Saturday, May 09, 2020

Race for the White House # 71

Groundhog Day. Groundhog Week. Every Saturday pretty much feels the same these days and I am not sure what to focus on in regards to a Presidential election that is now less than six months away.

It is all a matter of perspective as it relates to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Some think things have gotten better and it is time to ramp up the "re-opening." Others believe things are still pretty bad and we have to avoid doing anything to make things even worse. Others amazingly seem not to care if things get worse as long as their own lives can return to the comforts they were used to. I think at times like these we should look at even greater reverence towards the "Greatest Generation" and those that survived the Great Depression and won World War II. There are fewer and fewer of them left by the day, which should be all the more reason to want to protect those that remain.

Of course, times are tough for many, even as they remain physically healthy. More people are out of work than at any time since the Great Depression. While the long-term fix is apparent, there are some real short term effects for those who are not receiving an income and who worry about putting food on the table and supporting their families. Even when the economy begins to recover substantially, not every boat will rise at once. All of this makes things very perilous politically for the incumbent Donald Trump. Still, Democrats run the risk of going too far in blaming him for a situation that has fallen over the entire world. This past week, critics of Trump had to watch the Trump Justice Department formally drop all charges against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who had previously plead guilty to lying to the FBI. Many had been convinced that Flynn had colluded with the Russians in 2016. Evidence has unearthed problems with the investigation of Flynn, but nonetheless, Flynn clearly did some things wrong in his relationship with Trump. He is lucky to not be facing prison time. Those who somehow want Trump to welcome him back to the White House should think again.

Trump has been less visible on television recently, but just as controversial. He continues to lash out on Twitter at the media, NeverTrump conservatives, Democrats, and anyone who criticizes him in any way. He continues to accept  none of the blame for what is ailing America right now but demands all sorts of congratulations that things are not even worse. He has started to travel a bit now which may put others at risk of exposure, but also seems to be pretty cavalier about his own safety. Now, two people who have had close proximity to Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in recent days have tested positive for the virus. Of course, Trump and Pence are going to have to be tested daily, but precautions around them , such as the wearing of masks are probably going to have to be elevated. Trump has said he would be willing to share his "fast" testing kits with presumptive Democrat opponent Joe Biden, who remains like most of us, basically stuck at home, and struggling with technology. After all, Trump says snarkily but with a hint of accuracy, the more Biden is able to speak publicly and get attention, the more it might help the incumbent's campaign.

Speaking of Biden, this is the week where the Tara Reade story finally got a lot of mainstream attention. It is not worth getting into an in depth discussion, but there are clearly some issues related to the credibility of Ms. Reade. Of course, the same could have been said but was highly pushed back against in regards to women who have in the past made accusations against conservatives. It is undeniable though that Reade did work for Biden in 1993 and something unwelcomed happened to her at the time. After all, we have now seen divorce testimony from her ex-husband from 1996 claiming she faced sexual harassment while working in Biden's office. Still though, the most graphic details of what she has alleged are hard to imagine actually happening and she has made some very weird and fawning comments about Vladimir Putin which if nothing else raise questions about her judgment.

Biden has strongly denied raping Tara Reade. Obviously, there is not going to be any evidence unearthed to suggest otherwise, but is he not saying all he knows about her time working for him and why her employment ended? He and his supporters ought to pledge to be bigger people and better ones than Trump and his acolytes on matters like this and be forthcoming and if necessary apologize for anything that might have been said or done inappropriately. Still, there is never an excuse to falsely accuse someone of a serious crime. Ultimately, only two people really know what happened, and of course a Higher Power whom controls all fate.


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