Former Vice President Joe Biden, now seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination for President, seems to aim for a "middle ground" on climate change policy. Never mind that this "middle ground" looks suspiciously like we'd just be clawing our way back to the Obama-era status quo, or that a "middle ground" is less likely to save our planet than an agenda corporatists will label "radical" and "extreme" -- dig this flatugasm from a Biden spokeshack: "What we learned from the Obama administration is unless we find middle ground on these issues, we risk not having any policies." Oh Jesus Mary and Joseph: "what we learned from the Obama Administration" is that once you signal to right-wingers that you won't fight, they'll just move further right, and you won't "hav(e) any policies" worth a damn.
In a related note, Mr. Biden thinks that, once our current President is out office, Republicans will have an "epiphany" and work with Democrats again. The evidence, of course, points to the opposite conclusion, especially when you remember that Republicans stonewalled the center-right Mr. Obama in 2009 and 2010 and were rewarded with 63 more House seats and six more Senate seats. The only thing that'll shake Republicans out of their stupor? Shame and humiliation in unmistakeable proportions in 2020. And Democrats will surely prevent that, by running out as many "electable" "non-ideological" "problem-solvers" as possible.
Rachel M. Cohen at In These Times visits Kentucky -- where high-paying coal miner jobs have left an indelible mark in residents' minds -- to describe some of the issues we'd have in shifting to renewable energy. A coal miner who has transitioned to renewable energy work warns that the transition costs money (he had to intern for six months) and might not persuade coal miners used to making high five figures who honestly believe that the coal jobs really are coming back. And a liberal activist also reminds us that even though Kentucky has moved right (especially in recent years), "FDR was just a peg or two under Jesus Christ here," which again suggests that maybe we need more actual liberals, and fewer "electable" centrists, running for office.
Greg Stohr at Bloomberg notices that "Mystery Delays Push Divisive Supreme Court Issues Into Election Year." Some analysts cite the contentiousness of the Kavanaugh hearings as a possible reason, but they may be misapprehending the lesson of those hearings a bit, i.e., that if those hearings had gone on into November, we'd probably have a larger Republican caucus in the Senate, and we might not even have a Democratic House! Delaying decisions on abortion, immigration, transgender issues, etc., into 2020 turns Republican voters out -- and regardless of the outcomes! If they rule the way Republicans would prefer, then "the President delivered," but if they don't, then "the President must be re-elected so he can get better judges on the Supreme Court." In the long run, though, this ain't gonna help John Roberts convince everyone that federal courts aren't political.
Finally, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is the lone Republican to vote against one of our President's judicial nominees, specifically citing, as his reason, said nominee's 2011 characterization of former President Obama as an "un-American impostor." And Politico treats us to five paragraphs about how this is Mr. Romney's "latest break with the President," citing precisely two other "breaks." And note that the judicial nominee still got confirmed, because, like all the rest of them, Mitt Romney only stands on principle when it makes no difference.