Excellent observations Bernie. I wonder if the problem isn't as much that Biden has lost his sense of the prudential as it is that large parts of our society have eschewed reality in favor of fantasy. Biden goes along with whatever current is easiest to navigate. Our collective grip on reality is shocking when I consider the cultural insanity that routinely assaults it. Prima facially self evident facts are denied in favor of a preferred feeling in most any area. Fantasy drives our societal clown car to such an extent that the real villain becomes the very reality they deny. Make no mistake that reality will be, must be served eventually. President Biden has never struck me as particularly smart or hard working throughout his long career. So the chances that this will dawn on him are slim. Meanwhile, he fiddles while the two senators standing in the way of a party burning to the ground are pilloried by hosts of left wing pejoratives and threats. In the wings the MAGA fantasy folks stand ready to work their poison as their turn in power comes back. Now I am not a drinker. Times like these sure do present a temptation.

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Bernie, this commentary is spot on. It also makes one think that possibly Joe made a deal with the devil in order to get the nomination. He wasn't doing all that well in the primaries and then suddenly he was. Seems to me that someone at the DNC knew Bernie had the most enthusiasm and might get the nomination but would never beat Trump because Independents, and maybe actual moderate Democrats, are not fond of Bernie's policies. So in some manner a deal was struck. Joe gets the nomination, runs as much of a moderate as he can, but agrees that if he wins he will then become the new standard bearer for the Bernie/AOC lunacy.

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"Bernie Sanders lost precisely because Americans thought he was too progressive, too far out of the mainstream. That’s why they picked Joe Biden. Now a lot of them are wondering how they got President Bernie Biden instead."

I think the base of the Democratic Party is, generally speaking, far more amenable to the policies that Bernie Sanders and his supporters would like, then the electorate as the whole. It's a conundrum that this party faces. Unlike the 1990s, when then President Bill Clinton "triangulated" and moved towards the political center, the polarized, tribal nature of our politics today make that very difficult if not outright impossible to do. Clinton ended up being rewarded with a reelection victory in 1996 that was more decisive of a win than in 1992. If Biden attempted to do what Clinton did, it is possible that he would depress enthusiasm and turnout of ideologically intransigent Democratic base voters, and hurt them in 2022 and 2024. The President has chosen to govern pretty hard left of center, which is hurting his standing among independents/moderates even while it largely pleases the Democratic base. If Biden decided to split the difference between broadening his support and pleasing the base, he would have to walk a very fine tightrope in between governing as a centrist and a governing as a progressive, as a moderate progressive. And I'm not sure that it would work in today's political environment. I wouldn't be surprised if Biden is betting on pleasing his base at the risk of alienating moderates and independents, by assuming the GOP will nominate Trump again in 2024 and assuming the independents will hold their nose and vote Democratic.

As for the GOP, there is a grievance fueled cult of personality that pervades larges swathes of the Republican base. As a result of this, former President Trump remains very popular among the latter. The conundrum is that outside the base, he is unpopular. And the MAGA base doesn't tolerate a whiff of criticism of the former President, which includes not going along with the Big Lie. GOP candidates are also walking a tightrope, except theirs is more based on a cult of personality of a defeated former President, as opposed to mostly ideological as is with the Democrats. Criticizing the Big Lie will earn the wrath of the base. But perpetuating this kind of electoral fiction would put a swing or blue state GOPer in hot water with the moderate and independent voters he or she needs to win. Larry Elder is one example. The polls had against recall at about 15 percent, but they prevailed by about 23.8 percent. He started to peddle fibs about the 2020 election after the MAGA base pushed back at his claims that Biden was the duly elected President.

Biden's move is a risky one for him and his party. But it might work, if the GOP goes overboard in being cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

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