Question re Democrats who are down on Biden

Disagree.

The same can’t be said for Republicans.

OK, we’re moving off topic, but the last Trump press secretary just didn’t even have press briefings.

Anyway, I don’t know why Democrats are down on Biden. I think he’s done an admirable job on the Ukraine front. On the inflation side, inflation is up everywhere, gas prices are up everywhere (and have come down some in the US, but there are no headlines about that). The supply chain problem and excess demand problem isn’t a US thing, it’s a Western World thing.

He’s staying above the fray, which I appreciate. I love not knowing what poison has spewed from the president every day.

Unemployment is way down, tons of jobs out there. When polled, people say the economy is bad, but it’s good for them.

Maybe Biden’s problem is that he’s fighting a right-wing propaganda network in the form of Fox News, and the rest of the media who are always looking for “balance.”

To be fair, this isn’t a uniquely American problem, either. I’ve seen the exact same complaints here in Canada, where a lot of people think Justin Trudeau is responsible for all this.

Some people just want to get out there with torches and pitchforks, and it doesn’t seem to matter who they’re going after.

Which brings me back to:

Right, but Trump supporters didn’t blame Trump for his terrible handling of the pandemic. I would argue that Trump had more responsibility for how the pandemic went in the US than Biden does for what’s happening with inflation.

The job of the press secretary is to push the President’s agenda to the press and field questions (both sublime and inane), which Jen Psaki does very effectively and with obvious preparation. It isn’t as if she can or should change policy, sway voters through mass mesmerism, or even keep Pete Doocy from asking the dumbest leading questions that a group of seventh grade edgelords could come up with.

Inflation and unemployment are issues that the executive actually has little control over and even the Federal Reserve basically has only a couple of knobs that they can turn to try to influence the economy, mostly in vain. I haven’t seen anyone claiming that these issues were exclusively a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine though that obviously has an impact upon recovery of the economic crisis stemming from and still ongoing due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

Biden’s ‘optics’ are often not the best which reflects the relatively little ‘spin’ put on them and the ineffectualness of MSNBC as being the liberal-oriented counter to the Fox News propaganda machine. It is kind of bizarre how much is made even on the left of every verbal gaff Biden makes when his predecessor could barely string complete sentences together into a coherent thought and yet the entire media, and especially CNN, was falling all over themselves to declare any vaguely non-incompetent thing he did as “the moment he became presidential”, something that didn’t actually happen in four years of unmitigated buffoonery, self-promotion, and intentionally sabotaging the government he was elected to run.

The one major failing that can actually be attributed to decisions in control of the Biden Administration was the handling of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, and even that was going to be a shitshow of some measure regardless of how the military drew down. If they had chosen to leave a few thousand troops in Afghanistan as a bunker force (as Gen. Milley and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin recommended) and it turned into the Alamo, Biden would be excoriated for that. He at least deserves the credit for taking an action that the last three presidential administrations refused to make even though it had long been obvious that the only think that could be gained from occupying Afghanistan would be more debt and a larger body count.

Without going into the apparently prohibited topic of discussing particular impediments, the reason the Biden Administration has made no real progress in its legislative agenda is due to dissension within the Democratic party, and I don’t been by the progressive left wing. Repeated good faith attempts at negotiation and compromise have been made with members of his own party who have turn around and reneged at the 11th hour, making any progress essentially impossible. It should be noted that this is still not as bad as the previous administration whose party had unfettered total control of both houses of the legislature for two years and still accomplished nothing of their agenda (other than separating immigrant families, which was an unstated but obvious objective).

Despite this inability to accomplish anything, Republican support for their agenda scarcely wavered and the then-President enjoyed high approval by members of his own party (even though he had record net negative approval) because the GOP has essentially become a proto-fascist circle jerk that persecutes any member who doesn’t immediately fall in lockstep with the Republican agenda regardless of how conventionally conservative they are or their long multigenerational history of being Republican stalwarts. I guess you can complain that Democrats haven’t learned that lesson and formulated their own monoculture of acceptable thought (as do many who seek to blame the progressive wing for all problems of the Democratic Party, as if this is some kind of novel problem that only started in 2016) but I think that the problem is more fundamental in that for all of the talk-talk that DNC leaders do, they actually still don’t understand the reason that many progressive and ‘alternative’ candidates like Stacey Abrams have grasped and utilized successfully; that while courting corporate interests and their dumptrucks of money is good for financing campaigns, grassroots organizing and engagement with voters on their actual problems and concerns is what gets votes, and when a clownish demagogue can attract the enthusiasm of “the common people” better than the supposedly pro-labor, pro-community, anti-authoritarian Democratic party there is something far wrong within their own organization.

Biden was definitely a compromise candidate (and far from my favorite) but despite criticism he and his advisors have clearly understood that taking back some of the cynicism and skepticism about government means embracing some progress instead of just rejecting change for more of the same. Biden can’t possibly win a goal through the ever-shifting goalposts of the “Culture Wars”, a manufactured conflict from the playbook of Lee Atwater and Newt Gingrich as expertly executed by propagandists as Fox News, but he can (and to an extent has) made sincere gestures to acceptance of socially progressive ideals and concrete steps such as diversifying the Supreme Court in his nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson. Unfortunately, there is little he can do overall about the packing of federal courts that occurred under his predecessor or many of the other long-standing problems that he can’t fix without legislative support that he isn’t going to have but that doesn’t mean he should take a middle-of-road path in the hope of appealing to ‘moderate’ voters (a mythological block of people who all prefer vanilla ice creme and bologna sandwiches, one supposes) at the expense of recognizing people who are desperately asking for changes.

To answer the question of the o.p., voters are ‘down’ on Biden largely because the media has amplified the ‘failings’ of his administration even though most of those failures are problems beyond executive control and are largely problems within the entrenched leadership of the Democratic party that has lost the broad support it once held. The numerous successes such as rebuilding strategic relationships with friendly nations, dealing more effectively withe pandemic crisis, and generally appointing adults to positions of executive authority and advisory and then listening to and generally following that guidance are kind of lost in the noise, and because most voters aren’t really interested in anything going on outside their own small sphere of experience those successes are unheard even though they have long-standing consequences. Welcome to a liberal democracy that has failed to maintain an educated and engaged public.

Well, many of them either denied that there was a pandemic, or blamed it on ‘liberals’ as a general category of villainy and Dr. Anthony Fauci in its personification for perpetuating it. When you have people who will believe any bullshit you shovel at them over the evidence right in front of them, you can convince them of anything.

Stranger

I find her very condescending to the reporters and unwilling/unable to address basic questions resulting in obfuscation at best and non-answers at worst. Which to my point regarding Biden she creates optics and soundbites that are unfavorable to the administration.

Yeah. the Trumpster’s response to Trump’s failings was to just pretend that there was no problem there to fix.

To be comparable, we’d have to see Biden supporters claiming that inflation and gas prices are the lowest they’ve ever been, and that the US is still fighting in Afghanistan.

It’s sad to think, but Democrats complaining about real problems, even if they misunderstand the causes of the problems, still puts them well ahead of the typical Republican these days.

I have to admit that after the first couple of months I stopped watching White House press briefings because they are mainly pointless exercises in just propagandizing an agenda that is already known anyway and letting members of the White House Press Corps flash their feathers but my impression up to that point was that Psaki was well prepared to address reasonable questions and deferred those that she didn’t have ready answers for as issues that she would “come back around to” in subsequent briefings, and despite whinging by Fox News she did actually make a point of bringing up and responding to those deferred questions.

The fact that she answers loaded questions and political statements with a question mark glommed on the end from Fox News and OANN with generally subtle condensation instead of scathing sarcasm or a blanket dismissal is a vast improvement over her string of predecessors from the previous administration (except for Sean Spicer, who couldn’t ad lib sarcasm with cue cards; love that guy #LetHimMisspeak) and is really the only spontaneous and engaging part of the briefing.

Stranger

I have great respect for what Biden has done vis a vis Ukraine, rallying the vast majority of the civilized world to turn their backs on Russia. One could argue he can do more, but every day, more of that more emerges, step by step. He’s threading an exceptionally difficult needle, and deserves praise and credit.

But Ukraine is a classic foreign policy conflict, and classic, old-fashioned issues are Biden’s wheelhouse. Where he stumbles, where he is dramatically weaker in my left-leaning perspective, is on new, unprecedented matters, where there is no tried-and-true for him to fall back on.

Specifically: on the new reality that the other major political party has become an open enemy of American democracy, Biden seems not just unwilling to engage with the problem, but unable to grasp the depth of the crisis.

When he jabbers on about the political process and reaching across the aisle and finding common ground and all the rest, I don’t get the sense that he’s mouthing necessary rhetoric because large numbers of Americans aren’t ready for that conversation, I feel that he is genuinely rooted in a concept of political governance that hasn’t existed for well over two decades. It would be one thing if he were using the comfortable words as cover while unleashing the pit bulls on the ground, but he’s not doing that; he’s slow-rolling and soft-selling the critical reforms that are desperately needed to establish guardrails against the Republican assault on the Constitution.

We need a visionary reformer to throw a flood of defense against GOP arsonists. Instead we have a modestly competent caretaker who will believe in traditional solutions up until the moment the waters of fascism close over his head.

I don’t think the Democratic infighting is that bad, or out of normal range. I think it’s about at 1/10th of the level of Republican infighting.

The House of Representatives is comprised of people that are elected by, and only answer to, the folks in their district, which are often small and non-diverse. There are going to be extremists because of that. There always have been, always will. There used to be Republican Congressman that believed NASA might be keeping sex slaves on Mars.

There are, what, six super-liberal Democrats in the House of Representatives? That’s compared to 147 radically conservative Republicans . And I think Nancy does a good job of wrangling her caucus. I know the “super-liberals” didn’t vote for the infrastructure bill, but I’m betting they would’ve if Nancy didn’t have enough Republican votes secured to fill the gap.

I read an interesting article a few months ago, one I would link to if I could find it. The premise was that outrage and anger get voters to the polls, not hope and gratitude, and that passing landmark legislation hurts the controlling party in the midterms, because it whips up so much outrage in the party out of power.

I think the Democrats have to stop bringing knives to a gunfight, or at least stop bringing pillows.

For starters, they should start leaning heavily into the Rick Scott proposal that would put Medicare and Medicaid at risk and run loud screaming ads about how Republicans want to take away your Medicare. Don’t back off because the truth is a little more nuanced than that, keep screaming it from every TV set in the nation.

Do with it what the Republicans did with the Green New Deal. And maybe play offense a little and do some screaming about how a small group of loud mouthed parents are trying to drag YOUR children’s education back into the dark ages.

Sure, the GOP will yell and scream and call you liars, but they do that anyway. They can’t yell any louder, the volume is already turned up to 11. So earn it. Fight back.

And maybe have Biden should have his DOJ dole out some justice for Trump era crimes instead of devoting all their energy to persecuting Hillary. The only reason Biden is President is because a bunch of people that are not regular voters hated Trump and wanted him gone, and I’m betting those people aren’t happy that the DOJ is cool with ignoring all the crimes his administration committed. This one isn’t.

And what’s with picking June 9th to start the spring public hearings on Jan 6th? It’s too late to influence some critical primaries, many which are on June 7th - and too early to influence the general. It’s like they’re timing them to be as politically ineffective as possible.

At this point, I can only pray that the Republicans manage to pull that trick where they fuck up a sure thing…….like the Alabama special election to fill Jeff Sessions seat and the Georgia Senate run-offs because the Democrats are not doing a good job in terms of political strategy.

Actually there is something he can do about that (at least in a sense) and he has been doing it. Biden has been doing his job filling federal judgeships. It’s boring work from a media POV, but it is an area where he is undeniably accomplishing something concrete.

Yeah, that’s good, but McConnell et al held up so many appointments under Obama, leaving the vacancies for Trump to fill that Biden’s efforts are just a mild correction back to what was a already a conservative-leaning mean.

Stranger

Though it may not be “that bad”, is it possible that “not that bad” is bad enough to undo what, IMHO, the dems need to do? I’m a Canuck so I don’t directly have a dog in this fight but it frustrates the hell out of me when I watch things not get done because different wings are trying to each get their version of perfect. I worry about them losing to the GOP because of this when beating the GOP at this point in history is, to me, crucial.

Unfortunately, a lot of what Biden IS getting done is boring from a media POV. And trumpy is still in the headlines every day for doing…nothing except being a PITA.

Stranger

That’s too inside baseball. Only people in the political media bubble pay any attention to the White House Press Secretary. Most people have no clue who she is are what she’s said.

They want to see him try.

At best he has maintained the status quo. People struggling under Trump are still struggling under Biden.

(emphasis added.)

I agree with the rest of your post, but this is not right. The problem with the House of Representatives is the districts are too large and too diverse. Gerrymandering diversifies districts in a way the magnifies some voters’ influence and diminishes other’s. That is, the problem is districts that are 60-40 (more diverse) between the parties, not 80-20 (less diverse).