Skip to main content

Bye, Bye Bernie

Berkley MI
Friday

So Bernie’s out. Now what?
The question comes from Canada again—a rational country with a seemingly capable government. Luxury items, to be sure.
It’s apparent that all the traditional norms of American presidential elections—primaries, conventions, nominations, campaigns, Election Day, inauguration—are now subject to drastic improvisation and adjustment. How we handle it will pretty much define the future of our country and, quite possibly, our species.
Bernie hung on too long—he always does—but he leaves at a nonetheless opportune time. Now Democrats will have plenty of time to get used to the idea that Biden is their guy. He is nobody’s first choice—including mine—but I have no doubt he’s the right choice, however flawed. He is someone we know, someone we can put forward under the current, deeply dire circumstances. Somehow, he will officially capture the nomination, whether at a convention or a Zoom conference, who knows?
A word about Joe Biden, from personal observation over a lot of years.
I have sensed that his heart isn’t really in this. And I sympathize. He’s old, he’s tired, he knows he’s past his sell-by date. He’s not bringing the fire he used to. So why should he put himself through this?
I think, despite the ambivalence, he feels this is something that has fallen to him, that he has no choice about. And I think it is in his character to rise to the occasion. He will be driven by fear of failing, but it won’t be for himself. He’ll fear for the lives and souls being lost, too often needlessly, in this emergency.
That said, I think what really gets him going, what may actually energize him, is the people he knows he can hand stuff over to. He will have at his disposal the most spectacular pool of young political talent in living memory. And if I read him right, he’s thrilled about it. And he’s just the kind of guy who might well sit back and let them do their thing. Less work for him.
While the recovery effort will surely be astronomical, there’s no doubt that these are the people we want on the job. Who wouldn’t want to turn the economy over to Elizabeth Warren? Or turn Justice over to Schiff or Klobuchar? Defense to Buttigieg? HHS to Stacy Abrams?
You get the idea, and so does Joe. I’ve left out Kamala Harris because I assume she’ll be the VP. And I’m guessing she’ll have a really broad portfolio.
But mouth-watering as that sounds, we can’t be idiots. The fight is now about forcing a real election, and our chances of success are only fair. In a real election, we can win big enough to throw these creeps into jail. And don’t think they don’t know it.
So it’s encouraging, if horrifying, to see the lines of voters six feet apart in Wisconsin. Every election since 2016 has revealed something that isn’t being talked about much, namely that a sizable percentage of Americans seem to be deeply ashamed of their previous apathy. They seem to have a new appreciation of what the ballot box means, and what their smug complacency led to in 2016.
Looking at both the mid-terms and the primaries, it’s been quite clear that a lot of people will crawl through broken glass to make up for that mistake. In Wisconsin they literally risked their lives, just to show Trump they were out there. Think about that.
But then, let’s be real. Between the voter suppression and the gerrymandering and the Russian sabotage and the courts packed with lunatic judges and the 5-4 Supreme Court and the endless treachery of state legislatures and the bottomless evil of Mitch McConnell and his accomplices, well, let’s just say the next year will be interesting.

P.S. Turns out, Paul Krugman is thinking about Wisconsin also, and he’s a lot more alarmist than I am— https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/09/opinion/wisconsin-primary-democracy.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage —which is not to say he’s wrong.

Comments

  1. There is some feeling that the Comments section isn't working right. I'll keep checking.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Andy as usual you are spot on. What a Dream Team that would be! If only everyone would get out and vote, even with the manufactured constraints, it could be possible,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A few variables will be in play between now and then.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The GOP's Weaknesses are More Apparent than its Strengths

  Anyone who’s paying attention now understands that this election is a whole lot scarier than it ever should have been. It’s a shame — and an indictment of our constitutional system — that it comes down to an election at all. Surely, the Trump problem should have been settled by now, with no further elections required to get him out of our lives. His crimes were such that the real crime was letting him remain at large. All those checks and balances we were taught to revere should have somehow found a way to rid us of this monster. But the Supreme Court seems to have Trump’s back, though it’s not clear what that gains them. If anything, it makes one wonder what Trump is holding over them, and what might happen to their families if they don’t keep him out of prison. So it will come down to the election, and the lines couldn’t be drawn more indelibly. I prefer to think this can work out well — that these scorched-earth hacks can be overwhelmed at the ballot box

The New York Times has Gone Over to the Dark Side

  A week or so ago, Trump took a break from the courtroom and held a rally in a picturesque corner of New Jersey, a state he has no hope of winning. His speech at this rally was even more unhinged than usual, featuring his now-famous tributes to Al Capone and Hannibal Lecter — the latter being as fictional as Trump’s medical records, but seemingly real in his mind. These speeches are growing worse over time, and they seem to betray a worsening cognitive condition. Unfortunately, the New York Times doesn’t see it that way. Their reporting of the event was basically a puff piece . To them, this rally was Trump’s well-deserved break from the rigors and indignities of his criminal trial. They marvel that, “after a long and tense week,” he could now head to the Jersey Shore for some much-needed rest and adulation: Against the backdrop of classic Americana, Mr. Trump repeated his typical criticism that Mr. Biden’s economic policies were hurting the middle class.

Trump and Pecker Sittin’ in a Tree

  Before there was Fox News, before there was Rush Limbaugh, before there was the sprawling rightwing ecosystem of fake news and vicious smears we so enjoy today, there was the National Enquirer . For most of our lives, the Enquirer stared up at us from the checkout aisle of our local supermarket. Somehow, we never made the connection that its readers would one day fit the stereotype of the Trump voter — under-educated, gullible, malleable, easy targets for disinformation. The Enquirer nurtured those targets over many decades, got them to believe virtually anything, and helped lay the groundwork for the sort of know-nothing insurgency that brought Trump into all our lives. Decades ahead of its time, the Enquirer was peddling fake news long before it was fashionable. It appealed unapologetically to humanity’s baser instincts, the ones most of us try to rise above. It was always flamboyantly sleazy, and always there in plain sight, something we could dependably