What to do with Biden?
Now that Republicans have accomplished their much-anticipated control of the House of Representatives, the Democrats are faced with a serious dilemma. How are they supposed to remain a competitive political force while strapped to a doddering, incompetent hack?
With the midterms behind us, the focus now turns to 2024. Thus far, the only hat in the presidential ring belongs to Mr. Trump. Should Mr. Biden stay on track to seek re-election, "awkward" doesn't come close to describing the scurrying behind the scenes that will ensue among the other wannabes. The palpable lack of talent among those on the Democrat bench further adds to the confusion. Beto? Kamala? Hair Gel? Really? Yet there's always the possibility of a "dark horse" trotting into the spotlight. After all, Hillary is tan and rested. Just don't hold your breath (and your little dog, too).
How did this come about? Pop psychology uses the term "enabling behavior" to explain a way in which human pathologies are created and sustained. Today's corrupt "news" media have allowed the politicians they support to get into a lot of bad habits, thus far without serious consequence. Back when the "Great" Recession of 2008 was happening, Nancy Pelosi gave a media appearance where she told us that for every dollar spent on unemployment benefits, the economy expanded by $1.25. Not being completely stupid, I figured that if this were true, we'd all be better off if folks just stayed home and drank beer while watching TV. Of course, who'd produce the TV shows or the electricity needed to watch them...let alone the beer?
Assuming us to be so conveniently stupid is, I think, a fatal flaw. This is particularly exhibited by the alleged economist and darling of the left Robert B. Reich. Reich continues to loudly bang the gong for price controls while blaming the rampant price inflation that's hitting consumers on unrestrained corporate greed. It is likely that the word competition is not anywhere in his vocabulary.
Other fatal flaws include the use of clumsy euphemisms such as politicians referring to street bums as "the unhoused" and their being in such a state due to a lack of "affordable housing" rather than the cheap, low-rent clusters of squalor that they are actually proposing. I never hesitate to say that all housing is affordable — or else it's vacant. Another fatal flaw is the pronouncing of authoritarian edicts that rely on technologies that don't really exist and may never. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has just announced the less than gradual elimination of diesel-powered trucks from the state's roads. I guess the Teamsters had better brush up on their horse-wrangling. Technology, it so happens, is subject not to political whims, but rather to the unbreakable laws of nature.
In both war and politics, a lot can be learned from being defeated...as long as you survive to come back and fight again. The Republicans' perceived underperformance in this year's midterm is likely to be such an experience. The incoming speaker-presumptive, Kevin McCarthy, seems to be going out of his way to push all of the right buttons to solidify the conservative base of his membership. Other house-cleaning processes are underway as well. RNC chair Ronna McDaniel is, at least for the moment, behind the eight-ball as blame seeks a resting place. What is seldom mentioned about Mrs. McDaniel is that her father is Mitt Romney's brother.
Meanwhile, Biden continues to bungle his way into the depths of disapproval — without anyone seriously bothering to stop him. During this time, the Republicans are comfortably generating idle speculations about the competitive differences between Trump and DeSantis. Some even go so far as to suggest a Trump-DeSantis ticket. That pesky ol' Constitution allows for such a combination...as long as the electors from Florida don't vote for both of them.
Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.