Trying to Move Forward

What a surreal time this is. We still have no idea how the Democratic Party is going to move forward in the presidential race. The party seems to be splitting between a “we need a new candidate” faction and a “let’s rally around Joe” faction.  And I have no idea what they should do. See also David Kurtz, What An Utterly Surreal Week In American Politics.

The best news over the weekend is from France. Polls had predicted that the far right National Rally party would take control of the government in a “snap” vote, but it failed. It came in third after two other coalitions, one very left-wing and the other of center-left Maronists. The coalition-building saved France. People put aside differences and united to freeze out the Right. How this will work in governing going forward is likely to be messy, I understand, but at least the neo-Vichy faction will have little to say about anything.

Joyce Vance mentioned France in her column yesterday.

Recent polls aren’t as good for Joe Biden as he might have wanted them to be and there are a lot of people on social media suggesting a Trump victory is inevitable. Of course, we know that’s not the case. Polls are mixed, and people pushing a certain narrative don’t always have pure motives and often aren’t who they pretend to be online. November is a long way out. Polls ahead of the snap election in France showing a quick, easy victory for Le Pen and the far right got it completely wrong. And as the Angry Staffer account tweeted this morning, “Polls don’t vote.”

This is a good motto for us to adopt. Polls don’t vote. People do. So this week, make sure you register if you aren’t already. If you have registered, check online at one of the sites like to make sure you stay registered, have a plan to vote in November, and make sure your ballot gets counted. Make it your business to encourage your friends and your family to do the same. It’s very simple: We can’t win if we don’t vote.

All is not yet lost. A lot can happen between now and November.  And here, again, we might take a lesson from France. Josh Marshall:

There’s also some real extent to which numerous Le Pen/RN candidates were revealed as racists, scoundrels, wife beaters (Frenchified Trumpers basically) and that hurt them some too. Not that this is terribly surprising. But Marine Le Pen has managed over the last decade a significant rebranding of the party her father founded. Kinder gentler racist nationalists basically, with less Vichy nostalgia and tchotchkes. But reporting over the last few weeks showed that lots of the candidates were totally the old team under a thin patina of gold paint.

Many voters appaently have amnesia about how awful Trump was a POTUS, and how awful he is as a human being generally. They need to be reminded. A lot.

One other recent development is that the details of the Heritage Foundation’s 2025 Project appear to be finally breaking through to the general U.S. public. And the public doesn’t like it. Trump, of course, claims he never heard of it and knows nothing about it but thinks it’s ridiculous even though he knows nothing about it. And apparently the Trump campaign is telling the RNC to back off of calling for a national abortion ban, even though that’s what Republicans will do as soon as they get enough control of the government. All I know is, if the public is going to learn more about what is planned, the Dems and supporters need to take out a whole lot of television advertising explaining it. News media won’t do it.

19 thoughts on “Trying to Move Forward

  1. The big news seems to be the lack of news, as Trump never misses a news cycle until of late.  I am going with the story that he had a failed hair plug transplant and a resulting psychotic break.  I have no evidence other than it is plausible, which seems to have a stronger basis than most of Trump's recent claims which have not even reached that low bar of credibility. 

    Recent polls worldwide seem to have developed a fascist bias.  When the vote is totaled this has a pattern of reversing. France is just one example.  The Tories got run out big time in England and they are stodgier more than fascist.  Mexico elected a president who appears both educated and progressive.  

    I am tempted to say conservatives or populists have developed a pattern of overstating their popularity world-wide.  The trend may be the other way by the way elections are going of late.  

    I for sure am getting set to vote against Trump for the third time.  It is the new normal.  You vote against who you hate the most.  Now we have the emergence of the double haters.  They have pictures of both on a pair of dart boards, and when election time comes the picture with the most holes in it gets voted against.


    • I'll argue that if you don't find something to love in Joe Biden, you're not looking far. At the least, "he's a decent, honorable, kindly man," even if you hated every policy he's ever supported.

      I get that people are supposed to hate both sides, when both sides are arguing over pointless BS, but that stopped 30 years ago, when Republicans decided they would always speak only well of Republicans, and only ill of Democratic politicians, going so far that you can't get most of them to say "Democratic" on a bet!

      ("Democratic" sounds good, you see, so they'll say "Democrat" policies, which isn't fair. We don't misstate "Republican" as "fascist" so they should be able to say "Democratic.")

      Now, back in the 90s, and maybe in the 00s, it was cooler to be a double hater, "a pox on both their houses!" because it's true, Bill Clinton did get a blow job, and, it's true, W started a war based on lies, so, both sides, amirite?

      Now, when one side is running an obvious criminal, who literally asked why he can't order the military to shoot protestors in the legs, it's no longer cool to think that Joe Biden is worth any measure of hate. What are you going to hate him *for*, when looking at the two of them? Because he is willing to see his own f'ing *son* go to jail, so as not to call into question the wheels of justice for his opponent?

      Double haters are the equivalent of incels asking to be given a handjob to seduce them before they'll buy dinner and go to the chick-flick.. The latter haven't bothered to learn that women are human, and that grooming and pleasantries help. The former haven't even learned that there's a decent human being (with whom they may disagree) and a crazy criminal on the ballot.

      Just my humble opinion of course.

      • The issue isn't "hating" Joe Biden. The issue is whether Joe Biden will be competent or continue to decline. And that has nothing to do with character.

        Talk to anyone who has seen such a decline (and fall) up close. Ask the the odds Biden will improve cognitively.

        They are zero.

        • The term to which I responded was "double haters," so, please do not try to pretend otherwise.

          I hear you: you think Joe Biden has been lying to us about the most important piece of information, his health, and yet, you believe he is of REALLY good character, and no one can hate good old Joe, LYING to us, about the fate of the nation. Still, really good character, too bad, sucks to be U.S., that he's going to destroy us all with good character.

          You're not making either side of your point well. You sounded really foolish until you said this:

          Talk to anyone who has seen such a decline (and fall) up close.

          At that point, you became unspeakably entitled, presumptuous, and rude. I believe the correct response is to recommend self-fornication, but I, being too polite to recommend such a fate, merely ask that you shut up, and go away, for I'm sure your mother, or some other care-taking relative, is concerned for your well-being.

        • The issue isn’t “hating” Joe Biden. The issue is whether Joe Biden will be competent or continue to decline. And that has nothing to do with character.

          You misunderstood the term “double haters,” but let’s go on … in a sane world the issue would be whether Joe Biden is competent, but in truth I doubt he is any more or less competent than he was just over four months ago when he aced the State of the Union address. No, the real issue is, did he turn off so many voters in that debate that he can’t beat Trump? Some of us are in a state of terror and despair at the thought of another Trump term. It would be a disaster of earth-shaking proportions felt around the globe.

        • "Talk to anyone who has seen such a decline"

          The decline I see is liberals ability to handle any sort of adversity, the man has a bad debate and you all want to send him to the home?

  2. I really try to understand the "Dump our President because he has old guy cooties and a stutter!" but as multiple people have pointed out, there's exactly one replacement that is possible, and that's Harris. No one else can inherit the operation.

    Now, if Biden dies before Jan 20, I'm fine with Harris taking over. If Biden has a heart attack or stroke, or suffers an assassination attempt, then, Harris can take over.

    Anything less means the Republicans will go for the throat, demanding to know what Harris knew, and when she knew it, about Biden's incapacity. The only way to fight back is to show no incapacity, and a lot of punchback. "You are asking if Joe Biden can be President, when Donald Trump thinks boats are all electric, and sharks can detect sinking electric boats? GTFO, and let me question a real journalist!"

    Polls are showing no disaster, so all we have is people who are upset that Biden had old man cooties, and that his stutter showed in a debate answer. I guess they'd prefer Diaper Don, the Greasepaint God, whose primary goal for the Presidency is free makeup for another four years, who doesn't even pay attention to the words coming out of his mouth, just like most Right Wing Shock Jocks?

    I'm sorry – the very topic of Biden dropping out disgusts me, and so far, the only people I've seen calling for it are self-important content creators who think their contracts mean they're more, yes MUCH more than a Youtuber or TikToker. And, really, they're not. They should be – they have tons of research they can rely on, to get real information, but instead, they just excrete whatever take on the conventional wisdom that they think will keep them gobbling high off the slop bucket, with all the other pigs.

    "Biden must be lying," they reason, "because if he isn't lying, we can't complain and whine!" Well, that was never true when Republicans used it, and it's still not true now, 30 years post-Clinton.

      • If I may suggest so, you probably have people who care about you – who may even love you! – who care about your opinion on such matters. Do you have any interest in discussing things with people who have such interest?

        Because people who go around saying "you couldn't be more wrong" often have other, more odious habits. Have you considered masturbation, a far healthier pursuit and far better suited to adult discussion than whiny gainsaying?

  3. It’s more complicated than just a dichotomy between full-throated support for Biden to top the ticket and calling for him to step aside.  The D convention isn’t until August.  Everything that’s going on right now (before the convention) is part of the process by which our party decides on the ticket.  The D party is a big tent party, a party which embraces a process where D’s of varying opinions vigorously advocate for what they think is best.  It can get messy, but ultimately it’s a process that is WAY better at reaching the best solution than the autocratic “just do what the boss says” process.

    In the current situation in our country (which is part of a world wide thing) we’re going to need a coalition of solid D’s, soft D’s, D’s who don’t tend to vote, Independents and soft R’s to win this thing. So here’s where I am at on July 8: I’m not calling for Biden to step aside; I sure as heck want him fighting as hard as he can muster for our side.  But I also hope that lots of politically savvy people who want to preserve our democratic republic are participating fully in the process behind closed doors. Biden is a gifted politician, and he knows how to listen. Right now he’s saying the right things. But I don’t think “I alone can do it” is the best approach in the five-alarm dumpster fire we’re in right now. People with a lot more experience and smarts than me can and should weigh in. Biden is the leader of our party and he can decide what’s best, but there’s a little time to do a thorough job of it, to game out a lot of options. I guarantee that once we have an official ticket I will be 200% committed to doing everything I can to help it win…whatever that ticket is. I think the most likely outcome is Biden.  I’m not putting anything on social media right now except anti-trump stuff. Also supporting posts that list the incredible accomplishments of the ’21-’24 administration.

    Some of the stuff I’ve said here was expressed on Deadline Whitehouse this afternoon, but I was thinking along these lines all through last week. Some of the guests today were much more eloquent about it.

    Today (yesterday?) France beat back the far right with a coalition of far-right-haters. I think that’s a playbook we should take from. It’s not the easiest thing to do, because for political operatives, it’s not the usual game.

    I think that’s enough for now from me.

    Several days ago I shared my initial reactions to the June 27 debate. The weekend after that, I had a long phone conversation with my lifelong best friend. I need to make dinner now and pay some bills.  I’ll stop back later and share the important bits of that conversation.

  4. I’m a dual citizen, French and US, but I live here in the US and read the US newspapers.  They really scared me about what was happening in France, so I made sure to vote – twice, in the first tour and then again in the second. And you know, with the «old country » of France I could vote through the Internet this time. (Better than last time when I voted for the presidential election had to drive 5 hours, one way, from TN to the French Consulate in Atlanta, GA.)  Now I can exhale.  

    But next, is voting for the US, and am holding my breath again.  I’m not happy at the NYT and WAPO for keeping saying that Biden should quit – didn’t hear them say that when the orange rapist was convicted… But I’ll have to drive 5 hours again, each way,  to vote in November near Atlanta, where my old house is located.  I kept my registration there in Cobb County, GA until I sell the house.  It is more important to vote in GA than where my new house is located in TN.  No hope for Tennessee – it is blood red.



  5. "And I have no idea what they should do"

    Really, we are three months out Joe is our candidate, democrats who are wondering aloud if we should change candidates are only helping Stump. This whole thing is a media feeding frenzy. It should have been a one-two day story except democrats are keeping the story alive.

  6. There's a "sport" you can find internationally, illegal In most countries and impossible to stamp out. It's called cockfighting – male chickens are outfitted with razors on their spurs (feet) and put in a ring to fight each other, sometimes to the death. And humans find the anger and rage of the dualists entertaining – they show up in droves to watch, at least – usually bet. 

    The guy who arranges the cockfight is no lover of sport or poultry. He's not caught up in the glamor or tradition of the games. (likewise the owners of the fighting chickens.) The rubes drawn into watching this bloodsport are twisted humans who get some relief from their misery by watching other animals suffer and die. The promoter KNOWS the profits will be highest when the competition is the most dramatic. The promoter wants the rubes excited – any schtick that thrills the crowd converts to profits when the gambling involves more people and greater sums.

    The commercial media gave up journalism a long time ago. (There still exists some journalists trying to ply art in the brothel the commercial press is.) These are the cockfight promoters we're stunned by. And Joe and Don are volunteers, not draftees. Bit the reaction of the press to the debate is/was a move to keep the crowd from leaving with their money. 

    I don't see any question of what's best for the country from the press. Their concern is that the game isn't interesting enough if Joe looks like he's weak. They can't fluff him up so they want to change combatants so they can promote the next round. The bastards don't care about citizens any more than cockfight promoters care about chickens.

    I don't know if Joe should drop out. It's not for the media to decide. Democracy itself hangs in the balance and all these pricks want is to sell more advertising for the highest rates. 


  7. Continuing on from my comment last night…

    Stage two for me after the debate came over the weekend after the debate, (and before the SCOTUS immunity bombshell). In a phone conversation with my lifelong best friend, who hadn't watched the debate, some of the substance from me was:

    This was something I hadn't seen before, and I was shocked.  Over the entire course of his career, Biden has occasionally had what have come to be known as "Biden gaffes."  What happened in the debate was not a Biden gaffe. This was an extended period of time in which he appeared to be incapable of communicating crispy to unfolding events in the debate. It was bad enough that I found myself legitimately wondering whether or not the natural aging process had reached a point with him where there would be several repeat instances of this over the course of the next 4 months.  If so: disaster.

    I also asked my friend a question which I have a leaning on but am not certain about: Do you think a low-turnout election favors TFG? I think it does but I'm not a professional political operative. I just think TFG has a base and his vote tally is only going to vary over a fairly narrow range. His voters are going to vote and are not going to be dissuaded from voting, but he's also unlikely to pick up new supporters. So I'm worried about a few groups of voters where Biden's support is soft. Mainly young people, independents, and moderate republicans who aren't comfortable with TFG. Voters for whom what they saw in the debate provided and excuse to go third party (protest) or to leave the top line of the ballot blank. 

    I then asked my friend about senior moments (he and I are the same age).  I said I have had occasional times when I was speaking to someone, and while trying to express a thought I found myself unable to find a particular word that is the right word for that thought.  I asked my friend if that ever happened to him, and he said "Yes, of course!" And then I asked him: When that happens, do you ever fell like it indicates any deficiency in the thinking you had behind the sentence you were trying to speak? He said NO!! I said yeah.  Exactly.  "Losing" a word at this age doesn't indicate any deficiency in critical or logical thinking. And then I pointed out that most people under the age of 60 likely do not understand that. Even if they might sort of get it, without having experienced it yourself it's pretty hard to understand "losing" a word in mid-sentence has absolutely nothing to do with the ability to think coherently. Maybe not everybody has these moments when they get older. 

    A lot of people under the age of 60, including soft Biden supporters, have seen their parents or grandparents go through the aging process, in some case involving mental decline. I'd bet money that TFG is going to talk about that debate at every campaign event going forward including calling for Biden to be tested for dementia. Never mind that TFG himself will never submit to a dementia examination. And his voters won't care.

    All of that can be overcome.  But the key question as of that weekend was: The thing that happened at the debate: was that a one-time event? Or will it happen again, maybe more than once in the coming 4 months? 

    Now that was short term reaction to the debate. I've mellowed aa bit since, but I think the questions are legitimate and shouldn't be brushed aside as "bed-wetting". One thing remains the same from before the debate to today.  This is an election like no other and we have the potential to win it, but we have to take it dead seriously and put everything we have into it. The consequences of failure are too dire. (more to come)    

    • Is old enough? Maybe if we could find another flaw? Maybe he is a secret smoker? Equal time for "adjudicated rapist and 34X convicted felon". I'm no doctor, I'm retired! If Joe quits I won't vote for him. My only role in this drama is a walk on in November, same as 99.9% of everyone. It really has but one line "anyone but Trump". After that it will just be choosing the team. I'm sure the bedwetters will have representation.

  8. People just don't get the obvious. The number Pervert Hoover is getting right now is his CEILING! That's his max. The only states he will win, are the one's where he's over 50% right now. Sure, one or two will swap. Tennessee will probably go to Donny Two-scoops, Iowa or Ohio might end up going for Biden, but Trumplethinskin will get 15 or so states.

    He as not given anyone who is not already a committed Trumpanzee a single reason to vote for him. Not one. Nobody with half a functional brain, is going to kid themselves that Orange Twitler is, in any way a functional person who, "Might not be that bad…"

    All the indecisiveness, the handwringing, it's just chronic dithering. "I don't want to go to school in the morning!" "Ugh, Monday's coming. Can I just call out sick?" "Do we really have to go to your sister's wedding…?" Pissing and moaning. 

    But, when push comes to shove, people will do what they have to do. We will do our duty and save the country.


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