I Was Right All Along, Except When I Was Wrong

Looking back at my predictions about the 2020 Democratic race.

On the morning of the Iowa Caucuses, I pointed out that the same three candidates had led the Democratic field for fourteen months and observed,

With the exception of a one-week period last July when Kamala Harris jumped into a three-way tie with Warren and Sanders for the runner-up spot, Biden has been in the lead and either Warren or Sanders has been in second, with the other third.

For all the ink spilled about how interesting Pete Buttigieg (and, to a much lesser extent, Andrew Yang) might be, they have never been all that significant in terms of their national support.

Mike Bloomberg has the potential to impact the race considerably given his vast financial resources. But he’s not going to be the nominee.

Like it or not, it’s going to be Biden, Warren, or Sanders. Probably Biden.

And I was right!

On the Saturday before the New Hampshire primary, I pointed to the front-loaded primary schedule and predicted, “Despite the quadrennial fever dreams of the political press of a brokered convention, this thing will almost certainly be over with on March 17-five weeks from Tuesday. It could well be over by Super Tuesday—three weeks from Tuesday.”

And I was right!

But it sure didn’t look like it for a couple of weeks.

Biden got his ass handed to him in Iowa and the media narrative kicked in, treating the weird, unrepresentative contest as though it mattered. After a second straight bad showing in New Hampshire, Biden was being written off and I observed,

The whole thing seems farcical to me. The delegates awarded thus far amount to a rounding error in the nominating process. And Iowa and New Hampshire are tiny, insular, and lily-white. Why their votes would have any impact on my estimation of Biden or Warren, both of whom have the resources to go the distance, is beyond me.

[…]

Sanders is now the frontrunner, both in media perception and in the national polls. But I’m not persuaded that he’s nominateable. Even aside from calculations over “electability,” I just think he’s too cranky and unlikable to maintain plurality support when we start getting outside sleepy hamlets.

I still think Warren, in particular, shouldn’t be counted out. She’s just too energetic, well-organized, and well-funded to give up any time soon.

I’m more worried about Biden than I was a week ago. Not so much because of his thin support in two unrepresentative states but because his reaction thus far seems to be of a man defeated. There was always concern as to whether he was too old and lacked the fire in the belly for the long haul. There’s more reason to wonder that now.

That was a month ago.

I was right about Sanders having a ceiling but overestimated Warren’s appeal and underestimated the depth of Biden’s hard-earned connection with black voters.

In between, we had the Bloomberg boomlet and, while I was never sold on him as a candidate, there was a brief window where it seemed at least plausible that he, not Biden, would emerge as the Sanders alternative.

Further, there was a point where a brokered convention seemed not only possible but likely. The math that Nate Silver and others used to project that no candidate was likely to go into the convention with at least 1,991 delegates was persuasive.

And then South Carolina happened. While Biden had been expected to do well, he won by 30 points. Tom Steyer, who had invested huge sums in the state, dropped out that evening.

Suddenly, we went from Sanders as the clear frontrunner and a crowded field of challengers to effectively a two-man race. But most of us thought it would take a while before the challengers admitted it. And, with Super Tuesday literally two days away, most of us thought a contested convention was still likely, simply because the delegates would be split so many ways.

Instead, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar surprised us by not only dropping out but flying to Texas to endorse Biden on the eve of the Super Tuesday contests.

I correctly predicted that Elizabeth Warren couldn’t win but had no idea that she would come in a distant third or worse in every single contest—including her home state of Massachusetts. And, while I expected Bloomberg to do poorly given Biden’s resurgence, I had no idea that he would receive so little return on his half-billion-dollar investment.

When he and Warren dropped out almost immediately, I thought it was good news for Biden. And when Warren conspicuously refused to endorse Sanders to consolidate the “progressive lane,” I correctly predicted Sanders was toast. But I didn’t think he would be quite so roundly rejected as he was in yesterday’s voting.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Campaign 2020, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    That’s all fine, James, but I believe there is some competition for the coveted OTB Prize for Perceptive Punditry from @EddieinCA who said it would be Biden and should be Biden waaay back when, like most people, I was pretty dubious. He never wavered. And his second prediction is Kamala Harris as Veep. If he gets that right, I think the Oscar has to go to him.

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  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.

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  3. Bill says:

    Host- “And now, the great seer, soothsayer, and proctologist to the stars, Carnac the Magnificent.”

    Carnac- “The envelope please”

    Carnac takes envelope holds it for a few moments.

    Carnac- “The bobsled, figure skating, the downhill run.”

    Carnac opens the envelope

    After opening the envelope, Carnac reads what it says on a slip of paper inside

    “Two Winter Olympic events and where Bernie Sanders presidential campaign is going.”

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  4. Teve says:

    Warren was the preferred choice of a lot of people who voted for Biden because they didn’t think Warren could win.

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  5. Kathy says:

    “I am always right, except on those occasions when I’m not.” Isabelle, in Casting Shadows, Technomage Trilogy.

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  6. James Joyner says:

    @Teve:

    Warren was the preferred choice of a lot of people who voted for Biden because they didn’t think Warren could win.

    Yes, absolutely. Biden turned out to be just about everybody’s second choice. That turned out to be good enough.

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  7. Joe says:

    nominateable

    How did I let that word pass in your original OP. Catholics have a word for people who have the political capacity to become pope – “papabile” (all vowels are sounded so it roughly ends as “billy”). I suggest “nominabile” as the Democratic alternative. It doubles as a popular song lyric.

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  8. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Teve:

    Warren was the preferred choice of a lot of people who voted for Biden because they didn’t think Warren could win.

    This.
    But what we need to grapple with is what happened with Sanders and Clinton, and how that applies to Warren.
    The 2020 results are making it clear that Sanders benefited, a great deal, from Anti-Clinton sentiment in 2016. But why was that? Was it Clinton Derangement Syndrome, suffered by many including James. Or was it just basic misogyny?
    I’d vote for Warren in a NY minute. But clearly many of my fellow Americans won’t.
    Why?

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  9. Scott says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Or was it just basic misogyny?

    Let me throw out something for discussion. Besides being women, Clinton and Warren have another thing in common: detailed plans and policies.

    I think, in our political system, that those who are too specific in plans and policies, open themselves up to be a target for easy criticisms. It is not fair but that is the way it seems to be.

    Here, though, is the kicker. I think both Clinton and Warren felt they have to prove their basic competency by putting out detailed plans and policies. Because they were women. It seems to be a classic no-win situation.

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  10. An Interested Party says:

    …Or was it just basic misogyny?

    Answers the next question…

    I’d vote for Warren in a NY minute. But clearly many of my fellow Americans won’t.
    Why?

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  11. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    Again and again and again and again and again. . .

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  12. KM says:

    @Scott :
    Indeed. That’s why Sanders keeps up his popularity with folks despite not actually accomplishing anything for decades in power – he talks about interesting concepts but never actually gives you specifics to nitpick. All pro-Sanders folks talk about how he’s going to get all these great ideas done and I’m like how? If he can, great but there’s a world of difference between dealing with student debt / affordable college and the actual plan that makes such a thing reality. He gets away with being “Big Picture Guy” because it’s expected somebody else will figure out the details while he pushes for acceptance of the overall concept. Somebody…. like Warren who’ll do all the wonk work in the background and not get the acclaim when Big Idea becomes Functional Reality.

    Clinton and Warren, like most women who are expected to handle their business, tried to show their competency by demonstrating they had a Plan. A woman who doesn’t have a Plan is treated as flighty, ill-prepared and not worth listening to. However, like most women who are expected to handle their business, they got immediately challenged on whether it was a “good” Plan. Not functional, not serviceable, not adequate to the task – a “good” Plan based off of subjective definitions of good and if their male colleagues would approve. Warren’s Plan wasn’t perfect but it was a starting point for negotiations and revisions…. or at least, that’s the mindset that seems to be afford the men of Congress. Put forth Vague Idea, Vague Idea gets debated and made into Proposed Form, Proposed Form becomes Law. Women who skip the Vague Idea phase for Proposed Form seem to get ripped apart for daring to presume they know what’s what. How dare they have details and specifics instead of general thinky thoughts. How dare they try to flesh things out without their colleagues and jump ahead in the process. It’s almost like they don’t know their place…..

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  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    @KM:
    Warren came in third among women voters on Super Tuesday. If this is sexism, it’s the sexism of women. They are 55%+ of Democratic voters. The power is in their hands.

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  14. Modulo Myself says:

    It looks like Sanders (and Warren) were the candidates for people under 40 and Biden the candidate for over 40. In the last election, lots of younger people supported Hillary Clinton because of the symbolic idea of a woman president and lots of older people voted for Bernie (and Trump) because they hated the idea of a woman president. Putting Biden (1000x weaker than Clinton as a candidate) changed this.

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  15. Not the IT Dept. says:

    It reminds me of John McCain’s primaries in 2008: written off early as past it, with nasty whispering about his mental health and “Manchurian Candidate” because of his POW years, and dismissed as a force. Then when everyone else flamed out – and it was a crowded GOP field that year – everyone looked around and shrugged their shoulders, and he was it. So old he looked new again.

    And we know Biden won’t pick Palin, so that’s taken care of.

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  16. Teve says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: The overriding concern right now is to beat Trump, and a lot of people think that means Biden.

    There was a poll not very long ago. If you could make anyone president who would you make? Warren. Who are you going to vote for? Biden.

    It wasn’t sexism directly, it was voters’ calculations about electability, which almost certainly included ideas about other people’s sexism.

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  17. Teve says:

    @Modulo Myself:

    Biden (1000x weaker than Clinton as a candidate)

    Last night Biden got more votes in Michigan than Clinton did in 2016, by a country mile.

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  18. Scott says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I don’t know if sexism is the right term but yes, women can be terrible to one another. Ever been to a PTA meeting? A lot of women hated Clinton and Warren. Its not misogyny but deeper resentment of successful women who are not them.

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  19. Modulo Myself says:

    @Teve:

    I’m aware of that. I meant that he’s shaky to the nth degree, and she wasn’t. I’m going to vote for the guy but you can’t me believe that he hasn’t lost about 400 steps. Hillary could explain her policies. Biden seems utterly confused by this act. Radical difference there.

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  20. Barry says:

    @James Joyner: “Yes, absolutely. Biden turned out to be just about everybody’s second choice. That turned out to be good enough.”

    Ironically, this is similar to 2012, on the GOP side. Romney was running either first or second, but who was second varied each time. Over the long run, that meant that Romney was first.

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  21. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Teve: @Modulo Myself:

    The pile-on demonizing of Hillary by Democrats is just nonsense. 1) It is historically hard as hell for a two-term president to be followed by a member of his own party. 2) Despite that she won by 3,000,000 votes but lost by 70,000 votes in three states.

    And dissing Biden as a bad candidate is a bit ridiculous given that the man just rose from the grave, inspired huge turnout, and annihilated Bernie Sanders.

    When I have success with writing it’s seldom about my clever market-analysis, or even my super-clever plotting, it’s always about heart. I wrote a great (if I say so myself), nihilistic trilogy called BZRK. It was well-reviewed. It was well-published. A goddam fortune was pissed away on marketing and promo. And it did not sell because I had left out the heart.

    Biden may be old, he may be confused, he may not be terribly articulate, but he has heart and character and that is what sells books, er, candidates.

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  22. KM says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Of course it’s sexism – who says women can’t be sexist? Women tear down women all the time – there’s a reason why Margaret Atwood made sure to include the Aunts and Serena Joy. It’s women who enforce cultural norms because it’s women who suffer the most from them and it’s usually all the power they can get socially. It’s women screaming at women outside PP, women forcing genital mutilation on children to make them marriagable, women getting abortions when it’s a girl and society demands a son. It’s women judging other women’s clothing and makeup for being too slutty, women telling other women they’re shrill and their voices are “babyish” and it’s women who cut each other to pieces in gossip before men even notice we’ve established a pecking order. If every man died out this instant, misogyny would still have a healthy lifespan to look forward to.

    Think of it like a form of hazing – I had to suffer all this terrible crap so now you will too. Just like with hazing, it’s gonna take a long, LONG for it to die out because there’s always somebody who thinks everyone’s over-exaggerating and there’s no problem with what they are doing…. until someone’s dead on the floor and they have to deal with consequences.

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  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    And yet I don’t crave the approval of people I claim to despise.

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  24. An Interested Party says:

    She’s a disingenuous, unlikeable wench. But I suppose she’s got a plan for that…..

    Oh that’s rich coming from someone who supports a disgusting sleazy piggish con artist…

    You are incoherent, and light, as always. Such a troubled person.

    That’s also rich coming from someone who is supposedly so successful that he has to defend himself and his fragile ego to anonymous strangers on a blog…bravo…

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  25. Michael Reynolds says:

    @KM:
    I agree, though as a man I cannot be quite so direct.

    The problem is that all those behaviors by women end up validating male sexism as well. It becomes a perpetual motion machine. You may recall I’ve doubted the existence of a ‘women’s vote’ for a long time. Feminists who have insisted – and still do – on seeing this as a boys vs. girls thing (and I’m not suggesting that’s you, obviously) no longer have much of a case. The Civil Rights model applied to minorities does not apply to a majority.

    Yes, male sexism exists (he says with comic understatement), just as self-abnegating black racism can be a thing. But at some point we have to acknowledge that the problem is not just the boys, it’s also the girls, and it’s the girls reinforcing the sexism of the boys. A new narrative is needed. I don’t happen to have one, but one is needed.

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  26. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    The pile-on demonizing of Hillary by Democrats is just nonsense.
    To be clear, I’m not demonizing Clinton. And yes, she won by 3,000,000 votes.
    But clearly there were people who went for Sanders and not her…who are now going for Biden instead of Sanders.
    No doubt a good deal of those people went for Trump over Clinton…which allowed him to game the Electoral College and eke his way into the WH.
    As I asked…CDS or misogyny? Or maybe @Scott: is correct about policy.

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  27. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Guarneri:

    Trump gets numbers that exceed all the Dems.

    WTF are you talking about, Willis?
    Whatever it is, you sound scared.

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  28. Teve says:

    I’m definitely not demonizing Hillary, and I’m also not going with this Russian/Republican “Biden is senile” nonsense. I’m sure Biden has lost a few steps, I’m 43 and I’ve already lost a step or two. By the end of his second term Ronald Reagan barely knew where he was, but Republicans still got the judges, tax cuts, and huge deficits they wanted.

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  29. DrDaveT says:

    @Guarneri:

    Trump gets numbers that exceed all the Dems.

    Source?

    At 538 today, the latest YouGov poll shows both Biden and Sanders at +4 over Trump, 47-43.

    (Edited to correct attribution.)

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  30. Michael Reynolds says:

    @DrDaveT:
    Mere facts.

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  31. KM says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I think it’s because it’s human nature to fall back onto simplistic us vs them. It’s easy to blame patriarchy and pretend an all-female society won’t have these problems. It would *eventually* once the concept of “male” becomes mythical but that would take hundreds of years at best. In the meantime, you’d still have people clinging to notions like certain jobs should have certain traits (and therefore more “masculine” women doing things like policing would keep up the internal ideology) while things like beauty and body standards would remain. One question I love to ask more militant feminists is if they think shaving would be a thing if no men were around. The answers I get are…. mixed to say the least. Internalization of norms is tricky and while “society expects it” is clearly pressure, is “it makes me feel pretty so I feel like doing it” problematic if “pretty” is a socially-determined standard?

    Male sexism is also the easiest to identify and root out since it stands out more. Man hating on woman for being woman? Clearly sexism. Woman hating on woman for being woman? Maybe jealousy or envy, maybe sexism – the lines get more blurred so people don’t want to wade in to clear it up. We don’t even have a word for it really, not the way we have one for toxic masculinity. In a society that loves labels, we don’t have one for a fundamental concept – women perpetuate things that are not good for them. It’s like not having a name for air or water.

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  32. Michael Reynolds says:

    @KM:
    The thing I like least about male voters is their tendency to fall in line, to follow like sheep, to salute and do as they’re told. (Both the Trump cult and the Bernie cult are largely male.) The thing I like least about women voters is their inability to do any of that. Hierarchical thinking vs. non-hierarchical. The patriarchy exists because men will fall in line, and the matriarchy doesn’t because women won’t.

    I was snippily informed last week that evolutionary psychology and its various iterations, are bunk. But a million years of male homo sapiens working together to hunt wildebeest and murder the tribe on the next hill leaves its mark. So does a million years of trying to get to the ripe berries to feed your kids before the other women. The pattern was laid down long before the first human civilization. Civilizations then amplified that pattern, and in many cases rendered it poisonous. The fact that we are still living out programs written millions of years ago does not excuse its persistence in a civilization where it is a drag on progress, but it does explain it.

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  33. James Joyner says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I’d vote for Warren in a NY minute. But clearly many of my fellow Americans won’t. Why?

    “Sexism” is the answer you’re likely looking for and it’s a plausible partial explanation. Women simply face different expectations and are judged differently—including by other women.

    But I still think Matt Yglesias offers a better explanation: she simply didn’t have much appeal outside of people like us. She’s brilliant and wonky. We like that. It rubs most people the wrong way. And a lot of her issues, including college loan forgiveness, simply didn’t connect with people who didn’t go to college, let alone elite institutions of the sort that Warren supporters needed relief from.

    Both Bill and Hillary Clinton had that quality. But he offset it with enormous charm and charisma. Neither Hillary nor Warren had it. (Although I think Warren had more of it, especially on an interpersonal level.)

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  34. James Joyner says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: @DrDaveT: @Michael Reynolds: I think he’s referring to the fact that Trump actually drew more votes in an essentially uncontested Republican primary than the Democrats did in a competitive one. That was the case in Iowa and New Hampshire and we saw it again in Alabama. I don’t know whether the pattern held true overall for Super Tuesday or Super Tuesday II.

    EDIT: No, it did not.

    Trump has around 10 million votes. That’s impressive as hell considering he’s all-but-unopposed. (Bill Weld has as many delegates as Tulsi Gabbard.) But Biden and Sanders have 15 million votes between them and there are several other candidates who have significant votes.

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  35. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: “f this is sexism, it’s the sexism of women.”

    Yes. And?

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  36. DrDaveT says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I was snippily informed last week that evolutionary psychology and its various iterations, are bunk.

    Only in humans, apparently. Nobody disputes that gender role co-evolution is very real in birds, or lions, or bonobos, or even honeybees. It’s when you try to apply those methods to that one last animal that people get prickly.

    To be fair, I understand the potential for abuse in evolutionary arguments about which sex is best adapted to which roles. On the other hand, it’s hard to pass up an opportunity to triumphantly pronounce that “Yes men/women ARE like that, because women/men selected for it!”

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  37. Mister Bluster says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:..I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.

    @Kathy:..“I am always right, except on those occasions when I’m not.” Isabelle, in Casting Shadows, Technomage Trilogy.

    I have only been sure of something once in my life.
    After I got laid the first time I was sure I was going to do that again.

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  38. An Interested Party says:

    …I’m also not going with this Russian/Republican “Biden is senile” nonsense.

    Next to Trump? Biden is freaking Churchill by comparison…

    Both Bill and Hillary Clinton had that quality. But he offset it with enormous charm and charisma.

    It does seem like in every presidential election in the modern era, the more charismatic candidate has won…that should bode well for this year…

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  39. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    And continuing to blame men – as most people do – is not just factually wrong, but counter-productive. It absolves women who engage in anti-women thinking while demonizing male allies. Men are not to women what whites are to blacks. This is much more complicated than racism or homophobia.

    @DrDaveT:
    Yep, my point exactly. We are animals, we have certain core software, but we are heuristic, we can alter our own programming. And when we fail to alter our programming to account for new facts, we are at fault.

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  40. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @James Joyner:

    And a lot of her issues, including college loan forgiveness, simply didn’t connect with people who didn’t go to college, let alone elite institutions of the sort that Warren supporters needed relief from.

    The argument I heard from most of the people in my admittedly small circle was “where was that idea when I wanted to go to school and didn’t have any money.” Followed by the usual “fuk ’em, let ’em get their own money.”

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  41. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    Yet if people consistently told me to fuck off, you know what I’d do? I’d fuck off.

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  42. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    You would characterize basic politeness as weakness.

    See, Drew, you here is like me at CERN. The difference being I’d know better than to try to instruct my intellectual betters.

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  43. Blue Galangal says:

    @KM:

    I had to suffer all this terrible crap so now you will too.

    Bar none, the worst professor I ever had was an AA woman from Arkansas who got to grad school in Illinois and suddenly discovered she wasn’t “all that” from an (admittedly awful-sounding) professor. She continues to carry a bitter, bitter chip on her shoulder and is determined to revisit her trauma on every graduate student she comes across.

    (The department has since removed her from teaching graduate courses.)

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  44. Steve V says:

    Guarneri, a Trump supporter, says Warren’s problem is that she is “disingenuous and unlikeable.” And a “wench.”

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  45. Michael Cain says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    (The department has since removed her from teaching graduate courses.)

    Do they let her supervise PhD dissertations, or is she making it on research alone? Many departments — at least in technical fields — have one or more faculty who should never be allowed close to students at any level, but are exceptionally good at bringing in grant money.

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  46. Michael Cain says:

    For various reasons I’ve been watching the race in western states (US Census Bureau’s 13-state western region). Bernie is doing better there than any other region of the country. Won five of six states (assuming he maintains his small lead in Washington). Even the loss in Idaho wasn’t horrible, compared to MI. I’ve considered several possibilities from vote-by-mail to maybe westerners are more inclined to go along with a “burn the whole thing down” plan. I’ll note that Bernie did better against Hillary in 2016 in the West than he did in any other region. Anyone got ideas?

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  47. Tyrell says:

    My prediction about Alan Keyes has not worked out either.
    Soon it will be bracket time. Maybe that one will work out better.

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  48. The Q says:

    Carnac “gunny sac”
    Envelope “what do you carry your gunny in”
    For those not laughing:
    May the fleas of a camel inhabit your pubic hairs

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  49. Michael Reynolds says:

    The states need to right the hell now pass mail-in voting legislation.

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  50. charon says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    The 2020 results are making it clear that Sanders benefited, a great deal, from Anti-Clinton sentiment in 2016. But why was that? Was it Clinton Derangement Syndrome, suffered by many including James. Or was it just basic misogyny?

    John Cole talks about that over at Balloon Juice.

    https://www.balloon-juice.com/2020/03/11/the-morning-after-michigan/

    As someone who has never thought Bernie’s support was as broad as it was deep, so far this primary has been a validation of, well, my existence. I mean, I live and breathe and talk to Democrats in West Virginia, I’ve watched dozens of progressive candidates flame out and the Mountain Party never do anything other than act as a spoiler if they are even that relevant, and my friends are from West Virginia and I saw and heard the anti-Hillary rhetoric, so it was kind of maddening listening to underemployed neckbeards from Brooklyn writing for socialist magazines telling me Bernie would have won West Virginia in the general election. He wouldn’t have, he won’t in 2020, and Biden probably won’t, either. Also, when I tell you Manchin is the best we can get for now, I am not just making shit up.

    For those still in denial, Bernie’s popularity in 2016 was based on decades of anti-Hillary propaganda, a series of media attacks from… the media, residual distaste for the ACA and Democrats in general, her association with the swarthy Kenyan muslim usurper,and a whole host of other things, including her Kinsley gaffe about coal mining jobs. It was not because Bernie was super popular. Indeed, all the folks who were super pro-Bernie in the primary promptly voted for Trump in the general, and now are busy sharing anti-Socialist and anti-Communist memes and discussing his trips to Cuba and Russia and his penchant for flying first class as a socialist and oh the vacation home and did you hear about his wife and that college she ran?

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  51. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Cain: I can’t comment about other states, but I grew up in Seattle and have often noted that we don’t call where we live “the Left Coast” for the poetry of it. IIRC, the Weather Underground of the Vietnam era started in Seattle at the University of Washington. Also, the Wobblies (IWW) had strong organizing in coal mining and longshoring in the 30s. Their presence in mining was almost as strong as that of the United Mine Workers. As long as I can remember, there was a pronounced radical element in Seattle and Washington state.

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  52. Katharsis says:

    I’ve been trying to follow more academics on Twitter. It’s been eye opening in a good way. I found this thread on research on ‘coordination’ that’s very pertinent to the themes here in the comments. Basically this is a phenomenon found in political scandals, financial markets, and other places as well. While something may be widely known, people don’t necessarily know it really is common knowledge. Or they assume what is common knowledge. But when a ‘coordinating event’ occurs, then that common knowledge is verified and people coordinate based on that knowledge. Biden’s SC and Super Tuesday results could well be considered a coordinating event. Something that none of the women candidates received (but perhaps could have). I voted Warren in CA.
    Twitter thread

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  53. Blue Galangal says:

    @Michael Cain: My suspicion is they are trying to re-route her to the Women & Gender Studies dept, probably to job/cost share teaching UG classes between the two depts. She has no graduate students (and I’d imagine she won’t get any). She has not (yet) received tenure.

    Bottom line, she was an incredibly bad hiring decision and their hands are somewhat tied on several levels. WGS teaches a lot of UG courses so it’s a good place to park her (if any place can be said to be “good”) but I also know word has spread about her on RateMyProfessor. Since she’s in the history dept, the amount of research she could be bringing in is pretty low compared to other depts/colleges.

    What I’m still stuck on to this day is her whole attitude of, well, my professor traumatized me so here – it’s your turn. Definitely not trying to mentor/ raise all the ships, etc.

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