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The 2024 Greater Evil Is Also America's Greatest Evil Ever-- And It's Not Old Joe Biden



Jennifer Rubin’s column on Sunday, A Wasteland: Political Coverage Ignores The Threat To Democracy, was one long kvetch about mainstream media’s horse-race coverage of the 2024 elections, “none of it informative about democracy, the issues or the threat of an authoritarian regime in a second Trump presidency.” She was especially upset by all the attention the Siena NY Times poll got, although she didn’t note that Siena is a good pollster for New York and a mediocre pollster for the other 49 states, including the 5 the poll claimed Trump led Biden in. She asked het readers to “consider how utterly meaningless this poll truly was. First, it’s a year from the election. Go back to 2011 and 2012, and you would see the same hysterical predictions, from the same sort of premature polling, anticipating then-President Barack Obama’s political demise. Second, many other polls, including a highly reputable Pennsylvania poll, show Biden doing quite well in swing states. (As others have pointed out, even a Republican poll had Biden tied in Nevada, not losing by 10 points). The Times poll had obvious anomalies (e.g., showing Trump trailing by one point among younger voters; Trump winning 22 percent of Black voters; Biden leading in Wisconsin by 2 but trailing in Nevada by 11 points?). Those findings don’t appear in other polling. But to put that in proper context would have killed innumerable news cycles.”


And sure enough, after fixating on the poll, the political coverage focused on “some” Democrats who were really nervous about reelection— largely because of the poll! (The easiest job in political reporting: finding nervous Democrats.) Some Democrats are not nervous; many Republicans are petrified about the perils of electing Trump. But these truisms are not apparently newsworthy.
Remarkably, all of this comes a year after many pollsters and analysts insisted the country was facing a red wave in the 2022 midterm elections. It might just be that polling is becoming less predictive of how voters behave— even though more and more commentary globs onto any survey that might gin up ratings.
… Simon Rosenberg, a Democratic consultant who debunked the red wave, wrote after Tuesday’s results:
Of the 16 most recent national polls on 538, Biden leads or is tied in 9, a majority, and the average of them all is a tie race. Of the 7 polls where Trump leads 3 are Republican pollsters. So to be clear about what this all means— there is no conclusive evidence the race has swung against Joe Biden and the Democrats; there is no conclusive evidence the war in Gaza is hurting him; that what we have right now is a close, competitive election with the Democratic coalition wandering a bit a year before the election, as to be expected, giving us a lot of work to do; and finally, their guy, Trump, likely to become further degraded over the next 12 months giving us a chance to not just win in 2024 but win decisively.
That’s at least as plausible a take as the “Biden is doomed!” drumbeat we get from most pundits.
Laughably, the purveyors of “Biden is doomed” coverage will insist voters like Democrats but not Biden. That wouldn’t explain why voters didn’t vent their supposed anti-Biden anger in 2022. (Tying Democrats to Biden didn’t work in this election, either.) Other pundits insisted that election results don’t matter(!); instead, stick with their flawed punditry.
…Political coverage could be different. Cover what is happening, including abortion rights organizing, job creation in the heartland, political activism among young people, internal migration’s affect on states and demographic changes since 2020. News outlets could provide insight into campaign operations such as political organizing, message testing and surrogate effectiveness. That would be interesting.

Yesterday former Obama reelection campaign manager Jim Messina, a political consultant who will be running Rahm Emanuel’s Senate campaign in 2026, tried reassuring skittish Democrats that Biden is just fine and to stop bedwetting. He reminded Democrats that 3 days after the Siena poll hit “Democrats took Republicans behind the woodshed, enshrining the right to make reproductive decisions in the Ohio constitution, taking control of the Virginia legislature, taking a state supreme court seat in Pennsylvania, and reelecting a popular Democrat as governor in the deep-red state of Kentucky.”


He reminded his readers that before the 2012 election, “polling done a year out had Obama tied with Romney in 10 battleground states; we ended up winning 9 of them. In December 2011, a Gallup poll had Obama losing to Romney by 5 percent across 12 battleground states; we won 11. Bill Clinton trailed about this same time in his reelection cycle. A year before a presidential election, it is just too early to get an accurate read on how the people will actually vote.”


There’s another way at looking at those battleground states than Siena’s suspect polling and the NY Times’ ginned-up reporting. Yesterday a quintet of Washington Post reporters looked at how ability of the local parties in the biggest 3 of those states to get anything done is disintegrating before our eyes. “In Arizona, the state GOP chairman has been begging the Republican National Committee for a financial bailout. Michigan party officials have gotten into physical fights as their finances have dipped into the red. And in Georgia, the state party is in a standoff with the Republican governor and saddled with legal fees for alternate electors put forward in 2020. In each of these 2024 battlegrounds, election denial and grassroots fervor for Trump have rocked the Republican apparatus. Now, the state parties are plagued by infighting, struggling to raise money and sometimes to cover legal costs stemming from Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 defeat— threatening to hamper GOP organizing capabilities in next year’s presidential election.”


How bad could it really be? Could affect the election? John Watson was the Georgia GOP chairman from 2017 to 2019. He told The Post that “There has been an emphasis on ideological cleansing instead of electioneering. If those new entrants to the party want to argue the earth is flat and the election is stolen, those are counterproductive to winning elections.”



They didn’t write about Colorado, a blue state that used to be purple, but a fervent Trump loyalist, Lauren Boebert is being challenged by a more establishment type conservative, Jeff Hurd, in the Republican primary. In an attempt to get rid of Boebert and recapture the local Republican Party from the MAGAts, the GOP old guard— including former Gov. Bill Owens, former Senator Hank Brown and brewery billionaire Pete Coors— is abandoning Boebert and backing Hurd.


The 5 Post reporters emphasized that “State parties are typically critical in election years for mobilizing volunteers and running get-out-the-vote efforts, and they can collect larger checks or buy cheaper airtime than other groups. Those functions are now in doubt as the fissures fuel finger-pointing and competition for donor dollars. Even as more experienced leaders have taken the reins in some cases, they are struggling to undo some of the damage from MAGA-aligned predecessors and deal with continued pressure from the movement… Trump and his team have become deeply involved with state parties, elevating candidates for positions who back him, courting members at his Mar-a-Lago resort home and attacking officials in states who oppose him. His campaign could be the one to have to make up lost ground from shortfalls in local fundraising and field operations… In each of these states, cultivating center-right voters is key for a Republican to win the presidency. But the activists who overwhelmingly embrace Trump’s false election claims, demand fealty to him and want to purge the party of Trump critics such as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, have largely taken over, according to operatives in multiple states.”


[L]ocal party staff [in Arizona] have been deluged all year with phone calls, texts and emails from MAGA-aligned activists who want to punish or purge Republicans they deem as insufficiently loyal, according to people familiar with the party’s operations.
This summer, for example, a county party stripped Karrin Taylor Robson, who lost the 2022 gubernatorial primary to Kari Lake, and her brother, a former county supervisor, of their voting privileges as GOP precinct committee members. Maricopa County GOP chair Craig Berland said the punishment reflected “our commitment to principled Republican unity as the fundamental basis for winning elections.”
In Michigan, infighting within the state GOP has twice broken out into physical altercations. The fights played out as Republicans there have disputed who controls some county parties, with competing factions claiming to be in charge.
…[M]any Michigan Republicans have already lost patience with [Kristina] Karamo’s leadership over concerns about the party’s finances. Some of her past supporters are already calling for her ouster.
…“One of the big problems in our party is a constant betrayal by a lot of our Republican elected officials, so that many people quit the party,” she told the group, according to a recording of the meeting. “I get stabbed in the back by a lot of opportunists.”
…Budget committee member Jessica Barefield recently resigned, writing in a letter obtained by the Washington Post that officials had discussed selling the party’s headquarters because of “imminent default” on a line of credit. She and others have questioned the party’s legal authority to sell the building because it is owned by a trust, not the party.
…The [Georgia] state party is stuck paying legal bills for the alternate electors after the executive committee voted in January to indemnify them, and followed up with another similar vote after former state GOP chair David Shafer’s successor, Josh McKoon, became chair in April, according to a person with knowledge of the state GOP’s internal deliberations. Shafer was charged by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, in a case that centers on efforts to overturn Trump’s 2020 defeat.
… [Gov. Brian] Kemp fell out with the state party over the alternate-elector plan, the party’s claims of a stolen election and Shafer’s support for Trump even as he slashed Kemp and other Georgia Republicans. Kemp’s allies in the state legislature created a new type of political committee with no contribution limits, effectively empowering Kemp to bypass the official state party in fundraising and election spending.
A Kemp adviser, speaking on the condition of anonymity to be candid, said the move was necessary because the formal party leadership had been taken over by extremists, and that other candidates in the state were now supported by Kemp’s group. The adviser said his political operation had little contact with the state party in recent years.
…“The state party in this situation is not seen as a viable partner to win elections necessary in November,” Watson said. “He’s got a severe uphill climb to bring the party back to relevancy.”

And, like most American elections, this one, even more than most, will be a choice between 2 evils. And, as shitty as Biden may be, it’s hard to not realize Trump is the far, far greater evil. Charlie Sykes yesterday: “Over the weekend, Donald J. Trump joked about the hammer attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband; praised the Chinese use of the death penalty; referred to political opponents as ‘vermin’; lavished praise on Hungarian proto-fascist strong man, Viktor Orban; and seemed confused about who was actually president. Trump quoted Orban as saying that ‘Obama’ should resign and restore Trump to the presidency. Understandably, it’s tempting to focus on Trump’s gaffes, which are, indeed, a target-rich environment. The stumbles, the bumbles, the confusion. But the problem with Trump isn’t the gaffes— underneath the verbal clownishness Trump is telling us who he is and exactly what he intends to do. He genuinely admires the brutality of the Chinese; he finds violence exciting; and he’s a sincere fanboy of the world’s fascists. And he keeps tell us what his presidency will mean if and when he regains power. There’s no subtlety here… He has said this before, of course. But the rhetoric is escalating: The enemy is us. The ‘vermin’ are fellow Americans And he is coming for them. So, once again, it is essential to pay attention. Trump may be clownish, but the clown car is carrying a neutron bomb. Possibly several.”


  • He plans to scour the country for immigrants living here without legal permission and deport people by the millions per year.

  • “Following the Eisenhower model, we will carry out the largest domestic deportation operation in American history.” The reference was to a 1954 campaign to round up and expel Mexican immigrants that was named for an ethnic slur— “Operation Wetback.”

  • To help speed mass deportations, Trump is preparing an enormous expansion of a form of removal that does not require due-process hearings.

  • Trump wants to build huge camps to detain people while their cases are processed and they await deportation flights.

  • Trump would redirect money in the military budget, as he did in his first term to spend more on a border wall than Congress had authorized.





7 Comments


I see a few paths to a Republican victory. 1) Trump, visited by the ghosts of Christmas, has a heart attack and dies. Without his bizarre charisma, the MAGA movement has no leader and erodes to impotence. A sane Republican wins the primary (maybe with a bit of "Trump was persecuted" rhetoric, without a trial, who could prove them wrong?) , and Trump's heart attack makes people really consider the possibility of a President Harris. 2) Trump wins one of his multiple court cases. MAGA's are re-invigorated.


3) Gaza escalates into a regional war. Biden digs in with Israel, putting more American lives into a Middle Eastern quagmire for a war of questionable morality, while China deplores our military interventionism.


4)…

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Guest
Nov 15, 2023
Replying to

Your best scenario, given that the democraps are seen as the only alternative to naziism, is that biden dies and kamala decides not to run.

Except the money will probably tell y'all that mayo pete is their/your man... and the reich will be assured.

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Guest
Nov 14, 2023

Mr. Toomey will have a harder time talking himself into voting for the democrap party anvil again. But is there any question at all that he will do just that?


I'm quite sure nobody will have had this thought, but we are not only going to face an election to install our fuhrer or avoid doing so for one more cycle and our choice will be our worst ever.

I would have been similar to Germans facing an election between hitler and the also greatly diminished Hindenburg (which didn't really happen) who was still far better than your anvil.


But you still must admit that the selection of your worst ever greatly diminished anvil... will be YOURS. If you AL…


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Joe Biden is currently all that stands between us and potential fascism. His current approval ratings (which haven't been net positive since 6/21) are at 39%--net negative of 16.4%:


https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/biden-approval-rating/


After bottoming out at 41% in 10/11, Obama's approval ratings were at 43% in 11/11. They steadily rose therafter to 51% at the time of his re-election in 11/12:


https://www.statista.com/statistics/205284/obama-job-approval-rate-by-the-american-public/


Obviously, it is POSSIBLE that Biden's #'s could enjoy a similar rsise in the coming months. However, as Nate Silver recently noted:


That’s in part for reasons Biden refuses to accept: his capacity to do the job. The oldest president in history when he first took the oath, Biden will not be able to govern and campaign in the manner…


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Guest
Nov 14, 2023
Replying to

yep. still gonna vote for him, though... ain't ya?

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