Friday, September 6, 2019

September 6, 2019

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

Buchanan on Joe Biden, and Putin on the American Middle Class and Globalism

Friends,

More electoral commentary today.

I pass on two items, and they may not seem directly connected, at least at first glance. But reading them in concert and considering what they mean more deeply, why, yes, there is a connection as we approach the election cycle leading to November 2020.

First, there is a short but incisive column by Pat Buchanan questioning whether former Vice-President Joe Biden can “go all the way,” as it were, if he can—with all his gaffes, errors, and checkered past history, and with the mainstream of the Democratic Party now shifted dramatically to the far Left—make it not just to November 2020, but even to the Democratic convention.

For many non-ideological voters Biden is still considered something of a center-Left candidate, a more “moderate” man of the Left (whatever that means in today’s political climate). He, of course, senses the immense sea change in his party toward the extreme, and he has attempted to shift to the far Left, as well, mouthing the same extreme and wild promises as his primary opponents. But even so, such exclamations seem patently political and insincere: it is doubtful that the raving and rabid radical base of his party will come round with enthusiasm (although they may be convinced to hold their collective nose and vote for him rather than permit another four years of the hated Donald Trump).

The second item I pass on is a portion of an interview given recently by President Vladimir Putin to The Financial Times of London. And I find it fascinating in that Putin appears to understand the American political landscape far better than most of the pundits and commentariat of Mainstream Media. The copied portions of the interview zero in on the forgotten American middle class, and the economic and social fact that rapid globalization has been a veritable disaster for middle America, for those folks who the Left likes to label “deplorables”: those farm workers in Wisconsin, union members in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and millions of others who believed, rightly, in 2016 that the elites who have run and in many ways continue to run  and control this country (and much of the world) don’t give a damn about them or their concerns. We exist, so goes that narrative, on the new globalist plantation and are not permitted to question our future or our leadership.

There was in that sense—and it is something that President Putin clearly sees and notes—a political counter-revolution unleashed in 2016. It was not specifically ideological or even “conservative” (as that word is understood), but it did know what it opposed…and it did know that that rabble-rousing millionaire from New York promised a radical change in course.

Certainly, at this writing, some of those promised changes haven’t taken place. Indeed, the older, establishment Deep State remnants of the Republican Party—at least the ones not too horrified or terrified of him—quickly attempted to surround Trump and offer him their “advice” and counsel, even if it was the exact opposite of what he had promised throughout the campaign (e.g. John Bolton, Nikki Haley, and others come to mind).

Nevertheless, Trump had not only given voice to millions of voiceless from the heartland, he had enraged as never before the elites, the managerial and administrative state and all its minions who have pushed hard for globalism and more centralized control, all at our expense.

And what the elites forgot is what Putin sees, and it is one of the very reasons why the Democratic candidates and their voters find themselves in a curious situation. Arguably, given his history and up-to-recent views, his historic connection with union voters and the middle class, Biden should be their strongest candidate to oppose Trump. But to be that challenger he must first: (1) overcome the howling lunatic base of his own party, and (2) perhaps more importantly, demonstrate that he is not a senile has-been incapable of meeting the stress and rigors of office.

The next year will be, no doubt, fascinating to watch.

Can Joe Biden Run This Marathon?
By Patrick J. Buchanan      Friday - September 6, 2019

Thursday, Sept. 14, looks to be a fateful day in the half-century-long political career of Joe Biden. That night, a three-hour debate will be held, a marathon in politics. Biden will be on stage, taking incoming missiles for 180 minutes from nine rivals, each of whom is hungry for the Democratic nomination and has a huge investment in seeing him stumble and fall.

A solid showing by Biden that night, marked by wit and a mastery of the issues, would cause a storm surge of relief in the Democratic Party. It would provide desperately needed reassurance to millions of Democrats who have a gnawing fear Biden's time has come and gone, that he is losing it, that his memory is failing, and that, at any moment, from some egregious gaffe, his campaign could crater and crash. If he stumbles that night, misremembers or misspeaks repeatedly in the three hours, the apprehension about his nomination, already widespread among the party elite, could turn into panic.

Why is the Democratic Party apprehensive about Joe Biden?
 
Though every poll has him running well ahead of his competitors, the Biden campaign has ranged from dull to embarrassing. Biden began by speaking nostalgically of his days as a young senator and the warm friendships he formed with segregationist senators Herman Talmadge and Jim Eastland, the latter a Mississippi pillar of "massive resistance" to civil rights legislation.

In the first debate, Biden was skewered by Sen. Kamala Harris for having boasted of opposing the court-ordered busing that, Harris claims, enabled her to get an integrated education in California. Asked, in Keene, New Hampshire, how it felt to be in the lovely town, Biden volunteered, "Look, what's not to like about Vermont."

Biden spoke of meeting in his vice president's office with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the scene of a horrific school shooting. Only the Parkland massacre did not occur until after he left the vice presidency.

Speaking in the aftermath of shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Biden talked of the recent "tragic events in Houston and also in Michigan the day before." After the shootings in Odessa, Texas, done with an assault rifle, an outraged Joe said it was "absolutely mindless" not to ban all firearm magazines that carry more than a single bullet.

"We choose unity over division. We choose science over fiction. We choose truth over facts," Biden thundered in Des Moines.

Given months of campaigning in which the principal feature has been his gaffes, why is Joe still the front-runner? Because he has been around so long as a senator and vice president, from 1973 to 2017, is well-known and well-liked, is the most acceptable of the candidates to moderates fearful of the rising radicalism in the party — and, above all, because every poll shows Biden has the best shot at beating Donald Trump.

Biden has undeniable assets. He was Barack Obama's loyal subaltern. He is seen, even by opponents, as a nice guy, a politician without malice and a pragmatist unencumbered by principle who can slide leftward at the same speed as his party on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Biden is a believer in the maxim of Sen. Henry Ashurst of Arizona that the "clammy hand of consistency should never rest for long upon the shoulder of a statesman." Also, Biden's rivals have proven unimpressive, with the exception of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has steadily plodded upward to challenge the socialist Bernie Sanders for the second position.

Biden's crowds are anemic compared to Warren's. His speeches range from the unexciting to the boring. He has no enticing policy agenda, no inspiring message, no captivating slogan. As a political athlete, he is not even in the same league as Obama or JFK.  He does not excite the Democratic youth. And if he won in 2020, he would be, at 78, our oldest president. Jill Biden, his wife, made the case for Joe well: "You may like another candidate better, but you have to look at who's going to win... Joe is that person." Like Warren Harding a century ago, Biden holds out to the nation the promise of a "return to normalcy."

In his days in the Senate, he was famous for his tough-on-crime stand and his vote to authorize the war in Iraq — a blunder of historic proportions.

If elected, at the end of his first term, Biden would be 82. If he sought and served the two terms every president seems to seek, he would, in 2028, be 86 years old on leaving office.

Does the Joe Biden of the summer of 2019 look like he could be, a decade from now, the dynamic leader America could rely on to face down the successors to China's Xi Jinping and Russia's Vladimir Putin?

Prediction: At some point in this campaign, Joe Biden will declare that, if elected, he will only serve one term.
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In a recent interview with Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, Russian President Vladimir Putin had some very interesting and accurate comments about the current political situation in the United States, particularly as it relates to America's middle class.  Here are some of the key comments:
"Russia has been accused, and, strange as it may seem, it is still being accused, despite the Mueller report [on the investigation into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign], of mythical interference in the US election. What happened in reality? Mr Trump looked into his opponents’ attitude to him and saw changes in American society, and he took advantage of this.
“You and I are talking ahead of the G20 meeting. It is an economic forum, and it will undoubtedly have discussions on globalisation, global trade and international finance.
“The middle class in the US has not benefited from globalisation . . . The Trump team sensed this very keenly and clearly and they used this in the election campaign.  Has anyone ever given a thought to who actually benefited and what benefits were gained from globalisation, the development of which we have been observing and participating in over the past 25 years, since the 1990s?
“China has made use of globalisation, in particular, to pull millions of Chinese out of poverty.
“What happened in the US, and how did it happen? In the US, the leading US companies — the companies, their managers, shareholders and partners — made use of these benefits. The middle class hardly benefited from globalisation. The take-home pay in the US (we are likely to talk later about real incomes in Russia, which need special attention from the government). The middle class in the US has not benefited from globalisation; it was left out when this pie was divided up.
“The Trump team sensed this very keenly and clearly, and they used this in the election campaign. It is where you should look for reasons behind Trump’s victory, rather than in any alleged foreign interference. This is what we should be talking about here, including when it comes to the global economy."


Mr. Putin clearly lays the defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016 at the feet of disillusioned American middle class voters….it is pretty clear that Vladimir Putin's observations about American society and the growing sense that middle class America is being left behind is accurate.  It is becoming increasingly clear that globalization benefits the few at the top and leaves behind the vast majority of society who feel that their place in society is under threat.

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                                                         April 30, 2021   MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey   The Survival of Western Culture...