GOP Talking Points Evaporating, Congress Has Much To Do, Starting 2024 Strong
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Happy Tuesday all! Let’s get to it:
GOP Talking Points Evaporating - Been a rough few months for GOP talking points. Consider (much of the backup for this section can be found here):
The economy sucks - stock market at all time highs, strongest recovery in G7, consumer sentiment rising, economy booming, real wage growth highest in decades. The President promised he would get us to the other side of COVID, successfully, and he has
Inflation is killing us - inflation is now back to pre-pandemic levels in several measures, overall prices *fell* last month, gas/rents/mortgage rates are falling across the US, groceries only increased 1.7% over the last 12 months less than a typical 12 month period. Read this to better understand why I don’t think the data supports “the people are down now due to ‘lived experience’ argument” and there is more optimism about the economy than is understood right now
Biden has waged a war on American energy which created high gas prices - high gas prices came from Putin and OPEC, and in 2023 domestic oil and renewable production broke records. America has never been more energy independent. This may be the stupidest of all current GOP memes
Crime is out of control - crime and murder rates across the US keep plummeting, violent crime rates are half of what they were 30 years ago, and murder rates continue to be much higher in red states
Democrats keep printing money, driving inflation - the annual deficit is trillions less than when Biden came to office
Biden’s poll numbers are terrible - a majority of independent polls taken after Thanskgiving have Biden tied with Trump or ahead; the Congressional Generic has moved over 3 points in our direction since October; battleground House polling show Democrats ahead of the Republicans; consumer sentiment is rising; large sample polls of Hispanics and young voters show Biden replicating his 2020 results. Are we where we want to be? No. But is Trump ahead? Absolutely not
What this means in the day to day info battle is that the rhetorical playing field Republicans can comfortably operate on has narrowed significantly in recent months. They’ve lost most of their most significant attacks on Biden, which will force them to lean much harder into what little firm ground remains - the border/immigration, Hunter, Biden’s age - all very much second tier issues for voters, ones not powerful enough to win an election on.
I think this narrowing rhetorical terrain for Republicans will put greater pressure on the House Republicans in particular to find ways to sabotage and undermine the increasingly successful Biden Presidency. A big test of this emerging dynamic will come quickly, as Congress still needs to address an extraordinary set of issues delayed by ongoing Republican dysfunction and extremism - the funding of Ukraine and Israel, the passage of a fiscal 2024 budget (already 3 months late), the approval of dozens of critical State Department officials and a border package to address the rising flow of immigrants to our Southern border.
As someone who has been in Washington for more than 3 decades, I struggle to put into words how dysfunctional and broken the House has been this past year. There is no modern precedent for what we are seeing - the inability to address deeply consequential domestic and national security challenges; the serial blocking of routine, non-controversial national security and DOJ appointees; the infighting, corruption and factionalism (Kevin McCarthy and George Santos are no longer Members of Congress); the extended recesses and refusal to even come to work; the fact-free performative “investigations.” Together, all of this represents an extraordinary, ongoing betrayal of our democracy and country. For these Republicans it’s clear the insurrection never really ended, and their willingness to once again do the unthinkable this month in regard to any of these big issues should be treated as a likely, not a remote, outcome. They need to break Biden’s current momentum at all costs, even if it means trashing the strong US economy or letting the genocidal Putin have his way in Ukraine.
I return to a powerful Rachel Maddow segment where she talks about this unprecedented disabling of the House, and what she thinks it means. Do watch, very powerful stuff from her:
There are so many reasons why we cannot let them win this November, so many reasons we need to keep doing the work; but for me their ongoing betrayal of our democracy and country is perhaps what gets me going here more than anything else (that and the ending of Roe). Here’s a clip of me on MSNBC a few weeks ago talking about the GOP as the party of Putin now, as Russian fifth columnists working to undermine and weaken the country from within. How the party of Lincoln and Reagan became the party of Putin remains the most incomprehensible parts of this dark MAGA period. But we are here now; we cannot look away or minimize what’s in front of us; and we need to keep fighting with all that we have. Yes, Biden’s success is likely to make them more desperate, extreme, illiberal - as we are already seeing with Trump himself - and we need to be prepared.
My Core Electoral Narrative Is Breaking Through - It’s been a remarkable few weeks for our core 2024 narrative:
Joe Biden is a good President. The country is better off. The Democratic Party is strong and winning elections across the US. And they have Trump.
Last week MSNBC digital featured my op-ed, Biden’s 2024 chances are much stronger than people realize, which advanced our narrative. President Biden talked about one of my 2024 Hopium posts at a DNC fundraiser right before Christmas. I took our big, optimistic argument into MSNBC interviews with Lawrence O’Donnell, Willie Geist on Morning Joe, and with Alex Witt on Saturday. A clip of that interview, created by Christopher Webb, follows:
My insights into the 2024 election have also been featured in recent weeks in articles in NBC News, NYTimes, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin’s Washington Post column, Politico, Politico again, USA Today, Yahoo News, Vanity Fair, New Republic, Puck, Newsweek, The Hill (a second one too), Vox, National Journal and the Washington Examiner.
I am working hard to make sure our optimistic take on American politics is being heard, and I’m excited about the impact we are having in traditional, mainstream media right now. It’s another way we’ve entered 2024 with real momentum.
Our Electoral And Political Work in 2024 - Please Volunteer, Donate, Promote! - Here we go folks. The 2023 elections are behind us, and 2024 has officially begun! We kick it off 2024 with a really important Florida House special election in just two weeks. Please sign up for a volunteer shift or donate today. Here are the projects and campaigns I’m recommending right now:
Tom Keen FL HD-35 - Jan 16th Special Election - we need to start 2024 with a win in this winnable pick up opportunity in one of the most important states in the county
Tom Suozzi NY-3 - Feb 13th Special Election for Santos Congressional seat - know many are already hard at work here - thank you!
North Carolina Democratic Party - Ongoing, top 2024 battleground Presidential pickup opportunity. Watch our interview with dynamic NC Chair Anderson Clayton - well worth your time
Spreading Hopium in 2024 - Help me extend our community’s reach
We ended 2023 strong. Let’s keep that energy and momentum going in 2024 - Simon