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Maskless Monday

Three items to ruminate about today.

First up, there are widespread complaints that Biden’s VP pick process is taking too long or has been upturned by Ed Rendell or in general is all worng.

Let’s think about this for a second because it doesn’t seem all that off to me even if Ed Rendell sticking his unwanted sexist foot in his mouth is supremely irritating.

As election years go, this is one for the record books. The time is definitely out of joint. Who knows what will be considered a good or bad move when the dust settles.

That being said, if I were Joe Biden, I’d want to continue to keep a low profile. After all, Republicans bugged out of town on Friday just as the coronavirus stimulus was expiring and they hadn’t done much to address the second bill that Pelosi sent them MONTHS ago. Instead, they fought amongst themselves over whether to include write offs for three martini lunches. I’m sure there was a more ideological bent to their discussions. Many of them just hate the idea that the hired help has to be paid a living wage in the first place. That $600 extra was undeserved. It disincentivized people from working.

There are incentives to non-productive behavior all over the upper wage earning crowd when it comes to investment banking. It gets a lot of people very very rich. Why stop the scrutiny at the level of the unemployed retail cashier?? I swear, when Republicans learn from history, they go all the way back to Richard II.

Nevertheless, Republicans who rode to office with Trump aren’t the brightest bulbs in the pack. They don’t seem capable of working through the implications of removing money from a consumer society in a shock and awe manner to goose people back to work at possibly non-existent jobs in on the verge of relocking down states.

Not to worry. Trump has decided those babies in Congress can’t get the job done so he’s going to start throwing his unilateral bulk around.

That should go well.

See? If you were Biden, why would you want to distract attention from that with a VP pick? Once the pick is announced, SOMEONE isn’t going to be happy. If it’s Kamala, her enormous fan base on Twitter will be ecstatic, cluelessly stomping on the hearts and minds of every other candidate’s constituency. God, I thought Bernie Bros were obnoxious. It’s nothing compared to the Harris contingent.

If it’s the more sensible choice for January 2021 in Warren, there will be gnashing off teeth over BLM not being recognized.

(Disclaimer: I’m a Warren promoter because 1.) I’m focused on what’s left in the treasury in January and 2.) Warren has studied the two income problem to death. She’s seen the root causes of our present dilemma better than anyone. BLM will become a distant echo of a happier time if we’re forced into soul crushing austerity. I’m sorry but I don’t think this is Kamala’s forte but it is Warren’s.)

Anyway, with the Republicans in Disarray headlines finally getting rolled out, Biden would have to be nuts to announce a VP one second before he has to. The minute he announces, the Trump campaign will spring into action, roll out oppo research, seed a bunch of ridiculous stories into QANON and Fox, and produce a bunch of stupid nicknames that his base will eject from their mouths on cue, bypassing all brain function. That last knee jerk response cycle will be cringeworthy for those of us who have to witness it and trust me, I’m getting sick of being nice about it. There will be no cheek turning this election season.

In essence, Trump will start running against Biden’s VP candidate. Misogyny will tear its ugly head. Racism will be non-stop. The base will be energized. Are you kidding me?? You think they are ever going to vote for that monster by the time the Trump assholes get their narratives started? By the time they’re done, even the VP’s mother wouldn’t want to be associated.

You think that wouldn’t happen this year? I don’t know. There are some supremely disoriented people out there and Trump is their guy. God only knows why but it might be that the whole coronavirus thing is just overwhelming them. Like this “lady” in the video below. If this is mental illness, there are an awful lot of them crawling out of the woodwork lately. Go ahead, try to reason with her about Susan Rice or Gretchen Whitmer. Does she look like she is receptive to a calm rational conversation?

Trump brings out the best in people, doesn’t he? Or he brings something out of them. Something that’s deep and dark and nasty. Some of us just don’t have that in us. I find it shocking that so many other people do. Where does that come from??

Anyway, I was cleaning out my screenshots on Saturday and found something that anyone contemplating not voting for Biden should take to heart;

That sums it up in a nutshell.

I do have to get this in here: no one should be working around unhinged strangers without a mask. Mask up, gentlemen.

**************

Kevin is losing it too:

So, are these people losing it because everything they believed in the last 4 years is turning out to not be true? Is is because all that winning has left them with a sense of entitlement even as the rug gets pulled out from beneath them?

Speculation? Comments? Insight? It’s happening too often to be accidental.

15 Responses

  1. RD, I wrote a long comment, and somehow wrote the “r” word, thus landing this in moderation, where it usually stays. So maybe you could rescue it, as I would hate to try to write it again!

  2. Well, I will just do it again, a bit shorter.. First, I totally agree with RD that the “Harris Hive.” has a disproportionate presence on social media, given that she was about 5% in the polls before she dropped out prior to the Iowa caucus.. I personally believe that her legend far outstrips her actual achievements. But she is of course the likely choice. And yes, the faux ” balanced” political sites which are mostly just fronts for right-wing propaganda, are blasting Biden for “dithering,’ and of course they blame that on weak candidates and Biden, getting two shots in one. it would be so nice to see a site with really good writers who analyzed, not just pushed an agenda by trying to ineffectively hide it.

    Harris is my least favorite choice of the group, but many seem to love her. I have reservations about Warren: the “socialist: label which she is going to get, plus the Native American issue, but i could warm to her over Harris, except that picking her costs us another Senate seat, at least for two years. We need 51, because Manchin is not too reliable. If Jones loses in AL, and Warren is on the ticket, we need to win six more seats, very difficult. If Warren is elected VP, but McConnell is still on top, he will block any bill or plan of hers, plus block all the Supreme Court nominations, so where are we? We cannot take a Senator out of a state where a Republican is the governor, in my view.

    My two top choices, neither of whom is likely, are Whitmer and Duckworth. Whitmer was heroic in refusing to yield to immense pressure on reopening, and she is very popular in MI now. i see her as a potential star, and we do not have time to wait until 2024, particularly if Harris’ supporters then demand that she be the nominee. Duckworth is of course a literal hero, and has a very compelling story altogether. But there is immense pressure on Biden to pick a Black woman, something which I understand but do not approve of, because this is not handing out Oscars, it is the need to pick someone who will help you win, and then govern, and then be the potential next President n 2024. Even with limited evidence, I think that both are superior to Harris, or the second most likely choice, Rice, in that regard. In 2008, we were told that, yes, Hillary might have been more qualified and experienced, but the country desperately needed a Black President. We got one, and he was was ethical and eloquent, but he did not advance the Democratic Party, and we lost virtually every area of government. Do not pick based on ethnicity, or because groups demand that you do. But it does look to me that the choice will be Harris or Rice; it might have been Bass, but her comments on Castro and Scientology have hurt her. I like Bass better than Harris. I think that Biden originally wanted to pick Klobuchar.

    And what about that “leaking” of Dodd’s comments? Do you think that Dodd leaked his own comments, when he could easily have just told his good friend Biden? i think that this was a preemptive strike by the Harris contingent, making it easy for them to blast Dodd, and almost force Biden to pick Harris. I see no conceivable reason for Dodd to tell the press what he presumably told Biden in private. So who told them?

    • Picking Warren does NOT cost us a senate seat. That is a myth, started by concern trolls I think.
      Massachusetts does not appoint a replacement. They have a special election. Even if the seat was temporarily filled by someone else, it is by law limited until the special election. The governor does not appoint her replacement. Can we please stop propagating that narrative??
      Second, we’ve got to break this stranglehold that if someone isn’t a capitalist on steroids they must be a socialist. I think Warren is just fine with capitalism. The problem is that the wealthy and the investment bank industry have been deregulating while simultaneously incentivizing risk taking to an unprecedented degree. Then there’s the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. The 401k. It’s like heroin and it only benefits the pushers. The rest of us are forced to put our hard earned wages on a craps wheel every two weeks. No, don’t even. I haven’t actually heard Warren bring it up and she’s wise not to. But realistically, we HAVE TO WEAN PEOPLE OFF THE 401k.
      She’s not a socialist. She’s a referee. There’s nothing game cheaters hate more than someone who will enforce the rules to make the game fair. If you we’re the house, would YOU want to game commission always on your back? Of course not.
      But mainly, we need to change the attitude of learned helplessness in this country while also expecting the very wealthy to see the economy as a collection of stakeholders, not just shareholders.

    • I haven’t really paid attention to the Stürm und Drang around the VP pick. It feels too artificial, like the media funds coronavirus reporting very tedious and wants to get back to the horse race campaign story. So Dodd says something or Rendell says something. BFD. 🙄. They’re dinosaurs. Let Biden take his good old sweet time. If anyone asks, he can say he has too many excellent choices. They’re all good. But he can only choose one so he’s going to take as long as it takes. Meanwhile, watch the Republicans in Disarray.
      Frankly, it doesn’t matter to me who he picks. I’d have to have a lobotomy before I’d vote for anyone but the Biden/Xxxxx ticket.

  3. I did read more about this, and you are right that there is a special election, which occurs about 150 days after the Senate seat is open. However, that would leave Democrats a vote short until next April. And if it were 49-50, I think McConnell would stay in power until then And if it were 50-50 ultimately, does the party holding the White House get the Majority Leader position, or is that contestable; i.e, the Republicans push it to the Supreme Court which just ruled that the President (if a Republican) can take $2 billion in funds appropriated to the Pentagon, and use it to build his own political project? I will have to do more research on that, but we well know that whatever wrenches the Republicans can possibly throw into Democrats governing, they will gleefully do, as all they are about is raw power when they are in control, and obstruction when they are not.

    I don’t have any problem at all with Warren’s proposals to tax the wealthy, though I am not for M4A, which she has not pushed lately. I agree that we need massive changes in the tax code, or the country will go bankrupt, and the dollar will be worth as little as the peso.. But even though I strongly feel that Democrats should not run their campaigns out of fear of how Republicans will attack and misrepresent them, Warren, along with Sanders and of course AOC, is the easiest target to pin socialism on. Whether it is actually socialism or not is more of an academic argument lost on people who respond to this whistle every election. It is a real shame, and we should not run from it, but this election is so crucial, that we have to win it by the largest margin possible, even getting Republican votes. But again, i would prefer Warren to those who seem to be in the top three of the VP contest right now.

    • There must be a zillion ways to structure a national health care policy but tying your insurance to your job is proving to be a catastrophe.
      Not that I don’t appreciate my company’s insurance very much but I don’t think it’s a bad idea to expand Medicare and Medicaid.
      I’d be very surprised if Mitch is majority leader next time.
      Not that we shouldn’t plan for contingencies but 150 days is about 5 months.

      • It is disappointing that a national health policy is still even in discussion or seen as controversial. I have always thought, based on paying close attention to Hillary’s policies, that she would have transitioned to a universal health care system if she had won in 2008. It would have been possible due to the devastating economic crisis, which she would have ameliorated by her planned moratoria on foreclosures. One of the first entries in national health care, the UK, facilitated that transition due to the post war economic devastation. Obama lost that opportunity with complex half measures. Now is another opportunity to nationalize such a system. It may occur just by default, as things are so upside down, likely nothing short of a WPA and a NHS may be on the horizon, particularly if the power of 401Ks diminish. It is unfortunate that such devastation has to precede social change.

        • The caveat is that I trusted Hillary’s ability to administer such a program. The devil is in the details, which is one of the reasons that I did not support Sanders’s or AOC’s push for M4All. It seemed more as a devisive gimmick rather than a well devised policy.

  4. The Democrats are Athens, the Republicans are Sparta. That is not a perfect metaphor, but it is worthwhile. Athens certainly was not a perfect place; there were slaves, only Athenian citizens could vote; but at least to that extent it was a classical democracy, filled with learned people who would sit on the steps of the Parthenon, and debate profound philosophical questions, and those with a great scientific and mathematical curiosity. Sparta was a militaristic state run by an oligarchy, where the entire focus was on military victory, and everyone followed orders, or were executed.

    In skimming various headlines from articles today about the presidential race and the VP competition, I see that virtually every one is about things like “sexist tropes surfacing in VP debate,” or “is this competition pitting one Black candidate against another?.” The end of this is going to be a bunch of people being angry, or offended, or spitefully refusing to vote. Meanwhile, the Republicans march in line, most will support Trump to the death, no matter what he says or does. Does anyone ever remember any Republican, pundit or voter, saying that they would not support the ticket if this or that person does not get the VP spot? They are all White males, anyway, and they say the same prefabricated things, carefully tested to evoke the necessary reactions. And so nothing deters them from their sole aim, which is to win, and maintain power, and pour more billions into their pockets, and render the middle and poor classes economically and politically impotent.

    I saw that Republicans claim that they have cut the Democrats’ registration edge in battleground states by 100,000. Bernie Sanders, four and a half years too late, writes something about how Trump must be defeated; and a bunch of people, some probably Russians, but some far Left idiots, reply that they will never vote for Biden, he is as bad as Trump, or almost, so they will vote Green or not vote, or would vote for Sanders if he ran third party. The Democrats should have vastly outregistered Republicans, why are they not? The TV news shows a Black lady from Michigan who says that she did not vote in 2016, but is going to vote this time. Isn’t that special? Apparently we have to beg people to vote, or pick someone who is just what they want; while Republicans, like ancient Spartans, just roll their troops forward. We would not want to be like the Republicans, but surely we would prefer to win, rather than lose and point fingers, and cultivate a sense of gender or ethnic outrage? Sparta eventually defeated Athens, though it wasn’t for just one reason.

    • William, I suspect the Democrats can pull their usual antics, but it won’t matter this time (as it did matter in 2000 and 2016), because this is going to be a one-issue election
      (even the economic woes are largely a by-product of the one issue):

      As the Rethugs force people back to work and to school, the infection rates will skyrocket. More and more Rethugs will abandon the sinking ship. Benedict Donald’s support may well shrink to the Authoritarian Follower minority, and precious few others.

  5. IBW, i certainly hope you are right, even though of course we wish the virus would be contained very soon. But it won’t, and it is Trump’s fault, and HIllary would have handled it correctly, just like the leaders in countries like New Zealand, Australia and Canada mostly have. Republicans should never be elected to anything, if only people could discern the clear connection between their views and how they govern.

    I probably shouldn’t even worry about this now, just hope we win this election and with a sufficient electoral and congressional margin. But it is hard for me to imagine Democrats creating this effective consistent majority, when they are comprised of various groups who perhaps understandably, but still frustratingly, demand to have someone of their identity group running things, and refusing to vote if they do not. If people had just realized how evil and dangerous Trump was, they would never have voted third party or stayed home, but too many of them did, and many never will apologize to all of humanity for it, though they should, forever.

    • William, you are going to worry yourself sick over this election and it’s only August. Have a glass of lemonade and listen to some relaxing music or watch a few old episodes of Poirot. We need you healthy in November.

  6. Lethe,

    I think that we will need all of us to be in fighting spirit if we intend to kick trump and his corrupt administration out of office.

    RD has given some brilliant, insightful analysis of what we are dealing with, particularly when it comes to Elizabeth Warren and the vital role she would play in “turning this ship around” if she is the VP pick. I truly hope she is because I do not believe that either Harris or Rice have the necessary expertise to handle the enormous economical problems and the coronavirus run away train we will be facing once trump is gone. There is not the time to learn on the job. We don’t have that luxury.

    I also believe that the last thing we need to be doing is over analyzing the situation regarding this election and the VP pick. Over analyzing is the root cause for not being able to see the forest for the trees which accomplishes nothing.

    The first goal is to focus on winning this election and I cannot imagine that the majority Americans are not ready for the kind of transitional change that warren could bring to the ticket. She will not allow Joe to compromise us away, as he has done in the past. I can’t believe Americans want to settle for incremental change that will lean more toward the status quo rather than achieving real change that benefits the middle class and the poor. I think America is ready to go bold because of all of the outrage over the suffering we have had to endure at the hands of trump and the republican party. The rich are happy with the status quo. That should be a sign it’s time for the middle class to strike while the iron is hot.

    Liberal have got to stop sabotaging their elections by convincing themselves not to vote for themselves!

  7. Kathleen, I agree with you. Bold action is needed. I believe people are ready for it. Warren is my first choice for VP but I am fully prepared to vote for the ticket no matter who the VP is. This is the most important election of our lifetime. We cannot fail. Staying healthy so we can actually vote is part of that!

    My major concern now is voter suppression. It can take so many forms. We have to make sure everyone can vote as easily and safely as possible. That is what we need to concentrate on doing.

  8. Lethe, I agree that we must come together and make certain our neighbors, friends and family vote! I will stand in line all day if I have to. I’m 67 but feel that the risk of facing 4 more years of trump is far worse than the risk of facing the coronavirus!

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