January 20, 2020
I have never heard of a paper endorsing two candidates at once.
What is extra bizarre is that these two candidates represent very different drives from the Democrat Party, with Elizabeth Warren being an alleged Bernie-style socialist and Amy Klobuchar being basically the female John McCain.
American voters must choose between three sharply divergent visions of the future.
The incumbent president, Donald Trump, is clear about where he is guiding the Republican Party — white nativism at home and America First unilateralism abroad, brazen corruption, escalating culture wars, a judiciary stacked with ideologues and the veneration of a mythological past where the hierarchy in American society was defined and unchallenged.
On the Democratic side, an essential debate is underway between two visions that may define the future of the party and perhaps the nation. Some in the party view President Trump as an aberration and believe that a return to a more sensible America is possible. Then there are those who believe that President Trump was the product of political and economic systems so rotten that they must be replaced.
The Democratic primary contest is often portrayed as a tussle between moderates and progressives. To some extent that’s true. But when we spent significant time with the leading candidates, the similarity of their platforms on fundamental issues became striking.
Nearly any of them would be the most progressive president in decades on issues like health care, the economy and government’s allocations of resources. Where they differ most significantly is not the what but the how, in whether they believe the country’s institutions and norms are up to the challenge of the moment.
Many Democratic voters are concerned first and foremost about who can beat Mr. Trump. But with a crowded field and with traditional polling in tatters, that calculation calls for a hefty dose of humility about anyone’s ability to foretell what voters want.
Choosing who should face off against Mr. Trump also means acknowledging that Americans are being confronted with three models for how to govern this country, not two. Democrats must decide which of their two models would be most compelling for the American people and best suited for repairing the Republic.
The party’s large and raucous field has made having that clean debate more difficult. With all the focus on personal characteristics — age and race and experience — and a handful of the most contentious issues, voters haven’t benefited from a clarifying choice about the party’s message in the election and the approach to governing beyond it.
It was a privilege for us on the editorial board to spend more than a dozen hours talking to candidates, asking them any question that came to mind. Yet that exercise is impossible for most Americans, and we were left wanting for a more focused conversation for the public. Now is the time to narrow the race.
The history of the editorial board would suggest that we would side squarely with the candidate with a more traditional approach to pushing the nation forward, within the realities of a constitutional framework and a multiparty country. But 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.
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.
Both the radical and the realist models warrant serious consideration. If there were ever a time to be open to new ideas, it is now. If there were ever a time to seek stability, now is it.
That’s why we’re endorsing the most effective advocates for each approach. They are Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.
The article goes on and on and on for what felt like the rest of my life, using this same kind of bizarro language.
Even the New York Times found this strange.
The New York Times editorial board endorsed the two leading female candidates for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination on Sunday, throwing its support behind Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
The board’s decision to back not one but two candidates is a significant break with convention, one that it says is meant to address the “realist” and “radical” models being presented to voters by the 2020 Democratic field. While arguing that President Trump must be defeated, the board does not take a position on the best path forward for Democrats, writing that both approaches “warrant serious consideration.” (The editorial board is separate from the New York Times newsroom.)
The two female senators have released some of the most detailed policy plans of the candidates remaining in the primary campaign, prompting the board to praise each one as the “standard-bearer” for her wing of the party.
“There will be those dissatisfied that this page is not throwing its weight behind a single candidate, favoring centrists or progressives,” the board writes. “But it’s a fight the party itself has been itching to have” since Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016, “and one that should be played out in the public arena and in the privacy of the voting booth.”
It adds: “Ms. Klobuchar and Ms. Warren right now are the Democrats best equipped to lead that debate. May the best woman win.”
Neither of these women are going to win, and I guess that is the point.
Or, wait: I don’t know what the point is. I’m not going to speculate on that.
If I were to speculate, I would speculate that the Times just doesn’t want anyone to be angry with them, which is why they wouldn’t endorse one of the frontrunners.