Buttigieg Struggles and NYT Endorsements

Grind for January 24th
“A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.”
– Robert Frost

What’s Up With That

The Headline

Why young progressive voters dislike Pete Buttigieg

The Grind

Something weird is happening with Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg. He’s young, he’s a Democrat, and he’s openly gay – but young liberals can’t stand him.

Why? Because his moderate views and commonsense policies pit him directly against their messiahs Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

In the eyes of young progressives, Buttigieg appears almost Republican. He is the white mayor of a midwestern town, a veteran, a former McKinsey consultant, and an outspoken Christian. He’s an over-achiever with a clean slate; a nerd. He respects tradition. His campaign seeks reform, not revolution.

In the words of a writer for Out magazine, “[If Buttigieg] had balls he’d run as the Republican he is against Trump in the primary.” Ouch.

The Details

When you look at the facts, Buttigieg is far from Republican. He favors a $15 minimum wage, he wants to introduce a public healthcare option, he wants to expand the Supreme Court, and he wants to eliminate the Electoral College.

I think Politico writer Derek Robertson has it right with his theory that young progressives see Buttigieg as a sort of traitor to his generation: “The unspoken truth about the furor Buttigieg arouses is that his success threatens a core belief of young progressives: that their ideology owns the future, and that the rise of millennials into Democratic politics is going to bring an inevitable demographic triumph for the party’s left-wing.”

In my opinion, Buttigieg could end up being the most popular option for conservative Independents, moderate Democrats who oppose Joe Biden, and Republicans who are sick of President Trump’s drama.

According to Real Clear Politics, Buttigieg is polling in 4th place with roughly 7.2%. Biden remains in the lead with 28.4%, followed by Sanders with 20.4% and Warren with 14.8%.

Breaking News

The Headline

NYT Editorial Board endorses two candidate this year

The Grind

The New York Times Editorial Board this week announced its endorsement of two Democratic candidates: Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren.

While the Board generally picks the one candidate it believes will push the nation forward within the established framework, this year is different:

“The events of the past few years have shaken the confidence of even the most committed institutionalists. We are not veering away from the values we espouse, but we are rattled by the weakness of the institutions that we trusted to undergird those values,” writes the Board.

“There are legitimate questions about whether our democratic system is fundamentally broken. Our elections are getting less free and fair, Congress and the courts are increasingly partisan, foreign nations are flooding society with misinformation, a deluge of money flows through our politics, and the economic mobility that made the American dream possible is vanishing.”

The Details

Voters have three categories to choose from this year: President Trump (the existing model), a progressive Democrat (the radical model), and a moderate Democrat (the realist model).

That two of those categories fall under “Democrat” threatens to put a Republican in office (again). Also note, it is impossible to guess which candidate has the best chances of defeating President Trump.

That being said, NYT Editorial Board chose the two candidates it believes are the most effective for each Democratic approach: Elizabeth Warren (radical) and Amy Klobuchar (realist).

In defending Warren, Board members note:

— She used to be a Republican

— She claims the economy is rigged to favor the rich

— She seeks to reform the government and the economy

— She wants to improve NATO relations

— She wants to increase government funding for housing and clean energy research

— She favors universal child care, Medicare for All, free public college, and expanded Social Security

In defending Amy Klobuchar, Board members note:

— Her position as a moderate

— Her charisma, empathy, and level-headedness

— Her commitment to green policy

— Her Senate resume and history as a prosecutor

— Her plans to reduce childhood poverty

— Her plans for housing and food stamps

— Her support for a $15 minimum wage, free community college, and a public healthcare option

The article goes on to describe President Trump as a “threat to Democracy” and predicts the next US president could permanently change “the direction of America’s prosperity and the future of the planet,” but reminds candidates that millions of Americans will support President Trump in November.

“Any hope of restoring unity in the country will require modesty, a willingness to compromise, and the support of the many demographics that make up the Democratic coalition – young and old, in red states and blue, black and brown and white,” continues the Board. “For Senator Klobuchar, that’s acknowledging the depth of the nation’s dysfunction. For Senator Warren, it’s understanding that the country is more diverse than her base.”

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