Predictably, there are headlines today that declare Democrats are divided. For example, there’s a headline at the Los Angeles Times declaring that “Biden Is Stuck With a Divided Party.” The article is behind a paywall, unfortunately. But in fact I’ve never seen the Democrats so united as they were yesterday. lt’s not party division we’re seeing, but sabotage on the part of two outliers. The party itself is unified, for a change.
And there is the usually blaming of “the Left.” Ruy Teixeira published something under the headline How Not to Build a Coalition: The Left’s Theory of the Case Falls Apart in which he said “Biden has repeatedly tried to mollify the left, especially the House’s Progressive Caucus, as he desperately tried to craft a successful legislative agenda.” Excuse me? It was the Progressive Caucus that supported Biden’s agenda and worked their butts off for it. It was a small group of Clinton-era “New Democrat” holdovers who refused to read the memo.
(Ruy Teixeira is one of the guys who promised us An Emerging Democratic Majority back in 2002. We’re still waiting.)
And the Progressives were right that the only hope Dems had for passing the Build Back Better bill was by keeping it tied to the infrastructure bill. The progressives eventually accepted everyone’s assurance that Lucy would not jerk the football away this time, and let infrastructure pass. And then the Build Back Better bill was dead. (See also Paul Waldman, Stop Blaming the Left for Biden’s Problems.)
Paul Waldman thinks the Democrats, along with hitting bottom, may also have reached a turning point. “It was absolutely a defeat, for Biden, for his party, and most of all for voters,” he wrote. “But it also represented a significant shift within the Democratic Party. That’s because every single Democrat apart from Manchin and Sinema supported setting aside the filibuster.”
Democrats are no longer waiting for Republicans to come to their senses, says Waldman. They now know that’s not going to happen. Even Joe Biden, Mr. Reach Across the Aisle himself, knows this. Waldman:
At his Wednesday news conference, President Biden was asked whether he had over-promised and what he planned to change in the remainder of his term. In response, he said, “I did not anticipate that there’d be such a stalwart effort to make sure that the most important thing was that President Biden didn’t get anything done.”
And he added: “Name me one thing they’re for.” And the answer is, defeating Democrats. That’s it. Remember that they didn’t even bother to write a new platform in 2020? That was a clue, Joe. What they want is to “own the libs.” They haven’t planned any further.
We might complain that President Biden really should have noticed this sooner. He ran for President in 2020 as if there were still reasonable Republicans left, somewhere. I don’t know if that was just campaign talk or whether Biden really believed it, of course. But he knows now that there aren’t.
Added to the absolutely terrible news coverage of yesterdays debates and votes and of the President’s news conference — and by “terrible” I mean the coverage bears little resemblance to what really happened — the Republicans will pay no penalties for the wrecking ball they are taking to democracy. These are dark times.
But if the Democrats are finally pissed off enough, and discouraged enough, to fight for a change, we may see an energized party.
Breaking news: CNN is reporting that Trump campaign officials, led by Rudy Giuliani, oversaw fake electors plot in 7 states. Rachel Maddow has been pushing this story for a few days.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution — Fulton DA requests special grand jury for Trump probe
The Guardian — Trump held secret meetings in days before Capitol attack, ex-press secretary tells panel
The bad news: Biden is slow to figure out that the Rs have zero interest in bringing back the glory days of the Senate, wasting an entire year. Poor old man fighting yesterday's war, albeit he was dealt a poor hand – the narrowest majority possible with a couple of turncoats on his own team stymying everything. Much of this due to the structural advantages the R's enjoy that favor the rural states, plus the cheats: voter suppression, gerrymandering, stacking of the Supreme Court that severely cripples what a Biden or anyone with "-D" after their name will be able to do.
The good news: the law is breathing down harder on Trump and the Jan 6 insurrectionists. Jan 6 committee public hearings will blow the whole thing open and blow peoples' minds, the televised Watergate hearings redux. Have read (Ruth Ben-Ghiat) say this is why Trump is amping up the effort to become Prez again, so he can be all-powerful and try to thwart this. It's life or death for him.
Given all the previous resistance from AOC and the progressive wing, it is good to see the Dems on same the page, less the turncoats. Kick them out!
Other good/bad news: despite his age, and his tendency toward gaffes, Biden can still deliver a speech, sustain long press conferences and so on. Pretty remarkable to me.
Nonetheless, it reminds me so much of the USSR's gerontocracy doddering along in its last days. Meanwhile, the opposition is running rings around Biden's generation via social media and cryptocurrency (right-wingers/criminals overwhelming use).
Long gone are the golden days when this country elevated 43-year-old Jack Kennedy to the presidency. Soon to be gone are the older people in this country who even remember this or what it means.
Jeff Davis and Bull Conner, you've got company. Make some room for Manchin and sENEMA.
Yeah, you're right, maha. I don't think I've ever seen the D's so united. With the two above listed corporate whores* as the exceptions, of course.
It's too bad neither one of their terms are up until 2024.
OT: Looking at the Senate map for this Fall's midterm, our chances for victory aren't horrible. And they might improve dramatically after we see what foaming-at-the-mouth MAGA loons get out of the GQP primaries. Remember that unlike the House where gerrymandering is King, Senate races involve the entire state. With tRUMP's MAGAts leading the primary charge, the RepubliKKKLANS might end-up wishing they had Todd Akin, the "legitimate rape" dope, and Christine O'Donnell, the former witch, running again!
A man can hope, can't he?
BTW: I heard a good joke today. It's said that sINEMA, because she's such an independent mavericky maverick, thinks she can be elected as POTUS in 2024. sENEMA's under the delusion that she'll be a great candidate because she's such a bipartisan independent.
I want whatever she's drinking, snorting, smoking, and/or injecting!!!
I have a better chance at the nomination than she has.
*My apologies to hard-working sex-workers for associating them with those two disloyal campaign-money grabbing assholes.
PS: You had a typo, maha, when you wrote that Biden ran for POTUS in 2020. You obviously meant 2020.
Also too, a typo: after the term wrecking ball, "taking," not "talking."
This is the "dope" on Sinema, from Amy Siskind (she tracked, week by week how Trump/the Rs were changing the country, step by step, moving it toward fascism)
According to a friend of Siskind, who lives in AZ, and claims to be in Sinema’s inner circle, Sinema is focused on becoming President in 2024. Confirming your “joke”.
I had heard elsewhere some time back that Sinema seriously believes she will be a contender for president, so I believe all this to be true.
Voters don't do nuance. The fake electors sent to the National Archives as 'alternates' to the real slate only make sense if you understand that the Electoral College, not the citizens, elect the president. However, it will make a dent if criminal charges for electoral fraud are filed against Mayor Bug-eyes and the others in Trump's orbit who organized it AND every mother's son who signed that they were the official electors authorized to cast their votes for Donald Trump. (They also committed criminal fraud.) The fact that two states inserted a caveat that they were casting their votes for Trump ONLY if the courts overturned the determination that the majority had voted for Biden. So a few Trumpsters weren't crazy about taking the criminal risk. (Which means they saw the criminal risk and it was discussed.)
If DOJ doesn't file charges, this is a temporary blip that will disappear.
NY will file civil charges against Trump. The NY AG has stuck her neck too far out to veer off now. If the civil charges are sustained, then expect criminal charges which may also name the Trump kids. When/if it becomes apparent to Weiselberg that the Trump family defense is to throw the CFO under the bus, will he turn state's evidence? Together, W and Cohen could testify that Trump knew and orchestrated every element of the fraud.
Matt Gaetz may be in a world of hurt. We will see if an indictment comes in on trafficking a minor. He's gonna try to align himself with Trump and declare they are after Matt to get to The Donald. Problem is, Trump will go, "Matt who?" when charges get dropped on his biggest fan.
Insurrection charges are great news IF we get some trials and convictions BEFORE November.
The question is how much of this will be how far progressed in nine months. The GOP is doing an incredible job of turning voters against Biden and the Democratic brand. Democrats are doing a lousy job of promoting the good news (and there is plenty – unemployment for one, wages right after that) But inflation and gas prices are dominating the news cycle.
The fact of a GOP conspiracy to steal the election won't help unless charges are filed and the drama plays out on the front pages BEFORE the end of October.
<i>it reminds me so much of the USSR's gerontocracy doddering along in its last days</i>
Leonid Brezhnev was 75 when died but he clearly was ill & incapable.
Joe Biden 79
Nancy Pelosi 81
Mitch McConnel 79
Biden appears to be ~ 6 months younger than McConnel.
I had a look at ages in the US Senate a couple of years ago and except for a few outliers there seems to be a reasonable spread of ages from the 40's to 60's. I was a bit surprised.
One of my long-time gripes about the Democrats is that they seem to make no effort at all to promote younger members to leadership positions to help them get national attention. It’s only because of extraordinary circumstances we're getting to see a lot of Jamie Raskin, Adam Schiff, and others we probably wouldn't have seen much of otherwise.