Governor Cuomo for Presidential

Seems like we have traversed at warp speed to a new even weirder and more frightening world then the one we were living in about two weeks ago.   Then my big question was:  Would Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders come together to unite the Democratic party for the presidential run?   Now, at the moment at least, both seem irrelevant.  They are barely seen or heard from.

That’s what happens I guess when a pandemic spreads at a geometric pace creating a new world of problems.   The new drama entangles the ever present mercurial Trump in a curious dance with New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo, who has become the star of the Democratic party through his impressive marshaling of resources to fight the carona virus in New York city and state.

New York has about 40% of the 166,000 carona cases in the land.  And the numbers continue to rise rapidly, which is why it is often called the epicenter of this invisible war.  However, Cuomo’s government has at least slowed down the rate of increase from doubling every two days to doubling every five or six.   Still, a losing fight at the moment, but he’s the kind of guy who gives one confidence he has a plan to win over time.

Cuomo’s plan is to slow down the virus’ growth enough in New York to flatten the curve of its progression so that our health care workers can regroup and continue the fight as the fury crosses our country.

Trump has never had a plan.  He’s relied on his feelings, like when he said he had a “feeling” that the nation could get back to business by Easter Sunday.  He abandoned that feeling, but his lack of a plan (and awareness) screams such as Trump’s handling a conference call yesterday with the nation’s governors.  When Colorado’s Steve Bullock asserted that he had only a day’s left of testing supplies, Trump acted surprised.  “We’ve tested more now than any nation in the world…..I haven’t heard about testing being a problem.” (read more  here).

Is Trump the only human in America who hasn’t heard day after day a lack of testing is a problem? A big problem.  And does he understand the meaning of per capita?   He brags that we have tested more people than South Korea?   Well, true but we have six times the population of South Korea.  In a March 9 survey of cases worldwide when it comes to tests per million people, Korea ranks second and the U. S. ranks 15th (read more here).  ……Little Bahrain was first.

I spoke of Trump and Cuomo being entangled in a curious dance.  Cuomo needs Trump’s help as do all of the governors, so he watches his words and tempers his criticism most of the time.  And praises when he can.

Much of Cuomo’s criticism comes from comparison.   Cuomo has a news conference usually around 11:00 a.m. EDT, while Trump has one later in the day.  Check them both out or just google Cuomo and Trump for lots more details.

You watch the two perform and decide who is more presidential.

Biden and Bernie: My Hope for Democratic Unity

In about one half hour Biden and Bernie will tangle in a debate, which I hope is more of a dance.   I’ve heard it said that Biden must unify the party, but I’d say Bernie is the one to decide that.  And the clues so far suggest he will go more for unity than making Biden look bad.   As he said following the recent primaries in which Biden dominated:  “While our campaign has won the ideological debate, we are losing the debate over electability.”

He figures he has lost, so his greatest desire is to beat Trump so he doesn’t want to besmirch Biden tonight.   What he wants is respect given to the platform he and his followers have been battling for.

Unlike Bernie and Hillary, Bernie and Biden are friends.   I think both will make points about the issues that matter, so we should see a real debate break out for a change.

They will cut Trump a part of course, and there might be some heated moments between them, but basically Joe and Bernie want the same thing.

BEAT TRUMP.  Tonight must end with a greater sense of party unity than division.

I hope and believe that will be the case.

 

No Elizabeth, You Did not Lose Because of Your Gender, You were Just Too Far Left.

I was thinking about writing a post prior to Super Tuesday, but I saw no likely outcome that I would like.  Like most, I didn’t believe Biden could become Lazarus  and rise from the dead, and if any of the others had done exceptionally well (except Amy Klobuchar, another unifier, who already had way over performed given her minimal name recognition) it would only have left the party fractious, easy pickings for our fraud king in November.  A choice between Bloomberg, the billionaire, and Bernie the socialist felt like defeat.

But like Lazarus, Biden had someone with a magic touch, Congressman James Clyburn,  who brought him to life with his backing. Clyburn is arguably the most respected black leader in the country, and his public backing did much to bring Biden back from dormancy.  His backing prompted a huge win in South Carolina.  And other states followed suit.

It has been argued that Biden was already moving up in the polls at the time, but so what.   It shows that Dems were looking for someone reliably in the center and didn’t care so much for the revolution promoted by Sanders and Warren.  And that outpouring of support seemed to rejuvenate the often ho-hum Biden.  If they could get excited so could he.  He has looked like a different man of late.

But going back to Warren and other women who want to stress how sexism robbed her of her rightful place as a candidate.  SHE TOOK 3RD IN HER OWN STATE behind Biden (who didn’t campaign there, and Sanders).  How about looking into that matter first before raising the “S” card.  Ah, Liz, before whining about sexism what’s your explanation for that dismal result ?

Warren lost because she was too far left at a time when “return to normalcy” was hungered for in response to Trump’s never ending tornado through the political process.  Daily every news cycle began with something Trump had done, not done or said.

Part of the Biden miracle was the willingness of other centrists candidates to give up their campaigns and back him immediately before Super Tuesday.  It has been rumored Obama may have had a hand in that……if so, fine with me.

Look it.  I have a lot of respect for Warren.  I could consider her in 2024.  I’m not saying gender inequity in politics is not an important issue.  What I’m saying is right now, when battling the cancer that Trump has produced in our body politic, that all eyes must be focused on defeating him.  We must form an unbreakable unity.  Once he’s gone all other issues can be debated.

I have heard Elizabeth Warren say this is not a time to think small but to think big. Wrong.  This is a time for a return to normalcy.  When the rule of law is reestablished and the courts regain respect and the press is not called “the enemy of the people.”

This is the time to right our basic sense of what America stands for.

 

Bloomberg vs. Bernie et al: A Dem Debate Worth Watching?

I have seen much of most of the Democratic primary “debates,” which have largely been a yawn, a game of survivor cutting down the dozens in the field to a more manageable number.   As I said in my last post, zillionaire Michael Bloomberg’s investment of about half a billion dollars into an ad campaign has rocketed the late entrant into contention with Bernie for the lead, though there are still signs of life in others who I’m sure you’re familiar with.

Wednesday’s verbal battle should be more interesting than the previous ones, as it has different dimensions and higher stakes.  I’d say all of the participants have some kind of chance to get the nomination for this one reason.  If Bloomberg believes another candidate has a better chance to beat Trump, he could supply all the money needed to whomever he chooses.

While the main event seems likely to be Bernie vs. Bloomberg, the other candidates will get in their own punches to stand out, in that they also will criticize Bloomberg’s leap frogging the election process.  However, they do not want to make him an enemy as perhaps his wealth could smile on their chances down the line.

His throwing lots of dough Bernie’s way is hard to imagine, since Bernie’s main theme regarding Bloomberg is you shouldn’t be able to buy an election.  That would certainly be an odd combination, but I imagine Bernie would be able to rationalize it.  How else would they get the ton of money Trump has already raised?

And beating Trump should be the absolute priority.

The Mike Bloomberg Factor

This past week seems as bad as can be for the Democrats according to many commentators.  I say let things settle down before judging.  How many weeks of Trump have been declared terrible for him, yet look were he is.  Polls show a 49% job approval rating, his best yet.

The Democrats’ big problem is an inability to become unified while there are so many candidates offering shades of difference.  I found the Democratic debate last night tiresome.  I’ve heard all their arguments.  Personality-wise, undergirded by a solid enough resume for this crew, Amy Klobuchar impresses me most.  Her debate performances get improving reviews.  I think Dems might be able to unify behind her.  But since she remains a long shot, I’ll leave it at that for now.

I am glad Michael Bloomberg is in the picture.  If Dems don’t want him then they need to get together before the March 3 Super Primary (16 states).  If they still seem to be squabbling over issues like differences in their health care plans then Bloomberg figures to look all the better.

As old as he is, he is a fresh face in this primary process.  Also, he seems what Trump pretends to be – tough, smart and super successful.  You might think of Bloomberg as that little guy on the playground who has what it takes to slap the big bully around.

A figure who seems capable of handling the no-holds-barred Trump.  A champion to handle their bully.  It goes against a democratic sensibility, but Trump is not a normal candidate and beating him will require an unorthodox strategy.  He is lawless, and must be battled as the outlaw that he is.

I believe Bloomberg when he says he doesn’t want to splinter the Democrat party.   He just wants to beat Trump.  He and his billions will be invested in whatever he believes will work best to displace our budding dictator Don.

If it is not to be him, one of the other candidates will need to make Bloomberg believe it is him or her.

Add Mitt Romney to JFK’s “Profiles in Courage”

In the 1950’s John F. Kennedy wrote a book called Profiles in Courage telling the stories of politicians who had hurt themselves politically to make a statement or take an action that they believed to be right.  It was a small book.

I think when asked about the size, Kennedy quipped there was a shortage of material.  I just watched Mitt Romney exemplify the courage Kennedy described.  And I was, frankly, amazed.

Romney has often voiced elements of what used to be the Republican party, including a sense of integrity, but he has never really confronted the president like he did today.   So, I wasn’t expecting this.  Apparently Trump’s sins have finally become too much for Romney to tolerate.  Like the boy in the tale The Emperor’s New Clothes, he looks at Trump and finally sees “the emperor is not wearing clothes.”

He announced he would vote to convict Trump this afternoon of at least one of the two charges of his impeachment.  When all other Republican Senators have done a great job of playing hide-go-seek, with a few semi-exceptions like Lamar Alexander, Romney has just come forth to assert that, after much consideration, he believes Trump has committed an “appalling abuse of public trust” an abuse so grave that it merits being ousted from the presidency.

Senator Lamar Alexander did assert that Trump did something “inappropriate” but not sufficiently proven to deserve conviction.  He and other Republicans who fell in behind him said that they thought Trump would learn from this and not do it again.

WHO ARE THEY KIDDING, BESIDES THEMSELVES?  Trump the guy who never admits to making a mistake or doing wrong, including this whole Ukraine affair?   Why on earth would he change now, since he just got away with abusing his power without even a censure vote from the lap dog Trumpublicans in the Senate.

Romney will get endless crap from fellow Republicans for announcing the obvious truth.  Of course, Trump will still be acquitted this afternoon.  Romney knows that.  That’s why he merits a chapter in any revisions of the Kennedy book.

The Pseudo Senate Impeachment “Trial” of Trump

Always so many political events coming so fast in Trumptopia and this week the whirlwind is swirling even faster than usual.   The Democrat’s first primary in Iowa today, tomorrow Trump’s state of the union speech and then the rest of the week finishing up the details of Trump’s impeachment acquittal.

What to take away from the impeachment proceedings.   Well, first of all Trump’s acquittal in the Senate was preordained as it requires two-thirds of the Senators to convict him, something that was never going to happen given that 53 of the Senators are Republicans.

Of course “everybody” knew this, but the Dem’s were pretty much forced to impeach Trump because there was so much evidence showing his abuse of power (and obstruction of Congress) that they had to take a shot at it in the hope their charges would sway that slice of American undecided voters along with firing up their base.

Frankly, I don’t know who was swayed where, though I give praise to the House Democratic efforts as being far more persuasive than those of the Republicans.   The Democrats relied on convincing witnesses and records while the Republicans relied on procedural arguments, distortions and distractions.  Because they had little in the way of evidence to back them up.   Really, Trump did something wrong and it was obvious if you paid close attention to the proceedings.

Republican Lamar Alexander admitted as much late in the Senate “trial”.  He dismissed the arguments of the Trump team saying he was convinced that Trump abused his power regarding pressuring Ukraine to provide dirt on the Biden’s.   He called Trump’s actions “inappropriate,” but he asserted they did not rise to the level of impeachment.  He thought it best to leave that issue to Americans at the ballot box.

A clever position to be sure, but his conclusion that the charges did not reach the level of impeachment is debatable.  However, that debate has been squelched by the Republican majority.  New evidence keeps coming forth, much of it as snippets from a book by former Trump top security adviser John Bolton that contradict many of the claims of the Trump team.  Bolton has offered to testify, but the Republicans have closed down the option for any more records or testimony, so this will have to move to the court of public opinion.

More information is likely to come out (and eventually Bolton’s book), a continuing thread from the impeachment hearings that I will return to in my next post.