The Very Early 2024 Favorite

Joe Biden in sunglasses

Joe Biden announced this week that he would run again for president. First things first, about the age thing…let’s get it out of the way.

Reality is reality and this is not something to be dismissed with an eye roll and an impatient sigh. The man’s 80, and yeah, I know, your Pee-Paw used to split 3,000 cords of logs when he was 99 (what did the man do with all that wood?!). But it is true, beyond any argument, that an 80-year-0ld man has a higher chance of dying than a 40-year-old man.

Just not cool to come out and say that in a hopeful tone if you are a presidential candidate, Nikki.

That out of the way, yes, Biden should run. Before we get to the giant, most obvious reason, the one with the curiously orange skin, let’s actually take a look at what Your Great-Uncle from Scranton That You Love Seeing at Holidays has actually achieved.

First off, he somehow got Oil Baron Wannabe Joe “Greasy” Manchin to go along with a version of Build Back Better that is not as good as the original but still pretty good. Remember, that entire thing was dead in the water due to Manchin and Manic Pixie Dream Senator Krysten Sinema, whose greatest achievement in life is having a first name designed for misspelling. The Inflation Reduction Act has some good stuff in it (and its name, I am convinced, was a ploy to trick Manchin into voting for it and it was such a crazy idea it worked). It is the largest climate change remediation effort ever launched in the United States. Climate change really is an existential threat, and this not only is a good first step at addressing this challenge but also is projected to create up to nine million jobs.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the American Rescue Plan are proof that government actually can work (I know, that’s heresy but if you really think that maybe be less vulnerable to GOP talking points). The funding in the American Rescue Plan was not just to get us through the impacts of COVID-19 but included funding for public safety and job growth.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act made Infrastructure Week actually happen and be more than another example of the bullshit of Donald Trump. It was a long time coming, too. Years and years, decades even, of Democrats falling under the dark spell of Reaganomics and instantly asking hOW ArE yOU goiNG tO PaY fOR tHAt instead of, you know, considering an idea on its merits has in part led to crumbling infrastructure. Turns out you actually have to invest some money into making things work and laser-focusing on the deficit was not good! This law is a good example of Biden’s pragmatism. It has become clear that the moderate neoliberal worldview combined with the increasing radicalism of the GOP wasn’t going to fix crumbling bridges and other ills. Oh, and it really is good for the economy to invest in things and give a shit about poverty.

The CHIPS and Science Act, something that is near and dear to my heart because I have a front-row seat to its early impacts and long work weeks due to my role in helping to implement it (I am working to promote a mid-Atlantic semiconductor hub that will be a partnership among universities, industry, and state governments). America’s share of semiconductor manufacturing has fallen greatly in the last few decades. Taiwan produces 90 percent of the most advanced semiconductor chips and given their relationship with China, this has geopolitical implications. Given semiconductors are only going to increase in importance given fast-moving tech advancements like artificial intelligence (there are very solid arguments they are as, or more, important to global politics than oil), America regaining our footing in this sector is vital.

I haven’t even touched on things like progress on reducing insulin costs, canceling student loans that are part of a broken education system, and his shepherding our economy through the very serious impacts of a pandemic. There are many indications that the economy, despite doom and gloom prophesies, might actually be pretty good next year.

And I really do not have to go into how much of a horrifying mess Donald Trump and the GOP would turn our nation into if he is elected again. Biden’s campaign announcement was rather shrewd in taking back the meaning of freedom, a move that was a long time coming for Democrats. The GOP’s use of the word is obscene; what they call freedom is white Christian nationalists having full reign, and everyone else loses theirs. People prefer the cool calm of Biden, as Adrastos wrote about on Wednesday, and as Cassandra wrote that day, this election is about all of us having each other’s back.

Biden’s early signs of what his campaign will focus on are positive. I see much more Michigan, and less New York. What I mean by that is New York’s Democratic Party’s decision to run a center-right driven, crime-obsessed, and kind-of-nasty-to-anyone-left-of-Chuck-Schumer campaign in 2022 resulted in one of the few places in America where the Red Wave materialized. A version of the party where people like Newest Worst New York City Mayor Eric Adams are the face of their brand. In Michigan, full-on left-populist economic rabble-rousing combined with a full-throated defense of LGBTQ+, abortion, and civil rights resulted in a sweep. A version of the party where people like Gretchen Whitmer are the face of the brand. This model has also worked in PA and WI, very bad news for Republicans. Biden’s campaign appears to be closer to the latter

I will close by pointing something out – we are likely to witness a period of change, unlike anything we have seen in our history. AI is likely to be as impactful of a moment as the Internet or the introduction of the automobile (probably more). It will enable changes in technology and in our society at a rate never seen before. At the same time, it is clear we are seeing a massive upheaval in our politics. On one side, we have people, including young voters, who are engaged and excited about the prospects of America finally living up to its promise of a multicultural democracy. On the other, is a group of openly violent people and their enablers, where at best their leadership is held hostage by their supporters with the threat of literal death hanging over their heads, and at worse their leadership actually and authentically pines for fascism. It is no longer outlandish to envision a splinter group of Republicans turning into an American version of the IRA. Who would you rather have guide us through the first part of this historic period? That’s the question posed by the 2024 election.

The last word goes to David Bowie:


2 thoughts on “The Very Early 2024 Favorite

  1. A mid-Atlantic Semi-conductor hub? Are you crazy? Where is that anyway? About a thousand miles east of Bermuda?

  2. Decades. The Ds have been under that spell since the Democratic Leadership Council sold the party out to corporate America in the late 1980s. I know. I was there, on John Breaux’s ’86 campaign and a few years on his staff in DC. Regrets, I have a few. And this is a big one, maybe the biggest.

    I’d like to drown both Grover Norquist and Al From in a bathtub.

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