Discover more from Hopium Chronicles By Simon Rosenberg
Winning Virginia, Biden's Wisdom and Experience, Ongoing GOP Betrayal, Bibi's Poll #s Have Collapsed
Thanks For Working So Hard for Virginia All - Exciting Stuff!
Winning Virginia - Got word from the VA Dem Party last night that there was a lot of energy and activity this weekend in Virginia. Party folks were really encouraged by what got done - great work all!
Two more weeks of voting in Virginia and we need to keep our heads down, keep working hard. I deeply appreciate everyone who has stepped up for the six candidates I’m recommending down the stretch. Between direct contributions and our ActBlue page we’ve raised over $75,000 so far - thank you! I’ve left the comments section open today for folks to share what actions they are taking to help us win Virginia!
Biden’s Wisdom and Experience - In a new CNN piece, Mideast crisis will test whether Biden can make experience an asset, Ron Brownstein explores one of often discussed themes here - that Biden’s success as President is due in part to his age and experience, not inspite of it. Some excerpts:
The escalating confrontation between Israel and Hamas is offering President Joe Biden a crucial opportunity to begin flipping the script on one of his most glaring vulnerabilities in the 2024 presidential race.
For months, polls have consistently shown that most Americans believe Biden’s advanced age has diminished his capacity to handle the responsibilities of the presidency. But many Democrats believe that Biden’s widely praised response to the Mideast crisis could provide him a pivot point to argue that his age is an asset because it has equipped him with the experience to navigate such a complex challenge.
“As you project forward, we are going to be able to argue that Joe Biden’s age has been central to his success because in a time of Covid, insurrection, Russian invasion of Ukraine, now challenges in the Middle East, we have the most experienced man ever as president,” said Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg. “Perhaps having the most experienced person ever to go into the Oval Office was a blessing for the country. I think we are going to be able to make that argument forcefully.”
Biden, for instance, passed more consequential legislation than almost anyone expected during his first two years, but he did not do so by rallying public sentiment or barnstorming the country. Rather, in quiet meetings, he helped to orchestrate a surprisingly effective legislative minuet that produced bipartisan agreements on infrastructure and promoting semiconductor manufacturing before culminating in a stunning agreement with holdout Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia to pass an expansive package of clean energy and health care initiatives with Democrat votes alone.
“He’s showed a degree of political dexterity in managing the coalition that would have been very challenging for anyone else,” said Rosenberg. “His years of actually legislating, where he learned how to bring people together and hash stuff out, was really important in keeping the Democratic family together.”
Likewise, Rosenberg argues, “In my view you can’t separate his age from his successes as president. He’s been successful because of his age and experience not in spite of it, and we have to rethink that completely.”
Upcoming Events/New Event Recordings/Pods
Tue, Oct 24th, 830pm EST - Simon joins California Indivisibles For “A Hope-Filled Political Update” - Learn More, RSVP
Wed, Oct 25th, 9pm EST - Blue CD2 New Mexico - Simon joins Reed Galen and Field Team 6 - Learn More, Donate/RSVP
Thurs, Oct 26th, 7pm EST - Monthly Get Together with Hopium Chronicles Paid Subscribers. Paid Subscribers can RSVP here.
Also available now are our newly released With Democrats, Things Get Better; my recent talk with Tom Bonier; and a terrific new indepth look at the politcal moment with Kimberley Johnson’s Start Me Up pod (audio only/recorded Thursday). Enjoy all.
Unprecdented GOP Betrayal Continues - So in a time of dramatic and escalating tension around the world, the Republicans continue to:
Keep the US House of Representatives off-line
Block hundreds of Pentagon appointees, weakening our military
Block over 60 State Department appointments. Those held up include 38 Ambassadorships and the Ambassadors to Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon
Fight additional aid to Ukraine, continue to suck up to Putin
Elevate and rally around insurrectionists
I don’t know why there isn’t more noise and outrage around this ongoing unprecedented and dangerous betrayal of the United States. The President needs these tools to protect the country and our allies. Let’s be loud about this ongoing betrayal in the days ahead…..
We did receive some welcome news on this front last week as three conspirators in the GOP’s effort to overturn an election and end American democracy pled guilty. And in a conspiracy like this when people start pleading guilty it makes it far more likely that everyone in this conspiracy - from Trump to Lindsay Graham to RNC Chair Romney McDaniel - will be prosecuted and convicted.
Israel - Bibi’s Poll Numbers Have Collapsed, Reports of Beheadings Confirmed - So we wake up today reminded that Hamas killed 30 Americans on October 7th, continues to hold 10 more hostage, and is preventing 500 Americans from leaving Gaza, essentially turning them into hostages too. We also now have international confirmation of the stories of Hamas beheading Israelis and unspeakable cruelty to children, and will soon be reading accounts of the video journalists were allowed to see today of Hamas’ rampage.
As we all wonder where this is going, I continue to have a hard time understanding how America can keep supporting Israel with the failed, divisive and now deeply unpopular Netanyahu in charge. He simply cannot be trusted to act responsibly and effectively here, a dynamic that is also playing out in Israel. From a new poll of Israelis:
The vast majority of Israelis believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should publicly accept responsibility for the staggering failures that led to Hamas’s devastating onslaught on October 7, according to an opinion poll by the Maariv newspaper published Friday.
Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and Shin Bet head Ronen Bar have already taken such responsibility, as have Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.
Eighty percent of Israelis said Netanyahu, who has not made any public statements accepting responsibility, should follow suit, including 69% of those who voted for the premier’s Likud party in last year’s election, according to the survey.
Only 8% of the general public think he should not.
Asked who is better suited to be prime minister, 49% picked National Unity party leader Benny Gantz and only 28% picked Netanyahu, with the rest undecided.
Asked who they would vote for had elections been held today, the poll again gave abysmal grades to the current coalition — 43 seats compared to their current 64 — with Gantz’s party alone soaring to 40 seats from its current 12.
There is no easy path in the Middle East, but it sure feels like it’s going to be a lot harder with Bibi in charge.
Thanks for all your work in Virginia, and keep working hard all - Simon