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Social media burned to the ground after New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman made what many saw as one of the most laughable proposals of all time, suggesting President Biden ditch Kamala Harris and instead run with Liz Cheney as his VP on the 2024 Democratic presidential ticket.
He wrote a cringy piece on Israeli politics, touting the “most diverse national unity government in Israel’s history.”
“It’s Off Broadway to Broadway,” Friedman wrote, “so what’s playing there these days that might be a harbinger for politics in the U.S.?”
“Is that what America needs in 2024 — a ticket of Joe Biden and Liz Cheney?” Friedman wondered uniting both sides of the political aisle in their hatred of the idea. “Or Joe Biden and Lisa Murkowski, or Kamala Harris and Mitt Romney, or Stacey Abrams and Liz Cheney, or Amy Klobuchar and Liz Cheney? Or any other such combination. Before you leap into the comments section, hear me out,” he begged, making it much, much worse.
Many contend his column embodied leftist desperation.
Wall Street Journal editors: We’re going to dominate hate-clicks today with our trolly “Hillary 2024” piece.’
Tom Friedman: Hold my beer. https://t.co/AeeGvEFAmb
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) January 12, 2022
His flawed reasoning seemed disjointed, to say the least. Friedman sought the opinion of political scientist Steven Levitsky, who gravely warned “democracy cannot afford for this Republican Party to win again.” He asked him if a Biden-Cheney ticket is “such a crazy idea.”
“Not at all,” Levitsky responded. “We should be ready to talk about Liz Cheney as part of a blow-your-mind Israeli-style fusion coalition with Democrats. It is a coalition that says: ‘There is only one overriding goal right now — that is saving our democratic system.’”
“If we treat this as a normal election, our democracy stands a coin flip’s chance of survival. Those are odds that I don’t want to run. We need to communicate to the public and the establishment that this is not a normal donkeys-versus-elephants election. This is democracy versus authoritarians,” Levitsky dramatically contended.
My husband has been telling me to come up with a hot take because it's been awhile since I ran a column anywhere prominent, but I have to admit, this wasn't on my radar. Sorry, I'm a failure as a wife and a pundit. https://t.co/2DokPIY9t7
— Liz Mair (@LizMair) January 12, 2022
Friedman’s nonsensical argument is that the U.S. could evolve through the creation of a fused political coalition that would inspire national unity, veering away from Trumpism.
He acknowledged that Americans buying into the idea is “highly unlikely.”
“This is the democratic way of defeating a threat to democracy. Not doing it is how democracies die. I am quite aware that it is highly unlikely; America does not have the flexibility of a parliamentary, proportional-representation system,” the columnist wrote on Tuesday. “And yet, I still think it is worth raising. There is no precedent for how close we’re coming to an unraveling of our democracy, either.”
“The Hillary vs. Biden-Cheney primary is gonna be lit,” Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake snarked in response to Friedman’s “unity” idea.
The Hillary vs. Biden-Cheney primary is gonna be lit. https://t.co/KUkRyrQpyH
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) January 12, 2022
“Love that basically every NYT columnist has decided to just go full self parody,” freelance journalist Jon Walker noted.
Love that basically every NYT columnist has decided to just go full self parody. https://t.co/N5r80qCPAz
— Jon Walker (@JonWalkerDC) January 12, 2022
The Chair of the Democrats Lawyers Council, Andrew Weinstein, simply couldn’t take it, “Of all the things that will never happen, this will never happen the most.”
Of all the things that will never happen, this will never happen the most.
— Andrew Weinstein (@Weinsteinlaw) January 12, 2022
Author Ben Dreyfuss succinctly summed it up, “Congratulations on coming up with a post everyone on all sides will hate read. Chartbeat will be off the hook. Respect.”
Congratulations on coming up with a post everyone on all sides will hate read. Chartbeat will be off the hook. Respect. https://t.co/tdcJac16pr
— Ben Dreyfuss (@bendreyfuss) January 12, 2022
Social media exploded over the jaw-droppingly bad suggestion and Friedman took massive fire from both sides:
I simply cannot think of anything to quip about this that’s more laugh-out-loud funny than the actual idea this man is seriously proposing.
So just read this and have a chuckle. https://t.co/JZrNcJ9ifc
— Tom Angell 🌳📰ⓥ (@tomangell) January 12, 2022
I’m convinced the new oped strategy for viewers is hate clicks. https://t.co/CVuhSpl4kM
— Tim Fullerton (@TimFullerton) January 12, 2022
I’m dead https://t.co/iLLLVlfY6N
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) January 12, 2022
Oh good grief this guy. https://t.co/d6ySG9I8Ao
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) January 12, 2022
The most storied institution in American journalism has given this man a high-paying job for life. And he farts this out. https://t.co/WQmO6MKpTT
— Noah Shachtman (@NoahShachtman) January 12, 2022
Find someone who looks at you the way pundits look at unity tickets https://t.co/bVeKP2xoVF
— Jacob Rubashkin (@JacobRubashkin) January 12, 2022
Even for Friedman, this is pretty Friedman. https://t.co/QCUzLluJ0X
— Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) January 12, 2022
— Siraj Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) January 12, 2022
We really are in the worst timeline. https://t.co/ICihP05aaj
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) January 12, 2022
Delete your account. https://t.co/zgsfq5o98t
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) January 12, 2022
Ain't no way in hell that's gonna happen. This is beyond idiotic https://t.co/t0eLrqU2Vc
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) January 12, 2022
NY Times columnist should not be a lifetime appointment. pic.twitter.com/iKVDi2CbgE
— Josh Zembik (@jzembik) January 12, 2022
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