I’ll be downtown most of the day, although I’ll definitely be avoiding Millennium Park, for the whole area is teeming with tourists here for the Big Food Ripoff, otherwise known as “The Taste of Chicago“. That’s a three-day capitalistic festival in which credulous visitors pay large amounts of money to secure small portions of “classic” Chicago food. Meh. I can go to the places directly and eat much better.
I spent much of yesterday with my oldest friends, who live in Cambridge, MA and who I visit about twice a year and talk to weekly. They are a married couple (I was in their wedding in 1972), and I’ve known the male half since 1967 when we lived on the same dorm hall at William and Mary. The woman half (womb-bearer?) arrived at W&M two years later. I was in their wedding at Bruton Parish Church in colonial Williamsburg. Dressed in an ill-fitting suit borrowed from the groom’s father, and having hair down to my shoulders, I was asked to escort the guests to their places at the proper side of the aisle. The bride, from the South, had invited a lot of proper Southern friends and family, and when a southern guest took a look at me as I offered her my arm, she remarked to a friend, “Do you mean that I have to be walked down the aisle by RASPUTIN?”
We’ve had many adventures since the late Sixties, and that was one of the tamer ones. We talked about those old times, about getting old, and about our mutual friends who were gone. But we swore that if we ever started discussing the condition of our bowels, we’d shoot each other!
But I digress, that’s just a story to introduce a discussion thread. I’ll be gone again most of the day spending time with my friends downtown, and so proffer you the chance to spout off in the comments.
There are many topics you can discuss, and the floor is open, but here are a couple on everybody’s mind: who can the Democrats run for President in 2024, and who will run for the GOP? And who would you like to represent the Democrats, and fear will represent the GOP? (I’m assuming you’re center-Left or Left here, but Republicans are welcome to join in).
My own view is that Biden should not run again. His approval ratings are in the dumpster, his age is showing, he’s incapable making-off-the cuff remarks without a gaffe (this isn’t new), and all his remarks are written down on a piece of paper. His record is mixed; the economy, while not in recession, is squeezing nearly everyone; gas prices are through the roof, and of course the elections are “about the economy, stupid.” Voters won”t care as much about the Ukraine as about their weekly grocery bill, and as for domestic policy, Biden hasn’t particularly done anything about immigration (that was Kamala Harris’s job), while the Build Back Better plan didn’t get off the ground. (Granted, that’s the fault of two “Democrats”, but Biden takes the ultimate responsibility for getting stuff through Congress. Further, even my friends, who are more woke than I, agree that Biden has gone too far towards “progressive” Leftism—in a way that will hurt Democrats. Believe me, Republicans will do everything they can to capitalize on every bit of Wokeism they can find in the Left, including the email recently sent out by Oregon health officials postponing a meeting because “urgency is a white supremacy value”. When Biden was elected, I was relieved that he wasn’t a Woke Democrat, but he’s turned out plenty malleable to Wokeism, including his administration’s proposed and damaging revisions of Title IX.
Biden, then, is a no go for me, though I’d certainly vote for him as President over any Republican opponent. Although next in the traditional manner of succession, Kamala Harris won’t run, or, if she does, she’ll be buried. She simply hasn’t shown that she has the stuff to run the country, having failed at the one big task assigned her.
Who, then, do the Democrats have as a viable candidate for President? Weigh in below. As for me, I’d like to see Cory Booker run. He’s got the experience, the smarts, the rhetoric, and he’s also black, which will help pull minority voters back to the Democratic party. If not him, Pete Buttigieg, though he’s a second choice. But Mayor Pete is also really smart, rhetorically skillful, quick on his feet, and has done a good job in a difficult position: Secretary of Transportation. When he’s asked a question by reporters, he answers with refreshing honesty.
Both Buttigieg and Booker are on the right Ii.e, Left) side of issues I like, and neither is a “progressive” of the “Squad” stripe. Of course if both houses of Congress turn Republican this fall, and stay that way, we’re screwed seven ways from Sunday.
So those are the Dems I’d like to see run, though there may be dark horses out there, and if you know of any, name them.
I’ve been thinking that the GOP has only two viable candidates at this time: Ron DeSantis and, of course, The Donald. I cannot believe that Americans would elect Trump again, and yet I think that his candidacy is the most likely outcome—if he’s not indicted. (I hope he will be, which will both knock him out and perhaps put him in a uniform that matches his hair.) DeSantis will run, I believe, if Trump doesn’t: right now DeSantis has a national profile and seems hungry for bigger things. Ideally, Liz Cheney would be the Republican candidate, but she doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell given her (admirable) behavior on the January 6 committee and Trump’s hatred of her. And remember, she’s still a Republican with a Republican view on many issues. I’ve heard some people say she should run as a Democrat, but even if she were elected as such it would be a disaster.
So, who do you think will run, and who do you want to run? Who would you vote for gladly, and who while holding your nose. I’m off and will see you anon.