Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Bernie calls it a campaign

The long and winding road to the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination has begun finally to show signs of straightening out … even as it is paused for a time while the nation wages war against the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ decision to drop out of the race leaves the nomination wide open for former Vice President Joe Biden, who now becomes the party’s presumptive nominee. I had hoped Sanders would have made this call sooner, but then again no one is talking overly seriously just yet about politics while the nation is essentially shut down during this health crisis.

Sanders did put up a valiant fight. I’ll give him credit for that. The 78-year-old independent senator from Vermont has written a significant chapter in the nation’s 21st-century political history. He helped push forward some important progressive ideas and possibly dragged much of the Democratic Party along with him.

Many of those ideas, though, were non-starters with mainstream Democrats: Medicare for all comes to mind, as does free public college and across-the-board college debt forgiveness.

Indeed, the self-described “democratic socialist” cannot claim too many legislative victories during his lengthy time in Congress.

He fought hard and now it’s time for him to rally his legions of supporters behind the remaining candidate who can rid this nation of the Liar in Chief who masquerades as president.

Sanders and Biden share the same overarching goal: defeating Donald Trump. Any sort of third-party effort from the left is certain to produce a second term for the man many of us consider to be the most fundamentally unfit human being ever elected to the U.S. presidency.

I’m glad to hear the news that Sen. Sanders has called it quits in his bid to become president. It soon will be time to get to work to usher Trump out of the Oval Office for the final time.

But … first things first. We all have to wage this difficult fight against a killer disease.

Pandemic response becomes overarching 2020 campaign issue

Should the federal government’s stumble-bum response to the coronavirus pandemic take center stage for the 2020 presidential campaign?

Oh, boy howdy, hoss! Damn straight it should!

This very moment might not be the right time to start campaigning on Donald Trump’s belated call to urgency. However, once we reach our “apex” and we start seeing declines in the infection rate among Americans, then I do believe it would be an appropriate issue to raise in the contest for the White House.

Are you listening, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.? I’m talking to you.

Even though it might be premature for a presidential contender to raise the issue, I consider it fair game for, oh, those of us on the outside, such as bloggers.

Donald Trump has done a terrible job coordinating the federal response. He has politicized the effort all along the way, and that came after he said initially that the pandemic wasn’t that big of a deal.

Nine thousand American deaths later, it most certainly a huge deal. It is so huge that it boggles my mind — and the minds of others — that the Trump administration would disband a pandemic response team assembled as part of the National Security Council during the Obama administration.

Trump’s supporters, of course, are quite willing to accept the president’s non-response as OK. Some of them are readers of this blog and are critics of what I post on this blog; they are likely to respond to this brief post. That’s fine. Let ’em have at it.

I am not going to remain silent, even in this terrible time, over what I see are egregious shortfalls in the president’s response. Donald Trump has been far too slow to get off the proverbial pot.

When the time comes to make this non-response a campaign issue, then my hope is that Trump’s adversaries zero in and remind us of what many Americans already know: Donald Trump is unfit to lead this nation.

Beginning to look past the pandemic

One of the ways I occupy my mind during this coronavirus pandemic is to consider what lies on the other side of this crisis.

Namely, I think about the issues I want to ponder once we are able to push the pandemic a bit toward the back of the shelf. Yeah, I know it sounds more than a little bit nerdy.

A few things come to mind.

  • The presidential election is probably Issue No. 1. I want to see a new president take office next January. It looks like my choice will be Joseph R. Biden Jr. He’s way ahead in the march toward the Democratic Party presidential nomination. He’ll get nominated somehow, even if it’s not in the standard way: going to a convention full of delegates, having them barter and bicker over campaign platform planks. Then I want to focus on ways to encourage Biden to defeat Donald John Trump.
  •  The 2021 Texas Legislature will convene in January. Democrats might be able to wrest control of the House of Reps from Republicans. Not so sure about the Texas Senate. Democrats need to flip just nine of the 150 House seats to become the new majority. Perhaps a new House majority can enact some smart laws that can survive a veto by GOP Gov. Greg Abbott.
  •  Climate change needs our undivided attention. I worry about what’s happening to our polar ice caps and the wildlife they nurture. Polar bears are in dire peril if they cannot hunt for seals on the Arctic ice. I want a robust debate on climate change, but I fear that won’t happen if Donald Trump gets re-elected.

I know there’s a wide range of issues to discuss once we “socially distance” the pandemic to a manageable problem. I don’t believe the virus is going to disappear until we find a vaccine and manufacture enough of it to inoculate every human being on Earth. I’ll say a prayer to the scientists who are working on that matter at this moment.

That would be the way I define “returning to normal.” I hope it’s not a pipe dream.

Just pick up the phone and call, Mr. VPOTUS

Joe Biden reportedly is considering whether to talk to Donald Trump about how the president can — or should — respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden’s campaign team has been commenting on the possibility of the phone call. Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway has been openly critical of Biden for not calling her boss. I guess her needling got through to the former vice president, the frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Here’s where I come down on this matter.

All Biden has to do is call the White House. He knows the number. He and the president can talk privately; there is no need to blab all over creation about what they discuss. It could be just the two of them.

I cannot predict how either of them would handle such a conversation. I don’t know who between them would spill the beans to the media.

To be frank, I don’t care what they say to each other. They’re both grownup. Biden has sat at the center of power, the place now occupied by Trump. He knows a thing or two about how to wage the kind of fight that this struggle requires. I don’t know with any certainty what Trump understands, other than what he says about his alleged knowledge of these medical matters.

If there’s going to be a conversation between these two politicians, let it happen … even it if is out of sight and out of hearing.

Hey, Sen. Sanders, stop the delusion!

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders apparently is clinging tightly to an illusion, which is that he thinks he still can win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination this year.

Earth to Bernie: No! You cannot!

The democratic socialist/independent senator from Vermont who masquerades as a Democrat has no path to the nomination. Former Vice President Joe Biden has trounced Sanders in a series of party primary elections and has piled up an insurmountable lead in delegates selected for the Democratic National Convention this July in Milwaukee.

Sanders cannot overtake Biden. Yet he continues to stay in the hunt, continues to insist that while the path to a nomination is “narrow,” he can walk it carefully. I have to ask: How in the world does that happen?

Joe Biden has emerged as the overwhelming favorite among Democrats whose main mission this election year is to defeat Donald John Trump. Thus, this nomination is all but in the bag for Biden.

I realize at this moment that virtually no one is talking seriously about the presidential election. The nation is fixated instead on more pressing crises presented by the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of Americans have died already from the virus; many thousands more are expected to succumb to it.

Indeed, the crisis has frozen the election in place … for the moment. Which makes me think that the stalling of the nominating fight is the only thing that is preventing Sen. Sanders from making the patently obvious decision to drop out of the race and endorse Joe Biden.

Bernie is deluding himself if he actually thinks what he has said publicly, that he can still be nominated by the Democrats to take on Donald Trump. Get real, Bernie. End it now.

Is she really ready to become POTUS?

I am going to commit political heresy by questioning the qualifications of a woman of color who happens to be on a lot of folks’ short list for the Democratic Party’s vice-presidential nomination.

I present to you Stacey Abrams.

Joe Biden has declared he will select a woman to run with him if he becomes the Democrats’ presidential nominee this summer. That’s a done deal. No doubt about it. The former vice president has carved it in stone, signed his name in blood. For all I know he has sworn on a Bible.

I keep seeing Stacey Abrams’ name on short lists for that call.

So, I have looked up her background. I found some fascinating chapters in her life story.

The question that any presidential nominee must ask of a VP selection is this: Is the person I choose qualified to step into the presidency in the event I no longer can serve? Is Stacey Abrams qualified to do that?

She ran for Georgia governor in 2018 and lost by a whisker to Republican Brian Kemp. Prior to that her only political experience was as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives. Anything else … politically speaking? Nope. That’s it.

Now, let me be clear. Stacey Abrams is bright and well-educated. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Spelman College; she earned a masters degree in public administration from the University of Texas-Austin; and … she earned her law degree from Yale University. She packs plenty of intellectual wattage.

I just wonder whether she has earned a place on Joe Biden’s short list of candidates to be the Democratic Party’s vice-presidential nominee.

The former VP has a gigantic field of competent and highly qualified women he can examine as he looks for a potential running mate. He ran against some of them in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. But there are governors and other members of Congress he can consider.

I am just a bit leery of someone of Stacey Abrams’ limited political experience being thrust into this role of vice-presidential nominee.

She is young enough to gain more valuable experience. Abrams might do well working in a Cabinet-level post in a Biden administration. I just don’t think it’s her time … at least not yet.

Please forgive me.

Now … what about Bernie’s political future?

It seems oddly petty to talk about U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ next big political decision while Americans are fighting hammer and tong against the coronavirus pandemic that has sickened many thousands of us.

Still, I have to ask: Why doesn’t Sen. Sanders call it a campaign, step aside, cede the Democratic Party presidential nomination to Joseph R. Biden Jr., endorse the former vice president … and then make good on his pledge to do all he can to defeat Donald John Trump?

Sanders cannot win his party’s nomination. Biden has too many more convention delegates lined up than Sanders. It is impossible now for Sanders to catch up.

His campaign insists that Sanders is staying in, yet we hear of reports that the senator is “assessing” the status of his campaign. He can assess all he wants, but many of us already has issued our own assessment, which is that the fight is over.

Sanders fought hard. He has argued, with some justification, that he has won the argument over ideology. Biden has drifted a little to the left, but he’s nowhere near where Sanders is perched on the far-left end of the Democrats’ ideological ledge. That’s more than all right with me. I want a centrist to take on Donald Trump, not a candidate who calls himself a “democratic socialist” and who would be smothered by a Trump slime machine.

I don’t know what Sanders hopes to accomplish by staying in the fight. I do know what he has said is his No.  goal, which is to defeat Donald Trump. Where I come from, it looks like the better way to fulfill that mission is to bow out and line up alongside the candidate who can lead that fight.

Trump gets ready to trash Joe Biden

Here it comes … as most of us have expected for a long time.

The Donald J. Trump presidential re-election campaign is beginning to launch salvos against Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic frontrunner for the party’s presidential nomination. Is the aim intended to disparage policy pronouncements? Or take the former vice president and former senator to task for votes?

Heavens no! They’re going to denigrate Biden because he tends to make verbal gaffes, because he occasionally mangles facts.

They’re saying Biden isn’t “playing with a full deck.”

I’m sure you get where this is going. They’re going to question Biden’s mental acuity. His smarts. His cognitive ability.

Joe Biden is 78 years of age; Trump is 73. Trump is going to call himself the “young man” in this head-to-head matchup.

Still, the irony of Donald Trump and his team questioning anyone’s mental fitness for office is ironic in the extreme.

If you can stomach watching a Trump campaign rally, you might understand what I am saying. Trump flies off the Teleprompter script and launches one of those nonsensical, idiotic, moronic, incoherent riffs. He speaks in sentence fragments and, oh by the way, he lies his a** off virtually with every other sentence that flies out of his mouth.

If you want to shudder in disbelief — as I have done repeatedly since January 2017 — that this guy is the president of the United States of America, I encourage you to look it up. Believe me, it’s a hoot!

So, just think of this individual denigrating an opponent who occasionally commits a rhetorical flub. I would laugh, except that it isn’t the least bit funny.

I am proud to stand with someone of Joe Biden’s immense character and capacity for empathy. I also am delighted to oppose vehemently someone of Donald Trump’s absolute lack of both.

Pandemic pushes ‘most important election’ coverage to the back shelf

What in the world happened to the “most important election in our lifetime,” the one that is supposed to energize a nation, jacking up our interest in deciding whether to stay the course or to, shall we say, set a new course?

I know the answer to that question. It’s been pushed aside while the world comes to grips with how to handle a pandemic that has killed thousands of people already and is threatening to change everyone’s life … maybe forever.

Joe Biden has turned the Democratic Party presidential nomination fight into a runaway. He has routed what’s left of a once-huge field of contenders. U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard today dropped out of the race; I know, you had forgotten all about her, as did I. The only challenger still standing is U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who I reckon is going to bow out any day now.

No one is talking about it. The media have gone silent. News programming has erupted in a barrage of coverage of the coronavirus pandemic — as it should! We’re worried. We’re unsettled. Cities, counties and states are mandating crowd-size limitations. Mayors, county executives and governors are in front of us constantly, providing updates on what they’re all doing to stem the outbreak of new illness.

Oh, and the president of the United States, Donald John Trump? He’s, um, seeking to repair the rhetorical wreckage he has created by his idiotic pronouncements about the pandemic being a “Democrat hoax” and downplaying the severity of the crisis that is killing people daily.

Enough about him. For the time being.

The pandemic is Topic No. 1, and No. 2 and maybe No. 3 at the moment. That “most important election in our lifetime” will take place in November. The road between here and there, though, is going to take some very weird turns.

We had all better hold on with both hands.

‘No’ on tuition-free college

That ol’ trick knee of mine is telling me something I hope is true, but something I cannot predict will happen.

It’s telling me that Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are negotiating an exit from the 2020 Democratic Party primary campaign for Sen. Sanders.

The way this deal might play out is that Sanders might seek to demand certain elements of his campaign end up as part of the Biden campaign going forward. I want to express my extreme displeasure with one element of the Sanders Mantra: the one that seeks to make public college and university education free for every American student.

No can do! Nor should it happen. It’s a budget-buster for the national treasury not to mention for colleges and universities that depend on students’ tuition and assorted lab and book fees to stay afloat.

Former Vice President Biden has broken the Democratic primary for the presidency wide open. The nomination is now his to lose, to borrow the cliché. Sanders, though, isn’t likely to bow out quietly without making some demands on the nominee-to-be.

Sanders isn’t even an actual Democrat; he represents Vermont in the Senate as an independent. He is a “democratic socialist.” To be honest, I don’t quite grasp the “democratic” element in that label as it applies to granting free college education.

The free college plank has been critical to the support Sanders has enjoyed among young voters. How does Biden mine that support for himself? He could call for dramatic restructuring of student loans, making them easier to pay off. I didn’t accrue a lot of student debt while I attended college in the 1970s; I had the GI Bill to help me out. As a parent of college students, though, we were saddled with “parent loans” that took a long time to retire. There must be a better way to structure those loans.

Making public colleges and universities free, though, is a non-starter. Is it a deal-breaker if Joe Biden adopts it as part of his platform? Would that compel me to vote — gulp, snort, gasp! — for Donald Trump? Not a bleeping chance.

The former VP must not be bullied into embracing the free college idea as his own.