15 Comments

Thanks, Dan, for increasing my anxiety level just before the weekend! :(

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Dan, this sounds like a field of dreams for Russian election interference....alarming!

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My question is whether these possible third party voters will remember their recent history - i.e. can they remember all the way back to 2016 when they handed the White House to Trump. Seems to me that that is our job in the next year - remind them, in constructive ways, that protest votes backfire.

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Dan, you seem cynical about No Labels as well as third parties.

Nowhere near cynical enough, in my opinion. These platforms are started and run by failed candidates/egoists who just can’t stand the rejection and the loss of attention (No Labels, Forward), and hapless activists who can’t make change happen (Green). All this is perhaps best embodied by the moralizing prig, Joe Lieberman, a stalwart of the No Labels (ought to call it No Chance party. Or perhaps Second Tier Intellect party). These groups are good at finding other bruised egos to run (Nader, Stein, perhaps RFK jr. or Manchin).

They don’t care who they elect—to this day Nader will tell you his 24,000 votes in FL did not elect GW BUSH—because that isn’t the point. The point is really ego, attention, and spoiling the chances of a more successful politician. In boxing, a spoiler is one who has no chance of winning a title, but can spoil another’s chance st doing so.

Democrats tend to focus on the Republican opponent and soft-pedal the fight against the third-party opponent, be that Wallace, Stein, or Nader, etc. Tellingly, Clinton focused beating the snot out of Perot as well as Bush 1, and had a better outcome. I hope Biden takes on every opponent vigorously.

To those who might think the magic answer is a different Dem nominee, I would say that no back-room deal gave Joe the office he has. He won it with votes. If someone wants to take away his chance to defend his office, they would have to take it away with votes. So far, every Democratic professional politician has looked at that and decided, career suicide.

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We have a two party system because of the way the system is organized--not because Americans can't count past two. There is no "fix" against a broader plurality of viable choices. We have a single-member district electoral system (by and large), federalism, and the electoral college. America is a presidential system--not parliamentary. Hence, we do not have party government as found in the parliamentary models, or those with more proportional electoral systems. Third party candidates are spoilers. They will cause chaos somewhere--and although at times very meaningful (remember George Wallace campaign in 1968--running the American Independent Party--he won five states with a little over 9 million votes at nearly 14% of the vote), they will confound a close election. In these times, if you don't want Trump (or another Republican) to win, you need to vote for Joe Biden and the Democratic Party. If we want more, multi-party elections and results, we would likely need to change the electoral rules.

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I could sure use some thoughtful guidance on how to craft messages around this threat.

From my narrow experience fighting off a third party (independent) gubernatorial candidate in Oregon last year, there is no time to wage in talking to voters about this.

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No Labels represents the most serious threat we face.

That's not hyperbole.

Someone on this august forum has mentioned (several times) in the past that a cohesive third party bloc would rule a perfectly split Washington.

Ignoring every single thing on the right - everything they say, everything they do - we must feel that we are countering with our very best efforts.

Our responses must meet the moment.

Now with yet another threat on the horizon, another task of divining future actions from bad actors, Democrats are presenting the answer as a man who is too fucking old to manage a stage.

A vision as cloudy as a Beijing sky. A momentum locked in a glacier.

I'm not going to be nice. Nice isn't working.

The United States is going to go into Empire ON OUR WATCH if we don't stop it now and we must rely upon the Democratic Party to act as it is the only institution in a position to do so.

So what the fuck is it going to be, Democrats? Is this the very best leadership available to us in this moment? Are we all just victims here?

Or is a small group of bad actors just too much for the entire 180-year old Democratic Party to counter?

The answer to this question will answer everything on the horizon.

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What *is* Nate Silver’s role here? I mean, how he explicitly positions himself not politically but as to what he’s doing. Sorry if it’s obvious but after leaving Twitter I’m not tracking him.

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Horrifying 😱

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