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Back on March 26, 2019, just about 1 year ago, I posted a blog discussing the upcoming Democratic Presidential primary season, which we are now in the middle of. Although my essay was long winded and rambling as usual, it was based around a prediction. I predicted that despite all of the candidates who entered the field, the Democratic primaries would come down to a choice between two main themes represented by two main candidates. Here’s a quote:

On the Democratic side, there is a plethora of potential candidates at this point . . . However, it all really sums up to a digital choice: Bernie (or younger reasonable facsimile) or Joe (or younger reasonable facsimile).

Well, not bad, if I do say so myself! The only thing I got wrong was to leave open the possibility that some of the younger and fresher faces would break through and push the old geezers like Sanders and Biden aside. For whatever reason, the progressive Democratic Party decided that for 2020, old white male Baby Boomers still rule!

I also had some new thoughts on Joe Biden today — let me share them here:

I’m an old man, gonna be 67 in a few weeks, so I feel for Joe and all of his old-man bumbling. (Although, even when he was middle aged, he still bumbled more than his share). From a personal perspective, I’d like to think that some of his frequent bumbling and forgetting names and places over the past few months has been from old-man depression. Ya know, you’re older now, maybe you’re not taken so seriously anymore. You feel like you’re not really needed anymore, you can no longer play in the big leagues. So, go down to Florida and play in the retiree’s league just to pass the time, let the next generation take the wheelhouse. Didn’t Joe get the message from Kamala Harris back in June?

I’d like to think that maybe Joe is about to sharpen his game, given that the Party has just decided that it still needs him, that it ain’t got a better alternative, even though it tried hard to find one. You could call it the “Churchill effect”, given that ole Winnie was pretty much washed up and irrelevant by 1939, an old fossil from WW1 who wanted to re-fight that war, what a dinosaur. Surely the more enlightened younger leadership could find a reasonable accommodation with Germany — negotiation and not guns and bombers were now the main tools. I’ve read a little about Winnie, and I gather that he was pretty depressed by 1939 and took consolation mainly in alcohol (good stuff, of course, whisky, brandy, champagne). Then in 1940 it became clear that drunken old Winnie was the last hope. And he rose to the occasion.

I’d like to think that Joe could yet have the Churchill experience. It’s also like the Rocky movies, the odyssey of a has-been boxer who suddenly gets selected and rallies himself. Yea, get out the Rocky trumpet song (Gonna Fly Now) for ole Joe.

Well, maybe not; maybe Joe’s mind really is inexorably progressing into clinical dementia. But as an old man myself who experiences more and more Biden moments as time goes on, I’d totally love to see a re-invigorated Joe emerge over the next few weeks.

I think that Joe is a little more emotionally sensitive and a little less of a reptile than most politicians are, old or young. One can argue back and forth about Trump’s national policies (I don’t reject all of them), but I really believe that Trump the man is a reptile sociopath-egomaniac, a man with little feeling other than for his own reputation (but brilliant enough to cloak that fact before the masses). And Bernie is more in love with Revolution than with real people. But Joe is still seen by many as a guy who really does have feelings for other people, a good practicing Catholic who still takes it seriously (again, one can argue whether his positions are truly in synch with his religion, but I don’t think we can doubt that he takes religious ideals seriously).

I get the feeling that Joe has run a half-hearted campaign up to now (which Rep. Jim Clyburn implied in his last minute endorsement of Biden in South Carolina, which some say saved Biden from collapse) because he is a bit more sensitive to his feelings than most politicos. I think that Biden felt hurt by all the criticisms and mockery implying that he is old and out of touch, just another Baby Boomer who should get out of the way of people like Booker, Harris, Buttigieg, Castro, O’Rourke, etc. The big question is whether we now see a Joe who gets the inspiration back, or is he just gonna continue to bumble and forget and humiliate himself, and thus take the Party down with him?

To me, that is the wild-card. Will the Rocky effect kick-in? Will the trumpets blow? Will this be Biden’s Finest Hour? If so, then Bernie is gonna lose and October is gonna be like the Rocky fight scenes. Trump v Biden, it’s gonna be bloody and its going down to the final bell. Sure, Biden has a lot of baggage, some with Ukraine stickers on it; but if baggage with eastern European stickers were the disqualifier, Trump would never have gotten past Jeb! or Marco or Ted. If Biden continues to go gentle into that good night, then he goes into the books as just another depressing Democratic disaster in line with Humphrey, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry, etc.

It’s gonna be very interesting to see what Joltin’ Joe is really made of over the next few weeks! Stay tuned!

◊   posted by Jim G @ 8:10 pm      
 
 


  1. Joe Biden is part of the “Silent Generation”, not the “Baby Boomers” – who were born after WWII.

    EDITOR’S COMMENT: Steve, technically, you are probably right about Biden’s “Boomer” status. But he seems to at least be an honorary Boomer. Politico recently called him a Baby Boomer. So I am in good company in making this mistake !! JIM G

    Biden strikes me as a teflon candidate. He remains popular because he is rather likable. But he ran a very unimpressive campaign. He did not attract large crowds. He got easily confused. He changed his positions to appeal to a shifting electorate. But he will be the Democratic nominee in 2020.

    I am not optimistic that Biden will be an effective president. Republicans will have no desire to work with him. Healthcare will remain ridiculously expensive and will not available to everyone. He won’t take bold steps to save the planet. The income and wealth distribution will continue to deteriorate, and he will either ignore funding social security or will seek to cut it.

    Yet he is clearly superior to the current White House occupant – who is as close to evil as anyone I have ever met. Trump has damaged our democracy more than people realize, and I have doubts he will leave office if he loses, as Republicans will go along with any conspiracy theory he devises. So despite all his flaws, Biden will be my clear choice in 2020.

    Comment by Zreebs — March 12, 2020 @ 7:54 pm

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