Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
December 22, 2023
The following reports all point to a brutal truth facing the US, and the world, by next year’s Christmas, Trump II will rule the US. The one person who will be blamed for this default is President Biden. It is not because Biden is ruining the nation, rather because he would lose his reelection bid to Trump. Whatever Trump II means to the US and the world, Biden would be labeled as the enabler. That unflattering label, the enabler of Trump II would be Biden’s forever legacy.
Time is of essence; Biden should renounce his reelection bid now and he could easily enable a young democrat to defeat Trump in the next election. With all the legal challenges facing Trump, any democrat candidate, other than Biden, could easily overcome Trump. It is because many Trump supporters’ grievance is about Trump’s false claim that Biden stole the 2020 general election from him. They just do not recognize Biden as the legitimate President of the US.
Without Biden on the ticket, Trump has no leverage for claiming a second chance in 2024. It may sound unfair to Biden for quitting right now but consider his age: physical fitness and a very demanding schedule for being the US President and a candidate for second term in 2024, it is better for himself and the nation that Biden focuses on completing his one-term presidency with dignity. This legacy of Biden, sparing us from a Trump II, will be honored forever.
The Second Coming Of Donald Trump And other brutal truths from 2023.
December 22, 2023
If the core conservative truth is what we do not know very much, and should temper our expectations and ambitions, then the core liberal truth is that progress is still possible and shouldn’t be abandoned. I think both traditions are integral to our success as a liberal democracy. But it seems to me that 2023 was a year for conservatives. It was a year when several illusions evaporated.
Herewith, then, some of the unpleasant, brutal truths we need to face in 2024.
Donald Trump is likely to be the next president of the United States.
There has been no comeback like this since Nixon. Trump now leads Biden in the swing states, and in the country at large. His issues — inflation, immigration, crime— are ascendant again. The multiple lawsuits against him have backfired, shoring up his Republican support, and lending credence to his largely spurious, but rhetorically effective, claim that he is the target of a witch hunt. (The new court ruling in Colorado is likely to have the same effect.) He has played this jujitsu masterfully, keeping the focus on himself, bobbing and weaving in a stream of countless lies and threats, taking his authoritarian pitch to new heights.
“Dictator on Day One” sounds like a branding the Democrats might have deployed to destroy him. In fact, it’s helping him win the GOP nomination in a landslide. On the GOP’s most vulnerable issues — abortion and entitlements — he has inoculated himself. It’s his election to lose. The Resistance turned out to be one of his greatest assets.
But it’s beyond clear now that the way to beat Trump is to compete on policy grounds — controlling mass migration, intensifying law enforcement, touting legislative wins like the CHIPS Act — rather than to disqualify him on grounds that the American public has largely rejected.
Joe Biden is too old to be re-elected.
Let’s be fair: he has his moments of lucidity. He has passed significant legislation beyond anything his predecessor did. He is, at heart, a decent guy, and that counts for something. He has done his duty in saving us from a second Trump term in 2020, but is now liable to undo that very achievement by running again in 2024, and losing, possibly badly. As Jack Shafer notes, Biden was never that popular in the first place — and when prices rocketed over the past few years, he took what looks like a mortal, political blow. He wanders around stiffly and aimlessly; he peers into the teleprompter as if he can’t see the script; his voice turns into a whispery mumble whenever he tries to make a point. Reagan won re-election at the age of 73, only to suffer from Alzheimers before the end of his term. The idea that this 81-year-old man could command the country in four years’ time is as delusional as the blithe self-confidence of his team.
Opinion: The 2024 reality check that Democrats desperately need
Opinion by Julian Zelizer, CNN
Thu, December 21, 2023 at 1:22 PM PST
Democrats need a healthy dose of realism. As the election year gets underway, many Democrats are focused on talking about how the country should be, rather than how it is. They are imagining a different playing field and a different electorate, none of which is likely to come into fruition in the coming months. They risk focusing much more on what they would like, rather than what they need to do to win.
The most striking conversation has been the ongoing debate about whether President Joe Biden should run for reelection. The media has been virtually obsessed with this issue, down to coverage of whether Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips, barely known anywhere in the country, has a chance to pull off an upset.
But Biden has been very clear. He is running, and he will be running with Vice President Kamala Harris by his side. Rather than imagining another ticket that won’t be, the party would be best served by turning its energy to the ticket that is.
And they shouldn’t invest too much thought in any Republican nominee other than former President Donald Trump. To be sure, there is the potential for some earth-shattering event to knock Trump out of his position as the front-runner. But right now, not only is Trump in the lead, he’s a strong front-runner. Where things stand now, much of the country is not at all scared off by a second term for Trump. Most of the party likes Trump. The #NeverTrump critics are outliers, not the norm. His standing is so strong that it will be extraordinarily difficult for any of his challengers to knock him out in Iowa or New Hampshire, let alone in the rest of the primaries. Rather than focusing on whether former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley might emerge as the nominee, Democrats should start thinking about how they would defeat a Trump-Haley ticket.
Many Democrats are quick to explain that polls don’t matter. These are a snapshot of a moment very far from the election, they say. Conditions will change, the thinking goes; opinion will evolve and everything will be different once Trump is in the forefront.
But Democrats shouldn’t make that assumption. They might have to figure out a way to win with the numbers continuing to stay where they are — or maybe getting even worse. Even as the economy improves, many voters might still feel unsettled by higher prices or the general insecurity that is part of the post-Covid economy. The economic struggles many working Americans face in good times and bad are currently a feature, not a bug, of our economy. They will need to do the hard work of knocking on door after door, mobilizing registration operations and reaching out to various communities to do more explaining about what Biden has done well and what’s at stake if he loses.
But the press coverage is what it is. The objective must be to win with the media environment one has. The burden is on the campaign to find ways to generate better coverage or to reach voters through alternative means, even amid negative stories in the press.
“Politics ain’t beanbag,” as the famous saying goes. The 2024 presidential campaign is shaping up to be extraordinarily tough and unstable. It will be a grueling election, won or lost by the campaign with the best turnout and a legal strategy to overcome the different challenges each is likely to face (Trump with his indictments and Biden with potential Republican efforts to contest the results).
Democrat Dean Phillips attacks Biden for trying to upend traditional primary election process
Fri, December 22, 2023 at 1:00 AM PST·