The Progressive Activists want Biden to do precisely the kinds of things they hated Trump for doing.

I am pro-choice and am distressed by the consequences of the abortion decision. But that is what happens when you have part of the Left running off and screaming about how there was no real difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (looking at David Sirota and Nina Turner). And much of the Left *still* went all-in to get Turner into Congress.

The future is not looking good for abortion rights in the US. As soon as there is a Republican in the WH and Republican majorities in Congress, the filibuster will get nuked and abortion will be banned everywhere in the US. The Left never really cared about that; it really has been about class warfare.

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loved the way Pete would not let the Fox interviewer cut him off until he said all of what he wanted.

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Don’t mistake Progressives for the base. They aren’t even Democrats. The threats to stay home from the polls if they don’t get the pony they want are juvenile. They’re Bernie Bros who think they earned a place at the table by voting for the right candidate, both grudgingly and once. We wouldn’t be here if they hadn’t tanked Hillary.

Roe is a tragedy. I lived pre-Roe, I marched, I protested, and I escorted patients. I had an abortion. I have daughters and a granddaughter. And I am a lawyer who understands that no law allows the president to fix this. Period. The only hope is to put enough senators in place to waive the filibuster as to reproductive rights, and to keep the House by however slim a margin. We need to ignore the braying from the Left and focus on the possible.

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I keep wondering about how the media have managed to convince Americans that everything all the time is Biden's job. No Biden's jobs is not to make a gesture about the SCOTUS rulings. So if the base are a bit riled, maybe the press could explore a bit more why they seem to think that Biden must say something on everything that happens that they don't like.

In fact, even inflation is only marginally Biden's jobs. It really is the Feds.

On the other hand re the things that are Bidens - like responding re the Ukraine - Biden has managed to do much more than anyone expected. And re COVID the launch of vaccines was perfect - but the American people were not. Since then the disease has become something unmanageable. (Yet deaths are down -- so good? )

Yes Biden is old. At 71, I don't ride a bike anymore - my riding is fine but dismounting is not.

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2 big notes for today's newsletter:

1) Buttigieg is Biden's heir. It's not Harris, or Stacey Abrams, or Beto, or someone like Newsome, it's Buttigieg. Him setting Michigan as his state of residence now is both an acknowledgement he's unlikely to win statewide in Indiana but also gives him a better base to build from for his next POTUS run

2) The "Progressive" Wing of the left needs to STFU and start working at the grassroots level. Their mistake, and to some extent the Dems in general for the last 20 years, has been a hyperfocus at the Federal level (and we could go into the whole issue of opinions on large federalism vs regression to the states but that's not really worth it here) at the expense of state and local elections, with the knock-on effect of off-year from POTUS seeing Dem downturns (sans 2018). In terms of the overall, wider socio-cultural zeitgeist, Progressives have already won in the Millennial and GenZ crowds, they just need to activate them now and actually use that emergent political body to win lower elections. Republicans understand this, Progressives don't, and that's why we're all fracked right now

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The perfect answer to all those lefty morons (and I say that as a person who has mostly considered myself a somewhere-on-the-left Democrat for all my political life) is to ask where THEY were in all the elections where their participation might have helped things. Like: Where were you in the election of 2010? Were you being all "disappointed" about Obama, so much so you stayed home and let the Republicans win by default and give us these past 12 years politically when they took control of state legislatures? Like: have you showed up for EVERY ELECTION or are you a believer that elections happen every four years and only for president? Like: did you vote for "that woman" in 2016, or did you think "the court doesn't matter"? LikeL did you write in Bernie's name as a voter in Michigan, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin? Because if you did any of that, I'd like to kick your fcking teeth down your throat for your fcking moron stupidity.

I guess the day had to come. I've discovered myself with a case of "both sides" - the "activist base" of both sides have their collective heads up their ass. For different reasons, but the result will be the same.

That the left is doing this to Biden this year is the functional equivalent of the German Communists who went after the Social Democrats as "social fascists" between 1928-32 and wouldn't support the Social Democrat who ran against Hitler, on the grounds a Nazi victory would "speed the revolution." Indeed it did - just not the revolution those left morons expected.

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Okay, nobody has yet talked about how impressive Pete B. was on Fox, unless they post before I get this done. If you analyze what he did:

He calmly answered a "gotcha" question with an easily understood argument about the facts that public figures absolutely need to be protected from threat and aggression, AND public figures need to be fine with peaceful protesters exercising their first amendment rights-peacefully.

He repeated his main point several times using pretty much the same words to make sure the listeners got the point.

And how he prevented the Fox guy from interrupting him, which he repeatedly tried unsuccessfully to do? I was trying to figure out how he did that, and I think it had to do with the absolutely masterful way he just never paused long enough for the other guy to be able to talk; he just calmly kept on talking until he got his argument finished. When he finished, he listened to the next gotcha question and then just calmly repeated his argument, this time using himself as an example.

So impressive! Among all the scoop-de-doop about how Joe Biden is too old, apparently makes "gaffes" (unlike TFG, that clear and logical orator), is not fighting hard enough, all of which by the way is because he's too old, so we need someone else to run against Trump/DeSantis in 2024 but oh my gosh, where is that person who could run and win?

How crazy is it to think that Pete could be that guy? When I hear him talk, he reminds me of Barack Obama, our first African-American president. Is it crazy to think that Pete could be our first openly gay president? I would love to hear the Bulwark people, including commenters, weigh in on this.

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Biden needs more people like Pete to help him articulate “the fight”. He also needs to be consistent on the major issues.

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Mayor Pete's response there was masterful and he managed to maintain control of what he was saying (and the emotional tone of what he was saying) and getting it out over the attempts of the "interviewer" to step on his words or cut him off--especially with the 1/6 bit.

Much respect.

The Democrats need more people with those skills... and those people need to be appearing on Faux and similar media platforms.

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The US government (most particularly the legislature) has spent the last several decades doing as little as it possibly could for fear of the electoral consequences.

This tended to work the majority of the time because a majority of the people were--if not happy--at least satisfied with the state of things. Alternative and extreme voices were largely not heard and the general level of stupidity was largely hidden. Most of the politicians were satisfied with the state of things, as well.

Then the media landscape shifted. Like most important things, it is hard to see exactly what happened and why (at least in the early stages). People started to get angry (particularly people on the right) and a self-reinforcing cycle of anger started to take hold. This started locally on radio (because of its localized and dispersed nature and the nature of rhetoric and the type of rhetoric used).

For those that were paying attention, it was a clue as to how the digital media was going to play out before digital media arrived. Unfortunately I wasn't really paying attention nor was I in a position to actual say or do much even if I had been.

The diversification of broadcast media and cable TV simply fed into and off of this pattern. The level of anger continued to grow. There was ratings and big money in anger.

The internet ands social media piled in on top.

We have this absolutely HUGE anger machine. It's sole purpose is the create ever greater levels of anger in order to create ever greater profit. You want to monetize your Youtube and get views and income? Need to create some anger. You want retweets? Need to generate some anger. Clicks and ad views--generate more anger.

Anger is the high speed low drag path to profitability.

This has severely distorted our culture and politics. Never have so many been so angry over so little for so long--and then actually done so little to assuage that anger, because the anger has become the thing, the raison d'etre of existence.

There can only be so much anger before something breaks and breaks badly. That is where we are currently at... and someone has wired the relief valve down.

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I think Biden is doing a good job given a narrow House majority and a tied Senate. And the 50th Senator is from West Virginia!

At the same time, it really feels like our political culture is taking the dodo bird approach to our biggest problems and sticking its head in the sand. Trump committing several felonies and planning to run again? Head in the sand. Local Republicans filling up election positions with election denialists? Head in the sand. Whatever crazy abortion laws a few states cook up next? Head in the sand. Texas power grid about to go belly-up again? Head in the sand.

It wouldn't be America if our politicians weren't comically disconnected from what the people want(tm), but this time it does feel more pronounced.

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Jul 11, 2022Liked by Tim Miller

Tim. Big, big fan. Haven't read the book, but just ordered it on Amazon. To my point, you say "To A governing class who is disconnected with the base and not responding to their needs. A base whose expectations are out of whack and being stoked by the media/social media into believing they just need someone who will fight harder for them to get the pony of their dreams."

This is not just an American phenom, it's global and it's systemic.

We need to talk. We must vote. Sometimes we need to protest. All fatal distractions if we don’t address the root causes. Humanity needs a Plan B. https://www.boombigideas.com/p/yesbut-we-need-to-talk-we-must-vote

Does that resonate at all with you? Or am I crazy?

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Jul 11, 2022Liked by Tim Miller

Just received your book, Tim. My partner has been a Republican for 60+ years, I went Independent in 1974. We're both so interested in the 'Why', thanks for taking the time to write this book.

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Jul 11, 2022Liked by Tim Miller

Tim spot on analysis of the situation. I am a strong supporter of the president, but am also frustrated by a lack of movement on so many issues. I don't know if it is because they need or feel the need to over-think the issues, they are too slow and in the real time news world it no longer works. Someone needs to grab him by the lapels and make him realize that time is always of the essence and decisions need to be made in a very timely basis.

BTW anything Greenwald says is total BS, the guy is a clown and just loves to hear the sound of his voice. He trades on his history relative to the NSA, but since then has done nothing.

Further BTW I plan to buy your book today

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I'm just 50 pages into WWDI, seems to be shaping into a midlife crisis about the meaning of life (and democracy)...in a good way.

As for the Biden/Abortion "thing", let's not forget this brouhaha was started by journalist looking for a new story angle for a week-old story. An angle that needs to be compelling and, as the Greeks learn a millennia ago, conflict makes for compelling stories. Hence stories are genetically-designed to look for conflict, generating anger by rabid advocates of an issue. But now we have social media and the malcontents can publicly and instantly express, and then amplify the conflict on Twitter. Another nail in the coffin of deliberative political discussions in the (ready for a substack plug) Digital Age.

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Is anyone else panicking over Biden's approval numbers this morning? Because I am panicking. Here's the thing: in a just world, there is no way Biden deserves lower approval ratings than Trump (I accept we do not live in that world). What is upsetting me is that the Dems are the ones pushing it that low. Why do we hate ourselves? And can we please stop it?

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