269 Comments

A number of folks here have alluded to Biden's win in the 2nd district of deep red Nebraska as a sign the Democrats can make headway in rural states.

First, the 2nd district in Nebraska is an urban/suburban district. The usual Democratic coalition in the urban center held together and turned out. Any Republican shift away from Trump was minuscule in the suburban precincts but enough to solidify Biden's win.

Second, they split their ticket. Enough Republicans were tired of Trump but voted OVERWHELMINGLY for Republican Senator Ben Sasse and Congressman Don Bacon. They also voted for Republican adjacent state legislators for their technically "nonpartisan" unicameral.

Again, Biden's victory was not predicated upon policies or campaign promises but upon some Republican voters being sick and tired of Trump.

A repetition of this in 2024 will entirely depend on how repellent the next Republican candidate is and how disappointed voters in the Omaha area are with Biden's job performance.

Deep red rural Nebraska remains utterly beyond the reach of Democrats.

Expand full comment

I like Mitch Landeau, the former mayor of New Orleans

Expand full comment

I'd like to clarify that the boos for Harry and Megan were actually being directed at the unpopular Prime Minister who was following behind them and they actually got a great reception.

Expand full comment

Sage advice, it seems to me. As a Bulwark+ subscriber mostly interested in the podcasts, this Morning Shot caught my interest. I'll be back again and again, of that I'm certain. Long live the the middle ground I always like to say.

Expand full comment

Speaking of worlds gone mad - another Know-Nothing celebrity who hasn't a clue how to govern, but sells snake oil and is in Trump's pocket won the R primary - Dr. Oz.

Expand full comment

He is one of the creepier... Oh for the days when both parties sent actual adults to hold office. Instead of the bottom of the dirtiest barrel.

Expand full comment

Hey Charlie, I like James Hohmann and mostly agree with both of you on these issues..

Talia has to live in a blue bubble...I know a lot of liberals here in OH, and they are mostly centers, the progressives congregate in the urban centers, but, they aren't all the liberals...

And people like her are why that part of the dem coalition is making me crazy, they are feeding the far right with bad takes on liberals as a group

Also, moderates overwhelmingly got Biden nominated...if not, Bernie would have won

Expand full comment

Black Americans got Biden nominated. Sane Republicans got him elected. All arguably moderates or centrists. I so wish both constituencies had the honesty to admit it! Neither progressives nor tea partiers elected him. But they will all work to alienate Biden voters and hand the Republic back to the monsters, murderers, misfits and other Republicans including the Grifter in Chief. (The far left, so called, which does include The Squad, have simply locked themselves in their opposing silo as the tea partiers did a few years back and we see how that has worked out for the rest of us.)

Expand full comment

I consider myself Center-Left and I supported Biden weekly throughout the primary season and then voted for him. I also sent support to Klobuchar. I consider myself... politically between the progressives (was more progressive when I was younger) and "conservative dem"--Manchin level. I am not as conservative as he is. I want universal or single payer healthcare, accessible safe legal abortion, infrastructure updated for electric cars and alternate energy, meaningful government supported state university systems, quality daycare offered on sliding scale per income, an affordable housing construction/finance plan for families, public education reform and support. Mental health restructuring-- we need more counselors/therapists in schools, in communities, with first responders and we need residential mental health supported community homes.

Expand full comment

Id be happy with protecting voting rights, civil rights and human rights! And addressing equal opportunity, all people and entities paying taxes on actual income, climate issues, and insane greed at the top!

Expand full comment

PS; And all conservatives are not evil nor did they consciously do evil things...sigh

Expand full comment

Republicans are no longer Conservatives. And Blue Dog Democrats still exist but progressives hate them.

Expand full comment

Geez, the contempt from other Liberals ( progressives mostly it seems) , when those of us who are moderate liberals speak or have an opinion... is getting pretty deep on here

The superior tone is also off putting, and the lecturing

I don't talk like to other people, certainly not those who are supposed to be on the same side as me

I sure hope I am not going to feel homeless again if I have to keep reading how evil I am and how I need to talk and believe the same things being said, it's like being on a far right site lately, as a moderate

I never particularly liked Kamala as a politician or VP...that doesn't make me "bad", or God forbid, a Republican, just my opinion

Everyone who doesn't think like you ( general you) 0r agree with you is not the enemy...if you don't like the company, you can always form your own party where you won't be bothered by us evil moderates....

I agree with a lot of what Hohmann says, and some of what Charlie says, and I love the contributors here , and sometimes agree and sometimes not...but, I never tell people I am right and only what I think counts...if you want to debate ideas, fine, but, I am not into debating who are better liberals, people , centers etc

This is one of the reasons so many on the right hate us so much

Some people just don't seem to get this

Expand full comment

Angie, I would take issue only with that last statement "why the right hate us": The tea party pre-Trump and the MAGA crowd post-Trump have ALWAYS hated everyone else and particularly Democrats or "liberals." (BTW, nobody can actually define liberal or conservative anymore; just ask around....) Progressives fan the flames but the hate has always been there. Progressives just give them cover. And indeed I have watched a faction of Democrats move left and left and left SINCE the right moved to the unhinged far right. Almost as there politics was seeking a balance and could only manage two extremes trying to cancel each other out.

Expand full comment

I don't really disagree, but, I am surrounded by actual conservatives, some of whom are still Republicans , and half my family is, they are not all evil...I hate generalizing , but many of them sincerely believe things that aren't true or do feel hated themselves...

I am big on keeping the civility from disappearing for everyone, because I think that is the biggest issue, I strongly disagree with a lot from both sides, but, I don't think they are evil are bad etc for having ideas or ideology I don't like...I save that for actual deliberate manipulation and bad people in general, not ideas, I just will debate ideas

Yeah, horseshoe theory, the extremes may have different ideologies but, their tactics are pretty much inline with each other and in some cases they even meet ( in the horseshoe) and work together...

Expand full comment

I admire your ability to do this. It is really really hard these days to stay out of one of the silos. I am at the point of not really caring about morons or the intentionally uninformed or Fox viewers or anybody who loves his AR 15 because it's fun to shoot.

Expand full comment

It isn't always easy, and what I say in my head, is entirely different...lol..I just don't say it out loud to them...plus, sometimes I can get them to listen

Expand full comment

Lol. Good. That makes me feel better. Vbg.

Expand full comment
Jun 3, 2022·edited Jun 4, 2022

I think you've been punked. Taila does not represent how most Democrats feel. AOC is considered far left and marginal by most people accept for her constiuents and apparently Taila. I know a lot of small town Democrats although there are Southern states that view Trump as their Messiah and think Putin should declare war on Democrats. So, if it makes you feel good to think that Taila is most Democrats think, I don't know what to tell you.

Expand full comment

I live in NY State (but upstate-- currently Katko is my rep). I don't think AOC is crazy or anything. I think she is intelligent and has a progressive viewpoint. I don't always agree with her but I don't think she is on the level of nutbaggery/sleaze that the Republicans carry with Stefanik and MTG. There is not even any level of equivalency there.

Expand full comment

I agree. I'm surprised

after hearing what people accuse her of and then hearing her speak, by how measured and thoughtful she sounds. I also don't agree with her but, apparently, her voters do.

Expand full comment

Charlie, I don't understand why not just repeal or amend the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, making it easier to discharge student loans in bankruptcy instead of forgiving student loan debt. For at least seven years, folks that discharge their student loans could look forward to higher interest rates and difficulty obtaining credit approval. It's not like bankruptcy isn't without consequences.

Letting borrowers decide whether they want to risk their credit score for zero student loan payments keeps the playing field fair, especially since future graduates will face the same debt burdens.

Expand full comment

I think the problem is that they made bankruptcy so very easy to overcome for those with high risk investment profiles in business.

Expand full comment

I'm thinking Talia has a whopping student loan debt and she is very attached to the idea of that debt being "forgiven."

Expand full comment

If the Dems didn’t keep shooting themselves in the foot they’d be marching much better. And, while most of the squad are obnoxious none are despicable as are so many Republicans.

Expand full comment

They have also mastered the circular firing squad and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And they are all that stands between us and a Trumpian dictatorship one - party system. We are doomed.

Expand full comment

True. Which is why we wish them to act effectively and stop sabotaging each other to stop Trump, MAGA, and seditious conspiracy.

Expand full comment

Exactly! But I confess to having no idea how to convince those who are the ones who could do it. I would walk over hot coals to DC if I could get them to hear us.

Expand full comment

Suzanne, As a psychiatrist with four decades experiencing human nature the Democrat Circular Firing Squad is a defining characteristic of the party. To quote Will Rogers “I don’t belong to any organized party, I’m a Democrat”. The Democrats pose a sharp contrast to the Republicans whose leadership demands fealty from the ranks and employs its power to force dissidents from the party. They have done this for decades and are more authoritarian now than in the past. The contrast is sharp, a chaotic, weakly led Democratic Party v a homogeneous, authoritarian neo fascist Party - The Republicans. For the present and the foreseeable future this what we have. Our only hope is to vote the bastards out - but most Americans can’t be bothered to interrupt their day to vote and the Republicans won’t declare Election Day a federal holiday and will take every step to make voting less accessible. This is their only hope to remain in power other than a military coup.

Expand full comment

Thank you. This is as succinct and accurate a statement of today's politics as I have ever heard! I appreciate it.

Expand full comment

A lot of odd commentary on this one. Pretty sure no one should be writing off any group of voters…that is exactly the problem and why this country has drifted so far from the center. Our two political parties have spent the last 20 years writing off voters and now are both becoming more extreme. Charlie is right about this.

Expand full comment

I do think it is weird. I want to know.. who has actually stated that Democrats should not talk to rural voters? Is that really a thing? I think they should. I don't know if rural Trump voters are open to listening or having dialog, but not every rural area are 100% Trump voters. Many do not vote or are disengaged. I think they deserve to have the opportunity to communicate to candidates and their representatives and should also be offered the opportunity to hear what those candidates have to say and to offer to them. There is a lot of misinformation out there. How else can one combat that other than personally representing themselves?

Expand full comment

On the debate about Kamala and whether "attacks" on her are racist or misogyny, here's a thought experiment. How many people would support Susan Rice as VP over Kamala (putting aside the Benghazi baggage)?

Expand full comment

Kamala is so far a disappointment. But then so is Biden on the domestic agenda front. Although they have reinstituted the normal quarreling instead of the hourly conflagrations.

Expand full comment

Biden and Susan Rice had such a good working relationship (or so I'd read). Perhaps a lost opportunity the Dems didn't want to pick the Benghazi fight with the Republicans. Benghazi investigations are so trite compared to Jan 6 commission/investigation.

Expand full comment

Thanks for the newsletter, especially the passage from C.S. Lewis. That was moving...

I mostly agree with you about the Democrats reaction to your podcast with that guy from the Washington Post, but I get annoyed by small things. Pundits keep saying that Democrats only represent "coastal elites", but don't the Carolinas, Florida, and Texas have large coast lines as well? How come the Democrats aren't doing well there? The political schism in this country isn't between the coasts and inland or North vs. South, it's Atlanta vs. rural Georgia, San Francisco vs. Modesto, Pittsburgh vs. Central PA. Basically, urban America is more liberal, and rural America is conservative. Stop with this obsession with geography! It isn't accurate.

Expand full comment

THANK you for saying this! I think it IS pretty accurate! My belief is that there are no red or blue states, only purple ones. Therefore, half the voters are already disenfranchised in every state. Democrats "have" California and New York; Republicans "have" Texas and Florida. Yet there are healthy opposing parties in all those places -- just not in elected offices. This is why I would lobby (if I had any influence which I don't -- not even my vote counts) for a National Popular Vote Act over the antidemocratic electoral college which is so easily stealable.

Expand full comment

The progressive left that inhabits twitter and other online media suffer from the same proximity bias that caused MAGA GOPers to conclude the election was stolen from Trump. After all, if everyone you know voted for Trump, who the hell was voting for Biden? No one you know, afterall.

Also Progressive's insistence that they are the majority of the party, the true party and they appeal to most of America reminds me of the Tea Party insurgents in 2008 who were hunting RINOs. Drive off the middle and yes, you're more pure but at what cost? The Tea Party took over the GOP and gave us Trump and Trumpism. Progressives might do the same to the Dem party after a while but not now.

The Dems don't have the luxury of being the "other choice". That privilege goes to the GOP in America. The Dems are required by voters to be absolutely perfect in pitch, policy and execution or they get punished. It's not fair but life isn't fair so you deal with it.

Expand full comment