17
   

Monitoring Biden and other Contemporary Events

 
 
hightor
 
  4  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 04:34 am
Even on Biden’s Big Day, He’s Still in Trump’s Long Shadow

For the sitting president, even a triumphant ceremony to sign major domestic legislation can hardly break through the nonstop attention on his predecessor.

Quote:
Moments before President Biden signed a legacy-defining package of initiatives into law on Tuesday, one of his congressional allies lamented that the president’s accomplishments are “often away from public view” while another contrasted him with a former president who “relished creating chaos.”

No one mentioned Donald J. Trump’s name during the ceremony in the State Dining Room of the White House, but his presence was felt nonetheless as Mr. Biden enacted major climate, health care and corporate tax policies. One major reason Mr. Biden’s achievements often seem eclipsed in public view is because Mr. Trump is still creating chaos from his post-presidential exile.

No other sitting president has ever lived with the shadow of his defeated predecessor in quite the way that Mr. Biden has over the last year and a half. Regardless of what the current president does, he often finds himself struggling to break through the all-consuming circus that keeps Mr. Trump in the public eye. Even the bully pulpit of the White House has proved no match for the Trump reality show.

That may not be a bad thing for Mr. Biden in every respect. The news about Mr. Trump lately is nothing to be jealous of — the F.B.I. searching his home to retrieve secret documents improperly removed from the White House, his chief lawyer targeted by a criminal investigation, his longtime financial officer nearing a plea deal that will send him to prison and the former president himself pleading the Fifth Amendment more than 400 times to avoid incriminating himself in an investigation of his business activities. “Will He Be Indicted?” is not a chyron that Mr. Biden covets.

But it has become a frustrating and inescapable fact of life in the White House that Mr. Biden often has a hard time matching the man he beat when it comes to driving the national conversation. Until recently, Mr. Biden had enough trouble on his own communicating his agenda and successes, and now he finds himself in a frenzied news cycle dominated by multiple investigations in multiple jurisdictions involving Mr. Trump and his allies.

“Biden can’t reinvent himself in a way that out-Trumps Trump. It’s just not in his nature and would backfire,” said Kevin Madden, a Republican political consultant. “The best opportunity he has to offer the starkest contrast with Trump is to focus relentlessly on the issues giving the widest range of voters the most acute anxiety: inflation, housing, jobs and financial security. These are all issues where, if Biden can reset the trend lines, he can regain political capital.”

That is the strategy Mr. Biden’s aides hope to employ, making the argument that the domestic policy package he signed on Tuesday, along with falling gas prices and investments in the semiconductor industry and veterans’ health care, will appeal to voters more concerned about their own pocketbooks than Mr. Trump’s legal travails.

“The American people want President Biden to be focused on the things that impact their lives and what he’s going to do today is sign a bill that’s going to bring down their costs, the single biggest concern that they raise,” Kate Bedingfield, the White House communications director, said in an interview before the signing ceremony.

Mr. Biden’s team recognized in advance that after carrying Tuesday’s ceremony, cable news outlets would quickly turn back to the latest developments involving Mr. Trump, so it opted to amplify the president’s message by enlisting cabinet officers to give interviews to local and regional media organizations. The White House posted online a video of the signing and drafted an opinion article in the president’s name that was published by Yahoo News.

Mr. Biden, who lately has been less in the public eye because of Covid-19 and now his summer vacation, will hold a rally in Maryland on Aug. 25 to kick off a series of events aimed at showcasing his accomplishments heading into the fall midterm campaign, when Democrats face an uphill battle to hold onto Congress. He plans another White House ceremony on Sept. 6 to celebrate the climate-health-tax bill, dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act by Democrats to appeal to public concerns even though it will likely not reduce inflation much in the short term.

With Democrats anxious over Mr. Biden’s dismal approval ratings in polls, the White House released a memo this week outlining plans to spread the word about the recent spate of action. “Our goal for the next few weeks is simple: Take our message — one that we know resonates with key groups — and reach the American people where they are,” the memo said.

The imperative, analysts said, will be to sustain the message enough to get through despite competing developments. “Repetition is the key to plowing through what sometimes seems like an impenetrable curtain between a president and the public,” said Martha Joynt Kumar, a longtime scholar of presidential communication and author of books on the White House.

The challenge for Mr. Biden is acute. Only 41 percent of Americans said they were even familiar with the legislation signed on Tuesday, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. But its major elements enjoy strong support among voters when informed, with 62 percent to 71 percent in favor of provisions like allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and expanding incentives for clean energy.

Mr. Biden is relying on what Mr. Madden called “the analog approach in a digitized world,” which has made it hard to compete with Mr. Trump even when the former president is less in the news. Unlike the former president, Mr. Biden does not engage in a kind of 24-hour, seven-day bombardment of the public, nor does he throw out political bombs on a whim to draw attention. He gives far fewer interviews and is content to let aides speak for him much of the time.

He is not the first president to face competition from a predecessor or vanquished foe, but none of them did so in the age of omnipresent media.

Because of a quirk in the original constitutional framework, John Adams’s defeated opponent, Thomas Jefferson, actually served as his vice president for four years before going on to oust him in 1800. After John Quincy Adams won the presidency in 1825 in a four-way contest thrown to the House, his opponent Andrew Jackson accused him of securing victory through a “corrupt bargain” with another rival and spent four years plotting revenge before winning in 1828.

William Howard Taft had to live with his attention-magnet predecessor and mentor Theodore Roosevelt, who then turned on his erstwhile protégé to challenge him in 1912 in a race that both ultimately lost to Woodrow Wilson. Herbert Hoover was a vocal critic of Franklin D. Roosevelt long after losing the 1932 election and hoped to mount a comeback attempt but never generated enough support to win his party’s nomination again.

The only president ever to successfully recapture the White House after losing it, as Mr. Trump may seek to do, was Grover Cleveland, who fell to Benjamin Harrison in 1888 then beat him in 1892. But even though Cleveland waited in the wings, Harrison had a relatively free hand at being president without his rival stealing the limelight every day.

“Joe Biden faces vastly more pressure from his predecessor than Benjamin Harrison did,” said Troy Senik, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush whose new biography of Cleveland, “A Man of Iron,” will be published on Sept. 20. “Unlike Donald Trump, Grover Cleveland largely stayed out of the public eye after losing re-election in 1888, rarely spoke in public, and was deeply hesitant about running for another term.”

The prospect of being haunted by a predecessor drove Gerald R. Ford to pardon Richard M. Nixon after Watergate drove the 37th president out of office. Ford did not want his entire administration absorbed by the spectacle of a former president being investigated and put on trial. But Mr. Biden made clear early on that he would not similarly grant clemency to Mr. Trump even if it meant a distracting narrative during his own presidency.

Mr. Biden’s aides said they hope to use the distracting narrative as a contrast to make a point. To win back disaffected Democrats and left-leaning independents concerned that Mr. Biden was not following through on his campaign promises, the White House plans to make the case that the legislation and other actions of recent weeks demonstrate that he is, even if belatedly, achieving priorities that matter to them.

Ms. Bedingfield said Mr. Biden will argue that democracy can work. “The president’s going to continue laying out the choice people have,” she said, “between an agenda that’s about getting things done for the American people and an agenda that’s about tearing down the guardrails of our democracy.”

nyt
snood
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 05:13 am
@hightor,
Quote:
But it has become a frustrating and inescapable fact of life in the White House that Mr. Biden often has a hard time matching the man he beat when it comes to driving the national conversation. Until recently, Mr. Biden had enough trouble on his own communicating his agenda and successes, and now he finds himself in a frenzied news cycle dominated by multiple investigations in multiple jurisdictions involving Mr. Trump and his allies.


This is what baffles and tics me off. When they say “Biden has a hard
time driving the conversation”, exactly what is it that BIDEN is supposed to do to fix that? Don’t we want him using his energy and resources doing exactly what he’s been doing - trying to improve the lives of Americans with concrete deliverables?

Isn’t “driving the conversation “ exactly what stories like this do? Driving it right into the same “democrats in disarray; democrats have bad messaging” DITCH?

I ask myself, and challenge you (generic, plural ‘you’) to ask yourselves: What effect do writers like this and their stories have on the general, media-consuming public? The answer I keep coming up with is it gives them the clear negative message that Biden is not doing enough.

It’s twisted. Biden isn’t doing too little to promote himself. The media is doing too much to obstruct him.

hightor
 
  3  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 05:49 am
The Country That Teaches Us How American Collapse Ends

What Happens if Trump Gets Re-Elected? Just Ask Britain, the World’s Newest Failed State.

Umair Haque wrote:
Right about now, you might be nervously wondering: what happens if Trump gets re-elected? After all, there’s still very much a sophisticated plan to kill democracy with 50 January 6ths, thwart the vote, and strangle the peaceful transfer of power — and the GOP’s only growing more extreme and violent by the day, now openly, brutally rejecting the idea of even pretending to want a democracy.

There’s a country in the world which teaches us America’s future if the GOP comes to power again, and that country, sadly, stupidly, is…Britain. You might not believe it, because Americans of a certain kind are used to thinking of Britain as its older, wiser cousin — but these days, that’s far from the case: it’s more like America’s drunk, staggering, idiot uncle. Britain these days is like turbo-America, maybe just sans the guns.

Let’s begin at the beginning. How badly is Britain really doing — and how does it show us America’s future in the hands of the GOP? You think prices are skyrocketing in America — and they are. Yet inflation’s cooling off a bit in America — though it’ll continue to be high, because, well, a dying planet isn’t exactly a friendly one to the manufactured plenitude an industrial-carbonized civilization. But in Britain? Inflation’s going to hit 13%. And that’s just the forecast — the reality will probably exceed it. Where does that leave Brits? Getting poorer at lightspeed.

Their real incomes are cratering, and that’s a very, very bad thing for a society, but we’re going to come to all that.

Why is inflation so high in Britain — and why would re-electing Trump or his ilk have a similar effect in America? Well, inflation’s a global phenomenon, precisely because climate change is now having shocking macro-scale effects that weren’t “supposed” to happen until 2050 or so: it’s causing worldwide crop failures, killing harvest, drying up rivers, putting entire continents into drought. But Britain has an additional layer on top of all that: the self-destruction of Brexit. You see, Britain has always had to import food and energy from Europe — but now, huge, huge amounts of red tape, tariffs, fees, and forms stand in the way of all that. So prices are now rising permanently to a new post-Brexit equilbrium. French cheese, wine, German beer? Yesterday, easy — no barriers. Today? All those barriers mean it’s got to get way, way more expensive.

Now. How does that relate to America? Brexit was the ultimate folly — protectionism, caused by nationalism. What’s Trump likely to do? Well, the very first thing he’s probably going to do is start a trade war with China all over again. This kind of thing pleases fanatics on both the right and the left. And while it’s true that China’s labour standards would make Dickens blush and Marx chuckle — a trade war isn’t going to help anyone. All it’s going to do is raise prices for Americans. All that ultra-cheap plastic stuff Americans are used to buying without a second thought from Amazon and Walmart? That made-in-China lifestyle? Kiss it goodbye, and while that might be a good thing in the long run, there’s a far, far better way to do it than just cutting off trade and passing the costs onto people.

Brexit was Britain doing something incredible, unprecedented in modern history — a nation effectively putting sanctions on itself. Remember when Trump didn’t just start a mini trade war with China — but also alienated Europe? That was in the relatively good old days, of the 2010s, when climate-fueled inflation hadn’t yet started to skyrocket. Now, though? It’s a very, very different story — can you really afford the inflation caused by nationalism on top of what you’re already paying? I didn’t think so, and yet our story’s only barely begun — with the story of Americans getting much, much poorer, fast, just like Brits are, imploding into Weimaresque or maybe Victorian levels of poverty and despair.

Why did Brexit happen? Britain’s fanatics discovered the oldest trick in the book. Scapegoating. They scapegoated Europeans for Britain’s problems. And the amazing thing is that Brits fell for it — the entire nation became hostile to Europeans, to the point that the number of Europeans moving to Britain has fallen by 90%. That’s almost 100% — the equivalent point of….ethnic cleansing. That is how much Brits came to genuinely hate and despise and loathe Europeans, because they were told, in Big Lie after Big Lie, that those dirty, filthy, lazy, greedy yet impoverished Europeans were taking their jobs and after their kids and wives and whatnot. Trump, of course, will do the same, and you know that — but my point’s not that.

It’s that scapegoating doesn’t work. By definition. It doesn’t solve the real problem or problems, it just hides them, behind a Wicker Man to burn down and rage at and spit on. So hating Europeans didn’t solve Britain’s problems — it just made them worse. What did Britain’s lunatics and fanatics then do? They found a new scapegoat, which was…immigrants, gays, women, kids.

Let me give you an example. Remember when Trump had concentration camps? Britain’s going arguably one step further. In violation of international law, despite protests by international bodies like the UN High Commissions, it’s “removing” refugees to…Rwanda. Rwanda is a sham democracy run by a dictator — a “President” who’s been in power since the early 2000s and will likely be until the 2030s. It’s ratings on human rights and basic freedoms are abysmal. Think about it: if anyone else were forcibly taking people to another country, we’d call it human trafficking.

Yet here, it’s a kind of “business deal” — Britain’s paying Rwanda ludicrous amounts of money for…this…vulgarity, this insult to democracy. Because after all, Britain still has obligations under international law, one of which is not to forcibly send people it doesn’t like to some tinpot dictatorship.

When Britain does it, it ruins the good reputation it once had, and makes it a laughingstock. But now imagine Trump doing it. He signs a “deal” with some country…some serial abuser of human rights…a place run by a dictator and his men with guns…to send people he doesn’t like there.

Chilling? I thought so. Now it takes on a whole new dimension, and it should, because coming from a party and demagogue happy with concentration camps, it’s all too easy to see how that morphs into sending all those immigrants and refugees you hate to another country entirely. Hey! Just business! And if a few Americans end up caught in the gears of that infernal machine — and if they happen to brown, black, gay, critics, opponents — well, just a mistake, right?

Big Lie after Big Lie. Europeans are responsible for our problems! Wait, we still have problems! We’re still getting poorer, us “real” British! I know, let’s send some people we don’t like to another country, and give the masses something new to thrill them, to give them a rush of supremacy, contempt, spite, a new two minutes hate.

The worst part? It worked. Almost half of Brits “support” this insane “policy,” which is of course such a gross rejection of democracy that Mussolini would be proud. Think about that. This is what Brits became — and just a few decades ago, they were envied the world over for being generally polite, kind, thoughtful, funny, and wise (even if they got a little drunk on holiday.) Now, though? Britain’s the kind of country that aggressively cheers on self-destruction, drunkenly applauds wrecking its own democracy.

So go ahead and think about how many Americans would eat it up if Trump announced, suddenly, that the concentration camps, this time around, wouldn’t even be in America — they’d be in Rwanda. Can you imagine how his base would erupt? How many independents would be swayed? It’s a no-brainer for full-throated fascist movements to do such things, because, by the way, forcible deportation is a literal textbook crime against humanity. And fascist movements feed on such things.

This is the vicious cycle of scapegoating at work. First it was Europeans — then it was all immigrants and refugees. First it was hostility towards Europeans, then it was suddenly splitting up with Europe, even if that’d destroy the economy, then it was forcibly deporting people halfway around the world to a place designed to scare those poor people — and thrill the masses with supremacy and superiority, fuel their addiction to spite. And the sad truth? None of this worked, because scapegoating doesn’t.

What did all this really do? It had two effects, really: one, it disguised how badly broken Britain was becoming, and two, it broke the spirit of the people. Let me explain each of those.

While Brits were growing seduced by the Big Lies scapegoating hated others for their woes, their society was falling apart. I don’t mean that metaphorically, I mean it literally. Today, Britain’s running out of water, half the country’s in drought, entire villages need trucked water bottles, taps and reservoirs are running dry, as are rivers — and that’s before I get to the government basically giving up and announcing it’s going to have to cut power this winter — and that’s before I get to the part where I talk about waiting hours for….ambulances…or months to see a…doctor.

Nothing works anymore in Britain, and I mean nothing. Americans, consider yourselves lucky because you have…post offices. Britain privatized its mail system, while the Big Lies of scapegoating were consuming the country, and the results were predictably disastrous. That’s true for all its systems, though.

“Water companies have come under criticism as England faces water shortages. Some homes have run out of water, rivers have turned dry and farmers are facing crop failures. Many are outraged at the companies for failing to invest in reservoirs, fix leaks and stop sewage pollution from their pipes.

“The bosses of England’s water companies have been criticised for banking £58m in pay and benefits over the last five years. Since privatisation, shareholders have been paid £72bn in dividends. The cash has come from big debts, with companies having borrowed £56bn, and big bills, with prices having risen 40%.”

Did you get that? Privatized water companies borrowed…56 billion…and paid shareholders all that and more…while the country’s running out of water. LOL. Who wrote this script? John Cleese…Galt?

The reason that nothing works in Britain anymore is simple — this is the future its fanatical leaders wanted. It once had a moderate brand of conservatives, like John Major — but now, it has this weird generation of fanatics, trained in America, radicalized into America’s favorite crackpot pseudo-philosophy: “libertarianism.” Only, they’ve now successfully gone further than America in many ways in building what the internet often mocks as libertarian utopia.

Don’t take it from me, take it from the former Prime Minister who describes Britain as a “failing state,” the columnist who calls it a “basketcase,” or the eminent economist who describes it as an “organized rip-off,” or the politicians who speak of “social catastrophe.” Or take it from the usually sober Economist: “Almost nothing seems to be working in Britain.” Welcome to libertarian paradise, everyone!! The next train is in…let’s see…27.3 hours…and it’s only stopping at the inferno, hell, and Satan’s man-cave.

Want to see libertarian utopia at work? Come to Britain. Like I said, even America has post offices. Britain has “post office” signs on…corner shops, because they’re supposed to double up. The incredible waiting lists for doctors…the fact that you might wait hours for an ambulance even if you’re (LOL) dying of a heart attack…is by design, it’s a product of underinvestment. Meanwhile, what libertarian offers as a fix for all this? “Freeports,” meaning…get this…zones where “normal” laws don’t apply, and you can…I guess…build sweatshops or use child labour or hope to do whatever else you like because no one’s really looking anyways. Hey, it’s a Freeport! Do whatever you like on your yacht, Vladimir. Guys, is that El Chapo docking in a nuclear submarine? Wait…Jesus…is that Xi Jinping himself on an 18th century gunship rowed by chained up 12 year olds? I kid, but you get the idea.

Now imagine what happens when the Trumpists get hold of this — that Britain’s gone further in building libertarian utopia in many ways than the States has, that It’s possible to be even more radical and ambitious in totally deconstructing the basic functions of a modern society. That no, nobody needs an NHS or BBC — it’s totally OK to wait six hours for an ambulance while you’re having a stroke and your face is melting off. That a society needs no working systems at all, and everything can be privatized, beginning with Post Offices to ambulances. Forget healthcare. Water systems? Food systems? Energy grids? The rule of law itself? Who needs them! LOL — it’s every for himself out here, I guess you’d better go get yourself an AK-47, tough guy! Hey, I hear there’s some gig work doing child labour down at the Freeport!

What happens then? Then they double down on their quest to “drown government in a bathtub” — except when it’s about building secret polices to check if kids and teachers are gay, or women are being “aided and abetted.” Bang. There goes any last vestige of a functioning society. Britain is a bumbling drunk at this project of social deconstruction — it doesn’t have the committed, hardened mass fascist movement America does. In America, it won’t just be about deconstructing functioning social systems — it’ll be about building shadow institutions, secret polices, morality polices, everyday vigilantism, the things of genuine authoritarianism. Imagine dystopian Britain’s attempt at libertarian utopia — but with guns, run by Trump, every neighborhood policed by a militant, and it all cheered on by the enraged Trumpets masses.

Are we having fun yet?

Meanwhile, the most incredible thing of all nobody in the country? Nobody much questions any of this. Not seriously, anyways. The people i quoted earlier are a minority in vast mediascape. Nobody much says things like, “Hey, guys? We’re a net importer of food and energy. So, uh, these Freeports? What are they exactly going to accomplish? We don’t net export! In fact, we struggle to get food and beer and cheese and wine from Europe.” Or, “Guys? Don’t you think it’s kind of a problem that Europeans don’t want come here anymore at rates of almost 100%? As in, doesn’t that say something about us, about the kinds of people we might have become? Do you think it’s good or wise to be so unfriendly, cruel, hostile? To even our oldest friends, who now don’t want anything to do with us? Is isolationism really wise on a burning planet”?

Nobody says it. Not enough, anyway. Because it’s taboo for the people who should say it — intellectuals, journalists, commentators — to mention it. You can’t talk about it in Britain. Any of it. From Brexit to the Big Lies to the way its fallen apart. Sorry, old chap. Bit impolite, don’t you think? In other words, social attitudes have changed. People have gotten used to all the above, and don’t really think it can be any other way. That’s what the fanatics wanted, of course. So imagine if that same sense of fatalistic despair sets in in America, too. Sorry, can’t talk about Trump’s latest abuse of power. How rude! Listen, that was in the past — you know, three whole days ago!

The result of all that? It’s been to break people’s spirits. It’s a terrible and sad thing to see. But the spirit of the British, has, after all this time, been well and truly broken. You see, Britain was the first country in the world to have a Labour party, and that mattered — a party of working people, not a Capital party, as in, a party of money. But now? The working people vote for capital, not, literally, Labour. They vote for privatization and being fleeced and ripping up their own social contracts and destroying their very own healthcare and water and energy systems. What the? Why would you do that? Why would anyone vote to..wait sixteen hours for an ambulance? To make their own cheese and beer more expensive?

Because they were seduced by the Big Lies of scapegoating. The poor bastards, they really fell for it. They believed if they just hated enough, things would get better. If they tore enough down, something would magically rise in its place. Think of how crazy a society has to be for the average working person to vote for a “Freeport” — a Shenzhen full of dormitory-slums pulling down your wages and standards and rights not just halfway across the world, but next door. These “anti-globalist” morons were voting for the very thing they loathed, they just didn’t know it.

Now imagine all that coming to America. That by virtue of that much scapegoating, that many Big Lies, people’s spirit breaks. They just give up on the idea it can ever be any other way. That’s not true in America yet — because Americans are, actually, more defiant and ornery than Brits. They haven’t succumbed to the fatalism that all there can be is dystopia, not quite yet, anyways, not fully — even if they don’t vote to be, say a modern social democracy like France, enough Americans still reject fanaticism, like Kansas’s referendum against the end of Roe, or the way America finally ejected Trump from power.

It’s not true in America yet, that Americans have finally given up on their future, to the point that most of them will just accept hate, spite, contempt, and supremacy as a substitute for a working society. I can’t get a functioning modern society, I get it — so just give me someone to hate, someone “subhuman,” I’ll settle for that, the cheap thrill of domination and subordination and superiority. I guess that’s the best deal I can get. Orwell chuckles from his little house in Kentish Town — because, amazingly, that’s not true about America today — but it is true in Britain. What’s remarkable about Britain today is that it’s fanatics didn’t just wreck its economy, systems, society, or even its politics — they broke its peoples spirit. And that is something which, once broken, is the hardest of all wounds to heal. In many societies, it never does. Once a society gives up on itself — the result is usually fatal, as it was in Russia.

So imagine that happens to America, too. Trump gets re-elected, purges government, and basically, as he does, one step at a time, accustoms Americans to the idea that he’ll be there forever, and then his kid Kim Jong Trump will. And Americans give up on the idea that they ever really had a democracy.

Want to know where it ends? Now you do. Say thank you to Britain, and then shed a tear for it. It’s hard to imagine a society teaching America a thing or two about collapse, but sometimes age doesn’t equal wisdom. It just equals decrepitude.

medium
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 06:32 am
@snood,
Quote:
What effect do writers like this and their stories have on the general, media-consuming public?

I've read stories about the "bumbling fractious bad-messaging Democrats in disarray" since Mondale lost to Reagan. It's the nature of their coalition. Which leads me to believe that these stories don't have that much effect. They certainly haven't led the Democrats to try to improve their image in this regard. And I do think that Biden is singularly ill-equipped to mount a one man rebuttal to such a long-standing widely-held impression. That's not a personal criticism of the guy; he's done remarkably well "trying to improve the lives of Americans with concrete deliverables". That would have been sufficient a few decades ago but the jaded electorate of today wants superstars.

snood
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 07:43 am
@hightor,
I don’t have the highest of opinions about the common sense and reasonableness of the general electorate. But even I think that saying they “want superstars” is selling them short. They knew who Biden was, stutters, faux pas and all.

What happens when we focus on what a person IS, and what a person DOES rather than what level of touchy-feels they can extract with the performance scripts their media-consultants write?

Can’t you aim a LITTLE bit higher?
hightor
 
  0  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 07:56 am
@snood,
Quote:
What happens when we focus on what a person IS, and what a person DOES rather than what level of touchy-feels they can extract with the performance scripts their media-consultants write

I think all the Biden supporters, on this site and among the electorate, recognize Biden for what he is and what he does. That's why we support him. According to the last poll I saw, 75% of Democrats think he's doing a good job.
That still leaves out the majority of voters. And I don't know how one goes about making them aim a little higher. "Higher" to them means "superstar".
revelette1
 
  3  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 08:56 am
@hightor,
Quote:
Biden can’t reinvent himself in a way that out-Trumps Trump. It’s just not in his nature and would backfire,” said Kevin Madden, a Republican political consultant. “The best opportunity he has to offer the starkest contrast with Trump is to focus relentlessly on the issues giving the widest range of voters the most acute anxiety: inflation, housing, jobs and financial security. These are all issues where, if Biden can reset the trend lines, he can regain political capital.”


Winning by contrast is exactly how Biden won the general election the first time. If voters can feel a little relief on all those things, I think that is Biden's best shot at winning again. Personally, I wish (by that time he will be way too old) he would voluntarily drop out and some credible new younger candidate comes along in which he endorses. Not picked because of anything other than qualifications and appeal.
snood
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 09:16 am
@hightor,
But they’re actually not the ones firing rounds. It’s the pundits and so-called journalists. Look at this screenshot of a Soledad O’Brian tweet:

 https://hosting.photobucket.com/images/i/Cutachogie/6DCED25B-959B-4620-9467-45AF28F54481.jpeg

She’s calling attention to the same thing I’m talking about. Benny Sarlin (an NBC News reporter) is making a very specific point. He’s basically saying that Biden better enjoy these few days because they are as good as it’s going to get for him. He could have approached Biden’s truly unusual news of the past few weeks in a dozen ways, but he chose a snarky, negative spin.

From our news media, I would even settle just for enough plain old
humility and honesty to admit that the accomplishments that happened so rapidly (with bipartisan support and a razor-thin majority)over the last three weeks were totally unexpected and remarkable.

I know why they do it. If they tout Biden, they’re afraid they’ll influence people to like Biden. The purpose that their corporate masters imprint on them is to make sure the next horse race seems competitive and dramatic.

I have an impediment, I know, that makes these discussions difficult for me. I want journalists to seek out and report the truth
snood
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 09:20 am
@revelette1,
revelette1 wrote:

Quote:
Biden can’t reinvent himself in a way that out-Trumps Trump. It’s just not in his nature and would backfire,” said Kevin Madden, a Republican political consultant. “The best opportunity he has to offer the starkest contrast with Trump is to focus relentlessly on the issues giving the widest range of voters the most acute anxiety: inflation, housing, jobs and financial security. These are all issues where, if Biden can reset the trend lines, he can regain political capital.”


Winning by contrast is exactly how Biden won the general election the first time. If voters can feel a little relief on all those things, I think that is Biden's best shot at winning again. Personally, I wish (by
that time he will be way too old) he would voluntarily drop out and some credible new younger candidate comes along in which he endorses. Not picked because of anything other than qualifications and appeal.


I agree with this - that he should step aside and throw his support behind a fresher face that he believes can win.

I actually think that’s exactly what he’ll end up doing. I think he acts out of a desire to serve the greater good, and that he understands another term would be an unrealistic expectation.

But I will always remember what he set out to do, and how much of it he did in 18 months.
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  0  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 09:55 am
@snood,
Quote:
He could have approached Biden’s truly unusual news of the past few weeks in a dozen ways, but he chose a snarky, negative spin.


Yes, he resembles a "so-called journalist" here. Bill Safire once informed Maureen Dowd that she wasn't a "pundit" (but I don't recall what he thought she actually was) but that breezy style has regrettably become very common on op-ed pages. I'm not familiar with Sarlin's reporting, but the fact that this is a twitter message and not an actual article might explain the snarkiness. His point is valid – it's very possible that this month of good news is a one time event – but possibly he chose to play it this way so that it would be picked up and re-tweeted? There are writers who I look to for real journalism and there are others who are basically political gossip columnists.

Quote:
I know why they do it. If they tout Biden, they’re afraid they’ll influence people to like Biden.

Possibly, but I think it has more to do with trying to look "objective" – don't say anything good about anyone and be an equal opportunity snark-peddler.

The celebrity to politics pipeline...
snood
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 10:57 am
@hightor,
You don’t think that the emphasis is always making sure there’s drama in the horse race?

You think that being objective is more of a motivation for the news media than being titillating?

We both agree that they are always trying to present “both sides” of everything as equal. But I’m trying to be clear…
Are you saying this is their way of trying to have integrity?
bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 11:03 am
"Everyone's saying no": Trump hires Florida insurance lawyer as top attorneys refuse to work for him


https://www.salon.com/2022/08/17/everyones-saying-no-hires-florida-insurance-lawyer-as-top-attorneys-refuse-to-work-for-him/



Former President Donald Trump and his team have spent days since the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago trying to assemble a "team of respected lawyers" but keep getting rejected, according to The Washington Post.

"Everyone is saying no," a prominent Republican lawyer told the outlet.

Trump is scrambling to find an experienced team of attorneys to defend him amid mounting legal crises. The Justice Department is investigating him under the Espionage Act after he took classified records, including some labeled "top secret," to his Mar-a-Lago residence. He also faces legal scrutiny in the DOJ's investigation into the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, as well as a state civil probe in New York and a Fulton County, Ga., criminal investigation into his efforts to overturn his loss in the state.

Jon Sale, a former Watergate prosecutor who is now a prominent Florida defense attorney, told the Post he turned Trump down last week.



Also on 45*'s crack legal team is Christina Bobb who's a former anchor for OAN where she pushed election conspiracy theories. Her legal experience consists merely of a handful of trademark infringement cases.

He's employing many of his other "lawyers" to do PR work regarding the case against him.
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 11:52 am
@snood,
Quote:
You don’t think that the emphasis is always making sure there’s drama in the horse race?

I'm not sure of that, snood, I've never thought about it that way. I've always assumed there was enough drama (more like bathos) already, and all the mainstream press had to do was describe it.

Quote:
You think that being objective is more of a motivation for the news media than being titillating?

No – looking objective while being titillating is what brings in the bucks.

Quote:
Are you saying this is their way of trying to have integrity?

Not really. It's more like trying to avoid looking like having any partisan inclinations. A journalist with integrity would would simply communicate the facts objectively and then, based on experience, try to provide sufficient context to ground his particular opinion.
revelette1
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 11:55 am
@snood,
I agree with you on this one. He must be biased against either the democrats or Biden. I don't really know too many journalist names or who they are or anything. This is a good discussion, Blatham comes to mind on this line of thinking.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 12:01 pm
@revelette1,
revelette1 wrote:

I agree with you on this one. He must be biased against either the democrats or Biden. I don't really know too many journalist names or who they are or anything. This is a good discussion, Blatham comes to mind on this line of thinking.


Blatham has taken up thinking?
blatham
 
  3  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 12:07 pm
@hightor,
Quote:
Quote:
You think that being objective is more of a motivation for the news media than being titillating?

No – looking objective while being titillating is what brings in the bucks.

Quote:
Are you saying this is their way of trying to have integrity?

Not really. It's more like trying to avoid looking like having any partisan inclinations. A journalist with integrity would would simply communicate the facts objectively and then, based on experience, try to provide sufficient context to ground his particular opinion.

That gets it.

@Snood
I highly recommend study of this fellow's work. It is exemplary. https://pressthink.org/
blatham
 
  3  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 12:12 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
Blatham has taken up thinking?

Some years ago, I thought about thinking and decided to give it a go.
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 12:15 pm
@blatham,
Quote:
I highly recommend study of this fellow's work.


Haha – can't believe you found something so relevant to our discussion!
0 Replies
 
BillW
 
  2  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 12:16 pm
@blatham,
blatham wrote:

Quote:
Blatham has taken up thinking?

Some years ago, I thought about thinking and decided to give it a go.

Requires too many bathes....
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2022 12:17 pm
@hightor,
Being titillating while appearing objective.

Yeah, that feels about right.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Obama '08? - Discussion by sozobe
Let's get rid of the Electoral College - Discussion by Robert Gentel
McCain's VP: - Discussion by Cycloptichorn
Food Stamp Turkeys - Discussion by H2O MAN
The 2008 Democrat Convention - Discussion by Lash
McCain is blowing his election chances. - Discussion by McGentrix
Snowdon is a dummy - Discussion by cicerone imposter
GAFFNEY: Whose side is Obama on? - Discussion by gungasnake
 
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.06 seconds on 09/28/2022 at 11:38:31