The Coffee Table


Biden Time

I am not the first person to make a pun of Electile Disfunkshun. I hope to help inject a shot of political Viagra into the body politic, leaving to history’s dustbin the overweight, flaccid blowhard in exchange for an ordinary Joe. With Clinton, and Obama, and maybe even Dubya (the guy most voters said they’d want to have a beer with, although he had fallen off the wagon years before) there was conflict between the victors and the sour-puss losers, but not like this.

What a victory! Competent people running the government. Shouldn’t that be a victory?

A couple of things I want to address here:

First: If Trump had accomplished what he promised, he would have won in a landslide. The nation has a short attention span, but a few years ago, Trump threatened devastating nuclear war with North Korea, then went overseas to visit that nation’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Un. All Americans, including the socialist heroes, would have been ecstatic had the deal been reached. Na-da.

Son-in-law Jared Kushner was assigned to the Middle East, hoping against hope to find peace there. Nothing happened.

Pieces of a border wall were spliced in along the Rio Grande, while immigrants and refugees were turned back or caged. Embarrassment, court fights. No progress.

Trump promised a successful healthcare act to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. More nuthin’.

With support from both parties, Trump promised infrastructure improvements. Bridges collapse, but no, the feds can’t shore them up.

If any of these promises had come to fruition, Trump would have won easily, won respect from Democrats, and probably won reelection.

When Republicans say, “You didn’t give him a chance,” they’re mistaken. Had any of these ventures succeeded, many liberals would have applauded and said, “yes, the art of the deal.”

But in truth, only three victories fall in Trump’s legacy. One—hundreds of right-wing judges, including three on the Supreme Court. None of this happens without the collusion of Mitch McConnell and his GOP Senate.

Two: the big tax cut for the rich and explosion of the national deficit. McConnell is the secondary architect, with former Representative Paul Ryan, who gracefully retired.

Three: further evisceration of unity, community and patriotism in our country. Vindictive, venomous hatred of political, racial and religious groups one against the other. People bringing guns to political rallies, driving cars into crowds to run over anonymous people they never met. Calling “Racist! Socialist” and other now-empty insults.

No question that Unka Joe is our next president. But the belief in “alternative facts” and Fake News tells many of the populace they can believe what they want. If Trump has an insufficient number of votes, that means his defeat is a result of millions of illegal votes. Easy—we explained that one!

In 2016, I recall watching results on NPR/PBS online, when the conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks responded in shock. That year, the results reported by news media were correct; now they are suspect, since Trump is behind.

I know that I have changed my mind about political and social issues, over time. But I can’t understand how people can go both ways at once: “Count the Vote!” (if you believe you may catch up) and “Stop the Count!” when you mistakenly believe you are ahead.

The US presidency is the hardest job in the world. But for Joe Biden, it will be ever harder since a significant percentage of voters—and possibly members of Congress—do not accept reality.

I wouldn’t want that job! I’ve worked in divided workplaces, and it is not fun. But if Biden keeps his sunny disposition, his optimism, we can get back on that forward trajectory that Trumpism derailed.

An ordinary Joe—I’ll take it! A woman vice-president, daughter of immigrants—I’ll take it! Appointees who understand the fundamentals of government—I’ll take it.

My last point: throughout my voting lifetime, I have heard people say, “We need a businessman in office!” Clearly, we do not. The businessman—Trump—was only in it for the glory. True public servants know that they are in it for the people—me and you. Happy November!