March 3, 2020

It's Super Tuesday at last.

Check out the newest polls on Real Clear Politics to get a sense of which of the 3 ancient white men might fall forward into an unstoppable momentum rolling into the Valley of Inevitable Trump Victory.

I have my cruel neutrality vantage point, but even if I wanted to get more engaged, I couldn't pick somebody to root for. I don't want any of them! What a ridiculous condition the 2020 race has deteriorated into!

I'm interested in the populism of Trump and Sanders and feel something of a thrill to see the establishment of both parties getting their comeuppance. But my real preference is for absolutely boring government, run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence. Such folk never show up and last long enough to be in the running this late in the game, but maybe Bloomberg is closest to that idea.

But I think Bloomberg will get crushed today, and I anticipate laughing at him when that happens. That's how little my abstract preference has to do with watching the Super Tuesday antics.

Am I with the moderate, cautious people who are gathering behind Joe Biden? No, I'm staying up here on my cruel neutrality vantage point. I don't think Joe Biden is in any condition to do what it takes to fight until November and then deal with the job of President.

By the way, I had a dream about Donald Trump last night. I was at some sort of artsy song and spoken-word performance, in an intimate pink room with long comfy sofas. There were several polar bears reclining on a sofa, along with Donald Trump. This was right next to me, and I wanted to get some personal conversation with Trump, something I could remember and talk about. He was enjoying the show and singing along, being quite charming and talking to everyone. I leaned over and asked him, "Are the Secret Service okay with the polar bears?"

143 comments:

sinz52 said...

Biden's advantages are that he's stable, experienced, non-threatening, and doesn't need a learning curve to be President. He appeals to voters who oppose Trump but don't believe we need a socialist revolution in this country.

I never wanted a President who "fights." My vision of a President is a guy who carries out the constitutional job description: Sign some bills into law, veto other bills, negotiate with foreign governments--and otherwise defer to Congress.

JML said...

"Are the Secret Service okay with the polar bears?"

Don't leave us hanging, Ann! Were they?

narciso said...

yet he doesn't know when election day, or what the declaration of independence is, he's like zaphod beeblebrox, who signed off on the earth's demolition, as an autograph

Unknown said...

But my real preference is for absolutely boring government, run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence. Such folk never show up

I think you could have stopped it there.

rehajm said...

fivethirtyeight still has 'No One' winning the primaries. Joe in second is now 4x more likely than Bernie to capture the nomination.

Shaping up for a No Malarkey kind of day, you llama-faced-ditch-witches!

henry said...

Think Biden wins Georgia today?

rehajm said...

I couldn't pick somebody to root for. I don't want any of them!

Yes, but which one will you vote for?

Fernandistein said...

"Cruel neutrality" always makes me laugh because it's like saying "dark lightness" since cruelty is not neutral.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

But my real preference is for absolutely boring government, run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence. Such folk never show up and last long enough to be in the running this late in the game,....

or they get shot in the head and we are told it's a suicide.

Birkel said...

Expertise is a pipe dream. It doesn't scale.

That some people deny that obvious truth leads to tragedy.

AllenS said...

Super Tuesday, or, if you are Biden, it's Super Thursday. "Stable"? Hardly.

Calisse Tabarnac said...

"...and otherwise defer to Congress"?

You mean roll over for Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff, AOC, and Maxine Waters?

Personally, I can't imagine anything worse.

MAGA!

BUMBLE BEE said...

Borrowed...
I don't speak with democrats often, but when I do... I order fries.
Cruel enough?

henry said...

Polar bears are white supremacist bears. Of course they are OK. /psychobabble

Kevin said...

The polar bears WERE Secret Service.

In a dream scenario it’s the perfect cover.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Do people under 50 even recognize integrity? 60?

narciso said...

https://babalublog.com/2020/03/01/rep-mario-diaz-balart-sets-the-record-straight-on-cuba-for-bernie-sanders-and-other-castro-dictatorship-fans/#comment-171239".they get driven out of public life, while slime remains,

PJ57 said...

As long as they are Russian Bears.

Xmas said...

sinz52,

Biden's disadvantage is he's showing signs some sort of age-related brain degradation. Campaigning is a tough slog and can be hard on a healthy person. And we know from the last election that the Democratic candidate can't just minimize their campaign appearances against Trump and his road show. If the Democrats have another candidate that literally slumps over and gets tossed into a van, it will cost them more than a lost presidential election.

Tank said...

If you are anticipating laughing at Bloomberg, then you are not neutral.

Temujin said...

Can I get your permission to use "Are the Secret Service okay with the polar bears?" in a story sometime?

As someone who tends to lean Libertarian, except for when actual Libertarians are involved, I prefer government which is not usually visible except in times of national defense or emergencies. Boring government is just about right. When they're busy passing laws, that's when I cringe.

narciso said...

he's always been talking jive, it's only now that they take him seriously, between tornado damage in Nashville and some rains elsewhere, there will be some slowdown in voting,

wendybar said...

Where the hell is Joe Bidens family?? He doesn't know where he is or what day it is. I hate watching a man with dementia getting used because the Democrats have nothing else. This is really sad.

NCMoss said...

If Althouse wants boring competence, will she have to give up diversity?

tcrosse said...

Get ready for the Great 2020 Democratic National Convention Bait-and-Switch.

narciso said...

well hunter is exploring his muse, his daughter, who was caught on tape, inhaling well she doesn't criminal justice reform or something,

Francisco D said...

As someone who tends to lean Libertarian, except for when actual Libertarians are involved, I prefer government which is not usually visible except in times of national defense or emergencies. Boring government is just about right. When they're busy passing laws, that's when I cringe.

We are on the same page Temujin. The exact same page.

Curious George said...

"Biden's advantages are that he's stable, experienced, non-threatening, and doesn't need a learning curve to be President. He appeals to voters who oppose Trump but don't believe we need a socialist revolution in this country."

LOL

narciso said...

maybe he should stop

narciso said...

https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/03/thomas-friedmans-sure-fire-way-dems-defeat-donald-joseph-klein/

Steven said...

I think what the Dem bigwigs are aiming for right now is a completely brokered convention where they can bring in someone who didn't even run. Biden is merely a useful vessel for that.

Oh, thing to watch in California -- do Warren and Bloomberg each manage to get the 15% threshold? If they do, that takes away lots of delegates from Sanders. If they don't, that effectively gives lots of delegates to Sanders. The recent dropouts should help both reach it.

Michael K said...

Sign some bills into law, veto other bills, negotiate with foreign governments--and otherwise defer to Congress.

As long as it is run by Democrats. Like Nancy and Schifty and Waddles.

Jeff Gee said...

The late Jimmy Breslin had a theory that Jimmy Hoffa had been devoured by a polar bear which was kept as pet-cum-garbage disposal by gangsters using a diner on 8th Avenue in NYC as a front (although Breslin recommended the Potatoes O'Brien, as I recall). The Secret Service was obviously okay with the Polar Bears, although Breslin never came right out and said so.

Nancy said...

Ann, that is one of your best posts ever.

lgv said...

"But my real preference is for absolutely boring government, run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence."

Those days are gone, if they ever existed. The more I read those words, the more I believe they never existed, other than boring. The government consists of those seeking power. In order to get power, you must gain seniority through re-election, which in turn requires money and votes. Do you think you will ever see a Democrat Senator from Wisconsin handing out Golden Fleece Awards again? Pork has always been there to ensure re-election. Quid pro quo amongst themselves.

I see no expertise or competence and it is gotten worse in the last 50 years. Government has gotten bigger and the people who run these organizations have even less experience running organizations than ever before. There are know centrist Dems. They were wiped out long ago. Now, it is only those who want to do even more for us. Every hand went up when asked if they would support free healthcare for illegals (along with everyone).

You are correct in that Bloomberg is closest, but only because the others have so little of any of those attributes.

clint said...

Kudos to the scriptwriters.

It had looked like the big Super Tuesday episode was going to be a bust, but they've managed to make it interesting again with two big questions:
1) Will the consolidation of the Party Establishment around Biden's candidacy enough?
2) Will Bloomberg's unprecedented spending be effective?

As recently as three days ago, before the special South Carolina webisode, the fans were starting to tune out, with Bernie Sanders looking to win it in a walk, but they've managed to make it interesting again.

(In other news: I tried to fail the "I'm not a robot" game, but it wouldn't let me.)

narciso said...

except that happened around Detroit no, now the mob boss of the town I grew up in, Salvatore briguglio, was involved in the matter, in a way frank Shannon probably wasn't

Limited blogger said...


Damaged Goods

narciso said...

I didn't know that at the time, in California, many would be Bernie voters are independents, and they couldn't normally vote in the primary,

Jeff Gee said...

except that happened around Detroit no, now the mob boss of the town I grew up in, Salvatore briguglio, was involved in the matter, in a way frank Shannon probably wasn't

Breslin's theory involved Hoffa being killed out west and the remains shipped back to NYC for disposal by the polar bear, although there are still some minor plausibility issues.

I'm Full of Soup said...

THAT WAS A HILARIOUS ONE LINER TO END YOUR DREAM PROFESSOR! ARE YOU DOING DRUGS BEFORE YOU GO TO BED. IF SO, I WANT SOME TOO. I AM STILL LAUGHING AT IT!

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

“Do people under 50 even recognize integrity? 60?”

They don’t but they never have, either. Unless you’re referring to Lincoln. Well, maybe Ike...

henry said...

"Super Tueday" as if the headline came from a Trump tweet.

Sebastian said...

"I don't want any of them!"

Well, if that's your definition of neutrality . . .

JPS said...

BUMBLE BEE, 8:00:

"Do people under 50 even recognize integrity?"

Sure. Like the good justice said of pornography, I know it when I see it.

Prof. Althouse:

"I think Bloomberg will get crushed today, and I anticipate laughing at him when that happens."

That is cruel! I like it.

Hagar said...

If Trump passes away, the Republicans will swing in behind Pence.
The Democrats?

Sebastian said...

"But my real preference is for absolutely boring government, run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence."

As a personal feeling, that's fine, and probably widely shared by nice women.

But as a political preference, it's utter nonsense. The question, in politics, is what government will do--how it will spend money, what rules it will impose, how it will address adversaries. In other words: expert and competent at what? Opening the borders, or not? Strengthening the military, or not? Limiting CO2 output BAMN, or not? Appointing highly qualified originalist judges, or not? Treating Iran as adversary and Israel as friend, or not? And so on and so forth.

Of course, in the U.S. system, we don't always get a clear choice, since the two parties present package deals parts of which we may dislike. This year, I can see how pro-abortion moderate liberals might be somewhat conflicted, preferring a pro-abortion Dem in judge selection but Trump in management of economic policy. But that has nothing to do with boring competence.

Two-eyed Jack said...

Isn't the point of the "I'm not a robot" game to train a machine model to pass as a human being when they send it back in time to take out Sarah Connor?

tcrosse said...

Look out for the bipolar bears. The secret service can't bear them.

Amadeus 48 said...

"But my real preference is for absolutely boring government, run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence."

Althouse, you are too much. Move to Switzerland, but they'll disappoint you, too. They might not let you stay. There is Singapore--but they are benevolent authoritarians. Death penalty for drug smuggling! Don't spit in the elevators!

Maybe Utah. Yeah! That's the ticket...!

Unknown said...

If Trump passes away, the Republicans will swing in behind Pence.
The Democrats?


I dunno, as most veeps are he's a bit of a cipher, but his image is that of an anti-Trump. "Meh, he's OK" is not going to drive turnout. If Trump keels over during the campaign, Bernie could take it.

tim maguire said...

Trump vs. Sanders was the contest I was rooting for in 2016. It won't play out the same way now that Trump has been president and has already shown he's up for the job. But you're right about both party's elites getting a much-needed comeuppance.

When the Republicans got trashed in 2006 and 2008, they went into reform mode, starting with the Tea Party and continuing with Trump. When the Democrats got trashed in 2010 to 2016, they refused to take look at why and instead doubled down on stupid. Russia! had enough legs in 2018 to convince them they had ridden out the storm and didn't need to fix what was broken, but 2020 is shaping up to whip them again.

Unfortunately, a Sanders loss in 2020 will not teach Democrats the lesson they need to learn (as a 2016 Sanders candidacy, win or lose, might have) so we will have to suffer with an insane Democratic Party for a few more years.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Integrity is setting up a private server to run the state dept in secret while you make millions and millions from Russian interests. Then, when you lose, HRC and her media can blame "Russia" for meddling and tricking bad deplorable brains into not worshiping HRC like they should.

Integrity is Obama placing Biden in charge of Ukraine and Biden using our tax payer dollars to make his son vastly wealthy - with no work involved. then we impeach Trump for asking about it.

That's integrity.

Up next - Bloomberg - who changed the rules in NY so he could run a 3rd term - then after he won, [bought it again] it changed the rules back.

integrity, man.

Big Mike said...

But my real preference is for absolutely boring government, run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence.

@Althouse, let me know if you ever find a government bureaucracy staffed by people of “integrity, expertise, and competence.” If you lived in the Washington. DC, area as I fid all those years, you’d know that expertise and competence are hard to find in the US federal government, especially the latter. That’s what the fighting is all about.

narciso said...

the Voight kampf machine, the sequel was terrible,

chuck said...

If Bloomberg had any integrity his ads wouldn't be stunningly dishonest. His wooden affect isn't a reliable marker of integrity and competence.

Sebastian said...

As conservatives have argued for decades, the deeper issue with expertise and competence as political priorities is that in the management of large systems they are overrated, given limitations on knowledge and unintended consequences. The most boring and competent government is the government that governs least, leaving most decisions up to decentralized voluntary private transactions. Of course, the GOP and Trump hardly preach that gospel these days, but taking the basic conservative principle seriously rules out any vote for any Dem.

Narr said...

Did someone say libertarian?

"There are men [and now women] in all ages who mean to govern well,
but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they
mean to be masters." Daniel Webster

That is one of the most accurate observations ever made.

Narr
Terrifying, too

narciso said...

<a href="https://www.steynonline.com/10096/the-geezer-apocalypse'> told entertainly </a>

DarkHelmet said...

That may be the best politically-oriented dream any human being has ever had.

Known Unknown said...

" run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence. "

These people are too busy doing other things, mostly.

Tommy Duncan said...

What ever happened to Tim Kaine?

Lucid-Ideas said...

Drudge has the siren up. 'Biden Favored'.

Good but for several reasons beyond Trump swabbing the deck with him.

1) Burnie bros & broads BTFO a second time around. Just like Hillary. IT WAS HIS TURN!!!

2) Burnie bros & broads get shown to be the soy-flavored Milquetoast pussies they actually are instead of boasts of 'heroes of socialist labor' blah blah blah. Will show that they will do nothing, but this is a damned-both-ways scenario...

3) Burners actually find their single testicle his heavier then thought and go through with not-so-veiled threats of mayhem. Bring it. They get arrested (or killed. yay.). Optics are completely screwed and moderates within the party are mortified. True-believers within the Dems are sidelined for yet another generation.

4) Biden's loss (and loss of house/senate) leaves Dem central leadership and structure annihilated. Can't go Burnie. Can't go low-energy-everyone-else. They don't have a Trump accept for Burnie and he and his supporters are persona-non-grata.

5) Dems may split in two as a party. True believers and hardliners separate and start kicking butt against mainline dems but remain unable to form a coalition to matter nationally for a generation.

A man can dream.

OldManRick said...

But my real preference is for absolutely boring government, run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence. Such folk never show up

That's the best argument I've heard for draining the swamp. We've seen that the swamp dwellers show no integrity, no expertise, and no competence. Their main goals seem to be keeping their jobs, fighting Trump tooth and nail, and getting a bigger piece of power and the US budget. None of this has anything to do with benefiting America as a whole.

That means you need to support Trump!

Dave Begley said...

Yes, Ann. What did Trump say?

Lucid-Ideas said...

What I'm really thinking about is 2024. Do you have any idea what a presidential defeat in 24' would mean for Dems? Can you imagine it?

If we could swing it to keep democrats out of national power, hopefully to include the legislative branch, for 12 years we could really - and I man REALLY - start to get some useful things done in this country.

1) Complete immigration reform that reaffirms the power of citizenship.
2) Real deficit and fiscal reform. Possibly even constitutional.
3) Really start rolling back checks on the 2nd amendment. The abomination 68' and 86' legislation goes bye-bye, and stays that way.
4) Sweep the courts...moreso than we're already doing.

I could go on and on. A man can dream.

DarkHelmet said...

Would Biden notice if his secret service detail turned into polar bears? I'm thinking it's 50/50.

DarkHelmet said...

And the Fed cuts rates 50 bp. Save us from Wuhan virus, Jerome! You're our only hope!

narciso said...

like gorilla grod, with the helmets,

Char Char Binks said...

The banality of cruel neutrality.

Levi Starks said...

I had a dream the other night ,
Susana don’t you cry.

Michael said...

Absent the insane media and the nutty tweeting the current administration is actually pretty boring. Things quietly getting done while the wailing and tweeting continues apace.

narciso said...

buzzfeed does their bit

Wa St Blogger said...

I am in for the Temujin, Francisco D and Althouse party.

Boring, quiet competence is the goal. Several forces work against that.

1. The bigger government is, the bigger the prizes. Big prizes bring in aggressive players. There is money and power and that money and power draw certain people like flames draw moths. This is WHY smaller government is better. The very reason.

2. Parties are out to destroy the opposition. It's not enough to have principled opposition. You have to vilify and tear down. This is OUR fault. We don't demand moderation we root for the carnage. Only tough fighters can succeed in such an environment.

3. Livelihoods depend on government cheese. The institutions that have arisen are dependent on the system. They have also garnered power for themselves. They don't serve, they control. They have the ability to drive agendas. Another reason limited government is a good thing.

DanTheMan said...

Repeal the Gun Control Act of 1968? So we can all go buy a bunch of machine guns?
That’s not dreaming... that’s hallucinating.

JAORE said...

Pity the poor schmoes that voted early for Mayor Pete or Amy. A good reason to limit early voting.

On the other hand why not allow REALLY early voting, like for the next 20 (or more) election cycles. Just think of the efficiency of casting a perpetual vote for a straight D ticket even past death.

Greg the class traitor said...

But my real preference is for absolutely boring government, run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence

Reality check: those people don't exist, and to the extent they do, they suck, for society, at governing

Society has defined "expertise and competence" as coming from a specific social class of people. And what we've seen over the last many decades is that they are utterly incapable of differentiating between "the good of the country" and "the good of me and my social class".

If "everyone" is agreeing what "the right policies are", it's because the "everyone" running the show are in a conspiracy against the rest of society, to enrich themselves at society's expense.

Wr've had "wage disease" since the 70s. People without college degrees have been screwed on the wage front. There's been lots of arguments about what's causing this "intractable" problem.

Then Trump was elected President, illegal immigration severely dropped, and those people's wages started going up.

Because the cause of wage disease was the 1964 immigration "reform" act, that changed us to a system that imported large numbers of low skilled people.

High levels of immigration are great for the governing class. Rich Americans and business owners get lots of people to higher cheaply. It's just for the lower class (wage competition) and society as a whole (large numbers of unassimilated foreigners coming in with crappy cultures making America worse (if their country had a great culture, they wouldn't have to leave it and come to America)) that immigration sucks.

The reason why we're having a big fight about this is because the governing class doesn't give a damn about America, just about themselves and their social class.

So, i'm sorry Professor Althouse, but what you want is the ruination of America.

What we need is fighting. i people publicly disagreeing about what "competence" means. We need arguments about what "expertise" is good, and what is bad.

We need a vibrant, brawling, society where "what should be done" and "how should we do it" are decided by the voters, not the "elite".

Because, always and everywhere, if you let the "elite" answer those questions, the answer will always turn out to be "whatever makes our small group better off."

mtrobertslaw said...

I predict Trump will turn Ann's dream into a campaign ad. And what an ad that will be! And because it is in the public domain, he won't have to pay her a cent-unless she agrees to be in the ad.

Ken B said...

I am in broad agreement. I think Bloomberg is obviously the most capable and “boring”. If one of these is to be president I do hope it’s him. But I cannot say he’s a choice I’d like to make from a better, saner, field. I'll eat stewed prunes in preference to raw beef pizzle, but I won’t like it.
The one I want to laugh at is Warren.

Nonapod said...

DarkHelmet said...
Would Biden notice if his secret service detail turned into polar bears? I'm thinking it's 50/50.


I don't believe polar bears would make particularly good secret service agents for a number of reasons. They're far too aggressive. They're much more likely to eat and maul their charges rather than protect them. Plus it'd be difficult to get them to wear ear pieces and shades. I don't think they could use code words that weren't just a series of growls.

The only possible situation that they may be useful for is if the president was under attack by harp seals who had been trained as assassins.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Scott Walker could not be reached for comment.

Ken B said...

“ If Trump keels over during the campaign, Bernie could take it”

Agreed. Or any other nominee. That’s why you shouldn’t root for the worst opponent. Least of evils is the order of the day, always.

narciso said...

stranger things have happened, don't ask me which,

Greg the class traitor said...

sinz52 said...
Biden's advantages are that he's stable, experienced, non-threatening, and doesn't need a learning curve to be President. He appeals to voters who oppose Trump but don't believe we need a socialist revolution in this country.


"Stable"? Joe the hair whisperer is stable?

"Experienced"? Yeah, at doing little, other than help his family corruptly rake in millions of dollars in bribes

"Non-threatening"? not if you're female, or have a wife, sister, or daughter you care about who's in range of his hands

"He appeals to voters" who are fing morons, and / or easily manipulated by the left wing press.

#FIFY
"Doesn't need a learning curve to be President"? You mean "too stupid to learn anything, and heading into Alzheimer's", right?

JAORE said...

"Repeal the Gun Control Act of 1968? So we can all go buy a bunch of machine guns?"

A 1934 is the starting point for that. The 1968 law modified the 1934 law.

Ken B said...

“ Biden's advantages are that he's stable, experienced, non-threatening, and doesn't need a learning curve tone President.”

I agree that’s the image the media are selling. It’s wrong in every particular. First, everyone has a learning curve to be president. Joe threatens jobs and prosperity with with anti fracking nonsense and other policies. Stable? Look fat, you lie like a dog face pony soldier if you thing the thing the thingy thing is stable. He's an experienced grafter and influence peddler but not an experienced executive.

narciso said...

that's why the notion of training dinosaurs (like raptors) as weapons also seems full hardy,

Angle-Dyne, Servant of Ugliness said...

But my real preference is for absolutely boring government, run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence.

What you want is a technocracy. One great problem (among many) with technocracy is that, even if the technocrats are men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence, they can just as well be using that integrity, expertise, and competence in the pursuit of ends you or I consider noxious. Result: "populism*"

Another great problem is that expertise and competence in limited endeavors don't necessarily translate into any kind of competence in governing human beings, particularly human beings living in massive, complex political systems. People highly competent in a narrow sense have for the last 60 years been busily implementing projects that have created the very un-boring political conditions that you claim to deplore. (See also: "Clever sillies".) In a neutral, limited sense they have been very competent - they've planned, worked for, and succeeded in these implementations. Result: "populism*".

Remember, the phrase "best and brightest" is ironic.


*"Populism": traditionally, emotional appeals to hoi polloi. In current use, it just means "appealing to those SOBs who think that the government of a nation is there for the benefit of the citizens, rather than to serve the self-interests and ideological crack-pottery of the current governing caste".

Ann Althouse said...

"I predict Trump will turn Ann's dream into a campaign ad. And what an ad that will be! And because it is in the public domain, he won't have to pay her a cent-unless she agrees to be in the ad."

You can't copyright an idea. If he wants to do an ad with himself lounging on a pink sofa with polar bears, he's free to do it.

But he shouldn't because the interpreters of symbolism have a very easy path to: white power.

narciso said...

that was ironic on Halberstam's part, of course mary McCrory eviscerated much of his reporting in that instance, it's credentialed and of a certain mindset, that thought one could contain communist in the third world by self limiting ones self,

MAJMike said...

Quid Pro Joe's continued campaigning is elder abuse.

Francisco D said...

I am beginning to think that Biden benefits most from a brokered convention.

When I want to know what Democrats think, I bring it up with my LLD (life long Democrat) wife. She would never vote for Bernie or Liz and thinks Bloomberg is the best of the lot, by far. However, I detect some softening for Sleepy Joe although she agrees that he has significant cognitive issues.

The DNC media has done a good job in villlainizing Trump (and every Republican POTUS) so that Democrats find him personally distasteful regardless of his successes. LLDs also seem to believe almost any and every DNC media hoax about Trump. It is sad that their propaganda is so effective.

Ken B said...

Surely there is a way we can form a syndicate and pool our resources in order to buy fire insurance on most of downtown Milwaukee.

Ken B said...

Same dream but brown bears, black bears, rainbow bears. There’s an ad.

Rory said...

"What you want is a technocracy."

The other problem with this is that every field will suddenly turn into a science, all telling us what to do.

Fernandistein said...

"But my real preference is for absolutely boring government, run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence."

As a personal feeling, that's fine, and probably widely shared by nice women.


Milton Friedman's idea was rather the opposite: good government institutions are those which don't require exceptional or unusual amounts of integrity, expertise, or competence.

Lucid-Ideas said...

@DanTheMan

Bingo. That's exactly what I mean. And if you can't see why both pieces of legislation were blatantly unconstitutional (including 34') on their face under strict interpretation, than we probably disagree on much much more.

Ken B said...

“ Milton Friedman's idea was rather the opposite: good government institutions are those which don't require exceptional or unusual amounts of integrity, expertise, or competence.”

Indeed. That was also Madison's hope, if not quite his expectation.

It’s worth looking up “residential schools Canada”. That was a program instituted and run by men and women of expertise, integrity, and competence.

Browndog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PM said...

Mr Blitt's NYer cover on Bloomberg - finally someone other than Trump - is nails.

rhhardin said...

run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence

You want a man who enjoys president-work. Women are always working out grudges and resentments.

Lucien said...

Those were the bears from Bloomberg’s ad: Trump really did ask them what they think about climate change — but does he get credit for it?

mockturtle said...

Cute dream, Althouse. I've also had a few dreams about Trump and he's usually very charming and gregarious. And I don't recall ever dreaming about any other President.

Fernandistein said...

Friedman here, sort of.

Ficta said...

I predict Bloomberg will suffer the same fate as Giuliani, another New York mayor who tried to sit out the hick states and swoop in on Super Tuesday. The voters took a dim view of such gold-bricking.

Angle-Dyne, Servant of Ugliness said...

You can't copyright an idea. If he wants to do an ad with himself lounging on a pink sofa with polar bears, he's free to do it.

But he shouldn't because the interpreters of symbolism have a very easy path to: white power.


It can be tweaked. The bears can be diversified.

The idea has been put in my head; I want to see this ad. I'm going to be very disappointed if no one puts together a campaign ad featuring Trump lounging on a pink sofa with bears.

JPS said...

Francisco D, 9:52:

"I am beginning to think that Biden benefits most from a brokered convention."

I disagree. Hillary Clinton does.

Browndog said...

Former DNC Chair @donnabrazile tells @GOPChairwoman Ronna McDaniel to “Go to hell” when talking about the Democratic Primary process

She had this meltdown on Fox News. Establishment dems are in a bad mood. She also threw in "Russia" because democrats are brain dead.

Hagar said...

... absolutely boring government, run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence = euphemism for benevolent authoritarians who agree with me.

hombre said...

“Such folk never show up and last long enough to be in the running this late in the game, but maybe Bloomberg is closest to that idea.”

This may hold true if you have an affinity for autocrats.

Hagar said...

... absolutely boring government, run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence = euphemism for benevolent authoritarians who agree with me.

Wince said...

"I'll have what she's having."

Big Mike said...

The symbolism is straightforward and I am surprised so many of you missed it. Coca Cola uses polar bears in its advertising. Trump drinks as many as a dozen cans of Diet Coke in a day. In Althouse’s dream the bears are there to keep the President well-supplied with his favorite beverage.

Don’t overthink things, people!

Annie C. said...

Well, if you do Angel-Dyne, you will need Athouse to fess up to the answer. What did Trump say about the Secret Service?

Nonapod said...

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

What you want is a technocracy.


In fairness, I wouldn't necessarily equate a boring but competent government with only ever being a technocracy. Technocracy implies a large bureaucratic system composed primarily of unelected "experts". I believe that it's at least possible to have a smaller, but competent government where elected officials run the show at least for a little while. But there seems to be a general tendency towards a technocracy the more unelected experts you bring in.

Technocracies almost always lead to massive corruption ultimately because human experts are still human. The only way you could have a corruption free technocracy is if it was run by some sort of artificial general intelligence that was programmed to be completely selfless and only concerned with the general well being of the citizenry.

Bob said...

I leaned over and asked him, "Are the Secret Service okay with the polar bears?"

Trump replied, "I don't know. The agents have disappeared, and the bears are gently burping".

Caligula said...

How could anyone vote for any of them without knowing who they'll nominate for VP?

The job of VP is typically to do practically nothing, but with these candidates naming the VP is arguably more important than any platform or political promise.

Of course, VPs are selected not for quality but to enhance the ticket's prospect in the general election. Which is why Wisconsin's own Tammy Baldwin is probably at the top of both Bernie and Biden's short list.

She'd be a near-ideal VP so long as the president lives and is not incapacitated (she's never done anything notable as U.S. Senator, has she?). And while "female" and "lesbian" are valuable check-boxes for Democrats, what's more important is, both candidates will badly want to win Wisconsin, and she can help deliver it.

So, here's your new imagine: imagine ... Tammy Baldwin, POTUS

Bob said...

Nancy said, "Ann, that is one of your best posts ever."

I had a similar thought. And with the picture-in-picture post next it's quite a pair.

GRW3 said...

I'm happy this day has arrived. Now we will have a respite for a few months until after the conventions. The odd thing, to me, is all the adds (here in San Antonio) for people who've dropped out. Seems like they'd switch them to the person (Biden mostly) they've endorsed.

Pink Polar Bears... LOL... Dreams can be funny.

Clyde said...

You know who had integrity, expertise and competence? Stalin. Well, other than that whole Operation Barbarossa thing, but he did come out on top in the end. And if you wanted to run a gulag? Expertise and competence, bigly. So be careful what you wish for.

Marc said...
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Marc said...
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Marc said...

You folks dreaming about Mr Trump might want to step away some distance from politics-- that was my suggestion to people dreaming about Mr Obama, too.

... (M)y real preference is for absolutely boring government, run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence.

Others have already pointed out the limits of that preference enacted-- I read the sentence as meaning 'my preference in these particular circumstances', not as a miniature treatise on government. I presume it wouldn't be your preference pre-2015 (Obergefell), pre-1976 (Boren), pre-1973 (Roe), pre-1946 (Skinner), however, or pre-1920 (the 19th Amendment) etc etc. The only actors of integrity have convictions, often contradictory.

Third try.

Bob said...

Althouse said, "But my real preference is for absolutely boring government, run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence."

Mencken said, "The older I get the more I admire and crave competence, just simple competence, in any field from adultery to zoology."

Ain't gonna happen.

Government is just too damn big with far too many responsibilities often poorly defined. The Federal Bureaucracy is a branch of government all its own, filled with folks of varying competence, and often at odds with their nominal bosses, the president and Congress.

Boring is anathema to the media. Their interest lies in stirring the pot, pointing fingers, and screaming, "Let's you and him fight!"

Angle-Dyne, Servant of Ugliness said...

Nonapod: "Technocracies almost always lead to massive corruption ultimately because human experts are still human."

Of course. That's why I didn't say "what *I* want".

"The only way you could have a corruption free technocracy is if it was run by some sort of artificial general intelligence that was programmed to be completely selfless and only concerned with the general well being of the citizenry."

That could avoid corruption in the human criminal sense, but good old-fashioned human corruption is not a more disturbing prospect than having one's life and society tyrannized over by some ideologue programmer's notion of "the general well being of the citizenry".

Skeptical Voter said...

Biden's advantages are that he's stable, experienced and doesn't need a learning curve---to be a pet rock. Otherwise he's not ready.

cubanbob said...

I think Althouse equates dull, grey, faceless apparatchiks as boring. In that case, Himmler and Beria were boring and in context of their political environment highly competent.

Biden isn't boring. On the contrary, he is a gafe a minute. Bernie is as boring as a heart attack. Sorry Althouse, no boring for you this year. As for Trump, whatever you may think of him, boring isn't it.

cubanbob said...

(M)y real preference is for absolutely boring government, run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence."

Hmm, where I have I heard that before, could it be the Best and the Brightest and our wonderful adventure in South East Asia?

Greg the class traitor said...

*"Populism": traditionally, emotional appeals to hoi polloi. In current use, it just means "appealing to those SOBs who think that the government of a nation is there for the benefit of the citizens, rather than to serve the self-interests and ideological crack-pottery of the current governing caste".

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard for the win!

JAORE said...

Remember all you Biden-brainiacs get down to the polls next Thursday and vote-vote-vote!

Leora said...

A lot of young people think that Bernie is what integrity looks like. I think Trump is competent though not boring. It's too bad primaries can't have none of the above line.

There's a famous Reagan ad with bears but they were in the woods.

Dr Weevil said...

I voted in Virginia's open Democratic primary a couple of hours ago. There were 14 names on the ballot, most of them candidates who have already dropped out. The names looked alphabetical at first glance: Booker and Castro were first, but the pattern did not continue. The two billionaires were last, Steyer 13th and Bloomberg 14th. I asked the pollworkers, and none of them knew how the order was determined. Having searched on the web, I am none the wiser. Most Virginia elections order the parties, and the candidates, either by lot or by filing date, but they seem to let the parties decide the order of primary candidates. Presumably it's either lot or filing date, but I'm not sure how to tell for sure. Anyone want to help? At least in my precinct, the order (I took a cellphone picture) was 1. Cory Booker, 2. Julian Castro, 3. Bernie Sanders, 4. Elizabeth Warren, 5. Marianne Williamson, 6. Michael Bennet, 7. Joseph R. Biden, 8. Amy Klobuchar, 9. Tulsi Gabbard, 10. Deval Patrick, 11. Pete Buttigieg, 12. Andrew Yang, 13. Tom Steyer, 14. Michael R. Bloomberg. Odd that Biden and Bloomberg used their middle initials and not the nicknames they are always referred to by. Hope no old folks are confused when they try to find "Joe" on the list.

Nonapod said...
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Nonapod said...

some ideologue programmer's notion of "the general well being of the citizenry".

Yeah, I agree. Many potential problems with theoretical artificial super intelligences can be boiled down to the imperfections of its designers. And of course there's nightmare scenarios. For example, if an AI isn't carefully designed, and its ultimate goal is something abstract like "maximizing human happiness", what's to stop it from encasing all humans in pods with feeding tubes and hooking up their brains to electrodes that stimulate the pleasure centers.

Dr Weevil said...

If you're wondering how I voted, I mulled it over all night and then pulled the lever - or rather filled in the circle - for Bernie. Not feeling as dirty now as I expected I would. Thomas Wictor (banned from Twitter but back tweeting as 'Carlos Osweda' @COsweda) has convinced me that he's the one Trump wants to run against, and that it would be best to have an open showdown between free-market nationalist common-sense moderate conservatism and hardcore lunatic socialism. A 48-state Trump sweep of Bernie would actually be good for the Democrats in the long run, as well as the U.S. and the world in the short and long run. They would be in a position to dump their crazy morons and move towards sanity closer to the center of the political spectrum for 2024, though I don't know how many of them have the sense to do so, even with every incentive.

Unknown said...

Odd that Biden and Bloomberg used their middle initials and not the nicknames they are always referred to by. Hope no old folks are confused when they try to find "Joe" on the list.

As I recall, this was an issue in the general in '76 & '80 as some places insisted on listing Carter as "James Earl Carter" rather than "Jimmy Carter".

Narr said...

@Dr Weevil: I voted for Bernie here in the 2016 primary out of the same calculation.

Let's have a very clear choice in 2020; the clearest would be Bernie vs Trump.

Narr
Not been to the polls yet today

tcrosse said...

Hope no old folks are confused when they try to find "Joe" on the list.

Joe Biden Drops Out of Race, Endorses Biden

Mike said...

Comeuppance is the only thing left to root for, no?

Ken B said...

Unknown
For thirty years I have been careful to refer to that person, every time, as James Earl Carter III.

Gk1 said...

Lots of Blue on Blue warfare here in the bay area. Leftie FB feeds full of outrage that Warren boosters are within the 100 yards of the polling place, while the Mensheviks are knocking down Sanders signs in Marin. What a time to be alive! :-)

Bay Area Guy said...

Y'all need the best political laugh of the day?

<Biden rejects endorsement by James Comey

Sheridan said...

From Ann: "But my real preference is for absolutely boring government, run by men and women of integrity, expertise, and competence." From Trotsky: "You may not be interested in war but war is interested in you".

It may not be a Red Terror coming after us. Green comes to mind. But wishes and hopes for boring government that possesses integrity, expertise and competence will not stop the monsters on the other side of the door. The choosing of sides is upon all of us. It's not Bloody Kansas yet but the seeds have been planted and are even now germinating.