ChrisWeigant.com

Bernie's In

[ Posted Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 – 18:19 UTC ]

Will American voters "feel the Bern" in 2020? We're soon going to find out the answer to that question, since Senator Bernie Sanders just announced he'll be making a second run for the Democratic presidential nomination. To mix a few pyrotechnical metaphors, Bernie certainly caught fire once, but the question is whether lightning will strike twice for him again.

Before we get to assessing Bernie's chances for success, though, we've got to examine how his announcement helps define the Democratic field, so far. Bernie becomes the tenth serious entry in the Democratic race, with a number of possible candidates still waiting on the sidelines. I should also mention before I begin that Senator Amy Klobuchar also announced her candidacy since the last time I reviewed the Democratic field. So how do they all stack up so far? For the time being, I'm going to separate the candidates into three tiers, based solely on name recognition (which is about all we've got to go on so far).

 

First Tier

Bernie Sanders unquestionably enters the race in the top tier of candidates. His name recognition is almost universal, he remains very popular among the Democratic base, and he has consistently polled in the top two out of the long list of possible Democratic candidates.

Of course, such polling at this early stage only really measures name recognition with any accuracy. That's an important caveat. But rather regularly, Bernie is only bested by a single name -- Joe Biden, who has not yet made up his mind about running. One such recent nationwide poll put Biden at 29 percent, Sanders at 16 percent, and only three others above five percent.

Those other three also deserve first-tier status, at least for the time being. They are: Senators Kamala Harris (11 percent) and Elizabeth Warren (8 percent), and failed Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke (7 percent). Beto has also not yet decided on a presidential run, and if the current rumors are true, he may be enticed into a second run for a Texas Senate seat in 2020 rather than make a presidential bid, so we'll have to see what happens with his future plans.

All of these names are very familiar to most Democrats. That is a huge accomplishment for such an early stage of the race. It is worth millions, in fact, because all of these candidates (and possible candidates) will be able to avoid all the "introducing the candidate" media buys that the other, less-well-known candidates are going to have to make. Democratic voters don't really need any introduction to any of these candidates, which is why they're all in the top tier. That's rather circular logic, I admit, but for right now that's all the tiers can really measure.

 

Second Tier

In the second tier we have three senators who are definitely running, and one ex-mayor who is considering running. The senators are Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, and Kirsten Gillibrand, and the ex-mayor is Michael Bloomberg. The three senators have to be taken seriously because anyone in the Senate has a definite leg up when it comes to name recognition, and Bloomberg has to be taken seriously because he's a billionaire who regularly gives lots of money to Democratic causes (most notably, gun control).

None of them has really caught fire nationally, yet. That "yet" is important, because any one of them could indeed break into the top tier at any point. But in that recent national poll, Bloomberg and Booker were at four percent, Klobuchar was at two percent, and Gillibrand only registered with one percent. So they've all got a ways to go to catch up, from the very start.

 

Third Tier

There are whole lot of possible candidates who only rate in the third tier, but I'm going to ignore all of them for the time being. This leaves four declared candidates who have a long way to go to even budge the needle with the public at large. Two of them are House members: John Delaney and Tulsi Gabbard. One is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana: Pete Buttigieg. And the final one is a former mayor and former Obama cabinet member: Julián Castro.

All four are running, but none of them has made much of an impact so far. Castro and Gabbard pulled in a single percent in that poll, and Buttigieg and Delaney couldn't even manage to hit that lowest of bars.

For the time being, the task for the third-tier candidates is plain. They all need to get their name out there, introduce themselves to the public, and hope that people start talking about them and their candidacies. Part of the problem for all of them is that they are coming from relatively low-profile jobs, since House members or mayors aren't usually elected president.

 

But let's get back to Bernie's announcement. Bernie Sanders is right now making exactly the case that I would have advised him to make (which is rare) -- that when he ran four years ago, his ideas were derided as too extreme, too radical, and too pie-in-the-sky for the American public. Since that point, the Democratic Party as a whole has come to support virtually his entire 2016 platform as now-mainstream ideas which are actually extremely popular with the public. That is an enormous accomplishment, and right now it is Bernie's best argument for why he should carry the Democratic banner in 2020. Bernie has led, the party has finally caught up with him, therefore he would be a good leader for the party going forward.

In wonk-speak, Bernie has almost singlehandedly moved the Overton Window in dramatic ways on multiple issues, such as: a $15-an-hour minimum wage, free public college tuition, Medicare for all, and taxing the rich more. It is rare that one politician has such an impact on a whole party, in other words, and even rarer when you consider that Bernie lost the 2016 nomination race.

Others have run on progressive and economic populist ideas before, but Bernie chalked up more success than any such previous candidate (John Edwards, Howard Dean, Jerry Brown, Jessie Jackson, etc.). He won states and won convention delegates by the hundreds, which none of those other candidates really managed to do in a big way. But, in the end, he lost.

As I see it, however, Bernie has two problems this time around that he didn't previously have in his 2016 bid: baggage, and being a victim of his own success. The first one is rather ironic, considering the 2016 race (where Hillary Clinton was the one seen as having all the negative baggage, of course). But this time around, Bernie's 2016 run is going to be rehashed in what could prove to be a very damaging way.

The rift between Bernie voters and Hillary voters ran pretty deep within the party ranks, and all these wounds have not completely healed. There are still Democrats that are furious with Bernie because they blame Hillary's loss on him to a large degree. The relative fairness of this charge is beside the point for many who have already made up their minds on Bernie. As they see it, Bernie got in the way of the coronation of Hillary as a candidate, and by doing so weakened her so much that she lost the race to Trump when a whole bunch of Bernie supporters either stayed home or voted for Jill Stein. Again, this is a firm belief for many former Hillary supporters, and Bernie will have to deal with this issue during his 2020 run. He may have high name recognition, but he also can be expected to have high negatives with a segment of Democratic voters, and nothing he says on the campaign trail is likely to change that all that much. Look for people who stridently insist: "Bernie's not even a Democrat!" to see how widespread this resentment will be.

However, this will likely be balanced by the enthusiasm of the Bernie supporters within the party. Just before I sat down to write this, I saw a headline where Bernie's team claimed they had raised a cool million dollars in donations within four hours of him making his announcement. That is more than respectable, that is downright impressive. The second- and third-tier candidates can only dream of such numbers in such a short period of time. Bernie will be a force to be reckoned with, armed as he is with one of the biggest and most loyal Democratic voter mailing lists ever compiled. Bernie may not call himself a Democrat, but a whole lot of Democrats seem to enthusiastically support him, in other words.

But as mentioned, there is a second problem Bernie will almost immediately have to face, and that is being a victim of his own success. He has indeed moved the party to support his agenda, but what that already means in the 2020 race is that there will be other candidates who espouse the Bernie agenda who are not Bernie Sanders. Last time around, the entire Democratic field was only five candidates, and only three of them were taken seriously at all (Martin O'Malley was the third, in case anyone's forgotten). Bernie stood out in stark contrast to Clinton's incrementalism, with his bold plans and big dreams. This time around, there will be many candidates sharing such big and bold dreams with the voters.

How will Bernie differentiate himself from the campaign platforms of Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren? Those are just the most prominent candidates who largely overlap with Bernie's agenda, but they certainly won't be the only ones. If many candidates are for what Bernie's for, then progressive voters will have a wide choice of who will be the most progressive candidate with the best chance of beating Trump. Bernie may come up short, and be surpassed by someone seen as having a better chance of winning, in other words.

Bernie has obvious negatives in the identity politics of the Democratic Party. He's white, he's male, and he's old. He is Jewish, which would make him the first Jewish president ever elected, but the old, white, male thing might be too restrictive for many voters (especially among the youth vote). Someone like Kamala Harris may be seen as much more able to lead today's Democratic Party, and Bernie may be left behind as a result.

Bernie's entry has shaken up the Democratic nomination race more than any other candidate so far, and it hasn't even been a day since he announced. The media is already in overdrive with their reactions (both positive and negative). Bernie supporters can make a strong case that he has leapt straight into the frontrunner position, which is hard to dispute at this point.

Whether he can sustain this level of interest remains to be seen. If Joe Biden jumps in the race in the next few weeks, then he will likely eclipse Bernie and become the frontrunner-to-beat. When we get beyond mere name recognition in the polls, other progressive candidates may start edging Bernie out from the other direction. All of that remains to be seen.

For now, though, Bernie's in -- and he has already fundamentally changed the nature of the race. So far, he's had the best opening day of any of the Democratic candidates who have yet announced. To state the obvious, a lot of people are already feeling the Bern. Win or lose, Bernie is going to be in the front ranks of the Democratic field for the foreseeable future.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

45 Comments on “Bernie's In”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    As I'm sure will surprise no one here, BS entering the race gives me heartburn.

    He has shown zero willingness to acknowledge the bridges he burned with HRC supporters and I can assure you there remains burning hostility towards him among millions of Democrats.

    And now he'll enter the race, lose, and leave a bunch of sore losers behind to screw things up and help Blotus.

    He's a spoiler and that's it.

    I hope he is actually vetted this time and if he doesn't pony up last 10 years of taxes I hope he gets shut out of a couple of primaries.

    If he cared about the country he would have stood down and thrown his support behind someone who doesn't have his baggage, but no - like Blotus he thinks he's the annointed one.

    A pox on him.

  2. [2] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    when he ran four years ago, his ideas were derided as too extreme, too radical, and too pie-in-the-sky for the American public. Since that point, the Democratic Party as a whole has come to support virtually his entire 2016 platform as now-mainstream ideas which are actually extremely popular with the public.

    know what else was derided as too 'pie in the sky' but is also extremely popular with the public? ACTUAL pie!

    JL

  3. [3] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "There are still Democrats that are furious with Bernie because they blame Hillary's loss on him."

    Where?

  4. [4] 
    Paula wrote:

    Here's a great tweetstorm expressing what a lot of us feel: https://twitter.com/salstrange/status/1098037487749005313

  5. [5] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    How will Bernie differentiate himself from Kamala Harris and Warren?

    Not sure aboot Warren, but Kamala Harris said she is not a Democratic Socialist.

    One way for Bernie (or Warren) to differentiate themselves from the other candidates would be to run a true small donor campaign.

    With their name recognition they could easily raise enough money from only small donors.

    While the cool million dollars that Bernie raised in four hours is impressive, more information is needed to know if it is respectable.

    Bernie also moved the Overton window on small contribution campaigns (which you seem to leave out when listing what the window has moved on).

    It is time to take the next step to as you said recently "purely small donor" campaigns.

    If the cool million is not from only small donors then it is NOT respectable.

    I compromised by supporting Bernie in 2016 to help move the window, but he will need to run a purely small donor campaign to get my support in 2020.

  6. [6] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    I liked Bernie, but when he lost the nomination, I had no issue with backing Hillary. I never understood why the two camps could not move past Bernie’s losing the primary (it wasn’t close, HRC won). Yes, some Bernie backers refused to vote for Hillary, but that is not Bernie’s fault.

    Bernie has great ideas, and is probably second only to Elizabeth Warren when it comes to good ideas that would help a majority of Americans. The biggest differences between the two, in my opinion, is that Warren not only has great ideas, she also explains how those ideas would need to be set up to be successful.

    So while I like a LOT of Bernie’s ideas, I do not want him to run!

  7. [7] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Note:

    I realized I should have put the following link in this article:

    http://pollingreport.com/2020wh_d.htm

    for the poll I cited.

    -CW

  8. [8] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    nypoet22 [2] -

    What's your position on pie in the sky?

    Too high? Why, how can pie fly?

    Perhaps Bokonon was misquoted?

    "Tiger got to hunt,
    Pie got to fly,
    Man got to sit and wonder, 'Why? Why? Why?'"

    Heh.

    -CW

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Don Harris [3] -

    (see: Paula [1])

    -CW

  10. [10] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    ListenWhenYouHear [6] -

    I feel much the same, at least in your first paragraph. I backed Bernie, and had no problem voting for Hillary when he lost. SCOTUS is important to me.

    I also thought Bernie got no credit at all from the Hillary crowd for, after conceding, actually actively campaigning for her. He didn't have to do that, and he was more gracious in doing it than Hillary herself was in 2008, after Obama won the nomination.

    I don't really think Bernie's going to win this time around, but I do think he'll be an interesting addition to the race in general. I could be wrong, but that's how I feel at the moment.

    -CW

  11. [11] 
    neilm wrote:

    Paula [1]: My concern isn't with Bernie, but the Bernie supporters who were too holy to vote for Hillary, then aghast Trump won. I'd have felt the same way about Hillary supporters who would have spurned Bernie had the roles been reversed.

    There were a surprising number of these puritans in my circle, many of whom said things about Hillary that would have been repulsive even by Fox News standards (assuming Fox News has standards, which is not proven).

    I agree with CW on this one however - Bernie is a caricature of himself now, and there are better Bernies who aren't Bernie.

    My problem with him running again is that he is very unlikely to win, but, through no fault of his own, his supporters might get on their high horses again. Let's hope they learned their lesson the first time round.

  12. [12] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    let's see how things play out on the sunday talk shows. it will be a weekend at bernie's

  13. [13] 
    John M wrote:

    So far I have to agree. My gut is telling me at this point that the final nominee will be one of the five: Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren.

    And honestly, especially if Beto and Biden both stay out, I think it will come down to either Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren, and I have a sneaking suspicion that Kamala Harris would have the edge in catching fire more.

    That would leave the VP nominee slot to one of the lesser known, like Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg or Sherrod Brown.

  14. [14] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW (9)-
    I did. That's why I posted comment 3.

  15. [15] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Just because Bernie said he would support the 2016 nominee doesn't mean that citizens that voted for him in the primaries were under any obligation to support Hillary.

    In fact, many of us were quite clear before the nomination was determined that if Hillary won we would not vote for her.

    It is apparent that the supporters of the Big Money Deceptocratic Party have not learned their lesson.

    And the Hillary supporters claiming that Bernie supporters were responsible for Hillary losing seem to be conveniently forgetting that more Hillary primary voters in 2008 voted for McCain than the Bernie voters that voted for Trump and Stein combined.

    The difference is that Obama was able to get enough other voters to win. Hillary wasn't.

    The Bernie supporters that did not vote for Hillary are not "too holy" or puritans and their choice to not vote for Hillary was not because they haven't learned- it's because they have learned that voting for an unsuitable candidate because the other choice that can win the current election is less suited to hold the office is accepting a short term "solution" to a long term problem.

    We understand that in order to prevent repeating the same mistake over and over again by settling for a short term "solution" to an immediate problem of two unsuitable choices will only make the problem worse in the long term.

    See: How much worse Trump is than GWB.

  16. [16] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Even recognizing the inability of Democratics/Liberals to always differentiate between reality and unreality, it's simply 'beyond the pale' as the saying goes, to blame Trump's win on Bernie's supporters voting for Trump.

    Maybe, and it's a HUGE 'maybe', you might make a quasi-legitimate case for a few of Bernie's people having simply stayed home on election day, but to claim that the most leftist of all the lefties in this country might have actually voted Republican is beyond comprehension (of course, for rational people, that is.)

  17. [17] 
    Paula wrote:

    [11] neilm:

    My problem with him running again is that he is very unlikely to win, but, through no fault of his own, his supporters might get on their high horses again.

    Yep. And that will be down to him.

    [10] CW:

    I also thought Bernie got no credit at all from the Hillary crowd for, after conceding, actually actively campaigning for her. He didn't have to do that, and he was more gracious in doing it than Hillary herself was in 2008, after Obama won the nomination.

    I remember very vividly the stomachache I had in the days leading up to the Convention, and then the first night of it, because Berniers had been threatening for weeks that they were going to try to screw things up. I remember vividly reading about Bernie being aghast to realize how whacked his followers had become and how he had private meetings with them and begged them to settle down and not disrupt things.

    He was "aghast" because he didn't realize how far things had gotten out of hand. That's how out-of-touch he was.

    He got his big night at the Convention and then he did some appearances for HRC (for which we're supposed to canonize him - you know, for doing the minimum required). Meanwhile, his followers harassed us online ceaselessly all the way to the election. About which he did nothing. And the harassment may, in fact, have been largely Russian bot activity - about which he acknowledges nothing because it would mean a lot of his virulent support wasn't real. Coz it cuts both ways, doesn't it? So many Berniers STILL argue today that HRC was a terrible candidate and lost to a loon but BS would have beaten that loon except he was robbed!!! They never acknowledge the unprecedented attacks launched by the Russians - something no candidates for POTUS had ever been up against before. Berniers pretend none of that happened because it both weakens their claims against HRC and brings up the possibility that BS was helped. That destroys their BS-mythology so their solution has been to pretend we've learned nothing since 2016.

    So, CW, I think if you want HRC supporters to give BS more credit for his eventual grudging concession you'll have to start by acknowledging our complaints.

    If it's-all-about-me-BS won the nom & the election was today I would vote for him over DT or whatever Repub. But it would be the bitterest vote of my life.

    However we have a long year ahead of us for all this to play out so we'll see. Maybe Mr-nothing's-my-fault will win me over. I've read he's hired a well-respected person to replace Tad-worked-with-Paul-Manafort-Devine. Perhaps that person will get him to release his tax returns.

    [6] Listen: Yep!

  18. [18] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Paula

    That post is LITERALLY 'full of BS', right? (Observation, NOT an insult.)

  19. [19] 
    Paula wrote:

    [18] Stucki: Bernie's initials ARE handy!

  20. [20] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Paula [17]: my feelings exactly.

    We'll see whether Bernie acknowledges the Russian bots that took over his campaign after the primaries.

    Look, if he wants to squeeze into an already small overton window at the far end, fine, but he's already missing the bigger picture: Republicans who aren't for Trump are looking for a champion. And Bernie ain't it.

    Democrats can win with a middle of the road candidate. The only question is: will they blow the chance on a too-liberal candidate?

  21. [21] 
    Paula wrote:

    [20] Balthasar:

    Democrats can win with a middle of the road candidate. The only question is: will they blow the chance on a too-liberal candidate?

    In the midterms Dems made gains all over by not playing to Repubs. I don't think trying to be "middle of the road" to appeal to disaffected Repubs is the winning strategy. That isn't going to drive the turnout we need.

    In the midterms turnout was high - Dems won in lots of places (probably including places where dirty work took place a la NC09 - hearings of which are quite interesting) because turnout was higher than normal on the Dem side for midterms. It was higher on both sides than usual for mids, but MORE higher on Dem side.

    Turnout was high on Dem side because grassroots work was going on everywhere due to the deep hatred on the Dem side for Trump. That's the energy that needs to be stoked, not reluctant Repubs.

  22. [22] 
    Paula wrote:

    Also, I should update: looks like Jeff Weaver isn't coming back, not sure about Tad-worked-with-Manfort-Devine.

    If Devine remains on BS's campaign I want that guy vetted to the nth degree.

  23. [23] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Paula [21]: You're right, Dems won the mid-terms all over by not playing to Repubs. But this isn't the mid-terms, and the rules are different. That's the mistake the Repubs made in 2012, thinking that their mid-term wins made them invincible. Think about that.

    It happened many times before, too. Take my word for it: the biggest predictor of defeat is failure to adjust from the mid-terms.

  24. [24] 
    Kick wrote:

    What!? No Tad Devine running the BS campaign... I wonder why.

    Actually, no I don't. :)

  25. [25] 
    Kick wrote:

    Fun with ties... rhymes with pies. ;)

    https://twitter.com/Newsweek/status/1098304785151717377

  26. [26] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Let me put a finer point on that. Remember all the voices that thought after the election, that Dems should reach out to rural Repubs and feel their pain. One guy did a national book tour. While we learned that that wasn't nearly everything, we could peel off a number of Republicans. A Dem moderate has an automatic bump in a general poll just because of that.

    Anyway, that's still a winning strategy for 2020. Like it or not. Perhaps we should amp down the rhetoric, this isn't a college quad. We need to be very calculating, because we get only one shot, and it needs to be true.

  27. [27] 
    Paula wrote:

    [23] Balthasar:

    It happened many times before, too. Take my word for it: the biggest predictor of defeat is failure to adjust from the mid-terms.

    Not sure the conventional wisdom/old rules apply in an America that got us DT.

  28. [28] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    I just heard that Mueller has indicted a couple dozen Russians for "Sowing discord among U.S. voters", and "Interfering on behalf of Republicans during a U.S. election" (I presume in order to make us think his efforts were not in vain.)

    I'm told the Ruskies responded "Bullski Shitski". Since I don't speak Russian, you guys will have to get your own translation on that, in order to keep your hopes alive until next week, when I expect you all to follow in the steps of that famous old-time WWII Japanese pilot, I forget his name, something like Harry Carey.

  29. [29] 
    neilm wrote:

    in order to keep your hopes alive until next week

    CRS: you are never going to understand because your emotional growth stopped in middle school.

    Most of us just want to know the truth about what happened in the 2016 election. From the start, I, and I don't think I'm alone, did not expect a smoking gun showing that the Russians conspired with Trump, mostly because we think the Russians are too smart to involve Trump in anything that requires him to keep his mouth shut.

    Trump's karma is coming through his money laundering for the Russians, which is outside of Mueller's remit, but in the crosshairs of the SDNY AG office.

    I'm interested to see the techniques the Russians used to influence voters - both right wingers (that studies have shown to be more gullible than the general population), as well effective suppression efforts against other voting groups, and how effective they were.

    It will be amusing if Don Jr. get's indicted for being stupidly criminal during an election, but again I don't expect anything to come of it as the Justice Department isn't likely to charge the Trumps unless the evidence is so compelling that even they can't pretend it away.

    If you want to gloat because that is what turns you on then do so, but it is only a sad reflection that 70+ years of your life has been a lost educational opportunity for you. Sadly we don't expect to be pleasantly surprised by your behavior.

  30. [30] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    neilm

    Actually, my "emotional growth" (Whatever that nebulous concept turns out to be) may well have stopped in grade school for all I know, (Hey, that might explain the "smug" thing, the Schadenfreude and the joy in shouting "TOLD YA SO" and the gloating that I'm currently reveling in, ya think?

    I hasten to admit that you were by far the most realistic one around here (although that was a VERY LOW BAR) regarding foolish expectations that could be expected to originate from proving the "collusion" with the Russians. Several of the local girls assured me repeatedly that "collusion" (described and defined as getting info from foreigners) simply HAD TO BE equivalent to taking money or "other valuable things" as defined by law, and that it was a done deal and a foregone conclusion that Trump would be gone by the end of the month, then within 90 days, then by the end of the year, etc.

    You know, it's possible that the lack of 'gloating' on the part of some folks around here, may be less a case of superior "emotional maturity" than of a reflection of the fact that they have nothing to gloat ABOUT!!! And that in turn might be related to the fact that they were 180 deg assbackwards for well over two years, ya think?

    And BTW, I promise to do my very best to live up to your 'low expectations'. It's just too damn much fun not to!

  31. [31] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    P.S. The craziest thing about this whole 'collusion' insanity is that NOBODY around here would have been happier to get rid of the asshole-in-chief than I would have been!!!

  32. [32] 
    neilm wrote:

    "collusion" (described and defined as getting info from foreigners)

    Collusion - Definition: secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose acting in collusion with the enemy.

    Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/collusion

    "Illegal or deceitful" - one risks jail time, the other public condemnation (by some).

    "...with the enemy" - the assumption here is that Russia colluded as a hostile act, and are thus "the enemy".

    As I said, the clown should be scared of money laundering. I assume the Russians are too intelligent to trust him as a co-conspirator.

  33. [33] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    if mueller uses the words, "extremely careless," i'll laugh.

  34. [34] 
    Kick wrote:

    CRS
    30

    Several of the local girls assured me repeatedly that "collusion" (described and defined as getting info from foreigners) simply HAD TO BE equivalent to taking money or "other valuable things" as defined by law, and that it was a done deal and a foregone conclusion that Trump would be gone by the end of the month, then within 90 days, then by the end of the year, etc.

    You're a mental case, CRS, who seemingly cannot grasp the simple legal concept that it's a violation of campaign finance law for a political campaign to conspire with foreign nationals, and your repeated inability to comprehend the written word is on full display yet again. Additionally, no one on this blog of either gender has ever stated anything of the sort that "Trump would be gone" in a certain amount of days. However, it most certainly has been pointed out that our country has removed a president from office exactly zero times and that we are living history.

    You know, it's possible that the lack of 'gloating' on the part of some folks around here, may be less a case of superior "emotional maturity" than of a reflection of the fact that they have nothing to gloat ABOUT!!!

    Making stuff up that never happened in order to gloat about it does nothing more than reveal your pathetic neediness. Poor old man spends two years proving he lacks the intellectual capacity to understand the simple written law and yearns desperately to be correct. You and those like you will always have my pity. :)

  35. [35] 
    Kick wrote:

    neilm
    29

    Trump's karma is coming through his money laundering for the Russians, which is outside of Mueller's remit, but in the crosshairs of the SDNY AG office.

    Speaking of SDNY, this is as good a time as any to remind everyone that Donald Trump is an unindicted coconspirator in an ongoing SDNY case for crimes which his attorney, Michael Cohen, has pled guilty and received a multiple year prison sentence. Cohen paid $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford, a.k.a. Stormy Daniels and conspired with a publishing company to pay $150,000 to model Karen McDougal for her story in exchange for silence regarding their affairs with Trump. The "hush" payments were to influence the 2016 election, and prosecutors have identified the payments as illegal campaign contributions that are restricted under campaign finance laws. Cohen's payment to Clifford violated the $2,700 limit on personal contributions to a single candidate for an election, while the payment to McDougal violated the law's ban on corporations contributing directly to campaigns.

    So to recap: Donald Trump is already an unindicted coconspirator for violations of campaign finance laws for which Michael Cohen is sentenced to prison for multiple years, among other violations like lying to Congress. Mikey has received a 2-month reprieve on reporting to prison and is scheduled to testify publicly and privately before incarceration for his crimes:

    After consulting with the Department of Justice and with Rep. Adam Schiff, the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Chairman Cummings has set the scope for the Oversight Committee’s hearing with Mr. Cohen to address the following issues:

    • the President’s debts and payments relating to efforts to influence the 2016 election;

    • the President’s compliance with financial disclosure requirements;

    • the President’s compliance with campaign finance laws;

    • the President’s compliance with tax laws;

    • the President’s potential and actual conflicts of interest;

    • the President’s business practices;

    • the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.;

    • the accuracy of the President’s public statements;

    • potentially fraudulent or inappropriate practices by the Trump Foundation; and

    • public efforts by the President and his attorney to intimidate Mr. Cohen or others not to testify.

    Mr. Cohen has agreed to testify voluntarily and in public before the Oversight Committee. He will not be under subpoena.

    On February 28, 2019, the day after Mr. Cohen testifies before the Oversight Committee, he will appear in closed session before the Intelligence Committee.

    https://tinyurl.com/y643oul9

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: February is going to be lit. :)

  36. [36] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    On the day that Trump leaves office over having sought (but not having GOT) "dirt on hillary from (evil) Russians", you and I will both gloat.

    In the meantime, only I will gloat, holler Told Ya So, and revel in your self-induced misery.

  37. [37] 
    Kick wrote:

    Stucki
    36

    On the day that Trump leaves office over having sought (but not having GOT) "dirt on hillary from (evil) Russians", you and I will both gloat.

    Your projection of your pathetic neediness onto me is just as disgusting and pathetic as your obvious and repetitive spew and your making stuff up that no one here ever said. It's obvious that you're ignoring the text of the U.S. campaign finance law and the fact that it's illegal to conspire to commit crimes contained in said law for which Michael Cohen will spend multiple years in prison. No matter how many times your face is rubbed in it, you keep insisting it's not illegal to "get dirt" from Russians, and I keep posting the text of the campaign finance law wherein it's illegal to accept "help" from foreign nationals, and that's about all we've discussed.

    In the meantime, only I will gloat, holler Told Ya So, and revel in your self-induced misery.

    If only I was miserable and you had any bona fide reason to gloat. I would wager no one here cares one whit anyway... and least of all me. What we are concerned with is our democracy and the rule of law, and some of us actually took an oath and take that very seriously.

    Carry on in your ignorance if it satisfies your pathetic neediness, old bird.

    Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how correct you are, the bird is going to shit on the board and strut around like it won anyway.

  38. [38] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    OK, so you still maintain that getting election advice from Russians is covered under the "anything of value" rule (in contradiction of first amend.), but at least you're realistic enough to realize that those charged with enforcing that rule clearly disagree with you, right?

    So, are you actually conceding that the "dirt on Hillary" episode will NOT bring down the Trump presidency, or are you still grasping at that straw?

  39. [39] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    if anyone can successfully use the idiot defense, it's donald.

    "my client's a moron, that's not against the law"
    -a few good men

  40. [40] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    CR: [38]: you're realistic enough to realize that those charged with enforcing that rule clearly disagree with you, right?

    What are you talking about? When the charges come down, that's just one out of many. The problem is: Trump could shoot someone outright, and Repubs will still stick with him.

    No, the only way to be rid of Trump is to defeat him at the ballot box. Then we're rid of him for good.

  41. [41] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Balthy

    You're absolutely correct, but Kick's been declaring for more than 2 yrs that he wont make it to the next election because Mueller is about to indict him because Jr told a Russian lawyer that he'd be happy to hear about dirt on Hillary, making them guilty of "collusion".

    Just ain't gonna happen!

  42. [42] 
    Kick wrote:

    CRS
    41

    You're absolutely correct, but Kick's been declaring for more than 2 yrs that he wont make it to the next election because Mueller is about to indict him because Jr told a Russian lawyer that he'd be happy to hear about dirt on Hillary, making them guilty of "collusion".

    It's already quite obvious that you're a mental case, old man, there's no need to keep reiterating that fact.

    You've spent 2 years hashing and rehashing your ignorant belief that it's not illegal to "get dirt" on your opponent from "evil Russkies" (your terms), and whining incessantly about collusion and people slitting their wrists... so you've established you're a sick bastard too.

    FACT: I've spent 2 years posting the campaign finance law that makes it illegal to conspire with foreign nationals and listing the laws that were broken by the Trump campaign based on what they've admitted publicly during their regular exercise in moving the goalposts.

    Anything else you're claiming is just made up bullshit in your addled and aged sick mind in the throes of your pathetic neediness. Carry on in your flailing! :)

  43. [43] 
    Kick wrote:

    Balthasar
    40

    What are you talking about? When the charges come down, that's just one out of many.

    Exactly right, and as we've discussed before on this blog, it's entirely possible that the OSC and newly sworn in AG will not charge a sitting president based on DOJ memoranda of the Nixon administration that was written to protect Tricky Dick. Speaking of Dick, the parallels between Nixon and Trump are mind boggling, so much so that I hear Roger Stone is getting a new tattoo on his backside where Trump's mouth is Stone's anal orifice. :)

    No, the only way to be rid of Trump is to defeat him at the ballot box. Then we're rid of him for good.

    Again, exactly right. As we've also discussed on this board, when Trump is no longer protected by virtue of his status as POTUS, he's going to need several good lawyers. The State of New York will be relentless in their pursuit of Trump and his spawn; count on it. :)

  44. [44] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    As I've mentioned before, it's immaterial how you interpret the campaign finance laws, it's already a done deal that the people whose interpretations actually count do not agree with you.

    The Russian 'collusion' is NOT going to bringdown the Trump presidency, in spite of you assuring us for years that it would.

  45. [45] 
    Kick wrote:

    CRS
    44

    As I've mentioned before, it's immaterial how you interpret the campaign finance laws, it's already a done deal that the people whose interpretations actually count do not agree with you.

    Damn, you are quite an ignorant old fool. Please keep proving it.

    The Russian 'collusion' is NOT going to bringdown the Trump presidency, in spite of you assuring us for years that it would.

    Whatever you have to tell yourself to make it through your day, old man. Keep digging and flailing. :)

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