January 9, 2018

Oprah outcome: Bernie wins primary with over-crowded elitist field

Populists' initial reaction to Oprah's candidate announcement speech may be dread -- even more so if many others like her join the race. Then it will be the Democrats who will be holding a clown car show in 2020.

But that will benefit the Bernie wing of the party, if they manage to run only one candidate, whether Bernie himself or a suitable successor.

Oprah is just going to be another tired and hated identity politics warrior, more focused on her personal story and generic motivational speeches than on re-industrialization of the economy, shrinking our military footprint around the world, single-payer healthcare, and so on and so forth.

And she will definitely have at least one other rival for that sales pitch -- Michelle Obama. Neither of these "strong black women" will step aside for the other, and since they will both be selling the same appeal to voters, they will get similar slices of the electoral pie.

The more candidates there are who are selling one form or another of Democrat politics as usual, the smaller each of those slices will be. They won't take away much from Bernie's share of the pie, since he is such a qualitatively different choice.

Let's say Bernie only gets 45% of the delegates, based on winning over voters who want populism and major change -- but that the remaining 55% are divided evenly among 11 candidates in an over-crowded Establishment field. That leaves each one of the non-Bernie candidates with a puny 5%. Some may do a little better at 10% or 15%, some worse at around 1%. But nothing close to 45%.

In that case, it would start a nationwide riot to give the nomination to anyone other than Bernie. Not even all of the superdelegates could raise a candidate from 15% to 50% -- let alone the lesser candidates who got 5% or 1%. Robbing Bernie of the nomination would require a real bald-faced rigging like re-writing the rules, also bound to set off a riot.

The ideal plan to get a populist or progressive into the nomination, then, is to only run one candidate in that mold. Don't let individual ambition and hyper-competitiveness get in the way of the team movement. Bernie has better name and brand recognition than anyone else, including Elizabeth Warren. He's also more motivating to listen to, compared to Warren's schoolmarm demeanor.

Zogby polling for potential candidates shows Bernie with a solid 10-15 point advantage over Warren, as of late 2017. So the first move is to persuade Warren not to run, and better yet to endorse Bernie early on to solidify his status as the only populist candidate.

Then the goal is to encourage as many candidates to run who would blindly go along with the Wall Street and Pentagon agendas. Ideally they offer different flavors of Democrat politics as usual, to split up the non-Bernie vote.

Offer the strong black woman story, perhaps in two flavors itself with Oprah and Michelle. Offer the gay Hispanic story. Offer the futuristic tech overlord story. Offer the token ethnic on Wall Street story.

None of their substantive policies would differ from one other -- they would simply be rubber-stamping whatever Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and the CIA slid onto their desk. But they would split up the non-Bernie voters, with black women choosing Michelle or Oprah, white male nerds choosing Zuckerberg, tax-avoiding yuppies choosing Andrew Cuomo, etc.

The more hyper-competitive the non-Bernie candidates are, the better. They will spend so much time tearing into each other, and not wanting to be the one to fall on their own sword in order to block Bernie. We want maximum chaos and internecine warfare on the Establishment side -- just like there was among Republicans in 2016, clearing an easy path for Trump, who was from a different universe compared to the rest of them.

The more petty, the more egotistical, the more vapid and devoid of anything to say on real policies -- the more disgusted the non-airhead voters will be, and the easier the choice will be to go with Bernie. "Airhead" voters here meaning those going with identity politics.

The sense of desperation to "stop Trump" and to take back the White House will give these freaks the delusion of grandeur, as though they were heroic for wanting to return to the Clinton-Obama ways of the past. And that phony sense of heroism will keep them in the race for as long as possible, splitting up the non-Bernie vote all the way.

Here is an off-the-cuff list of ideal candidates to crowd the non-Bernie field with:

Hillary Clinton

Michelle Obama

Oprah Winfrey

Kamala Harris

Cory Booker

Mark Zuckerberg

Andrew Cuomo

Al Gore

Julian Castro


In contrast to the backbiting shitshow going on among these Establishment candidates, I'd like to see Bernie pick Tulsi Gabbard early on as the de facto running mate -- a regular opening act to his rallies, a regular surrogate in the media, and a regular activist to mobilize larger networks to GOTV. Supposing Bernie gets the nomination, she's already a familiar presence, ideologically in step with him but making up for his weakness in foreign policy.

She's charismatic, and not that it matters to non-airhead voters, but she can deflect charges of the Bernie campaign being the white guy ticket. Being much younger makes her a credible and reassuring back-up President in case anything happened to Bernie in office.

In general, the image on the populist side would be harmony and productive teamwork, juxtaposed with the cynical individualistic ambition on the Establishment side.

If there's not much excitement going on in the GOP primary -- a big if, assuming Trump is running again after being sidelined by "his own" party for the first term, and assuming further that no bitter Republicans challenge him -- then only Bernie could draw a large number of populist Trump supporters into the Democrat primary. He won't need to point out what horrific prospects they would face if Kamala Harris or Cory Booker were President.

That would also ease fears about him being less electable -- he's the only one who can bring back the Trump voters who generally sympathize with the Democrat side in presidential races. We want populism, not identity politics.

So please, let's encourage as many Oprah Winfreys, Mark Cubans, and Mark Zuckerbergs to run as possible. And lean on Warren to not run herself, if she were considering it, rather than split up the populist / progressive team.


  1. It would be glorious if Hillary tried again.

  2. Thoughts On Power1/9/18, 2:51 PM

    In 2020 Bernie will be 78. Oprah, 65.

    If Oprah runs she's going to win.

    She's a total anomaly biologically. She's been able to jump time and again through seeming obstacles to get right to a position of massive influence. She's like Trump on steroids with her ability to sway people. And the media will make it happen.

  3. If Oprah runs, it signals others like her running too. Mark Cuban, Zuckerberg, Michelle, et al.

    She would not break out from that crowded elitist field, and would get no more than 10-15%. Bernie would easily double that, or triple that, if he were the only populist running.

    Bernie's age is irrelevant, since people keep voting for older politicians. What does handicap him is belonging to the Silent Generation -- they've never been President. It skipped from tons of Greatest Gens to tons of Boomers.

    That's why I say "or a suitable successor," who would have to be endorsed by Bernie and have Bernie as an opening act, in order to herd his supporters over into his successor's voting base.

  4. I think if Oprah decides to run you're going to see all the other celebrity candidates decide to sit it out. The Democrats and the media will just declare Oprah to be the annointed one this go around and the others will begrudgingly accept it due to pressure because getting rid of Donny Two-Scoops will be seen as more important than everyone else's ambitions. This will especially hold true if Trump gets primaried by Romney in 2020 as the right will be seen as weakened and it would be too good an opportunity to weaken themselves. The Dems might even put pressure on Bernie to sit it out in 2020 as well (and much as his supporters didn't fold Bernie himself is soft in this regard as we saw).

    They'll wait their turn until 2024 or 2028 if that's the case depending entirely on if Oprah wins in 2020 (either beating Trump or whatever Republican replaces him if Trump either gets successfully primaried or feels too embittered to run again; not that I'm expecting it). When the time comes I imagine Zuck will go through with it and be an early casualty because he's already seen as kind of a joke anyway publically i.e. all the memes about him touring the country as an unfeeling alien/robot man who doesn't understand humans. Cuban will tease and ultimately decide against it and just bankroll the Dem candidate.

    That would leave Warren, Tulsi, Booker, Castro, Harris and Michelle most likely. Warren doesn't have the charisma and falls quickly. Tulsi I don't think runs yet and either angles for a VP spot with Bernie (if he does run again and gets the nomination somehow in 2020) or maybe a cabinet position to set up for something down the line. Castro's a nobody, looks like a creep and his disastrous HUD policy of shipping Chicago refugees into the Midwest causing crime rates in places like Iowa to skyrocket will be easy fodder. Harris is a moron and if someone's smart they'll bring up her bungling of the Rebecca Zahau case so I don't see her lasting either.

    I could easily see a Booker/Michelle ticket with either one in President/VP slot. Michelle maybe runs for mayor of Chicago in 2019 or Durbin's "convinced" to retire in 2020 so Michelle can take his seat and get the "necessary" legislative experience before 2024. Booker's young, handsome and media savvy. Don't know about him as a speaker but I can see him being pushed as Obama pt. 2.

    The only exception to this is Hillary, being a clueless megalomaniac, trying to weasel her way into a third attempt. This one will go nowhere and it'll be funny watch though.

  5. That is to say, Bernie running and/or winning in 2020 is almost entirely dependent upon what Oprah does. With Oprah there's very few people out there more media savvy than her (it basically comes down to Trump and Obama) and like Trump she has all of her wealth at her disposal without the disadvantage of a backstabbing party machine who wants to take her down as much as they want to destroy her opponent.

    They can also tout her "born from humble origins to become a self-made billionaire" story while adding some stuff about how she didn't need a million dollar loan from daddy. Maybe to appease the Bernie wing they convince her to go with Bernie as her VP. If Oprah doesn't run then I think all bets are off and the Dem primaries of 2020 look like the GOP primaries of 2016 as different a multitude of candidates representing every possible faction slug it out leaving a lot of bitter feelings.

    An Oprah/Bernie ticket is maybe the only thing I could see that could possibly beat Trump. Would it? Well that depends entirely on how the next two years go. If we get more of what we got in 2017 I could see things being difficult. If the GOP gets started on the wall, immigration and infrastructure then I picture things going well for Trump. If the CIA/Mossad/Saudi backed color revolution in Iran works like the CIA/NATO backed Euromaidan in the Ukraine then I can see things going really well for Trump come 2020.


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