Tomorrow, the 53,000-odd residents of the Northern Marianas will hold their Democratic Caucuses. Curiously, this territory, which is strongly Republican and has no sway in the November elections, will award 6 at-large delegates and another 5 superdelegates.
Nobody’s running here; nobody’s done any serious polling. Bloomberg had operatives on the islands, but now that he’s gone it’s pretty open. FiveThirtyEight tells me that only Biden and Sanders are on the ballot, but I’ve got two other sources that have Gabbard a strong favorite. And nobody really cares, which is really all we need to know about the politics of the Northern Mariana Islands except they’re said to be horribly corrupt.
Speaking of corrupt politics: Calls have gone out to the Sanders campaign to fold in Biden’s favor due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Louisiana has delayed their primary, and it seems likely that some other states will do the same. Sunday’s debate may well be the last such contest of this season; for fear of contagion there’s no audience and the venue’s been shifted to D.C.
Barring major changes, Biden is strongly favored in Tuesday’s contest. Even if he should perform appallingly in Sunday’s event — and there’s serious odds being laid to that happening — it’s unlikely to deliver Florida to Sanders. Ohio is conservative, by and large, and so is Illinois. Even Arizona is polling solidly pro-Biden. And I can’t for the life of me tell you why.
My own thought here is that, if there’s ever going to be any event that awakens America to the reality of our ineffective yet horribly overpriced healthcare system, it’s the present pandemic. And yet, the only candidate the DNC can field holds positions virtually indistinguishable from the Republican platform: he’s pro-industry, pro-Wall Street, opposed to Medicare For All, and so on. (He’s even against marijuana legalization, something even Republicans are starting to favor.) One would think that the policies championed by Bernie Sanders would appear sensible in the face of the present crisis, but– no.
Perhaps it’s the sense of stability that appeals to Americans, the perceived return to the normal of five years ago — as though that were within the power of any president. We can’t turn back the clock even if we would. The world has moved on since then — and by and large that’s a good thing: ISIS is defeated, we’re exiting Syria and Afghanistan, gay marriage is commonly accepted, and so on. Don’t mistake me here; I’m not arguing Trump has been all that great a president — but the country is ready for societal change in a way that would have been unthinkable in 2015.
Except apparently we’re not.
Oh, we talk big, but we’re afraid to vote our consciences. As a result, we’re looking at a near-guaranteed Biden-Trump race. It’s difficult to imagine a less progressive election.
One good thing about Sunday’s debate: At least one of the participants will make sense, speak reasonably and intelligently, and answer the questions as asked. Given Trump’s inability to speak in complete sentences even when he’s reading his speeches, and Biden’s notorious bouts of incomprehensibility and unreason, I predict any Trump-Biden debate will be indistinguishable from two angry Furbys locked in a closet.
Two angry Furbys… I’m not entirely convinced that wouldn’t be an improvement to our national political dialogue.
Update: As this goes to press, we’re informed Sanders is finally being announced as the primary winner in California.
Further update: Bernie Sanders took 4 delegates with a total of 84 votes. Biden won 2 with 48 votes. Jeez; someone coulda campaigned here, ya think?
I’m tempted to change the link to “Buy Me A Roll Of Toilet Paper”, but let’s face it: This effort is fueled by the combined forces of cynicism, fatigue, and massive doses of caffeine. Kick in a bit, won’t you? Lord knows, you’re not getting informed anywhere else.