The Democrats (mostly) won the debt ceiling fight
Democratic politicians generally avoided spiking the football — the White House soberly described the deal as “an important step forward that reduces spending while protecting critical programs for working people.” But reviews from pundits were more blunt. As Dan Pfeiffer of Pod Save America put it: "The devil is very much in the details, but it seems like President Biden and his team outplayed McCarthy."
Michael A. Cohen/”Truth and Consequences” on Substack:
The Deal Is Done!
Who won? Who lost? What does it all mean? Plus, why "better messaging" isn't really a thing.
While we still need to get all the details about the final agreement, from the White House’s perspective, this deal appears almost too good to be true. It’s exactly the type of budget deal one might expect a Democratic President to make with a Republican-controlled House. And because this deal is nominally a budget agreement, it means that the country not only avoids a debt default but also a government shutdown at the end of the fiscal year this Fall.
So why did it unfold this way?
Sixth, President Biden is a baller. I got a bunch of stuff wrong about McCarthy’s strategy, but one part I got right was that Biden’s repeated refusal to publicly endorse the 14th Amendment put the burden on House Republicans to make a deal. The GOP had to believe that Biden would not act unilaterally, and it appears they did. I’ll be curious to know what the history books say about Biden’s true intentions on the 14th Amendment. It’s hard to believe he wouldn’t have gone that route if his back was to the wall. But ultimately, it didn’t matter. But by sticking to his guns on not wanting to invoke the 14th Amendment, he forced the GOP to negotiate — and it worked.
Brian Rosenwald/”The World According to Brian” on Substack:
Who won the debt ceiling fight?
Spoiler: it's Biden AND the Republicans
Who won the debt ceiling fight?
Observers seem deeply divided on this question, with both the far right and the far left seething over parts of the agreement, convinced their side got rolled.
But the reality is far more complex than either fringe wants to acknowledge.
Jennifer Rubin/Washington Post:
Biden’s underrated deal-making prowess strikes again
President Biden’s capacity to overperform after an onslaught of negative press and Democratic hand-wringing is second to none. He did it with the Inflation Reduction Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, NATO solidification and expansion, and now with the debt ceiling deal. It’s hard to conceive of an outcome more favorable to Biden.
Persuasion? Maybe I can use data like this to convince you of its importance.
Michael Hiltzik/Los Angeles Times:
These ‘experts’ sold the U.S. on a disastrous COVID plan, and never paid a professional price
They’ve held credentials from some of the world’s most elite universities — Harvard, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Oxford. They’ve been welcomed into the highest government policy councils. They became fixtures on television news shows and were quoted incessantly by some of the nation’s leading newspapers.
They’re a cadre of academics and scientists who pushed a discredited solution to the COVID pandemic, shunning masks, school closings, even vaccines, all in the name of reaching the elusive goal of “herd immunity,” resulting in what may have been hundreds of thousands of unnecessary American deaths.
That’s the contention of “We Want Them Infected,” a painstakingly documented new book by Jonathan Howard, a neurologist at New York University and a veteran debunker of the pseudoscience contaminating our efforts to fight the pandemic.
Thomas Zimmer/”Democracy Americana” on Substack:
The Fascistic Myth of Trump’s Special Connection to “Real America”
The mainstream political discourse needs to stop perpetuating ideas that form the bedrock of the extremist ethno-religious movement that has galvanized behind Trump
“While we all may have been uncomfortable hearing people clapping, that was also an important part of the story,” Chris Licht said in the editorial call, “because the people in that audience represent a large swath of America. And the mistake the media made in the past is ignoring that those people exist. Just like you cannot ignore that President Trump exists.”
There is a lot to unpack here. By “the people in that audience,” Licht referred to those who were all in on Trump, who cheered him on – representatives of the conservative base, Trump’s power bloc on the Right. Since the Republican primaries in 2015/16, these people have been unwavering in their support for and personal loyalty to Trump. Licht wants us to believe they speak for “a large swath of America” – a sizable portion, maybe even a majority, that is otherwise ignored, forgotten, due to the ignorance and arrogance of educated, mostly liberal elites in coastal urban centers. In this view, the MAGA movement is comprised of “regular folks” – a loaded term – to which Trump has a special connection. Therefore, the mainstream media has a duty to provide a prominent platform to Trump and his base because Trump embodies and gives voice to a populist uprising of “real America.”
There is little empirical evidence to back up either of these claims - neither the “large swath” nor the “previously ignored” part stand on firm factual ground. Trump didn’t ride a populist majority into the White House, but a minority that was geographically spread out in a way that was ideally suited to one of the political system’s key non-majoritarian features, the electoral college. It’s also quite bizarre to describe Trump’s supporters as the forgotten and ignored: No other group has gotten more attention from mainstream media institutions and in the political discourse in general since at least 2016.
Will Bunch/Philadelphia Inquirer:
Real DeSantis launch glitch was its fascism
Plus, how do you say ‘happy birthday’ to a 100-year-old U.S. war criminal?
Once upon a time, it was one of the most anticipated events of the 2024 presidential campaign cycle. But when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis finally announced his GOP White House bid in an online audio-only venue, Twitter Spaces, last week, he must have been jealous of his host Elon Musk’s recent SpaceX rocket launch. At least that soared for roughly four minutes before it blew up.
Not that many people even logged into the Twitter chat, but if you follow politics closely, you’ve probably read about the parade of technical glitches — the minutes of dead air, followed by a feed that repeatedly cut out and crashed in real time. Very few folks were still around when DeSantis told Musk — apparently without irony — that “American decline is not inevitable — it is a choice.” Meanwhile, the Floridian’s bold idea for making a splash with his campaign announcement instead got worse reviews than the Cats movie. Twitter users mocked it as a “#DeSaster.”
For a 24-hour news cycle with a short attention span, the DeSaster line sure is sticking around.
From Blue Amp Channel w/ Cliff Schecter: