The Biden Paradox

The Biden paradox has led to a cottage industry of pundit commentary (mis)diagnosing what went wrong and offering advice on what Democrats should do now. An emblematic article, by New York magazine’s Jon Chait, a Prospect alum (where did we go wrong?) gets the story about half-right. The whole piece is worth reading for both its insights and its errors, and because it conveniently channels the conventional wisdom. 
Chait’s basic argument is that the Democrats’ cultural radicalism on issues of race, identity, immigration, woke language, etc.

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Trump Never Got Another Classified Intelligence Briefing After Jan. 6

After a holiday break where he didn’t receive a classified intelligence briefing, President Donald Trump was supposed to get one on Jan. 6, 2021—the day he incited a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol. It didn’t happen. And then he didn’t get one for the rest of his presidency.
That unusual stretch where the president didn’t receive a regular classified briefing is recounted in the latest version of a book published and regularly revised by the Central Intelligence Agency, which describes how spies update presidents on national security matters.

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There’s a huge hole in the debate over how Democrats can save themselves

Politico reports that some Democrats want Biden to draw a sharper contrast with Republicans. They want him to attack Republicans for opposing popular items in his Build Back Better bill — expanded access to health care, lower prescription drug prices, more support for families and children — and frame this as the response to GOP attacks on Biden over inflation.

But Politico also reports this:

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Democrats argue that Biden’s willingness to make more aggressive attacks against Republicans will be key to their success in 2022.

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Tucker Carlson, Your Boss’s Favorite “Populist”

The United States is a country where the lives and working conditions of the average person are shaped by business and oligarchy to a unique extent. US workers lack the benefits and protections that most of the world takes for granted. They pay some of the world’s highest prices for medicine and health care, in a system that leaves them sicker and financially devastated. And their communities are plagued by exceptionally high rates of poverty, debt, homelessness, and deaths of despair.

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Republicans are quietly rigging election maps to ensure permanent rule | David Pepper

Republicans are quietly rigging election maps to ensure permanent rule

David Pepper

The past decade in Ohio shows how bad it can get – and how quickly. Despite the state’s voters often swinging Democratic, 75% of its congressional delegates are Republican

‘The prime culprits behind all this election rigging are the statehouses themselves – mostly anonymous elected officials who few voters know but who wield far more power than most Americans appreciate.

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Here’s How Biden Could Override the Democrats Protecting Wall Street

Five Democrats plan to block the confirmation of Saule Omarova, President Biden’s nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, who is widely seen as a tough-on-banks pick at an agency that has long been captured by Wall Street.
Three of the Democrats—Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)—voted for a 2018 bank deregulation bill that Omarova criticized at the time. By opposing Biden’s pick to regulate major banks, they are joining hands with the bank lobby, which has led an unusually intense opposition campaign against the Cornell law professor. Sens.

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Democrats should temper their expensive enthusiasms with a clear-eyed look at the electorate

Biden’s agenda for swollen government resembles Franklin D. Roosevelt’s in 1933 and Lyndon B. Johnson’s in 1965. The stark differences are the popular-vote margins that put the three into the presidency: FDR, 17 percentage points; LBJ, 23 points; Biden, 4.5 points. So, in 1933, there were 59 Democratic senators (out of 96) and 313 Democratic representatives. In 1965, there were 68 Democratic senators and 295 Democratic representatives. Today, the numbers are 50 and 221.

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Our Blind Faith in the Military Will Destroy Us

Military personnel carry flags onto the field prior to an NFL game on November 12, 2017, in Denver. (Jack Dempsey / AP Photo)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com.

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The non-solution to high gas prices every president is drawn to

What can a president do? He can urge OPEC countries to increase production, but not only will that make him look like a supplicant, it’s unlikely to work.

But President Biden, knowing that currently elevated prices have people upset — and that we can’t help comparing those prices to what they were last year, when lockdowns sent demand for gas, and therefore prices, plummeting — is taking action.

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