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Warning: This thread is likely to trigger any number of social media ailments including, but not limited to, faux outrage, Bro backlash, gaslighting, and more. Those experiencing such will be ignored and/or laughed at.

Now, let's talk about how we're already fucking up 2020.

The Democratic field of candidates is large and likely to grow larger. And while most are fawning over our embarrassment of riches in terms of talent, I am kind of perplexed by the level of narcissism exhibited by so many, including some of the more well known of the lot.

I think many of us would agree that some (I say most) of these folks have about as much chance at the nomination as you or I do, and in the case of @TulsiGabbard, I:d say less chance.

No one thought it was a good idea when the Republicans did this in 2016, because obviously.

I am going to be very clear about the reasons I think our growing field of candidates could become a problem during an election that is going to already have enough problems, so reserve your hate tweets till the end.

1. A question of resources.

The financial cost of this election is likely going to surpass that of 2016, and that broke the bank, more than doubling the previous record from 2012.

While our coalition is massive we can't be asked to fund huge campaigns every two years.

The goal for some of these folks is not to win the nomination, as they know what we know, but instead it's to present themselves as viable VP and cabinet nominees for the eventual winner.

But that is not a good enough reason in our current political atmosphere to run.

These campaigns cost a lot. In fact, the cost of just getting to Iowa can be nauseatingly high.

Then the real games begin.

That matters.

I love both of the Castro brothers, and I think that Julian would make an ideal VP candidate, but he will not be the 2020 Dem nominee.

That is the hard reality.

But reality does not seem to factor into these decisions. Castro will fund his campaign mostly by leaning on the wallets of the Texans he knows so well. He will call in favors and many people will give lots of money to fund a no shot campaign.

But all that money is tapped from resources that are not unlimited. That money could and should go to national and state parties, focused PACS, Congressional candidates, or to help build the coffers of those with an actual shot at the nomination.

It was bad enough in 2016 with Sanders continually siphoning off funds and continuing nothing to other state and national interests, but now we have his "Please contribute $27 over and over until you are homeless" campaign AND a bunch of other no shot campaigns as well.

2. A question of exposure.

Democrats, particularly women, often have a hard time getting airtime or printshsre. In truth it's because we are the boring geeks that save the day when needed and who provide the voice of sanity and reason. We're generally more honest & studied.

We don't often provide a hell of a lot of drama beyond our own personal narratives. We also tend to play cleaner, fairer.

None of these things are particular strengths in the age of Trump inspired political media. Here truth and boring are ignored.

But, they will pick up any old piece of oppo research provided by others and run without question. These stories often define our candidates.

In this landscape we need the Kamala's, Coreys, & Elizabeths to be able to use the media time they manage to get their message out.
But when fair exposure is at a premium, it become even more so in a crowded field.

The 2016 Republican debates we're a fucking joke. 30-90 second answer windows, attack alliances between any number of candidates who focused on harming, or crippling particular candidates.

In that landscape, where stages are too populated, and messaging too similar, it can be a struggle for any candidate to seperate themselves from the herd.

Often the way to do that is by actually being a complete contrast to everyone around you, by resetting expectations.

Which provides an appropriate segue into...

3. A question of consequences.

I do not believe that Donald Trump would have had the opportunity to conspire with Russia to steal the US Presidency had the overcrowded GOP field not provided him the necessary cover at the start.

Because the field was so crowded Trump's total ignorance of issues, his toxic ideas, his dishonesty, his propensity for corruption, and his desire to remake the US in his image could not at first be sussed out.

Instead, these truths were revealed slowly, methodically.

Trump was able to test run various iterations of candidate Donald in front of large swaths of increasingly adoring crowds. He led them incrementally to a place of blissful isolation from fact or moral responsibility.

It was exactly what he needed.

He was also able to pit personality against personality and on some occasions appear to rise above the antics of the others, or when he couldn't he would simply bait them down to his level.

Throughout all of this the media largely allowed Trump to steer his own narrative.

What does this have to do with the Democrats and 2020?


Our primary is very likely to include two names most Democrats wish otherwise it didn't: @TulsiGabbard & @SenSanders.

I have little doubt that both will use the 2016 Republican primary as object lesson.

And his supporters have already signaled what could turn out to be the campaign's strategy as we move into the actual primary season.

Recently, I tweeted the following:

The reaction to my tweet from Sanders supporters was coordinated, remarkable for its harshness, and eerily similar in style and content, and was repeated to me over and over.

Their claim: Bernie never attacked Beto. Find it! Show me!

And this part is key.

Of course, Bernie may not have personally attacked Beto. He never had to. His minions did it for him. They were inspired by Sanders disciple @davidsirota.

This is a pattern that emerged very early on during the 2016 primary against @HillaryClinton.

A key Sanders supporter would suddenly unveil a new attack against Clinton and the DNC, or simply retweet something from Wikileaks or RT or Glen Greenwald, and within hours the Bros, aided we now know by Russian bots would instantly add that attack to the repertoire.

If asked about the these attacks or the behavior of his supporters, Sanders always feigned ignorance and, with the hand in air mentality of a nonplussed parent, would suggest that some of his supporters might be overzealous but, gosh, what could old Bernie do?

Plausible deniability is all Sanders ever sought, and probably all he'll need.

Those still falling for the Sanders as saviour schtick will always assume "old Bernie" can't help what his supporters do or say.

Which is utter nonsense.

There is no way an experienced politico like Sirota, nor anyone in Camp Sanders would risk the 'revolution' or possibly alienate themselves from Sanders or the movement by leading a charge that could potentially damage Sanders chances without clearance from Sanders.

Sanders has always played hardball in politics. Ask the woman he ran against for the Mayor of Burlington, Vermont.

The image of the Christlike Sanders was always ridiculous, but their adherance to it could yet bear fruit.

Until recently I had never seen nor imagined a path for Sanders that would possibly lead to the Democratic nomination.

Then I considered Trump and his path to the 2016 Republican nomination and can profess to being somewhat nervous.

Camp Sanders are astute in their abilities to identify and assess any threat to their goal of President Sanders. And they are prolific in their dedicated efforts at attempting to neutralize any perceived threat.

Harris, Booker, Warren, O'Rourke, Gillibrand.

All of them have, at various points in the last 18 months been the focus of coordinated attacks from Camp Sanders.

And they are all running for the Democratic nomination against Bernie Sanders.

Unclear how this could work yet?

Let me show you.

Candidates like Sanders, outsiders, newcomers, or those who run to the left or right of their nominating party fare best in Caucus states. In 2016 Sanders won all state level caucuses except Iowa & Nevada.

He will likely do well in these states again in 2020.

Iowa is the first contest of the primary season. It is a caucus state that Sanders barely lost in 2016, and in which he remains popular.

If there is one thing I've learned over the past 10 years it's not to underestimate the racism or misogyny.

Do, and die.

Those who are unfamiliar with caucases, or with the nature of Sanders movement and the zealotry it inspires might doubt this, but I understand both.

I've watched women reduced to tears and old women being called racists for supporting Clinton in 2008.

Caucuses are ugly.

It is those who want to lose who ever underestimate the abilities or strengths of their opponents.

Discounting Sanders might make us feel better hypothetically, but it could be our undoing in practice.

Sanders is weaker than he was in 2016 but HE IS NOT BROKEN.

The first two States in the primary calendar are two of the whitest States in the Union, and If you don't think that effects outcomes then you have not been paying attention for the last 400 years.

It is within the realm of possibility that Sanders wins both Iowa & NH.

I think Beto O'Rourke will probably be thorn in Sanders side in the smaller, lily white states like Iowa, and others if he progresses beyond.

BIDEN could throw a spanner in the works for Sanders should he chooses to run.

My point is that if Sanders does well in Iowa or New Hampshire then he is going to be a real problem unless our field is forced to narrow.

Otherwise Sanders supporters, undoubtedly with aid from Russian bots, are going to use social media to spread dissension.

If bots/trolls/bros can manage, on a state by state basis to fake news/ criticize the leading candidate, say Harris or Booker, enough to cost them a few points, hoping to divide them b/w Bernie & the rest of the field then Bernie could manage to deny either an advantage.

This primary is likely to become contentious & divisive.

With Sanders pushing far left on economic issues and rightward on identity politics, and Warren seemingly keen to meet or surpass him on the former, Harris, Booker, & Gillibrand will need to differentiate themselves.

This is what happened in 2008. When the policy differences between candidates are as slight as they are likely to be, things inevitably turn more personal. This will be encouraged by Sanders and Gabbard, bots, the media, trolls, and Republicans.

If Sanders continues his attack by proxy routine and uses surrogates to communicate his attack strategy and his followers to implement it he could end up projecting an image of a wise old guru as things become more strained inside the actual Democratic fold.

I started this thread by communicating my belief that the too large, unruly, and provocative Republican field in 2016 is ultimately what gave us Trump the nominee.

Trump understood the nature of chaos better than any of his opponents. And he exploited it to his advantage.

Sanders, with an assist from his acolyte, and exposed Russian lackey, Tulsi Gabbatd, is going to spend the next twenty plus months telling the world how awful the Democratic Party is and how obsessed it is with Russia. He will say we are beholden-to corps, to wrong thinking.

And, like it or not, more than should are going to fall for it.

I never imagined a scenario by which Bernie Sanders became Democratic nominee.

But this is frightfully plausible.

We must discourage those with no hope at the nomination by denying them funding & attention.

This is about party and national preservation. Campaigns inspired by ego must not transcend the importance of nominating the right Democrat and then electing them to the presidency.

We must start the national campaign unified and ready.

Or lose.

Thus concludes part one of "How we are doing 2020 wrong: The Party."

Tonight part two "How we are doing 2020 wrong: The Candidates."

Then part three "How we are doing 2020 wrong: The Media."

I will conclude with part four "How we are doing 2020 wrong: Us, the voters.

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