Yesterday, we looked briefly at the viciously contested Republican primaries coming up tomorrow in Georgia, Arkansas and Alabama. The Democrats continue discouraging primaries, hoping instead to put their resources and energy into the general elections. Meanwhile, the Republican base is energized to the max and the Democratic base is... snoozing and thinking about how disappointing Biden has been and how feckless congressional Democrats have been. Last night Shane Goldmacher and Katie Glueck reported that the Democrats are worried. At least they're sentient enough to be! If only they thought more about the American people and less about their own career trajectories... or is that too much to expect from an organization that has willfully transitioned from the party of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt to the party of Bill and Hillary Clinton (and Wall Street)?
The Dems have given up on Arkansas (which spawned Clinton) and Alabama entirely-- with the exception of the one packed gerrymandered congressional district that meanders around Alabama looking for African-Americans here there and everywhere (and where there is no primary effort against the useless conservative New Dem incumbent). So tomorrow, for Democrats, it's all about Georgia... and there's not much going on there either. The only potentially exciting primary-- between half dead old Blue Dog David Scott and brilliant Berniecrat Vincent Fort-- has been basically buried by the party, which is instead watching nervously as two right-of-center incumbents, Blue Dog Carolyn Bourdeaux and New Dem Lucy McBath struggle to keep their miserable, pointless careers afloat. On Wednesday one of them will be sending out resumes to K Street firms.
Everything else in the state is a foregone conclusion. "For months," wrote Goldmacher and Glueck, "nearly all the political oxygen in Georgia and beyond has been sucked up by ferocious Republican primaries, intraparty feuds that have become proxy wars for Trump’s power and fueled by his retribution agenda. But the ugliness of the GOP infighting has at times obscured a political landscape that is increasingly tilted in the Republican direction in Georgia-- and nationally."
Democrats worry that Biden's unpopularity will drag their candidates in Georgia down with him, when the blame should be at least as much Manchin's and Sinema's, two senators who have cut Biden's balls off (as well as the party's). As always, the only hope for the Democratic Party of the Clintons, is for the Republicans to demonstrate that as bad as the Democrats are, the GOP is worse. That's certainly accurate, but the Republicans don't always cooperate.
The greatest hope for Democrats appears to be potential Republican acts of self-sabotage: the party nominating outside-the-mainstream candidates or failing to coalesce after divisive primaries.
In Washington, much of the Biden agenda is frozen in a congressional morass. The party’s left wing and [the corrupt right-of-center corporate whores who hacks at the NY Times insist on calling "moderates" because they're too dull to understand the propaganda value of the term] are busily blaming each other for the state of affairs and clashing over what to do next, with student loan forgiveness emerging as one divisive flashpoint.
Inside the White House, whose political operation has been a subject of quiet griping in some corners for months, a furious effort is afoot to reframe the 2022 elections as a choice between the two parties, rather than a referendum on Democratic rule. Anita Dunn, an aggressive operator and longtime Biden adviser, has rejoined the administration to sharpen its messaging.
“The Democratic base is quite demoralized at this moment,” Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, one of the party’s leading progressive voices, put it bluntly.
If Georgia was the scene of the highest highs for Democrats in the 2020 cycle-- turning blue at the presidential level for the first time since 1992, flipping two Senate seats to cement control of the chamber and providing Democrats their only tightly contested House pickup in the nation-- it is not clear whether the ideologically sprawling and multiracial Biden coalition that unified to oust Trump is replicable.
Energized Black voters, moderate white suburbanites, Asian Americans and some Hispanic Americans all played a role in propelling Democratic victories in the state in 2020 and 2021, while some of the rural Republican base stayed home in the January Senate runoffs.
This fall, Warnock is expected to face Herschel Walker, the Republican former football star with scant political experience. Warnock has already begun leveraging a $23 million war chest to tell voters that he feels their pain-- and to make plain the limits of his power as a freshman senator.
...[Stacey] Abrams has emerged as a national star among Democrats. But privately Democratic strategists fear that her high-water mark might have come in 2018, when she lost in a Democratic wave year.
Most polling shows a close race for governor and Senate, with a slight Republican advantage.
As general-election matchups come into focus, Biden’s advisers argue that there is still time to crystallize a clear choice between the president and congressional Democrats, and the other side. Republicans have already elevated candidates like state Senator Doug Mastriano, a far-right 2020 election denier who is the Republican nominee for governor in Pennsylvania. And as the Supreme Court appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, many Republicans have embraced stringent anti-abortion positions, views that are often out of step with the majority of Americans, polling shows.
Democrats are seeking to cast Republican candidates as extremists more consumed with culture wars than finding solutions to the nation’s most pressing problems, and the president’s advisers and allies say Democrats will continue to push the message that they are doing everything possible to lower prices.
But Bourdeaux, who is locked in a primary battle of her own, said that the kind of Democratic intraparty “infighting that you’re seeing right now” complicates the party’s messaging. [The only woman in the photo on the right of the 9 worst Democrats in the House, proudly bragging how they would-- and did-- prevent Biden's very modest Build Back Better legislation from ever passing, is none other than the utterly execrable Carolyn Bourdeaux. Third from the left is Texas Blue Dog Henry Cuellar who has been forced into a runoff with Jessica Cisneros, also tomorrow. Second from the right is Kurt Schrader who was defeated by progressive challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner last week. Exterminate all Blue Dogs with primaries.]
Warnock told his congregation he met with Mr. Biden at the White House, putting up a photo on the screen of a selfie he took with a picture of Ebenezer Baptist Church that hung in the halls of the West Wing.
“My message was very plain: ‘Mr. President, we need student debt relief,’” Mr. Warnock said.
That issue, in particular, has divided the White House into factions-- including Biden himself who has both expressed opposition to perceived giveaways to college-educated elites and said he was considering wiping out some debts. Progressives have pushed for sweeping loan forgiveness to motivate the base.
James Carville, the [rigt-of-center washed up] veteran Democratic political strategist, castigated Biden’s Democratic critics more broadly, especially those on the left. “Pick up 20 Twitter followers, and you lose two House seats,” he said.
An A.P. poll on Friday showed only 21 percent of Americans believed the country was headed in the right direction. A CBS News/YouGov survey on Sunday showed 65 percent of Americans said Biden was “slow to react” to important issues and events. And his approval rating among Democrats was at just 73 percent in the A.P. survey.
“If I had hair to catch fire,” Carville said, “it would catch fire.”
Symone Sanders, a former top Biden aide now with MSNBC, sought to deflect blame outside the White House. “Where is the DCCC, the Democratic National Committee, hell, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee?” she said on a recent New York Times podcast, adding, “That’s what I’m saying. I don’t know. I don’t work there.”
Biden won't have Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, Josh Gottheimer or Kurt Schrader to blame when he single-handedly bungles the student loan crisis, which he seems determined to do. That will be the death knell for the last glimmer of hope the Democrats have for the midterms... short of a televised pay-per-view gun fight between Trump and McConnell or McCarthy and Cheney. Not even more brutal revelations about the inner workings of the House Republicans from Madison Cawthorn could stop the Republican wave. My advice: forget the corroded Democratic Party. Back extraordinary candidates who you trust, not a party that has proven itself less than worthless. Forget the shitty Senate candidates recruited by Chuck Schumer-- the same guy who recruited Sinema-- and put whatever energy you can muster into candidates like Tom Nelson (WI), Lucas Kunce (MO), Glenn Hurst (IA)...