Roaming Charges: The Fuck Up

“Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up.”

Barack Obama

+ The outcome is still in play, but if Biden loses, we’re going to hear a lot of Malarky about why and most of it will be bullshit. (When I called it a night, at 2am Left Coast Time, Biden had come back to claim to a narrow lead in Wisconsin.)

+ I predicted in my column last Friday that the polls were underestimating Trump’s support (or voter indifference to Biden) by 3 percent. It looks more like 5 to 6 percent in many of the decisive states. In Wisconsin, for example, Biden was favored by 8 percent. At 2Am, he was leading by 0.3 percent. The elite consultants and pollsters may have fucked up more profoundly than the Democrats who relied upon their statistical sorcery.

+ In the midst of a killer pandemic and mass unemployment, the Democrats could have offered the nation a universal health care plan, a moratorium on evictions and a guaranteed basic income. Instead, they believed that the key to victory over Trump was to meld neoliberal economics with a neoconservative foreign policy. I don’t know where they got this idea. Probably, the same place Obama got his health insurance plan, the Heritage Foundation.

+ The Democrats’ candidate voted for the Iraq war, NAFTA, the destruction of welfare, helped instigate the war on drugs, wrote federal crime laws that incarcerated two generations of young black & brown Americans and has preached austerity his entire political career. I’m not surprised by the inconclusive results of an election which should have been a sure thing.

+ I’ve long argued that Biden was a weaker candidate than HRC, who was terrible. At least HRC had a rationale for her campaign. Biden had none. The argument was that Biden wasn’t hated as much as Hillary. Perhaps. But most people just didn’t feel anything about him. Which is fatal for a politician.

+ Look on the bright side. Just think how much money the DNC will raise off of a Biden loss…

+ Trump’s 2am speech was worthy of Somoza’s infamous declaration, “Yes, you won the election. But I won the counting.”

+ Trump says he will be going to the U.S. Supreme Court to stop ALL vote counting across the country. “As far as I am concerned, we have already won,” Trump says.

+ Trump says a sad group of people is trying to disenfranchise those who voted for him. Sad, indeed.

+ By contrast, Biden’s passive speech sounded like Tsar Alexander’s the night before the battle of Austerlitz, completely unaware of the concussive force that’s going to hit him in the morning….

+ Biden is speaking, but saying nothing. Biden should never speak. Ever.

+ Recall how Biden spent most of the early primary season telling people, most of them young progressives, to vote for someone else if they didn’t like his reactionary policies? Surprise!

+ Biden, who spent much of the year recruiting war criminals from the Bush administration, did worse with Republicans than HRC did in 2016.

+ Remember the Zoom election simulation the New Yorker did that got Jeffrey Toobin so excited? Do you think this was the scenario that triggered him?

+ The Biden campaign preferred to court the exiled neocons who started the Iraq war, than Hispanics and progressives. They may not lose, but they probably deserve to…

+ Back in May, the Biden campaign announced that they didn’t consider Latinos a key part of their “path to victory.” This kind of arrogance yielded the predictable results.

+ Hispanic voters per early 2020 exit polls:


2016: Clinton +27
2020: Biden +8

2016: Clinton +40
2020: Biden +25

2016: Clinton +41
2020: Biden +24

+ The results from Starr County, Texas, the most Latino county in the United States (96% Latino) and the second poorest in Texas, with a poverty rate of 33%. In 2016, it went for Clinton by 60 percent. In 2020, Biden won it by only 5 percent, with >98% reporting.

+ The argument against Bernie was that he’d never win the Cuban exile vote in Florida.

+ I guess that Ana Navarro gambit was a bust…

+ Biden kept saying this was a fight for the “soul of the nation”. What if the nation never had a soul and it was actually a fight for health care, jobs, and a livable climate?

+ We were told that this election was all about “saving democracy” and in order to save democracy, the Democrats had to rig their primaries for Biden.

+ I was never a big fan of Sanders. But he gave people policies to vote for. Biden ran away from all them and offered nothing of substance on his own. The best he had to offer was Kamala Harris, a hard-ass former prosecutor who progressives distrusted and the right could race-bait and caricaturize as the second coming of Angela Davis.

+ Still, it’s easy to proclaim that Bernie would have won. It’s a proposition that can’t be proven. But he would have been shackled by the same party apparatus that failed to win the senate and lost ground in the House. Until the Democratic Party itself is reconstituted, it’s electoral fortunes are going to continue to erode.

+ Had the feeling the night might go south for the Democrats when the first crop of exit polls came out showing that 48% of voters believed the COVID pandemic was under control.

+ Trump, at 63,085,022 votes, has already amassed more votes than in 2016.

+ According to the early exit polls, Trump did better in 2020 with every race and gender except …. white men!

Change from 2016:

White Men -5
White Women +2
Black Men +4
Black Women +4
Latino Men +3
Latino Women +3
Other +5

+ Clearly, this election would have been a Trump rout without the intervention of  COVID.

+ This symbolizes the entire night…Republican David Andahl, a North Dakota legislator who died of COVID-19, won re-election.

+ Good news for the squad, plus Cori Bush, who also won. Their victories are, of course, also good news for FoxNews, which can spend the next two years scaremongering them…

+ 26 out of the 30 nationally-endorsed Democratic Socialist candidates won their elections.

+ Meanwhile, Scott DesJarlais slept with subordinates, prescribed opioids for his young lover-patients and pressured one to get an abortion, still won in Tennessee, running as a pro-life, family values Republican…

+ Looks like the awful Prop 22 will pass in California, cementing drivers’ status as independent contractors as Uber, Doordash and other gig companies prevail in their $200M bid to defeat legislation making them employees.

+ Memo to Justice Barrett: “Louisiana has passed Amendment 1, which establishes there is no constitutional right to an abortion.”

+ Georgia is still in play and could go for both Biden and Q, thus spawning a decade’s worth of new conspiracy theories…

+ It turns out, the only debate Biden seems to have won was the one that was canceled.

+ Quitter!

+ The Democrats can’t blame the Greens this time (though I’m sure they’ll find some reason to hurl insults at Susan Sarandon), having gotten them kicked off the ballot in key states. Perhaps they’ll blame the Libertarians for not pulling enough votes from Trump.

+ Go figure….Trump did better in counties with high COVID death rates than he did in 2016.

+ Trump stomped Biden in Florida, yet the state overwhelmingly passed a $15 minimum wage referendum.

+ Florida Polls are the statistician’s version of Florida Man…

+ Biden had hopes of winning Iowa, but this once Democratic state is slipping further and further away…

2000: Gore by 0.32%
2004: Bush by 0.67%
2008: Obama by 8.5%
2012: Obama by 5.6%
2016: Trump by 9.3%
2020: Trump by 8%

+ It was a good night for drugs. Oregon becomes the first state to decriminalize low-level drug possession and to legalize the use of magic mushrooms.

+ South Dakota, Arizona, Montana, New Jersey all legalized marijuana at the ballot box tonight, a policy which isn’t supported by either major party.

+ This polling reinforces my view that if Biden loses, it will be because he spent too much time campaigning and not enough time staying out of sight… “Two-thirds of voters say their choice for president was driven by their opinion of President Trump,” according to AP VoteCast.

+ The EU is keeping Americans on the no fly list, which is probably prudent given all the celebrities who’ve vowed to flee the States in the event of Trump’s reelection.

+ All Quiet on the Lincoln Project Front?

+ The Lincoln Project raised $67 million. Republican Voters Against Trump raised another $10 million. 93% of Republicans voted for Trump in 2020, up from 90% in 2016.

+ WH Auden: “America can break your heart.”

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is An Orgy of Thieves: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents (with Alexander Cockburn). He can be reached at: or on Twitter @JeffreyStClair3