Fishing for a Biden Successor

Provided the Democrats don’t meddle with the mail-in ballots, drop boxes, or cover their hijinks with a doomsday variant, congressional gavels will change hands in November.  If Joe Biden seeks re-election after this drubbing, it will be against the will of the voting majority, including several Democrat bigwigs, and in the face of a media in retreat. As a withering octogenarian, his doddering gait and stumbling faculties will be a sad feature on prime time television.  As patience now wears thin over his lack of leadership and unforced errors, Biden is increasingly party deadweight, a first-term lame duck headed for forced retirement at the hands of his own political allies.   

The usual bluebloods -- Klobuchar, Booker, Warren, etc. -- stand ready for an encore primary performance, although the Democrat stock of late is diminished by an electorate-at-large who see them as holding the common welfare hostage to economy-killing climate hysterics while leaving supersized carbon footprints and getting rich off fail-safe stock investments.  After consistently being shot down by party turncoats and high court decisions, progressives view the presidential aspirations of many upper and lower House Democrats as dead in the water by their failure to hijack state elections, disarm the populace, and consummate the green raw deal.

To find the new darlings of the party, Democrats are turning to blue-state strongholds where governors levy burdensome taxes, host sanctuary cities, bankroll illegals, and infuse wokeness and equity throughout every corner of state government.  Instead of being dragged down by Beltway politics, risky party line votes, and failed negotiations, these extremists of the gubernatorial ranks continue to push through leftist policies by executive fiat.  Their high-handed approach on issues of gun control, illegal migration, and advocating for full-term abortions in a post-Dobbs era are tyrannical and supported by a collective fantasy that any SCOTUS decision tied to a conservative majority is illegitimate and can be reversed in their states by decree.

Here's some examples.

Over the last three months, the hibernating conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court awoke late-term to hand down successive landmark decisions in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, West Virginia v. EPA, and New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen that sent abortion back to the states, slapped down the overreach of the federal administrative state through its regulatory authorities, and eliminated the New York State standard of self-defense to carry a concealed weapon, respectively. The  impact to the progressive agenda and narrative of the Democrat party was seismic and filled the newsrooms of the liberal media outlets with the smell of burning hair.    

These SCOTUS rulings have also brought about the comeuppance of a handful of governors jockeying for pole position in a likely 2024 Democrat primary for president.  They include the less-than-telegenic and lesser-known chief executives of Illinois and Colorado, whose recent exploratory junkets about the country to stump for local Democrat candidates have raised the eyebrows of prospective donors and political odds makers.

More favorable to progressives are a duo of like-minded but rivalrous prospects from California and New Jersey.  Both hold impeccable credentials that tack Far Left and come from states that are choked by interminable Democrat legislatures and a rabidly woke model of governance.  They throw millions in taxpayer monies at progressive causes cèlébre while their middle-classes flee in droves to more affordable locales and leave behind a prospering underclass of whiny, illegal residents that reap more benefits than citizens. As Joe Biden loses ground, their stars are ascendant, and a gambit of one-upmanship has ignited among them.

Gavin Newsom believes he can throw a wet blanket over California’s out-of-control home, gas, and food prices, street crime and mob-lifting, and rampant and aggressive homelessness by keeping a stiff upper lip on gun control, climate activism, and funding benefits for the state’s future Democrat constituency of illegal immigrants.  His scalding critiques of his own party in the face of Republican victories and televised home ground attacks against Ron DeSantis are a false flag operation to attract moderates and independents.  A recent visit to the White House, swaggering to the back door while the chief executive was abroad, conferring with Dr. Jill and other West Wingers actually pulling the levers of power, took more chutzpah than his pandemic restaurant faux pas and tickled the national media.

Phil Murphy has been California dreaming ever since he took office, in fulfillment of a campaign promise to turn the Garden State into the Golden State of the East.  Minus the Pat Riley pompadour and Colgate smile, Murphy is a Newsom clone in a tug-of-war to see who can inflict the most pain through progressive policies and practices.  He has leveraged the pandemic to bring New Jerseyans to heel, overregulated their lives on every front, and sent businesses running for the exits after telling them they should look elsewhere if they’re concerned about taxes.

Murphy’s bromance-turned-rivalry with Newsom took center stage after the forced departure of disgraced New York governor Andrew Cuomo.  Always a few headlines behind, Murphy had closely followed Cuomo’s lead as COVID ravished the two states, with carbon-copy executive orders that sent sick seniors from hospitals back into nursing homes where thousands died in close quarters.  More concern was shown to the thousands of so-called nonviolent inmates who were released back to the streets over fears of viral spread.  Several of those spared from serving out their sentences went on to commit multiple homicides.

After the Bruen decision was handed down, a defiant Phil Murphy ascended the bully pulpit to announce intentions to ban concealed weapons in government buildings, schools, hospitals and mass transit and to put pressure on private businesses to invoke similar policies on their property. He signed seven bills requiring background checks for ammo purchases, a costly training course for anyone applying for a gun permit, and opened the sluice to legal actions against gun dealers and manufacturers.  If Murphy could not reverse the SCOTUS decision, he would make the fundamental right to bear arms as onerous a process as possible and raise public fears over personal information kept in State Police databases.

Murphy’s own words have made light of the Bill of Rights, but the policies of both governors show a clear intent to undermine those sacred amendments with an activist revisionism intended to  further their political ambitions.  Such was the case during the pandemic and continues on with gun control by drawing a moral equivalence between legal gun owners and criminals.  Nowhere in their gun regulations can be found a remedy for urban gang gunplay, addressing the out-of-state trafficking of guns that get into the hands of street thugs, or funding law enforcement in ways that enhances their weapons-trafficking investigations.  Solutions to those systemic problems are not in the best interests of a radicalized party that seeks to remake society from the ashes of social chaos.

Fishing for a Democrat successor in 2024, progressives will demand much more than an archetype of Joe Biden without the dementia and incontinence, or a cabinet full of appointees that come from the shallow end of the gene pool. They want to find themselves at the finish line of a country thoroughly devoid of its exceptionalism and beholden to its enemies, with its middle class disarmed and waving a white flag in submission to the administrative state and beholden to a future where every landscape is scarred by wind farms and household electricity rationed to power up EVs.  No matter the future course of their political lives, Phil Murphy and Gavin Newsom will remain aloof to these realities, eventually to find pasture in gated villas far removed from the urban visuals of homelessness and gunplay.  

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