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CSotD: Everything Old is Old Again

Jimmy Margulies brings up the topic, and, yes, it’s notable that Joe Biden is older than Donald Trump, but mostly because not a lot of candidates are.

I did a little poking around and here’s what I came up with:

Bernie Sanders September 8, 1941 (age 77 years)
Joe Biden November 20, 1942 (age 76 years),
Donald Trump June 14, 1946 (age 72 years)
Elizabeth Warren June 22, 1949 (age 69 years)
Amy Klobuchar May 25, 1960 (age 58 years)
Kamala Harris October 20, 1964 (age 54 years),
Kirsten Gillibrand December 9, 1966 (age 52 years)
Pete Buttigieg January 19, 1982 (age 37 years)

Which, if you believe ageism is good policy, raises the question of whether Elizabeth Warren is qualified to be president, since she’ll be 70 by Election Day. (Here — you can look up the others if you’d like.)

And, if you believe ageism is bad policy, perhaps you have forgotten that Ronald Reagan began descending into dementia towards the end of his time in office, and that LBJ only made it four years past his presidency, and that, had he run for and won a second term, he’d have croaked two days after leaving office at the age of 65, which is not old.

The Presidency is a tough gig, unless you spend it watching TV and playing golf.

The AARP assures us, however, that age is a matter of character. People with good attitudes climb mountains in their nineties and the sexiest people in Hollywood are over 65.

Pay no attention to the fact that those cheerful, upbeat articles in the AARP magazine are surrounded by ads selling chairs to carry you up and down the staircase and things to keep you from peeing all over the furniture.

Still, age aside, Biden’s re-entry to Presidential politics has inspired our

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Steve Kelley)

(Pia Guerra)

Biden is getting it from both sides, but there’s a substantial difference in the attacks.

Kelley evidently does not own a computer or surely he’d have seen how many “Do you miss me yet?” and other nostalgic Obama memes are all over the Interwebs. If nothing else, his cartoon seems like a violation of that attorney rule never to ask a question to which you do not already know the answer.

Guerra’s cartoon is far more nuanced, because showing the next generation in the shadows is telling, and raises a much more interesting question than the annoying whine of “You Boomers ruined everything!”

Which is not to say we aren’t leaving them a mess, mind you, but it’s not like we did it on purpose. Still, two things:

One is that “Don’t trust anyone over 30” was a joke, not a motto, and we revered Benjamin Spock and Bucky Fuller and several other wise old people. Wisdom has value.

But we supported Bobby (43) and Gene (52) for the presidency.

The other is that, besides showing Harris and Warren in the shadows, Guerra depicts them holding plans, and thus it is the plans, not so much as the individuals, who are being sidelined.

As one of those wise old men wrote, “Please get out of the old road if you can’t lend a hand.”

And, over in the New Yorker, Jason Katzenstein reminds me of that 1968 campaign, when plans to end the Vietnam War were met with a wall of “practicality,” since we didn’t know at the time that Nixon was undermining a peace plan that would have worked.

That’s the same wall — as this fellow says too plainly — that went up against the Affordable Care Act and that is now greeting Warren’s plans.

This is also how the Green New Deal is being met, and not simply by One Percenters but also by the people who listen to their distorted versions of what it would entail.

If these folks want to “Make America Great Again,” maybe they’d like to go back to paying cash rather than charging things, and to having one car in the family and one TV set in the livingroom.

Going back to the Fifties — MAGA — would involve a lot more belt-tightening than anything in the Green New Deal.

I don’t think the fat cats are the only ones who want everybody else to make sacrifices for the country’s benefit, but we could start with affordable education and affordable housing and decent pay and then see what more painful cutbacks might be needed.

 

But Step One is to regain control of a government that is spinning further and further out of any control, as Jim Morin depicts it.

The increasing isolation of an already distant executive branch has gone past the point where you might expect a delegation of Republicans to visit the president with a warning.

 

Instead, we have the GOP joyfully celebrating its ability to frustrate the intentions of the Founders and the dictates of the Constitution by blocking the nomination of Merrick Garland.

Winning the House in 2018 was a healthy shot across the bows for Republicans and Trump, but it will take a complete sweep in 2020 to halt the oligarchy.

 

Because, as Adam Zyglis points out, even with a vote in both houses to get out of Yemen, Trump was able to use his veto to keep supplying the murderers of Jamal Khassoggi and God knows how many Yemeni civilians.

The number of deaths don’t matter, so long as the checks don’t bounce.

Any of the checks.

Trying to deal with the Trump administration and its GOP enablers is like fighting a drunk: You’d rather go up against a martial arts expert, because at least you could predict what he was going to do next.

But the Republicans will no doubt renominate their champion, which leaves it up to the Democrats to mount, not blue-sky promises, but a credible, electable challenge.

If Biden emerges as their candidate, perhaps it will be because he’s genuinely the most electable, in which case he may emerge at the top again in November.

But if the spotlight shifts from him and his rockingchair and shines on those women with the plans in their hands, that surely wouldn’t break my heart.

For my part, I don’t care who scores the winning goal.

And, dammit, I know we’ve seen tougher competition.

 

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