Saturday, April 18, 2020

Race for the White House # 68

Hopes are the worst might be over but still it will be a while before things feel "normal." As I predicted last week, the political back and forth over social distancing and "shutdowns" has ramped up. Many on the right are protesting, while being egged on by Donald Trump, even as his Administration officially requests continued social distancing and shutdowns. I have to wonder what the scenario would be if Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton were President and the incumbent party was scared to death over a crashing economy right before a Presidential election. Would the roles be reversed? Would it be the left claiming this was all being over-hyped and we needed to "stop being afraid?" I think that would definitely be happening to some extent.

I also know for sure that if Obama had said things Trump said this week about having "absolute authority" over states or Tweeting about "liberating" various states that had Governors of the other party or claiming he wanted to forcefully adjourn Congress, a never before used and Constitutionally questionable tactic, in order to make various "recess appointments", the reactions would be different. People who applaud Trump for these things now would be calling for a military coup and attempting to buy clothing or paraphernalia with the words "sic semper tyrannis" on them. My views on Trump this week have been about as negative as they have ever gotten, and that is really saying something.

Yes, Trump is mostly just talk and bluster. He is using his daily press conferences to spar with the media and insult Democrats as a substitute for his rallies and a way to fire up his political base. While he claimed he could somehow force states to re-open businesses, he clearly has no legal right to do so and had to make clear that Governors will indeed have the final say. We are starting to see moves put in place for some states to re-open at least some areas. We all want that to happen everywhere, but have to be concerned about the possibility of rising infection rates once again as a result. If that happens, there will be a lot of talk about "blood on hands." All the while, a couple of Oprah discovered tv doctors are going around joining those who say we must re-open for the sake of the economy and people's happiness at the extent of deadly collateral damage. Yes, many people die in auto accidents, but those are not contagious. This situation is very different than a pure matter of civil liberty. The lives of others are at state.We are told that it might be worth opening the schools now because only 2-3 percent of people might die as a result and the trade-off might be worth it. What insane ghoulishness.

No, this will not go on forever and yes, there will be some risk, at least until a vaccine is available, but let's give this a little more time. Statistics show it is working. America and the world needs to hold the line. This is our generation's "rendezvous with destiny" and in a relatively short period of time, we can look back on this seemingly horrid Spring with pride and not regret.

The fall will bring the Presidential election, seemingly one way or another. Trump continues to be as divisive as ever and Democrats seem to be as united as they have been, at least since Obama was seeking reelection. Joe Biden has now formally received the endorsements of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and yes, his former boss Barack Obama himself, who waited a curiously long time to make it official. Nonetheless, it is clear that Biden is the person to whom Democrats (and many others) are relying on to end the chaos of the Trump Era.

Right now, I would say that Biden is at least a slight favorite to win, but it will be more about Trump losing than Biden winning. The fact of the matter is that Joe Biden is not and never has been an "all-star politician." After the completely unorthodox and largely unexpected result the last time though, none of that might matter. Nonetheless, Biden cannot do anything over the next several months to cause people to rule him out as a potential President. For now, people seem to be giving him the benefit of the doubt including the largely ignored allegation of a 1993 sexual assault being made by one of his former staffers. We should not forget of course that the current elected President was accused of sexual assault by many more women, and all but admitted to doing so when he did not realize he was being recorded.

While I have not seen any specific evidence against Biden to suggest guilt and while I very much hope the allegation is untrue, no Republican, especially not a Supreme Court nominee, would be treated nearly as gingerly.


Post a Comment

<< Home