Sunday, November 15, 2020

66 Days to a Fresh Start: Prison? Nah, Just Barred from Future Elected or Appointed Positions

A meme circulating on Facebook has a picture of Donald Trump. Above his picture he is saying he will serve two terms. Below the picture it reads, one in federal prison and a second in state prison.

Humorous, even if you are a Trumpster. (For the record, I do find humor in some of the far right jokes about Joe Biden.)

Do I want Trump to go to jail?

No. I want him, his children and their spouses to be barred for life from running for any elected federal, state or municipal office, including dog catcher. They should also be barred from serving in any appointed federal, state or municipal government position.

These penalties would be agreed to and exacted as part of  guilty plea-deals to avoid trial and possible incarceration in New York State for tax evasion and fraud in securing loans. In case you missed it, the plea deals would apply to Donald, Don Jr., Eric, Ivanka and their spouses. 

As much as I would like to shut off their microphones and social media feeds, the First Amendment would prohibit the Trumps from being barred from spewing their bile in the print and electronic media and through social media platforms. As a nation we will just have to learn to live with it. Hopefully, ignore it. 

Tip Was Right: Pundits have been bending into contortions trying to explain why Joe Biden handily won election while Democrats failed to surf a blue wave to dominance in the Senate and state legislatures; they even lost some of their majority in the House of Representatives.

Simply put, more Americans tired of Trump’s bluster and, finally, saw dealing with COVID-19 expose his incompetence. They chose Biden’s steady hand and decency. (As for Trump’s attempt to tarnish him with scandal of his own or his son Hunter’s, well, voters just thought that was a case of the kettle calling the pot black.) 

The failure of a blue wave to materialize can be explained by the late Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill’s old saw that all politics is local. Voters weren’t casting ballots for executive-legislative balance. They picked candidates they felt better reflected their homespun values.

In other words, they weren’t interested in transformative agendas. They wanted to be cosseted by candidates who would comfort them the way an old sweater warms the body.

Which brings us to the twin Senate runoff election in Georgia. The national media portrays the January 5th vote as make or break decision day for Biden’s legislative agenda as he needs both Democrats to win to break Mitch McConnell’s stranglehold on setting the Senate agenda.

All true. But Georgians are first and foremost Georgians. To secure their votes each candidate must drill down how their positions benefit Peach State voters. Not being a Georgian, I cannot detail what they care about. But just as Maine voters chose to re-elect Susan Collins while Biden outpolled Trump, the choice will come down to character and local issues in Georgia. 

Adept or Inept?: Conspiracy theory believers reject Biden’s victory. They maintain Democrats craftily manipulated ballots and tallies in every state Biden won. A masterful conspiracy across the land.

Yet, for all their adroitness at securing sufficient votes for Biden, the conspirators apparently had to be the most inept planners of a government takeover. How else to explain their failure to also mark the ballots for Senate and House seats that would give Democrats absolute power in Washington to push forward a progressive agenda? Why wouldn’t they have also made sure Democrats flipped state legislatures?

Oh, what a devious, uncanny lot these Democrats be.