Monday Morning Tabs

Some 2024ish stuff and other tidbits.

 “No one else really embodies sort of the collapse of the party as well as Nikki Haley. She was what the party was supposed to be. She went out and said that Donald Trump was everything that she taught her children not to be, and she went from that to saying that she wants to carry on the Trump legacy. It’s just so sad. She’s already broken before she gets in the race.”

The donor network created by the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch is preparing to get involved in the presidential primaries in 2024, with the aim of turning “the page on the past” in a thinly veiled rebuke of former President Donald J. Trump, according to an internal memo.


Though the memo did not mention Mr. Trump’s name, leaving open the possibility that the network could fall in behind him if he won the Republican nomination, its references to a “new chapter” and leaving the past behind were unmistakable.

We’ll see. At the moment, the choices are Trump and Haley and Haley does not strike me as worthy of a massive investment. Likely this hinges on DeSantis’ choice.

Nine months ago, amid sky-high gas prices and legislative gridlock, anxious Democrats routinely offered the same assessments of President Biden as a candidate for re-election: too frail, too politically weak, too much of a throwback.

But now, as Democratic National Committee members gather in Philadelphia for their winter meeting this week, nearly all have come to the same conclusion: It’s Biden or bust.

This is just so silly and such a forced narrative. Barring true disaster it was always going to be “Biden or bust.” Parties simply don’t engage in a fight with a sitting president because such internal wars tend to lead to losses in November. Moreover, the overall incentives are to fall in line behind a sitting president (otherwise known as one of the, if not the, most powerful person in the world). It would take a massive, massive scandal/policy failure of epic proportions or a serious health problem for this to change–and that was true when we were seeing “sky-high gas prices and legislative gridlock.”

If anything, a party jettisoning their president (or even just a significant faction trying to do so) is massive admission that they made a massive mistake–the kind of mistake voters are unlikely to reward at the ballot box. “Oopsie! Give us another chance” is not the stuff of epic political strategy.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Mister Bluster says:

    Was it a policy failure of epic proportions that led a sitting American President to utter these words?
    I shall not seek, and I will not accept…LBJ. March 31, 1968

    I was 20 years old in Junior College with a 2S deferrment and would not be old enough to vote in the November, 1968 election.
    I remember exactly where I was when I was stunned by those words.

  2. gVOR08 says:

    @Mister Bluster: I was sitting in a dorm room at U of Illinois doing homework and half listening to the radio. I sat up and said to myself, “Huh, it sounded like he said he’s not running, but that can’t be right.” Then I heard cheering up and down the hall.

    I’ve since come to see LBJ as a tragic figure. An otherwise really good president brought down by carrying on an inherited policy to keep the right off his back.

  3. Mister Bluster says:

    @gVOR08:..tragic figure.

    We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.
–Lyndon Johnson, Oct. 1964

    Lyndon Johnson assumed the United States Presidency on Nov. 22, 1963 the day President John Kennedy was assassinated. 
That same year 122 American Soldiers were killed in the Vietnam War.

    In 1964, 216 American Soldiers were killed.
In 1965, 1928 American Soldiers were killed.

    In 1966, 6350 American Solders were killed.

    In 1967, 11,363 American Solders were killed.
In 1968, the last full year of Lyndon Johnson’s Presidency,
16,899 American Soldiers were killed. 1400 a month.

    RIP…You too Lyndon…

  4. Scott says:

    The struggle is real (via the NYT): Alarmed by A.I. Chatbots, Universities Start Revamping How They Teach. I have only poked around with ChatGPT a little bit to date but will say that in my experience the tool, and others like it, could very much affect educational assessment because the bots can produce plausible answers to the kinds of questions one might ask.

    Interestingly, our local paper had an article on the exact same subject:

    San Antonio profs are grappling with that AI thing that helps students write — and maybe cheat

    “We clearly have policies around academic integrity and to hold students accountable for any types of academic dishonesty,” said Melissa Vito, vice provost for academic innovation at UTSA. “We don’t have a specific policy addressing AI and ChatGPT. Whether we will in a year or two years, or six months, is yet to be determined.”

    A UTSA professor said his colleagues suspect students used ChatGPT during final exams in December, though none have been able to prove instances of plagiarism. Vito said she hasn’t yet received reports of potential cheating but “wasn’t shocked” by the idea that students are using the app to complete their coursework.

    For now, Vito doesn’t want to rush a policy and supports faculty attempts to learn about ChatGPT and look at ways to use it.

    UTSA this week launched a website featuring ChatGPT-specific “instructional strategies,” with recorded presentations and workshops, guides and articles. The university is also bringing in tech experts to speak on ChatGPT and developing a “faculty learning community” of local professors to gauge the effects of AI apps in classrooms.

  5. Stormy Dragon says:


    “that AI thing” is a very weird phrase to see in a newspaper headline

  6. @Mister Bluster:

    Was it a policy failure of epic proportions that led a sitting American President to utter these words?

    As noted by the commenters: Vietnam. (Update: as noted by you, so maybe I am misreading the tone of your original comment).

    And, I would note to my point: the Republicans won in 1968.

  7. dazedandconfused says:

    I suspected party strategists begged Nikki to get off that train before it wrecked when she abruptly resigned from the Trump administration, specifically the surprisingly-quiet-through-the era Karl Rove, so she could be a relatively un-tainted candidate.

    He’s leaping to her defense now.

  8. Mister Bluster says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:..tone
    I debated with myself about how to phrase my comment.
    President Lyndon Johnson’s decision to not run in 1968 is not the same as parties engaging in a fight with a sitting president over running for re-election which is what you are writing about in the piece.
    Until he took his hat out of the ring I believe most everyone thought that Johnson would be the Democratic candidate in November ’68.
    His withdrawl is the closest scenario to the Times’ silly forced narrative about the party ditching a sitting President that I could think of in my lifetime.
    I could have stated “It was a policy failure of epic proportions, the Vietnam War, that led a sitting American President to utter these words.”
    However I do not want to sound like an authority on the matter.
    My take is a layman’s observation.

  9. @Mister Bluster: I agree that LBJ removing himself was different than party elites trying to oust him.

    Although by the same token part of why he withdrew was his poor showing (granted, as a write-in candidate) in the 1968 New Hampshire primary (back when primaries were so-called “beauty contests” and not central to the nomination process.

    So, there was some internal dissent and a policy debacle in context.

  10. Mister Bluster says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:..So, there was some internal dissent and a policy debacle in context.

    I confess that I had forgotten about Senator Eugene McCarthy’s “upset” in the ’68 NH primary. And I do recall those elections tagged as “beauty contests”. Your mention of it prompted me to find this NPR item:
    The Night In 1968 When A Nation Watched An American Presidency Crumble

    1968 was one hell of a year.