Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Will Biden or Trump Be Target at Dem Debates?

Chum is filling the waters surrounding Joe Biden, bringing in political sharks eager to rip his candidacy to shreds. At times, inadvertently, Biden himself contributes to the bloody waters. All the while his Democratic rivals are doing Donald Trumps’ unspoken bidding in weakening his appeal. 

With each passing day, each revelatory past and present quote or vote, Biden is discovering for the first time that being a campaign frontrunner means the dissection of the corners, sometimes the dark, obscure corners, of his public life and his family’s private lives is fair game (

Biden can take small comfort that other candidates are under intense scrutiny. For Bernie Sanders it has meant explaining how a self-proclaimed socialist became a millionaire (a book contract and book sales). Bernie’s wife also has had to answer questions about her business conduct. 

Elizabeth Warren has earned veteran status answering queries about her heritage. Native American or not? Who really cares? Only those, including Trump, who care more about appearances and less about the substance of a campaign to ease the economic burden of struggling families. 

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is finding out how one nationally reported incident involving the shooting of an unarmed black man by a white policeman can dispel the tranquility and image of a well-run city. 

But it is Biden who has the most baggage from four and a half decades of public life in Washington. Votes he is proud of. Votes he regrets. Votes he once was proud of but now regrets. The press is eager to cite his shortcomings either through its own investigations or through “oppo” research provided by Democratic and Republican detractors. 

Regardless of who wins the Democratic nomination—the first debates are Wednesday and Thursday nights in Miami—he or she will face an incumbent whose integrity and character are shameful but irrelevant to much of the electorate. Yet, he or she will be held to a higher standard. 

Not fair, but surely true. Which leads us back to Biden. How should the acknowledged-by-all-frontrunner deal with the Chinese-water-torture drip of negative stories? Should he explain those were different times? Should he apologize? Should he recant and state new positions as he did with the Hyde Amendment restriction on federal financing of abortion (he’s now against any restriction)?

Or should he let the voters decide if he is Trump-challenger worthy? I’m inclined to pick that course, combined with selective usage of the recant and restate option. 

No candidate will emerge perfect and unscathed during this looooong nomination process. The media will do its share of nitpicking and hole punching. Other Democrats, on the other hand, must refrain from poisoning their brethren. They must remember the real objective is unseating Trump. It means nothing to secure the nomination if the prize eludes the nation because of party fratricide. 

They also must keep in mind that national elections are won by appealing to the broadest section of the electorate. Most Democrats and Independents are centrists, not radicals. The country is tiring of Trump’s extremism. It is not looking for a pendulum swing all the way to the left. Voters are seeking equilibrium with traditional American values. Democrats would be wise to heed the words of Charles Sykes, a conservative Wisconsin-based political commentator on how not to blow the election (https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/06/25/democrats-trump-election-2020-227215?cid=apn).

“She’s not my type.”: In other words, if she was, then, yeah, maybe I would have done it. 

That, in essence, is Trump’s latest defense against a claim of sexual assault in his pre-presidency days. Pictures at the time repudiated his alibi of never having met E. Jean Carroll. So he falls back on a frat house response to date rape. Nah, I wouldn’t touch her ’cause she’s not my type. 

As if that ever mattered to an oversexed, entitled-believing misogynist who has been outed for cheating on his two previous wives and on his current spouse just days after she delivered his fifth child. He at first denied the Stormy Daniels tryst but her version of their encounter apparently is the factual one. 

Undeniably Unreliable: I was amused by this AP headline above an article on fallout from Trump’s last minute decisions not to strike Iran for shooting down an unarmed American surveillance drone and for postponing the start of an ICE roundup of illegal aliens:

“AP Analysis: Trump moves show him to be unreliable partner” (https://apnews.com/a47ecf2848ee4df5a6cf62e84c35bed8)

I was amused because Trump’s personal history has time and again shown him to be an unreliable partner. He has cheated on all three of his wives. He has stiffed numerous contractors for work they have done on his properties. He has defaulted on loans. His businesses have declared bankruptcy six times. He has bilked thousands of customers who enrolled in his “university.” He has reneged on deals he made with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. 

People! Hello! What more proof do you need before realizing he is not to be trusted?