Saturday, November 6, 2021

Notes on the Political Scene

Niall Ferguson, of the Hoover Institution, counts as one of our more savvy political commentators. And this is the case even though he is British by birth, American by choice.

Anyway, Ferguson has some thoughts about the recent Democratic election wipeout. Since his views are strangely consonant with my own, I am happy to share.

On the first question, the manifest failure of the Biden presidency, Ferguson coins a nice phrase. Joe Biden has “delivered vacancy.” Presumably the reference is to Biden’s mental deficiency, clearly noted by those who think clearly; ignored by everyone else:

Far from reuniting the country, Biden turns out to be no less polarising a President than Trump. And far from delivering normalcy, he has delivered vacancy.

If Biden had secured the Democratic nomination in 2016, I think he could possibly have beaten Trump and made a passable if ineffectual President. But the melancholy realisation for millions of Americans and for the rest of the world is that the top job came to Biden too late.

I have met him several times over the years, and the decline that has set in since his election victory has been painful to watch.

Turning 79 in two weeks, 'Sleepy Joe' (Trump's epithets rarely miss the target) should be golfing and dozing in a deck chair in the Florida sun, not trying to run the most powerful government on the planet.

Readers of this blog were alerted to this eventuality long before it became flagrantly obvious, so I do not feel derelict on this score.

Ferguson next notes, as we all have, that education became a major issue during the campaigns, to the chagrin of the Democratic Party:

Just as in the UK, dissatisfaction with what is going on in America's schools has been building throughout the pandemic. Protracted lockdowns and school closures had one positive consequence: For the first time, many parents started paying attention to what their children were being taught. And much of what they overheard on Zoom appalled them.

Now, it would be an exaggeration to say that every American teacher is a woke activist sporting a Black Lives Matter T-shirt. But it would be a downright lie to claim that Critical Race Theory (CRT) — which holds that 'systemic racism' is inherent in Western society — is not being widely taught in schools.

The real issue was less about CRT, and more about the deficient education provided by America’s schoolteachers. CRT is a symptom, less than a cause. Still, the Democratic Party decided to make race the only real issue. For that they paid a price:

In fact, so influential are such ideas that more or less every school, college and corporation in the land is currently working on its so-called 'Diversity, Equity and Inclusion' strategy.

To many, it seems that America's once meritocratic society is seeing a perverse restoration of racial divisions, as if disparaging today's white kids for their 'privilege' will somehow right past wrongs.

And then there is the question that torments your sleep. Can Joe Biden make a comeback? If we recall that Barack Obama started his 2010 comeback by admitting that Democrats took a shellacking in the midterm elections of that year, we note that nothing resembling such a frank and honest admission has issued from Biden or his spokespeople. Beside, Biden does not have the presence of mind to stay awake during meetings. He is, as they say, toast.

And, Ferguson adds, the American public understands viscerally inflation, homicide and the border chaos:

Can Joe Biden's administration turn it around? Or is the old man already a lame duck?

Unfortunately for Democrats, it's not just education that's alienating voters. Inflation looks anything but transitory to most consumers and businesses.

Homicide has surged in most big cities since last year's Black Lives Matter protests triggered by the killing of George Floyd.

There is chaos on the country's southern border, a direct consequence of the Biden administration's early repudiation of Trump's tough stance on immigration.

Finally, Biden's personal approval rating has been in the red ever since the shocking debacle of the sudden and botched U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August.

For all these reasons, Joe Biden's manifest personal decline is not the principal reason for his administration's rapid descent from 'transformational' to, well, transitory. On every issue from education to the economy, from fighting crime to foreign policy, Team Biden has lost the confidence of the electorate.

Are Democrats going to run next year as the Anti-Trump party. It’s thin gruel indeed, and it failed in Virginia. As noted here and elsewhere, Trump’s banishment from social media worked in favor of Republicans. Who knew?

One other thing seems clear. The Democrats stand no chance in the midterms if they are planning once again on painting the Republican party as 'Trumpian'. One key reason that strategy no longer works, ironically, is Trump's near invisibility on social media, thanks to his 'cancellation' by the big tech companies back in January. Absence makes the heart grow fonder — and Trump is no exception.

Ferguson thinks that Trump will run. I do not. But, if he does he will probably face Kamala Harris, among the worst politicians and most incompetent executives around.

And so the really big question now hanging over U.S. politics is this: Does Trump run for re-election in 2024?

If he does, I think he wins — especially if his opponent is Vice President Kamala Harris, who seems to have all but cancelled herself.

Indeed, future historians will ask whether this was Team Biden's biggest blunder — handing the number two job to a woman who checked all the diversity boxes (Jamaican father, Indian mother, speaks fluent 'Wokeish'), but unfortunately leaves most voters completely cold.

The phrase “hoist on his own petard” comes to mind, but it simply means that the party of diversity, equity and inclusion will be hard put to reject a candidate who, in her very being, embodies all three. 


John Fisher said...

I'm surprised you think Kamala will be the 2024 Democratic nominee (no, I don't think Sleepy Joe will run again). 2020 showed clearly that the powers behind the Democratic Party have no issue with forcefully controlling the nomination process - that all of the opposition to Biden suddenly vanished with his contrived win in the South Carolina primary is testimony to that. Kamala fared poorly in the 2020 beauty contest that was the early buildup to the primaries despite having both significant money and significant media behind her. Between that and her poor performance to date as VP, I'm pretty sure she'll be told to sit down and shut up when the real auditions for the 2024 Democratic nomination happen. And the nature of the Democratic party is such that she will.

370H55V said...

To understand fully how we got to this point, it helps to recognized how dramatically America has changed over the years to the extent that the Overton Window has shifted, no, lurched to the Left over the last 50 years.

Consider, for example, that Joe Biden got run out of the 1988 presidential race with his tail between his legs when it was discovered that he had plagiarized his life story as that of British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock. In 2020, no one heard any mention of that, and even if the subject had been brought up, the reaction would have either been crickets or the cancellation of anyone who did bring it up.

I'm glad (I suppose) for the GOP wins last Tuesday, but I am not optimistic long term.

Sam L. said...

Welllll, I think the Dems SHOULD put up Kamala to replace Joe...I I mean, that would blow the Dems out of the water and set them back 20 years, maybe MORE!

Nu-Flora said...
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