Definitely NOT Over

One week ago, Barataria asked if it was over. “It” meaning the Democratic presidential primary season and “over” meaning decided. The theory was that unless Sanders won at least a few of four key states on Super Tuesday everyone would write his political obit.

He won three of them – and this week a big surprise in Michigan. Combined with the death match in the Republican Party we have an unusually fascinating endorsing season ahead of us as both contests will definitely run through to the convention floors.

But what that is likely to mean is something very different in the case of both parties. One will be fighting to not lose and the other may wind up fighting to not win.

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Fun Times in Iowa!

Before our robotics team meet started the kids unwound between the routine of the school day and the excitement of building a robot. Some of them were still bubbling from the visit from Bernie that took some of them away from our last meet. Sanders came to St Paul on Tuesday and gutted the team leadership for the evening – seniors eligible to vote for the first time & feelin’ the Bern!

But one thing quelled their enthusiasm quickly. “When I saw a video on how the caucus system works I thought it was a joke. Then, I found out that’s how it really works. Why do we do it that way?”

It’s not a conspiracy, it’s a tradition. The difference is sometimes hard to spot when you’re young, but Monday’s Iowa Caucus is not just a made for teevee event – it’s small town democracy at it’s finest, weirdest, and most personal. And that’s why anyone making a hard, definite call is kidding themselves.

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First Democratic Debate

By the time you read this the first Democratic debate has probably already happened. I hope you enjoyed it!

There is a tradition here at Barataria of predicting the news before it happens, which is to say at least outlining what is likely to happen within reasonable boundaries. It’s more like a weather forecast than a news forecast. So let’s take a stab and see what we can reasonably expect from the debate itself and the news going forward.

Mostly sunny with a high in the 70s. No, it’s more complicated than that …

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For What It’s Worth

For an election that’s more than a year out, this one sure is making a lot of noise. And, like most noise in an election, it’s about 90% (cowpuckey). But if you listen closely, there may be something very big happening just beneath the surface. It’s not very loud yet, but it may reverberate into some beautiful music.

The sound that you may not hear is the progressive left getting its act together.

With the fans of Sen Sanders going after Sec Clinton – and getting a little bit in return – it’s hard to see how this band is going to come together. But after Clinton’s confrontation with Black Lives Matter (BLM) something wonderful has happened – people seem to be listening. If we all start doing more listening and a little less “speaking up”, as the left is wont to do, this may yet come together.

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Managing Inevitability – The Clinton Story

In the stillness of a cold winter day, obligations chilled between frosty holidays, two years stretch out in a lounging recline to define the moment. One is the year past, and the other is the year ahead. For the whirl of politics, defined in soundbites and constant lobbying, the break is an unusual calm for clearer heads.

Next year, 2015, will be the year in which the campaign for a new President takes shape. That will in turn define 2016 in politics and set us up for what is certainly shaping up to indeed be the Year Everything Changes in 2017. For the long journey that will come to define whatever hero we place in the office to define our world at the start of the next boomtime. For all that, it is shaping up to be one person who can take it – if she really does want it.

This next year is likely to be the one that defines Secretary Hillary Clinton, and in so doing may define the next great era of the United States. It’s all about how she manages “inevitability”.

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Progressive – In Every Sense of the Word

It was a tough election for Democrats. Welcome to a roughly biennial tradition of recapping where my party is falling down – and what we need to do to pick up the pieces.

This is clearly a work of opinion, but it will be as informed as possible. Naturally, you may disagree and have your own additions. Please, by all means, this has to be a conversation about the future – of our party and our nation.

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Senate Shakedown

Will the Senate go Republican? Nearly everyone believes it is likely, and has for a long time. It’s hard to see how that will be any different from today, given the ability to filibuster absolutely anything in that body.

Beyond Democrats and Republicans, there is a third option that is growing – some kind of independent fueled chaos and perhaps a heavy dose of Joe Biden in the works. The possibilities are absolutely delicious for many reasons. Not only would it give us all something to write about, a Senate in chaos would probably more accurately reflect the mood of the nation. Here’s how it goes.

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