The Country Is Far Better Off Today, Let's Help Tom Suozzi Flip NY-3, Desperate and Dangerous Republican Sabotage
Welcome New Subscribers!/Working Now For Biden, NY-3, and North Carolina
Happy Monday all, got a few things for you today:
Joe Biden Is A Good President, The Country Is Far Better Off Today - While there is a lot happening now, the most important news of recent days has been the ongoing torrent of encouraging economic news. Let’s recap what we know about the US economy right now:
Best job market since the 1960s, stock market setting records (401Ks are happy), best recovery in the G7, GDP growth 3.3% last quarter, consumer sentiment rising
The inflation fueled by COVID/supply chain disruptions, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and OPEC price hikes has ended, and we are now in a place much closer to historic norms. Prices for many items are falling including groceries, rents and mortgage rates
Historically elevated wage growth, new business formation and prime-age worker participation rates. In the last few months we’ve seen some of the most robust real wage growth we’ve seen in decades, and Americans at all income levels have seen sizeable increases in their overall net worth
Lowest uninsured rate in history, record ACA signups this year
Renewable and domestic oil production set records in 2023, US more energy independent than its been in decades. In 2023 the US produced more oil than any country has in any year in history
The investments Biden has made will creating prosperity for America and opportunities for American workers for decades to come
The annual deficit is trillions less than when Biden came to office
For young people the job market is the best since the 1960s; more young people have health insurance today than ever before; the President has forgiven more than $130b in student debt; by some measure home ownership rates are higher for Gen Z than Gen X and Millennials at this point in their lives; and rising minimum wages in states and cities across the US have created higher floors for new and entry-level workers than in many years
Crime and murder rates plummeted across the US in 2023, and remain a fraction of what they were 30 years ago.
As I wrote the other day, that things are so clearly better today is doing something politically significant - it’s causing Republican attacks on Biden to evaporate and lose their power. Bad economy, crippling inflation, war on American energy, sky rocketing crime rates, things were better under Trump - we hear them all the time - all are clearly no longer true. It’s a big deal. As noted economist Rob Shapiro writes in the Washington Monthly:
Donald Trump’s prospects for a second presidential term may well rest on whether voters accept his proposition that facts no longer matter. A case in point is his narrative that the economy was stronger during his presidency than under President Joe Biden. With few reality checks from the economic media, most of the public apparently agrees: One recent survey found that voters prefer Trump over Biden on the economy by 59 percent to 37 percent.
As Trump closes in on his third GOP presidential nomination, it’s time to set the record straight: By virtually every measure, that narrative is patently false.
From growth and jobs to investment and business creation, the economy has performed substantially better under Biden than it did under Trump. Biden’s superior record holds even if we set aside the pandemic’s impact in 2020. The exception, of course, is inflation. But just as the COVID-19 pandemic led to the collapse in GDP and employment during Trump’s last year in office, it was also the main reason prices rose so much for a time here and globally, according to new analysis from the Federal Reserve…..
….Far from mismanaging inflation, Biden tamed it. As a result, America has fared better than other advanced countries. In 2023, while U.S. consumer prices rose 3.3 percent, they increased 4.1 percent in France, 3.9 percent in Great Britain, and 3.7 percent in Germany. And we beat inflation without sacrificing growth: In 2023, real GDP grew 2.5 percent in the United States compared to growth rates of 1.0 percent in France, 0.5 percent in the United Kingdom, and negative 0.5 percent in Germany.
I’ve been a pushover for data ever since I oversaw the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Census Bureau as the Under Secretary of Commerce in the late 1990s. But politicians and the press must also take real economic numbers seriously. It’s time to reframe the narrative based on data that rigorously tracks what happens in the economy and not on mythmaking. President Biden’s record not only eclipses Donald Trump’s, but when policy made a difference—on growth, employment, investment, and inflation—Biden stepped up and improved our economic conditions. Those are the facts.
Joe Biden is a good President, and America is better off today. Period. All of this leaves us with a very case to make to the American people this year. We need to be loud and proud people. Loud and proud!
Actions You Can Take Today As Here At Hopium We Do More, Worry Less - In our spirit of growth and expansion, we are encouraging members of the Hopium community to consider taking four actions now. A huge thank you to all of you who have donated or volunteered in recent weeks:
Flip NY-3 - Tom Suozzi leads in the early polls and will win if we give Tom the resources and volunteers he needs. The election is Feb. 13th and absentee voting has already begun so please take an action to help Tom today! If you want to learn more watch my interview with Tom from last week.
Elect Joe And Kamala, Beat Trump - Please donate to Biden-Harris today, join the campaign and start planning for what you will do to help them spread their message through your networks and win the core 7 battlegrounds AZ, GA, MI, NC, NV, PA, WI. Beating Trump is Job 1 this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Get Early Resources to North Carolina, Our Most Important 2024 Expansion State - Our number one Presidential battleground expansion opportunity this year is North Carolina, and I am encouraging the Hopium community to support the Democratic Party of North Carolina and its dynamic new chair, Anderson Clayton. Watch my recent interview with Anderson and learn how to donate and volunteer here. Help us turn Carolina blue!
Spread Hopium - Help me bring Hopium to more people this year. Our goal is to get to 50,000 total subscribers by March 31st (we are at 35,000 today). Please encourage others in your network to sign up and become part of this wonderful community of proud patriots and info warriors today!
Trump Is The Most Unfit Man To Ever Run For President, and A Far Weaker Candidate Than 2020. He is Diminished and Struggling - Been very aggressive about making this argument in recent weeks, and it bears repeating:
Trump 2024 is a much weaker candidate than Trump 2020. He’s campaigning from the court house, not the White House; he’s far more degraded, extreme, dangerous; his performance on the stump is far more erratic, unhinged and disturbing; he keeps making consequential unforced errors (like coming out against the ACA) that cause candidates to lose elections. He and MAGA lost in 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2023. Trumpy candidates failed to bring the non-MAGA part of the party along in the battlegrounds in 2022, and they lost. We’ve already seen in the early data from IA and NH clear signs he too is going to struggle to bring along the non-MAGA parts of his coalition, and like his Trumpy 2022 candidates is likely to lose this year. The Republican Party has splintered, and he just isn’t strong enough to put it all back together.
For more on this argument about Trump, and my deep optimism about 2024, check out my my recent MSNBC op-ed and Morning Joe appearance; my 20 minute political overview in our January gathering last week; my comprehensive interview with Ezra Klein in his NYT podcast, The Strongest Democratic Party Any Of Us Has Ever Seen; a major post from last Monday and another from Friday; this fun interview with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC last Wednesday night (below). I also appeared in articles in The New Republic, USA Today and two in The Guardian (here, here). In this post I review recent polling, and express my doubt that the President’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war will a major liability for him this year.
Republican Sabotage = Desperation - Above we discussed how Biden’s successfully Presidency is causing core Republican talking points against him to disappear, to no longer be available for them. I think this growing realization of how tough it is going to be to run against Biden is making the Republicans more desperate, more willing to try dangerous and illiberal ways to undermine him. Recall Trump welcomed Russia’s help in 2016 and attempted to deny Biden the Presidency in 2020, so we have to assume that everything is on the table this year; and in that regard, consider their:
Refusal to fund Ukraine/Israel as the primary way of countering Russian/Iranian genocidal ambitions in Europe and the Middle East. This refusal is making the US look terribly weak and untrustworthy, emboldening our adversaries, and leaving the US and the world less safe (and servicemen to die)
Refusal to agree to a border deal while also now contesting the Supreme Court ruling that allows the US government to take back control of a portion of the border seized by Texas - extraordinary levels of bad faith, chaos making
Refusal to properly staff the Pentagon and State Departments, which disrupted day to day operations of our military for many months, and has left our diplomats with far fewer tools to help resolve global challenges
Refusal to pass a fiscal year 2024 budget, which is now four months late already, freezing in FY 2023 programs, making our government less nimble, responsive to this year’s challenges. It also endangers the very strong economic recovery we discussed above
Rallying behind a rapist, fraudster and insurrectionist who family has taken more money from foreign governments than any set of politicians in our history while serially betraying the country itself over many years (most desperate and outrageous action of all)
Through these actions the Republican Party is undermining not just President Biden but the national security of the United States and the health of the American and global economies. It is sabotage - purposeful, dangerous, jaw-dropping sabotage - and my hope is that it will prove to be politically unsustainable for Republicans over the next nine months. MAGA is just too much, it goes too far, and it is a central reason why they lost the 2018, 2020, 2022, 2023 elections and I think will lose in 2024 - it is a losing politics.
Listen to this interview with Senator Lankford, who is the chief Senate Republican negotiator in the current border bill talks, on Fox News yesterday (obviously I don’t agree with some of what he says here, but listen to his outrage at the GOP sabotage we are seeing now):
Here’s Politico this morning - Can Dems Flip The Border Script?:
DEMS PUNCH BACK ON THE BORDER — For months now, polls have shown voters putting the migrant crisis at the southern border among their top concerns — and blaming Democrats for the mess.
Could that be about to change?
With bipartisan legislation hanging in the balance and the Homeland Security secretary on the verge of impeachment, Democrats are readying to play offense on border politics, for once. They are undertaking a campaign to upend public opinion in the coming weeks by casting Republicans as being more interested in theatrics than solutions.
They’ve got a lot of material to work with: Trump and his allies are pressuring Republicans to abandon any border deal the Senate might reach — with some openly admitting that they don’t want to hand Biden a win before November.
As top Senate negotiator JAMES LANKFORD (R-Okla.) put it yesterday on “Fox News Sunday,” after months of pushing for border security, “it’s interesting … when we’re finally getting to the end, [Republicans are] like, ‘Oh, just kidding, I actually don’t want a change in law because of presidential election year.’”
That’s just one of the sound bites that Democratic admakers have been collecting in recent weeks as an insurance policy of sorts if Republicans end up tanking the still-to-be-unveiled Senate border deal.
“There's a real opportunity here, where Dems around the country can raise their hand and be like: ‘It turns out they were bluffing. They weren’t serious. It was a sound bite for them,’” one plugged-in Democratic campaign operative told Playbook last night. "They’ve been talking about it, highlighting it and freaking everyone out — then when there's a bipartisan deal, with a lot of Dem compromises in it, they went running for the hills.”
Already this new border-related bullishness is showing up on the ground: In the closely watched House special election in New York’s 3rd District, former Democratic Rep. TOM SUOZZI recently crashed a border-related event GOP opponent MAZI PILIP was hosting outside a migrant shelter in Queens and attacked her for having no solutions to the problem. The results of the Feb. 13 election to replace ousted Rep. GEORGE SANTOS will be telling.
A Dem-affiliated polling outfit, Navigator Research, recently tested border-related messaging in battleground House districts and shared the results with Playbook. After quoting Rep. TROY NEHLS (R-Texas) to respondents admitting that he’s “not willing to do too damn much right now to help a Democrat and to help Joe Biden’s approval rating,” 66% said they had “serious concerns” that the GOP was putting politics over solutions.
In short, Democrats believe they can make the case to voters that, despite years of shouting about the crisis at the border, Republicans are the ones sitting on their hands as the migrant influx strains law enforcement and social services — all because they are beholden to Trump.
On the border MAGA Republicans appear to be doing what they always seem to do these days - impulsively yield to extremism, overplay their hand and turn a political opportunity into a gift for Joe Biden and the Democrats. And while, again, I am optimistic we can turn all of this sabotage into an even more powerful indictment of them, and push them further and further away from the electorate, what’s happening here is incredibly dangerous - migrants are dying at the border because of them; soldiers are dying overseas because of them; our prestige and standing in the world is taking a huge hit because of them; our adversaries are gaining strength because of them; our robust economic recovery could be in danger because of them. Taken together it is all a profound and ongoing betrayal of the country, and we need to aggressively hold them to account.
We cannot look away at what is happening here. We need to use it in our daily discussions with others, and to provide greater motivation to go kick their ass this year. No set of political actors have deserved to lose than these guys and we need to make sure this is what happens in NY-3 next month, in other elections as they arise, and in November when the big one comes.
Keep working hard all. We have big things we need to do, together, this year - Simon