Stop Panicking!

Yeah, Biden had a bad night at the debate. I get it. I had to turn it off after half an hour. I came here the next morning to see what I missed and found the place in an uproar. For a place that prides itself on cool intellect, there sure is a lot of hair on fire.

Maybe a bit of panic is appropriate to energize people. I suppose it can get people to wake up and get some work done, but don’t panic so much that your brain shuts down.

Let’s step back and put this in some perspective. @Smapti and some others were doing a bit of this in the follow along thread and I’d like to put it in one place. I’ll admit, mostly for my personal peace of mind, but maybe others could use some hope, too. Yeah, yeah, whistling past the graveyard and all that. I get that, too, but running around with knee- jerk reactions isn’t going to be a winning strategy, either.

Points I’m trying to remember:

Trump still has to go through sentencing for being a felon. That’s going to suck a lot of the oxygen out of the room. It will be big news which will shove the debate to the back.

Obama had a pretty lousy debate, too. Still, he came back and won.

This debate is pretty early in the election season relative to when we usually have debates. There’s time for the memory to fade a bit.

This debate will instruct the Biden campaign what to prepare for at the next one. Trump had very few points to make- he repeated himself a lot. I don’t think Trump will change what was a successful (to him and his campaign) debate strategy. He’ll just hammer a few points over and over.

On top of all this, replacing Biden as the nominee will tank the whole thing. Not gonna happen. Biden, his campaign, and his supporters need to put this behind and move forward. Talk about replacement will just discourage voters. Dwelling on it will poison the campaign. Take the L and get back up fighting.

Once again, I’m posting this to help make myself feel better about what this race is looking like. I have three daughters just starting their independent journeys as young adults. I want them to have a chance at a decent life.

I expect a lot of “whistling past the graveyard” type comments, but I’d like to try to be optimistic. But, geeze Louise, there’s a LOT of panicking happening here. Take a breath.

Unless, on Monday, the Supreme Court effectively appoints him King For Life.

I agree with the intent of the OP. Hair on fire is the wrong way to be. To repeat what I said in the debate thread: Biden looked like I do when I have a bad cold: mouth open to breathe, voice croaky, and doped up on Nyquil. He is not mentally impaired, despite what the right is crowing at this very moment. And if the second debate happens, you’re going to see a very different animal. Biden was at least able to tag the asshole with the labels he deserves: a childish whiner, liar, serial philanderer, rapist, and convicted felon. And Trump’s claims of “winning” the golf tournaments is a joke. Everyone he plays with knows that he cheats, but most of them are afraid to call him on it, other than anonymously.

Unless he does a 180 degree turn at the next debate, I think a lot of democrats will sit on the sidelines, which clearly isn’t good for Biden.

Oh of course, there’s no rational, cool, intellectual reason why anyone could be concerned that their only chance to slow the advance of fascism and disaster is a party that can’t even effectively fight one of the worst politicians and human beings ever to gain popular exposure. No, emotional overreaction is the only possible way one would be extremely concerned over a second Trump presidency and project 2025 coming to fruition.

Obama had a pretty lousy debate, too. Still, he came back and won.

Obama’s bad performance was not half as bad as Biden’s performance, and more importantly it did not feed into the narrative about Obama. We all knew that Obama was a smart guy, young, vital, good with words, and could think on his feet. It was clear that his mediocre debate performance was atypical and a fluke.

Biden’s performance feeds into the “sleepy Joe” narrative that the MAGA/fox news crowd has been pushing for years. We don’t know that it’s an atypical fluke, because Joe really is a thousand years old and this could very well be evidence that he’s no longer fit to carry out the job. This makes the performance far more impactful than the effect that any debate could have for Obama’s chances.

They’re going to do it. They’re going to manage to lose twice to an absolute imbecile, one of the worst people on the planet, someone who would be demolished by any sort of competently run opposing political party. It is staggering how bad the democratic party is at their jobs.

I know that this can’t actually be the truth, but they’re so incredibly bad at being a political party that I sometimes think they’re a false political party - sort of like the Washington Generals to the Harlem Globetrotters - a team that’s designed to lose just so the Globetrotters can dunk on them.

We’ve had 4 years to defeat one of the most easily defeated candidates of all time - because we all saw with our very own eyes what a disaster he was just four years ago - and they’ve botched it completely. They have a bad candidate, they have bad messaging, they have bad everything. It’s staggering incompetence and an utter condemnation of the American people that this is going to be close at all.

I don’t think Obama-Romney in 2012 is a good comparison. Obama was decades younger and he wasn’t as bad in that debate as Biden was last night, and he was able to debate Romney again just a few days afterwards and quickly recover the lost ground. Furthermore, Romney was a normal Republican, so losing the election to him wouldn’t have been all that bad. The stakes were lower.

Biden is 81, not getting any younger, the next debate isn’t until 3 months from now, and Trump is far worse than Romney - this ISN’T an election the Democrats can afford to just lose and move on from. The stakes are far higher this time around.

Re: “Stop Panicking!”

With due respect, no. Depending on the outcome, I will stop panicking when results appear in November, and if it goes to Trump, I will continue to panic until his demise.

I listened to it on the radio. When Biden talked he made sense his meassaging was on point. Yes his voice was low and raspy but so what.

The DNC keeps circling the wagon around Biden because “he’s the only person who can beat Trump.” When in fact it’s the opposite - he’s one of the only few Democrats who could lose to Trump.

Agree with @SenorBeef and @Velocity

I used to be a huge Tour de France fan.

The tour riders have this crazy concept known as riding yourself into shape, implying that – whether or not your pre-race training was adequate – you’ll actually still be training in the early days of the (~3-week long) Tour.

Which elite athletes can do.

Or young Presidential candidates.

Og help us if we have to count on Biden riding himself into shape when Father Time was literally hovering over his shoulder last evening.

Alas, I fear you are being far too optimistic. The damage that Trump has already done to our democracy and to our very culture will far outlast his breathing and pulse. I can’t even guess at the further evil he will accomplish, given another four years.

(1) If so many Democrats could beat Trump, who should the party sub in? Who won’t also come in with baggage, just different baggage than Biden, mind you. Newsome? California is a land of fruitcakes, blackouts, and burning cities! Pritzker? Ditto for Illinois! Buttigieg? Gay, and didn’t some freight train crash somewhere? Harris? Black woman! AOC? Screaming radical! Bernie? Angry socialist and old as dirt! I don’t personally believe any of that (except maybe just a little bit about Bernie), but we all know those attacks will come fast and furious. You ain’t buying any peace by throwing Biden under the bus.

(2) If the party dumps Biden, about 30 seconds later they’ll be a flood of ads and social media posts asking “Why vote for the Dems if the man they picked has been so bad at his job that they dumped him?” There’s a good reason a party with the incumbency usually doesn’t challenge the incumbent in primaries, and it isn’t because the party is stale, or stolid, or a “good ole’ boys” club, or needs shaking up. If you put up a candidate in 2020 and say he’s the best for the job, and then after three-plus years in office sub in someone else as your 2024 candidate, aren’t you saying he did a bad job as President?!

Also if they draft Newsome, they must dump Harris as well, since they’re both California, right?

I agree – stop panicking. IF you score the debate solely on style, then yes, Biden lost. Unfortunately, all too many people do that, but they’re wrong. IF you score the debate on substance, then Biden won (or at least, trump lost). Because trump had one major point and two minor ones: the border (“Border! Border! Border!”), Biden is the worst president in history (not even remotely true) and the trump era was nothing short of an absolute utopia (also not true, but part of his Big Lie).

But we knew that Biden is not a great orator. If that’s all that matters, then I don’t know what to say, because that’s an incredibly shallow and wrong way of thinking. Put their records up against each other, not just one debate performance.

Why does anyone think performance at a debate would make any difference? How many people watched the debate? More to the point, how many people watched the debate whose position wasn’t already immobile (i.e., are definitely going to vote, and already know who they’re definitely voting for)? And even of the small number who watched the debate and who can be swayed, not all of them will be.

OK, a bad debate performance will generate some soundbites and TikTok clips that can be used in attack ads. That’ll reach some folks. But for a man with a fifty-year career in politics, there’s already plenty of that to pick out. This run of attack ads won’t be much more effective than the attack ads they would have run anyway. The attack ads will be limited by campaign money, not by the number of video clips they have available.

Obama tanked his first debate with Romney, then came back and slaughtered him in the second. Voters have short memories, and this too will pass. It just means we have to work a little harder is all.

Deep breath, then get back in the fight.

I’ve always said that 2016 was bizarre in that both parties ran the only candidate the other one may have beaten. A completely generic democrat beats Trump in 2016, and a completely generic Republican beats Hillary in 2016 and it’s not close. And they’re kind of doing the same thing again this time around. Only someone older and (by public perception) possibly more demented than Trump could lose to him. It’s a pathetic sign that the democrats have not been grooming an obvious upcoming candidate, so it’s hard for me to even point to any names in particular, but a generic competent 50 year old white democrat would’ve beat Trump easily. The democrats are running one of the few candidates available to them that are terrible enough to lose to Trump.

So what? Part of the president’s job is to be able to put on a performance. You shouldn’t have to cringe every time your president speaks hoping that he doesn’t screw it up too badly. You shouldn’t have to be making excuses for him all the time. You shouldn’t feel sorry for him. Do you remember what it was like to hear Obama speak? That’s what the bar should bet set at.

Biden looked like a frail old man and that’s what the public is going to remember. But even if you were only going to read the transcript of the debate and the performance of it was irrelevant - Biden would win simply because Trump never says anything of substance, but it wouldn’t be an impressive transcript either. It was rambling, lots of mistakes, didn’t cut incisively. Anyone reading this thread right now would’ve done a better job than Biden did against Trump if given the chance.

Who cares if they’re wrong? They were wrong to vote for Trump over Hillary in 2016, and yet here we are. You don’t win elections because you get to condescend to the voter base about what they should find important.

A lot of the public doesn’t pay that much attention to politics. They hear all of the “Sleepy Joe” narratives and maybe they dismiss it because they know right wing talking points are usually bullshit, but this brings it right into their consciousness and seems to confirm it. It makes all the attacks on Biden seem that much more real. And it certainly reduces confidence in voting for him. And this performance will get rolled into every narrative about Biden over the next few months, it won’t soon be forgotten. It’s not like it needs to shift 40% of the voter base to matter - a few percent of people doubting Biden is enough to swing elections.

The problem isn’t Biden had a bad debate. The problem is Biden is a very unpopular candidate in large part due to his age. The debate was an opportunity to show voters he still has it, and he failed. Now he will get more opportunities, but there seems to be a reasonable chance that is narrative is right and he just isn’t capable of seeming presidential anymore, at least not a daily basis. If Biden isn’t capable then this is absolutely the time to panic, while there is still time to make a change.

If there was ONE thing Biden and his preppers needed to avoid at the debate it was the “Sleepy Joe” meme. And…Biden walked right in to it while Trump managed to do the opposite and looked engaged and vital. Sure, Trump lied about almost everything but that does not matter for him when Biden could not call him out on it.

I don’t think it is about panic. If Biden was simply sick and can do better next time, stick with him. If that is not the case and he is too old for the job then he should step down.

Democrats need an effective voice to reach people about the dangers of a Trump second term as well as to present the opportunities with another four years with a Democratic president.

I would vote for Biden’s biting dog before I would vote for Trump. But ideally I want a leader who can lead.