A preemptive reply to some arguments I expect to hear in 2024
I didn't know you were an Obie! (When I was there Jack Scott was hiding Patty Hearst in his on campus faculty house)
I cannot but agree. Of course, it all gets testy because people DO want different and better solutions and don't want to be threatened into toeing the line. And we're the "incrementalists"--or so it's alleged. But big transformative change is based on ORGANIZING MOVEMENTS OF PEOPLE, not on individual superhero candidates for a single office. So Joe's not a superhero. BUT Bidenomics enabled the UAW and WGA to get contracts. AND UAW has vowed they will now organize Tesla and the other non-union automakers by 2028. I think they've got a shot.
Arguably, old uncle Joe is the first labor president since... when have we actually had a labor president anyway?
after 2016's disaster i thought the dc dem base might have a moment of clarity. do a teensie bit of introspection. exhibit a smidge of self awareness. nope! im not sure if this will change as i age, but atm im not interested in the idea of gaslighting myself into believing voting blue is meaningful in any capacity! they simply dont *actually* care to gain votes of the people they *actively* alienate (save maybe ~10 people i still respect). dems, for what it's worth, seem to have perfected the obscene corporate art/science of minmaxxing the change/status-quo/effort ratio. i believe *not* counting on my vote is part of whatever calculus goes into their projections, and so ill cross my fingers, close my eyes, and wish really hard an evangelical doesnt make a part of my identity illegal.
Thing is this argument makes sense for party operatives or organizers. But to the voters you need to convince, it’s practically offensive at this point. The people in those swing states have measurably worse lives than they did 4 years ago. You would argue (correctly) that under Trump, things would be much worse. But a non-wonk voter wants to vote for a chance that things will be better. That means a change. Which means either a Dem who is not Biden, or Trump. So your energy would be better spent on fighting for a different nominee, however implausible that may seem. Voters don’t want to hold their nose and vote for someone they don’t like. That’s the Hillary Clinton strategy all over again
This rings a bit hollow given that the latest outrage towards the democratic party is full-throated endorsement of genocide in Gaza.
And hey, I'm not even going to pretend that a republican would handle this better. Our options are genocidal monster A or genocidal monster B, and B is worse in a lot of ways. But god, what a horrifying reality to live in. Voting blue feels so horribly inadequate.
I shudder to think there are those who are not part of the Trump cult who see no important difference between Biden and Trump and would happily see Trump as the next president. I'm sure there are some -- but I hope for an intelligent electorate who see a democratic (as opposed to a dictatorial) country as preferable. But, we will see.
I think pre-emption is not gonna work out for you and your party as well as you'd hope. The Democrats have been behaving as if their peril is their shield from accountability for their political actions against the left for too long; and the gulf between is now too large to bridge.
The Democratic Party chose this path, as they had the agency to.
Personally, anyone who does not have definitive plans to form a left party right after Nov. 7, 2024 (like the day after) will not get to direct me on what to do about 2024.
And Gore would likely have used the shock of 9/11 to impel Americans to reduce their gasoline consumption – not just urge them to go shopping. This assumes that it still would have happened on his watch. The Clintonites were pretty serious about terrorism by the end.
Wow, this was great and on point and another reminder of why I hate Nader.....
I don't know how relevant this argument is on the ground. Most of these past Democratic voters are not going to be reading online thinkpieces and hemming and hawing about what to do. They will simply not vote if they feel that the administration has not benefitted them or lived up to their expectations. For instance, the 200,000 Muslims in Michigan who have seen Biden's total support of Israel in the last month may very well decide they would rather abstain from voting than to vote for the man who doesn't value the lives of people who look like them (for some their actual families who have been killed). These people will not be swayed by these kinds of arguments and I don't know why we aren't talking more about that and less about how we should all feel bad for wanting someone besides Biden. The impetus is on the administration to live up to our expectations or get voted out, that is how democracy works.
The messaging for Biden should be “I won’t surround myself with morons and authoritarians”. Look at what team Trump is already preparing for a second Trump term...which is even more ridiculous considering he’ll be a lame duck president on day 1 .
My long-held belief that a majority of Americans neither like nor understand politics has never been stronger. Even with that, the Biden so old meme remains a media fixation. I don't think Americans see The President as anything other than a character in a reality show, capable of controlling gas prices or imposing cease-fires unilaterally. A great and terrible Wizard who is supposed to fix things and solve problems, without the voters having to get their hands dirty. Why did we elect him then? A Trump who plays to this fantasy is attractive to these voters. With all of this, still not enough for Trump to win, he'll have to ratfuck the swing states, same as last time only more direct. It's late 2023, and it's already a long 2024. I don't think anyone has an idea of how sick we're going to be of all this. 2024 is going to make 2000 look like 1956.
President Biden is not running unopposed. Rep. Dean Phillips is going to run in some of the early primaries. Biden will likely still get the nomination, but I’m old enough to remember Sen. Eugene McCarthy.
It is certainly the case that now, in late 2023, with Biden having made the determination to run almost immediately after the midterms were over, there is no real case for an alternative. I do wish he hadn't made that decision, but he's hardly alone in arrogantly insisting that because he is better than the obvious alternative, he must be uniquely suited to the job and the moment.