Saturday, May 02, 2020

Race for the White House # 70

There are not many topics related to the Presidential race worthy of going into great detail this week. Things still seem to be in a holding pattern. Joe Biden is in his basement in Delaware and Donald Trump has been somewhat less visible this week at the White House. Potential female Vice Presidential runningmates for Biden declare various levels of interest in the job while defending the presumed innocence of the accused from years ago candidate. The current Vice President Mike Pence got heat for violating the mask policy at a visit to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. He said he wanted to be able to look people in the eye. Gee, that makes sense. I think the real reason was he did not want his boss Trump to look down upon him for wearing a mask. Later on in the week though, Pence was photographed wearing a mask. There is also the whole issue of is North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un dead, alive, or sick? Was he interviewed as a 90's Bulls fan for "The Last Dance?"

Obviously, the country is still engulfed with matters related to the coronavirus. We are all looking for signs that things might be getting better, while becoming  more numb to the death totals, which have surpassed most American war fatalities. There are some hopeful signs regarding possible medication to treat those who become infected, but the real relief will not come until a vaccine is developed, tested, and available. In meantime, debates continue to rage in the states about what can be opened, and how fast, and what capacity. The silent majority of Americans, per polling, seems to be more than willing to keep waiting, despite the personal and economic hardships, and in fact fear we may open too soon. Others, notably those who claim to support Donald Trump want to seemingly open everything up now and roll the dice on the consequences. Trump continues to give them subtle encouragement while the official policy of his Administration remains in favor of shutdowns and social distancing.

With each passing week, there are going to be more and more Americans though who are tired of waiting. We can probably get through May without any major problems, but by the time June hits, there will have to be some evidence of an improved situation or more people will be calling for a different approach.

I really do not know what else to talk about this week. Traditionally, the time of the spring,when nominees are known, are a bit of a campaign slowdown, but certainly more so than usual this cycle..... oh, I thought of something else after I first hit publish....

Firstly, former Minnesota Governor and political gadfly Jesse Ventura, after denying interest, is now saying he is "testing the waters" for the Green Party Presidential nomination. The former professional wrestler and actor who won statewide office as a centrist, is now pretty left-wing and radical in his politics. Other candidates, notably Howie Hawkins of New York are already running for the Green Party nod.

On the other end of the spectrum, conservative iconoclast Michigan Congressman Justin Amash, (who at age 40 is much younger than the 68 year old Ventura or the major party candidates) has put his name into contention for the Libertarian Party nomination. Amash, who left the GOP over disagreements with Trump would have had a hard time winning a three way race for his Congressional seat, so this move is not a huge surprise. Even people like me though on the right who detest Trump have had many issue with Amash over the years, especially as it relates to his views on foreign policy. Still, I admire the fact that he was one of the few in the party willing to break with Trump formally. This week, he registered as a Libertarian with the Clerk of the House, meaning he is the first ever member of that party to serve in Congress. He is saying that he believes he can actually win the general election. Maybe that is something politicians need to say, but I am not even sure that the party newcomer can with the Libertarian Presidential nomination .However, it is true that the party does have a history of welcoming recent Republican converts and nominating them for the highest office, such as Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Gary Johnson.

Finally, for the last two weeks, I have talked about the double standards behind the media and the Democrats' avoidance of the accusation made against Joe Biden of sexual assault which allegedly occurred in 1993. His campaign denied it but Biden himself had not addressed the issue directly until Friday. On a cable tv morning show, he explicitly said that the allegation was false. The former Vice President said he would release records from the National Archives, but apparently not from Senate files given to the University of Delaware. There will likely be continued calls for him to do so.

While Biden's reputation of an old school hugger and occasional hair sniffer have been known, very few think that what amounts to an allegation of rape is in character with what they know about him. Even Trump himself, who has been accused of such things by multiple women, seemed to show some sympathy that Biden may be falsely accused. (Trump always felt the same about Bill Clinton too before trying to use Clinton's accusers politically for his own purposes.) Eventually, Trump may feel he has no choice but to talk a lot about Tara Reade. It is worth noting that Reade's accusation of sexual assault is far more serious than her initial claim that she was sexually harassed by Biden. Now, she is saying that she never alleged those things directly when she complained in 1993. Still, many on the right are enjoying this story and seem to be holding on to the hope or delusion that Biden will eventually be dumped by his party in favor of Andrew Cuomo or even Hillary Clinton. These are the same people who mostly choose to shrug off anything related to Donald Trump and sexual misconduct.

Needless to say, the left has their own double standard. Not long ago, we were told that all women must be believed. The caveat though, as expressed by Nancy Pelosi, seems to not apply to Democrat men who are accused. As she put it, "Joe Biden is Joe Biden" which makes it different from the far murkier and less specific allegations made against now Supreme Court Justice Bret Kavanaugh from his teenage years. Nowadays, those backing Biden do not want to talk about Kavanuagh, just Trump. I can understand why. They have proven that the 2018 outrage over Kavanaugh was merely fake and politically driven.


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