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NBC -- Inside a Biden White House adrift. Biden blames his staff and democrats

WASHINGTON — Faced with a worsening political predicament, President Joe Biden is pressing aides for a more compelling message and a sharper strategy while bristling at how they’ve tried to stifle the plain-speaking persona that has long been one of his most potent assets.

Democratic leaders are at a loss about how he can revive his prospects by November, when midterm elections may cost his party control of Congress.

This article is based on interviews with more than two dozen current and former administration officials, lawmakers, congressional aides and other Democrats close to the White House who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

An assumption baked into Biden’s candidacy was that he would preside over a smoothly running administration by dint of his decades of experience in public office. Yet there are signs of managerial breakdowns that have angered both him and his party.

Beyond policy, Biden is unhappy about a pattern that has developed inside the West Wing. He makes a clear and succinct statement — only to have aides rush to explain that he actually meant something else. The so-called clean-up campaign, he has told advisers, undermines him and smothers the authenticity that fueled his rise. Worse, it feeds a Republican talking point that he’s not fully in command.

The issue came to a head when Biden ad-libbed during a speech in Poland that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.” Within minutes, Biden’s aides tried to walk back his comments, saying he hadn’t called for Putin’s removal and that U.S. policy was unchanged. Biden was furious that his remarks were being seen as unreliable, arguing that he speaks genuinely and reminding his staff that he’s the one who is president.

Asked about the staff’s practice of clarifying Biden’s remarks, the official said: “We don’t say anything that the president doesn’t want us to say.”

Biden’s angst is rippling through the party. Democratic lawmakers are sparring among themselves and blaming the White House for their dim prospects in November.

The president has also told aides he doesn’t think enough Democrats go on television to defend him. A particular sore spot is his slumping poll numbers; he’s mystified that his approval rating has dropped to a level approaching that of his predecessor, Donald Trump. “He’s now lower than Trump, and he’s really twisted about it,” another person close to the White House said.

A few weeks ago, Biden started employing a midterm election tactic that has been a go-to for sitting presidents: villainize the opposition. He has sought to tether Republicans to Trump’s Make America Great Again agenda. But Biden has been leaning on White House aides to come up with a message that captures the stark choice voters face. Biden himself thought up the phrase “Ultra MAGA,” . The phrase tested well in polling reviewed by the White House, but it also had the unintended effect of firing up the Trump faithful. Merchandisers have found a hot market for “Ultra MAGA” T-shirts.

“He shares the view that we haven’t landed on a winning midterm message,” a third person close to the White House said of the president. “And he’s putting a lot of pressure on people to figure out what that is.”

About three-quarters of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, a recent NBC News poll found — only the fifth time in the last 34 years that so many Americans have been dissatisfied with the nation’s direction.

No sitting president wants to be challenged for the party’s nomination; Biden can’t count on a free ride.

“We’re on a track — a losing track,” Faiz Shakir, a senior adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, said of the Democrats.

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by Anonymousreply 161June 22, 2022 3:56 PM

DEMOCRATS IN DISARRAY

by Anonymousreply 1June 1, 2022 7:39 PM

He can fire them and replace them. If they have been with him quite a while, fuck loyalty. This is too important to worry about them.

by Anonymousreply 2June 1, 2022 8:02 PM

Maybe r2, but these things tend to start at the top. And whenever presidents start bitching about the staffwork and the messaging it's a very bad sign. If they are constantly stepping in to correct and adjust, it is because he is hesitating and backtracking and second guessing.

Maybe it's time to just go with his instincts, gaffes and all. Yeah, go with Putin's an asshole who has shown he intends to destroy any neighboring country that gets in his way. Fuck the delicate diplomacy of it all and go with the obvious. Scare him a little. A thousand fuckers will rush in screaming exit ramp, exit ramp, exit ramp, but fuck them. That is never how crises ends. They end when the asshole that started them is bitch slapped into admitting that he was wrong.

by Anonymousreply 3June 1, 2022 8:22 PM

White House staff discouragement and bad morale.

'Why are we doing this?' Biden aides are losing morale because no one is watching his speeches and his cool guy reputation can't be utilized as he has to speak to 'serious things' instead of 'getting ice cream,'

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by Anonymousreply 4June 4, 2022 9:44 AM

Like R3, I cringe when I hear these stories; I think part of the problem is that the White House wants to send their message, press their agenda, whatever, but keep getting hit by waves of crisis after crisis that knocks them off course: high inflation, record high gas prices, school shootings, SCOTUS taking away rights, etc. All these things make the electorate cranky - add to that the MAGAs with efforts to return their king & the dems frustration that no one of note has really been held to account for 1/6.

I think Joe was always a transitional figure - a basic white guy that people who don't like dems but loathe Trump could vote for. But there is no one to "transition" to. Dems as a party are in disarray & there is no next generation leader emerging and everyone knows that things will go tits up if the repigs retake the House. Scary times indeed.

by Anonymousreply 5June 4, 2022 9:54 AM

There has been at least one "Democrats in disarray" news article per week for my entire life.

by Anonymousreply 6June 4, 2022 9:57 AM

I like President Biden. I think he is doing an okay job. But, he messed up. He REALLY messed up!

When he was unable to take down Manchin and Sinema that was the beginnings of the end. Whether it is fantasy or not, people were expecting an LBJ moment. Manchin and Sinema both have their price. President Biden didn't do what he had to to get it done. He depended too much on "Congress" and that WORTHLESS Chuck Schumer! Then... the Black community is just too through with him (and it's not his fault) because Democrats did not get the George Floyd bill through and have done nothing to protect voting rights. Biden (IMHO) should have surprised the world and left Republicans alone on these issues but instead RIPPED new assholes into Democrats because of their ineptness and incompetence. Had he done that he would still have strong support rather than tepid to almost non-existent support.

by Anonymousreply 7June 4, 2022 10:49 AM

Am no huge fan of Biden nor democrats in general, but both should be well positioned going into November election cycle. Problem is they keep snatching victory from jaws of defeat with their own actions or otherwise.

It is without question huge infusions of federal money both under DT and continued with Biden in response saved US economy from collapsing. That message is being now drowned out by people screaming about inflation, and of course GOP wagging their fingers saying "told you so".

Leaving economy aside for moment democrats worst enemies are from within their own party. The progressive, socialist, woke liberals are going to bring democrats crashing down in November. In particular but not limited to fact they won't shut up about trans and other perceived "inequality". How that somehow got extended into not fighting/prosecuting crimes I don't know, but that is also killing democrats.

by Anonymousreply 8June 4, 2022 12:58 PM

[quote]democrats worst enemies are from within their own party. The progressive, socialist, woke liberals are going to bring democrats crashing down in November.

So, I take it that you R8 have issues with or are against believing that women are intelligent enough to decide their own healthcare and health choices? That you are a believer and supporter of white supremacy and white privilege because doing anything to level the playing field and offer opportunity/equality to all would just be unfair to white people? That you're okay with Black men being SHOT DEAD in the streets over a failing car tail light and/or not wearing a seat belt while white mass murderers are taken to Burger King and fed the combo meal before an arrest is even thought about. That you agree that the history and contributions of many others (outside of white men) that have snatched and hidden remain snatched and hidden. Keep 'em dumb and ignorant, right? That voting rights should be suppressed at any costs because people are too dumb to vote for the (w)right person? On and on... Let's just totally suppress/ignore/eradicate/dismiss those that just want a sliver of the pie that is promised by this country.

by Anonymousreply 9June 4, 2022 2:54 PM

Keep trollin', OP.

by Anonymousreply 10June 4, 2022 3:03 PM

[quote] So, I take it that you [R8] have issues with or are against believing that women are intelligent enough to decide their own healthcare and health choices?

Apparently Joe also didn't think men or women were that intelligent so cut r8 some slack

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by Anonymousreply 11June 4, 2022 3:04 PM

[quote]Manchin and Sinema both have their price.

Sinema is mentally ill and does not have a price. Manchin keeps his job by pretending to be a Republican and made a huge show of being unable to be bought. He'd get what he had asked for, he even got a cushy job for his wife, and he still said no. He was making a game out of it. Biden could not have bought their votes, no matter what you say.

by Anonymousreply 12June 4, 2022 3:06 PM

LBJ had large Democratic majorities to work with. Biden has a razor thin “majority.”

by Anonymousreply 13June 4, 2022 3:29 PM

[quote]so cut [R8] some slack

For what? and why?

Listen honey, call me a Progressive or "woke". I wear it with honor! Those are not words and labels that I am afraid of. It tells those who have interest in my politics/beliefs that I believe in equal opportunity and equal rights for all. CLEARLY R8 (and others like her) do not.

by Anonymousreply 14June 4, 2022 3:33 PM

Oh no! Bernie Sanders’ assistant is saying bad shit about democrats & Biden? I can hardly believe it.

by Anonymousreply 15June 4, 2022 3:33 PM

[quote]LBJ had large Democratic majorities to work with. Biden has a razor thin “majority.”

Then he needed to get creative. He needed to approach the "right" people and let them know that he will give them (the State) a bridge, a concert hall, a race track. and more money for healthcare. All of this would bring in "X" number of jobs and revenue to the State. There would have been a grass-roots movement to recall Manchin for denying such a package.

by Anonymousreply 16June 4, 2022 3:41 PM

[quote]There would have been a grass-roots movement to recall Manchin for denying such a package.

Oh, my sides!

by Anonymousreply 17June 4, 2022 3:48 PM

Manchin is not folding for a bridge or pork barrel money. Whether it’s because of donors; his re-election chances; or personal political philosophy, Manchin is determined to be seen by his constituents as a moderate who is not like the liberal national party. Polls indicate West Virginians like it. He is doing what he needs to do to get re-elected. Facts

by Anonymousreply 18June 4, 2022 3:51 PM

For Biden, it was Mission Accomplished - he denied Trump a second term. But he's too old and it's time for someone new.

by Anonymousreply 19June 4, 2022 3:54 PM

Democrats in general are disorganized, divided, and lack focus and messaging. Biden is not to blame for all of this

by Anonymousreply 20June 4, 2022 3:59 PM

I don't think Dems were in divided or unfocused when Clinton and Obama were in office. Biden is way past his expiration date, and he would have been way over his head even if he were in his 50s. He's obviously not the answer. Time to cut our losses with this guy.

by Anonymousreply 21June 4, 2022 4:20 PM

You don't know what he could or would have folded for R18. Did they try? Look... President Biden had the support of the PEOPLE behind him. Did he and the Democrats do everything in their power to make it happen?

Trump wanted his wall built. That had no where near the type of support that the Biden agenda had/has but Republicans turned over every stone and used every legal means to make it happen. It's not a matter of if the wall happened or not. It was all about the perception by the public that the Administration worked hard and to the bone to make it happen.

by Anonymousreply 22June 4, 2022 4:26 PM

Clinton and Obama were rare Uber charismatic political geniuses who had cult rock star loyal followings that would shield them from scandal and a bad economy.,

by Anonymousreply 23June 4, 2022 4:27 PM

[quote]You don't know what he could or would have folded for [R18]. Did they try?

Manchin was playing games, as I already said. He was meeting with Biden and agreeing to a deal, then the next day saying "psych!" and telling the press there was no deal. He was making demands, getting them met, and saying "too bad so sad, bitches" the next day, once again telling the press, no deal.

It was all part of an "own the libs" shtick that he was playing to court his base, helping the GOP make Biden look useless and foolish. I am also certain he was making whatever billionaire benefactors he has secretly supporting him nervous, so they would give him more money to scuttle Biden's plans. I'm absolutely certain of that.

You keep saying that Biden could have just done a better job of offering Manchin what he wanted, but that's not true. We all saw it. Stop telling us that we didn't see what we all saw play out, in real time.

by Anonymousreply 24June 4, 2022 4:36 PM

Exactly, r24.

by Anonymousreply 25June 4, 2022 4:39 PM

Amen to r24!

by Anonymousreply 26June 4, 2022 4:41 PM

Biden comes across as your senile grandpa who still needs help with his VCR.

I hate to hear his speeches and listen to him swearing every day - if he was a REAL patriot he would get his old ass out of the way and let the Democrats move ahead. He's a terrible reminder of the problem of OLD OLD OLD people in Congress and elsewhere who think they deserve to be running things when they can't even find their car keys.

Go away, Joe. It's past time.

by Anonymousreply 27June 4, 2022 5:29 PM

Go away, r27. It's past time.

by Anonymousreply 28June 4, 2022 9:24 PM

[quote]You keep saying that Biden could have just done a better job of offering Manchin what he wanted, but that's not true. We all saw it. Stop telling us that we didn't see what we all saw play out, in real time.

What makes you think that Manchin is the only one that can be approached? There is the Governor, State Senators and Representatives, donors, and even Machin donors who if "approached: correctly could pressure Manchin to do what was needed to be done. Then you have the dark money that could literally terrorize Manchin. Imagine him in a restaurant and the restaurant's chef refuses to cook for him (of course after being slipped $3-5K and a guarantee of a better job), and/or the waitstaff that refuses to serve him or any of his family. Imagine every where he turned there was a protest even in front of the homes of friends that he would visit. Let's not even talk about a campaign of negative press pushed to all newspapers and magazines. Don't tell me that it can't be done. It's done every single day in some fashion.

by Anonymousreply 29June 5, 2022 12:05 AM

It is indicative of a broken system that after 50 years experience pulling the levers of government Joe Biden can still not make it work.

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by Anonymousreply 30June 5, 2022 1:20 AM

Sure, Jan.

by Anonymousreply 31June 5, 2022 1:43 AM

Joe is too old. He got Trump out of the way and that was his job. I thank him for saving us in 2020 but now he needs to move on.

by Anonymousreply 32June 5, 2022 2:51 AM

"A series of rolling calamities".....

HUH?

Unless you mean violent, murderous Republicans shooting the place up, there aren't any Biden "calamities"! The MSM is ALWAYS in the tank for Republicans and they never take more than two years of a Democrat in the White House to tear him down and become completely hysterical!

by Anonymousreply 33June 5, 2022 3:07 AM

Biden has "decades of experience in public office" yet for his Vice President he chose Kamala Harris.

by Anonymousreply 34June 5, 2022 3:10 AM

[quote]Republicans turned over every stone and used every legal means to make it happen.

...and it still didn't happen!

Did you have a point?

by Anonymousreply 35June 5, 2022 3:11 AM

Why is NBC news doing this to him?

by Anonymousreply 36June 5, 2022 3:14 AM

NBC News is so odd. It's very pro-trans so you would think they would try to bolster Biden.

by Anonymousreply 37June 5, 2022 3:17 AM

In the last week his staff had to "walk back" statements Biden has made. He talks off the top of head with wrong information.

by Anonymousreply 38June 5, 2022 3:29 AM

It is a huge job to fix up the mess that Trump left behind, not to mention world issues like climate change. These are 'snap the fingers' and presto everything is lovely again. I really think it is beyond anybody to repair the mess the US and the world in general are in.

by Anonymousreply 39June 5, 2022 3:33 AM

You see, the problem is with the...with the...you know, the thing!

by Anonymousreply 40June 5, 2022 3:34 AM

R20 You know the joke is decades old: "I don't belong to an organized political party. I'm a Democrat."

by Anonymousreply 41June 5, 2022 3:39 AM

Democrats : Sad Last Days

by Anonymousreply 42June 5, 2022 3:42 AM

R39 you can't blame Trump for inflation, high gas prices or businesses not being able to get supplies they need,

by Anonymousreply 43June 5, 2022 3:47 AM

Cool guy reputation lmfao! On what planet? Anyone with a brain knew he was incompetent.

by Anonymousreply 44June 5, 2022 3:50 AM

I can, r43. I’ll carry that banner. The president doesn’t control gas prices or inflation or international supply chain issues that originate mostly in mainland China. If you can blame Biden, then I can sure as shit blame Trump, who was absolutely derelict in his duty to the American people in 2020. He completely derailed the train that the Biden admin is still trying to get back onto the tracks.

by Anonymousreply 45June 5, 2022 3:57 AM

R45, if it's not Biden, our plight is the result of people he's appointed, including Pete who was home with hubby and kids when the supply transportation mess began. The secretary whose previous extensive transportation experience was driving back and forth to work in South Bend.

by Anonymousreply 46June 5, 2022 4:06 AM

[quote] I don't think Dems were in divided or unfocused when Clinton and Obama were in office. Biden is way past his expiration date, and he would have been way over his head even if he were in his 50s. He's obviously not the answer. Time to cut our losses with this guy.

1. There is no single person who could stop the global inflation, the pandemic global supply chain problems, the higher oil prices and the war in Ukraine. There is no such thing as magic and no such thing as a magic person nor a magic wand. Stop making this about one person. These are global problems that no one person can solve. Regardless of their age, regardless of who they are.

2. We are all familiar with our nation's historical political patterns. The president's party normally looses seats during the midterms (eg. President Obama and President Clinton). The media has nothing new to say. Instead of writing about public policy or providing important; they prefer to spend a yr trying to prove how accurately they can predict the future. Therefore we get a yrs worth of "Democrats in Disarray" articles.

3. Of course everyone is frustrated. We have problems that we cannot fix. However, lets drop the silly juvenile notion that a different politician could make all of this go away. Lets skip the revisionist history.

4. The Democratic Party is diverse. Its never going to be the 80+ percent white, white supremacist cult that the Republican Party is, lining up behind the most extreme members.

by Anonymousreply 47June 5, 2022 4:09 AM

[quote] I think part of the problem is that the White House wants to send their message, press their agenda, whatever, but keep getting hit by waves of crisis after crisis that knocks them off course: high inflation, record high gas prices, school shootings

Another problem is Biden failing to accept responsibility for the crises. Voters don’t like that.

by Anonymousreply 48June 5, 2022 4:55 AM

Biden is just a colossal disappointment so far. He basically gave up on any reforms after Manchin and Sinema blocked BBB, and so far did nothing to protect voting rights. There is still zero accountability for any Republicans and Trump who tried to overthrow our government. I don't give a fuck about his speeches anymore bc there is zero action or consequence from the WH. It's just hot air. Voting rights? Abortion? Gun laws? Supreme Court? Climate change? Green energy? Health care?

What happened to his commission to reform the Supreme Court? You have a Supreme Court Justice whose wife is an insurrectionist and no one seems to care. McConnell installed 3 unqualified justices who now take away our rights. His Attorney General Garland is almost invisible while corrupt Trump cronies appear on Fox News every night and scheme behind the scenes to steal the next election and end our democracy.

Biden is a decent guy, but he's just too weak to confront any of these issues. What did he really accomplish?

by Anonymousreply 49June 5, 2022 4:56 AM

Just hand me the keys to the White House fellas.

by Anonymousreply 50June 5, 2022 6:55 AM

So now it depends on Zelenskyy's self restraint if Joe sleepwalks into nuclear combat toe-to-toe with the Ruskies

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by Anonymousreply 51June 5, 2022 7:06 AM

[quote]Biden is a decent guy

Imagine genuinely believing this.

by Anonymousreply 52June 5, 2022 7:19 AM

Staffers walking out on this mess

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by Anonymousreply 53June 5, 2022 7:30 AM

Sure NBC and Bernie Sanders staffer, this story must be true. 🙄

by Anonymousreply 54June 5, 2022 8:35 AM

It would be nice if he would exercise the power that he does have instead of blaming people. The New Yorker just published a scary article about gangs operating with impunity within the LA County Sheriffs Department. Why not send the FBI and Justice Department to LA and make life miserable for those fucks? Or he could cancel everyone's student loans. He's being held back by his own lack of imagination and ambition.

by Anonymousreply 55June 5, 2022 8:43 AM

[quote]What did he really accomplish?

Biggest job creation and more judges put in courts since JFK.

There is so much sabotaging going on by the GQP, they are basically like a Nazi terror party trying to take over, if necessary with a coup.

by Anonymousreply 56June 5, 2022 8:56 AM

I’d have more sympathy for Biden if he hadn’t assured voters over and over again during the campaign that he could get big things done in this kind of environment. The Democratic candidates were asked repeatedly during the primary how they would keep any of their campaign promises with the filibuster in place, or worse yet, with Mitch McConnell as majority leader. Biden’s response was always “the GOP fever will break and Republicans will work with me after I beat Trump” or “I was in the Senate for over 30 years. I’m friends with most of the senators. I know how to get things done in the senate. We don’t need to get rid of the filibuster. They used to call me ‘the McConnell Whisperer” when I was VP.”

He was either lying or hopelessly naive, but he can’t say that he wasn’t asked to consider the scenario in which he finds himself.

by Anonymousreply 57June 5, 2022 9:16 AM

[quote]The Democratic candidates were asked repeatedly during the primary how they would keep any of their campaign promises with the filibuster in place, or worse yet, with Mitch McConnell as majority leader. Biden’s response was always “the GOP fever will break and Republicans will work with me after I beat Trump” or “I was in the Senate for over 30 years. I’m friends with most of the senators.

I think he genuinely believed that. Clearly he had no idea about the worsening of the Republican party and after being Vice President for President Obama was very naive and unprepared. But, I guess he thought that old and long-time relationships would overcome the obstacles. HA!

by Anonymousreply 58June 5, 2022 9:30 AM

And I think the people upthread who are calling on Biden to be LBJ are suggesting that he be a mean son a bitch sometimes if that’s what it takes to advance his agenda. He’s been in Washington for nearly 50 years. He has to know where all of the bodies are buried. Instead he’s calling McConnell his friend and a man of integrity or whatever bullshit Biden said about him a few weeks ago.

Manchin’s whole family is crooked. His daughter was given a fake degree from WVU because her daddy was governor. She then took over as head of the largest generic drug manufacturer in the U.S., engaged in price fixing and price gouging with the help of her mother, and then sold the company to Pfizer who shut down the plant and shipped the jobs from Morgantown to India. On Day 1, Biden should have given Manchin 30 days to publicly support BBB, and told him that if he didn’t Biden would create a new division at the Justice Department solely dedicated to investigating the crooked Manchin family. And if Manchin switched and became a Republican, at least the Democrats could go into the midterms blaming their lack of progress on a do-nothing GOP Senate. Instead, they’re going to get blamed for doing nothing when they control the House, the Senate, and the White House; they’re going to be slaughtered in November, and Trump or some other fascist deplorable is going to be back in the Oval Office in 2025. The Republic is at stake here. Biden needs to stop being nice right now and figure out how to get shit done. I think that’s what people mean by asking him for an LBJ moment; play hardball, find a way to run over anyone who gets in your way, be willing to destroy the reputations and careers of colleagues you’ve known for decades if that’s what it takes. Again, the future of our democracy is on the line here.

by Anonymousreply 59June 5, 2022 9:39 AM

[quote]Republicans turned over every stone and used every legal means to make it happen.

[quote]...and it still didn't happen! Did you have a point?

Yes, I did of which I thought I had made. You are correct. It didn't happen but it was the perception left in the mind of many of the people that matters. There are those who still think that a significant portion of that wall was built. There are others that solely blame Democrats for stopping the wall. There are others who still applaud Trump and his Administration for the "vigorous" fight that they led in order to get the project completed even though nothing really happened.

Speaking only for myself, I can't say that I feel the same way about Democrats. I simply don't feel that Democrats are fighting hard enough and raising enough of a ruckus regarding voting rights, women's rights, etc While I'm very upset that many initiatives have not gotten done I'm just as upset and possibly a bit more upset and angry regarding many Democrats lack of passion (in my view) to fight for these issues.

by Anonymousreply 60June 5, 2022 9:41 AM

[quote] And if Manchin switched and became a Republican, at least the Democrats could go into the midterms blaming their lack of progress on a do-nothing GOP Senate. Instead, they’re going to get blamed for doing nothing when they control the House, the Senate, and the White House; they’re going to be slaughtered in November,

Yep. I don't know if the Democrats will be slaughtered or not in November (the only way that I think that they can maintain control is to instill fear) but MANY people are very disappointed in Democrats--at least many people around me. In typical American fashion--short term memory, they have forgotten the HORRIBLE Trump years and blame the Democrats for the woes of the world. Elected Democrats are so out of touch with the people. I know that I have mentioned it a number of times here but Democrats don't seem to understand the depths of disappointment within the Black community regarding the inability to secure voting rights--chief among many other issues.

by Anonymousreply 61June 5, 2022 9:52 AM

What happened to Biden's commission who did a report on expanding the Supreme Court? Thep published their report and nothing happened bc Biden was just gaslighting us. He wanted people who were angry to shut up and gaslight with his commission, but never intended to really expand the SC. He's a weak leader who never had any plans for actual reforms and thought everything was back to normal after Dump left the WH.

by Anonymousreply 62June 5, 2022 11:37 AM

Ford will add 6,200 factory jobs in Michigan, Missouri and Ohio as it prepares to build more electric vehicles and roll out two redesigned combustion-engine models.

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by Anonymousreply 63June 5, 2022 11:39 AM

[quote] I know that I have mentioned it a number of times here but Democrats don't seem to understand the depths of disappointment within the Black community regarding the inability to secure voting rights--chief among many other issues.

Then you should vote for Republicans instead, and see how that works out for you.

by Anonymousreply 64June 5, 2022 11:45 AM

[quote]Then you should vote for Republicans instead, and see how that works out for you.

Honey lamb, the African-American community have faced troubles and suffered many times during the history of this nation. It will be nothing new and a few more years won't make a difference ESPECIALLY when registering our discontent with what is happening. The community is quick to step back, fall to our knees with arms and hands stretched to the heavens and just say; "Let go. Let God" because we know that is the only place where we can trust for our strength and endurance. DO NOT be surprised (unless something DRAMATICALLY changes) that the voting numbers will be down for the mid-terms and 2024 elections. That's just how upset the community is about the voting rights issue which is chief among many other issues. But, it is not just the African-American community. When was the last time that we heard anything about DACA? The Latino community might be quiet but it too will let its displeasure be known. The Democrats had better wake up of which they needed to do a few months ago. Call it "wokeness", "identity politics", or whatever else, but the Democrats are in real trouble at this point.

On top of all of this, you have the Democrats that appear to be letting these thieving Republicans off the hook after their trying to overthrow the government! Now, most of us know that had it been anyone else other than the white, male, Republican, people would be in jail and awaiting execution for treason.

by Anonymousreply 65June 5, 2022 3:18 PM

What is needed to fix USA broken political system.

1. Eliminate Electoral College

2. Eliminate filibuster.

3. Add 3 justices to SCOTUS

4. Apportion senators based on population.

5. Online voting. Voting Day national holiday.

Since not even ONE of these is possible USA is fucked and will continue it's decent into 3rd World fascism.

by Anonymousreply 66June 5, 2022 3:42 PM

[quote] Its never going to be the 80+ percent white, white supremacist cult that the Republican Party is

Very naive to still keep thinking that.

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by Anonymousreply 67June 5, 2022 4:28 PM

Newrepublic ? A rightwing portal

by Anonymousreply 68June 5, 2022 5:26 PM

[quote] Biden needs to stop being nice right now and figure out how to gets shit done.

Joe lacks the time to do much beyond his primary work of trying to guest the killer before Jessica Fletcher does.

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by Anonymousreply 69June 5, 2022 6:29 PM

"Dems in disarray" is a favorite media trope. You always have to ask how true it is.

by Anonymousreply 70June 5, 2022 6:34 PM

The Democrats desperately need a ball-busting party head, somebody who isn't afraid of stepping on toes, especially Republicans and particularly Donald J Trump and his cronies in Congress and in business, as well as knocking heads of wayward Democrats (Manchin and Sinema). No need for Biden to get his hands dirty if the right person was party head.

But by far the most important thing Biden can and should do between now and the end of next week is shit can Merrick Garland STAT. Merrick Garland is too busy wanting to suck Trump's cock for him to be an effective attorney general.

by Anonymousreply 71June 5, 2022 6:41 PM

I wasn't convinced you were even a member of the community, r65. That "honey lamb" nonsense sealed the deal, as far as I'm concerned. Your whole reply sounded like you were trying, and failing, to copy the tone of popular Black Twitter posts.

by Anonymousreply 72June 5, 2022 6:41 PM

^Whatever, Doll...

[quote]But by far the most important thing Biden can and should do between now and the end of next week is shit can Merrick Garland STAT. Merrick Garland is too busy wanting to suck Trump's cock for him to be an effective attorney general.

I don't believe that Garland is in the pockets of Trump and/or Republicans. I truly believe that he is concerned about what type of impact his actions will have upon the nation going forward. Republicans have already screamed that once the are back in power there will be investigations upon investigations, indictments on top of indictments, and impeachment, impeachment, IMPEACHMENT! With all of this screaming and yelling they have yet to name one crime or charge. So, does it matter?

I would think that all of this would be a simple argument of right versus wrong, legal versus illegal, evil versus good, etc but I suppose I'm very naive and those moral values are meaningless because it seems as if Democrats can't even message this.

by Anonymousreply 73June 5, 2022 7:16 PM

All nonsense. Fuck your bothsiderism.

by Anonymousreply 74June 5, 2022 7:22 PM

Biden's been in Washington 50 years and yes knows where plenty of useful skeletons are buried. But that means he no doubt has plenty of his own skeletons buried there which he'd like to keep buried.

Besides, he seems to have reached an age where he prefers walking on the beach to political fights, and he hasn't attracted skilled staff with a killer instinct who can do his fighting for him.

by Anonymousreply 75June 5, 2022 7:37 PM

To be fair people like Larry Summers have been wringing their hands and moaning about inflation arriving for over a decade now, going back to vast federal spending under Bush and then Obama in reaction to credit/financial market collapse. It never happened, and as such many simply believed common emerging theme that federal government could spend how much it likes, run up deficits, keep interest rates at nil or zero, and nothing would happen.

Funny thing about inflation is it is very difficult to predict when it will occur, and often just as hard to control if things get out of hand.

Virtually all developed nations are seeing record inflation (especially in the west) due in good part to huge sums spent in reaction to covid pandemic.

Socialist themed spending normally alien to United States was practiced on a vast scale. Floods of money went into economy from businesses to households via all sorts of programs. Business loans, unemployment, stimulus checks, the lot.

No one could have predicted shortages of all sorts of goods would appear and persist for so long. This hasn't been helped by Russia's recent invasion of Ukraine which is piling on economic pain world over.

There is a very great risk of repeating what happened when Volker greatly raised interest rates to combat "stagflation" of 1970's, United States economy went into a few recessions during 1980's in response.

by Anonymousreply 76June 5, 2022 7:58 PM

[quote] But that means he no doubt has plenty of his own skeletons buried there which he'd like to keep buried.

For some reason I doubt that. Remember that Biden was the poorest Senator in the Senate until he wrote his book after his terms as Vice President. Now, he and Jilly have a few million in the bank.

by Anonymousreply 77June 5, 2022 7:58 PM

Show me a poor man who's spent his life in Congress. Will say that unlike Bernie, Joe's never made any big pretense of being Mr. Clean.

by Anonymousreply 78June 5, 2022 8:35 PM

R78, really? What about all that BS about taking the Amtrak like a common man?

by Anonymousreply 79June 5, 2022 8:39 PM

Look at him getting druggie Hunter that naval commission. Shameless and open abuse of power. Not to mention putting the lives of American servicemen at risk with compromised leadership just so Hunter could parade around in dress whites. Showed where Joe puts his priorities, shamelessly.

by Anonymousreply 80June 5, 2022 8:48 PM

Biden’s presidency was always going to be a disaster. People voted for him because they knew he could beat Trump cause he was just as known and famous, that’s all.

by Anonymousreply 81June 5, 2022 8:50 PM

Now, in the midst of engulfing problems, Biden has put a bumbling incompetent in place as the daily face of his administration. Nobody to blame for that but Joe.

"God helps those who help themsrlves."

by Anonymousreply 82June 5, 2022 8:55 PM

Move along. It's NBC. Nothing to see.

by Anonymousreply 83June 5, 2022 8:56 PM

r73 Garland's mentor is a woman named Jamie Gorelick, a woman who has been involved in every damn scandal for decades.She was in charge of Fannie Mae during their accounting scandal; she helped BP avoid paying for their oil spill; there is another big one I can't think of off the top of my head, and she was lawyer for Jared and Ivanka.

And HER mentor is.....Alan Dershowitz.

Garland was picked by Obama because McConnell said he'd vote for him, and then, of course, Mitch sandbagged Obama.

Now Joe has saddled us with that milquetoast Republican fop as Attorney General and Merrick is not going to do a damn thing to any Republican of consquence.

And Joe needs to do an Oval Office address in prime time and tell the truth: there is no reason for these gas prices. The oil companies are engaging in price gouging, which is illegal. We only get 3-8% of our oil from Russia, so that shouldn't make any difference in price.

And the biggest problem is Saudi Arabia and its mid-east friends won't turn on the spigots because they own Jared Kushner and want the Trumps back in power.

by Anonymousreply 84June 5, 2022 9:08 PM

We deserve to lose everything to to the retughs at this point.

They're just better at playing dirty.

by Anonymousreply 85June 5, 2022 9:11 PM

Oh I forgot- Gorelick is also Garland's point person regarding the January 6 committee. She's the one who advises them on how to do things.

by Anonymousreply 86June 5, 2022 9:12 PM

Again:

1. There is no single person who could stop the global inflation, the pandemic global supply chain problems, the higher oil prices and the war in Ukraine. There is no such thing as magic and no such thing as a magic person nor a magic wand. Stop making this about one person. These are global problems that no one person can solve. Regardless of their age, regardless of who they are.

2. We are all familiar with our nation's historical political patterns. The president's party normally looses seats during the midterms (eg. President Obama and President Clinton). The media has nothing new to say. Instead of writing about public policy or providing important; they prefer to spend a yr trying to prove how accurately they can predict the future. Therefore we get a yrs worth of "Democrats in Disarray" articles.

3. Of course everyone is frustrated. We have problems that we cannot fix. However, lets drop the silly juvenile notion that a different politician could make all of this go away. Lets skip the revisionist history.

4. The Democratic Party is diverse. Its never going to be the 80+ percent white, white supremacist cult that the Republican Party is, lining up behind the most extreme members.

by Anonymousreply 87June 5, 2022 9:18 PM

Thanks R84. I had no idea. Well... that just blows my "Kum-By-Yah", "All We Are Saying Is Give Peace A Chance" moments out of the water...

by Anonymousreply 88June 5, 2022 9:23 PM

I like Biden but he's too nice to Republicans. He actually thinks some are his friends! Plus he choose that worthless Merrick Garland. And he still hasn't gotten rid of DeJoy - and don't tell me he can't.

by Anonymousreply 89June 5, 2022 9:36 PM

R84 Just for accuracy's sake, Gorelick was no. 2 at Fannie Mae (and paid tens of millions for her "service") while another Clinton hack was no. 1 (and paid many many tens of millions more).

by Anonymousreply 90June 5, 2022 9:43 PM

Boycott NBC.

by Anonymousreply 91June 5, 2022 9:48 PM

Can people just stop with the stupid Biden bashing!

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 92June 5, 2022 10:19 PM

In April under President Biden, the United States had the largest monthly budget SURPLUS ever recorded since the Treasury Department began keeping records.

This follows Trump, who ran up the largest deficit in American history.

by Anonymousreply 93June 5, 2022 10:20 PM

R93 Never studied macro, did you.

by Anonymousreply 94June 5, 2022 10:40 PM

R92, R93, that's GREAT! But, where are the Democrats screaming these accomplishments from the roof tops? A Democrat should be appearing on every Sunday morning TV show. Democrats should pay "The View" to appear as guests and guest hosts. A Democrat column should be appearing in newspapers and magazines daily and at minimum weekly. WHAT ABOUT YOUTUBE??? Also, wouldn't THIS be the time to hold MANY town hall meetings? Here's even a novel idea... why not give the "good for nothing" Chuck Schumer something useful to do?

by Anonymousreply 95June 5, 2022 11:33 PM

"And the biggest problem is Saudi Arabia and its mid-east friends won't turn on the spigots because they own Jared Kushner and want the Trumps back in power."

Oh I don't know...

OPEC as whole and or various oil producing nations have been moaning about low prices for several years now. Looking at it from a seller's point of view why would you want to increase supply of something to bring prices down? If answer is "just because" and or to earn Brownie points for being nice, there must be more far as Middle East, Russia and rest are concerned.

Obama totally brushed off Middle East. Trump OTOH kissed their behinds. First also kept Russia at arm's length, while other, well less said about that the better.

In short America's policy towards Middle East, Russia, and even now South America (Venezuela, Brazil, and other oil producing nations in that region), hasn't exactly been consistent these past several decades. These nations know this, and like our mothers warned us; you cannot simply pick up people, drop them, then expect them to come running when you want something.

Haven't even touched upon fact that USA has gone from a major importer of oil and LNG to exporter. That is also a reason why Middle Eastern nations aren't exactly in any rush to raise production. USA has flooded market with oil and LNG of late which has kept prices low.

by Anonymousreply 96June 5, 2022 11:50 PM

Contrarian. With zero follow up.

by Anonymousreply 97June 6, 2022 12:41 AM

It's all over the news R95, do you need an extra invitation and reminder from democrats??

Geez, grow up people, Biden is doing a fantastic job. Y'all need to have your heads checked for 'prone to fatalism'!

by Anonymousreply 98June 6, 2022 12:50 AM

[quote]It's all over the news [R95], do you need an extra invitation and reminder from democrats??

I guess I do, R98. As a regular viewer of a lot of news -eg- "Morning Joe" "Deadline White House" "Ari Melber" "Chris Hayes" "Rachael Maddow--RELIGIOUSLY" "Ari Veshi" and I'm starting to get into Medhi (whatever his last name is) and many times I'll catch Lawrence O'Donnell and Stephanie.... We won't even go into the weekend programming... sure, I've heard a sentence or two about the good news but not any type of gang buster reporting and in-depth analysis.

by Anonymousreply 99June 6, 2022 1:19 AM

And this is Biden's fault R99??

We know since at least since 2016 that the media is biased and that they had a major input into Trump's win, [bold]esp. NBC[/bold]. The media thrives on controversy, on a sick clown show scenario. This is what delivers the headlines, Biden just doing his job and not behaving like a fool isn't making headlines.

by Anonymousreply 100June 6, 2022 1:50 AM

R95 Democrats can’t risk bragging about the economy as long as inflation is high. A majority of Americans are concerned about the economy and about inflation specifically, and inflation has eaten away growth in wages. If Democrats brag about job creation or lowering the deficit they would come across as tone deaf to many people. They’re in a horrible position, unfortunately.

by Anonymousreply 101June 6, 2022 9:56 AM

We’ll, the presidency’s ethics and desire to actually govern for the people is 1000% better than that if the former president’s Whitehouse. So there is that.

by Anonymousreply 102June 6, 2022 1:05 PM

The media LOVES the DEMOCRATS IN DISARRAY narrative. They think it helps their failing numbers. It doesn’t. That headline is laughable.

by Anonymousreply 103June 6, 2022 1:09 PM

[quote] Biden is doing a fantastic job.

Polls show 75% of the country disagrees with you.

by Anonymousreply 104June 6, 2022 1:13 PM

Just an anecdote. A local political hopeful just dropped out of an assembly race to accept a position in the Biden administration. This person is about as far left as you can get and some kind of intersectional identity politics flag-waver. No wonder Biden’s in trouble, if this hire is any indication. They are not qualified but they check off the boxes.

by Anonymousreply 105June 6, 2022 1:19 PM

Has he fired *anyone* since he took office? Most presidents do.

by Anonymousreply 106June 6, 2022 2:49 PM

"ya fah-yerd" is the catchphrase of a certain orange colored person who used a reality show to promote himself as a successful business person. The reality is he is bankrupt many times over in every sense of the word.

by Anonymousreply 107June 6, 2022 3:16 PM

Biden and democrats have no shortage of issues that may cause them woe in November.

Administration still is moving hundreds of illegal "migrants" under cover of darkness to points all across USA.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 108June 6, 2022 3:18 PM

Well no one has been fired but many staff under the VP have left. Kamala is a workhorse and demands excellence from her staff -- some can't handle the pressure. But the cream rises to the top, as they say.

by Anonymousreply 109June 6, 2022 3:24 PM

The fights over abortion rights and gun regulation should help Democrats. The 1/6 Committee hearings may renew concern about growing extremism. Biden will do everything he can possibly can to bring inflation down. No reason to give up yet. November is a long way off in American politics.

by Anonymousreply 110June 6, 2022 3:31 PM

The Repubs are doing everything they can to sabotage Biden. They are not concerned with the good of the country because they believe being in power is the most important issue. There is a fundamental difference in political philosophy between the two parties. People need to focus on these and look past temporary circumstances like inflation and the Ukrainian war.

by Anonymousreply 111June 6, 2022 3:37 PM

What we need is a bigger Democratic majority in Congress so the policies we want can actually be passed. This is not the time to give up!

by Anonymousreply 112June 6, 2022 3:39 PM

The key to Biden's troubles: he's got an enormous ego and filled his cabinet with a bunch of DNC lackeys who wouldn't overshadow him. He must have suffered being 8 years in the shadow of Obama's star power.

After all those years in the Senate, you'd think Biden would know where the bodies are buried and been able to twist a few arms a la LBJ. Yesterday, some Biden apologist was whining: "oh, but LBJ had a big Dem majority in Congress!" LBJ's Dem majority was made up of Southern Dixiecrats who fled to the GOP after LBJ passed Civil Rights and Voting Rights and fought LBJ every step of the way.

Man up, Biden!

by Anonymousreply 113June 6, 2022 3:41 PM

[quote]The key to Biden's troubles: he's got an enormous ego

Name a recent president who didn't have an enormous ego.

by Anonymousreply 114June 6, 2022 3:48 PM

To regain his cool guy image, he should go back to telling stories about corn pop.

by Anonymousreply 115June 6, 2022 4:00 PM

[quote]What we need is a bigger Democratic majority in Congress so the policies we want can actually be passed.

What "we" need (IMHO);

The IMMEDIATE dismissal of Chuck Schumer! He's worthless!!!

More principled leaders such as Elizabeth Warren and Katy Perry

Much more younger and eager individuals who are interested in going to Washington to get things done.

by Anonymousreply 116June 6, 2022 4:01 PM

It would be even better if he talked about Porn Cop, R115.

"Porn Cop was a bad dude...."

by Anonymousreply 117June 6, 2022 4:02 PM

Because of this Joe will visit Jimmy Kimmel and cry about Beau

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 118June 6, 2022 4:03 PM

Despite winning 3 million more votes, Hillary conceded the election with an affirmation of her belief in the rule of law. Dump was given the ceremony that is symbolic of the corner stone of democracy, A PEACEFUL TRANSFER OF POWER.

Fast forward 4 years: The pukes lost in 2020 and in response bused in magats to storm the capitol. Magats stole and destroyed property, smeared feces and killed capitol police in response to losing yet another election.

They hate America and they hate democracy, sabotage is the only way these creeps get into office.

by Anonymousreply 119June 6, 2022 4:03 PM

WHY DO DEMOCRATS SUCK AT MESSAGING?

It’s a question Dan Pfeiffer, the former Obama communications director and Pod Save America cohost, recalls getting many times. In his new book, Battling the Big Lie, Pfeiffer diagnoses the party’s messaging troubles—and calls for building a bigger megaphone.

BY DAN PFEIFFER

JUNE 6, 2022

In my many years working in politics, I have attended hundreds, if not thousands, of fundraising events. A fundraising trip is a tour of the twin plagues of economic inequality and money in politics. These events are held at huge brownstones on the Upper East Side, giant tech-funded mansions in Silicon Valley, ancestral estates in the Berkshires, and homes overlooking the ocean in Malibu and the Hamptons. Each of these venues would be worthy of its own episode of Million Dollar Listing. However, I rarely toured these totems to wealth (inherited and “earned”). At these hoity-toity events in people’s homes, there is usually a room for the politician’s staff. These “hold rooms,” often servants’ quarters or pool houses, are removed from the action. In New York City apartments, they are often spare bedrooms or kids’ rooms with custom bunk beds. During presidential events, the hold room would be crowded with military aides, doctors, and the traveling government-in-waiting, in case a crisis broke out while the president was away from the White House.

At these events, senior campaign staff are encouraged to mix and mingle with the guests. There is only so much of the candidate to go around, and the organizers want the donors to feel they’ve gotten their money’s worth of access. But, much to the chagrin of the fundraising staff for the Democratic National Committee and the Obama campaign, I did everything to avoid the mix-and-mingle obligation. As soon as I arrived with President Barack Obama or the myriad other politicians whom I’ve traveled with over the years, I would head directly to the hold room to hide out. The primary impetus for my self-imposed exile was my aversion to small talk. But I also hid to avoid something I called “the Question,” an inevitable feature of any conversation with any group of Democratic donors.

It didn’t matter if Democrats had won or lost the most recent election. The Question comes in many forms, but it always boils down to some version of: Why do Democrats suck at messaging? The Question was usually, but not always, asked politely. Sometimes it came with a series of ideas. Politics is one of those endeavors where everyone thinks they are qualified to have an opinion. And the people successful enough to write checks big enough to attend these events are generally not the sort of people who experience self-doubt.

For much of my time in the White House, I was anonymous in face and name to all but the most attuned political observers. But in a crowd of well-heeled donors, I had all the markings of a staffer: a little too young, a bit haggard, with the dark circles that are imprinted under the eyes after a year of working White House hours.

Eventually, as I stood in a corner hoping the server with the pigs in a blanket would come by, someone would invariably wander over to me and ask, “Are you on the White House Staff?”

“I am.”

“What do you do?”

“I’m President Obama’s communications director.”

“Oh, good. I was hoping to run into you. I have some thoughts…”

And we were off to the races.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 120June 6, 2022 4:21 PM

I never had a great answer for them—or, at least, I never had an answer they found satisfactory. And their “thoughts” usually amounted to their pretending that their experience making a fortune selling mail-order underwear, betting against the housing market, or producing a hit sitcom made them qualified to do my job.

Political donors are not the only ones obsessed with “the Question.” Pundits and the political press are constantly haranguing Democrats for their messaging mistakes. One liberal writer of several well-reviewed presidential histories called me often during Obama’s first term to lecture me on why Obama didn’t yet have a version of FDR’s New Deal or LBJ’s Great Society. The subtext of these conversations was that great slogans make great presidents. Much of Progressive Twitter is filled with lamentations about some failure or missed messaging opportunity. There was a running joke in the Obama White House that you needed a master’s in economics to discuss economic policy and a doctorate in public health to offer health care ideas, but everyone believed that reading the newspaper made them qualified to opine on messaging strategy.

My own fragile self-esteem and awkwardness aside, I hate trying to answer the Question. Not only are there no easy answers, it’s the wrong question.

Republicans are winning the message war, but not for the reasons these donors, the media, or 90% of the folks on Twitter believe. And there are steps we must take to change this very annoying dynamic.

In this more mature, less defensive phase of my life, I’ve stopped hiding from the Question (and the questioners). Instead, I’ve found a more accessible, equally dissatisfying way to address the actual problem without absolving the party (or myself) of mistakes and missed opportunities. But before I get to the Democrats, I am going to use authorial privilege to talk about why Republicans suck at messaging.

When donors, activists, and media folks ask why Democrats suck at messaging, they are really asking why Republicans are so much better at it.

There is an old saying in Washington: “The only people who believe Republican talking points are Democrats.” This inherent sense that Republicans are better at politics than Democrats has survived as a feature of my party’s psychology for decades. Democrats love to imbue our opposition with strategic evil genius. Roger Ailes, Lee Atwater, and Karl Rove are famous mostly because Democrats have hyperinflated their roles to explain away our losses.

There is no doubt Republicans are winning the messaging war, but are they winning because they are better messengers?

Democrats love to complain about the messaging chops of their congressional leadership team, but have you watched the Republicans? During every appearance, Kevin McCarthy looks like he just woke up from a nap and can’t figure out where he is or what he is doing. Mitch McConnell, one of the worst communicators in modern political history, sounds like he is reading The Almanac of American Politics with a mouthful of marbles. And no one exemplifies the adage of “less is more” more than Ted Cruz, an amalgamation of the five most annoying people you went to high school with. Arkansas senator Tom Cotton makes Jared Kushner look like a magnetic personality. Turn on Fox News, and you’ll find a parade of awkward, angry white men doing bad impressions of Donald Trump. Even Trump, the supposed master media manipulator, has the discipline and strategic thinking of a coked-up Tasmanian devil. Just look at his Twitter feed from the end of the 2020 campaign. Instead of using his biggest platform to drive home a positive argument for his reelection and a negative message against Joe Biden, Trump engaged in a scattershot Festivus-style airing of grievances against members of his own party, the media, and random celebrities.

by Anonymousreply 121June 6, 2022 4:23 PM

Lincoln Project became huge celebrities among the Resistance Twitter/MSNBC crowd. The former political consultants, all Republican Never Trumpers, were able to siphon tens of millions of dollars from willing progressives hoping to sample some of that Republican messaging magic. The Lincoln Project was touted as tougher, faster, and smarter than those mealy-mouthed Democratic ad makers whom Democrats love to hate. Though, at no point have folks asked, “If the Lincoln Project is so good, why did so many of its founders keep losing presidential elections to Democrats?” Nor has anyone stopped to wonder if an ad that appealed to highly engaged, very online liberals in California or New York would really be effective with disenchanted Republicans in Ohio and Iowa.

During the 2020 campaign, questions about the effectiveness of the Lincoln Project were dismissed by many as ad envy. However, once the campaign was over, a Democratic group released a study that showed that the ads from the Lincoln Project were largely ineffective. In fact, the study found an inverse relationship between efficacy and engagement on Twitter.

This is not to say that Republicans have no messaging attributes. They have perfected a strategy of social media trolling that tricks angry liberals into inadvertently spreading their message. The right has effectively created a narrative about Democrats and has stuck to it. “Make America Great Again” is one of the most successful political branding efforts in history. But on the whole, Republicans, as much as they are winning elections despite getting fewer votes, seem to be winning the messaging war in spite of themselves.

by Anonymousreply 122June 6, 2022 4:25 PM

Back in 2003, I was working for Senate minority leader Tom Daschle. This was a tough time to be a Democrat. We had just lost the Senate majority in a brutal campaign cycle that included Republicans running ads comparing Democrats to Osama bin Laden for not being sufficiently supportive of President George W. Bush’s post–9/11 agenda. Bush’s numbers were through the roof, and the United States had just entered a war against a country that did not attack us on September 11, 2001. The party was staring down the barrel of a divisive primary for the right to run against a popular wartime president. The situation was, as they say, not great.

For the Democratic senators under Daschle’s leadership, it was a time to regroup and get back on offense. As the folks putatively in charge of the ideological and generational mishmash of senators, our office initiated a process for a unified caucus message. Our group included moderate Democrats representing deeply red farm states and liberal Democrats from New York and California. In the caucus was a former Dixiecrat and a former first lady. The ideological divisions were deep. A significant group of Democratic senators broke with the party to back Bush’s war in Iraq and his 2001 tax cuts for the rich. These divisions were, of course, insoluble, but the party needed a slogan to rally around. We needed order to unify our disparate views. Daschle’s staff knew this task wouldn’t be easy, but as with every senatorial task, we would tackle this one over lunch.

Every week, senators from both parties would gather to discuss party business and legislative strategy over lunch. The weekly caucus lunch, a “do not miss” event and the only time the senators sat down with their fellow party members, was a centerpiece of the Senate schedule and important for keeping everyone on the same page. I periodically attended this lunch when I worked in the Senate, and a number of times when I worked in the White House, to make presentations on strategy and messaging. The central topic of discussion in most caucus lunches was the mediocre menu. There was a jockeying for seats. During the presentations, the audience of mostly very old people constantly interrupted the presenters to make some quasi-related point with senatorial expanse or to ask them to speak louder. The awkwardness of each encounter was off-putting and amusing. The vibe was that of a Dunder Mifflin Scranton conference room staff meeting.

As you can imagine, finding agreement with regard to Democratic messaging among this group of hard-of-hearing people unfamiliar with self-doubt did not go well. Democrats from red states, where Bush was sure to win in 2004, objected to anti-Bush messages. Supporters of the Iraq War opposed an effort to focus on the Bush administration’s mismanagement of the war effort. Those wealthy few who had voted for the Bush tax cuts were against a populist economic critique. And the populists wouldn’t sign off on a message of moderate growth. The discussion would go in circles, with no end in sight.

Group projects never work, and they definitely never work when every participant has a veto and no participant has the ability to override that veto. The decision on messaging wasn’t resolved in one lunch or even two. After weeks of discussion, the senators eventually lined up behind the thrilling and incisive slogan “Better Together.” In the end, the only thing the party could agree on was something so inoffensive that it meant nothing, the political messaging equivalent of plain yogurt.

The post–9/11, pre-Obama-era Democratic Party was in particularly dire straits. We weren’t sure how to be against Bush but not the troops. We were constantly on our heels and had a policymaking hangover from eight years of Clintonian small ball. The strategic miasma of that era would be embodied by John Kerry’s declaring, on the 2004 campaign trail, that with regard to the funding for the Iraq War, he was for it before he was against it.

by Anonymousreply 123June 6, 2022 4:27 PM

It is tempting to view this messaging mess as a relic of a bygone era. Yet, nearly two decades later, the challenge persists. A series of focus groups conducted in the first few months of the Biden presidency found that voters were unable to identify what the Democratic Party stood for. Two electoral landslide victories for Obama, a huge popular-vote win for President Biden, and four years of resistance to Trump—and the Democrats still have a brand problem. This is more than a failure by party leaders and activists to settle on a narrative.

Republicans. This diversity is our strength, but it poses a central and seemingly insurmountable challenge to creating positive messages for the party. How does one compose a pithy slogan or a tweet-length narrative to accurately and appealingly describe a coalition so broad that it extends from Joe Manchin to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? It’s the difference between being asked to come up with a brand for one television network like HBO or ESPN and being asked to brand “television” more broadly. What compelling slogan would be inclusive of every channel, from Bravo to CNBC?

Frankly, the messaging and branding task is more challenging for Democrats than it is for Republicans. The geographic disparities in the Senate and the Electoral College mean that Democrats must turn out liberal-base voters and appeal to voters much more conservative than the median Democratic voter. Democrats have to sell a wider array of products to a wider array of people.

The Republican coalition is narrower. It’s more ideologically homogenous and as white as a field of lilies. The Electoral College is biased toward Republican states, and the Senate gives small rural states like Wyoming the same number of votes as California and New York. To succeed, Republicans need only appeal to their base and little else, which allows for a simpler message.

by Anonymousreply 124June 6, 2022 4:28 PM

I’m sure you are reading this and thinking, Shit is hard all over. Figure it out. You’re not wrong. Democrats must do better. I must do better. But understanding the challenge helps explain how we got to this point.

For all the party’s messaging mishaps, there are some facts running counter to the prevailing narrative that Republicans are messaging maestros. First, Democrats have won the popular vote in all but one presidential election since 1988. Second, the Democratic Party’s approval rating, while nothing to write home about, has been consistently higher than the Republican Party’s for many years. Finally, the Democratic position on immigration, taxes, reproductive freedom, minimum wage, civil rights, voting rights, and climate change is more popular than the Republican position.

These facts help explain why Republicans and their billionaire supporters invest so much time and energy in building a disinformation apparatus that can overcome the opinions of the majority of Americans. Hence, the megaphone problem.

Democratic messaging is not perfect; far from it. It’s often too wonky and wordy, an Ezra Klein column distilled into a paragraph of focus-grouped verbal applesauce. Our party leaders are all over 70, and none of them rose to the pinnacle of party leadership based on their communication chops. They are generationally disconnected from the party’s base, but the problem isn’t their age. It’s that each has spent more than half their years serving in Congress, where authentic human speaking goes to die.

Let’s say, hypothetically, that all these problems were solved, that Democrats got better messages and messengers, the talking points were as sharp as talking points could be, and cable news was flooded with the best people saying the best things. It would help, but it still wouldn’t matter much.

Imagine two armies doing battle. One of those armies is equipped with tanks and stealth bombers. The other shows up to the battle wielding pocketknives. Of course, Team Pocketknife gets its ass kicked. After the battle, it returns home, and the first question from the gathered townsfolk is “Why didn’t you have a better strategy?”

by Anonymousreply 125June 6, 2022 4:29 PM

Did the Team Pocketknife have the best plan? Maybe, maybe not. Ultimately, no one—whether Patton, von Clausewitz, or Captain America—could devise a plan for a pocketknife to beat a tank. Instead of drawing up a better battle plan, Team Pocketknife needed to focus its energy on figuring out how to get some tanks.

In the context of political communications, this is the message-versus-megaphone problem. Democrats spend 99% of their time worrying about what they should say and only 1% figuring out how to get people to hear what they are saying.

The Republicans have a cable television network whose sole raison d’être is to attack Democrats and promote pro-GOP talking points. The conservative media dwarfs the progressive media in size and scope. And even then, it’s an apples-to-oranges comparison. The bulk of the media on the right is an adjunct of the party apparatus; during the Trump presidency it was state-adjacent propaganda—Pravda, but with plausible deniability.

Much of the media on the left is focused on holding Democrats accountable and/or moving the party’s agenda in a more progressive direction. This is, of course, an admirable and necessary task, but it doesn’t do much to help Democratic candidates and causes win the messaging battle against Republicans come election time.

Facebook, the biggest, most important media outlet in the world, aggressively promotes conservative content. Democrats are out-gunned. We have fewer outlets with less reach. What we say is being drowned out. Sure, we need a better message, but first we need to get a bigger megaphone.

In the early months of the Biden presidency, James Carville, the legendary Democratic strategist, had some complaints about the Democratic strategy. Carville helped elect Bill Clinton in 1992 and became a national celebrity due to his political success and his marriage to a Republican operative working on the Bush campaign. Carville has made a habit of periodically popping up in the media to offer some very blunt advice to Democrats. The advice he delivers, filled with Cajun colloquialisms, is often correct. On this occasion, he took a call from Sean Illing, a reporter at Vox, and unloaded on the Democratic Party, claiming the party had a “wokeness” problem and that they should hammer the Republicans daily on the January 6 insurrection.

by Anonymousreply 126June 6, 2022 4:32 PM

Carville is correct: Republicans are getting away with literal attempted murder. Within months of the insurrection, the cause of the event had been whitewashed, history rewritten, and blame shifted away from the leaders of the Republican Party. But Carville’s prescription is wrong. Putting aside the amusing suggestion that Democrats write more op-eds, a mode of communication that lost relevance with the death of the physical newspaper, doing all the things Carville suggests won’t solve the problem. We should, of course, do them. I am not arguing that we throw in the towel just because we don’t have a Fox equivalent. But the problem isn’t strategic; it’s structural.

This is a tough concept for the punditocracy (a.k.a. Twitter) to come to terms with. Political analysis is obsessed with style, strategy, and optics at the expense of structural forces. Politics is covered like drama, elevating the actions and decisions of individuals. The choices made by candidates and campaign advisers, the thinking goes, are what determine success or failure. This faux-Greek drama needs a narrative arc and a hero’s journey. Every election cycle has an Icarus.

But campaigns are not won or lost on a single decision or a killer ad. Presidencies are not defined by a slogan. There is a harder, less entertaining, but much more informative way to understand politics: Focus less on the personalities and more on the structural impediments to progress. Democrats have a much smaller megaphone, and our message is getting drowned out.

Republicans dictate the terms of the conversation in American politics and have done so for much of the 21st century. Democrats aren’t doing everything right, but we also must recognize that doing everything right is still insufficient. Until more Democrats figure this out, we will remain trapped in the doom loop. During every campaign cycle, our strategy is defense.

So, how do we build a bigger, better megaphone?

Excerpted from Battling the Big Lie: How Fox, Facebook, and the MAGA Media Are Destroying America by Dan Pfeiffer, to be published by Twelve.

by Anonymousreply 127June 6, 2022 4:33 PM

The fact that he doesn't understand why shows his own ignorance - he's a stupid old man who can't read and can't figure out why we don't all love him the way Jill does.

Get rid of him, Dems, and give us someone who can read and seems to care about something besides the climate and trannies.

by Anonymousreply 128June 6, 2022 4:41 PM

Agree.

by Anonymousreply 129June 6, 2022 5:18 PM

Jesus F. Christ. "Why Democrats Suck At Messaging".... then the guy writes a fuckin' wall of words, an absolute tsunami of his life story, complaints about Republicans, beefs about the media, 8647 words of sob story, all to say pretty much nothing. So so many words to say nothing.

Oh, the irony.

by Anonymousreply 130June 6, 2022 5:25 PM

Biden is furious he is trailing Trump in the polls, erupted over 'being kept out of the loop in the baby formula crisis' and is trying to avoid being compared to Jimmy Carter, report claims

Maybe he got his message across too well

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 131June 6, 2022 5:38 PM

"... not kept abreast of the baby formula crisis"... *chortle* The DM is so sly with these things.

by Anonymousreply 132June 6, 2022 5:40 PM

[quote]The Repubs are doing everything they can to sabotage Biden. They are not concerned with the good of the country because they believe being in power is the most important issue. There is a fundamental difference in political philosophy between the two parties. People need to focus on these and look past temporary circumstances like inflation and the Ukrainian war.

Exactly this!! 👆👆

by Anonymousreply 133June 6, 2022 9:44 PM

[quote]In the context of political communications, this is the message-versus-megaphone problem. Democrats spend 99% of their time worrying about what they should say and only 1% figuring out how to get people to hear what they are saying.

Not sure all of your analysis is correct here R126

Democrat lose elections mainly because republicans rig elections. If you won the the public vote multiple times, you got the messaging right. As an example, in 2016 republicans left no stone unturned to sabotage Hillary Clinton, and if this involved letting Russia hack into voting machines and the FBI director doing super shady things, so be it. Democracy is in a serious crisis in the US, republicans know they can't win elections anymore unless they cheat and play dirty tricks.

Democrats need to vote in way bigger numbers to overcome the unfairness of the electoral system.

by Anonymousreply 134June 6, 2022 10:14 PM

"VOTERS WILL VOTE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS STRONG AND WRONG RATHER THAN FOR SOMEONE WHO IS WEAK AND RIGHT!"

by Anonymousreply 135June 8, 2022 12:56 AM

The White House great resignation:

Two-thirds of Biden's press shop have left in the spaces of weeks because of low morale, long hours and low pay

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 136June 10, 2022 5:31 AM

We need to put a bounty on them r108. Every last one.

by Anonymousreply 137June 10, 2022 7:16 AM

[quote] The White House great resignation Two-thirds of Biden's press shop have left in the spaces of weeks because of low morale, long hours and low pay'

R137 Are you tryig to convince yourself or are you trying to convince us that the Daily Mail is a credible source for political news?

by Anonymousreply 138June 10, 2022 7:21 AM

DM is sloppy, no doubt about it. But they do focus on stuff American media ignore. So read it with caution, but do read it.

Worse would be limiting yourself to NYT, where the problem is not so much what they tell you, but what they don't.

by Anonymousreply 139June 10, 2022 8:31 AM

Correct, R139.

by Anonymousreply 140June 10, 2022 1:29 PM

R68 thinks The New Republic is right-wing/has the reputation of being right-wing.

Jesus.

by Anonymousreply 141June 10, 2022 1:34 PM

The Dems need a strong middle-of-the-road or Democrat to run for POTUS, otherwise we're doomed.

by Anonymousreply 142June 14, 2022 11:31 AM

The Ukraine is about to fall. China is threatening Taiwan. Inflation is rampant and the market entered bear territory.

But we have lots of virtue signaling and identity politics appointments.

This is turning out to be the worse president since Buchanan. Honestly Trump will be viewed as marginally better. (He's the second worse president since Buchanan. )

Wake up Democrats !

by Anonymousreply 143June 14, 2022 11:42 AM

He can start by getting rid of Garland...and replacing him with someone with guts, in regard to trump and indictments. Democrats seem like lost sheep.

by Anonymousreply 144June 14, 2022 11:43 AM

Strength in an admirable American virtue. Democrats are lacking in that.

by Anonymousreply 145June 14, 2022 11:48 AM

strength *is^^

by Anonymousreply 146June 14, 2022 11:48 AM

R122 The Lincoln project kind of fascinates me. From what I could see on Twitter, they mostly kept the base energized with Trumpian insults. There seemed to be a gaggle of older female fans who would get excited when Rick Wilson talked dirty. I wonder how much money they actually raked in.

by Anonymousreply 147June 14, 2022 11:49 AM

I wouldn't vote for any Republican but right now I wouldn't vote for Joe or Kamala. I hope there are others chomping at the bit to run to replace them.

by Anonymousreply 148June 14, 2022 11:56 AM

Democrats’ political ineptitude is demonstrated by the fact that the Party doesn’t see Roy Cooper as the leading contender for president

by Anonymousreply 149June 14, 2022 12:01 PM

Roy Cooper has been around as long as the Clintons, and he's not winning by any wide margins lately. Plus, well, you know....it's North Carolina.

by Anonymousreply 150June 14, 2022 12:03 PM

My God, who is the Queen posting these gigantic excerpts from article about Democrat messaging on this thread? I have to scroll through all this on my phone. Give it a rest Mary. This isn't the place for copying and pasting tomes.

by Anonymousreply 151June 14, 2022 12:15 PM

[QUOTE] There seemed to be a gaggle of older female fans who would get excited when Rick Wilson talked dirty.

Yeah. The Lesbians.

by Anonymousreply 152June 14, 2022 12:19 PM

Can we trust NBC?

by Anonymousreply 153June 14, 2022 1:50 PM

Of course one can't trust NBC. The Biden White House has more direction than the administration of the previous three presidencies. A low bar, one might say, but there it is

by Anonymousreply 154June 14, 2022 4:23 PM

Joe's just too damn old. He did his job by denying Fatso Trump a second term - thanks Joe!!

Now, for 2024, I'm fine with Roy Cooper and Amy Klobuchar, maybe even Pete Buttigieg. I'd support Gavin Newsom if the country really really wants a lib, but I don't see that right now.

by Anonymousreply 155June 18, 2022 10:31 AM

Agree

by Anonymousreply 156June 21, 2022 2:45 AM

People need to vote for any democrat the DNC puts forward. Joe Biden may be old and slow, but he gets what's important and he gets things done. You can't replace him and his breath of experience and knowledge with some youngster who satisfies the hip crowd.

by Anonymousreply 157June 21, 2022 3:02 AM

Lmao r157!

by Anonymousreply 158June 21, 2022 5:08 AM

ABJ......anyone but Joe, please Democrats.

by Anonymousreply 159June 21, 2022 2:28 PM

R157 was joking.

by Anonymousreply 160June 21, 2022 7:07 PM

Now Biden is attacking smokers. For fuck's sake. He's out of touch with reality. Lower the nicotine level in cigarettes and people smoke more. Truly, Biden's a nitwit.

by Anonymousreply 161June 22, 2022 3:56 PM
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