The other day I referred to the current debates as a "horror show."
Then came Wednesday night's Democratic slap-down from Las Vegas, with all the candidates greeting Mike Bloomberg with all the ear-ringing civility of the old Jerry Springer show, or maybe a Trump stalk-a-thon from 2016.
It's all a reality show now. What would happen if, say, Adlai Stevenson and Robert Taft, prominent candidates of the left and right from the 1950's, wandered into that raucous scrum?
Hard to maintain dignity in this melee. Rip Van Bloomberg blinked and shrugged and pursed his lips at the political Billingsgate being heaved at him. Rotten fish and unkind verbiage. Didn't they know who he is?
I'm typing this in mid-morning on Thursday. It wouldn't surprise me if Mayor Mike said "screw this" before noon and fired up his private carbon-burner for a weekend in his mansion in London. (Beats the hell out of Mar-a-Lago.) What does he need this for?
I'll leave the ratings and snide points to the paid observers in the media.
I only want to add that Joe Biden maintained his avuncular posture while people around him were tossing verbal chamber pots around the stage.
Maybe that means Uncle Joe is irrelevant? Or he is going to wait for Senator Amy and Mayor Pete to be led away for mutual assault? It's a battle of attrition out there while Trump pardons body-double criminals who remind him of, well, himself.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden stayed on his feet, hair and syntax in place.
(Here's what I wrote about him the other day, before Mayor Mike wandered onto the stage, stunningly unprepared:)
* * *
On Monday I strolled past an active television screen and saw a poised gent making sense (at least, to me) and I paused to take a look.
Omigosh, it was Joe Biden, the candidate that the national hangin' jury has consigned to oblivion.
Time to take Grandpa to the Dog Track.
Biden sounded and looked healthy, focused, experienced and decent -- not the distracted old-timer out in public beyond his bedtime in this circus of primaries, outdoors in small, snowbound states.
He spoke rationally about the danger of the disturbed man currently defiling the post of President,. He spoke in some detail about the right way to run his country.
"Wait a minute," I said out loud. He sounded like somebody who could pick a cabinet much better than the current collection of self-serving ghouls. He sounded as if he had some job experience, could absorb facts, as opposed to the illiterate and sadistic buffoon we currently have.
Joe Biden was being interviewed by Nicolle Wallace, the reforming Republican who has become one of the very best hosts on MSNBC. She asked good questions, did not interrupt or blather like some people I could mention.
So he's old. So are most of the other leading candidates. I'm three-plus years older than Biden, blessed to be in good shape, but I can easily imagine a president wanting to sneak off for a nap. Then again, look at the bloated, addled oaf we have now.
(Old president? Get a younger running mate. Stacey Abrams, age 46, jobbed out of the Senate by Georgia's establishment, would be a perfect running mate.)
So Biden stutters a bit -- a lifelong condition he has mostly overcome, which sounds worse in the circus carnival of primaries. Listening to him the other day, I could see him making sense with leaders of other countries, members of both parties, corporate executives, union officials, as well as citizens of all political leanings. I could see him delegating chores to responsible assistants.
The former Veep has been there, done that.
(I know, I know, the "borrowed" speech, Anita Hill, the vote on Iraq, his unqualified son taking a cushy "job" in Ukraine, complaints that Biden is a bit too old-school hands-on.)
For 14-plus minutes, Joe Biden looked and sounded presidential -- perhaps more than anybody else in this mad roller-coaster of a campaign.
For that moment, I was once again ready to reconsider the potential candidates to save this country.
2/18/2020 03:07:05 pm
I totally agree, George. Let’s hope that Nicole’s interview can make a difference. Joe has my vote.
2/18/2020 03:11:32 pm
Hey, John. Thanks for your opinion. Nice to see your name here GV
2/19/2020 09:02:45 am
A friend sent me this. Too good to be true? My friend commented, "This is exactly what I have come to lately: high levels of negative partisanship on both sides, the importance of motivating the base as the key to winning, and the importance of the VP pick (probably for the first time). She goes so far as to say that Democrats have a lock on the presidency next year because of anti-Trump sentiment."
2/19/2020 06:24:15 pm
Gene: Interesting article, Maybe we all over-think things.
2/19/2020 07:43:12 pm
2/19/2020 12:10:33 pm
2/19/2020 03:43:34 pm
Bruce: The political savant with whom I share the house saw a video of ex-Mayor Pete being asked about the issue in recent days.
2/19/2020 05:15:08 pm
2/20/2020 09:29:52 am
'Heard on NPR this morning that Stacey Abrams would welcome a call from the Dems' candidate looking for a running mate.
2/20/2020 11:12:45 am
Andy: thank you. It's a different world, as last night's debate shows, I was a news reporter around the US in the 70s, and met many people with the same concerns as the MAGA people at the rallies, but the tenor is so different, The Bitecover article (in Gene's comment, above) suggests we can over-think things and should look at the 2018 elections, etc. (When Abrams probably got jobbed.) But I think a lot of voters have private agendas when they get into "the booth." So, yes, it is concerning. GV
2/20/2020 12:19:51 pm
Wow again George,
2/21/2020 08:42:59 am
Hansen: thank you so much. Your kindness mixed with your lawyerly critiques on occasion make you a highly valued friend and reader. GV
2/20/2020 12:46:29 pm
2/21/2020 08:52:13 am
Bruce: In his next term, Trump is going to turn his attention to crimes against humanity committed in the great northern wilderness, forcing people to go to socialized doctors, GV
2/21/2020 09:13:54 am
2/21/2020 05:57:43 pm
Interesting note: Unless I read too quickly, I did not see any references to Bernie, the third New Yorker in the tag team match.
2/21/2020 06:12:44 pm
i haven't seen anything that makes me think bernie is religious, but i'm a bit surprised there hasn't been any ranting about him being jewish.
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“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.