Friday, September 2, 2022

Biden warns about threats to American democracy in Philadelphia

Yesterday was a busy news day, so I'm posting two entries today, beginning with coverage of President Biden's speech in Philadelphia in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the second of three visits to Pennsylvania. "Morning Joe" on MSNBC recapped the address in Biden Issues A Dire Warning About Threats To US Democracy.

The Morning Joe panel recaps President Biden's Thursday prime-time speech on the 'soul of the nation'.
Historian Michael Beschloss rightly points out that the current moment could be as big a threat to American democracy as 1860 or 1940, which happen to be critical years in the last two secular crises according to Strauss and Howe's cyclical framework for American history. The Hedgehog returns and I don't mean Spiny Norman!

ABC News compiled their own highlights video of the speech, Biden speaks on the state of American democracy in prime-time.

"The MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic," President Joe Biden said during his prime-time speech in Philadelphia on Thursday.
A lot of political commenters are having rhetorical fainting fits over the visual symbolism and aggressive tone of the speech, but I'm glad fighting Joe Biden is coming out finally. I suspect the relative lack of energy until very recently was one of the reasons for Democratic-leaning voters' frustration with the Democratic Party that Pew Research found.
Those who lean to the Democratic Party have become more critical of Democratic leaders. When asked why they lean toward a party – rather than identify with it – many leaners say they do not want to put a political label on their views, while nearly as many offer that they are frustrated with the leadership of the party they lean toward. The share of Democratic leaners who cite frustration with the party’s leaders as a major reason for why they do not more closely associate with the party has risen from 28% in 2016 to 40% currently. Over the same period, the share of Republican leaners who express frustration with GOP leadership has declined from 52% to 39%.
Here's the graphic that shows those results.

Notice, it's not policy, but leadership that is causing frustration. That probably plays into the other reasons for the disconnect, like inability to accomplish campaign promises and other Democratic agenda times. I think passing the Inflation Reduction Act and forgiving (some) student loan debt will take care of a lot of that. Biden's approval ratings are already improving, as FiveThirtyEight observed when the site examined What Biden's Rising Approval Could Mean For The Midterms.

In part three of this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew analyzes why Biden’s approval rating has increased by nearly five points since late July. They also look to the future and discuss how this could possibly impact the midterm elections.
Democrats will vote for Biden and other Democrats. What's important is turnout among Democrats and persuading independents. Both of those look hopeful.

Stay tuned for the second installment of today's political news, which will focus on two initiatives that Republicans are keeping off the ballot in Michigan.

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