This is Biden’s golden opportunity to de-program Trump sympathizers. My latest for @Independent...follow this thread or read here:…
The most defining — and rejuvenating — characteristic of the new commander-in-chief is his extraordinary empathy. That’s because the 46th president really does feel your and our collective pain as a country — no gimmicks or shrills attached.
But Biden’s genuine tenderness and call for personal responsibility aren’t enough. We’re speeding toward the greatest humanitarian conflagration in United States history.
From their Big Lie chorus to their abetment of the insurrection on January 6th (as displayed in today’s Senate hearing) to their current opposition to these diverse Cabinet members, the Republican playbook against the Biden administration still bears the hallmarks of Trumpism.
White identity politics and culture war — not substantive policy disagreements — are increasingly the entire opposition to President Biden’s agenda.
How do you confront a party hell-bent on satisfying an anti-democratic cult and whose voters, thanks to the rhetoric and presidency of Donald Trump, are ready to break the system, and worse, dehumanize their fellow Americans?
As conservatives and liberals have all endured the wrath of Covid, getting the pandemic under control is the most strategic and compassionate policy to bend those unyielding two-time Trump voters toward at least a modicum of respect for the Biden way.
Democrats do have to consider the constituency of Joe Manchin and the most potent responses to voters still under the spell of Donald Trump. You have to believe, as President Biden does, in the potential for human rationality over lies — and human compassion over bigotry.
Let’s take two challenges intersecting with the pandemic response, which present a compelling moment for the new administration to make a new results-oriented argument and maybe deprogram Trump sympathizers.
In the wake of the Texas crisis, where vaccination sites were shuttered, Biden should propose the most significant infrastructure plan in US history, and explain how it will tangibly secure the lives and livelihoods of Texans as well as West Virginians.
(It is rather confounding that the president has yet to visit the besieged state largely abandoned by its Republican elected officials.)
The Biden administration also has an opportunity to deliver accountability on China with major declassification on the pandemic origins. This will help inform the public and prepare for the future. Trump claimed that the Chinese had the virus under control and was deadly wrong.
Now Biden can demonstrate his independence, investigating all of the Chinese — and American — failures to protect US citizens during 2020 and 2021. Trump failed to be a successful president-builder or protector. The truly decent Joe Biden can prove to be both.

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More from @heffnera

14 Jan
I want to reflect on how societally we can reduce the disinformation-terrorist nexus after publishing today’s new pod w/@QanonAnonymous. (Listen here:….) The first and most important order of business to deradicalize was done by social media days ago.
Moreover, law enforcement and politicians woke up. Trump/GOP and QAnon social rhetoric have, for years, posed an existential threat to civil society. In recent months, they converged in virtually identical criminal incitement and terrorism, which should be punished.
Now let’s talk about empathetic intervention on a human level. Deradicalizing is about “smiles and cries” (H/T, Training Day, 2001). In my own words, it’s about aspirations and resentments. It’s about understanding the source of people’s convictions & how they arrive at them.
Read 5 tweets
27 Oct 20
THREAD-ED (1/20)

She’s a Justice for now, but we can impeach Amy Coney Barrett if she tries to stop a fair election—and then add a 10th Justice.

Read @Independent fully:….
If Barrett rules against the rights of voters in these days leading up to or during vote-counting — refusing to recuse herself from decisions that amount to a quid pro quo for Trump’s re-election — Dems need to impeach. (2)
By overruling the PA Supreme Court and interfering in the state’s electoral practices, Barrett’s rank duplicity will be unmistakable — as will the fraud of her purported conviction in federalism and states’ rights. (3)
Read 20 tweets
23 Sep 20
At the debate next week, expect Chris Wallace to ask Biden why he should get to fill the Supreme Court seat. Biden should direct his answer to Trump...
“The majority of the American people simply don’t support you. You didn’t win the popular vote last time, and you’re not going to win it, or the Electoral College, this time. The people deserve a court that represents them, not your extremism and division.”
The hypocrisy argument from Democrats is worn and doesn’t come from a position of strength. Biden can start there but needs to go further.
Read 5 tweets
19 Sep 20
1) It’s not court packing, Democrats. Do NOT accept the premise. It’s representative democracy. The court should look like the people. Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and the new nominee are the anti-democratic packing—packing that subverts the will of the people.
2) @SenSchumer needs to show some testicular fortitude. We all know it should be Duckworth or Murphy or Schatz as the Democratic leader. Starting today, the line is: If his illegitimate nominee is confirmed, @JoeBiden and D Senate will expand to the Court to represent the people.
3) It’s the pandemic, stupid. 200K+ of our brothers and sisters are dead because of Trump’s homicidal negligence. That doesn’t have any less relevance now. The argument for @JoeBiden to choose the next Justice is connected. We need his judgment.
Read 5 tweets
29 Aug 20
Trump is not fleeting bizarreness but fundamentally unmaking America. “I alone can fix it” turned out to be he, with GOP collaborators, could kill it, dividing and literally plaguing us into our current misery. Read @thedailybeast my latest:…
Donald Trump’s acceptance speech Thursday night, a deranged Fidel Castro parody of maniacal gaslighting proportions, could not be mistaken for an American president’s.
In his bizarro unreality, 180,000 dead and rising is public health. Divisive hate mongering is law and order. Historic unemployment and inequity is strength. Police brutality is a race war. Protests for civil rights are anarchy.
Read 4 tweets
5 Jul 20
AMUSING U.S. TO DEATH: Only in America could another celebrity be entertained as a (spoiler) presidential candidate during a pandemic ravaging our country, after a failed one has amused fellow citizens—and much of our democracy—to death.
There is nothing more repulsive than @kanyewest’s publicity stunt/scam candidacy, while Americans are dying precisely because celebrity know-nothingism hijacked our public life and political process.
As @NormOrnstein noted, @kanyewest and @elonmusk are egomaniacal tools of @realDonaldTrump. We happened to revisit Kanye’s prostituting himself to and legitimizing racist Trump in an episode with @9thwonder dropping this week.
Read 5 tweets

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