Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
2 Events This Week, A Joyful Biden in Ireland, Substack's Notes, A Message About With Dems/Our Content Here
Donna Deegan Monday, Monthly Political Briefing Thursday
Happy Saturday all!
We have two events this week:
Both events will be recorded and available here on the site if you can’t make it live. And remember to check the “Upcoming Events” tab on the site for the most up-to-date schedule of Hopium events, grassroots events, and my public speaking appearances.
A Joyful Biden In Ireland - President Biden talked about the power of hope in this video compilation of his trip by the Irish broadcaster, RTE. It’s a fun weekend watch. He clearly had a lot of fun over there!
Notes - A New Feature on Substack Launched This Week - A main reason I’ve come to Substack is that I think we need to innovate our way through the current dystopian social media phase of the Internet into something better, something which ensures far more integrity in our daily discourse. I believe that Substack is one of those pieces of a new and better info ecosystem so I jumped in and started experimenting with it, with all of you.
This week Substack added a new feature for all of us, Notes. Here is how they describe it:
Notes is a new space where writers can publish short-form posts and share ideas with each other and their readers. Through Notes, writers and readers can recommend posts, links, images, and quotes, leave comments, and more.
I’ve started posting on Notes and testing it out. Let’s explore it together over the next few weeks and see what we think.
A Message About With Dems, Our Content Here at Hopium Chronicles - For the past 27 years I ran a DC-based think tank and advocacy organization, NDN. The audience for my work was elected officials, candidates, staff, the media - folks in the game every day. My work wasn’t designed to be seen or read by the public. And what was broadly seen, my work on Twitter, doesn’t easily translate into this platform, not yet at least.
So I ask for your patience as we build our our community here at Hopium Chronicles. It’s going to take me a few months to tailor and evolve my daily commentary and analysis to this particular platform, and to the audience we are trying to reach, together. It’s why you will see me experimenting with a lot of things - simpler posts, short take videos, events, audio, “Notes.” I am not really sure how Hopium will look and feel in a few months, particularly as Substack itself is changing very rapidly. But I want to keep getting feedback from all of you, so we can design the Hopium experience together. And I promise by the late summer there will be far more easily digestible material on here. I hear you.
As we go forward, it is important to understand that I am not a writer, but a working political strategist and commentator in the game every day; and that the primary means of communicating in politics isn’t “high,” formal, written English. In politics the spoken word is primary - a pitch by a politician to a voter, a TV hit, a Tweet, a TikTok video. I can write in high, formal English, and was an English major at Tufts many years ago. But I was also a writer for prime-time network television news shows and have been working in politics for more than 30 years. And our language in day-to-day politics is far more the spoken than the written word. This is even much more true due to COVID and the explosion of Zoom-based political activity throughout the country. There is going to be a lot of non-formal English here at Hopium - vernacular - something I hope everyone will come to understand and appreciate through our work here, together.
Finally, on the new With Dems I released this morning. I had technical issues that made the screen smaller than usual, so some of the slides are hard to read. I do these events live so I can take questions and hear from all of you. But doing things live do have their challenges some times, and Thursday was one of those days (my primary computer died and I was using a backup). I will be recording a new version on Monday which should be easier for everyone to watch. So feel free to wait until this new version drops sometime Monday afternoon to catch the April With Dems.
But when you watch With Dems my recommendation is to focus on the narrative, the story I am trying to tell, and the contrast I am trying to establish. The data and slides are details. Spend time with the narrative and story, the history. Chew on it, wrestle with it. As I did with my challenge to the false red wave narrative last year, I am trying to create a new and more accurate understanding of the modern history of the United States and of our Party. The story that is so common in our discourse today - of American decline - is red wavy, false, untrue. Our country has been talked down for too long. Here we are going to talk it up, be loud and proud patriots, and tell the story of American progress and the historic contributions of our Party. Countering the dark pessimism of MAGA, which sells this great nation short every day, is one of our most important projects here. Perhaps the most important of all.