‘Thoughts and prayers’ for Donald Trump

Illiberalism

Gilead

White Christian nationalism


Fig. 1. If one weighs by geography rather than population, Pennsylvania is very much a white Christian nationalist kind of place. Photograph by author, January 5, 2023.

I don’t want to minimize the danger and it’s possible I’m wrong, but this seems overwrought to me:

The first thing that I thought [after hearing about the assassination attempt] about is that we were basically one inch from a potential civil war. I think that if, indeed, Donald Trump would have suffered fatal injuries today [July 13], the level of violence that we witnessed so far will be nothing in comparison to what would have happened in the next couple of months. I think that would have unleashed a new level of anger, frustration, resentment, hostility that we haven’t seen for many, many years in the U.S.

This assassination attempt, at least at this early stage, may validate a strong sense among many Trump supporters and many people on the far right that they are being delegitimized, that they are on the defensive and that there are efforts to basically prevent them from competing in the political process and prevent Trump from returning to the White House.[1]

I think if this were true, I’d be seeing more signs of it. The hard cold truth of it is, I’m not.

The thing here is that when we speak of groups such as Q-Anon and the Proud Boyz, groups involved in the January 6 coup attempt, we’re speaking of people who lack anything like the discipline required to maintain operational security. If they’re working themselves up to civil war, we’ll know about it because they’ll be screaming it from the mountaintops. But all I see here is on par with calls for a general strike on the Left—smoke with absolutely zero fire.

[Thomas] Crooks was registered as a Republican, according to Pennsylvania’s voter status records.

Campaign finance records show that someone by the name of Thomas Crooks, with the same street address as the suspect, gave $15 to the Progressive Turnout Project, a Democratic voter-turnout organization, in January, 2021.

A search of court records did not indicate any criminal history.

Crooks is believed to have used an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle to carry out the attack, said a U.S. official and another person familiar with the investigation, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a probe that is still in its early stages.[2]

One thing I think Arie Perliger misses here is that the shooter was conservative,[3] albeit making the argument for gun control in the grandest way possible. And that’s what’s getting my attention here: How do white Christian nationalists address the strong appearance that this shooting was by one of their own, indeed with no criminal or civil record,[4] the quintessential “good man with a gun?”

Arie Perliger, “‘One inch from a potential civil war’ – near miss in Trump shooting is also a close call for American democracy,” Conversation, July 13, 2024, https://theconversation.com/one-inch-from-a-potential-civil-war-near-miss-in-trump-shooting-is-also-a-close-call-for-american-democracy-234628

Donald Trump
Coup attempt

2024

Fig. 2. Donald Trump still has his fans. Photograph along Washington Road in Upper Saint Clair, Pennsylvania, by author, April 28, 2024.

Holly Bailey, “New York judge throws out Rudy Giuliani’s bankruptcy case,” Washington Post, July 12, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/12/rudy-giuliani-bankruptcy/

Isaac Arnsdorf and Jabin Botsford, “Pops, screams and then blood: On the scene at the Trump rally shooting,” Washington Post, July 13, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/13/trump-shooting-rally-witness-account/

Haley BeMiller, “Ohio Sen. JD Vance, a top VP contender, blames Trump rally shooting on Biden ‘rhetoric,’” Cincinnati Enquirer, July 13, 2024, https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2024/07/13/trump-rally-shooting-jd-vance-blames-biden-campaign-rhetoric/74397100007/

Megan Lavey-Heaton, “Trump hurt in shooting at Pa. rally; 2 dead, including shooter, official says,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, July 13, 2024, https://www.pennlive.com/elections/2024/07/trump-hurt-in-shooting-at-pa-rally-2-dead-including-shooter-official-says.html

Arie Perliger, “‘One inch from a potential civil war’ – near miss in Trump shooting is also a close call for American democracy,” Conversation, July 13, 2024, https://theconversation.com/one-inch-from-a-potential-civil-war-near-miss-in-trump-shooting-is-also-a-close-call-for-american-democracy-234628

David Smith and Ramon Antonio, “Trump rally shooting being investigated as attempt on his life as spectator killed,” Guardian, July 13, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jul/13/trump-rally-gun-shots-pennsylvania

Emily Davies, Steve Hendrix, and Annabelle Timsit, “Suspected Trump rally shooter Thomas Matthew Crooks is from Bethel Park, Pa.,” Washington Post, July 14, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2024/07/14/thomas-matthew-crooks-trump-shooting-suspect/

Kenny Jacoby and Christopher Cann, “Trump rally shooter Thomas Crooks identified: What we know,” Cincinnati Enquirer, July 14, 2024, https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/investigations/2024/07/14/thomas-crooks-trump-rally-shooter/74397935007/

Brian Linder, “Shooter in Trump assassination attempt was 20-year-old Pa. man,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, July 14, 2024, https://www.pennlive.com/news/2024/07/shooter-in-trump-assassination-attempt-identified-as-20-year-old-pa-man.html

Diane Mastrull, “What we know about the ‘attempted assassination’ at Trump rally in Butler, Pa.,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 14, 2024, https://www.inquirer.com/news/nation-world/donald-trump-rally-shooting-pa-deaths-20240713.html


  1. [1]Arie Perliger, “‘One inch from a potential civil war’ – near miss in Trump shooting is also a close call for American democracy,” Conversation, July 13, 2024, https://theconversation.com/one-inch-from-a-potential-civil-war-near-miss-in-trump-shooting-is-also-a-close-call-for-american-democracy-234628
  2. [2]Emily Davies, Steve Hendrix, and Annabelle Timsit, “Suspected Trump rally shooter Thomas Matthew Crooks is from Bethel Park, Pa.,” Washington Post, July 14, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2024/07/14/thomas-matthew-crooks-trump-shooting-suspect/
  3. [3]Kenny Jacoby and Christopher Cann, “Trump rally shooter Thomas Crooks identified: What we know,” Cincinnati Enquirer, July 14, 2024, https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/investigations/2024/07/14/thomas-crooks-trump-rally-shooter/74397935007/; Brian Linder, “Shooter in Trump assassination attempt was 20-year-old Pa. man,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, July 14, 2024, https://www.pennlive.com/news/2024/07/shooter-in-trump-assassination-attempt-identified-as-20-year-old-pa-man.html
  4. [4]Kenny Jacoby and Christopher Cann, “Trump rally shooter Thomas Crooks identified: What we know,” Cincinnati Enquirer, July 14, 2024, https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/investigations/2024/07/14/thomas-crooks-trump-rally-shooter/74397935007/

Shocking. Really? Are you kidding me?

Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Coup attempt

2024

Fig. 1. Donald Trump still has his fans. Photograph along Washington Road in Upper Saint Clair, Pennsylvania, by author, April 28, 2024.

Donald Trump has been a black hole his entire political life. His white Christian nationalist rhetoric gets ever more hateful, ever more violent, ever more vicious. But now that he’s been shot, that is, gotten a taste of his own medicine, it’s suddenly “shocking” that political violence occurs. Now that the Supreme Court he finished shaping has granted gun nuts’ wet dreams, it’s suddenly “shocking” that he’s been shot. “Shocking.” Everyone says it. It’s the word of the day. Or yesterday (July 13), when he was shot.[1] Are you fucking kidding me? Really?

By the way, the Philadelphia Inquirer, which apparently knows Pittsburgh about like I know Philadelphia, reports that Bethel Park, where the shooter lived, is immediately adjacent to Butler County.[2] Not even close. Bethel Park, in fact, borders Peters Township in Washington County, on the opposite side of Allegheny County from Butler County.

Holly Bailey, “New York judge throws out Rudy Giuliani’s bankruptcy case,” Washington Post, July 12, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/12/rudy-giuliani-bankruptcy/

Isaac Arnsdorf and Jabin Botsford, “Pops, screams and then blood: On the scene at the Trump rally shooting,” Washington Post, July 13, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/13/trump-shooting-rally-witness-account/

Haley BeMiller, “Ohio Sen. JD Vance, a top VP contender, blames Trump rally shooting on Biden ‘rhetoric,’” Cincinnati Enquirer, July 13, 2024, https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2024/07/13/trump-rally-shooting-jd-vance-blames-biden-campaign-rhetoric/74397100007/

Megan Lavey-Heaton, “Trump hurt in shooting at Pa. rally; 2 dead, including shooter, official says,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, July 13, 2024, https://www.pennlive.com/elections/2024/07/trump-hurt-in-shooting-at-pa-rally-2-dead-including-shooter-official-says.html

David Smith and Ramon Antonio, “Trump rally shooting being investigated as attempt on his life as spectator killed,” Guardian, July 13, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jul/13/trump-rally-gun-shots-pennsylvania

Kenny Jacoby and Christopher Cann, “Trump rally shooter Thomas Crooks identified: What we know,” Cincinnati Enquirer, July 14, 2024, https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/investigations/2024/07/14/thomas-crooks-trump-rally-shooter/74397935007/

Brian Linder, “Shooter in Trump assassination attempt was 20-year-old Pa. man,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, July 14, 2024, https://www.pennlive.com/news/2024/07/shooter-in-trump-assassination-attempt-identified-as-20-year-old-pa-man.html

Diane Mastrull, “What we know about the ‘attempted assassination’ at Trump rally in Butler, Pa.,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 14, 2024, https://www.inquirer.com/news/nation-world/donald-trump-rally-shooting-pa-deaths-20240713.html


  1. [1]Isaac Arnsdorf and Jabin Botsford, “Pops, screams and then blood: On the scene at the Trump rally shooting,” Washington Post, July 13, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/13/trump-shooting-rally-witness-account/; Haley BeMiller, “Ohio Sen. JD Vance, a top VP contender, blames Trump rally shooting on Biden ‘rhetoric,’” Cincinnati Enquirer, July 13, 2024, https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2024/07/13/trump-rally-shooting-jd-vance-blames-biden-campaign-rhetoric/74397100007/; Kenny Jacoby and Christopher Cann, “Trump rally shooter Thomas Crooks identified: What we know,” Cincinnati Enquirer, July 14, 2024, https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/investigations/2024/07/14/thomas-crooks-trump-rally-shooter/74397935007/; Megan Lavey-Heaton, “Trump hurt in shooting at Pa. rally; 2 dead, including shooter, official says,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, July 13, 2024, https://www.pennlive.com/elections/2024/07/trump-hurt-in-shooting-at-pa-rally-2-dead-including-shooter-official-says.html; Brian Linder, “Shooter in Trump assassination attempt was 20-year-old Pa. man,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, July 14, 2024, https://www.pennlive.com/news/2024/07/shooter-in-trump-assassination-attempt-identified-as-20-year-old-pa-man.html; Diane Mastrull, “What we know about the ‘attempted assassination’ at Trump rally in Butler, Pa.,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 14, 2024, https://www.inquirer.com/news/nation-world/donald-trump-rally-shooting-pa-deaths-20240713.html; David Smith and Ramon Antonio, “Trump rally shooting being investigated as attempt on his life as spectator killed,” Guardian, July 13, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jul/13/trump-rally-gun-shots-pennsylvania
  2. [2]Diane Mastrull, “What we know about the ‘attempted assassination’ at Trump rally in Butler, Pa.,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 14, 2024, https://www.inquirer.com/news/nation-world/donald-trump-rally-shooting-pa-deaths-20240713.html

What will the gun nuts do now?

Imperialism

Israel

Palestine
2024

More performative bullshit.

Lolita C. Baldor, “US-built pier will be put back in Gaza for several days to move aid, then permanently removed,” Associated Press, July 9, 2024, https://apnews.com/article/gaza-pier-humanitarian-aid-israel-3143130f56bbbc2c6ed30c5801a39a51

John Hudson, “U.S. to again ship 500-pound bombs to Israel, reversing suspension,” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/07/10/us-israel-500-pound-bomb/

Loveday Morris, Adela Suliman, and Lior Soroka, “Israeli military says it failed to protect Gaza border town on Oct. 7,” Washington Post, July 11, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/07/11/israeli-military-says-it-failed-protect-gaza-border-town-oct-7/

Ron Kampeas, “Biden highlights frustrations with Israel during high-profile press conference,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, July 11, 2024, https://www.jta.org/2024/07/11/politics/biden-israel-has-occasionally-been-less-than-cooperative


Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Coup attempt

2024

Fig. 1. Donald Trump still has his fans. Photograph along Washington Road in Upper Saint Clair, Pennsylvania, by author, April 28, 2024.

Butler County District Attorney Richard A. Goldinger confirmed to multiple news sources that former President Donald Trump was grazed by gunfire at a rally in Butler, Pa., Saturday.

Goldinger added that the shooter was dead, as well as one person in the audience.[1]

The election might already be, for all practical purposes, decided,[2] but I guess it still has some irony in store as somebody started shooting at Donald Trump’s rally in Butler, Pennsylvania (north of Pittsburgh). Trump was apparently grazed—a photograph shows what appears to be blood on the right side of his head—but he is apparently otherwise unhurt, so no, this problem remains unsolved.

The reaction I’m seeing on Mastodon is one of fear—folks near my region on the political spectrum think Trump’s supporters will blame us for the shooting and will be coming after us. One step at a time, folks.

Holly Bailey, “New York judge throws out Rudy Giuliani’s bankruptcy case,” Washington Post, July 12, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/12/rudy-giuliani-bankruptcy/

Megan Lavey-Heaton, “Trump hurt in shooting at Pa. rally; 2 dead, including shooter, official says,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, July 13, 2024, https://www.pennlive.com/elections/2024/07/trump-hurt-in-shooting-at-pa-rally-2-dead-including-shooter-official-says.html

Gun nuttery


Fig. 1. “Rally Against Gun Control ‘Come and Take it’ flag at the Minnesota State Capitol,” photograph by Fibonacci Blue [pseud.], April 28, 2018, via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Megan Lavey-Heaton, “Trump hurt in shooting at Pa. rally; 2 dead, including shooter, official says,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, July 13, 2024, https://www.pennlive.com/elections/2024/07/trump-hurt-in-shooting-at-pa-rally-2-dead-including-shooter-official-says.html


  1. [1]Megan Lavey-Heaton, “Trump hurt in shooting at Pa. rally; 2 dead, including shooter, official says,” Harrisburg Patriot-News, July 13, 2024, https://www.pennlive.com/elections/2024/07/trump-hurt-in-shooting-at-pa-rally-2-dead-including-shooter-official-says.html
  2. [2]David Benfell, “Pray he dies,” Not Housebroken, July 12, 2024, https://www.pennlive.com/elections/2024/07/trump-hurt-in-shooting-at-pa-rally-2-dead-including-shooter-official-says.html

Remember the gang that can’t shoot straight? Rudy Giuliani can’t file bankruptcy and I’m not sure which is more pathetic

Illiberalism

Gilead

Donald Trump
Coup attempt

2024

Fig. 1. Donald Trump still has his fans. Photograph along Washington Road in Upper Saint Clair, Pennsylvania, by author, April 28, 2024.

Holly Bailey, “New York judge throws out Rudy Giuliani’s bankruptcy case,” Washington Post, July 12, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/12/rudy-giuliani-bankruptcy/


Neoliberalism

Democratic (neoliberal) Party

Joe Biden
2024 election

But over and over again, local candidates report, their messaging was derailed in the past week by concerns about [Joe] Biden’s debate performance and broader worries that he may not be up for the job. And even when they get around to selling their message, particularly on the economy, many voters aren’t buying in.

It’s all a bad omen since robust Democratic turnout is essential to winning the state [Wisconsin] — particularly in the state’s largest city, Milwaukee, where Republicans will, in just a few days, renominate Donald Trump for the presidency at their national convention.[1]

Joe Biden isn’t listening.[2] But the show goes on.[3] And that’s all it is—a show.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this train wreck—who can look away?—but I expect to pay lots less attention to it here. What I expect to be my final word on the matter is in a new blog post from earlier today, entitled, “Pray he dies.”

Yasmeen Abutaleb et al., “Biden’s aging is seen as accelerating, lapses described as more common,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/biden-aging-recent-months/

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Liz Goodwin, “Sen. Mark Warner works to gather Senate Democrats to ask Biden to exit race,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/mark-warner-joe-biden-exit-race-democratic-senators/

Rebecca Falconer, “Biden says he’s ‘not going anywhere’ as calls for him to step aside grow,” Axios, July 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/07/05/biden-democratic-donors-finance-disney-heiress

David A. Graham, “What is the Biden campaign’s theory of victory now?” Atlantic, July 5, 2024, https://apple.news/AyCMikft8TDuFf_elUgfQSA

Eric Levitz, “In an ABC interview, Biden charts a course for Dems’ worst-case scenario,” Vox, July 5, 2024, https://www.vox.com/politics/359160/biden-abc-news-interview-drop-out

David Smith, “Biden says only ‘the Lord almighty’ could make him drop out in pivotal TV interview,” Guardian, July 5, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jul/05/biden-george-stephanopoulos-debate-interview

David Axelrod, “Biden’s defiant delusion,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/opinions/biden-failed-to-quell-panic-abc-interview-axelrod/index.html

Lauren Koenig, Samantha Waldenberg, and Betsy Klein, “Radio host who interviewed Biden says aides provided questions in advance,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/politics/biden-radio-interview-questions/index.html

Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Josh Dawsey, “Biden thought he had it under control. Then it got worse,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/06/biden-debate-white-house-campaign/

Matt Viser and Shane Harris, “As Biden digs in, another elected Democrat calls on him to exit race,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/06/biden-democrats-presidential-campaign/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, Tyler Pager, and Aaron Schaffer, “Debate brings scrutiny of whether aides shielded signs of Biden’s aging,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/07/white-house-aides-biden-age/

A. J. McDougall, “Obama’s Go-To Guy in the White House Says There’s No Way Biden Wins,” Daily Beast, July 7, 2024, https://apple.news/AU8MNINntR1m20zzN4_lerw

Gillian McGoldrick, “Andrea Lawful-Sanders leaves WURD after White House provides questions for Joe Biden interview,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 7, 2024, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/joe-biden-andrea-lawful-sanders-wurd-interview-20240707.html

Ashley Parker and Meryl Kornfield, “Watching Biden, many see the heartbreaking indignities of aging,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/07/biden-aging-debate-performance/

Kavita Patel, “I’m a doctor. Biden’s debate performance led me to a very different takeaway,” MSNBC, July 7, 2024, https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/biden-debate-nominee-ageism-aging-rcna160319

Matt Viser, Marianna Sotomayor, and Maeve Reston, “Nine House Democrats call for Biden to step aside as he seeks to energize his campaign,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/07/biden-campaign-trump/

John Heilemann, “Biden vs. The World,” Puck, July 8, 2024, https://puck.news/biden-vs-the-world/

Dick Nixon [Justin Sherrin], “The Crisis,” July 8, 2024, https://www.patreon.com/posts/crisis-107757333

Osita Nwanevu, “Democrats don’t just need a new candidate. They need a reckoning,” Guardian, July 8, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/jul/08/democrats-joe-biden-election

San Francisco Standard, “Joe vs. Sourdough: Which will last longer, the president or this loaf of Boudin bread?” July 8, 2024, https://sfstandard.com/2024/07/08/biden-versus-boudin/

Matt Viser, “Biden is seeing a different world than other Democrats,” Washington Post, July 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/08/biden-different-world-bubble/

Lauren Egan, Eli Stokols, and Ben Johansen, “‘Take a stand, or shut up,’” Politico, July 9, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/west-wing-playbook/2024/07/09/take-a-stand-or-shut-up-00167168

Priscilla Alvarez et al., “‘Everything is frozen’: Donors hold back dollars amid fallout over Biden’s candidacy,” Cable News Network, July 10, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/10/politics/chicago-donors-fundraiser-convention/index.html

Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels, and Ryan Lizza, “Why Capitol Hill is stuck on Biden,” Politico, July 10, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2024/07/10/inertia-prevails-00167246

Rachael Bade and Bethany Irvine, “Watch Nancy Pelosi,” Politico, July 10, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook-pm/2024/07/10/watch-nancy-pelosi-00132333

Andrew Jeong, “George Stephanopoulos caught on camera expressing doubts about Biden,” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/style/media/2024/07/10/george-stephanopoulos-biden-interview/

Sudiksha Kochi and Joey Garrison, “George Clooney, Greater Cincinnati native, says Democratic Party needs a new nominee,” Cincinnati Enquirer, July 10, 2024, https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2024/07/10/george-clooney-joe-biden-should-leave-presidential-race/74352930007/

Abby Livingston, “Pelosi Opens the Door,” Puck, July 10, 2024, https://puck.news/nancy-pelosi-opens-the-door/

Tyler Pager, Michael Scherer, and Dan Balz, “Biden should provide evidence he can beat Trump, Democratic leaders say,” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/10/biden-evidence-defeat-trump-drop-out/

Nick Reisman, “Biden support slips in deep blue New York: ‘We’re a battleground state now,’” Politico, July 10, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/10/biden-new-york-trouble-00167198

Maeve Reston, “In blow to Biden, Democratic Sen. Bennet says Trump could win ‘by a landslide,’” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/10/senator-michael-bennet-trump-election/

Rachael Bade, “What Obama and Pelosi are doing about Biden,” Politico, July 11, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/11/obama-pelosi-democratic-party-biden-00167522

Aaron Blake, “5 takeaways from Biden’s crucial NATO news conference,” Washington Post, July 11, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/11/biden-press-conference-reactions/

Tara Palmeri, “Bidenworld War,” Puck, July 11, 2024, https://puck.news/inside-biden-war-room-ahead-of-the-press-conference/

Gavin Bade, “What’s the matter with Wisconsin?” Politico, July 12, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/politico-nightly/2024/07/12/whats-the-matter-with-wisconsin-00167919

Eugene Daniels, Rachael Bade, and Ryan Lizza, “Biden’s presser leaves Dems in ‘purgatory,’” Politico, July 12, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2024/07/12/bidens-presser-leaves-dems-in-purgatory-00167772

Lauren Egan et al., “Can Biden run out the clock?” Politico, July 12, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/west-wing-playbook/2024/07/12/can-biden-run-out-the-clock-00167908

Nicholas Wu and Renee Klahr, “The number of Democrats urging Biden to drop out grows to nearly 20,” Politico, July 12, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/12/democrats-biden-drop-out-list-00167874


  1. [1]Gavin Bade, “What’s the matter with Wisconsin?” Politico, July 12, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/politico-nightly/2024/07/12/whats-the-matter-with-wisconsin-00167919
  2. [2]Rebecca Falconer, “Biden says he’s ‘not going anywhere’ as calls for him to step aside grow,” Axios, July 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/07/05/biden-democratic-donors-finance-disney-heiress; David Smith, “Biden says only ‘the Lord almighty’ could make him drop out in pivotal TV interview,” Guardian, July 5, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jul/05/biden-george-stephanopoulos-debate-interview; Matt Viser and Shane Harris, “As Biden digs in, another elected Democrat calls on him to exit race,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/06/biden-democrats-presidential-campaign/
  3. [3]Nicholas Wu and Renee Klahr, “The number of Democrats urging Biden to drop out grows to nearly 20,” Politico, July 12, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/12/democrats-biden-drop-out-list-00167874

Pray he dies

Neoliberalism

Democratic (neoliberal) Party

Joe Biden
2024 election

There is a new blog post entitled, “Pray he dies.”

Stephen Collinson and Shelby Rose to Meanwhile in America list, “The dark cloud hanging over Biden’s Independence Day Party,” Cable News Network, July 4, 2024, https://edition.cnn.com/newsletters/meanwhile-in-america

Yasmeen Abutaleb et al., “Biden’s aging is seen as accelerating, lapses described as more common,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/biden-aging-recent-months/

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Liz Goodwin, “Sen. Mark Warner works to gather Senate Democrats to ask Biden to exit race,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/mark-warner-joe-biden-exit-race-democratic-senators/

Rebecca Falconer, “Biden says he’s ‘not going anywhere’ as calls for him to step aside grow,” Axios, July 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/07/05/biden-democratic-donors-finance-disney-heiress

David A. Graham, “What is the Biden campaign’s theory of victory now?” Atlantic, July 5, 2024, https://apple.news/AyCMikft8TDuFf_elUgfQSA

Eric Levitz, “In an ABC interview, Biden charts a course for Dems’ worst-case scenario,” Vox, July 5, 2024, https://www.vox.com/politics/359160/biden-abc-news-interview-drop-out

David Smith, “Biden says only ‘the Lord almighty’ could make him drop out in pivotal TV interview,” Guardian, July 5, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jul/05/biden-george-stephanopoulos-debate-interview

David Axelrod, “Biden’s defiant delusion,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/opinions/biden-failed-to-quell-panic-abc-interview-axelrod/index.html

Lauren Koenig, Samantha Waldenberg, and Betsy Klein, “Radio host who interviewed Biden says aides provided questions in advance,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/politics/biden-radio-interview-questions/index.html

Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Josh Dawsey, “Biden thought he had it under control. Then it got worse,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/06/biden-debate-white-house-campaign/

Matt Viser and Shane Harris, “As Biden digs in, another elected Democrat calls on him to exit race,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/06/biden-democrats-presidential-campaign/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, Tyler Pager, and Aaron Schaffer, “Debate brings scrutiny of whether aides shielded signs of Biden’s aging,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/07/white-house-aides-biden-age/

A. J. McDougall, “Obama’s Go-To Guy in the White House Says There’s No Way Biden Wins,” Daily Beast, July 7, 2024, https://apple.news/AU8MNINntR1m20zzN4_lerw

Gillian McGoldrick, “Andrea Lawful-Sanders leaves WURD after White House provides questions for Joe Biden interview,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 7, 2024, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/joe-biden-andrea-lawful-sanders-wurd-interview-20240707.html

Ashley Parker and Meryl Kornfield, “Watching Biden, many see the heartbreaking indignities of aging,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/07/biden-aging-debate-performance/

Kavita Patel, “I’m a doctor. Biden’s debate performance led me to a very different takeaway,” MSNBC, July 7, 2024, https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/biden-debate-nominee-ageism-aging-rcna160319

Matt Viser, Marianna Sotomayor, and Maeve Reston, “Nine House Democrats call for Biden to step aside as he seeks to energize his campaign,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/07/biden-campaign-trump/

John Heilemann, “Biden vs. The World,” Puck, July 8, 2024, https://puck.news/biden-vs-the-world/

Dick Nixon [Justin Sherrin], “The Crisis,” July 8, 2024, https://www.patreon.com/posts/crisis-107757333

Osita Nwanevu, “Democrats don’t just need a new candidate. They need a reckoning,” Guardian, July 8, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/jul/08/democrats-joe-biden-election

San Francisco Standard, “Joe vs. Sourdough: Which will last longer, the president or this loaf of Boudin bread?” July 8, 2024, https://sfstandard.com/2024/07/08/biden-versus-boudin/

Matt Viser, “Biden is seeing a different world than other Democrats,” Washington Post, July 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/08/biden-different-world-bubble/

Lauren Egan, Eli Stokols, and Ben Johansen, “‘Take a stand, or shut up,’” Politico, July 9, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/west-wing-playbook/2024/07/09/take-a-stand-or-shut-up-00167168

Priscilla Alvarez et al., “‘Everything is frozen’: Donors hold back dollars amid fallout over Biden’s candidacy,” Cable News Network, July 10, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/10/politics/chicago-donors-fundraiser-convention/index.html

Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels, and Ryan Lizza, “Why Capitol Hill is stuck on Biden,” Politico, July 10, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2024/07/10/inertia-prevails-00167246

Rachael Bade and Bethany Irvine, “Watch Nancy Pelosi,” Politico, July 10, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook-pm/2024/07/10/watch-nancy-pelosi-00132333

Andrew Jeong, “George Stephanopoulos caught on camera expressing doubts about Biden,” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/style/media/2024/07/10/george-stephanopoulos-biden-interview/

Sudiksha Kochi and Joey Garrison, “George Clooney, Greater Cincinnati native, says Democratic Party needs a new nominee,” Cincinnati Enquirer, July 10, 2024, https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2024/07/10/george-clooney-joe-biden-should-leave-presidential-race/74352930007/

Abby Livingston, “Pelosi Opens the Door,” Puck, July 10, 2024, https://puck.news/nancy-pelosi-opens-the-door/

Tyler Pager, Michael Scherer, and Dan Balz, “Biden should provide evidence he can beat Trump, Democratic leaders say,” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/10/biden-evidence-defeat-trump-drop-out/

Nick Reisman, “Biden support slips in deep blue New York: ‘We’re a battleground state now,’” Politico, July 10, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/10/biden-new-york-trouble-00167198

Maeve Reston, “In blow to Biden, Democratic Sen. Bennet says Trump could win ‘by a landslide,’” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/10/senator-michael-bennet-trump-election/

Rachael Bade, “What Obama and Pelosi are doing about Biden,” Politico, July 11, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/11/obama-pelosi-democratic-party-biden-00167522

Aaron Blake, “5 takeaways from Biden’s crucial NATO news conference,” Washington Post, July 11, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/11/biden-press-conference-reactions/

Tara Palmeri, “Bidenworld War,” Puck, July 11, 2024, https://puck.news/inside-biden-war-room-ahead-of-the-press-conference/

Eugene Daniels, Rachael Bade, and Ryan Lizza, “Biden’s presser leaves Dems in ‘purgatory,’” Politico, July 12, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2024/07/12/bidens-presser-leaves-dems-in-purgatory-00167772


Imperialism

Israel

Palestine
2024

“We failed to protect the kibbutz [Beeri],” Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, an Israel Defense Forces spokesman, conceded as he spoke to residents, according to Israeli press reports. He noted that the [Israeli Defense Forces] probe fell short of a wider independent commission of inquiry that he said “should be established.” . . .

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected establishing an independent commission while Israel is at war. The IDF’s internal investigations are unlikely to go far in assuaging public demands, and there is deep skepticism over the army’s ability to investigate itself.[1]

One of the questions that remains unanswered is whether the Israeli Defense Forces invoked the ‘Hannibal Directive’ to prevent any vehicles that even might be carrying hostages returning to Gaza even if it means killing the hostages.[2] It’s a way of limiting Hamas’ leverage.

Meanwhile, the [Joe] Biden administration is unfreezing a hold on some the only weapons[3] it has held up[4] since the Gaza genocide began.

The paused delivery included 1,800 2,000-pound bombs, which remain on hold, U.S. officials said. But the supply of 1,700 500-pound bombs will move forward.
The U.S. decision followed a pressure campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and pro-Israel lobbyists in the United States, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, demanding the resumption of all weapons shipments regardless of their lethality.[5]

In a densely-populated urban setting, 500-pound bombs are very nearly as destructive as 2000-pound bombs.[6] So this is just more of the same genocidal bullshit.

Lolita C. Baldor, “US-built pier will be put back in Gaza for several days to move aid, then permanently removed,” Associated Press, July 9, 2024, https://apnews.com/article/gaza-pier-humanitarian-aid-israel-3143130f56bbbc2c6ed30c5801a39a51

John Hudson, “U.S. to again ship 500-pound bombs to Israel, reversing suspension,” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/07/10/us-israel-500-pound-bomb/

Loveday Morris, Adela Suliman, and Lior Soroka, “Israeli military says it failed to protect Gaza border town on Oct. 7,” Washington Post, July 11, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/07/11/israeli-military-says-it-failed-protect-gaza-border-town-oct-7/


  1. [1]Loveday Morris, Adela Suliman, and Lior Soroka, “Israeli military says it failed to protect Gaza border town on Oct. 7,” Washington Post, July 11, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/07/11/israeli-military-says-it-failed-protect-gaza-border-town-oct-7/
  2. [2]Loveday Morris, Adela Suliman, and Lior Soroka, “Israeli military says it failed to protect Gaza border town on Oct. 7,” Washington Post, July 11, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2024/07/11/israeli-military-says-it-failed-protect-gaza-border-town-oct-7/
  3. [3]John Hudson, “U.S. to again ship 500-pound bombs to Israel, reversing suspension,” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/07/10/us-israel-500-pound-bomb/
  4. [4]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Biden says he will cut off offensive weapons if Israel invades Rafah,” Washington Post, May 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/05/08/biden-threatens-suspension-military-aid-israel/; Jordan Fabian and Galit Altstein, “US Pauses Arms Shipment to Israel Over Rafah Invasion Plans,” Bloomberg, May 8, 2024, https://apple.news/AxwraFLJGTjynJzZZSpfCVA; John Hudson, “U.S. paused shipment of thousands of bombs to Israel amid Rafah rift,” Washington Post, May 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/05/07/biden-delays-weapons-israel-rafah/; Jacob Magid, “US confirms holding up sale of heavy bombs it feared Israel would use in Rafah,” Times of Israel, May 8, 2024, https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-confirms-holding-up-sale-of-heavy-bombs-it-feared-israel-would-use-in-rafah/
  5. [5]John Hudson, “U.S. to again ship 500-pound bombs to Israel, reversing suspension,” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/07/10/us-israel-500-pound-bomb/
  6. [6]John Hudson, “U.S. to again ship 500-pound bombs to Israel, reversing suspension,” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2024/07/10/us-israel-500-pound-bomb/

Counting on the Democrats to actually do something? That might be your first mistake

Neoliberalism

Democratic (neoliberal) Party

Joe Biden
2024 election

“It’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run,” [Nancy] Pelosi said, implicitly rejecting [Joe] Biden’s stated decision that he is continuing to run. “The time is running short. . . . He’s beloved, he is respected, and people want him to make that decision.”

Pelosi had previously noted her “full confidence” in Biden last week as rumblings emerged from members on whether he was fit for office, support she has parrotted this week when prodded. But in recent days she’s been avoiding the press and refusing to engage on the crisis engulfing her party.

Now Pelosi did do a bit of clean-up on what she said this morning. Speaking to CBS after the interview, she accused some reporters of taking her words out of context: “I never said he should reconsider his decision,” she said. “The decision is the president’s.”

And yet (1) that doesn’t contradict what she said earlier, and (2) those who have covered Pelosi for years, as we have, know that the speaker rarely utters a word without a plan and an intention. There’s little doubt that she knew — and fleshed out with confidants — exactly what she was doing before she was mic’d up at MSNBC this morning.[1]

George Clooney has offered the sort of evidence that I can accept of Joe Biden’s cognitive state. He says the debate Biden is now the real Biden.[2] Given that we don’t know the rate of Biden’s decline, and quite apart from that little issue of genocide, it is unreasonable to trust this man with another four years.

His aides might cover for him for who knows how long. But we aren’t electing his aides or, for that matter, Donald Trump’s aides. In the two-party system that is wholly responsible for the electoral calamity we face this year, we’re voting for either Biden or Trump.

The less awful news comes late. I had just arrived home and sat down to check my email when I saw a breaking news alert that Democratic Party leaders are demanding proof of Biden’s path to victory. Down-ballot members of the House of Representatives, labor union leaders, and others all chimed in with their doubts.[3]

In a closed-door meeting Wednesday, some of the country’s union leaders — many of whom are strident backers of Biden — said Americans’ doubts about Biden’s ability to do the job were damaging his candidacy and repeatedly asked Biden campaign officials for their plan to defeat Trump, according to two people familiar with their comments, who like others for this story spoke on the condition of anonymity to share private comments. Two of the most outspoken leaders were Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants, and Shawn Fain, the president of the United Auto Workers, two of Biden’s biggest labor allies. . . .

Senior campaign staff have started to take a more pessimistic view of Biden’s chances, even as they continue to fan out in a full-court blitz to push the campaign forward and reassure allies of the president’s potential to rebound.[4]

Biden does not have that proof because the simple fact is he is now far too badly damaged to be a viable candidate. Again, this isn’t about the merits, though those certainly do look bad,[5] but about voters’ perceptions. Even if he really is A-OK, people won’t believe it.

I remain pessimistic because I’m guessing the Biden campaign will come up with some bullshit that is facially implausible but mysteriously satisfies Democratic politicians. Or maybe the politicians will, having done their performative thing, just let the matter drop. This seems to be how these people work.

M. J. Lee, “Biden has privately acknowledged next stretch of days are critical for whether he can save his reelection bid,” Cable News Network, July 3, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/03/politics/joe-biden-2024-campaign-troubles

Ally Mutnick et al., “‘Everybody’s in panic mode’ as House Democrats scramble after debate,” Politico, July 3, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/03/house-democrats-biden-debate-00166533

Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Matt Viser, “Biden faces growing political crisis over response to debate performance,” Washington Post, July 3, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/03/biden-crisis-debate-democrats/

Stephen Collinson and Shelby Rose to Meanwhile in America list, “The dark cloud hanging over Biden’s Independence Day Party,” Cable News Network, July 4, 2024, https://edition.cnn.com/newsletters/meanwhile-in-america

Yasmeen Abutaleb et al., “Biden’s aging is seen as accelerating, lapses described as more common,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/biden-aging-recent-months/

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Liz Goodwin, “Sen. Mark Warner works to gather Senate Democrats to ask Biden to exit race,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/mark-warner-joe-biden-exit-race-democratic-senators/

Rebecca Falconer, “Biden says he’s ‘not going anywhere’ as calls for him to step aside grow,” Axios, July 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/07/05/biden-democratic-donors-finance-disney-heiress

David A. Graham, “What is the Biden campaign’s theory of victory now?” Atlantic, July 5, 2024, https://apple.news/AyCMikft8TDuFf_elUgfQSA

Eric Levitz, “In an ABC interview, Biden charts a course for Dems’ worst-case scenario,” Vox, July 5, 2024, https://www.vox.com/politics/359160/biden-abc-news-interview-drop-out

David Smith, “Biden says only ‘the Lord almighty’ could make him drop out in pivotal TV interview,” Guardian, July 5, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jul/05/biden-george-stephanopoulos-debate-interview

David Axelrod, “Biden’s defiant delusion,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/opinions/biden-failed-to-quell-panic-abc-interview-axelrod/index.html

Lauren Koenig, Samantha Waldenberg, and Betsy Klein, “Radio host who interviewed Biden says aides provided questions in advance,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/politics/biden-radio-interview-questions/index.html

Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Josh Dawsey, “Biden thought he had it under control. Then it got worse,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/06/biden-debate-white-house-campaign/

Matt Viser and Shane Harris, “As Biden digs in, another elected Democrat calls on him to exit race,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/06/biden-democrats-presidential-campaign/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, Tyler Pager, and Aaron Schaffer, “Debate brings scrutiny of whether aides shielded signs of Biden’s aging,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/07/white-house-aides-biden-age/

A. J. McDougall, “Obama’s Go-To Guy in the White House Says There’s No Way Biden Wins,” Daily Beast, July 7, 2024, https://apple.news/AU8MNINntR1m20zzN4_lerw

Gillian McGoldrick, “Andrea Lawful-Sanders leaves WURD after White House provides questions for Joe Biden interview,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 7, 2024, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/joe-biden-andrea-lawful-sanders-wurd-interview-20240707.html

Ashley Parker and Meryl Kornfield, “Watching Biden, many see the heartbreaking indignities of aging,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/07/biden-aging-debate-performance/

Kavita Patel, “I’m a doctor. Biden’s debate performance led me to a very different takeaway,” MSNBC, July 7, 2024, https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/biden-debate-nominee-ageism-aging-rcna160319

Matt Viser, Marianna Sotomayor, and Maeve Reston, “Nine House Democrats call for Biden to step aside as he seeks to energize his campaign,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/07/biden-campaign-trump/

John Heilemann, “Biden vs. The World,” Puck, July 8, 2024, https://puck.news/biden-vs-the-world/

Dick Nixon [Justin Sherrin], “The Crisis,” July 8, 2024, https://www.patreon.com/posts/crisis-107757333

Osita Nwanevu, “Democrats don’t just need a new candidate. They need a reckoning,” Guardian, July 8, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/jul/08/democrats-joe-biden-election

San Francisco Standard, “Joe vs. Sourdough: Which will last longer, the president or this loaf of Boudin bread?” July 8, 2024, https://sfstandard.com/2024/07/08/biden-versus-boudin/

Matt Viser, “Biden is seeing a different world than other Democrats,” Washington Post, July 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/08/biden-different-world-bubble/

Lauren Egan, Eli Stokols, and Ben Johansen, “‘Take a stand, or shut up,’” Politico, July 9, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/west-wing-playbook/2024/07/09/take-a-stand-or-shut-up-00167168

Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels, and Ryan Lizza, “Why Capitol Hill is stuck on Biden,” Politico, July 10, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2024/07/10/inertia-prevails-00167246

Rachael Bade and Bethany Irvine, “Watch Nancy Pelosi,” Politico, July 10, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook-pm/2024/07/10/watch-nancy-pelosi-00132333

Andrew Jeong, “George Stephanopoulos caught on camera expressing doubts about Biden,” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/style/media/2024/07/10/george-stephanopoulos-biden-interview/

Sudiksha Kochi and Joey Garrison, “George Clooney, Greater Cincinnati native, says Democratic Party needs a new nominee,” Cincinnati Enquirer, July 10, 2024, https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2024/07/10/george-clooney-joe-biden-should-leave-presidential-race/74352930007/

Tyler Pager, Michael Scherer, and Dan Balz, “Biden should provide evidence he can beat Trump, Democratic leaders say,” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/10/biden-evidence-defeat-trump-drop-out/

Nick Reisman, “Biden support slips in deep blue New York: ‘We’re a battleground state now,’” Politico, July 10, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/10/biden-new-york-trouble-00167198

Maeve Reston, “In blow to Biden, Democratic Sen. Bennet says Trump could win ‘by a landslide,’” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/10/senator-michael-bennet-trump-election/


  1. [1]Rachael Bade and Bethany Irvine, “Watch Nancy Pelosi,” Politico, July 10, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook-pm/2024/07/10/watch-nancy-pelosi-00132333
  2. [2]Sudiksha Kochi and Joey Garrison, “George Clooney, Greater Cincinnati native, says Democratic Party needs a new nominee,” Cincinnati Enquirer, July 10, 2024, https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2024/07/10/george-clooney-joe-biden-should-leave-presidential-race/74352930007/
  3. [3]Tyler Pager, Michael Scherer, and Dan Balz, “Biden should provide evidence he can beat Trump, Democratic leaders say,” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/10/biden-evidence-defeat-trump-drop-out/
  4. [4]Tyler Pager, Michael Scherer, and Dan Balz, “Biden should provide evidence he can beat Trump, Democratic leaders say,” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/10/biden-evidence-defeat-trump-drop-out/
  5. [5]Sudiksha Kochi and Joey Garrison, “George Clooney, Greater Cincinnati native, says Democratic Party needs a new nominee,” Cincinnati Enquirer, July 10, 2024, https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2024/07/10/george-clooney-joe-biden-should-leave-presidential-race/74352930007/

Tell me you’re out of touch without telling me you’re out of touch? Oh yeah, Joe Biden, whining about ‘elites’

Neoliberalism

Democratic (neoliberal) Party

Joe Biden
2024 election

I think, when Joe Biden, who, as president, is generally regarded as the most powerful person in the world, is whining about “elites,”[1] it’s pretty safe to say we’ve been had. I mean, really?!??!!! Are you fucking kidding me?!??!!!

M. J. Lee, “Biden has privately acknowledged next stretch of days are critical for whether he can save his reelection bid,” Cable News Network, July 3, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/03/politics/joe-biden-2024-campaign-troubles

Ally Mutnick et al., “‘Everybody’s in panic mode’ as House Democrats scramble after debate,” Politico, July 3, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/03/house-democrats-biden-debate-00166533

Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Matt Viser, “Biden faces growing political crisis over response to debate performance,” Washington Post, July 3, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/03/biden-crisis-debate-democrats/

Stephen Collinson and Shelby Rose to Meanwhile in America list, “The dark cloud hanging over Biden’s Independence Day Party,” Cable News Network, July 4, 2024, https://edition.cnn.com/newsletters/meanwhile-in-america

Yasmeen Abutaleb et al., “Biden’s aging is seen as accelerating, lapses described as more common,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/biden-aging-recent-months/

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Liz Goodwin, “Sen. Mark Warner works to gather Senate Democrats to ask Biden to exit race,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/mark-warner-joe-biden-exit-race-democratic-senators/

Rebecca Falconer, “Biden says he’s ‘not going anywhere’ as calls for him to step aside grow,” Axios, July 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/07/05/biden-democratic-donors-finance-disney-heiress

David A. Graham, “What is the Biden campaign’s theory of victory now?” Atlantic, July 5, 2024, https://apple.news/AyCMikft8TDuFf_elUgfQSA

Eric Levitz, “In an ABC interview, Biden charts a course for Dems’ worst-case scenario,” Vox, July 5, 2024, https://www.vox.com/politics/359160/biden-abc-news-interview-drop-out

David Smith, “Biden says only ‘the Lord almighty’ could make him drop out in pivotal TV interview,” Guardian, July 5, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jul/05/biden-george-stephanopoulos-debate-interview

David Axelrod, “Biden’s defiant delusion,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/opinions/biden-failed-to-quell-panic-abc-interview-axelrod/index.html

Lauren Koenig, Samantha Waldenberg, and Betsy Klein, “Radio host who interviewed Biden says aides provided questions in advance,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/politics/biden-radio-interview-questions/index.html

Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Josh Dawsey, “Biden thought he had it under control. Then it got worse,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/06/biden-debate-white-house-campaign/

Matt Viser and Shane Harris, “As Biden digs in, another elected Democrat calls on him to exit race,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/06/biden-democrats-presidential-campaign/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, Tyler Pager, and Aaron Schaffer, “Debate brings scrutiny of whether aides shielded signs of Biden’s aging,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/07/white-house-aides-biden-age/

A. J. McDougall, “Obama’s Go-To Guy in the White House Says There’s No Way Biden Wins,” Daily Beast, July 7, 2024, https://apple.news/AU8MNINntR1m20zzN4_lerw

Gillian McGoldrick, “Andrea Lawful-Sanders leaves WURD after White House provides questions for Joe Biden interview,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 7, 2024, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/joe-biden-andrea-lawful-sanders-wurd-interview-20240707.html

Ashley Parker and Meryl Kornfield, “Watching Biden, many see the heartbreaking indignities of aging,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/07/biden-aging-debate-performance/

Kavita Patel, “I’m a doctor. Biden’s debate performance led me to a very different takeaway,” MSNBC, July 7, 2024, https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/biden-debate-nominee-ageism-aging-rcna160319

Matt Viser, Marianna Sotomayor, and Maeve Reston, “Nine House Democrats call for Biden to step aside as he seeks to energize his campaign,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/07/biden-campaign-trump/

John Heilemann, “Biden vs. The World,” Puck, July 8, 2024, https://puck.news/biden-vs-the-world/

Dick Nixon [Justin Sherin], “The Crisis,” July 8, 2024, https://www.patreon.com/posts/crisis-107757333

Osita Nwanevu, “Democrats don’t just need a new candidate. They need a reckoning,” Guardian, July 8, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/jul/08/democrats-joe-biden-election

San Francisco Standard, “Joe vs. Sourdough: Which will last longer, the president or this loaf of Boudin bread?” July 8, 2024, https://sfstandard.com/2024/07/08/biden-versus-boudin/

Matt Viser, “Biden is seeing a different world than other Democrats,” Washington Post, July 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/08/biden-different-world-bubble/

Lauren Egan, Eli Stokols, and Ben Johansen, “‘Take a stand, or shut up,’” Politico, July 9, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/west-wing-playbook/2024/07/09/take-a-stand-or-shut-up-00167168

Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels, and Ryan Lizza, “Why Capitol Hill is stuck on Biden,” Politico, July 10, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/playbook/2024/07/10/inertia-prevails-00167246

Andrew Jeong, “George Stephanopoulos caught on camera expressing doubts about Biden,” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/style/media/2024/07/10/george-stephanopoulos-biden-interview/

Nick Reisman, “Biden support slips in deep blue New York: ‘We’re a battleground state now,’” Politico, July 10, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/10/biden-new-york-trouble-00167198

Maeve Reston, “In blow to Biden, Democratic Sen. Bennet says Trump could win ‘by a landslide,’” Washington Post, July 10, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/10/senator-michael-bennet-trump-election/


Imperialism

Israel

Palestine
2024

The aid that remains on Cyprus will be moved, then the pier that’s been a pathetic joke from the start will be removed.[2]

Lolita C. Baldor, “US-built pier will be put back in Gaza for several days to move aid, then permanently removed,” Associated Press, July 9, 2024, https://apnews.com/article/gaza-pier-humanitarian-aid-israel-3143130f56bbbc2c6ed30c5801a39a51


  1. [1]Nick Reisman, “Biden support slips in deep blue New York: ‘We’re a battleground state now,’” Politico, July 10, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/10/biden-new-york-trouble-00167198
  2. [2]Lolita C. Baldor, “US-built pier will be put back in Gaza for several days to move aid, then permanently removed,” Associated Press, July 9, 2024, https://apnews.com/article/gaza-pier-humanitarian-aid-israel-3143130f56bbbc2c6ed30c5801a39a51

Get ready for Donald Trump. By a landslide on the order of 1984.

Neoliberalism

Democratic (neoliberal) Party

Joe Biden


Fig. 1. Joe Biden and Pope Francis, unknown photographer, April 29, 2016, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

When I was a kid, it was pretty common to say, “Any boy can grow up to be president.” It was ridiculous then, as it is now. Money—and lots of it—is a prerequisite to any political campaign, then as now, because James Madison understood democracy as ‘mob rule,’ threatening to deprive the wealthy (often slaveholders) of their property.[1] But it’s clearly close enough to true that the warning, “be careful what you ask for,” comes to mind.

It’s really looking like the battle to persuade Joe Biden to step aside is lost.[2] So, get ready for Donald Trump. Trump will be elected in November—this is now beyond question—I think probably by a landslide on the order of 1984, when Ronald Reagan, running for re-election, blew out Walter Mondale, who won only his home state of Minnesota (by a mere few thousand votes) and the District of Columbia.[3]

Matthew Choi, “Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett calls on Biden to withdraw from presidential race,” Texas Tribune, July 2, 2024, https://www.texastribune.org/2024/07/02/lloyd-doggett-joe-biden-withdraw-election/

Liz Goodwin et al., “Manchin threatened to break with Biden before senior Democrats intervened,” Washington Post, July 2, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/02/joe-manchin-biden-debate-democrats-drop-out/

Peter Hamby, “Biden Plunges in Swing States in Leaked Post-Debate Poll,” Puck, July 2, 2024, https://puck.news/biden-plunges-in-swing-states-in-leaked-post-debate-poll/

Jared Mitovich, “Democrats begin attacking Biden’s performance and campaign,” Politico, July 2, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/02/democrats-biden-debate-fallout-00166208

Eli Stokols et al., “‘We’ve all enabled the situation’: Dems turn on Biden’s inner sanctum post debate,” Politico, July 2, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/02/biden-campaign-debate-inner-circle-00166160

Prem Thakker, “Every Democrat Other Than Joe Biden Is Unburdened by What Has Been,” Intercept, July 2, 2024, https://theintercept.com/2024/07/02/biden-polls-democrats-alternative-candidates/

M. J. Lee, “Biden has privately acknowledged next stretch of days are critical for whether he can save his reelection bid,” Cable News Network, July 3, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/03/politics/joe-biden-2024-campaign-troubles

Ally Mutnick et al., “‘Everybody’s in panic mode’ as House Democrats scramble after debate,” Politico, July 3, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/03/house-democrats-biden-debate-00166533

Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Matt Viser, “Biden faces growing political crisis over response to debate performance,” Washington Post, July 3, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/03/biden-crisis-debate-democrats/

Stephen Collinson and Shelby Rose to Meanwhile in America list, “The dark cloud hanging over Biden’s Independence Day Party,” Cable News Network, July 4, 2024, https://edition.cnn.com/newsletters/meanwhile-in-america

Yasmeen Abutaleb et al., “Biden’s aging is seen as accelerating, lapses described as more common,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/biden-aging-recent-months/

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Liz Goodwin, “Sen. Mark Warner works to gather Senate Democrats to ask Biden to exit race,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/mark-warner-joe-biden-exit-race-democratic-senators/

Rebecca Falconer, “Biden says he’s ‘not going anywhere’ as calls for him to step aside grow,” Axios, July 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/07/05/biden-democratic-donors-finance-disney-heiress

David A. Graham, “What is the Biden campaign’s theory of victory now?” Atlantic, July 5, 2024, https://apple.news/AyCMikft8TDuFf_elUgfQSA

Eric Levitz, “In an ABC interview, Biden charts a course for Dems’ worst-case scenario,” Vox, July 5, 2024, https://www.vox.com/politics/359160/biden-abc-news-interview-drop-out

David Smith, “Biden says only ‘the Lord almighty’ could make him drop out in pivotal TV interview,” Guardian, July 5, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jul/05/biden-george-stephanopoulos-debate-interview

David Axelrod, “Biden’s defiant delusion,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/opinions/biden-failed-to-quell-panic-abc-interview-axelrod/index.html

Lauren Koenig, Samantha Waldenberg, and Betsy Klein, “Radio host who interviewed Biden says aides provided questions in advance,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/politics/biden-radio-interview-questions/index.html

Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Josh Dawsey, “Biden thought he had it under control. Then it got worse,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/06/biden-debate-white-house-campaign/

Matt Viser and Shane Harris, “As Biden digs in, another elected Democrat calls on him to exit race,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/06/biden-democrats-presidential-campaign/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, Tyler Pager, and Aaron Schaffer, “Debate brings scrutiny of whether aides shielded signs of Biden’s aging,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/07/white-house-aides-biden-age/

A. J. McDougall, “Obama’s Go-To Guy in the White House Says There’s No Way Biden Wins,” Daily Beast, July 7, 2024, https://apple.news/AU8MNINntR1m20zzN4_lerw

Gillian McGoldrick, “Andrea Lawful-Sanders leaves WURD after White House provides questions for Joe Biden interview,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 7, 2024, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/joe-biden-andrea-lawful-sanders-wurd-interview-20240707.html

Ashley Parker and Meryl Kornfield, “Watching Biden, many see the heartbreaking indignities of aging,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/07/biden-aging-debate-performance/

Kavita Patel, “I’m a doctor. Biden’s debate performance led me to a very different takeaway,” MSNBC, July 7, 2024, https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/biden-debate-nominee-ageism-aging-rcna160319

Matt Viser, Marianna Sotomayor, and Maeve Reston, “Nine House Democrats call for Biden to step aside as he seeks to energize his campaign,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/07/biden-campaign-trump/

John Heilemann, “Biden vs. The World,” Puck, July 8, 2024, https://puck.news/biden-vs-the-world/

Dick Nixon [Justin Sherin], “The Crisis,” July 8, 2024, https://www.patreon.com/posts/crisis-107757333

Osita Nwanevu, “Democrats don’t just need a new candidate. They need a reckoning,” Guardian, July 8, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/jul/08/democrats-joe-biden-election

San Francisco Standard, “Joe vs. Sourdough: Which will last longer, the president or this loaf of Boudin bread?” July 8, 2024, https://sfstandard.com/2024/07/08/biden-versus-boudin/

Matt Viser, “Biden is seeing a different world than other Democrats,” Washington Post, July 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/08/biden-different-world-bubble/

Lauren Egan, Eli Stokols, and Ben Johansen, “‘Take a stand, or shut up,’” July 9, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/west-wing-playbook/2024/07/09/take-a-stand-or-shut-up-00167168


  1. [1]James Madison, “Federalist No. 10,” in The Federalist Papers, ed. Garry Wills (New York: Bantam, 2003), 50-58.
  2. [2]Lauren Egan, Eli Stokols, and Ben Johansen, “‘Take a stand, or shut up,’” July 9, 2024, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/west-wing-playbook/2024/07/09/take-a-stand-or-shut-up-00167168
  3. [3]270 To Win, “1984 Presidential Election,” n.d., https://www.270towin.com/1984_Election/76b4403a-b39f-41cd-a19b-8631ee91072b

Hey, politicians! Reality is calling! It’s urgent!

Neoliberalism

Democratic (neoliberal) Party

Joe Biden


Fig. 1. Joe Biden and Pope Francis, unknown photographer, April 29, 2016, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Joe Biden is delusional, enabled by #VoteBlueNoMatterWho. He goes to campaign rallies and other events, attended by his loyalists, and generalizes from their praise to U.S. voters as a whole, even as the polls say otherwise.[1] Anybody who’s had a methodology class should recognize the problems: selective observation, hasty generalization not merely from an unrepresentative sample, but rather from a positively biased sample.

He listens to his sycophants—and there are a few of them—just like Donald Trump listens to his.

This sets up a cataclysm. Despite the setbacks in France and the United Kingdom, illiberalism is on the rise, with white Christian nationalism poised to regain power in the U.S., finding allies in western and central Europe, allying with Russia and China against Ukraine, and with Israel against Palestine. Neoliberals, including Biden, meanwhile, continue to seem more desperate to suppress progressives than white Christian nationalists. Unless something turns this tide, it will be Gilead and like-minded authoritarianism across much of the world.

We need politicians who will humanely respond to reality. Urgently. But the only ones who respond at all—for them, cruelty is often the point—are on the right.

Matthew Choi, “Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett calls on Biden to withdraw from presidential race,” Texas Tribune, July 2, 2024, https://www.texastribune.org/2024/07/02/lloyd-doggett-joe-biden-withdraw-election/

Liz Goodwin et al., “Manchin threatened to break with Biden before senior Democrats intervened,” Washington Post, July 2, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/02/joe-manchin-biden-debate-democrats-drop-out/

Peter Hamby, “Biden Plunges in Swing States in Leaked Post-Debate Poll,” Puck, July 2, 2024, https://puck.news/biden-plunges-in-swing-states-in-leaked-post-debate-poll/

Jared Mitovich, “Democrats begin attacking Biden’s performance and campaign,” Politico, July 2, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/02/democrats-biden-debate-fallout-00166208

Eli Stokols et al., “‘We’ve all enabled the situation’: Dems turn on Biden’s inner sanctum post debate,” Politico, July 2, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/02/biden-campaign-debate-inner-circle-00166160

Prem Thakker, “Every Democrat Other Than Joe Biden Is Unburdened by What Has Been,” Intercept, July 2, 2024, https://theintercept.com/2024/07/02/biden-polls-democrats-alternative-candidates/

M. J. Lee, “Biden has privately acknowledged next stretch of days are critical for whether he can save his reelection bid,” Cable News Network, July 3, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/03/politics/joe-biden-2024-campaign-troubles

Ally Mutnick et al., “‘Everybody’s in panic mode’ as House Democrats scramble after debate,” Politico, July 3, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/03/house-democrats-biden-debate-00166533

Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Matt Viser, “Biden faces growing political crisis over response to debate performance,” Washington Post, July 3, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/03/biden-crisis-debate-democrats/

Stephen Collinson and Shelby Rose to Meanwhile in America list, “The dark cloud hanging over Biden’s Independence Day Party,” Cable News Network, July 4, 2024, https://edition.cnn.com/newsletters/meanwhile-in-america

Yasmeen Abutaleb et al., “Biden’s aging is seen as accelerating, lapses described as more common,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/biden-aging-recent-months/

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Liz Goodwin, “Sen. Mark Warner works to gather Senate Democrats to ask Biden to exit race,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/mark-warner-joe-biden-exit-race-democratic-senators/

Rebecca Falconer, “Biden says he’s ‘not going anywhere’ as calls for him to step aside grow,” Axios, July 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/07/05/biden-democratic-donors-finance-disney-heiress

David A. Graham, “What is the Biden campaign’s theory of victory now?” Atlantic, July 5, 2024, https://apple.news/AyCMikft8TDuFf_elUgfQSA

Eric Levitz, “In an ABC interview, Biden charts a course for Dems’ worst-case scenario,” Vox, July 5, 2024, https://www.vox.com/politics/359160/biden-abc-news-interview-drop-out

David Smith, “Biden says only ‘the Lord almighty’ could make him drop out in pivotal TV interview,” Guardian, July 5, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jul/05/biden-george-stephanopoulos-debate-interview

David Axelrod, “Biden’s defiant delusion,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/opinions/biden-failed-to-quell-panic-abc-interview-axelrod/index.html

Lauren Koenig, Samantha Waldenberg, and Betsy Klein, “Radio host who interviewed Biden says aides provided questions in advance,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/politics/biden-radio-interview-questions/index.html

Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Josh Dawsey, “Biden thought he had it under control. Then it got worse,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/06/biden-debate-white-house-campaign/

Matt Viser and Shane Harris, “As Biden digs in, another elected Democrat calls on him to exit race,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/06/biden-democrats-presidential-campaign/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, Tyler Pager, and Aaron Schaffer, “Debate brings scrutiny of whether aides shielded signs of Biden’s aging,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/07/white-house-aides-biden-age/

A. J. McDougall, “Obama’s Go-To Guy in the White House Says There’s No Way Biden Wins,” Daily Beast, July 7, 2024, https://apple.news/AU8MNINntR1m20zzN4_lerw

Gillian McGoldrick, “Andrea Lawful-Sanders leaves WURD after White House provides questions for Joe Biden interview,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 7, 2024, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/joe-biden-andrea-lawful-sanders-wurd-interview-20240707.html

Ashley Parker and Meryl Kornfield, “Watching Biden, many see the heartbreaking indignities of aging,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/07/biden-aging-debate-performance/

Kavita Patel, “I’m a doctor. Biden’s debate performance led me to a very different takeaway,” MSNBC, July 7, 2024, https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/biden-debate-nominee-ageism-aging-rcna160319

Matt Viser, Marianna Sotomayor, and Maeve Reston, “Nine House Democrats call for Biden to step aside as he seeks to energize his campaign,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/07/biden-campaign-trump/

John Heilemann, “Biden vs. The World,” Puck, July 8, 2024, https://puck.news/biden-vs-the-world/

Dick Nixon [Justin Sherin], “The Crisis,” July 8, 2024, https://www.patreon.com/posts/crisis-107757333

Osita Nwanevu, “Democrats don’t just need a new candidate. They need a reckoning,” Guardian, July 8, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/jul/08/democrats-joe-biden-election

Matt Viser, “Biden is seeing a different world than other Democrats,” Washington Post, July 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/08/biden-different-world-bubble/


  1. [1]Matt Viser, “Biden is seeing a different world than other Democrats,” Washington Post, July 8, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/08/biden-different-world-bubble/

‘I alone can fix it’

Neoliberalism

Democratic (neoliberal) Party

Joe Biden


Fig. 1. Joe Biden and Pope Francis, unknown photographer, April 29, 2016, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

It’s clearly difficult for Democrats to dislodge their most important figures even when political realities suggest that they should; all told, the Democratic party is best understood less as a political party organized to enact or protect specific policies than as a professional association committed to protecting its most valued members.[1]

It’s h-a-a-ar-rr-rr-d!!!! So, we’ll just hand the election to Donald Trump so we don’t hurt Joe Biden’s feelings. After all, we don’t really have a democracy anyway,[2] so what do we have to lose?

Well, for one thing, there are a lot of jobs lower on the pecking order—“down-ballot’ in the parlance—whose holders would like to keep them.

To say that the Democratic freak-out hasn’t abated is a rare understatement in a supremely, if justifiably, overheated moment. As of now, just five House Democrats—and only one from a swing district, Angie Craig of Minnesota—have publicly called for [Joe] Biden to drop out, but the number of congressional incumbents privately convinced he can’t win is vastly higher.

An A+ Democratic Senate source of mine reckons that, of the 51 sitting Ds and independents aligned with the party in the upper chamber, no more than half a dozen (including Delawareans Chris Coons and Tom Carper, as well as John Fetterman, who spent today on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania with the president after colorfully advising his party’s naysayers “to get a spine or grow a set”) believe he still has a plausible chance in November and want him to stay in the race. The ratio on the House side, as best as I can tell, is roughly the same.

As for the cash-raisers and check-collectors, a front-page story in the Sunday Washington Post quotes a “donor adviser” saying that “for every 10 people who think he should exit, one thinks he should stay.” Which sounds about right to me, with the added proviso that it’s probably more like one in 20 among big-dollar buckrakers on Wall Street and in Hollywood, where the post-debate backlash is particularly pitched.

In Bidenworld, however, the only impact all this appears to be having is the polar opposite of its intended effect. Despite credible midweek reporting that Biden had conceded to allies that he might not be able to save his candidacy, his posture has since hardened—publicly and privately—into the unalloyed defiance on display at his Friday rally in Wisconsin: “They’re trying to push me out of the race. Well, let me say this as clear as I can: I’m staying in the race!” . . .

The Defiance Defense, as I’ve come to think of it, has a clear strategic aim: to create pressure on elected Democrats not to go public with their private fears/convictions by raising the potential political cost of abandoning Biden at this late stage. But it also has a political price tag of its own: the wide and growing sense among those who aren’t members of the Biden family, or on the payroll, that the defiance of the president and his people is being animated by some lethal combination of denial, delusion, and desperation. . . .

Given the time constraints and the stakes of the interview, George [Stephanopoulos] did a great job [interviewing Biden for 22 minutes], I think. He was respectful but direct and persistent on the most essential questions, and he managed to eke out seven minutes more than Team Biden initially proposed. But the president would have been (or should have been) prepared for every one of those questions. The only way for him to put the debate catastrophe firmly in the rearview mirror would have been to sit for an extended, ask-me-anything interview, complete with queries on unexpected topics—not gotcha or trick questions, but a colloquy that included issues other than the debate, his mental acuity, and the calls for him to stand down—and hit them out of the park. But no one in Bidenworld would have been comfortable with that kind of uncontrolled, freewheeling colloquy with George, and given the performance that Biden proceeded to turn in, it’s easy to see why. . . .

Was he awful? No. Disqualifyingly addled? No. But was he anywhere in the vicinity of what it would have taken to reassure Democrats—most of whom, let’s keep in mind, have enormous affection for Biden and respect for what he’s accomplished as president—that he was up to the task at hand, which Biden himself has rightly defined as saving American democracy from an out-front, wannabe autocrat? Fuck no.[3]

I knew Justin Sherin, writing as “Dick Nixon,” would be going for the jugular with his opening words: “I alone can fix it.” He attributes the words to Donald Trump in 2016,[4] but he’s obviously, in parallel, alluding to Biden’s intransigence on stepping aside.[5] It’s the obvious rationale for functionalist conservatism: I am needed. I am necessary. I deserve and am entitled to the power and the privilege. Because “I alone can fix it.”

Surely the choice for ’24 is clear?

If the president were a younger man, perhaps. But he’s 82, and has visibly declined from even four years ago. His voice is softer, weaker. He mumbles. His stutter is worse. He takes long pauses in conversation. His answers can seem rote or clipped. No one in public life loved the sound of his own voice more than Joe Biden, but recently he seems afraid of it.

His catastrophic performance at the debate needs no discussion. But the panic over Biden’s age goes much deeper than that. The public never craved a rematch, and over the past year it’s solidified into dread. Up to 69 percent of voters—and 55 percent of Biden voters—think he’s too old for the job.

Such numbers don’t come from one “bad night.” Up to now, though, most people could swallow it. The president’s appearances are carefully stage managed. The great Irish raconteur rarely does interviews, doesn’t talk much off the cuff. He says what the president should say, then goes back behind the curtain. . . .

[Democratic Party elected officials] felt Biden’s record speaks for itself; or the age issue is moot, since he’d never step aside; or that fear of Trump would overwhelm everything. For many that’s all out the window now. The mood in the House is described as “despair.”

Biden committed one of the worst sins in politics—confirming people’s worst assumptions. It’s difficult to come back from that.[6]

It’s not just Biden “confirming people’s worst assumptions.” It’s that the assumptions—irrespective of merit—are now, because Biden made them so, lethal. It won’t just be “difficult to come back from that,” but impossible—and regardless of what they say in public, more and more Democrats are coming to that realization.[7]

As we speak, congressional Democrats are returning to D.C. from recess, having been in their districts hearing from their constituents every day since the debate. One plausible (but far from certain) assumption is that however high their dudgeon, it’s likely to be spun up further once they’re face to face and all in one place—planning, plotting, and banding together. Everyone covering this drama, very much including me, has heard from electeds over the last week, and especially post-[George] Stephanopoulos, who say they’re on the brink of speaking out or signing letters calling on [Joe] Biden to take a powder. How many, and which ones, actually will? Good questions.

But if the news breaking as I type this is any indication, the answers could turn out to be: a lot, and ones who matter. Per the [New York] Times, during House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ Zoom call for ranking committee members earlier today, four senior members on the call (Jerry Nadler of New York, Adam Smith of Washington, Mark Takano of California, and Joe Morelle of New York) said explicitly that Biden should end his candidacy, while two others (Jim Himes of Connecticut and Susan Wild of Pennsylvania) voiced doubts about his path forward. The Times noted that two attendees issued statements of support for Biden, but the story’s lede minced no words about the implications of the meeting: “President Biden’s base of support among key Democrats on Capitol Hill began to crumble.”[8]

John Heilemann, “Bidenworld’s Darkest Hour,” Puck, July 1, 2024, https://puck.news/should-biden-stay-or-should-he-go/

Matthew Choi, “Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett calls on Biden to withdraw from presidential race,” Texas Tribune, July 2, 2024, https://www.texastribune.org/2024/07/02/lloyd-doggett-joe-biden-withdraw-election/

Liz Goodwin et al., “Manchin threatened to break with Biden before senior Democrats intervened,” Washington Post, July 2, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/02/joe-manchin-biden-debate-democrats-drop-out/

Peter Hamby, “Biden Plunges in Swing States in Leaked Post-Debate Poll,” Puck, July 2, 2024, https://puck.news/biden-plunges-in-swing-states-in-leaked-post-debate-poll/

Jared Mitovich, “Democrats begin attacking Biden’s performance and campaign,” Politico, July 2, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/02/democrats-biden-debate-fallout-00166208

Eli Stokols et al., “‘We’ve all enabled the situation’: Dems turn on Biden’s inner sanctum post debate,” Politico, July 2, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/02/biden-campaign-debate-inner-circle-00166160

Prem Thakker, “Every Democrat Other Than Joe Biden Is Unburdened by What Has Been,” Intercept, July 2, 2024, https://theintercept.com/2024/07/02/biden-polls-democrats-alternative-candidates/

M. J. Lee, “Biden has privately acknowledged next stretch of days are critical for whether he can save his reelection bid,” Cable News Network, July 3, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/03/politics/joe-biden-2024-campaign-troubles

Ally Mutnick et al., “‘Everybody’s in panic mode’ as House Democrats scramble after debate,” Politico, July 3, 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/2024/07/03/house-democrats-biden-debate-00166533

Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Matt Viser, “Biden faces growing political crisis over response to debate performance,” Washington Post, July 3, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/03/biden-crisis-debate-democrats/

Stephen Collinson and Shelby Rose to Meanwhile in America list, “The dark cloud hanging over Biden’s Independence Day Party,” Cable News Network, July 4, 2024, https://edition.cnn.com/newsletters/meanwhile-in-america

Yasmeen Abutaleb et al., “Biden’s aging is seen as accelerating, lapses described as more common,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/biden-aging-recent-months/

Leigh Ann Caldwell and Liz Goodwin, “Sen. Mark Warner works to gather Senate Democrats to ask Biden to exit race,” Washington Post, July 5, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/05/mark-warner-joe-biden-exit-race-democratic-senators/

Rebecca Falconer, “Biden says he’s ‘not going anywhere’ as calls for him to step aside grow,” Axios, July 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/07/05/biden-democratic-donors-finance-disney-heiress

David A. Graham, “What is the Biden campaign’s theory of victory now?” Atlantic, July 5, 2024, https://apple.news/AyCMikft8TDuFf_elUgfQSA

Eric Levitz, “In an ABC interview, Biden charts a course for Dems’ worst-case scenario,” Vox, July 5, 2024, https://www.vox.com/politics/359160/biden-abc-news-interview-drop-out

David Smith, “Biden says only ‘the Lord almighty’ could make him drop out in pivotal TV interview,” Guardian, July 5, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/article/2024/jul/05/biden-george-stephanopoulos-debate-interview

David Axelrod, “Biden’s defiant delusion,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/opinions/biden-failed-to-quell-panic-abc-interview-axelrod/index.html

Lauren Koenig, Samantha Waldenberg, and Betsy Klein, “Radio host who interviewed Biden says aides provided questions in advance,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/politics/biden-radio-interview-questions/index.html

Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Josh Dawsey, “Biden thought he had it under control. Then it got worse,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/06/biden-debate-white-house-campaign/

Matt Viser and Shane Harris, “As Biden digs in, another elected Democrat calls on him to exit race,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/06/biden-democrats-presidential-campaign/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, Tyler Pager, and Aaron Schaffer, “Debate brings scrutiny of whether aides shielded signs of Biden’s aging,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/07/white-house-aides-biden-age/

A. J. McDougall, “Obama’s Go-To Guy in the White House Says There’s No Way Biden Wins,” Daily Beast, July 7, 2024, https://apple.news/AU8MNINntR1m20zzN4_lerw

Gillian McGoldrick, “Andrea Lawful-Sanders leaves WURD after White House provides questions for Joe Biden interview,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 7, 2024, https://www.inquirer.com/politics/joe-biden-andrea-lawful-sanders-wurd-interview-20240707.html

Ashley Parker and Meryl Kornfield, “Watching Biden, many see the heartbreaking indignities of aging,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/07/biden-aging-debate-performance/

Kavita Patel, “I’m a doctor. Biden’s debate performance led me to a very different takeaway,” MSNBC, July 7, 2024, https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/biden-debate-nominee-ageism-aging-rcna160319

Matt Viser, Marianna Sotomayor, and Maeve Reston, “Nine House Democrats call for Biden to step aside as he seeks to energize his campaign,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/07/biden-campaign-trump/

John Heilemann, “Biden vs. The World,” Puck, July 8, 2024, https://puck.news/biden-vs-the-world/

Dick Nixon [Justin Sherin], “The Crisis,” July 8, 2024, https://www.patreon.com/posts/crisis-107757333

Osita Nwanevu, “Democrats don’t just need a new candidate. They need a reckoning,” Guardian, July 8, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/jul/08/democrats-joe-biden-election


  1. [1]Osita Nwanevu, “Democrats don’t just need a new candidate. They need a reckoning,” Guardian, July 8, 2024, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/article/2024/jul/08/democrats-joe-biden-election
  2. [2]David Benfell, “A constitutional oligarchy: Deconstructing Federalist No. 10,” Not Housebroken, July 3, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/04/22/a-constitutional-oligarchy-deconstructing-federalist-no-10/
  3. [3]John Heilemann, “Biden vs. The World,” Puck, July 8, 2024, https://puck.news/biden-vs-the-world/
  4. [4]Dick Nixon [Justin Sherin], “The Crisis,” July 8, 2024, https://www.patreon.com/posts/crisis-107757333
  5. [5]Matt Viser and Shane Harris, “As Biden digs in, another elected Democrat calls on him to exit race,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/06/biden-democrats-presidential-campaign/
  6. [6]Dick Nixon [Justin Sherin], “The Crisis,” July 8, 2024, https://www.patreon.com/posts/crisis-107757333
  7. [7]Yasmeen Abutaleb, Tyler Pager, and Aaron Schaffer, “Debate brings scrutiny of whether aides shielded signs of Biden’s aging,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/07/white-house-aides-biden-age/; David Axelrod, “Biden’s defiant delusion,” Cable News Network, July 6, 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/07/06/opinions/biden-failed-to-quell-panic-abc-interview-axelrod/index.html; Rebecca Falconer, “Biden says he’s ‘not going anywhere’ as calls for him to step aside grow,” Axios, July 5, 2024, https://www.axios.com/2024/07/05/biden-democratic-donors-finance-disney-heiress; John Heilemann, “Biden vs. The World,” Puck, July 8, 2024, https://puck.news/biden-vs-the-world/; A. J. McDougall, “Obama’s Go-To Guy in the White House Says There’s No Way Biden Wins,” Daily Beast, July 7, 2024, https://apple.news/AU8MNINntR1m20zzN4_lerw; Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager, and Josh Dawsey, “Biden thought he had it under control. Then it got worse,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/06/biden-debate-white-house-campaign/; Matt Viser and Shane Harris, “As Biden digs in, another elected Democrat calls on him to exit race,” Washington Post, July 6, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/2024/07/06/biden-democrats-presidential-campaign/; Matt Viser, Marianna Sotomayor, and Maeve Reston, “Nine House Democrats call for Biden to step aside as he seeks to energize his campaign,” Washington Post, July 7, 2024, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2024/07/07/biden-campaign-trump/
  8. [8]John Heilemann, “Biden vs. The World,” Puck, July 8, 2024, https://puck.news/biden-vs-the-world/