Panic at the Bidisco: Dems quietly making 2024 "contingency plans" already

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

I’ll bet they are. The problem for Democrats, however, won’t just revolve around their deeply unpopular Demagogue in Chief and the albatross he’s hung around their necks. After the smoke from the midterm referendum on Joe Biden clears, the party will have the same problem they had in 2020, 2016, and every midterm in the past dozen years except 2018.


Keep that in mind when reading The Hill’s report on “contingency plans” already being considered even before the election results come in:

Democrats behind the scenes are already talking about and making contingency plans for 2024 in case President Biden decides not to seek a second term, moves expected to intensify immediately after Election Day. …

At age 79, Biden has called himself “a bridge” between generations of Democratic politicians. Top leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), 82, and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), 71, are in his age range, and administration officials often swat off questions about whether he’ll run again, with public and private statements indicating his intent.

But taken in tandem with the uncertainty of the midterms, the age factor leaves the door open for Democrats to start laying some groundwork, and several have already shown signs that make their aspirations fodder for speculation.

Just how much has this reopened the debate over the “age factor”? You wouldn’t know it from the examples used by The Hill in this analysis. For instance, the strategy in Wisconsin for Mandela Barnes is to promote Bernie Sanders, who’s even older than Biden. But that instinct shows what the real problem is:


In Wisconsin, Democratic Senate nominee Mandela Barnes, the lieutenant governor, is hoping to get recognizable figures like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to the battleground state, according to a report in Politico.

A trip by Sanders, 81, would likely be seen as a controversial calculation in the home stretch, but could also raise questions about the senator’s own possible political preparations.

The Hill then goes on to analyze Sanders’ prospects for 2024, even though he’d be 83 years old in that general election cycle, following an aphasiac 81-year-old incumbent.

The real issue, though, is the progressive grip on Democrats. The party’s biggest issue is not Biden’s age or necessarily Biden himself, although that’s a big problem for them too. It’s that Biden, who won as a centrist, swung sharply to the Left after taking office and the party continues to push farther Left from that. In fact, that’s also what they want to do with anyone who comes up in their “contingencies”:

“It’s going to be the Bernie effect,” said McKenzie Wilson, who serves as communications director at the polling outfit Data for Progress.

“If you can get J. B. Pritzker to run, who’s been very pushed to the left by progressives in Illinois very successfully, is that a win?” she asked about the billionaire Biden ally who has been talked about as a future candidate.

It’s not just Democrats making contingency plans for themselves. Progressives are eyeing other possible presidential hopefuls to try to figure out on what issues they could be moved leftward.


That certainly makes sense for progressives, but it would be an absolute disaster for Democrats as a party. Their disconnects from the mainstream electorate keep multiplying both in number and distance, and in some areas appear to be accelerating on the latter. The failure of Democratic messaging on abortion in this cycle alone demonstrates just how disconnected they are from voters, and perhaps just how blinkered they are about their predicament. Midterm polling shows Democrats losing independents in droves, which is what happens when major political parties abandon the center to focus on the base and policy purity.

Had Biden campaigned honestly on the basis of the “contingency” plans that The Hill reports, he’d have gotten trounced. Don’t forget that House Democrats, who did campaign on progressive themes, actually lost seats in the last election, the first time in long memory where a party elected a new President and yet lost House seats in the same election. Running under their Emerging Progressive Majority myth in moderately blue Virginia last year, they lost every statewide race.

That’s the real problem. There is no Emerging Progressive Majority, and Democrats’ belief in it is a reductio ad absurdum of Leftist Utopianism. And as long as they continue to cling to that mythology, the more those disconnects will grow in both number and distance.


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