After the Democratic optimism of the summer, the national mood has slowly soured over the last week or so. The turning point was the New York Times/Siena poll that was released last Monday. The national media, unhappy with a conflict-free narrative, turned an outlier poll into The Big Story. The end result wasn’t a more informed electorate though—instead it was a potential way to dampen voter turnout.
I thought about that reaction with the brouhaha over Clarence Thomas giving Lindsey Graham a temporary reprieve from testifying before a Georgia grand jury (and I agree with Our Fearless Leader that SCOTUS isn’t going to help Lindsey). How did something that was pretty meaningless in the end manage to roil social media?
Well a reporter from The Hill tweeted this:
You may remember that during TFG’s administration The Hill turned into a right wing rag, complete with piles of lies from John Solomon. Its writers still distort facts and manufacture tweets to damage the Democrats. This is another example of that behavior. See, after Kruzel got everyone super angry at the Democrats (because that’s how the current outrage cycle works–the GOP does something awful and the wags on social media blame the Dems) that tweet, he later deleted it with a “my bad”.
Deleted earlier tweet because it overstated significance of Justice Thomas's administrative stay in case involving Sen. Lindsey Graham's testimony in probe of 2020 election in Georgia. Presumably, the full court will weigh further action after Fulton Co response Thurs. Apologies
— John Kruzel (@johnkruzel) October 24, 2022
But the damage was done. And it was pretty strategic, too–2 weeks before Election Day and from a pro-TFG outlet.
Also on Monday a letter from the House Progressive Caucus was released—and I’m intentionally using the passive voice because it’s not clear who released it—urging President Biden to use diplomacy as tool in the war in Ukraine.
In a letter led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the 30 Democrats call on Biden to pair the unprecedented economic and military support the U.S. is providing Ukraine with a “diplomatic push, redoubling efforts to seek a realistic framework for a ceasefire.” https://t.co/wp51wKPS8O
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 24, 2022
The media, and I’m including The Washington Post in this criticism because of this terrible decision, seized on it as fresh food for its “DEMS IN DISARRAY” narrative. As ever, anti-democracy Politico was quick to get out of the gate:
"A group of 30 House liberals is urging President Biden to dramatically shift his strategy on the Ukraine war and pursue direct negotiations with Russia, the first time prominent members of his own party have pushed him to change his approach to Ukraine."https://t.co/jswa9SZgXf
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) October 24, 2022
I have no idea why the Post ran this story without more checking because this seems really weird, no? Pramila Jayapal is a highly competent person. And Nancy Pelosi doesn’t allow malarkey, and especially not 2 weeks before a crucial election. Plus Pelosi is on a highly publicized trip to a summit on Crimea:
Today, at the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform, America and our allies sent an unmistakable statement to Putin: the free world is united in our unshakeable support for the people of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/oJF3FnUS2l
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) October 25, 2022
Jayapal took responsibility and blamed her staff but come on–that’s obviously not what happened. With Pelosi at a summit about Crimea, there was too much at stake to release this letter. In addition, not only are the circumstances in the Ukraine war very different than they were over the summer, but it makes no sense to divide Democrats this close to a crucial election.
In any case, the Progressive Caucus retracted the letter and the issue is moot, although the damage has been done. I can hardly wait to find out what the next attempt to damage the Democrats will be.
I quoted the witches from “Macbeth” in my title, so let’s close this out with a song about witchcraft: