July 12, 2022

What are the Pundits On About?


No Real News, Just a Biden to Punch

So, the top question on our minds is ‘Who should we run in 2024?’
But shouldn’t we be asking, instead, ‘What should we do in 2022 to make sure our votes are counted in 2024?’

How we feel about the politics of the day, and the Dem party in particular, depends a lot on the ‘trusted sources’ we read. While much is being said about the negative influence of social media – veering away from real discussion, favoring short tweets, inviting nastiness and trolling, spreading disinformation – less has been noted about our mainstream press.

Yet, a quick scroll of the newsfeeds gives a sense of the editorial slant. Recent headlines include:

  • The American Prospect, July 8, 2022 - Kuttner on TAP, “Biden’s Striptease on China Tariffs”
  • The Guardian, July 9, 2022 - "Biden in crisis mode as specter of one-term Carter haunts White House!"
  • The Atlantic, July 11 – “Make Politics Boring Again / Voters still long for the normalcy Joe Biden is struggling to deliver”
  • NY Times, July 12 – “Most Democrats Don’t Want Biden in 2024, New Poll Shows”

Meanwhile, the late night comedians, our ‘progressive news-feed’ of choice, bring up at least one Biden age or gaff joke per monologue. Up and coming Dem stars are being positioned with interviews and flattering profiles. And the right wing outlets, The National Review being among the most erudite, bang the same drum: Dems are going to lose. Biden is a doddering old fool. Ron DiSantis is a good replacement should Trump go to jail.

So, the top question on our minds is ‘Who should we run in 2024?’

But shouldn’t we be asking, instead, ‘What should we do in 2022 to make sure our votes are counted in 2024?’

It’s hard to tell why our own Dem-leaning sources are going after Biden (and Schumer and Pelosi). Here are some rough guesses:

  • They’re genuinely angry at the ‘slow action’ and just can’t contain themselves.
  • They hope the loud critiques will push Congress and White House to take swift, decisive action on the right-wing ‘outrage du jour.’
  • They’re reflecting the intra-Party arm-wrestling -- normal, nasty – between the deposed centrist wing and the 2018-ascendant progressive wing.
  • They’re just so anxious for a paying column, they’ll write any old click-bait.

There are two subgroups of the ‘critique’ variety that GOP columnists are going giddy over. The disgruntled, disappointed Dems who can’t understand why Biden lets Manchin and Sinema rule. (Uh, because if they bail to indy or GOP, Mitch McConnell takes full control of the Senate?) And then there are those who want to bolt altogether. (Like, did they learn nothing from that grand Green experiment of the 70s?)

In that first group are the folks who take in the punditry, whole hog, and feel that tingling in the toes, like when they were ‘Bernie Bros’. Mind you, in 2016, scorched by Hillary Victory Fund money and super-delegate votes, Sanders, nonetheless, supported Mrs. Clinton and campaigned for Democrats. But some of his faithful, ‘angry young men’ did not. So while Hillary won by some 3 million votes in California, she lost in states where the Bros stayed home. And lost the Electoral College, while those 3M Californian votes went in the garbage disposal.

The second subgroup is still murmuring about forming a 3rd party. It’s not heard as often as a few years back. But, it does seem to prevail among younger activists who don’t understand how the present system works. Simply put, a 3rd party draws votes away from the one ideologically closest. In other words, a 3rd party of disgruntled Dems, now,  would have the same effect as staying home OR simply voting for Republicans.

What’s a Dem warrior to do? Warning: This is not new advice!

  1. Don’t give in to the urge to throw a tantrum. Or the urge to curl up in fetal position. Neither one does much good.
  2. Stay in the fight. At the very least, vote in November.
  3. Better yet, contribute time, energy, skills, or money to the effort.
  4. Do stay informed. Keep reading. But read critically. Just because ‘our side’ opines it, doesn’t make it so.
  5. Watch the uptick in Biden’s speeches and op-eds, among others, in addition to the pundits’ interpretations.
  6. Make sure you have a source for Cabinet decisions, e.g. today’s emergency abortion directive from Becerra at HHS.
  7. Check the candidates and campaigns in your home state. You may be surprised at how positive they are! You’ll draw ideas, energy, and … a sense of community with your folks at home. Even if you haven’t been back for a while.
  8. Thought stop on ‘our candidate in 2024.’ That’s like buying a retirement home with the paycheck from your first job! A little premature?
  9. If live events are still a little touch-n-go here in Greece, we still have online ways to get together. Stop with the moaning about ‘I’m so Zoomed out!’ Save that one for December!
  10. Go HERE and see what volunteer skills DAGR needs. Suck it up and Sign Up. Otherwise, some other volunteer will be hassling YOU in September to make sure you’ve voted.

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