It looks like the post-pandemic economy is on its way to a soft landing. Inflation is cooling. Unemployment is at historic lows. The cost of prescription drugs is lower. NATO is stronger. The Infrastructure Bill is creating jobs. Crumbling roads, bridges and rail lines are being repaired.
So why can’t I be enthusiastic about Joe Biden. He’s the architect of these positive changes, and I applaud them. Why can’t I embrace the persona? Why does it feel like he’s stalled out? With these accomplishments, how is it that he finds himself in a dead heat with a disgraced, twice-impeached, thrice-indicted, grifting criminal in the 2024 race for the presidency? It’s a mystery.
I hate what I’m writing but it seems important.
I wish we had another viable choice. Biden is too old–but so is his opponent–and given their stark differences I believe he’s the only one we can trust to protect and preserve American democracy. His opponent has shown his complete disdain for it.
I sincerely believe he’s a good man and has the country’s best interests at heart. Should it matter that he’s boring? Should I care that he’s out of touch with popular culture? Is it important that he walks like a toy soldier, falls off his bike, stutters and seems as fragile as a porcelain doll? No! And it doesn’t matter that he’s stuck in a time-warp when “malarky” was in common usage and “Man” was the way adult men addressed one another. But…
On a more substantive note, I want to know why he can’t stand by his avowed democratic principles? Who’s advising him when these principles are at stake? What does it say when he gives anti-democratic leaders like Indian Prime Minister Modi and Israel’s Netanyahu a platform and credibility by inviting them to the White House? And how could he so insensitive and tone deaf as to meet with Mohammed bin Salman, the man who authorized the killing and dismemberment of a Saudi critic and long-term resident of the U.S?
And why can’t he keep his own grifting, drug-addicted, womanizing son in the background? What purpose is served by inviting him to a state dinner at the White House when he knows the son is a target for far right nutcases who want to link him to corrupt practices in Ukraine and China. With all the photographers in Washington present for the Indian Premier’s official state dinner, Joe pitches a softball to his critics by making the event about Hunter not peace in South Asia. Hunter is the gift that keeps on giving. If Joe wants to support him he needs to keep him in the background and help with his treatment–not parade him around the White House.
The mystery is that I can’t seem to overlook these things and I’m concerned that other voters will feel the same in the upcoming election. He’s accomplished all the things I listed in the first paragraph and his opponent is an arch-criminal willing to sell us to the highest bidder when it benefits him personally. How do we energize the electorate to do the right thing?
I’ve never been a big Biden fan. He was a reliable wingman and Congressional go-between for Barack Obama’s eight years, but I also hold him responsible, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991, for the confirmation of Clarence Thomas, the least competent and most corrupt Supreme Court justice in memory.
Well, he’s not a rock star. He’s a politician–making promises and glad handing. I like Kamala Harris and thought she was an OK choice for VP, but she hasn’t risen to the occasion and proven herself a viable presidential candidate. That leaves a big hole on the Democrats’ bench in the future.
Another lapse in judgment was his “promise” to appoint a black woman to the Supreme Court before there was an open seat to fill. Blatently political. He should have promised to appoint the best person for the job even if he intended to appoint a black woman. He wanted a black woman on the Court to show diversity. But the Supremes are anything but diverse. Five Catholics, three Jews and an Episcopalian are not what America looks like. So why pretend?
Ketanji Brown Jackson may be the most thoughtful Supreme appointment since RBG and I’m glad she’s there, but I wish Biden had kept his mouth shut about appointing a black woman. Today, she is seen as a black woman first and jurist second.
I’ve resisted writing about politics lately. I’m writing fiction instead. It’s more fun and less controversial, but the prospect of a Trump victory in the presidential race is ominous. I need to swallow my reservations.
I know this is not a ringing endorsement but I plan to suck it up and cast my vote for Joe. Trump is being arraigned today on charges related to his attempt to steal the 2020 election. We need to prevent him from repeating in 2024 and beyond.
I’m casting my vote to preserve what’s left of our democracy.