The Dream Democratic Ticket for 2020

Clockwise from left: Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Beto O’Rourke, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren.  Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Sergio Flores/Getty Images, Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images, Drew Angerer/Getty Images, and Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP/Getty Images.

W.J. Astore

Now that Joe Biden is officially in the race, the dream Democratic ticket has emerged: Biden and Kamala Harris.

By “dream,” I don’t mean the Progressive dream.  I don’t mean the dream of working-class voters who are hurting.  I don’t mean the dream of Americans who are tired of never-ending wars that enfeeble our economy (and kill lots of people, mainly foreigners).  Those “dream” candidates are true Progressives like Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard.  A Sanders/Gabbard ticket would truly shake things up, which is why it’s not going to happen, as much as I’d like to see it.

No — the corporate-loving DNC wants to preserve the status quo, wants to feed the military-industrial complex, wants big funding from Wall Street, and therefore favors status quo candidates like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

A likely scenario in 2020: Bernie Sanders wins the most votes and delegates, but Joe Biden emerges as a close second.  With all the other candidates (roughly 20 now) splitting the vote, no candidate has enough delegates to win in the first round at the national convention.  So the super-delegates (remember them?), the corporate tools, spring into action in the second and subsequent rounds of voting and throw their support to the “sensible, electable” candidate, in this case Biden.  But of course they can’t let an old white guy represent the “new” Democratic Party, and that’s where Kamala Harris comes in.  She’s black!  And a woman!  And makes noises that sound slightly progressive.  The perfect balanced ticket!  Shut up and color, liberals and Progressives.

Of course, if gaffe-prone Biden implodes, a distinct possibility, there are other safe white guys waiting in the wings to headline the ticket.  Mayor Pete?  Beto O’Rourke?

It’s all so sadly predictable.  And so too is Biden’s loss to Trump in 2020.

P.S.  To state the obvious, I hope I’m wrong about this.

14 thoughts on “The Dream Democratic Ticket for 2020

  1. Unfortunately I think you’ve nailed it. Maybe instead of writing letters to Congress we should activate a movement (mass) to disrupt the DNC.


    1. Annelesser; I think you also “nailed it”. As an (ex)member of Democrat Abroad for 17+ years, today I have nothing but contempt for DNC. I saw it all: their blatant support for Hillary, even during the Obama campaign, which I volunteered for very hard twice. The Sanders/Clinton primaries fracas & robbery was “deplorable”. Though I stuck with them-until they lost-quit immediately after Hillary’s defeat. And I have no plans for my return.
      Sanders, who I voted for, is an interesting character, yet as time goes by, means less & less to me. I have good friends from Connecticut who retired to Vermont when I to Europe. Today they call themselves “socialists”, but they’re just as ‘petite bourgeois’ as I am. In fact, for decades I’m been far more anti-war-imperialism than they are. They did not join our town march against Bush Sr’s “Iraqi Freedom” war, commented positively on my newspaper opinion, but “Don’t tell anybody”. They’re decent people, but ‘buy’ too much MSM I think.
      Funny story: Wife went to a Vermont “Women’s March” in 2017 in Vermont and was HORRIFIED at the filthy language & what some women were doing with their “pussy hats”. Bernie was there! Cheering them! Yet not a word of Universal Health Care.
      I stick to my guns: ‘Iraqi Freedom’ was the start of this travesty of continuous wars. US got away with it! We “won” – but we lost. If you want to be a “socialist” in my country, “Great!” But SHOW ME! Decent healthcare for all, high speed trains, decent urban renewal & low cost housing. Not BILLION$ wasted on ‘defence’ – which could well pay for the above.
      I bragged on Easter Sunday about PR & advertising – to which I apologise. Way off the mark with too much wine. But there’s something to say about ‘private’ industry becoming so involved with government: are bombs more profitable than Jean brands advertising competitions? Now made in China? The MIC claims they will protect US with might, but that’s yet to be believed….they keep losing wars!
      I my book, only Tulsi Gabbard is a hope.


      1. I agree wholeheartedly about Tulsi Gabbard. She is a leader. She has the integrity and principles that America needs. She fights to end these stupid regime change wars and bring home out troops. She wants to use the money we’ll save to fix our problems here at home. She has a truly progressive domestic platform. She introduced her Off Fossil Fuels Act back in 2017. She’s going to be reintroducing it again soon I hear. My son and his wife are having my first grandchild in June! But I worry about the kind of country he will be brought up in…one of the reasons why I hope that after Tulsi appears on televised debates, her campaign takes off!!! Climate experts say we only have 12 years…and there is no Planet B–like I said I worry for my unborn grandson’s future.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Will never stop wondering why the war on Iraq is – rightly – acknowledged as an unlawful war, while the one on Afghanistan for some inexplicable reason keeps being accepted as somehow OK ?
        Innocent Iraq was attacked based on false ‘intelligence’ extracted from a poor Lybian GWOT victim by means of six months of expert proxy torture in Egypt. Innocent Afghanistan was attacked for primitive revenge for 9/11, with the ‘excuse’ that presumed culprit Bin Laden was staying there, as attacking the real backer, oil rich Saudi Arabia, was not an option.
        What was ‘lawful’ or even ‘reasonable’ about attacking an utterly defenseless country because of a crime committed by one of its – not particularly popular – guests?

        As for Tulsi Gabbard whom I admit I do not know well enough yet to have an opinion, I had decided that her reaction as a vet to the ICC investigation into war crimes committed by among others the US army, would be my litmus test for her commitment to honesty, justice and accountability. Unfortunately that inquiry is already off the table, thanks to the US government’s customary ‘international diplomacy’ approach : Bully, Bribe & Blackmail.

        Biden is Clinton without glass ceiling and Kamala Harris I do appreciate as ‘prosecutor’ during senate hearings. She knows how to nail slippery eels like Kavanaugh and even had Barr fumbling today. Which does by no means mean that she’d make a good president.


        1. Pamela, what I like about you – though I don’t always agree with you – is the honesty of your convictions. You’re right: I also don’t know that much about Tulsi Gabbard.
          Yet I learned most about her on watching videos on ‘News’ shows, who obviously hate her. She is not “bitchy” or arrogant, just states facts. These big paid shrills of MIC interviewing her, don’t back down; they only get nastier. Yet she remains cool & collected.
          That to me is a sign of leadership.
          Compared to that joke, Elizabeth Warren’s interview about the “Middle Class” a few years ago, one wisens up. Oh! It started out great: “plucking the MC like a turkey”. MSM loved it! Great sound bite!
          Of course nothing’s changed. I think she’s a fraud. I repeat: “SHOW ME POSITIVE RESULTS!” She can’t; except an abused turkey.


          1. Thank you, I consider this a great compliemnt ;- ). As for Elizabeh Warren, I tend to agree. Support her wish to ‘break up Wall street and too big corporations’ but otherwise she strikes me as another ‘glass ceiling’ candidate, aspiring to be the first female president.
            Bernie meanwhile get better all the time, as last time around he focused almost exclusively on internal US affairs but now is increasingly including crucial international ones. I trust his steadfast principles, so if HE chooses Tulsy as his running mate, I will consider that an alternative litmus test :- ).


  2. Thanks Bill. An Orwellian nightmare of identity politics while continuing Wall Street domination and imperial wars. You may be right. The issue is whether the Bernie gang will allow this to happen; if he punts again after what the DNC did to him in ’16, he doesn’t deserve an ounce of respect.




  3. Bill.

    Re your article, here’s a rough draft of a Biden op ed I will send to our nearby Ashland Tidings in June (May will be my final piece on Russia-gate). I have writing one each month for some time now (limited to 700 words), and have also attached a couple from this year: January on Dr. King and April on Israeli violence.





  4. You are likely correct. I’m not going to go all in on the opponent being Trump just yet. I am wondering if smoldering beneath the rubble of the Republican Party there aren’t more that are less than enthused with being painted with in shades of Trump orangey nepotism, greed, corruption and (gasp) fascism.

    Maybe Weld can fuse together a new conservative party that is more like it was here than after what it was like once the Reichstag burned to the ground.

    One can only hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I fear you are right about the Super – Delegate grab. The DNC is corrupt organization with their marriage to Wall Street. Biden, Pelosi, Schumer are runnung away from Single Payer, Universal Health Care, and none of these three stooges has ever seen a War they did not like.

    Kamala Harris, will brought in to cleanse himself of his Anita Hill debacle.
    Here is an well written article in the Guardian highlights below:
    “One of the many reasons the Clinton campaign failed was that it spent more time and energy criticizing Trump than interrogating the underlying reasons why he was popular. Clinton parroted the idea that “America is already great!” to people whose lives were anything but. She offered business as usual to people who desperately wanted change. Now we’ve got Biden, another establishment Democrat, doing exactly the same thing.”

    Biden’s answer to Trump isn’t systemic change that will make America a more equitable place. He’s not offering progressive policies like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. His is the vaguest and most centrist of battle cries: let’s go back to, you know, “all those good things”.
    Now one thing we know for sure CNN and MSDNC will crank up their Biden for President spiel and clean-up any gaffes he makes.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ayup.

    Strategically, assuming the existence of a neoliberal wing of the Dems willing to do whatever it takes to install their preferred candidate (as they did in 2016), the best option for the superdelegate class to maintain control once the primary rules shifted to prohibit their weighing in on the first vote, was to promote as many candidates entering the field as possible.

    Because all politics is actually identity politics, this all but ensures no one will win a majority of the delegates.

    Sanders will get about a third to 40% of the delegates, and Biden (or one of his substitutes/backups, O’Rourke/Buttigieg) will get about the same. Everybody else splits the rest, nobody wins Round 1 at the convention – and then the Party decides.

    And here’s another prediction: if Sanders does beat expectations despite all the self-inflicted wounds his Bernie Bros will generate, he still won’t win in 2020. You get a “socialist” nominee on the DNC side, and Schultz ends up playing spoiler – maybe he recruits Beto, or teams up with Romney.

    Gabbard is pretty much the only one I’d be happy to support – Sanders, well, I just don’t buy his millionaire-yet-somehow-socialist schtick, but I’ll take him over most of the rest.

    All in all, this primary is demonstrating to me that I do not have a home in the democratic party.

    My expectation is still a dirty, contested Trump “victory” riding high on voter suppression, threats of violence (at home and abroad vs. Iran), and filing court cases to impact the votecount/recounts in the closest states – Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The DNC showed its true colors back in July 2016 when it blocked antiwar protesters at the convention, which I wrote about here.

    An extract:

    This democratic convention has been at pains to please the military. Last night, Panetta called the U.S. military our greatest national treasure. Obama repeated his claim that the U.S. military is the finest fighting force since Cain slew Abel. Tim Kaine opened his remarks by mentioning the Marines and shouting Semper Fi.

    The Democrats are the new Republicans: they’re going “all in” on military boosterism and ra-ra patriotism.

    Which is why the anti-war protest was so refreshing. End the wars — end the killing — what’s wrong with these protesters for expressing such crazy sentiments at a Democratic political rally? (An aside: my favorite sign read “Fauxmocracy.”)

    The DNC response was swift. Apparently, they cut the lights to the section where the main body of protesters sat (the Oregon delegation), but the protesters simply pulled out their Smart phones for light. Panetta, of course, ignored them, carrying on with his prepared speech that vilified Trump for his remarks about Vladimir Putin and hacking. (Pretty dumb by The Donald, but the man is an empty barrel, an Archie Bunker who loves to make lots of noise.)

    Most interesting of all was media response. I was watching MSNBC (I think) when a commentator attacked the anti-war protesters for undercutting Panetta’s speech against Trump. Yes, it was the protesters who were TOTALLY in the wrong! How dare they chant “no more war” at a former CIA Director and secretary of war? How dare they challenge an olympian like Panetta while he’s on the stage? How dare they organize and exercise their first amendment rights?

    The DNC is just another war-promoting party, perhaps even more fervid in supporting the military-industrial complex than Republicans, because the Dems are always trying to show they’re “tough.”


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