, 23 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
A brief thread on Why Joe Biden Is Going To Be A Problem.
Let's get a couple of things out of the way first. One, Uncle Joe watches too much The West Wing (or maybe not enough?):
Second, Langston Hughes would like a word:
More to the point, it's hard to argue with criticism of Biden coming from several corners today. Like @Atrios says, Biden's bipartisan hard-on is not exactly in touch with reality, and like @johnastoehr says, it enables bad behavior by anti-constitutional Republicans.
It's not just Biden's politics that get in the way here, it's *how he formed those politics.* Yes, he's a holdover from a more conservative era, but he's also a product of decades in the Senate, which prizes bipartisan comity above all else.
This is sort of what you get when the strongest candidates are from the Senate. You could elect a governor, but it gets harder and harder for outsiders to accomplish anything in D.C. It's a structural impediment.
And of course, being Vice-President under Obama - whose deepest desire was to play the role of The Great Reconciler - was a powerful booster to Biden's already-held beliefs.
While Biden might make noises about being a strong Dem partisan, or might tweak Trump, don't look for him to be down for total war with Republicans.
Biden really believes that Trump is an aberration, and that once the GOP stops throwing its temper tantrum, things can go back to normal. It's who he is, it's what he does.
Here's why I say he's going to be a problem, though. The Democratic electorate, writ large, doesn't give two shits about this. Biden will not be defeated in the primary for being too accommodating of the GOP. The sooner everyone gets over that idea, the better off they'll be.
But! The activist base, they *do* care. They care very much. It's entirely possible that we're going to the big dance in 2020 with a nominee that a healthy portion of the party thinks is a sell-out.

That's a problem.
In case you're tempted to yell at me that Bernie! is the solution: no. That sets up an equal-and-opposite problem, where the base distrusts the nominee for his undermining of the party. @DemFromCT
This is one of the reasons I've been big on Warren or Harris. If Biden and Sanders represent different wings of the party, I think the ladies are in the best position to bridge the divide. As usual.
Let's fold in some other perspectives here. @DemFromCT has some useful polling reminders in this thread:
@DemFromCT Paradoxically, I think those numbers might work in Biden's favor. The more Biden's the favorite, the more popular he becomes, and the less Trump is an existential threat.
@ThePlumLineGS also has a good, even-handed take today. He's quite right that if you remember way back to the W. Bush years, Trump doesn't seem so much like an aberration. washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/…
At the same time, no, like @ThePlumLineGS says, Biden's not an idiot. He's making an intelligent (but possibly wrong) wager about the national electorate.
Biden wants to draw in blue-collar whites and suburban women, both demographics that tend to run more conservative than the Dem base.
How do you do that? Well, you find a way to make those people comfortable in the party. Biden's doing that by offering a fig leaf: *you're* not the problem, Trump is!
And you know what? It could work. Given the strong numbers Biden's putting up against Trump, he could be exactly right. Maybe moving the pendulum to the center rather than hard-left is the way to win the White House.
Furthermore, it might be that once those voters cross the line to the Dem column, they become progressively more in tune with the Dem agenda. It might seem far-fetched, but it's not crazy.
My worry is that Biden rides that wave to the White House, but doesn't build a majority in Congress. That's another problem.
There is the end of the thread. We shall see.
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