I was just thinking about this at CPAC; when was the last time that a defeated president held total control over his party, and the sitting president didn’t? Democrats see Biden as an ally who needs to be pushed on some issues, they don’t take cues from him.
The main GOP critique of Biden is right: He used to be more moderate and has evolved left, leading a party that’s moved even further left, and he’s not in control or that. Compare to Trump, who’s gotten the party to abandon debates or policies it had for years.
Anyway, I had the thought at CPAC because Biden *won the election* but I cannot imagine going to Netroots or something and seeing half the crowd decked in Biden merch.
This is while Biden has one of the highest levels of support from his party’s voters - 95%+ - in Gallup history. The base really likes him but doesn’t build its world around him.

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More from @daveweigel

26 Feb
"The left, of course, does hate the bill of rights," Sen. Mike Lee says. "Why? Because the bill of rights says what things the government can't do." #CPAC2021
Lee giving a mini-lecture on constitutional history. It's the usual Lee role at CPAC - this year it's part of a series of Constitution speeches running through the weekend. #CPAC2021
Lee says "the people of California are recalling their governor" because "they can enjoy a 5-star meal at the French Laundry but they can't go to church."

(The recall isn't set yet; petitioners have 1.8 million signatures, while Newsom won in 2018 with 7.7 million votes.)
Read 4 tweets
23 Feb
I'm here for this @alex_shephard take on bad Sunday shows, but I really think the problem is how short the interviews are. Anybody can stick to talking points for seven minutes, the old format that yanked news out of people pinned them down for 30. newrepublic.com/article/161460…
Get rid of the panels - it's just a roundtable repeating what everybody said on cable that week - and get the interviews long enough to make people sweat.
Podcasts have been popular for, what, a decade? How is it taking this long to rethink the idea that viewers won't pay attention to one long interview?
Read 4 tweets
21 Feb
Looking back at this week, most significant development in "what the GOP stands for" is probably Romney-Cotton endorsing a minimum wage hike "while ensuring businesses cannot hire illegal immigrants." That's European party of the right energy nbcnews.com/politics/congr…
"Welfare state and higher wages, sure, but not for illegal immigrants" is the territory Rs have carved out post Trump. That's a climb-down from "welfare state, no," the pre-Trump ethos.
Do it yourself, take a look at the arguments and amendments flying at the Democrats' most popular bills. You rarely see one without a GOP effort to make Democrats vote against denying benefits etc to "illegals," which in campaign ads will become "they voted to give illegals" etc.
Read 5 tweets
18 Feb
Oh no. Oh no. Oh, no no no no no.
Can't find tweet but I'm 99% sure I dunked on Adler with the "Mayor Quimby in Jamaica" screenshot.
Cruz has not been telling people "do not travel to Mexico" from a place in Mexico but Adlergate was a huge story, I'm legitimately surprised that it didn't affect his vacation/optics plans.
Read 5 tweets
17 Feb
I tackled this in the Trailer - Biden being president changes the calculations, but a lot of people lost their shirts after seeing "re-open" rallies at state capitols last year and thinking "this is the New Tea Party." (Including Trump!)
Trump's message that Biden wanted to "shut down everything" was potentially effective, Biden beat it by saying he wanted to "shut down the virus."
Read 4 tweets
16 Feb
This thread captures the emerging “Reichstag Fire” theory that Pelosi purposefully rejected security so that the Capitol could be attacked. Unsure how her support for a 9/11 Commission-style probe fits into this
Honestly, this feels inevitable. If an event seems to benefit one party politically, a conspiracy theory develops that the party secretly planned the event. Same fever dreams happened after Oklahoma City bombing, and more famously after 9/11.
Conspiracy theories also work better if they seem familiar. Pelosi giving some sort of “stand down” order to let a riot happen — shades of the “did Clinton issue a stand-down order and let Benghazi happen.” It’s a cozy conspiracy blanket.
Read 5 tweets

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