You may have noticed that lately we've been posting quite a few pieces on societal collapse and national disintegration-- like here and here and, just this morning, here. It gives me no great joy to do so-- and those kinds of posts get about half the readers as more positive posts. But I can't help it. It's happening faster than I imagined and it's worse than I thought it would be. If someone shot Trump between the eyes this evening, would it all go back to normal? Nope. It would be a step in the right direction but the damage has been done and the people who voted for him last year (74,216,154) and the ones who still have a favorable opinion of him today (40% of registered voters according to the new YouGov poll for The Economist)... they're never going to get any better.
If you've been reading DWT with any kind of regularity since 2005, you already know that Biden's failure as a national leader was predictable and something we've gone over countless times. From the instant he was elected to the Senate-- basically on one issue: anti-busing-- in 1972 he was the Joe Manchin of his day. I certainly was unable to bring myself to vote for him, even against Trump, an infinitely worse evil.
The Bulwark's Jonathan Last noted that even Democrats have now figured out they don't like Biden. That latest YouGov poll shows Biden with a 45%/51% favorable/unfavorable rating among registered voters. Among Democrats only those numbers are 88%/8%. He isn't doing much better than Trump: 40% favorable among registered voters and 56% unfavorable. Among Republicans it's 85%/14%.
Voters don't like either party, although the Republicans are doing significantly worse. Again, among registered voters, the Democrats' favorable/unfavorable numbers are 42%/52%. The Republicans: 32%/62%. But asked who they blame for Congress' lack of accomplishment this session, 43% blame the Democrats, 19% blame the Republicans and 35% blame each party equally.
Last wasn't reporting on this or any other poll. He observed a focus group with Pennsylvania Democrats, who he said ran the gamut "from Bernie-stans to a lady who had voted for Trump in 2016." It didn't go well for the president.
"Every single one of them thought Biden was doing a bad job. But that’s not the bad news. Every single one of them thought things were crappy in America right now. Still not the bad news. Not one of them liked Biden personally. They all viewed him as a normal, lying politician. Now we’re there. Here’s the really bad news: None of them believed that Republicans were to blame for the administration’s failures. If you are a Democrat, this should scare the living death out of you [if you think Biden is "the Democrats"]. Because it means," claims Last, maybe accurately, maybe not, "that your own voters:
Think the environment is bad.
Blame you for it being bad.
Don’t like you in the first place.
Aren’t even seeing you as the lesser evil.
Two other Beltway journalists, Scott Wong and Mike Lillis, reported this morning that the Democrats are facing bleak prospects in the midterms. It's in The Hill, so take it with a grain of salt but they wrote that the fight between the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- which these two goofballs refer to as "centrists"-- are fighting with progressives, who are trying to get something accomplished for the American people, which the Blue Dogs and New Dems equate with "short-sightedness and selfishness."
Wong and Lillis, as they always do, twist the facts to fit their own headline, even if it means lying; it could be ignorance, but I think it's both lying and ignorance. They claim the progressives are all in "diamond-blue districts" and so have little to fear. That's just not true. There are progressives in red districts and conservatives in "diamond-blue" districts. Wong and Lillis shouldn't be allowed to report about politics if they don't know that. Texas Blue Dog Henry Cuellar, for example, has the single worst voting record of any Democrat in Congress. His district has a PVI of D+6 and Republicans don't even run candidates against him. Jim Costa has the second worst voting record and he represents a Central Valley district with a D+9. One of the plotters against the Build Back Better Act-- and especially against lower drug prices-- is corrupt San Diego multimillionaire scumbag scott Peters, whose districts PVI is an unassailable D+12. Jim Cooper's Nashville district has a PVI of D+9.
Progressives supporting Biden's agenda in shakier districts than these Blue Dogs and New Dems include Dan Kildee (D+1), Peter DeFazio (R+1), Matt Cartwright (R+5), Lauren Underwood (R+2), Katie Porter (D+3), Andy Kim (R+3)...
I doubt Max Boot, or any Republican or independent like him, is too enamored of Biden's agenda. But Boot wrote in today's Washington Post exactly why he intends to vote for Democrats up and down the ticket anyway. "There appears to be a consensus in Washington," he wrote, "that the success of the Biden presidency will hinge on the outcome of the massive infrastructure and social-spending bills now before Congress. That may be true, but their fate won’t affect how I vote. I’m a single-issue voter. My issue is the fate of democracy in the United States. Simply put, I have no faith that we will remain a democracy if Republicans win power. Thus, although I’m not a Democrat, I will continue to vote exclusively for Democrats-- as I have done in every election since 2016-- until the GOP ceases to pose an existential threat to our freedom. If you want to know why I’m so alarmed about the current state of my former party, look at the dueling documents released last week by the Senate Judiciary Committee about President Donald Trump’s attempt to pressure the Justice Department into helping to overturn the 2020 election."
Committee Democrats issued a lengthy report documenting all of the pressure Trump applied to acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen to substantiate bogus claims of election fraud. Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark was nauseatingly eager to cooperate by sending a letter to Georgia’s governor and legislative leaders urging them to convene a special session to appoint pro-Trump electors in a state that Trump lost. When Rosen wouldn’t cooperate, Trump threatened to replace him with Clark.
...Yet the committee Republicans issued their own report to whitewash the former president. They pretended that his refusal to accept the election results had nothing to do with his desire to stay in office. Heaven forbid! He was merely, selflessly “ensuring that . . . the American people would have confidence in the results.” (So, denying the results would raise confidence in them?) And he wasn’t pressuring Justice Department leaders to substantiate his outlandish allegations of fraud but merely making sure “that they were aware of allegations of election fraud . . . and that DOJ actually did their job by properly investigating them.”
...Most Republicans couldn’t care less about the latest revelations of Trump’s coup plots. There isn’t an iota of outrage on the right over the Eastman memo or the Judiciary Committee revelations. If Trump runs for president again-- as he shows every sign of doing-- he will be a shoo-in for the nomination.
We only narrowly defeated the Trump coup in 2020-- and his loyalists are now purging Republican officeholders who refused to cooperate with this assault on democracy. It would be foolhardy to imagine that Republican officeholders who go along with the “big lie” now-- as almost all of them do-- will resist it in 2024.
To prevent a successful coup in 2024, it is imperative to elect Democrats at every level of government in 2021 and 2022-- to state legislatures and governorships, as well as the House and Senate. Democrats should break a Senate filibuster to pass voting rights legislation that would help ensure free elections. But even if that doesn’t happen and Republicans rig the rules, small-D democrats can still prevail by turning out en masse to vote for Big-D Democrats.
It doesn’t matter if you think the Build Back Better bill is too small or too big. What matters now is preserving our endangered democracy. We must not get so distracted by relatively minor policy quibbles that we lose sight of the true stakes in 2021, 2022 and 2024.