Dem Notes

  • “This (Afghan government collapse) did unfold more quickly than we anticipated.”—President Joe Biden, acknowledging the obvious. There’s a reason his ratings recently dipped into the 40s: his less-than-deft handling of the chaos along with those horrific optics that conjured Vietnam were front and center—even during an ongoing pandemic. Joe Biden, who was never a proponent of staying in Afghanistan, let alone a surge, is no Lyndon Johnson. But as with Johnson, it could hinder, if not undermine, his ambitious domestic agenda. It won’t matter that he inherited a mess, that he’s carrying out, in effect, an agreement signed by his predecessor, and that a majority of Americans don’t back a U.S. occupational presence in Afghanistan. It’s not fair, but right now Biden owns it. It comes with being the last commander-in-chief of a lost war.
  • Remember that mysterious “Havana syndrome,” dating back to 2016, which impacted scores of U.S. officials and family members? Well, the Biden Administration hasn’t forgotten. It’s still looking into the possibility they were microwave attacks launched by Russian agents. The National Security Council is officially on the case, and two separate task forces are now in operation. In short, this has gone from a medical mystery to a serious national security matter.
  • “Memo to both Democrats and Republicans: The party that forms a durable, long-term governing coalition in this country will be the party that most fully embraces, understands and speaks to the needs of Hispanic voters.”—Eugene Robinson, WaPo.

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