I suppose the following words could be considered just a couple more rants about things political. There’s a lot of that in the air these days. But, I hope not.
Two current subjects have been eating at me for some time. Both amount to efforts by the media and nearly everyone else to fit yesterday’s words and actions into today’s accepted norms.
Stop it! It can’t be done!
A current striking example of that twisted thinking involves everybody’s favorite Democrat Joe Biden. Uncle Joe. A few days ago, he was talking about the necessity for people with opposing views and values working together to accomplish something important. At that moment, he was talking about efforts to pass the voting rights act in the ‘60's.
Biden was citing working with a couple of avowed racists in the Senate - James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia. Absolutely no question about their racist credentials. Biden talked of negotiating with them on various parts of the legislation to get their support when the vote was taken because it was gonna be close. And he got ‘em.
Yes, Virginia, there really was a time when politicians of one stripe actually had working relationships with those of a different stripe. It worked! An amazing time, that.
Sitting in the press gallery one day about 1970, I remember watching Barry Goldwater - an avowed Conservative - and Hubert Humphrey - an avowed liberal - going at each other in debate. Point-counterpoint. Back and forth. The real essence of politics at work. Ironically, something had to be amended in the bill and it was held for a day.
A few hours later, a fellow reporter found the “combatants” at the Congressional Club on the Hill behind the Capitol. Bourbon and branch water between them and chatting about an Arizona hunting trip Goldwater was putting together.
Think you could find that today in McConnell’s kangaroo Senate? Yeah, you bet. That’s what Biden was talking about. That’s how it worked. When it worked.
But, instantly, Booker, Warren, Harris ran to the media with their faux outrage about Biden’s “racist” comments. Pure B.S.. Booker, Warren and Harris have full time jobs in that same governing body and they know in their souls how it used to be. How it really worked. Or, maybe they conveniently “forgot” how things used to get done just to make a news cycle.
Biden said nothing wrong. But, the media scrum - none likely born at the time Biden was referring to - and Booker, Warren and Harris without Biden’s institutional experience - jumped all over him. Again, pure B.S..
Because of Bidens trying to use past examples of how this-and-that actually worked, his 40+ years of experience may be his Achilles’s heel. Though his kind of politics worked then, he may get hammered by opponents using today’s poisonous political climate to justify their attacks on the cooperation that used to be.
The other personal irritant is all this media hype of upcoming Democrat “debates.” You can’t get five pounds of lard into a one pound can. And you can’t “debate” when you have 10 candidates.
Let’s break it down. Suppose the allotted time is two hours. Less network lead-ins, exits, summations, etc.. That should total about 20 minutes. Now, with the remaining 100 minutes, divide that by 10 people. Spread over a two hour period, each gets a total of 10 minutes to speak, broken up by questions, audience reactions and other miscellaneous distractions.
There’s no debate. No back-and-forth. Just short “sound bites” so each can get in a favorite stump speech point. No challenge. No response. Nothing. Where the hell is the “debate?”
There is no debate and there will be no debate until, oh, about October, 2020. When each political party has just one candidate for President. When there are just two microphones and two voices. And that’s only if the “moderator” stays out of it and lets the combatants combat. Not likely.
Trump will be one voice. And he will be loud and raucous - foul and obscene. Based on past performance, he’ll interrupt, make noises, walk around while his opponent is talking and try anything to distract. And he’ll lie. Lie. Lie!
In fact, we may get through a whole political season without one real debate. Those last appearances may not amount to an actual debate after all. Just one serious voice trying to overcome the childish demeanor and harangues of our “president” who has already exhibited his “debate style.”
And that’s what’s been eating at me. But, that’s enough.