CSotD: Perhaps the end of the beginning

I gather Joe Heller is taking no pride in the coming elections, but he seems terribly cynical. It’s true that few of our elections have united the nation, but they’re not supposed to.

That sense of pride comes from our ability to hash out our differences and come up with workable solutions, and I’ll grant you we’re not so good at that right now. But if you look at our history, there have been other troubled times.

That doesn’t mean “Don’t worry, be happy” but it does mean, despite this teacher’s prompting, that we should dig in and work, not seek distraction in the glitz of the Olympic Games.

The Olympics have become so commercialized and over-produced that they’re no different than Survivor or the Masked Singer or any of the exotic bread-and-circuses that keep Mildred Montag happy and contented.

Walt Handelsman is right to poke some fun at our sense of obligation, because there was little requirement to watch last night. The networks pulled out all their razzle-dazzle, but the two main races contained few surprises and the others seemed obscure.

I did notice that, while we all decry empty “horse race coverage,” the networks have created a tout sheet of guys with whiteboards breaking down how each race is going in each county. The flaw in this, however, is not so much the mindnumbing cascade of numbers as the assumption that it’s all about winning.

We expected Trump and Biden to emerge at the top in what is essentially a contest between incumbents, given the grip Trump has on the Republican Party.

What’s worth discussing is whether votes for Nikki Haley suggest more trouble for Trump than Uncommitted votes do for Biden. Beyond that, it’s primaries, and nobody’s won anything yet, beyond the right to keep trying.

Matt Davies suggests that both the Never-Trump and Uncommitted movements have come to an ignominious end. I disagree.

Haley seems likely to drop out, but she should feel good about taking Vermont and grabbing a third of Virginia. She shouldn’t have had an expectation to beat Trump, but her presence has made him do more than hug the flag and sell ball caps.

The question being asked is should she have gone on full attack sooner? It’s an interesting question but not half so interesting as whether or not she, and the Never-Trumpers, should join the Biden team in holding Trump’s feet to the fire now.

Should Trump bring the ticket crashing down in November, a loyal Haley could emerge as a viable choice for rebuilding. She’s established her credibility, but should she be loyal to Trump or to her principles?

On the other side of the aisle, Patrick Chappatte suggests, the Uncommitted Vote is more of a check-rein than a desertion.

I would suggest, overall, that a larger percentage of Uncommitteds will vote for Biden in November than Haley voters will turn out for Trump. As Chappatte depicts it, the Uncommitted movement is a gesture, not a hard position.

The issue for November is turnout, and both the Uncommitted movement and the support for Haley indicate a mutual need to whip up some enthusiasm, because the danger is less in people voting against you than in people simply not showing up to vote at all.

Morten Morland points out the clear fact that Trump intends, with the help of the SCOTUS delay in his trials, to campaign on bluster and arrogance, and his words from the Access Hollywood tape are applicable here: If he’s a star, they’ll let him do it.

So far, so good. He’s made terrifying promises, like shutting down federal funds to schools that require childhood vaccinations (which is virtually all of them), deporting hundreds of thousands of immigrants who he says have poisoned our nation, and loosing the military on peaceful protestors.

Impossible? Outrageous? Let’s drag ol’ Frank out one more time, because he was right then and he’s right today:

There’s a thing going around about a survey showing people who support Trump don’t necessarily know what his plans are, and I agree that the challenge for Democrats is to publicize the budding dictatorship being planned.

But the idea that, like Andy Griffith’s character in “A Face in the Crowd,” there will be a sudden collapse, a moment when people see through Trump and universally reject him, is beyond naive.

He has a core of supporters who know what he has in mind and are eager to see it happen.

Mike Luckovich questions how any woman can vote for a man who boasts of sexual assault, who openly cheated on his marriages and who paid hush money to his sexual partners.

As for the support of women who want both abortion and contraception outlawed, it seems logical that their strict morality would cause them to reject him on those other grounds.

But logic has little to do with it.

There’s not much hope of Biden making any headway among the True Believers, but it’s important to make sure moderate voters know Trump’s plans for a dictatorship. However, as Paul Fell notes, people have to be willing to look and to listen.

And MAGAts aren’t the only people who make up their minds and hunker down in their positions.

Even Uncommitteds can harden their standings, and Adam Zyglis is not the only observer who, instead of hailing the food drops in Gaza as the start of opposition to Netanyahu’s policies, condemns them as “Too Little, Too Late.”

There’s an air of “No good deed goes unpunished” in this response, as well as in the failure to acknowledge a stiffened American backbone in calling for a ceasefire.

Once people have decided Biden’s administration is doing nothing for Gaza, it’s hard to turn them in a new direction.

French cartoonist Piet (Cartoon Movement) points out the desperation of Gaza, and the response of the IDF in the aid station disaster.

In such a world, how little is too little? And how late is too late?

From his position in Jordan, Osama Hajjaj (Cartoon Movement) takes a more positive view of the effort.

If the Biden Administration can establish a ceasefire and increase aid to Gaza, the issue could flip strongly in its favor.

Otherwise, as always, the perfect remains the enemy of the good.

Keep the faith.

7 thoughts on “CSotD: Perhaps the end of the beginning

  1. “Should Trump bring the ticket crashing down in November, a loyal Haley could emerge as a viable choice for rebuilding. She’s established her credibility, but should she be loyal to Trump or to her principles?”
    Nikki Haley has no principles beyond “which way is the wind blowing?”

  2. There’s a house not too far from me that has had a “WOMEN FOR TRUMP” sign in its window for the last 8 years or so.

    It baffles me every time I see it.

  3. I’ve been wondering whether Gaza has a port. I recall that Israel imposed a naval blockade, so there must be something. How about a US naval vessel crammed with relief supplies running the blockade?

  4. Luckovich’s analogy, or the analysis thereof, is weak in as much as Trump doesn’t want to kill women as meteors, cats, and foxes want to their counterparts. Perhaps we can leave it as a devouring/destruction of women’s rights. Meteors, cats, and foxes could care less about such things.

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