Jamelle Bouie: Yes.
Ezra Klein: — responding to world events, responding to every month’s economic news drop. And at some point, if they want to do anything differently than that, they’re not just going to have to choose which popular things they say. They’re going to have to choose which controversial things they say, such that Republicans and others engage on the other side, and the locus of American political conflict moves back onto ground they’ve chosen.
Jamelle Bouie: An example of this, pulling from what we’ve been talking about, is if Joe Biden were to, on Friday, give a national speech — from the Oval Office, from the Rose Garden, wherever, a big national set piece speech denouncing the Republican Party as embracing gross homophobia, this would be controversial. People would get upset. But it would seize the agenda. It would reorient things toward talking about these issues on ground that might be more favorable to Democrats. And I see no indication that Democratic leaders are even thinking in those terms.
Lulu Garcia-Navarro: Jane, I want to think about this idea of unpopularism, that the Democrats, as Ezra says, are not wanting to push something that might not have broad support. But of course, there is someone who loves to do that a lot: Trump. And I am wondering about what you see his role is coming up in the 2022 midterms. Because we have him endorsing a lot of candidates, including Sarah Palin for Congress this week, targeting some major G.O.P. incumbents who have stood up to him, like Lisa Murkowski and Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, all the while still peddling the big lie. How much influence do you see him having these days? And how should we regard Trump as a force in politics, a force in society — and, I guess, are those two the same thing?
Jane Coaston: I know that I’m probably the only extreme sports fan on here. But I feel like sometimes when we’re talking about Democratic strategy, it’s like, if only they would run the offense we think they should run, they would win. I actually don’t know what Democrats should do or what would be best. There’s what I would want them to do, and I don’t know if it would work.
But as to Trump, I think what you’re going to see is actually a decline in his influence, because he absolutely will not move on past the 2020 election. He can’t do it. He is physically unable to do so. And you’re seeing with his endorsements in the upcoming cycle — actually a number of his endorsements aren’t doing very well.
You’re seeing this in Georgia. You’re seeing this in other places, with Herschel Walker or something like that where, yes, Mitch McConnell has said that he’s got his support, but there is some concern, I think, on the ground that that could be another losing race. Because, again, if your litmus test for Trump has nothing to do with anything that is taking place in 2022, but all has to do with whether or not you’re willing to say that Trump actually won the 2020 election …
He is a losing one-term president who is existing interminably as a losing one-term president. It is important to note that Democrats want him to be more influential than he actually is because he is a major vote-driver for Democrats, as we’ve seen in Georgia and elsewhere.