Dems in Disarray! No, For Reals This Time

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his food writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast. Subscribe to Andrew's Heard Tell SubStack for free here:

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51 Responses

  1. Philip H
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    says:

    First, the Biden reelection effort is fighting a pent-up need for a compelling story in the 2024 presidential campaign. News media has been bored to tears and suffering with Trump v Biden round 2 not having much juice to it, so Dems in Disarray! to the level of calling for the sitting President of the United States to step down is just what the ratings, clicks, and ad revenue was needing.

    This is only true because legacy media seem to want to avoid discussing TFG’s various speech and mental issues, to say nothing of the danger that Project 2025 presents. You know, the real threats to the US from within.Report

    • James K in reply to Philip H
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      says:

      I get the frustration. Trump is clearly neither mentally nor morally fit to lead. But because his mental decline manifests in long inchoate rants instead of fumbling to find the right word, he get seen a smore capable because more talking = smarter in a lot of peoples’ minds.Report

  2. Jaybird
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    says:

    One thing that is weird is that, in 2012, I saw the election and thought afterward “man, the Republicans *AND* the Democrats have a deep bench… 2016 will be Clinton against Jeb, probably, and that’s going to be a rough election!”

    And we saw how that turned out. The “deep bench” of the Republicans was a wet paper bag.

    “Man, the Dems are going to go into 2020 with a monster bench, now that Clinton’s out of the way!”

    Biden. Joe Biden.

    And he’s showing signs of having slowed down. Like… badly. The arguments that it’s a conspiracy theory have been pretty much cut off at the knees. And arguments that he needs to step down and we need to replace him at the convention don’t get “the following candidates would do well” but, instead, get “NAME A NAME! NAME A SINGLE NAME THAT WOULD DO BETTER THAN BIDEN!”

    Because… there isn’t one?

    Deep benches have turned into mulch.

    What the hell happened?Report

    • Philip H in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      The Dems spent the last 20 years concentrating on the WH, and other the Gavin Newsome (who doesn’t need the national party for name recognition) they didn’t contest the governorships or state legislatures the way they needed to so a bench could e developed. They also have anemic uninspiring Senate leadership who most Americans can’t name, and while their minority leadership in the House is way closer to my generation then to the boomers, they all have to stay where they are so they can win back the majority.

      The GOP decided in 2016 that their 40 year march to dismantle the regulatory state interfering with their greed could easily culminate in TFG, and they have now concluded that the other pillar of their process – gaining permanent minority rule – is also best accomplished with him.

      Any other questions?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        Remember the supposed deep bench going into 2020?

        Booker, Castro, Warren, Klobuchar, Buttigeig… Even Beto O’Rourke!Report

        • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          What’s your point, that none of them have become president yet?Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Pinky
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            says:

            That none of them are mumbled about.

            Maybe they’ll be tanned, rested, and ready in 2032, after Harris finishes her 2nd term. (I’m told that it’ll be the most important election of our lifetimes.)Report

            • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              Well, Warren’s still 10-15 years too young for the job….

              I’ve actually heard Warren and Buttigeig mentioned in the past week. I haven’t been listening to the list of alternatives, though, because I think it’s got to be Harris. And she was also part of the 2020 bench.Report

        • Philip H in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          And how do they poll against Trump currently?

          That aside – I still maintain that Warren needs to replace Schumer leading democrats in the senate. Klobuchar is probably as far up as she is going to get. Ditto Booker – unless he goes home and runs as governor at some point.

          None of them have the name recognition at this late stage to take over the campaign.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
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            says:

            Warning PDF.

            Buttigeig seems to be doing pretty good.

            But, otherwise… yeah. They’ve all pretty much demonstrated that the bench that was supposed to be deep is… Well, what is “deep” supposed to mean, anyway? What’s a bench?Report

            • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              (dude, did a pdf attack a family member or something?)Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                Back in the day, if you clicked on a PDF, it would download, like it or not. This was *MURDER* on 56.6k modems.

                Force of habit.Report

              • Brandon Berg in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                There was a brief period where PDFs ceased to be an annoyance on desktop browsers, because they would be put in the browser cache, where they get cleaned up automatically, and displayed right in the browser.

                Phone browsers, inexplicably, make the same mistake originally made with desktop browsers: They go into your download directory and stick around indefinitely until manually cleaned up.

                So after a brief golden age, PDFs are annoying again.Report

          • Michael Cain in reply to Philip H
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            says:

            You’ll need to explain your Warren proposal to me. Replace someone (Schumer) who has been very good at finessing things using a very narrow majority with someone who is two years older?

            Mark Warner, the other vice chair of the Democratic Senate conference is up to something. He just announced that he’s organizing a group of senators to urge Biden to withdraw.Report

        • James K in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          I think Buttigeig has what it takes, but he’s still a bit green yet. Giving him Transport was a smart move, but he probably needs a little more time before he’s good to go.Report

    • James K in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      It’s not just the Democrats either. As I noted on a previous thread there has been exactly one major party nominee for President who was born after the 1940s – Barack Obama. I have to wonder how much the lack of top tier talent contributed to making the Republican party vulnerable to a Trumpist takeover.

      There are 350m people in the US and a lot of them were born after the 1940s, even after you exclude the under-35s. What is going on here?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to James K
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        says:

        Hey, I said The “deep bench” of the Republicans was a wet paper bag.

        2016 had Trump go through the butter of the Republicans like a hot knife.

        It was like nothing I’d ever seen.

        He was like the Xenomorph.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to James K
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        says:

        Improved healthcare and the crew born in the 1940s have held on to the levers of power in the federal government tenaciously. The only exception is the House Republican conference. Gingrich changed the conference rules there to make seniority much less important/valuable. It’s the only place where a Paul Ryan could happen: chair both the Budget and Ways & Means committees, Speaker, and a little side gig as a VP candidate, all before he was 50.Report

  3. Saul Degraw
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    says:

    Unsurprisingly, I am on Team Philip H. The whole media has had a field day over this and you can see pre-debate which ones were already down on Biden and this gave them fuel for their fire. Biden told his staff and Democratic governors he was still in it. The ones in disarray are either in R districts or low level.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      I’ll grant that the reporting on the polls is terrible. A two-percentage-point movement in a week means nothing long-term. Harris running two points better than Biden means nothing. Bad reporters are relying on their usual tools, which they never really understood before either. I think your overall narrative on the debate and its consequences is completely wrong, though.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      Memo to: my lying eyes and ears
      from: Saul DegrawReport

      • Jaybird in reply to Pinky
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        says:

        Fashion’s Invisible Hand: The Emperor’s Sartorial Triumph

        Yesterday, our illustrious Emperor presented a sight that will be remembered for generations to come. As he paraded through the streets in what some mistakenly perceived as nothing, a profound statement was made about the nature of fashion, perception, and societal progress. The whispers and cries of “nakedness” are not only misinformed but fundamentally misunderstand the essence of fashion and the cultural moment we are witnessing.

        The Emperor’s new attire, crafted by the celebrated artisans from distant lands, is a masterpiece of conceptual fashion. It represents the pinnacle of sartorial innovation—a testament to the sophistication of our society and its ability to appreciate the intangible. Fashion, after all, is not merely about fabric and thread; it is about the ideas and emotions that these elements evoke. The Emperor’s wardrobe is a groundbreaking departure from the material to the metaphysical, challenging us to rethink our preconceptions of clothing and beauty.

        The Emperor’s new clothes are not a failure of perception but a triumph of innovation. They challenge us to rise above the literal and engage with the conceptual. They remind us that fashion is an ever-evolving dialogue between tradition and modernity, between the seen and the unseen. As we move forward, let us embrace this dialogue and the opportunities it presents for growth and enlightenment.

        In conclusion, the Emperor’s sartorial choice is a profound and deliberate statement that reflects his visionary leadership and the sophistication of our society. To dismiss it as mere nakedness is to miss the point entirely. Instead, let us celebrate this bold and imaginative step forward in the world of fashion, recognizing it for the masterpiece that it is.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          what’s your point jaybird?Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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            says:

            I’m mocking those who defend the emperor’s outfit even after the kid yelled “HE’S NAKED!”

            Are you watching the interview with George Steph… um…

            Are you watching the interview on ABC?

            Here’s the Political Director of ABC:

            Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              You’ve made a compliment in here about liberals, even though I am sure it is entirely unintentional.

              Biden supporters who ignore his unfitness are mocked because if they actually saw it clearly they would of course dump him for someone like Harris because they of course want a president who is fit to lead.

              Left unspoken is why this same folktale can’t be said about Trump. And that makes liberals look very good indeed.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                The best defenses of Biden I’ve seen over the last week all invoke Trump.

                Sure, Biden is old, but what about Trump!
                Sure, Biden messed up, but what about Trump!

                You know what it reminds me of?

                2016.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                He is the best President of my lifetime and yes, he is the only politician who has defeated Trump in the general and electoral college.

                Did you listen? Did you have any substantive problems? What were they?

                Whoever the Democratic nominee is, they will be against Trump.

                You’re a concern troll.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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                says:

                (Better than Obama? Clinton? Over only 4 years? Dang.)

                Substantive problems? Eh.

                It seems to me that he did well enough to argue against being replaced without doing well enough to fully allay fears.

                Seems like the perfect outcome for both Trump Enthusiasts and Biden Enthusiasts.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Yes better than Clinton and Obama.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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                says:

                Bill Clinton’s approval rating was in the 70s, from what I recall. Maybe people were just pleased with gas prices and the quality of the pop music, of course.

                Obama hovered somewhere between the high 50s and low 50s for much of his presidency.

                I suppose it’s like wine. A popular wine doesn’t necessarily mean a *GOOD* wine.

                A *GOOD* wine may only be appreciated by people with the finest palates. Something like Blue Nun might get an approval rating in the 60s but the *GOOD* stuff has a much more clarified appeal.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I’m talking about accomplishments as a progressive politician. Not approval ratings and it was a different time. Trump’s approval rating is basically Biden’s they are both equally disliked and liked by the same percentages but different people. This is negative partisanshipReport

              • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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                says:

                He has forgiven a lot of college debt…Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                His Department of Labor is spot on, he supports Ukraine, etc

                https://balloon-juice.com/2024/07/05/you-better-think/Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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                says:

                You must feel pretty confident, then.

                Awesome.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I notice that no one here is disputing the assertion that that Trump is objectively worse and that in the end, in a two person race, it would be preferable to vote for Biden.

                I think that says a lot.Report

              • Andrew Donaldson in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                To the folks who don’t intake politics – and unlike us who discuss, dissect, and think on these things purposefully and for reasons – there is the basic issue of Trump’s bad but we’ve heard that for 9 years and its old news verses the bright shinny clanging object of let’s dog pile on Joe Biden video clips. The old saw about “Presidential elections come down to who more people want to see on their screens every day for the next four years” has a lot of truth to it, and relentless Trump dulls folks’ senses on his worst attributes, or at least has made them familiar enough to become a perverse new normal.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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                says:

                All very true, but it is why people like me tend to scorn most media pundits.

                They strike a pose of being serious journalists, and of being savvy knowers of politics but in reality are theater critics treating politics like a reality show.

                If you were to read the NYT or watch CNN regularly you wouldn’t know that one political party is promising to end democracy.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                I think that the problem with journalists taking a side is that it’s really easy to assume that when they report something negative about the other side, well…

                They’re just taking a side.

                So you believe that Donald Trump will end democracy?

                Wow. That’s really interesting.

                Would you compare him to Hitler?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Yes, journalists should take a position that democracy and the rule of law is objectively good, the same way they should take a position that the earth is round.

                I’ve said several times that the best analogy for Trumpism isn’t the big three of Hitler Stalin or Mao but rather all those miserable little tyrannies in history like the East Bloc countries, or Latin American or African banana republics.

                Or maybe the closest comparison is America in the Jim Crow/ Gilded Age, since this is what the Trumpists themselves tell us they want.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Are you saying that because it’s true or because you’re being partisan?

                Because, let’s face it, sometimes partisans just say things.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                This is why we think you are a troll Jaybird. You are treating this all like a game and if Trump wins, you will just be another white guy in the background.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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                says:

                Saul, from my perspective, the people who are screaming that the emperor’s clothing is really awesome are the ones treating this like a game.

                (And, let’s face it, we’re all white guys.)Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not the one saying it.

                All I need to do is point to the words and writings of Republicans themselves.

                They are the ones saying they want to return American to a pre-Progressive, pre-New Deal, pre-Civil Rights era.

                Seriously, you can read it for yourself.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Oh, can you provide a link?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                First lets set the goalposts.
                What would be an acceptable support for my assertion?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Well, I’d hate to think that you’d say “They are the ones saying they want to return American to a pre-Progressive, pre-New Deal, pre-Civil Rights era” and then your evidence for this is someone saying “the Department of Education has failed… look at these charts of 3rd Grade reading levels”.

                So I’ll ask you… Instead of saying “They are the ones saying they want to return American to a pre-Progressive, pre-New Deal, pre-Civil Rights era”, is there a different thing you want to say that they’re saying?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                You’re not even disagreeing with me so why bother?Report

              • Andrew Donaldson in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                As someone who does some talking heading on TV and other media from time to time you are correct.Report

  4. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Here’s the r/politics thread devoted to the interview. It’s currently sorted by “best” but explore “controversial”, if you’re bored on a Friday night.

    Here’s the Twitter trending hashtag #BidenInterview. It’s currently sorted by “Top” but also check out “Latest”, if you’re bored on a Friday night.Report

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