Dean Clough

August 10, 2022

Portico Darwin: This Is How I Feel About Joe Biden

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS

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I frequently complain about a lack of nuance in our public discourse.  Here is an example of how two things can be true at once:  I mostly love and am proud of what President Biden has accomplished, yet he needs to be a one-term president.  Here is some nuanced thinking, from me, as well as another concerned citizen, on the subject.

By any objective standard, what Joe Biden has done in two quick years is impressive and will positively impact America for a long time.  Yes, his administration blew the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and there have been plenty of other blunders, but overall - and especially considering the alternative - Papa Joe has been a winner.

Inflation Reduction Act.  PACT.  Chips+.  Giant infrastructure investment.  Real corporate tax reform.  Virus mostly under control.  9/11 mastermind hunted down and killed.  Gas prices and the price of most everything else going down.  Masterful job with our allies re:  Russia invasion of Ukraine.  Employment at a 50 year high.

Let's Go Brandon, indeed.  Joe is Killer.
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But I still think he should NOT run in 2024. 

He's just too old.  That's it.  That's my part of the blog.

Because how about if I let someone far more talented and informed than I explain further?  This captures the entire situation perfectly, at least to this blogger/plagiarizer.   
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WASHINGTON — Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a cautionary tale.

She missed the moment to leave the stage, ignoring friendly nudges from Democrats and entreaties from Obama allies.  She fell in love with her late-in-life image as a hip cultural icon: “Notorious R.B.G.,” the octogenarian cancer survivor who could hold 30-second planks.  She thought she was the indispensable person, and that ended in disaster.  Her death opened the door to the most conservative court in nearly a century.  Her successor, a religious zealot straight out of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” is erasing Justice Ginsburg’s achievements on women’s rights.

The timing of your exit can determine your place in the history books.

This is something Joe Biden should keep in mind as he is riding the crest of success.  His inner circle, irritated by stories about concerns over his age and unpopularity, will say this winning streak gives Biden the impetus to run again.

The opposite is true.  It should give him the confidence to leave, secure in the knowledge that he has made his mark.

With the help of Chuck and Nancy, President Biden has had a cascade of legislative accomplishments on tech manufacturing, guns, infrastructure — and hopefully soon, climate and prescription drugs — that validate his promises when he ran.  These are genuine achievements that Democrats have been chasing for decades, and they will affect generations to come.  On Monday, from the balcony off the Blue Room, he crowed about the drone-killing of the evil Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s top leader, who helped plan the 9/11 massacres.  On Friday, he came out again to brag about surprising job numbers.

Defying all expectations, the president has changed the narrative.  Before, the riff was that he was too old school and reliant on his cross-party relationships in the Senate.  Now old school is cool.  The old dude in the aviators has shown he can get things done, often with bipartisan support.

But this is the moment for Biden to decide if all of this is fuel for a re-election campaign, when he will be 81 (82 on Inauguration Day), or a legacy on which to rest.

He could leave on a high, knowing that he has delivered on his promises for progress and restored decency to the White House.  He did serve as a balm to the bombastic Donald Trump.  Over the next two years he could get more of what he wants and then step aside.  It would be self-effacing and patriotic, a stark contrast to the self-absorbed and treasonous Trump.

He offered himself up as an escape from Trump and Trumpism, a way to help us get our bearings after the thuggish and hallucinatory reign of a con man.  Then he and his team got carried away and began unrealistically casting him as an F.D.R. with a grand vision to remake the social contract.  Biden’s mission was not to be a visionary but to be a calming force for a country desperately in need of calming, and a bridge to the next generation.  So he’s a logical one-termer, and that keeps him true to his high-minded point:  What does the country really need?

The country really needs to dodge a comeback by Trump or the rise of the odious Ron DeSantis.  There is a growing sense in the Democratic Party and in America that this will require new blood.  If the president made his plans clear now, it would give Democrats a chance to sort through their meh field and leave time for a fresh, inspiring candidate to emerge.

Usually, being a lame duck weakens you.  But in Biden’s case, it could strengthen him.  We live in a Washington where people too often put power over principle.  So many Republicans have behaved grotesquely out of fear that Trump will turn on them.  So the act of leaving could elevate Biden, freeing him from typical re-election pressures, so he and his team could do what they thought was right rather than what was politically expedient.

It would also take steam out of what are certain to be Republican attempts to impeach him should they regain the House and make him less of a target for their nasty attacks on his age and abilities.  The next two years could be hellish, with Republicans tearing Biden down and refusing to do anything that could be seen as benefiting him.

Biden’s advisers think if you just ignore the age question, it will go away.  But it is already a hot topic in focus groups and an undercurrent in Democratic circles, as lawmakers are pressed to answer whether they think Biden should run again or not. 

These are dangerous times — with inflation hurting us, weather killing us, the Ukraine war grinding, China tensions boiling, women’s rights on the line, and election deniers at CPAC, where Viktor Orbán spews fascist bile to a wildly enthusiastic audience.  It might be best to have a president unshackled from the usual political restraints.

OK, so who do I like instead of Biden?  As I've said, another Joe:  I'd really like to see Joe Scarborough run as a Democrat, perhaps with Amy Klobuchar or the Gav-Meister.  Who would head a ticket like that is another matter.  But Scarborough has the potential to reach at least some evangelical Christians and Republicans in general, which I see as a must - something neither Klobuchar or Newsom likely can do.

FROM THE UNWASHED MASSES

There were some kind remarks about Monday's Presidio history piece - thanks to those of you that commented.  Hunter Deuce, with his head firmly in the clouds - as par usual - expressed his own personal Presidio fantasies.

Nancy Pelosi secured $200M from the Dem's BBB plan for The Presidio. My dream of turning the power station into a live music venue/roadhouse remains alive.
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While I like to poke fun at the esteemed Mr. Deuce, I will say this:  he's not wrong.

Nor was his bride Fi, now securely atop the world of big pharma at one of the world's finest companies.  She pulled no punches when it came to Trump.

I truly hope something happens to this asshole.  He continues to get away with everything.  He is truly pure evil in my book. 

Soon to be host-with-the most Andy Jones, catching up on Portico Darwin blog posts in anticipation of my visit this weekend, joined the cautiously optimistic.

I had the EXACT same thought.  Taking down a domestic terrorist with tax code/document handling laws.  Here’s hoping for the same outcome!  

Here's hoping, indeed.  But we need the leading Republicans to stop the madness.  This is shameful.  And so very, very dangerous. 

US Senator (R) Marco Rubio on Mar-a-Lago Search

He and the lecherous Hannity are undermining the rule of law.  Right when we need it the most.

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.

KLUF

Occasionally, like today, I hit what is called The KLUF Triple Crown:

  • it really connects with the day's topic;
  • it's Textbook, Killer, or Diamond Certified; and
  • it has not been played previously.

I'll let you assess its overall quality rating, but this easily makes the cut on every count. 

Here is New Order and "Waiting for the Sirens' Call".
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NO to Trump and his criminality.  He's waiting for the sirens' call, in fact.  Who's Joe?  He's Killer Joe, crafty, and working overtime: morning, night, and day.  Hey now, what you doing?  I'm playing a bonus track.
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