Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
Learning How To Say It's Not Okay
The Monday Hopium Chronicles Newsletter
Things I’m working on, thinking about on this Monday:
Learning How To Say It’s Not Okay - In Israel civil society has risen up to tell Bibi what he was trying to do was not okay. It may be have something he could do, but doing it was wrong. This process took the domestic conversation from one of left and right, power/out of power, into one of right and wrong. We need something like that to happen here in the US.
The competition for awfulness and extremism between Trump and DeSantis is turning the GOP into an even more malevolent force, an even greater threat to democracy and our way of life, and it is time we all said so. What is happening with Republicans now is wrong. A disgraced, serial criminal, wanna be autocrat calling for political violence, encouraging domestic extremists, targeting specific elected officials, traveling to Waco, kissing Putin’s ass (again) is wrong. What the House Republicans are doing to cover for the former President is wrong. What DeSantis is doing in Florida - removing elected officials from their positions, six week abortion ban, absolute right wing lunacy unleashed upon schools, permitless carry, banning young girls from talking about their menstrual cycles in school, terrorizing undocumented immigrants - it’s all wrong, a betrayal of the democratic principles which has made America great, and it’s also deeply unpopular, even Florida (In a new Twitter thread I talk about the need for our side to develop a digital news service based in Florida to keep DeSantis’s lunacy front of mind for voters across the country)
What is happening inside the Republican Party is wrong and dangerous, and more Americans just need to say it, draw a line, say enough. We, and they, are so much better than this. The MAGA shtick has become ridiculous and we all need to move on from it. The FBI Director needs to say this. Business leaders need to say this. The Attorney General needs to say this. Republican Senators did go after DeSantis for his embrace of Putin, but we need so much more of that. Right/wrong. We all need to get used to saying it, all the time. Not saying it is complicity, acceptance, encouragement. What is happening inside the Republican Party is wrong.
It is critical that we not let what is happening to the Republicans become normalized, put back into that frame of left and right, the horse race, politics as usual. As I discuss in my With Democrats Things Get Better presentation this left/right construct has become one of MAGA’s most potent weapons, a tool for a collective minimization of it’s lurch into extremism. And it’s why we have to keep creating and promoting more accurate frames for our politics - right/wrong, good/bad, love of country/betrayal, forward/backward, successful/failed, mainstream/radicalized, etc.
As I discussed here last week, the epic awfulness of the Trump and DeSantis combo is the central story in American politics right now, and it is giving Democrats the opportunity to think big this cycle, re-imagine our coalition, grow our vote and get to 55. The country is tired of all this MAGA shit, have rejected 3 straight times in the battlegrounds, and we need to do be doing the work to not just beat MAGA next year but rout them. They deserve to be beaten badly for what they’ve become. Here’s a new video we’ve released of me talking about the Get to 55/Strive for 55 idea. I am ever more convinced that this something we can do, together, this cycle.
Tues, March 28th, 1pm ET – My Monthly Political Briefing and Discussion w/Special Guest WI Dem Chair Ben Wikler - Really excited that Ben Wikler, the dynamic Chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, will be joining our monthly political discussion to provide an update on the all-important April 4th Supreme Court election there. I’ll kick it off with some opening remarks and Ben joins us at 130pm ET. You can learn more about how you can help with GOTV and RSVP for our discussion here.
AI Is Here, And We Need To Talk About How It Is Going To Impact Our Politics and Our Discourse - AI generated images have begun entering our political discourse here in the US, and it’s my sense that AI is going to start changing our politics much faster then people realize. Hope folks will start reading up and getting smart about the potential impact of AI, as it something I am thinking of devoting a lot of time to in the coming months. Falls within our desire to see greater integrity in our daily discourse again, a central reason why I’ve am experimenting with the Substack media platform and building this community here.
Watch this video for more on the need for all of us to get louder and become information warriors for democracy. Vital, vital work we need to do, together.
Another Really Strong Jobs Report, Winning The Economic Debate This Year – 311,000 new jobs added in February, another remarkable jobs report. In my monthly look at the jobs report we review data showing how strong the economic recovery has been and remind that the last three Republican Presidents brought recessions, higher deficits and American decline, the last three Dem Presidents have brought growth, lower deficits, progress.
I believe there are two overarching political things Democrats should/must do in 2023 to make it more likely we have a successful 2024 – win the big economic argument with Republicans this year, and launch a national youth voter registration drive.
This jobs memo and my With Democrats Things Get Better presentation provide a great deal of data to help Democratic info warriors get smarter and become more effective advocates in the coming months. Winning the big economic argument with the right is something that should front of mind, and core to our work this year. Last week the Biden Administration did a very good job in constructing a basic contrast between their forward-looking, people-based economic agenda and the destructive one advocated by the Freedom Caucus. Think we will see more of that kind of framing in the coming months.
Does America Need More Workers? In a recent post I talk about the need for America to find more workers, and explore options for where they might come from. I have a long history in the immigration debate so expect commentary and events on the border and immigration in the coming months.
Why Hopium Chronicles? If you are new here be sure to read my welcome statement and Ron Brownstein’s interview with me in the Atlantic. Together they do a good job of explaining why I’m shuttering NDN and setting up shop here.
Note that there is a lot of material on the H/C site itself as I have brought some of my work over the past two decades along with me. Do explore. There is a lot of good stuff here.
Happy Monday All! Keep working hard - Simon