"Joe Biden" flickr photo by Gage Skidmore https://flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/48573410561 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Back to Quo with Joe

Well, that was … unexpected.

I should have known better. I mean, I did, after South Carolina, where the firewall held. I was 99% sure of a Super Tuesday sweep by Joe Biden after his arch-rivals jumped on board. Joe won Texas largely because of Beto, Minnesota largely because of Amy, and a lot of moderates everywhere largely because of Pete. The coalition formed, in a god-awful hurry, right before our eyes.

The mission? To stop Bernie before stopping Trump.

And it makes sense, loathe as I am to admit it. Joe Biden can challenge Trump in the electoral map better than Bernie Sanders can, and will also be a better establishment name to help keep the seats at risk in Congress. Change is really, really hard, particularly in the face of the type of overt, transparent corruption we have endured over the last three years. The demagogue and his rabid, misguided worshipers have destroyed institutional democracy. They have broken the norms of political order. Why risk that with another demagogic populist?

Let’s get back to ‘quo with Joe, could be the slogan.

Joe is the safe route. I get it. Bernie, like Trump, is a movement unto himself. A lot of his followers, like Donald’s, see him not so much as a leader but a god, the solution to all of society’s ills. A cult of personality. Those who are all-in on a figure like that – and I know many – will slug it out for their guy even more than for the ideals they themselves espouse. Republicans, as a whole, have thrown their long-standing messages aside for the cult. Free markets? Family values? Fiscal conservatism? Nah. Trump said we don’t need that no more. All we need is Him. We’re fine.

Same might hold for Bernie. Bernie could be bigger than the party, bigger than the country. Trump on the left. I don’t think it’d play out the same – Bernie Sanders is, in his heart, a far better man than Donald Trump – but the perception is enough to create the reality. And I could be wrong. Absolute power does tend to corrupt absolutely, as we’ve seen with the current president. Donald Trump has become unabashedly more demagogic and authoritarian before our eyes, pushing out the adults in the room, pushing out any who would oppose him as he built the framework for American tyranny.

That part I expected.

The perception that Bernie might do the equal opposite, manipulating the levers of the left for his own gain, is frightening to some. The mistaken perception, as well, that Bernie is a classic Socialist, or the laughable claim that he is a Red Communist, is enough. I understand you, America. I empathize. The revolution came too soon.

Several months ago, I made a list. A couple of months ago, I updated it. In both lists I had my top ten favorite presidential candidates. At #9 I said “anyone currently running not named Donald Trump or Joe Biden.” At #10 I said “Joe Biden.”

So, here we are.

Biden has all the momentum. His rivals are lining up to endorse him. He’ll probably get the Bloomberg money, and Liz might even pick him over her own rival Bernie Sanders. Liz might even be VP. We can just about bank on the matchup now. Biden vs Trump. Two bumbling fools. A couple of old white guys who don’t seem to know what they’re talking about most of the time.

The Demagogue vs Mr Establishment.

Covfefe vs Super Thursday.

What can I say now? It’s #10 vs #NeverAgain, so I guess I’m in. The revolution will have to wait.

Let’s go back to ‘quo with Joe. 🤷

32 thoughts on “Back to Quo with Joe

  1. If Bernie Sanders is the candidate, Donald Trump will say the word ‘communist’ about a million times and Bernie won’t have a chance. Probably the same thing with Warren. Some of Bernie’s positions are kind of kooky and easy fodder for Trump fear-mongering.

    Fight fire with fire is the popular saying. To beat a crazy old man, the Democrats need a crazy old man. Meh, I don’t know. The Democrats really fielded an unexciting group of candidates this year. I personally think that only Biden or Bloomberg has a chance of taking out Trump.

    I kind of see this like I see the 1992 elections, yes I am getting old. George Bush was doing quite well at this time – gulf war went well, economy was sort of ok. But then it all kind of fell apart for Bush and the Democrats were left with Clinton (and thanks to Perot, he won).

    I think that Trump has a real opportunity to make a mess with this COVID19 business, and he is already showing real signs of that. I truly believe in the President’s ability to screw this up badly. That could ruin the economy for 2020 and hurt Trump badly in the fall. I am not hoping for all of this, because my stock portfolio is currently taking a beating. But, I would like to be rid of Trump.

    I couldn’t make it to the poll in time, but I would have voted for Biden. My daughter, who was crazy for Pete is now rooting for Biden. The Democrats need to start supporting Biden if he is to have a chance to start defeating Trump. Biden is going to continue to put his foot in his mouth, but this idea is just crazy enough to work.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Great response, Jason, thanks. I actually believe this was a historically capable group of candidates, and most of them would make fine presidents. Some of them will be back to play again. My problem was picking between all the good ones: Liz, Andrew, Pete, and Bernie were world class; Tom and Amy good enough. And Joe, though not my favorite obviously, had real teeth and credentials. Even outsiders like Bloomberg and Tulsi found a credible following, for very different reasons. Any one, had they been the nominee the party rallied around, could beat Trump. Even Hillary trounced him in the popular vote, and she’s almost universally hated by the populace.

      With the endorsement of so many worthy candidates, and the money of Mike Bloomberg, beating Trump should be a cake walk for Joe Biden. He couldn’t possibly mess this up now … could he? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I kind of felt like Pete and Beto were getting their names out there with long term plans of a legitimate run in future elections.

        I think Warren is kind of a whacko.

        I think Biden is going to make several unforced errors, like he just did in mouthing off about James Comey’s endorsement.

        I don’t know about Bloomberg. Another old rich dude. He seems like he could play a good villain.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. My pen was literally poised over Sanders’ name on the ballot before I took a deep breath and voted Biden. I started with Amy, then Harris, then Bernie and then when Biden got the endorsement of just about everybody, well, seemed the writing was on the wall.

    I hate being swept along with the tide. I hate feeling like I have to cast my vote for a candidate because he’s better than the guy who’s going to drive the country into a ditch. This happens every four years. The quadrennial rallying cry of “all hands on deck, the future of the country is at stake.” This time of course that cry is very real.

    You’re spot on with the cult following of Bernie and that’s troubling. I certainly hope that their Bern is going to cool off come November if Biden wins the nomination which as I’m typing this looks more like a sure thing as Bloomberg has dropped out and endorsed Biden.

    As Samuel L. Jackson said in Jurassic Park, “Hold on to your butts.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My hand wavered over that ballot many times, Paulie! In the end I voted my conscience, but that ship has all but sailed now. As I said above, if I gotta be all-in for Joe I will be. He’s a better human than Donald (or Hillary), so I can hang my hat on that, at least.

      Four years ago we all tried an experiment, I think. We got tired of the “lesser of two evils,” and we let an absolute abomination slip in. Let’s never make that mistake again. All hands on deck. The future of the country is at stake. This is not a joke, not a made-up story, not a hoax. Once and for all we have proven: in politics, the lesser of two evils truly is.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. They way all the other candidates dropped out so fast, I thought it was a set up…like that was the plan to begin with. If the voting population likes Bernie, what’s the problem. Trump will crush Biden when he starts talkin’ about how all Biden’s kids got rich with Ukraine Oil deals….Trump does not have “clean hands”, but his name calling and finger pointing works for him

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well said, Tom. I ought to be ashamed of myself. Why, you ask? Because as a former punk rock, “smash the state”, anarcho-idealist, Dead Kennedys-obsessed left wing upstart, I now find myself at the cusp of 50 years old feeling relieved at this result because for whatever reasons, it seems Joe has the best shot at unseating Orangina and thus, I feel safer than I would have had Bernie prevailed. Like I said, I ought to be ashamed.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Bernie’s just not mainstream enough, at least from where I stand to the North. Biden is safe and nary a hint of communism, which seems to terrify Americans (may of whom think social democracy is also communism?…we have universal healthcare here so I guess we’re communist too?)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s what they think! Well, they got another thing coming, because this revolution in America is coming (very, very slowly).

      Remember a month or so ago when Elizabeth Warren said that Bernie wouldn’t make it because “nobody likes him.” We all either got mad or laughed at her for being silly or dumb.

      Well, guess what?

      Bernie doesn’t play well with others. He doesn’t bend. That’s admirable, personally. But, politically? That’s also suicide.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. My late father-in-law, would comment on peoples’ different tastes, saying, “That’s why they make chocolate and vanilla.” My own preference is for something with a funny name made by Ben & Jerry’s, but there’s something to be said for vanilla. It seems plain and “vanilla” has even become synonymous with “bland”, but look at it carefully and it’s quite complex, a flavor that can’t be easily described, and that has an interesting backstory. It blends well with other things too; it can incorporate other ingredients without overwhelming them. That makes it a good, solid base.
    So when I hear people describe Biden as the vanilla choice, and I’ve heard that frequently in the past few days, I think, yeah, that’s not an insult.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s a good point. Joe’s not a great speaker, hasn’t shown an integrity to core beliefs, and sort of goes along with what’s popular, but at least …

      … wait, I forgot what I was gonna say …

      … oh yeah …

      At least he’s not Donald Trump. 😏

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m relieved after yesterday, but also know that things could change yet again, or get very ugly at the convention. I’ll hold onto my butt 🙂

    But here’s my biggest gripe, and it’s been consistent ever since I could vote and began paying attention: the utter fantasy of campaign promises. Why do people fall for them? Remember “I’ll build a wall and Mexico will pay for it?” I hear Bernie’s promises of universal health care, free college, etc. – all very attractive to this life-long liberal – as no different. Even if Bernie won, and even if both the house and senate were blue (HUGE ifs) in 2021, do you really believe we’d suddenly have universal health care and free college? Don’t you think there would still be plenty of democrats in both chambers from parts of the country that aren’t liberal who would balk at such massive changes and spending when their constituents don’t support it, preventing legislation from passing? (Living in Idaho, I know just how this would play out.)

    I hate campaign promises. Fairy tales. Candidate, tell me where you stand on an issue, but don’t pretend you alone can make an enormous legislative shift happen by sheer force of will if you’re elected. Bullshit.

    I’ll take a statesman most people like and can work with to achieve some good things short term over an abrasive leader of a personality cult who struggles to achieve anything on his agenda.
    I don’t believe the revolution has to wait, Tom. It’s already starting; younger, more progressive candidates in state and federal offices are a promising sign. The revolution will just look different than the Berners want because he won’t be the leader. New, young politicians will lead it, but the first step is getting Trump (and McConnell) out of their way. I think Biden has the best chance of achieving that critical goal.

    There’s no such thing as the perfect candidate. I’m almost always mentally holding my nose when I vote. But I vote based on reality, not fantasy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You so nailed it, Rebecca. I completely and utterly agree.

      I’m not a fantasist Bernie fan; I chose him ultimately because he’s a guy who stays on message, and has from the beginning of time, and his message is the right one. They all make promises to get elected. Bernie Sanders actually means it, this is what he wants. Would he get it? You nailed it. No. But when I saw his momentum, yeah, I was in. If I have my choice of candidates, I’ll take the one with honesty and integrity and the progressive message. How can I not?

      I’ll answer that.

      I cannot if he cannot win.

      Joe has the best chance now. Maybe he always did. But with all the other candidates falling in around him, and with the Super Tuesday sweep, he’s it. Ordinary, even dishonest? Yeah. But in that normal political way we’re used to. And we’ve had over three years of outside the norm honesty now, with a pathological liar in the White House. Way worse.

      My biggest hope was that Bernie would win. My biggest fear was that he would win and be able to do nothing, because he can’t get people to go along with him (see: Jimmy Carter). The last five days have proved that.

      So I completely agree. I also agree that the future is bright. I erased the last line of this post just before publishing, because it sounded better (to me) with Joe and a shrug. But the line that didn’t make the cut was this:

      “When is AOC eligible again?”

      The future is bright. Progress will come.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I wanted the Bernie revolution in the last primary against Hillary, but now that we’re down the rabbit hole in crazy town? I can see how old, pale and stale would be attractive to the masses. And I can’t see Bernie winning Florida with his latest pro Castro regime comments either. Open mouth, insert foot.
    Joe might be a boring Q Tip…. but it seems that’s where we’re headed.
    I look at it this way, he wasn’t my choice….but we can survive 4 years of Joe. And if he energizes the black vote? More power to him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good points, Rivergirl. In the days leading up to Super Tuesday, I began to waver. I started to really understand that Bernie might not get those needed swing states, might even lose the Senate and the House in at-risk states. A bigger picture perspective was needed. In a sad way, I’m glad I “lost” on Tuesday.

      Joe isn’t boring to me. I laughed out loud when he gaffed with his sister and wife. He’s funny, even when he doesn’t mean to be. That’ll be nice for a while: a president who laughs, even if it’s just at himself.

      And I have high hopes for the VP. We’re going to need a smart and vibrant one. Choose wisely, dear Joe. Choose wisely.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At this point I’m at the “anyone who’ll beat Trump”. But yes, the choice for VP will be interesting. Can you imagine him picking Warren? That would raise some eyebrows…

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I agree with you Tom, Bernie or Joe? Vs. Trump. Joey has a much better chance, baggage and all. I hope he uses his head and picks a fresh new face for VP. Any hangers on will get him defeated… Warren? No. I do like Joe. I think, however, he is just a ‘poor-ish’ Trump. Mr. Joe will take his pay, party with his minions and keep his friends in their political chairs… raise taxes and screw with medical coverage, maybe social security too! (Fingers crossed!)… Once again this election will call for the vote of the lesser of two evils. Stay well Brother Tom, I need your voice of reason! Cooler heads and all that. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One thing you can always count on with me, is I’ll keep a cooler head. And I’ll always admit when I’m wrong. I was wrong about Bernie. I wanted the revolution, believe you me. I want higher taxes and better services and safety nets. More than that, we need it. I want a promising mix of capitalism and socialism, the great future of all great nations. But there will be no revolution. The evolution will continue. Joe’s a bookmark, a place-keeper, until we can get the true, progressive leadership we desperately need. Trump will be a footnote, one we’ll laugh about for generations to come.

      Go Joe. And Pete. or Amy. Maybe Cory. Okay, Warren. Fine. Keep the seat warm.

      AOC is coming. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m so disappointed. Biden was my second to last choice. Bloomberg being my last. I get what you’re saying about the cult personality. I liked him for his ideals. But this #BernieOrBust thing is going to get Trump back in office. It’s the same reason why he won the first time. This whole thing is stressing me out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you. We’re Bernie supporters, you and I, and Biden and Bloomberg are our last choices. We’re much alike, Case. We’re ready. But the rest of the country isn’t there yet. Tuesday was a referendum on that. This nation is scared of the future and sick and tired of Donald Trump. Let’s get back to center; we’ll move left immediately after. That is the way of thing. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I wholeheartedly agree that most people think Biden is more electable. I know that I do, but I also agree that Sanders is a much better man that what we have now, and he would get my vote if he is the nominee. But as you said, he is the left’s version of Trump, which I think makes him it very hard for him when $1 billion in negative ads will paint as a Casto-loving commie. I don’t see him winning unless the 18 to 25 crowd shows up in massively record numbers. That certainly didn’t happen on Tuesday

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that was the most disappointing part, Steve. The revolution is won by the young, and the young overwhelmingly support universal health care, common sense gun control and the other staples of the “left.” They are vocal and strident. And then, on election day, they didn’t make it to the polls. No matter what anyone might think, or how loud they talk, if they don’t vote it doesn’t count. Period.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Quatro-Joe. Then what?
    Rabid-Repubs are already hunting for their 2024 candidate. And you can bet he won’t be some narcissistic nincompoop.
    Will Joe bow out in 2024? Endorse his vice? Hardly. We’ll have another senile, doddering president, but we can hope who’s ever really in charge by then will at least be on the side of rhyme and reason.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard to think about “next time” with where we are now. I guess we need to get back to norm (senile, doddering norm) if we have any hope of moving this progressive thing forward. The good news? Trump and the backwards-thinkers are all old now, and the young favor progress. Back to quo with Joe for quatro. By 2024, AOC will be eligible. Hope springs eternal. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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