Growing Old(er)

julesrenard

Robert Reich published a column today on age. He titled it, “Joe, please don’t run again,” but he didn’t just focus on Biden.

Reich himself is 76 and all throughout the piece, he shared several of his experiences as examples of the things we encounter as we age.

Myself being a bit past the age of Robert, I can personally attest to many of the verbal blips and physical stumbles he pointed out and … maybe some of you readers can as well?

Although Biden seems physically fit and, for the most part, mentally sharp, there have been (and are) indications of future concerns. On more than one occasion, reporters have pointed out his “speech blips.” Although not a major worry, such incidents will most likely become more frequent as time passes.

The press has also reported on Biden’s several trips and meetings with world leaders, and this too could become a concern. Although he presents as physically fit for his age, this doesn’t take away from the fact such long journeys do take their toll on the mind as well as the body.

Obviously, none of us have direct control on Biden’s decision. All we can do is hope that he recognizes his own age-related predilections and will be cognizant of this as he makes his final decision.

(Unfortunately, as has been demonstrated by other “senior citizens” in Congress: the pull of politics is difficult to resist.)

Biden Bad. Trump Good.

I’ll bet that headline grabbed the attention of those who regularly follow my blog! 😁

Yet this IS the thinking of many in today’s political world and every so often on certain blogs, discussions about these two individuals can get rather “intense” as each person defends the one they support.

And it is just this sort of discussion that is currently taking place on Jill’s blog, where she gave Biden points for making a good and moving speech on 9/1/22.

I know many of you follow her blog, but for those who don’t … or haven’t checked in lately … I wanted to share the comment that prompted my blog’s headline and open the floor to any who would like to share their reactions,

Here is what started it all …

OMG. What a horrific speech! Ben Shapiro who is no flame thrower called it the most dangerous, divisive, demagogic speech of his lifetime. You don’t agree because you are not the ones attacked. MAGA, Make America Great Again, is a fine slogan, just as good as Hope and Change. Yet, we who would like to make America great are vilified and lied about in so many ways.

Biden advocates for certain Republicans, mainly those who agree with him. I am pro-life, pro-Constitution including the 2nd amendment, pro traditional family and marriage, pro-education including school vouchers, for limited government, for free and fair elections, against transgendering children, against forced vaccinations, against negotiating with Iran, against anti fossil fuel policies. All of these positions would make me one who President Biden is targeting. I have reasoned and principled beliefs supporting all of these positions. Yet, President Biden attributes to people like me with the most despicable and untrue charges, and doesn’t explain any of it. He talks about folks like me like President Bush talked about Al-Quaeda terrorists. He is a LIAR who is projecting some of his own parties failings on the other party. He is a weak, geriatric, incompetent, dull, unintelligent, and venal man. He is the worst president of my lifetime and he is leading us into rocky times. This speech is needed so he can blame all his current and future problems on his opponents.

I have to do a post on this and expand on all this more. This kind of rhetoric is just despicable and awful. The fact that you folks can’t look more critically at his speech and try to understand the other side is just as appalling.

You may not recognize any of this, but others will. I assure you his approval ratings will fall into the tank again, back down into the 30’s, maybe lower. The more Biden speaks, the more he is seen, the more people dislike him. Put him back in the basement watching TV if you want Democrats to do better in the upcoming election. This speech will hurt his party’s chances in the 2022 elections. People will reject this phony call for unity while he attacks his political opponents as the most demonic and evil people of all time. We can see through this double-faced man and his absolutely awful speech.

If you visit Jill’s blog, you will see this was just the opening volley and the discussion gets rather intense as it proceeds. As an example, here is another comment that this person added in an effort to support his idol:

Trump defeated ISIS in Iraq (don’t forget this was significant issue in the 2016 campaign); he moved the Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, something every one of his predecessors said they would do but did not; he cut taxes and regulations which led to the best economy in most of our lifetimes and historic low unemployment rates (including the best ever for women, Hispanics, and blacks); he negotiated four historic Middle East peace deals; he kept us out of a war, the first to do so in a long time; he dealt with the Chinese head-on and in a way no president has done in recent times; he got us out of an awful deal with Iran; he exposed the media for the awful frauds they are and always have been (and they hated him for it); he was first president to speak at the March for Life and he brought us three justices who ended the awful Roe v Wade decision, and he made the US energy independent. Let’s not forget he built a wall as well.

Any individual who believes the second part of this post’s title has been, IMO, severely misled by certain “news” sources, but that’s neither here nor there. We all have the right to our opinions. I just find it difficult to comprehend how some are so totally certain that THEIR view is the correct one. (It reminds me of religious discussions. 😛)

I Agree. Do You?

Written by Steve Schmidt for Substack.com.

President Biden should seize the moment and announce that he will be a one-term President.  

In an instant, he would transform the political moment, create a profound opportunity to instigate a long overdue debate about the future of the United States, cripple the energy of the extremist cause and position himself to become a great President. The abandonment of politics, in favor of statecraft, straight talk and a message aimed at separating a growling and extremely diverse majority from a belligerent minority that is corrupt, maliced and politically ascendant is urgently needed.

A single Presidential term has given the United States ample evidence about the power of a President to lead, surprise and transform America. From James Polk and Chester Arthur to George H.W. Bush and Lyndon Johnson, a single term has been the catalyst for significant moments of decision and leadership that have greatly benefitted America. 

What America craves is an example of selflessness and character. The vast majority of Americans are like a skeptical survivor of a desert crossing where each oasis turned into a mirage that made the suffering and thirst worse. America wants to see an act of leadership from a President like that wanderer wants a sip of water. 

The overwhelming probability is that Biden would lose the nomination in a manner that would strip him of credit for his substantial accomplishments, while burdening him with brutal and exaggerated blame for his mistakes. 

Should President Biden survive the nomination fight, he would look at the state of the campaigns of Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush’s with deep envy after their survival against Kennedy, Reagan and Buchanan. His position would be far weaker than theirs, and his overall strength profoundly more anemic than Lyndon Johnson in 1968. 

The consequences of a politically neutered President will be his defeat in a general election rematch against the core of an extremist MAGA insurgency and ongoing conspiracy that has made its disdain for elections crystal clear. There is no hyperbole involved when thinking about 2024 as a “final” election, depending upon the outcome.

The Biden White House is filled with experienced and able people who have long records of success and accomplishment. There are no political naïfs among them. 

There is a shoddy and lazy catalyst for the cementing of most conventional wisdom. It speaks to the stripping away of complexity and nuance necessary to get a grasp on what is happening. Almost all political media coverage asserts that outcomes are determined by the last major event that occurred. The Hillary Clinton campaign is a perfect example of this phenomenon. Conventional wisdom proclaims that, but for James Comey, she would have won. Therefore, because of what Comey did, Trump won. Most often, the outcome is determined by the first big thing that happens. It’s how life works. It means the outcome was driven by Chipotle as much as Comey, but this concept is obliterated by the national attention span of six seconds. 

For whatever reason, the White House team of talented players couldn’t find its rhythm when it came to politics. Bruce Springsteen has talked about this type of magic alchemy as the key to love and all great rock and roll bands. He has expressed it as “ 1+1 = 3.” The Boss says that’s when the magic happens. The simple fact is that there has been an absence of magic at a time when it is sorely needed. 

The option left is to change the rules and play a new game. Retiring from a gruelling business – politics – will help America, by helping Biden become a President the country craves with all indications pointing towards him being both successful and happy at it. 

President Biden can save his Presidency and reset the awful 2022 election dynamic with an act of selflessness, decency and patriotism. He can quit politics and announce that he will not seek a second term. Right now. 

President Biden has the agency to decide how his Presidency will end. 

President Biden’s Ratings

U.S. President Joe Biden awards Medals of Honor in Washington
REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

Many of us have read the statistics related to President Biden’s low approval rating. This article in particular laid out some facts and figures. A couple of the issues mentioned:

  • Ukraine: 47% of respondents disapprove of how it is being handled.
  • Economic matters: Three-quarters of respondents rated the US economy negatively.
  • Handling of the coronavirus pandemic, 44% approve; 50% disapprove.
  • Strong leadership: 59% say no; 36% say yes.

The poll also reported on two Republican attack lines: that Biden is not tough enough to stand up to Putin and that at 79 he is not mentally sharp enough to meet the demands of the job — with partisan divides evident.

Overall, 55% of respondents disapproved of Biden’s overall performance, with 44% strongly disapproving.

What is YOUR personal opinion on the job that Biden is doing?

  • Are the factors affecting his approval ratings justified?
  • What is he currently doing that he could do better?
  • What does he need to do between now and the 2024 election to raise his approval rating?

And a final question — unrelated to the article — would you vote for Biden in 2024? If not, do you have someone in mind that you would like to see in the running? I realize it’s early, but we know the Republicans are already pushing certain individuals so perhaps it’s time for Democrats to do the same.

I Needed This …

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Confession time.

Regrettably, I must admit I’ve been swayed by the several negative news items surrounding many (and often, most) of President Biden’s actions and decisions over the past year. So much so that I’ve expressed my disappointment in him “out loud.”

Then I read Heather’s most recent newsletter.

As she so carefully and thoroughly went down the list of his accomplishments throughout 2021, I was a bit ashamed that I had allowed myself to be so influenced by the media and their seemingly incessant desire to focus on the negative.

I am not saying that Biden has been a perfect leader.

There are definitely areas where I think he could have handled things better. As an example, I personally feel he (or perhaps the news media?) put far too much focus on trying to rein in the virus. Naturally we all want it to “just go away,” but it is not a country or a personality that can be fought and overcome. Rather, it is a pernicious and invisible enemy that tends to defy all manner of attack.

And to that point, there’s really only so much we can do …

In any case, this was just one of the reasons why I needed to read what Heather outlined in her newsletter about President Biden. I needed to be reminded of his several accomplishments, rather than allowing myself to be so influenced by the (seemingly innate) negativism of the media.

As well as the ongoing criticism by various Republicans!

I trust you will gain as much benefit as I did from Heather’s excellent synopsis of President Biden’s first year in office.

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay