Happy Thanksgiving to all of our loyal readers. In honor of disrupting your family gatherings in Hacks On Tap fashion, we have a special Thanksgiving edition of the newsletter filled with plenty of Tidbits to liven up your get togethers.
(cover photo cred: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images)
We’re thankful for all of you and even more thankful if you spread the word about the newsletter later today. You can even share this link with them: https://hacksontap.bulletin.com/subscribe!
Meanwhile, save us a drumstick!
I encourage everybody to spend a little time reading and maybe even printing off for your Thanksgiving dinner with your crazy uncle the Pew Research Report, which divides up the Republican and Democratic electorates. What might be a fun trick for you to make it through Thanksgiving dinner with some of your, shall we say, less than appealing relatives is to listen to the conversation and figure out where on the Republican and Democratic spectrums each of them lands. Please, send us back some stories from your dinner and tell us why you placed different relatives in different factions! This game can only get more fun as more wine gets opened.
But it is fascinating to take a look at this report that came out a few weeks ago. I think on the Democratic side, it does begin to illuminate that the largest block of Democratic voters is not on the very liberal side of the political spectrum, as we saw play out in real time during the 2020 primary race for the Democratic Presidential nomination. There has been a tug of war inside of the Democratic Party for years about whether we should be nominating people that have a better chance of winning elections from the middle out, or electing people farther and farther on the left to galvanize the base. The challenge is that's not where the base is.
Here’s a snappy comeback for your crazy Trump loving uncle… “Wow Uncle Walt, that new poll you saw on Tucker last night showing Trump beating Biden in Michigan, Ohio and those other states is pretty impressive! Here’s another one: Penn State looked at the counties around the country where Trump did the best and get this... they’re also the highest in the country for drug addiction, alcohol abuse and suicide! Ha, that explains everything. Pass the gravy please… “ (note; I would be careful with this one if you live in a concealed carry state; Uncle Walt might be packing chrome. The study can be found here.)
Another worthy read after your Turkey Trot and the beginning of your meals is this piece from New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait on the current state of the Biden Presidency and the Democratic Party. It’s well worth your time. Soak up every word. As I have been saying for months now, I believe Joe Biden will get his Build Back Better plan through Congress and it will be an enormous accomplishment. But, make no mistake, it will have come at a cost to his political standing and that of other Democrats in Congress and some of that is chronicled and highlighted in the piece.
Linked below you will find some Thanksgiving homework for depressed Democrats; a couple of pages filled with smart insight every Democrat should read; starting with the House Progressive Caucus. Our friend John Anzalone (Dem pollster to Pres Biden and many more) had his firm conduct a series of focus groups in, dare I say it, Virginia, for the ThirdWay.org organization in an effort to better understand the Democratic loss there. The groups were of Biden voters who defected to the Republicans earlier this month in the Governor’s race. “What? That Virginia stuff is all in the past!,” you say? Au contrare, Comrades, smart Dems should look to Virginia now to figure out how to do better in the future. The lesson from the groups is smart, simple, true and therefore is likely to be completely ignored by the Dems. (Cut to a nice loud Mitch McConnell cackle.) These ship-jumping Virginia voters didn’t buy the Youngkin = Trump stuff; that’s old, boring news to them. They want to get stuff done, and hear about issues relevant to their lives, not just more rote political noise from the partisan brawlers in DC. And enough with the Woke-stapo vibe that is well on its way to defining the Democrats; it’s a dud and is hurting with swing voters in the suburbs. That’s death in politics. Read it for yourself here, and don’t weep. Correct course, and organize.
Finally, speaking of turkeys, here’s a “Hacks on Tap” goodbye to the Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who announced, at age 81 that – shocker – he is not running for yet another term in the Senate. (Leahy started in Congress back in 1975). I always applaud anybody who gives their life to public service, but from my conservative point of view Sen. Leahy was impressively consistent; always wrong on almost every issue! (Gibbs will of course disagree, but he got into the eggnog hours ago.) Nonetheless, I do wish the good Senator a happy retirement.
Now, he'll finally have some well-earned time to finally restore his replica Batmobile.
His likely replacement, Rep. Peter Welch, is the clear frontrunner to take Leahy’s Vermont Senate seat. Welch has already been endorsed by Bernie; they are close ideologically so little is likely to change. Though… the feisty if badly outnumbered Vermont Republicans do occasionally get their act together and run a competitive race, particularly for Governor. So here’s hoping the race might get at least a little bit interesting in 2022.
Well, underscoring the idea of somebody who dedicated their life to public service, we need more people who understand it's a noble profession and who bring some grace and wit to the job. Obviously, it's a big moment for somebody who's been in the Senate for nearly 50 years, but it’s also a big turning of the page in Vermont politics.
Yes indeed! From older Lefty to middle-aged Lefty! Let’s get a Thanksgiving beer Gibbs!
We hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and we’ll see you on Tuesday!
Murphy and Gibbs