The Obvious Problem

By Erick Erickson Published on February 11, 2023

The Republican Party has problems. The party’s problems get incredible attention from the media. Political consultants wring their hands about the GOP’s problems. They have, supposedly, been on display for weeks, with much fretting over Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s speakership and the hecklers at the State of the Union. We all know the GOP has problems. But not much attention is given to the Democrats’ problems, which might prove fatal in 2024.

Lost Hope in Harris

The day before the State of the Union address, The New York Times ran a story on Vice President Kamala Harris that included this amazing sentence: “Even some Democrats whom her own advisers referred reporters to for supportive quotes confided privately that they had lost hope in her.” The Times is the latest major media outlet to report on Harris. On Jan. 30, The Washington Post ran a piece titled “Some Democrats are worried about Harris’s political prospects.”

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“Broader doubts about Harris, Democrats say, largely fall into two categories. Some party members fear that Americans are simply not willing to elect a woman of color as president, especially given the racism and sexism they see emerging in recent years. Others worry that Harris herself lacks the political skills to win a national race. And given the increasingly hard-edge tone of the Republican Party, they add, few Democrats are willing to roll the dice,” he wrote.

Buttigieg Has His Own Problems

Notably, on the Sunday shows preceding the State of the Union, Harris was nowhere to be found. Pete Buttigieg, instead, did much of the work trying to boost Biden. Buttigieg, too, has his own problems. His most spectacular accomplishment seems to be that he is a married gay man with children. He spent months on paternity leave, and no one noticed he was gone. Many of the areas in which he should play a role have seen disasters.

In just the past few months, the FAA shut down all air traffic for the first time since 9/11 due to the Notice to Air Missions system failing. The only significant thing Buttigieg had done to the system was make its name gender neutral. It had been the Notice to Airmen system. Around the same time, a jet at JFK Airport in New York nearly crossed the runway as another was landing. Then, in Austin, Texas, a FedEx plane nearly landed on top of a plane taking off thanks to air traffic control screwups. This comes after multiple FAA outages along the Eastern seaboard. We don’t even need to dive into the ports issue.

The 80-Year-Old Incumbent is All They’ve Got?

Jennifer Granholm, the Energy Secretary, smugly tells the poor to buy battery-powered cars. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is too progressive. The Democrats have no strong bench. Instead, they have an 80-year-old incumbent prone to wander, not just off stages, but off script into mumbo-jumbo word land. The recovering stutterer does not just stutter, but struts into fables, fibs and trails of broken sentences and forgotten words.

In his State of the Union, the president’s vision for America was one where he props up the bankrupt social welfare net of former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and spends more. He claims he wants to fix the economy, but also has Pete Buttigieg telling America the president’s poll numbers are worse than former President Donald Trump’s because Biden has already done so much no one can keep track of it all.

Just as strong men need not tell you they are strong, accomplished men need not tell you they are accomplished. Biden insists America is great because of all the wonderful things he has done these past two years of the 50 years he has been in Washington. Unfortunately for the president, few people not named Biden feel their lives are improved because of Biden’s accomplishments. He is the comedian delighted by the genius of his own joke no one else laughs at.

Republicans must deal with their herd of crazy. Republicans may not like to admit it, but the more they scream about past elections, the worse they do. But the Democrats, headed into 2024, are held together single-handedly by an 80-year-old at war with the English language and in need of daily direction just to exit rooms.


To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at


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