This is the essay by Norman Solomon about why Biden would be a disaster in 2024 which Salon, a Democratic website not known to be hyper-progressive, decided to put in the most prominent spot on their site:
When you put your cursor on the front page to read the article this is what you see:Wait a New York minute, what election is the author talking about, I wondered. The Democrats stood no chance of keeping the House and the control of the Senate hasn't been determined but it is looking good for the Democrats. Just about every honest pundit and journalist is describing the election as a win for the Democrats.
So in what world was Biden a drag on the Democrats in the midterms? If anything he was a sail catching the winds of national sentiment that independent voters had had it with far right extremism and lunatic GOP candidates. Boring Bidenism won over the election denying lunatics carrying the lunatic banners (and they are so many) of Trump and Trumpism.
I read the essay and then looked up to see who the author was. Here are his previous Salon articles. It was not a surprise that he is an outspoken progressive and former Bernie Sanders supporter.
The first paraprgraph is the gist of Solomon's argument:
No amount of post-election puffery about Joe Biden can change a key political reality: His approval ratings are far below the public's general positivity toward the Democratic Party. Overall, Democrats who won in the midterm elections did so despite Biden, not because of him. He's a drag on the party, a boon to Republicans, and — if he runs again — he'd be a weak candidate against the GOP nominee in the 2024 presidential campaign.
Extremism is a Democratic issue, too
All year — and especially in the closing days of the campaign — Democrats cast themselves as a mainstream alternative to the excesses of the GOP. But despite the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the hundreds of election deniers Republicans put on the ballot, voters on Tuesday did not appear to see it that way.
In preliminary exit polls, about equal proportions of voters said Democrats and Republicans were “too extreme.”
I view Solomon as an example of one of people the voters consider to be an extreme Democrat.
Breaking this down further, and avoiding the slam aimed at Democrats about post-election puffery, his comment about the polls is true but his conclusion is opinion, not fact. He doesn't know that Democrats won despite Biden. The midterms were not a referendum about Biden. If anything they were a referendum significantly on both Trump and Trumpism.
Read the article and see what you think, or don't read it. Having read the first paragraph it may suffice to read it and analyze the last paragraph here.
What does all this mean for people who want to defeat Republicans in 2024 and to advance truly progressive agendas? Joe Biden should not be the Democratic Party's presidential nominee. If he runs for re-election, representing the status quo, the outcome will likely be disastrous. Grassroots activism will be essential to create better alternatives.
First sentence above has two elements that are quite different. One is what the author's arguments add up to for those 99% of Salon readers who want defeat the Republicans in 2024 and the second is for those who want to advance the progressive agenda.
I consider myself a progressive, but I also know that there won't be a progressive agenda to advance if the Republicans win in 2024.
Next, Solomon has a big "if" in the phrase "if he runs for re-election, representing the status quo..." Absolutely, he shows no signs he has so far in his presidency, or will represent the status quo, in the future. He hasn't been progressive enough for some but he isn't bullshitting when he touts his accomplishments so far and reminds people that they won't see the results for a period of months.
Instead of being doomed to failure his attempts to broker deals across the aisle in the Senate which has not become a Trumpian bastion has been effective. All hail the modest moderate who even when he tries to brag can't help having a self-effacing modesty.
Now to Solomon's last sentence about grassroots activism. He should know about grassroots activism. He co-founded the online activist group Roots Action in early 2011.
He says that grassroots activism will be essential to create better alternatives, meaning I assume better alternatives to having Joe Biden run for president.
On the fact of it this may sound doable to progressives who want not only a candidate with a better chance of winning in 2024 but also leading a blue wave in Congressional and state election, but if they think they have a secret sauce for making progressivism the dominant force in American politics I have a bridge on the moon to sell them.
The only way for the Democrats to win national elections is to recognize that it was Biden who had the secret sauce and is was moderation both in policy and personality.