Our Failed Political Press ™
Der Tiger Beat auf dem Potomac (thanks Charlie with an assist from MPS Patron Saint @Watertiger) morning email thingie gleefully take-up President Handsome Joe Biden on his rhetorical assertion that he will listen to more outside advice. And really, what could be more outside than Politico which as you know is DC’s morning gossip sheet?
First up, James Carville who notoriously got Big Dawg Clinton to govern as a Republican advises… governing like a Republican:
CARVILLE: DON’T LET LEFT ACTIVISTS DEFINE YOU…
“[O]nly 11 percent of the Democratic Party is progressive. It’s the smallest part of the party. But the problem is they make 70 percent of the noise. [On Twitter,] but also in newsrooms and academia and all over the foundations. All I can tell you is that this is what people hear. And what it’s done is weaken our political immune system. People believe this is what the party represents. ‘They want to defund the police.’ ‘They want open borders.’ ‘They want to empty the jails.’ It’s defining the party.”
I will jump in at this point and say that it is the Republicans who have defined the Democrats with this. Honestly, I wish the Democrats were so bold. Anyway, Carville then heads towards the donut hole, where there is, well, nothing:
Carville acknowledges that polarization has changed the nature of politics, but not as much as many Democrats think, and that the key for his party remains capturing the persuadable center: “It’s not like it used to be, where you can move massive numbers of people with good messaging. But I still believe that 2018 and 2020 showed that if you engage in the fundamentals of politics, you can win elections in the United States.”
We maintain that there is no center. We would love someone to prove to us that there is any voting block out there that can be persuaded.
Next up: Will Marshall from The Hill. Certainly that’s (cough) the reasonable center, right?
MARSHALL: COUNTRY OVER PARTY — Marshall, in The Hill, surveys the damage done to Biden, who he notes is “only marginally less unpopular than former President DONALD TRUMP.” His big takeaway is similar to Carville’s in that he believes Biden needs to recover his bipartisan brand to reverse “the defection of moderate and independent voters.” He has four pieces of advice to help Biden escape his current predicament of being seen as leader of the Democratic Party rather leader of the country:
Prepare yourselves for a shock, Gentle Readers: Marshall is focused on Republican-framed issues, too, and then for variety concludes with Republican talking points:
1. Inflation: “[T]ackle inflation with the same determination he showed in the vaccination campaign.”
2. The economy: “Democrats should cultivate economic optimism rather than lecturing the public incessantly on the moral failings of capitalism.”
3. Culture wars: “Biden and leading Democrats should push back more forcefully against cultural leftism. RUY TEIXEIRA, a liberal political analyst, says, ‘the left has managed to associate the Democratic Party with a series of views on crime, immigration, policing, schooling, free speech and of course race and gender that are quite far from those of the median voter.’”
4. Schools: “[T]he White House should acknowledge deep parental frustration with public schools and pick up the discarded mantle of K-12 reform.”