When it rains the worms come out and for the political class the steady rain is promising to become a deluge. The latest bit of bad news in the forecast is the leaked opinion from the Supreme Court regarding Roe. There have been a lot of hot takes on the implications of the ruling but lost in the media churn is the fact that this is another sign that things are getting ugly in Washington. A civilized political class run by sober-minded adults would never have allowed this to happen.
The fact is, Washington is in chaos. The Biden administration is a balkanized mess with Joe Biden as an embarrassing figurehead. His handlers are running out of patience or ability to keep him from having “senior moments” in public. In announcing some new justification for seizing Russian property, Biden slipped into confusion and struggled to say words that may or may not have been in the script. He looked like a man who should be at an assisted living facility, not the White House.
These events are becoming common, which underscores the fact that he is not actually in charge of his administration. It is a balkanized cabal that lacks coordination with the other parts and is disconnected from the party. The old neocons are running the war in Ukraine, while packs of deranged social justice warriors push through nutty ideas like the ministry of disinformation. There is no one sheepherding economic policy, which has been abandoned in the face of record inflation.
This is why Biden’s popularity is about as low as it can go. Amazingly, there is always about 30% of respondents who will say they support the president. Bush bottomed out around this number and now Biden is doing the same. It means his party is in desperate shape for the midterms. The first midterm is never good for the party of the president, as buyer’s remorse sets in at this stage. Trump was a mess, but he presided over peace and prosperity, two things lost under Biden.
Then there is the brewing disaster in Europe. The happy talk coming from the foreign policy camp is just a way to keep the politicians from asking too many questions, but everyone senses a looming disaster. The hope was this would be a great distraction from the economic mess, but that has not worked. Now the economic cost of the war is starting to bite. America is looking at a summer of record fuel and food prices and you cannot hide five dollar gas with a Ukraine lapel pin.
The recent elections tell the story. J. D. Vance staked out a non-interventionist position on Ukraine, basically telling voters he does not care about it. No one wants to admit it, but this may be what pushed him over the top. Both parties have attacked this position, but it is looking like the winning hand with voters. For Democrats, who now own the war in Ukraine, this could turn out to be Vietnam all over again. They are the party championing a very unpopular war.
This is probably why Bernie Sanders is telling people he plans to run in 2024, despite Biden people saying Biden 2024 is not a punchline. A disaster in November and more Joe Biden senior moments in public means the lid blows off the whole thing. Everyone will be talking about what comes after Joe Biden. In politics, it pays to be the first at the scene of the disaster, so Sanders is making sure his name is going to be in stories discussing the demise of Joe Biden.
This also reflects the growing anger of the fringe crazies at their party. In the Trump years, the Democrats weaponized these people against the country. The riots, murders and mayhem were part of the color revolution. The crazies and the more legitimate fringe players in mainstream politics took this to mean that they would get a seat at the table, but that was never happening. Not even the hardest thumping Trump haters want these lunatics in their political camp.
That is why Elizabeth Warren was doing the angry chicken dance outside the Supreme Court when the draft opinion was leaked. Her choreographers did not have enough time to train her for the show, so she was left to wing it and the result was a comical reminder that the 19th amendment was a mistake. Warren is a craven simpleton, but she does reflect the growing frustration of the fringe-left in Washington. They are getting nothing and they are incredibly angry about it.
They think abortion can be their vehicle back to the main stage, but in reality, abortion does not matter all that much to people. Abortion was always a middle-class white woman issue. “The woman’s right to choose” was the cover for promoting eugenic policies in the black community. Now that middle-class white women are past childbearing age, it no longer has emotional appeal. Nonwhites, of course, have been hip to the reality of abortion for a long time.
Taken together, with the looming elections, it reflects a political class that no longer has a reason to exist. It is a collection of geezers trying to relive their salad days, along with hand-picked acolytes selected for their lack of intelligence. The old baby boomer politics, like the old baby boomers in charge, is breaking down. That is the crisis we are seeing in Washington. The old framework is no longer salient and no one has a clue as to what should replace it or even if it can be replaced.
This is also why politics has descended into information war. In business, when you do not have a new product or a new version of the existing product, you roll out a new marketing campaign instead. This is what has happened with politics. They have nothing to offer, so they rollout one media campaign after another. We are bombarded with an endless series of alleged crises so that we do not notice that the people in charge have no reason to be in charge.
There are, of course, long term trends that promise to make these short term problems look like a golden age. People do not live in the long term, so the next six months will be what occupies the minds of people. Given the condition of the political leaders and the mood of the country, they may want to think about putting those razor wire barriers back up and declaring martial law in the city. Just about every constituency has a reason to storm the city and demand a redress of grievances.
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