For a second I thought we were going to get a La Follette - Hoover ticket of spiteful Progressives, but this is so much better. La Follette's turn here is very interesting, and is a powerful shot across the bow to Johnson.
I'm a bit skeptical that Blease would have gotten his shit together enough to be the nominee of a major party. But I think I see why you picked him.
Other than that, great update.
That's fair, I understand your skepticism. Although considering the extent to which nativism and white populism have flourished in the Democratic Party since the Hearst presidency, it was my conclusion that someone in that camp would end up snatching the nomination. TTL's Blease, and his ilk, gained a great deal of influence over the years not only for successfully exploiting rising nativist tendencies in the country, but for steering class consciousness into their own horribly racist ideology - this is something I've also hinted at earlier in the timeline. Blease in OTL managed something similar by appealing to farmers and textile workers in the run-up to his gubernatorial race, so I'm imagining he would have easily taken advantage of the growth of the labor movement in the South and West and quintupled the political results at the convention. The power vacuum left by Bryan (incidentally the harbinger of populism in the Democratic Party) was, in my view anyway, doomed to be filled by a Blease rather than a Fitzgerald.
Part of the illusion of power is the perceived indispensability of those that come into it.That's what I meant when I said that I thought I understood where you were coming from. Just talking about Blease as a person--he was just kind of a marginally competent guy--but recent history has shown that at least one charismatic, marginally competent figure won the nomination of a major party. So why not, really?
I'd imagine that the story is better served by having the race demagoguery fail miserably, perhaps due to Blease's own mediocrity, and as socialism continues to see downballot success, its cachet grows with a widening swathe of society. But I don't have access to Pyro's notes so we'll just have to see