Apr 16, 2022Liked by Steven Beschloss

Sadly I fear it’s already too late. Biden’s refusal to do anything about the J6 coup plotters and Trump in particular is depressing the base, and overshadows the historic nature of the economic recovery. Failing to fire the MAGATs immediately, that is DeJoy Rettig Wray Durham etc has left saboteurs in the government that can easily be identified and fired if only the will was there. Finally, it’s obvious Biden still thinks Tip and Ron are going to have a beer and solve all our problems. It was as pernicious a lie then as it is now.

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Is history any guide? We haven't had a party lead a coup before. We haven't had anything like this before, with an increasingly radical party that actively advances COVID and inflation seeking to blame problems on incumbent Democrats. People won't choose to go back to chaos and corruption and reward that party.

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By not holding GOP responsible for anything (everything, Trump, coup, all the corruption!) the Dems are incompetent enablers. That alone will create apathy in the MT's. Mods, indies, NTers like me see that things are almost worse under this do-nothing party. Same sh*t, different party. I won't reward GOP but I'll be damned if I'll reward the complicit Dems.

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Democrats have impeached Trump twice. Republicans excused his crimes.

Democrats set up a Congressional panel to investigate 1/6 and only two Republicans agreed to participate.

Over 800 arrests have been made related to the Capitol coup - and more coming, without a doubt.

It's not nearly enough, but it is far from nothing. We need to keep pushing for accountability, at all levels. I am pushing every single day and a lot of people are doing the same. These crimes are unacceptable.

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I believe that no matter how hard we struggle to "get out the vote", that it won't really matter because 19 states have passed laws that essentially negate the popular vote in favor of their own (GQP) candidate. It's incredibly depressing, and I'm glad I'm so old that I most likely won't live to see the terrible ramifications, but I do fear greatly for my grandchildren's future.

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Apr 16, 2022·edited Apr 16, 2022Liked by Steven Beschloss

I believe that the "Repubs regaining power to destroy democracy" is a red straw man herring. If you look at the results of the Virginia and NJ elections, it was disaffected Dems and No Party Prefs that swayed the swing vote. In the SF school board purge, it was 70+% of the vote. That's not just Putin-Loving Bad Orangers. Look, it has to be said these days, I am not trolling. Just spends 5 mins on my post. When both sides are warning about the same existential fear, albeit from different sources, most normal people start asking questions. Asking those questions now has become heresy. Mentioning Asian hate without mentioning the perpetrators, changing merit-based admissions to AP programs, school choice, homelessness, gas/food, border, the war, shaking hands with empty air. It's not one thing. Unlike just 2 years ago, this is not a one-issue election coming up. Things may change, Abrams flipped Georgi. Shellenberger thinks he can flip Cali. The mass in the middle will decide. The masses are deeply unhappy. That always bodes ill for the party in complete control.

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Your perspective is challenging, for sure. I am deeply troubled by all of the hate-mongering on the right. Also by their attempts to shift the educational narrative to boost both ignorance and hate. For example, FL’s assault on math textbooks as proponents of Critical Race Theory. Or their willingness to support “State’s” Rights”, unless a state supports something they don’t approve of.

I also take issue with your statement about the Democrats being in “complete control”. 50-50 in the Senate, with utterly unified Republicans and Manchin and Sinema off the ranch 95% of the time is scarcely control.

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The scariest thing to me is this: because these are not normal times (historically validated), because there are so many people sucked into some vortex of misinformation (orchestrated), because the political arena and dialogue (what?) are now based on emotional buttons rather than factual discussion of issues, and finally because republicans have shown by their behaviors and legislative actions that they are only focused on power and nothing else for the general public I fear that the voters will choose to end democracy and wonder what happened too late.

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Dems can't win with base alone (neither can GOP). That middle chunk of the electorate that swings depending on issues & cultural climate is ripe for the taking. (Hint: the election will not be won by talking about student debt, gas prices, refuting CRT or failed BBB.) Dems have got to hammer every damn day in every damn race how the GOP is trying to destroy democracy. Their pet issues won't sway enough people to win. And Republicans are playing to WIN!

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I don't think people are interested in the overall job growth in the country. They care about their own job or lack of one and the poor wages they receive from multi million dollar companies that pay CEOs outlandish amounts and pay thousands to political campaigns.

I don't think the virus is upper most in their minds. Most no longer wear masks or keep distances.

There are family get togethers, parties, sports crowds, stores, restaurants are open. Nobody seems afraid of it anymore.

I am afraid that with the short attention span of Americans, even the Ukraine situation will get short shrift soon. And only a few southern state politicians seem interested further in the immigration program or lack thereof.

So..........where does that leave the Democrats? First & foremost: Inflation. Biden should make a trip to the grocery store, have it video taped, show his concern that a pound of hamburger is $7, a can of soup is $2, one orange costs over $1, even in Florida that shows oranges on license plates. Have him commiserate. Show he really understands that a Hershey bar costs $2. Explain what he can do or at least, try to do. Talking about interest rates won't do it. There is the interest rate off yonder somewhere and a quart of milk in someones hands.

Paying a couple dollars more to fill up the gas tank isn't really that much in the scheme of things. People will pay that for a couple of packs of chewing gum. But......they don't think of it that way. Cars line up at Costco , sit and idle away what gas is left in the tank, so they can fill up at a cheaper price, probably getting even with what they idled away waiting. But it matters; is a topic of concern. Emphasize, relate, blame big oil for taking advantage.

Rent and price of houses for sale is almost laughable. Old dumps with one bath and not a bush in the front yard asking $600,000. Rent for a house with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath-over $2000/month.

We can't afford it. People will be living in their cars or an RV if they can afford one of them. Add insurance for vehicles, health, drugs, plus cable and internet and cell phone charges, people can't do it. No new clothes or shoes.

These are the topics of interest to the majority of Americans. The Democrats would be better off concentrating on these, show an interest, humanize the pain, show understanding, and don't make a bunch of promises that will not be kept-what politicians generally do. Care more for their duties and responsibilities than getting money to be reelected. Tell what would happen under Republican rule and their irresponsibility to the people, but leave the name trump out of it. Dems already know about him, and showing him constantly just reinforces worship of him.

P.S. I just had two young women knock on my door asking if I needed someone to clean house. See. People need money. Will do anything. Democrats: Help them.

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Apr 16, 2022·edited Apr 18, 2022

You make a number of good points.

Suppose tomorrow the Republicans took control of everything: the next day, or the next year, the same and other grave problems will exist, probably will have gotten worse, but the messaging will be such that your average American will be saturated with propaganda and partial truths, still blaming the Dems and their legacy (from Biden at this point, if not entirely caused by Hunter Biden's laptop). Above all, American voters will be willfully distracted with expertly crafted "shiny objects" designed to stoke fear, like the caravans of Latin people amassing across the border but within striking distance of La Jolla CA, or the transexual child who wants to play soccer secretly plotting to turn all the other children into some sort of deviant, or "CRT" being taught in kindergarten, etc.

In my view until we are able to reinstate some sort of law requiring "news" to report only (boring) facts, the right is simply better equipped to hijack and amplify and coordinate messaging targeting voters. And they do a great job. Some honor.

BTW I think that situation needs to be fixed no matter what party is in charge. It's bad for America otherwise.

The second major obstacle preventing clean elections is dark money funding politicians, PACs, and the like. In ways the two issues are related. In theory dark untraceable money can fund a PAC called "Love ALL Children" but could, in fact, support policies that do anything but.

Before you pick this apart, just think about what I am saying and use common sense. Political instruments, like advertising, like news, should be transparent and fact-based. Right now it's not, and in the end we have hidden special interests funding the politicians and policies in ways that are not fully transparent. I don't see this changing. It's a kind of perfect storm where the only way to change the policies and laws is through legislation, and there are enough amoral and even corrupt politicians available for hire by the money. Corporate media earnings are dependent on the revenues from the ads and the clickstream so they won't quit, and everyone has become an expert guest their own TV channels...

We (Americans) are screwed.

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Without doing anything to ensure that the Republican leaning voters get truthful news, we are sunk. They are mainly receiving propaganda. The CNN study that paid Republican voters to watch CNN for a month shows that there is hope if we get to those people. Instead of spending money on a lot of ads, we should just pay people in the red states to watch CNN and MSNBC for a month. Otherwise, Biden could be the absolute best president we’ve ever had, but the red states will not learn about his good works.

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It would require shutting down the propaganda.

"We have built this Reich on Propaganda" - Joseph Goebbels.

Like their religious cult(s) it has to be reinforced frequently or someone will start thinking for themselves and stop giving the charlatans money.

And a nationwide civics lesson.

It is not taught in most red states. The GQP does not want their voters to understand how government is supposed to work.

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The Democrats do not have the stones to get down into the gutter and bring the kind of fight that is required to Republican doorsteps. Plain and simple. The Rs will do ANYTHING to win, and they are. Look at the voting laws being passed crossed the country, challenging all of them in court is a long shot at best. There’s just not enough time. Marc Elise is doing everything he can, but his group can’t be everywhere. The win we realized in 2020 is in large part due to Rep. Jim Clyburn and the African American community. This has been laid upon their shoulders too often. White folks must get off their asses and turn out to vote. Personally, I think the Dems are poised to loose congress in the midterms, Unless they stop bringing a knife to a gun fight. I am sick of getting emails from want to be congress men or woman complaining about “Republican Dark Money” touting how they only take small dollar grassroots donations. If a likeminded Corp/PAC wants to help your potential constituents put you in office by donating, take the money. The point is to GET ELECTED. They can find their moral compass from their House or Senate seat..The Republican party in its current form is a death sentence to this country..The pandemic really opened my eyes to some very stark truths about our citizenry that I had not realized. Stupidity rather than critical thinking has been propagating like a weed faster than I had ever imagined. The notion that 70 million people still think Trump is the right guy is beyond the pale. And if any of you are recipients of Social Security and Medicare, that you worked hard for your whole life to realize, well these are the programs the Rs are itching to gut.

And then there are all of the very removable people in our current Government that are still there. People Biden could remove, but fore some reason…Not to mention a gutless, feckless AG.

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I think democrats can win the 2022 midterm elections. Here’s why:

It looks like Trump’s power to draw a crowd is waning. His last 3 rallies drew smaller than expected crowds. Plus, he’s 76 in June and has obvious physical problems.

I’m seeing a substantial amount of pushback on twitter just in the last couple of months.To me that means people are finally realizing neither Trump or his enablers are going away unless we insist, and people are realizing what they’re going to lose if republicans regain power.

Many people might not take twitter seriously as a microcosm of our culture but I do. To me it’s as if a hibernating beast has awakened and begun looking around at the state of its habitat. People who were paying attention saw what was coming politically, but most were unaware. I think January 6 is what finally got through to a lot of people that what was happening wasn’t politics as usual.

We have to hand it to Pres.Biden for how he’s handled the situation between Ukraine and Russia. From what I can tell he’s viewed as the elder statesman with a lot of foreign policy experience from his years in Congress.

His instincts have so far proved to be spot-on for handling the conflict in Europe.

Although republicans have been trying hard to create an uproar over inflation and the economy generally, they haven’t succeeded. That’s because of the intense pushback by democrats. I’m not talking about democrats in Congress, I’m talking about voters who are democrats. Unemployment is at a record-breaking low. Pres. Biden’s Pandemic Rescue eased the financial pain so many Americans were dealing with and created an economic foundation of sorts for Build Back Better. When that kicks in there will be even more jobs for better pay.

Our southern border is where republicans are still able to make headway, but only because of Foxnews. That and AG Merrick Garland’s handling of the legal issues from the insurrection are vulnerabilities. I think democrats in Congress are using the uncertainty around prosecuting Trump, et al to solicit donations, but at some point VERY soon they need to pivot to public hearings and prosecutions. We desperately need to see prosecutions of the people in Congress who tried to overthrow our govt. and who are still undermining it on a daily basis.

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I believe there is a larger political center, partly leaning right, partly leaning left. The Democrats must craft a message for this group of Americans. These people do not have time for political discourse. They are busy trying to make ends meet while keeping a house over their heads and kids on the right track. The Democratic Party must focus on 1) Inflation, 2) Democracy, and 3) Health.

1) Inflation is about paying bills, getting to work, and food on the table. It is likely plateauing now although Putin’s war will continue to impact energy and food prices. Biden has once again shown that the democrats come in to clean up after the Republicans. His budgets are reducing the massive deficits caused by the Trump administration. Communicate clearly that the 2017 tax bill caused huge deficits, put millions of dollars in the pockets of the already rich, and provided no “trickle-down” benefit to average Americans. Trump’s crazy promises to resurrect dying industries without any ideas on how do so resulted in huge devastation in jobs. Those grieving communities were played by Trump. Democrats need to reach those communities with effective policies and programs such as the infrastructure bill. Don’t talk about the total dollar value of that bill. Talk about the specific programs inside it. Talk about how those programs will add good jobs and restore real opportunity to those communities.

2) Democracy is at stake with all the autocratic actions and corruption in the GOP. It is critical not to get sucked into the GOP culture wars. It is created to distract from the lack of principles and policies in the GOP. Classic autocrat deception. We cannot fall prey to cultural fear mongering. Maintain global democratic leadership, demonstrate NATO cohesion and effectiveness, be honest and transparent about Russian military atrocities caused by the fascist autocrat, Putin.

3) Health issues, especially erupting from the pandemic, is heavy on Americans’ minds. Nearly everyone has been impacted by loss of family or friend to COVID. But the Biden administration turned the corner after the devastation caused by the Trump administration. A diligent focus on national care toward suppressing the pandemic, with transparency and regular objective information, will build confidence for the Democratic vote.

While I am more progressive than the average American in that center arena, the 2022 vote will be lost if the Democratic Party leans into the program demands of the progressive wing. We must secure democracy first, then start progressing and rebuilding from the setbacks caused by the Republican autocratic agenda.

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Mr. Beschloss and thoughtful readers I know you deserve a thoughtful response. But sometimes ya just gotta chuckle about things, so with tongue firmly planted in cheek...Having grown up in Chicago and having learned a little about organizing there (remember that community organizer who got elected President?) I will definitely be voting early and voting often. Also, I'm looking for an airbnb mobile home situation, just temporarily, in North Carolina. Anyone have leads?

Now, seriously, the SCOWI just gerrymandered the heck out of our state. They definitely want particular people not to vote. So, I'll be working as much as I can up to and through election day to make sure the right people get to the polls, and that absentee ballots get to the right place in time. The midterms can be "won," but it WILL take serious organizing and ground game. One voter at a time, that's how elections are won. Let's not defeat ourselves by giving up in advance!

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Get out the Vote sounds like a great plan on paper; but in reality I don't think it will work. You listed the headwinds the Dems are facing: the history of midterm elections, Biden's low approval ratings, COVID not being solved, the lack of any real action against the January 6 plotters (a combination of Biden's reluctance to get involved, but mores the lack of the DOJ to get involved ; and it is really DOJ territory because Biden saying more than he has would make it political - the Exec Branch shouldn't interfere with the Judicial Branch, that's what Trump did and we know how wrong that was). And basically, harken back to James Carville: it's the money. Many people are doing very badly financially. That's what impacts their day-to-day life. That's what is top of mind. And, although I try to stay away from the negative, the GOP is also on a get out the vote mission and since they are louder and have a sort of cult following (I haven't checked the numbers recently; but I suspect that the GOP also have a financial advantage), I give them the edge on the get out the vote issue also. I don't like to feel that I am giving in without trying. But I have tried get out the vote initiatives in better times; and I'm not sure it was a fruitful endeavor.

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