20 Comments

Can I just say how much I appreciate your perspective here? The me of 2015 probably would've read that Politico story (or one of the thousands like it) and consequently felt anxious about an election that's over a year and a half away. Stepping away from political "coverage" of this sort has been very good for me, and I really don't miss it. It really is useful to be reminded of what little value (probably even NEGATIVE value) this junk provides.

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I've taken to asking myself before I read any political story whether I will actually get any value from reading it, or am I just reading it because the headline sounds insane/dumb and I want to see how they got there (which will inevitably make me mad by the end of reading it). Can't recommend it enough...sometimes a hate-read is still worth it, but it usually isn't.

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Absolutely. I notice I'll actually catch myself asking, "Will reading this benefit me in a specific and useful way?" In the parlance of earlier times, it feels good to "just say no"!

I've found extending this approach to other types of content can be challenging at times, but there's really an important difference between realizing that I've wasted my time and realizing that I've wasted my time AND made myself angry to no productive end.

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I am 100% in alignment with the president not being a social avatar. I know that can’t be avoided at times (i.e., Obama as the first black president or a Jared Polis being the first gay president, for example), but I want the president to be competent and boring. I want the politics of greater opposition to a social avatar president to be neutralized so more good policy and bipartisanship happens. We wouldn’t have had all the legislative successes of the last Congress had we not had Sleepy Ole Joe at the reigns who many voters think is semi-demented. But you know what? Who cares. People who pay attention to the news like everyone should in this country know better, and the country ends up better off anyway.

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The Biden scandal was so boring it passes the Pence test, in the sense that it was so boring that even Mike Pence could get ensnared in an identical scandal.

Also I had to google to confirm the Pence thing, despite it happening like a month ago, because it was so boring that I already almost forgot about it. Which probably says something in itself

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Your piece reminds me why so many people in the press talk about a brokered convention every election cycle; because it would make the convention actually interesting as opposed to the ridiculous relics of the past they really are.

The thing is though, the need to hype up stories beyond their actual importance can end up being self fulfilling. You brought up the story of one school district eliminating English honors for “equity” purposes is a reminder that one reason CRT, transgender and “wokeness in school” became issues beyond they’re actual importance was likely News vaccums. Maybe more pertinently (and relatedly), a huge reason George Floyd became such a spark is the lack of other news to talk about that wasn’t Covid, Tiger King or The Last Dance.

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I read that same Politico article earlier, and it was nothing but worthless clickbait, no new information at all, just pure speculation.

I think most Americans would welcome this being the slowest year for news since 2014. After 2016, Trump as President, Covid, the 2020 election, Jan 6, Afghanistan, Delta, Omicron, the vaccine and mask wars, the midterms, etc people are just exhausted from the news.

I especially agree that Biden has never been the media’s guy. Once his brief honeymoon was over, they have been relentlessly negative, starting with the Afghanistan withdrawal. Every day there’s a negative article about Biden’s age and how voters don’t want him to run again.

The fact is though, incumbency and an uncontested primary are two of the strongest factors in a presidential election. If those two advantages were taken away it would automatically put the Democrats at a disadvantage.

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So I wasn't excited about Biden but I wasn't excited about any of the field in 2020 -- I certainly wasn't swooning over Bernie or Warren, and while I think that Pete is by far the best orator of the bunch it was clear that it was absurd to nominate someone with that little experience. I really liked Klobuchar but then the press did her in with those stories of her being such a mean boss (I really think that was a giant obstacle for a woman candidate in particular). So when Biden was the clear alternative to Bernie I was more than happy to call all my friends and donate money and write postcards and send texts. I like Joe Biden more than a lot of the alternatives, but I still think that there are stronger options for 2024 than a Biden-Harris ticket. A younger swing state Governor and Senator combination makes a lot of sense to me (e.g. Whitmer-Warnock). A primary election is risky and so I would want Biden to try and clear the field a bit before deciding not to run -- maybe that's unrealistic -- and I don't want to waste time on non-starter candidates like Newsom or Pritzker, but even though the SOTU was better than Biden's normal oratory it wasn't good enough to assuage my doubts.

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#teamklob, dangit. But Joe Biden is authentically pretty good!

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My biggest fear if Biden doesn’t run is that Bernie will, and that he’ll poison everything again, just like he did in 2016, and almost did in 2020.

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Yes! I still blame him for Trump. Hillary would have a hard time regardless, but Bernie was the nail in the proverbial coffin. Without him acting as the Trump of the Left, I think she would have won.

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As a fan, I'm impressed people are still so scared of Bernie!

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That's cute. I'm not scared of him. I actually agree with literally everything he stands for and was initially a big fan in 2016. I just think as an individual he's a megalomaniacal asshole and kind of a charlatan.

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Feb 24, 2023·edited Feb 24, 2023

I don’t agree, but everyone who follows politics on the internet knows the pro and con arguments on this subject by heart. I like him better than the younger leftists who’ve emerged in his wake, so part of me will miss this argument when people are finally over it.

I actually think people *will* get over it in 4-8 years, but perhaps millennials like me will be arguing about the 2016 primary in our nursing homes. Like boomers talking about JFK and Dylan going electric, only even more tedious.

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Well, on the bright side, the lack of quantity is improving the quality.

Now they are mostly reporting.

Except about President Biden.

That's still a great topic for conjecture, editorializing making it look like news and theorizing.

In quiet reflective moments they must really miss trump.

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I guess the Washington Post needs to change its tagline to something new:

"Journalism dies in the mundane."

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My sense of trust in a piece of reporting immediately shuts down whenever I come across the infamous “people familiar with” line of sourcing.

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Feb 23, 2023·edited Feb 23, 2023

As a conservative who votes strictly on environmental grounds, and thus is moved to vote only irregularly, in few races*, I am overall happy with the Biden administration especially recent EPA rulings on Pebble Mine, on Matagorda Bay dredging, and possibly also the opening of Aransas Bay to supertankers** (it can be hard for people to realize on either "side" how seldom the EPA wields its "power"), and also the overturning of the Trump overturning of Bears' Ears (which issue just goes to demonstrate a serious flaw in our wonderful system). I'm less happy that it has decided to try for weakening the Endangered Species Act.

It's outside of my narrow voting reasons but I'm glad he carried out Trump's intentions in Afghanistan, and the Deep State let him do it.

Obviously on immigration he's a s**tshow but that will be true of any Democrat and 98% of Republicans.

But if we could be certain we'd never have to hear Kamala Harris's not-made-for-primetime voice on a regular basis, I'd go with the Dems nominating Biden for another four. He might well be the last non-radical to be so elevated. To an outsider it is a little funny that they should have ever done so, and speaks to some weakness in your coalition perhaps.

However, I hope our favorite media watcher in his Biden enthusiasm is not self-deluding about the media's embrace of its role as a fourth branch of government at this point. What they talk about, they not infrequently make happen, if haphazardly. They made Trump after all.

*I think I may be the only person who, while finding his views generally orthogonal to mine, nevertheless wishes Beto had stayed in the House forever. He would probably have been a reliable pro-environment vote (though not, of course, in the writ-large way); in his short time there he got moving the long-hoped-for (by old Boomer enviros anyway) conservation of the DOD-held Castner Range.

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**This I only heard secondhand, via those involved in the fight; and I'm hoping it's not followed in a month or two by a "Biden administration quietly ...".

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did the CNN segment already air?

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