very long time because they are useful in terms of political votes.

The problem with QAnon in particular . . . is that it's a Time Bomb.

The Ticking Q-Clock
 The term Q-Clock actually refers to something specific The Omnivore isn't talking about here* but in time-bomb terms, the Q Conspiracy theory goes like this:
  • Trump was recruited by Military Intel to get rid of the Deep State and the pedovore cults
  • Trump is doing this. There is a Plan. That Plan involves mass arrests and then public executions (the Q Community clambors for this!)
  • It's coming soon. Real soon. . . . not that soon.
Q has built up an expectation that Things Will Happen. The dignity and respect the members crave will be restored when they are Proven Right** all along and the walls of the World You Used To Know come tumbling down as Trump enacts his plan and releases all the intel to the media.

The Q Guys revel in seeing their families and friends stare aghast at the raw nature of reality and in awe of themselves--the True Followers of-Q--realizing "Crazy Uncle Bob was Right About Everything All Along!"

As, predictably, time goes by and this does not happen, people get frustrated. They get mocked--both by friends and by people inside the Q-Community, if they complain (even a little). They are told to Take Action--against the Deep State.

Note: The Q Community usually contains a disclaimer saying they don't believe in violence. This is, of course, nonsense. They are a bunch of angry blood-thirsty boomers. While they may not be the most capable of violence as a demographic, they certainly believe in it--they want the streets to run with the blood of the pedovore Democrats. They hunger for it.

So, yeah--as time goes on--as The Plan eventually fails to materialize--rather than realizing they were duped (they are incapable, just like people who fall to the Nigerian Prince scam) they will simply get angrier and angrier and angrier.


* The QClock is a brain-twisting construct of True Believers who think that Q's posts represent a time-line that goes into the future to predict important events.
** A big part of Trumpist mythology is that "soon" his antics will pay off and North Korea will denuclearize, the great shining wall will spring up, and the American Economy will outpace the ballooning deficit. This is the same psychological phenomena as grandma telling you eventually that Nigerian prince will send her the millions . . .YOU'LL SEE!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A Return To Normalcy Election

"America's present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate; not experiment, but equipoise; not submergence in internationality, but sustainment in triumphant nationality."[3]--Warren G. Harding's Return To Normalcy Slogan 1920's election
While Democratic candidates crowd the debate stages like clowns stuffed into a circus-car viewers agitate over whether or not the party will get yanked left, slowly drift left, or, perhaps, take giant pole-vaulting leap into the political left.

It might happen.

On the other hand, the persistence of Harris and (especially) Biden near the top of the polling (and Bernie Sanders stuck in 4th place) suggests, to The Omnivore, something different. Let's keep in mind two things:

1. The Easy Win Brings The Clowns
One of the reasons that Obama's second election was so crowded with clowns was that people just didn't think he could win--that's, erm, Republican people. Part of this was a kool aid scenario where an electorate, all the way up to the top, steeped in right-wing media, got high on their own supply and believed that Obama was going down in flames so, hey, anyone could win. That's certainly what, say, Herman Cain assumed (we can only think).

In this case, too, people assuming that Trump is over and done will throw their hat in the ring because it's the best publicity money (and it is a lot of money) can buy and, hey, someone has to win this thing. Plus: there's no punishment for running and dropping so, eh. Why not?

This has got to be what, say Marianne Williamson is thinking.

2. The 2012 Primary and the 2016 Primary Were Different
In 2012 the Republican Primary electorate wanted anyone but Romney--literally every candidate had a 1st place moment in aggregate poling. This included non-starters like Bachmann and Cain. Romney was a consolation prize.

We saw something different in 2016. The field was considered "one of the best ever fielded" with luminaries like a Bush brother and Wisconsin Republican super hero Scott Walker (not to mention, like, Ted Cruz--who, whatever you think of him, is a pretty heavy hitter). In this case, though, what the electorate wanted wasn't the "cream of the crop"--no, they wanted Trump and he managed to win by a very, very narrow margin of total votes which happened to occur in exactly the right places.

That isn't a good strategy for repeated victory--but it certainly can happen.

What do these things tell us about the Democratic process?

The Democrat's Clown Car
To be sure the Democrat's have their clowns. Marianne Williamson and Tulsi Gabbard, for example are not what The Omnivore would call realistic candidates. For the most part, however, the field looks more like the Republican's 2016 field in that most of the candidates are for-real politicians who have won at least one state-wide election somewhere.

It's also more like the 2016 field in that the polling has, thus far, been stable. To be sure, all the pundits are assuming the "Biden collapse" is coming. Maybe it is. Maybe it's not.

The assumptive "Bernie-Warren Exclusion" event will presumptively consolidate the overwhelming progressive voting base around whichever of the two progressive icons remains when one drops out.

There are people hoping that some kind of Rubio-Robot moment could remove some front-runners in a live debate clearing the field for the second-tier. Who knows? The Omnivore wouldn't have bet on Chris Christie scalping lil' Marco like he did. Anything *can* happen.

That doesn't mean anything will.

The Omnivore thinks that the swath of Democrat voters want, first and foremost, Trump out of office. Literally any Democrat being elected will accomplish that. Secondly, while various proposals (free stuff--like farm-subsidies--but for some black people) may turn off the white voting bloc, the truth, The Omnivore thinks, is that most people who carefully acknowledge these claims will decide that:

  • They'll never get through the House and Senate anyway
  • If they did, they probably wouldn't be the same economic catastrophe that the Tax Cuts were, anyway. --and--
  • So long as we stop kissing dictator ass, fighting with our allies, and stop the tariffs we're probably coming out ahead anyway
In other words, what the polling is telling The Omnivore is that most people asked see Biden as having the highest chance to win (he is the easiest sell to the white suburbs and the least offensive to presumably persuadable voters in the middle . . . and everyone on the left better "vote blue--no matter who.").

As someone who thinks Trump is a racist disaster, this analysis seems pretty sound to The Omnivore . . . except for one thing: what if Biden's not up to it?

The Return to Normalcy Platform
If history repeats itself then what will happen is that while everyone runs left in the primary, whoever wins gets to run back to the middle in the general. The Omnivore is not sure this will work--but history suggests that as upset as the GOP base was with the GOP Establishment, they still came out to vote for them.

This may hold in 2020: one of Hillary's biggest weaknesses was Democrats assuming she would win. In 2020, Democrats will not assume a challenger will win. That's off the table. If the candidate can be seen as simply a return to normalcy then The Omnivore thinks that probably any of the top four right now could swing a pretty good voting bloc based on the 2018 election model: both sides turned out, Democrats had more votes in the end.

It's also worth noting that the Left-Turn scenarios have a shelf-life. If, for example, Biden wins New Hampshire and Iowa, then Bernie is probably toast (especially if Warren hangs around at all). If Kamala Harris doesn't successfully whack Biden's black support early, she probably doesn't take the lead, and so on. 

This doesn't by any means indicate that "Biden has it." It simply seems to suggest that Biden is seen as the shortest distance to getting Trump out of office and so primary voters are supporting him. He's literally the "Return to Normalcy" candidate.