Stupid 2024 Fantasies II

Hillary Clinton edition.

I had initially intended to combine this along with the last post but Tom Friedman’s Biden-Cheney 2024 column was stupid enough to deserve its own post. And Douglas E. Schoen and Andrew Stein may well have surpassed him with their Wall Street Journal suggestion for “Hillary Clinton’s 2024 Election Comeback.”

A perfect storm in the Democratic Party is making a once-unfathomable scenario plausible: a political comeback for Hillary Clinton in 2024.

Several circumstances—President Biden’s low approval rating, doubts over his capacity to run for re-election at 82, Vice President Kamala Harris’s unpopularity, and the absence of another strong Democrat to lead the ticket in 2024—have created a leadership vacuum in the party, which Mrs. Clinton viably could fill.

She is already in an advantageous position to become the 2024 Democratic nominee. She is an experienced national figure who is younger than Mr. Biden and can offer a different approach from the disorganized and unpopular one the party is currently taking.

If Democrats lose control of Congress in 2022, Mrs. Clinton can use the party’s loss as a basis to run for president again, enabling her to claim the title of “change candidate.”

Ordinarily, the notion that the sitting President would be ousted by his own party for another candidate would be absurd. While George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, and Gerald Ford all faced primary challenges, none came particularly close (and Ford was an accidental, not elected, President). The last President eligible to run for election and not do so was Lyndon Johnson in 1968 and his ratings were in the toilet, the country was much more divided than it is even today, and his health was in rapid decline.

Biden is somewhat unpopular right now, although no more so than several other Presidents who went on to be re-elected. But, as has been noted many times, he’s far and away the oldest man to hold the office and there was always a background idea that he would be a one-termer.

But: Hillary Clinton? Granting that she won 2 million more votes than Trump in 2016, she’s wildly polarizing. And it’s been half a century since a party gave a losing candidate another shot at it. (Although, in fairness, the GOP seems poised to do so in 2024.)

In a recent MSNBC interview, Mrs. Clinton called on Democrats to engage in “careful thinking about what wins elections, and not just in deep-blue districts where a Democrat and a liberal Democrat, or so-called progressive Democrat, is going to win.” She also noted that party’s House majority “comes from people who win in much more difficult districts.”

Mrs. Clinton also took a veiled jab at the Biden administration and congressional Democrats in an effort to create distance: “It means nothing if we don’t have a Congress that will get things done, and we don’t have a White House that we can count on to be sane and sober and stable and productive.”

I agree with all of that in principle but the fact of the matter is that Biden won 2020 by a much bigger margin than Clinton did in 2016 and, well, he won-won. He might know a little something about politics. And, while I have not agreed with all of Biden’s policies, it’s hard to argue that he isn’t “sane, sober, and stable.” Whether he’s been “productive” is in the eye of the beholder but, all in all, things are better than they were just under a year ago when he took office.

Even Bill Clinton recently set the stage for his wife’s potential 2024 candidacy, referring to her in an interview with People magazine as “the most qualified person to run for office in my lifetime, including me,” adding that not electing her in 2016 was “one of the most profound mistakes we ever made.”

“Qualified” is, of course, an incredibly subjective concept but I’d argue that Joe Biden, George H.W. Bush, and Richard Nixon were all significantly more qualified than Hillary Clinton. But, yeah, it would have been far better had she won the election than Trump.

The Democrats’ domestic agenda is in disarray given the failure of Mr. Biden’s Build Back Better plan in Congress. Senate Democrats’ latest desperate push to repeal the legislative filibuster to pass their secondary legislative priority, voting-rights reform, will likely weaken their agenda further.

Mr. Biden’s overall approval rating is low (40%), as is his rating on issues including the economy and jobs (38%) and taxes and government spending (33%), according to a recent Economist/YouGov poll. Nearly two-thirds of independent voters disapprove of the president.

Barring a major course correction, we can anticipate that some Democrats will lose important House and Senate races in 2022—in part for the reasons Mrs. Clinton identified—giving Republicans control of both chambers of Congress.

Polls generally show the GOP with a solid lead of at least 2 or 3 points in the 2022 generic congressional vote—a margin that likely would be enough to take back the House, given the narrow Democratic majority and the anticipated outcomes of redistricting in several states that could affect key races.

Given the likelihood that Democrats will lose control of Congress in 2022, we can anticipate that Mrs. Clinton will begin shortly after the midterms to position herself as an experienced candidate capable of leading Democrats on a new and more successful path.

So, this is just hackery coming from experienced pols who should know better.

A 40% approval rating at the one-year mark isn’t particularly unusual. It’s true that most recent Presidents had slightly higher ones and that only Trump was significantly lower. But the circumstances—a global pandemic and a former President and his party and infotainment apparatus challenging the legitimacy of the election—are rather extraordinary.

Does anyone believe Clinton would be more successful than Biden at convincing Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to get on board?

And the likelihood that Democrats would lose the Congress was always high. Absent something like the 9/11 attacks, it’s just what happens.

Mrs. Clinton can spend the time between now and midterms doing what the Clinton administration did after the Democrats’ blowout defeat in the 1994 midterms: crafting a moderate agenda on both domestic and foreign policy.

I would argue that Biden’s foreign policy agenda is moderate; indeed, more moderate than Clinton, a notorious hawk, would likely have. I do think Build Back Better is aggressive and trying to appease to many parts of the coalition. But why would we expect Clinton to be more successful at managing the coalition than Biden?

If Democrats want a fighting chance at winning the presidency in 2024, Mrs. Clinton is likely their best option.

Clinton got just under 66 million votes in 2016 and lost the Electoral Vote. Biden got over 81 million in 2020 and won the Electoral Vote. It makes no sense at all to suggest that she’s somehow more attractive a candidate than he is.

Barring tragedy, Biden will almost certainly be the 2024 nominee. I fully expect him to win again, since re-electing Presdients has long been the default position in American politics. It’s even more likely if, as seems likely, the Republicans run Trump a third time.

In the off chance Biden decides not to run, though, I would bet next to anything that the party will nominate someone other than Hillary Clinton.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2024, Hillary Clinton, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. I saw that last night and all I could think was how stunningly stupid the whole idea was.

    8
  2. MarkedMan says:

    Click bait.

    7
  3. Kathy says:

    Far easier to repeal the 22nd amendment, dig up St. Ronnie, clone him, and accelerate his growth until he’s a Democrat, and have him win the primaries and the general election.

    Far more plausible, too.

    Hillary Clinton lost to Little Benito. she’s done for ever.

    4
  4. Matt Bernius says:

    On November 11th, 2018 on the very same opinion page, Andrew Stien (one of the two authors of this wish casting piece) predicted that Hillary Clinton would run in 2020 and capture the nomination.

    Hillary Will Run Again
    Reinventing herself as a liberal firebrand, Mrs. Clinton will easily capture the 2020 nomination.
    By Mark Penn and Andrew Stein
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary-will-run-again-1541963599

    At least he was smart enough to choose a different collaborator in order to rerun the same tired material. I think it also says a lot about the Journal’s editorial staff’s memory.

    8
  5. Kylopod says:

    @Matt Bernius: Also, Doug Schoen (with his then-partner Pat Caddell) back in 2011 was saying Obama should step down so that Hillary could be the 2012 nominee. This was discussed here at OTB (by our dearly departed Doug):

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/draft-hillary-the-political-hackery-of-pat-caddell-doug-schoen/

    I still have trouble fathoming that Schoen (or maybe it was Caddell? I can’t remember) was one of the writers for The West Wing. The two have been concern-trolling Fox News fake-liberals for quite a while.

    3
  6. Jen says:

    The Wall Street Journal knows exactly what winds up its audience.

    This is them selling subscriptions to people like my father who cannot stand Hillary Clinton.

    1
  7. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    Before even the 2018 midterms, at this message board I used to hang out at*, the MAGAs made it very clear they wanted Clinton to run in 2020. They were convinced not only that she would run, but that no one else would.

    *I dropped it in favor of OTB.

    2
  8. gVOR08 says:

    @Jen: Exactly. And some weeks pundits have column inches to fill, deadlines, and no ideas. Some version of what Dr. T said, “Whether he’s (Biden’s) been “productive” is in the eye of the beholder but, all in all, things are better than they were just under a year ago when he took office.” would be topical, useful, true, but anathema to Rupert Morloch’s WSJ.

    1
  9. Gustopher says:

    Ok, but with Cheney as her running mate, she would be unstoppable. The first all female Presidential ticket.

    4
  10. Sleeping Dog says:

    Clinton sycophants conducting a seance. Let’s move on, nothing to see hear.

    Part of motivation for this navel gazing is that Biden, even when his popularity rebounds, can fall victim to concern about his age in the general election. Trump as an opponent would stifle that concern, but if the R’s ran a younger, not evidently crazy candidate?

    Then there is the chance that Biden won’t run, and on the face of it the Dem bench appears thin. Professional pols, too often fall back on known quantities as the path forward, voters tend to fall in love with an emerging candidate. See, Clinton, Bill, Bush, GW, Carter, Jimmy, Eisenhower, Dwight and Kennedy, John. None of those presidents came out of nowhere and all were governors, war heroes or senators and in the case of Bush the benefit of nepotism. What they had in common, is that they weren’t the same recycled pol that emerged from the smokey, backroom.

    1
  11. Matt Bernius says:

    @Kylopod: I appreciate that you always keep all your receipts. Thanks for that link.

    Man, I hope to one day be as successful at having a career saying crazy things in public and still getting paid/offers to write.

    2
  12. Stormy Dragon says:

    Vice President Kamala Harris’s unpopularity

    I see this more as a result of the “news” media largely being a self-licking ice cream cone than an actual reflection on Kamala Harris.

    5
  13. Kylopod says:

    One thing I’ll note is that if Trump becomes the GOP nominee in 2024, as a lot of people are expecting will happen, it will be the first example in the modern era where a nominee who lost in the general election gets nominated again. By “the modern era,” I specifically mean 1972 forward–that was the year when the primary-centered method of nomination first emerged, where the convention is merely a coronation ceremony for a nominee who was known months before. In 1968, when Nixon managed to get his party’s nomination eight years after a losing general-election campaign, that was still a time when only a handful of states held primaries and where you could totally skip them and still win the nomination (as Hubert Humphrey did that year). So it was really a different type of system Nixon was competing in. And back then, party elders did often seem perfectly willing to nominate the same candidates more than once–that’s how you get examples like Thomas Dewey and Adlai Stevenson. The sting of being branded a “loser” didn’t have the same impact as we tend to think of it today. And even then, Nixon had to work really hard to get back in his party’s graces so that he could be seen as a plausible contender again. It was still an uphill battle. And fairly or not, Hillary’s losing to Trump in 2016, however narrowly, is widely seen as a discrediting moment in her political credibility, which I don’t think was the case when Nixon narrowly lost to Kennedy. So even if one believes she would make a formidable Democratic nominee in 2024, good luck convincing primary voters that they’d be comfortable putting this belief to the test.

    3
  14. just nutha says:

    Put down the bong and leave the room guys! Still, I know some people who are still Jonesing them some Hillary as President. Despite the fact that she is arguably still the most galvanizing female in American political life. (AOC might overtake her at some point, though, considering the number of heads she lives rent free in.)

    1
  15. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Kylopod: I agree with your statement (about her political credibility).

    I’d only add that I got the impression that the 2016 campaign was pretty hard on her and that there’s nothing anybody could do to convince her to run again. (My impression is that presidential campaigns are tough on everyone, but 2016 was particularly bruising.)

    There was an article from June of last year about a book that claimed that Trump even thought that Hillary (or Michelle Obama???) was going to end up being the nominee.
    https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/557261-trump-believed-democrats-would-replace-biden-with-hillary-clinton-michelle

    I even remember reading that they were still selling Hillary merch at Trump’s rallies. There’s a real thirst for Hillary to run again by republicans because they have fun (I guess that’s the right word? I’m not sure that’s the best description, but that is how I interpret their behavior) beating up on her.

  16. Kylopod says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    There was an article from June of last year about a book that claimed that Trump even thought that Hillary (or Michelle Obama???) was going to end up being the nominee.

    Both Hillary and Michelle did receive small percentages on the betting markets.

  17. flat earth luddite says:

    With regards to the Stupid Fantasies I and II…

    Oh, jeeze, the stupidity out there makes my head hurt. But my gosh, whatever these pundits are smoking, I definitely don’t want to bogart that joint… they can keep the whole bloody thing to themselves. Just take away their crayons and paper, please!

    4
  18. John430 says:

    Barring tragedy, Biden will almost certainly be the 2024 nominee. I fully expect him to win

    C’mon! You can’t be serious! All political items aside, the man is in early stages of dementia. He has several times referred to Harris as President Harris, still believing he is the Veep. He announced that certain issues “they” won’t allow him to address and he daren’t answer direct questioning from the press, blithely saying he was “not allowed” to talk about this or that. He is a caretaker President and his handlers can’t slow his mental decline. I actually feel sorry for him but am more sorry for the nation’s decline under him.

    1
  19. Kylopod says:

    @John430:

    You can’t be serious! All political items aside, the man is in early stages of dementia. He has several times referred to Harris as President Harris

    Is that your own conclusion, or did you happen to ask Tim Apple over a meal of hamberders with covfefe?

    6
  20. Mister Bluster says:

    @John430:..the nation’s decline under him.

    Here is what your boyfriend Donald Trump has said about the Coronavirus.

    May 2018. The Trump Administration disbands the White House pandemic response team.

    July 2019. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) epidemiologist embedded in China’s disease control agency left the post, and the Trump Administration eliminated the role.

    Jan. 22, 2020. “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.”

    Jan. 28, 2020. “This will be the biggest national security threat you face in your presidency…This is going to be the roughest thing you face” Trump’s National Security Advisor to Trump

    Feb. 2, 2020. “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”

    Feb. 10, 2020. “I think the virus is going to be—it’s going to be fine.”

    Feb. 10, 2020. “Looks like by April, you know in theory when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”

    Feb. 26, 2020. “The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”

    Feb. 27, 2020. “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”

    March 11, 2020. “It goes away….It’s going away. We want it to go away with very, very few deaths.”

    841,000 corpses in the US. Trump thinks this is very few.

    3
  21. Kylopod says:

    @Mister Bluster: Also, his conversation with Woodward in Feb. 2020 indicated he knew damn well how bad it was and was deliberately misinforming the public. (The book I just read, which goes into quite a bit of detail on what was happening on the inside, supports this even more.) In that conversation he claimed he was trying not to cause a panic (which some have interpreted as meaning he didn’t want to hurt the stock market), but what I think it really came down to is that he was doing what he always does in response to problems: try to Jedi-Mind-Trick everyone into believing the problem doesn’t exist.

    3
  22. inhumans99 says:

    @John430:

    And you did not feel sorry for this country’s decline under Trump? Okay then.

    Even if I felt your post could be the start of a good conversation discussing the mental stress placed on a person who is the President, and how this is something to be tested (and not the way Trump was tested, a real evaluation of one’s mental sharpness or lack thereof), I know that you basically go all Rich Lowry and get little starbursts in your eyes when you look at Trump so that type of nuanced discussion about mental health is not on the table.

    If it were, well…I might as well expect pigs to fly, because it is not. Kind-of makes me a bit sad as I would love to have a conversation with you that has you acknowledging that some of the things that Trump did and said are not the greatest ever proclamations and actions by a President.

    I can certainly criticize certain actions by ex-President Obama, and our current President Biden but can you do the same for ex-President Trump?

    3
  23. matt bernius says:

    @John430:
    I feel sorry for people who are still too afraid or too ashamed to publicly discuss Former President Trump (who can’t even handle the light pushback of an NPR interview) or 1/6.

    Not to mention that if they really believe what they are writing, that means that their Alpha Male uber president not only lost the Senate and the House but also loss the Presidency to a man with dementia.

    5
  24. steve says:

    This is just the WSJ helping Trump.

    Steve

  25. John430 says:

    @inhumans99: but can you do the same for ex-President Trump?
    Yes, absolutely, but you failed to notice that I prefaced my comment by saying, “all political issues aside.” And, I don’t recall any REAL comments about Trump’s mental health, other than pejoratives, which are not facts. @matt bernius:

    1
  26. John430 says:

    @matt bernius: What color is the sky in your make-believe world? FYI: In case you have trouble with passing of time, you might understand that Biden’s dementia was kept under wraps during the campaign and he was closely monitored by his handlers. In office, however, he is more visible and it is apparent to all, except you Never-Trumpies, that Biden is a walking basket case.

    1
  27. John430 says:

    @Mister Bluster: Much of your two-bit quotes are just too stupid to deal with. Trump organized the coronavirus action committee under an Army general. He also halted air travel to and from China. The Biden-Fauci clown team STILL denies it came from the lab in Wuhan, China.

    1
  28. Gustopher says:

    @John430: actually, they gave Trump a very basic senility screening, which Trump described as “hard questions” and said “all the doctors were surprised I did so well!”

    That was the whole man, woman, camera, potato thing. It’s why everyone thought it was funny — taken at face value, Trump is saying that doctors expected him to fail the basic senility screening test.

    8
  29. Gustopher says:

    @John430:

    The Biden-Fauci clown team STILL denies it came from the lab in Wuhan, China.

    There is no evidence to support the lab leak theory. Was SARS-1 also leaked from a lab? MERS?

    It also doesn’t matter at this point, other than perhaps we should improve lab safety procedures everywhere.

    Yes, there’s a lab in Wuhan. There’s also a lab in nearly every major city.

    3
  30. Matt Bernius says:

    @John430:
    So many words and still nothing about Trump or 1/6. As always a portait in courage their Johnny!

    Or, I guess since you are calling us “Never Trumpers,” you still support they guy who is lying about the election results.

    Didn’t you once swear an oath to the Constitution? Way to support an individual who was and still is willing to burn it down.

    If course you still don’t have the guts to actually state it.

    4
  31. Matt Bernius says:

    Also John, you really need to quit talk radio as you are doing some amazing conspiracy theories there. Your getting close to being one letter away from a “Q” and free-dumb isn’t a good look on anyone.

    3
  32. Kurtz says:

    @just nutha:

    Put down the bong and leave the room guys!

    Hey, now! I’ve said plenty of stupid shit. I’ve done it here, even though I have the ability to unsay something I said by not pressing, “Post Comment.” But not a single dumb thing I’ve said, ever, could be blamed on being stoned.

    2
  33. Kurtz says:

    @John430: @Gustopher:

    There is no evidence to support the lab leak theory. Was SARS-1 also leaked from a lab? MERS?

    This is one of the things that has frustrated me during the lab leak bullshit sessions that continue. Finding the origin of a disease-causing virus is difficult. It’s not searching a haystack for a needle, it’s closer to looking for a needle in a pile of identical-looking needles.

    You raise the issue of MERS, which first appeared on the global stage in 2012. Guess what? We, to my knowledge, still don’t know the natural reservoir of that coronavirus. We only suspect that it is some species of bat. Anybody who claims that it came from a lab is basing it on something other than fact.

    4
  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kurtz: Can Schoen and Stein say the same thing? Ah ha! I thought not!

    1
  35. Mimai says:

    @Kurtz:

    But not a single dumb thing I’ve said, ever, could be blamed on being stoned.

    Sounds like a New Year’s resolution.

    1
  36. John430 says:

    @Gustopher: There is no evidence to support the lab leak theory.

    And Fauci was veeerrrry slow to admit that gain-of-function was under actual investigation and development at that lab.

    1
  37. John430 says:

    @Kurtz: I never mentioned anything about MERS. Get your targets straight instead of just shooting blindly.

    1
  38. John430 says:

    @Matt Bernius: Learn to stay on topic. Nothing about Trump was relevant to this thread. My comments were regarding the Biden clown.@matt bernius:

    1
  39. Mister Bluster says:

    @John430:..”…too stupid to deal with…”
    You said it. That’s your man Trump.

    1
  40. John430 says:

    @matt bernius: And yet the self-anointed Hillary was defeated by Trump. What does that say about your candidate? Her return for a rerun is on another thread here today. LOL!

    1
  41. Jax says:

    @John430: And of allllll the trolls…..only you took the bait. On THIS issue, Hillary running again? That’s…odd. 😛

    I honestly don’t see what you’re talking about as far as Biden being senile or having dementia. The speeches that I’ve watched outside of the trumposphere indicate he can still orate like a champion. Maybe you’re watching only videos inside your bubble? Trump spent 4 years spewing word salad that made no sense, and you were fine with that. It’s kinda like the judges….you made the rule, now you can live with it. 😛

    4
  42. Kurtz says:

    @John430:

    I tagged you, because the point was directed at your assertions via @Gustopher’s post. And you seem to have missed the point–each passing day without discovering the natural reservoir for SARS-CoV-2 is not evidence for anything other than locating the origin of a virus is difficult.

    Interesting choice of words. Out of curiosity, why the use of “target” in this situation? Did you have one of Pauls graft a holographic sight onto each of your eyes so the world can be seen as under threat from an AR?

    Most importantly, all of us need to know if this is considered gain of function research. And if so, who funded it?

    2
  43. John430 says:

    @Kurtz:
    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease head Dr. Anthony Fauci and several other top scientists were warned that COVID-19 could have been created by gain-of-function research in early 2020, according to email transcriptions released Tuesday by Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
    Two scientists, Michael Farzan of the Scripps Research Institute and Robert Garry of Tulane University, noted properties of the virus that they believed pointed to enhanced transmissibility stemming from gain-of-function research.

    The opinions of both men were provided to Fauci, then-National Institutes of Health head Francis Collins, and then-NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak in an email from researcher Jeremy Farrar sent on Jan. 31, 2020. The existence of the emails was first revealed by Buzzfeed News in June 2021, but they were released with significant redactions. Due to classification rules, the emails could only be viewed by the Republican committee members and staff, who could then take notes and transcriptions in a classified setting.
    arzan was “bothered by” SARS-CoV-2’s furin cleavage site, which he viewed as “highly unlikely” to have been created in “an event outside the lab,” according to the transcriptions. The existence of a furin cleavage site, which enables the virus to become more transmissible, has been pointed to by several proponents of the lab leak theory, since the two closest known relatives of SARS-CoV-2, RaTG13 and BANAL-236, do not have the site.
    Farzan claimed that a likely scenario for the creation of the furin cleavage site was the “passage [of] SARS -live CoVs in tissue culture on human cell lines (under BSL-2) for an extended period of time.”
    Garry noted the similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and RaTG13, then the closest known relative to SARS-CoV-2, which was discovered in a cave in Yunnan Province in 2013. The protein sequence would “all have to be added at the exact same time to gain” the enhanced transmissibility, he wrote, adding, “I just can’t figure out how this gets accomplished in nature.”
    “Of course, in the lab it would be easy to generate” the missing protein sequence that separates SARS-CoV-2 from RaTG13, Garry noted.

    1
  44. Kurtz says:

    @John430:

    1.) long passages, aka quotes, should be accompanied by a link or other means of finding the source.

    2.) Explicitly political documents, especially those that concern highly technical matters, should be evaluated closely, as they are generally released for political, not technical reasons.

    So…those technical details may be pesky for you. What does Garry say now?

    According to the transcribed notes, Garry, a professor at the Tulane University School of Medicine, said on the call that he had aligned the SARS-CoV-2 genome with that of RaTG13, a 96-percent similar virus isolated from bats at the Wuhan Institute of Virology that was long regarded as the new virus’s closest known relative — though a closer one has since been identified. Garry found that the spike proteins of RaTG13 and SARS-CoV-2, which makes the latter so infectious, were nearly identical. The key distinction was in the ability of the new virus’s spike protein to interact with furin, which Garry found too perfect to make natural sense. “I just can’t figure out how this gets accomplished in nature,” he said.

    “My initial impression and that of others about the [furin cleavage site] was wrong. I changed my mind with new information/new data,” Garry wrote to The Intercept. “That’s how science works. No one was trying to mislead the public. What was in the Proximal Origins paper was our best analysis — it’s held up extremely well.”

    Source.

    Oh, and if you look at the documents sent along with the letter, you will find this quote, from a Dutch virologist who does GOF research:

    Given the evidence presented and the discussions around it, I
    would conclude that a follow-up discussion on the possible origin of
    2019-nCoV would be of much interest. However, I doubt if it needs
    to be done on very short term, given the importance of other activities of the scientific community, WHO and other stakeholders
    at present. It is my opinion that a non-natural origin of 2019-nCoV is highly unlikely at present. Any conspiracy theory can be
    approached with factual information.

    … An accusation that nCoV-2019 might have been engineered and released into the environment by humans (accidental or intentional) would need to be supported by strong data, beyond a reasonable
    doubt. It is good that this possibility was discussed in detail with a team of experts. However, further debate about such accusations would unnecessarily distract top researchers from their active duties and do unnecessary harm to science in general and science in China in particular.

    Here you have a scientist saying two things: first, that the lab leak theory would require an enormous amount of data that would meet a particular standard, “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    Second, he also points out that it should be done later, not at the time (2020) because it would take resources from more important tasks in the middle of a pandemic.

    Yeah, the idiotic column that spawned the blog-post ain’t the only wish-casting going on here.

    6
  45. Gustopher says:

    @John430: When you spew obviously false claims about Biden being senile, why do you think anyone would even bother checking your references on this bullshit?

    I mean this in the best of all possible ways: You’re either an idiot, a liar or both.

    6
  46. Gustopher says:

    @Gustopher: ok, apparently @Kurtz will check your work (and discover the person spreading obvious falsehoods was spreading obvious falsehoods)

    4
  47. wr says:

    @John430: “The Biden-Fauci clown team STILL denies it came from the lab in Wuhan, China”

    Yes, and they also keep saying that the Earth is round. No wonder you hate them so much.

    5
  48. Kurtz says:

    @Gustopher:

    To be fair to John, he’s correct that there were a couple virologists who thought that, for the sake of brevity, the spike was too perfect to have occurred in nature.

    But let’s be honest here, neither of the virologists who left open the possibility of engineering were expressing the opinion that it was leaked from the lab. They were refusing to rule it out. The most specific one quantified their opinion as 60-70% likely that it came from the lab. Setting aside the wisdom of that sort of quantification, that’s hardly an endorsement.

    1
  49. John430 says:

    @Gustopher: Call me all the names you want but, first, get your head out of your ass.

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  50. Matt Bernius says:

    @John430:

    And yet the self-anointed Hillary was defeated by Trump. What does that say about your candidate?

    Nothing like answering a question with a question.

    But hey, let’s play your “both sides” game.

    Oh, and I’m the first to admit that, despite winning the popular vote, Hillary lost that election. Which, by the way, she also conceded the day after the election. Trump on the other hand, *never* conceded, continues to lie about the results of the election (and you have yet to go on record as to whether you believe him or not), and attempted to overturn the election at every turn and make a mockery of the constitution… which it seems like you know because you always choose not to address it.

    If you were a true believer you’d defend him and his lies. My suspicion is that you know how screwed up it is and don’t care because at the end of the day you’d prefer your side win by whatever means necessary and damn the Constitution when it gets in your way.

    So, no, there really isn’t any comparison there. Also, find me any Democrats that are currently making swearing allegiance to Hillary Clinton a necessary part of running for office.
    Oh, and heck, it doesn’t matter again if your guy royally screwed your side on the way out (see the Georgia senate Race). Because you’ll still vote for him because owning the libs is all you apparently care about.

    BTW, you were the first person who strayed off-topic with conspiracy theories about Biden’s mental state. But hey, you do you.

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  51. inhumans99 says:

    @John430:

    Wow, you claim that yes, you could find things to criticize about Trump, but then get annoyed/petulant and say, but let’s not go there and just focus on your criticism of Biden. Okay then, so the answer is NO, you are not willing to have a conversation about the flaws of both Presidents.

    You also claim that someone’s head is up their rump, and I have to say to you physician heal thyself. You only want folks to agree with you, otherwise you consider us dumb and ignorant because we are not seeing what you clearly can see in front of your two eyes, basically, if we are not careful we can get into a back/forth that goes on forever where you call us dumb and ignorant, we call you the same, and round and round we go.

    My preference would be to imagine that we spent the next hour saying you are a puppet, no, you are the puppet to each other and it ends with you calling me a poopy head and saying you are going to take your ball and go home because I suck, cool, cool. I can live with that.

    Have a good day John430, and be well.

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