Saturday, February 16, 2019

Race for the White House 2020 # 7

What to write about this week?

I have been fairly sick for most of it, but of course national politics has continued. I just have not really felt the need to consume much of it beyond the basics.

After the State of the Union Address, Trump supporters have been heartened by some slight rises in his job approval numbers. However, I wonder if that will still be the case this week, as even many on the right are very disappointed he went along with the Congressional spending bill to keep the government open.  Much of this is "inside baseball", but it is clear he could have had a far better "deal" months or weeks ago than he ultimately wound up taking. He also declared the much anticipated "national emergency" to use already allocated funds to build his "Wall." In announcing so, he seemed to hurt his own case in terms of the legality and political necessity of doing so. It is all but assumed that the courts will prevent that money from being spent in such a way. In the meantime, Democrats and Republicans will argue over just what kind of power a President can have or what a future President may be able to do. Needless to say, I hope as many Republicans in possible stand firmly against this unconstitutional power grab by Donald Trump. The end result though is not that he will is determined to "build a wall", but that he has formally given up on building it and will just try to fool people into thinking otherwise. Say what you will about Ann Coulter, at least she gets it.

A visual that struck me from Sunday was Amy Klobuchar announcing her Presidential campaign amid a massive Minnesota snowstorm. She did so with no hat and no umbrella. Eat your heart out William Henry Harrison!Trump himself had to Tweet about the scene from one of the many "global warming is real" candidates announcing the effort in a blizzard. I just want this winter to be over with. It has felt particularly brutal.

Yesterday, former Massachusetts Governor William Weld announced his Presidential exploratory committee. The candidate, who had backed Democrat Barack Obama for the White House in the past, and whom less than three years ago pledged a lifelong loyalty to the Libertarian Party is planing to run as a Republican. In doing so, he becomes the first statewide office holder since the 1980 cycle (Ted Kennedy) to challenge an incumbent President for re-nomination and the first challenger of any recognizable standing since Pat Buchanan's run. A primary challenge against an incumbent President is almost always bad news.

I very much hope that somebody with a higher political ceiling than Governor Weld runs in the Republican field, and ultimately, it will probably make sense to not have multiple anti-Trump candidates, but I admire the fact that the long-time political iconoclast actually has the guts to do this. I just may find myself with no choice but to vote for him in a little over a year.


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