Democrats/progressives 2022

Written by  //  May 2, 2022  //  Politics, U.S.  //  No comments

Very sad!
As Feinstein Declines, Democrats Struggle to Manage an Open Secret
On Capitol Hill, it is widely — though always privately — acknowledged that Ms. Feinstein suffers from acute short-term memory issues that on some days are ignorable, but on others raise concern among those who interact with her.
She was once pressed to run for governor of California by President Bill Clinton. She was considered as a running mate to former Vice President Walter F. Mondale. And after the bitter 2008 Democratic primary, it was in her living room that former Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton met to make peace.
At 88, Ms. Feinstein sometimes struggles to recall the names of colleagues, frequently has little recollection of meetings or telephone conversations, and at times walks around in a state of befuddlement — including about why she is increasingly dogged by questions about whether she is fit to serve in the Senate representing the 40 million residents of California.
A recent article in The San Francisco Chronicle, her hometown paper, reported that some of Ms. Feinstein’s colleagues believe she is mentally incompetent to serve. It recounted in brutal detail the signs of her decline on the job, an open secret that leading Democrats have quietly accepted as the status quo, but that some people close to her worry has become a spectacle that could tarnish her legacy.

19 April
Can Democrats Turn Their 2022 Around?
Midterm elections are around the corner. Sean McElwee and Anat Shenker-Osorio discuss the fights Democrats need to pick to win over voters.
…we’re a bit more than six months out from the midterm election. And it looks bad for Democrats, really bad. Build Back Better is dead, at least for now. Inflation is outpacing wage gains, and it’s not close. Biden’s approval rating is about where Trump’s was at this point in Trump’s term. And while I don’t put any stock at all in 2024 polling in 2022, it was definitely a psychological blow for Democrats to see the recent Harvard Harris Poll showing Trump winning a Trump-Biden match by 6 points. That’s not the first recent poll showing Trump with a lead in a Trump-Biden match-up.
More relevant, of course, are the polls asking whether Americans want Republicans or Democrats in Congress. FiveThirtyEight is tracking those, and Republicans are leading by about two points on average. If that holds, Republicans are very, very, very likely to win back Congress in November. Now, some of this just reflects midterm blues. The governing party tends to have a bad midterm. That’s a pretty constant thing in American politics, absent very extraordinary circumstances.
… if they want to continue governing well, they need to not do too poorly in the election. So what do they intend to make 2022 about? What should they, what can they make it about? It’s important to say that question, it isn’t open-ended. You can’t just make an election about whatever you choose. You can only make politics about the issues and controversies that unleash enough energy to capture public attention.
Trump was a master at this. If he had anything, it was the theory of attention. What he wasn’t was strategic about the attention he got. He knew how to control the agenda, but he often did it in ways that made him really unpopular. Biden, I think, has the opposite problem. He’s strategic. He wants to talk about popular things. He has a sense of how he’d like the country to view him, but he doesn’t have a theory of how to control the agenda. He doesn’t have a knack for making politics, making media, making controversy about the issues he wants people talking about.

17 April
Charles M. Blow: A Biden Blood Bath?
Quinnipiac University found that President Biden’s approval rating had sunk to just 33 percent. You might argue that this was just one poll, but Biden’s approval is down in multiple surveys.
As CNN’s Harry Enten pointed out Friday, there were four major national polls released last week, and in three of them — including Quinnipiac — Biden had the lowest showing of his presidency. In the fourth, he was “one point off the lowest.”
These are just devastating results on the heels of a historic Supreme Court confirmation and only seven months out from the midterms.
When Politico’s Ryan Lizza last week asked the Biden pollster John Anzalone how dire the situation had become for Democrats, Anzalone responded in blunt terms, saying that no Democratic consultant would say “that this is anything but a really sour environment for Democrats.”

7 March
Wins for Dems in NC, PA as court rejects GOP election plans
(AP) — In a victory for Democrats, the Supreme Court has turned away efforts from Republicans in North Carolina and Pennsylvania to block state court-ordered congressional districting plans.
In separate orders late Monday, the justices are allowing maps selected by each state’s Supreme Court to be in effect for the 2022 elections. Those maps are more favorable to Democrats than the ones drawn by the states’ legislatures.

25 January
Hoyer: Voting rights bill, BBB ‘very much alive’
The House majority leader expressed optimism but didn’t offer specifics.
(Politico) House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer remains optimistic that Democrats will pass the voting rights legislation and the Build Back Better bill despite roadblocks but offered few details about how that could happen.
“I do not buy your characterization of the Voting Rights Act being ‘dead’ in the Senate.” … “It certainly is not in the shape I’d like it to be in, but we’re not going to forget about that.”
Hoyer was similarly bullish about the fate of the Build Back Better bill, a key piece of President Joe Biden’s social infrastructure agenda. Biden hinted last week that the bill may need to be broken into “chunks” to be passed, a move designed to appease Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who blocked passage in December after it made it through the House.
Hoyer said he is confident that he can corral House Democrats to rally around a smaller bill. “I think we can and I think we will,” he said. “We have to look at what we can get, not what we’d like to get.”
Hoyer declined to say which provisions might be shaved off in the Senate but did say that the child tax credit is “very important.”

20 January
Behind their big defeat, Democrats may have reached a turning point
Paul Waldman
Democrats, including the president who has spent so much time insisting that he can achieve bipartisanship, are simply done waiting for Republicans to see the light. The next step is for them to get mad enough to do something about it.
Which might happen. Even though the most likely outcome in 2022 is a Republican sweep (following the usual midterm election pattern), Democratic voters can and should be angry enough about the death of these voting bills — among many other things, including the Supreme Court’s likely overturning of Roe v. Wade this year — to organize, register and overcome Republican voter suppression to get to the polls in November.
If you’re a Democrat and you’re mad at Manchin and Sinema — and you should be — the answer is to make them irrelevant by electing a few more Democrats to the Senate.

16 January
Charles M. Blow: Failure on Voting Rights Would Be Historic
After Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema made it clear that they were not in favor of altering the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation, essentially dooming the bills to failure and ensuring that Republicans could continue their efforts to unleash an era of modified Jim Crow, the best the White House could say not to sound completely defeated was that they were going to keep fighting.

With Voting Bills Dead, Democrats Face Costly Fight to Overcome G.O.P. Curbs
Party officials now say they are resigned to spending and organizing their way around the new voting restrictions passed in Republican-controlled states.
With the door slammed shut this week on federal legislation to create new protections for access to voting, Democrats face an electoral landscape in which they will need to spend heavily to register and mobilize voters if they are to overcome the hodgepodge of new voting restrictions enacted by Republicans across the country.
Democrats rode record turnout to win the presidency and control of the Senate in 2020 after embracing policies that made it easier to vote with absentee ballots during the pandemic. But Republican-controlled state legislatures have since enacted a range of measures that undo those policies, erect new barriers to voting and remove some of the guardrails that halted former President Donald J. Trump’s drive to overturn the election.

11 January
What a progressive champion from rural Maine can teach Democrats about winning
(WaPo) The 2022 midterms are still 10 months away — but if much of the media is to be believed, the fight is already over before it’s even begun.
The Wall Street Journal reports that “alarm bells are ringing in the Democratic Party.” Politico says Democrats are confronting “the prospect of a 2022 hurricane.” CNN depicts “dejected” Democrats facing a “grim 2022 outlook.” One prognosticator at Vox has pegged Democratic chances of losing the House and Senate at 95 percent.
[Chloe Maxmin, a champion of progressive policies in deep-red rural America] knows how to win in rural America, even as Democrats lose there at historic rates — and she can teach vital lessons about persuading those supposedly unreachable voters.
First, to reach someone, you have to reach out. Rural Democrats consistently lament that the national party hasn’t invested enough money or time in rural organizing. By contrast, during her 2020 campaign, Maxmin says she had 90,000 voter contacts, the most of any state Senate campaign in the state. Her closest opponent had just 35,000. As a result, she connected with persuadable Trump voters who had never spoken with a Democratic candidate.
And Maxmin didn’t just talk to voters; she sought to understand them. As she told me during an interview last year, her canvassing strategy was “to stand there for 10 or 15 minutes and have a conversation — and then go back and follow up.” The progressive advocacy group People’s Action calls this approach “deep canvassing,” and found that it helped decrease Trump’s margins where implemented in key battleground states.

The Atlantic newsletter:
We are exactly 300 days out from the 2022 midterm elections—not much time at all, if you factor in the congressional calendar and campaign season, for Democrats to pass both their Build Back Better Act (or, as we’re calling it, the Big Bill) and comprehensive national voting reform. (Although things seem to be looking up for the latter, the spending package remains stalled.)
If history is any guide, the party is likely to lose seats in Congress come November. That means its window for passing an agenda is quickly closing. Three Atlantic writers weigh in on where things stand and what the future may hold.
This is a now-or-never moment for climate legislation. “Every day that goes by, the party takes another step toward political catastrophe and planetary misgovernance,” Robinson Meyer warns. (Joe Manchin isn’t the only Democrat gambling with Earth’s future, he says.)
But there’s one bold economic move Joe Biden doesn’t need Congress for. The president could cancel student-loan debt unilaterally, but he says he won’t, Russell Berman reports.
And looking forward, America needs an abundance agenda. The country’s deficits go far beyond a lack of COVID tests—other essential goods such as housing and health care remain in short supply. Scarcity is “the story of America today,” Derek Thompson argues. The solution would draw on several ideologies to usher in an era where time, power, and comfort are in abundance for all Americans.

Hillary Clinton 2024? Biden-Cheney 2024? No. Here are the real sleeper Democratic tickets.
(Except not really.) (Unless they actually happen.)
(WaPo) The most important thing for now is for us to float our own far-fetched sleeper tickets for the Democrats in 2024. Even as we write this, we recognize that certain crazy things have happened in recent years and that snarking at such things is a recipe for later embarrassment.

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