It’s ironic that Joe Biden is both a vocal proponent of identity politics who has supported Affirmative Action and an old white guy running for president in a remarkably non-diverse field. He’s not just an old white guy but the; he’s the Old Man of Democratic party politics. He’s seen it all; from Nixon to the present his entire life has been in politics, and despite some horrendous personal setbacks he’s kept fighting for the causes he believes in.
So the natural question here isn’t so much Who is Joe Biden? but Why would anyone oppose him? I’ll do my best to answer both. (more…)
And what does the mayor of South Bend, Indiana have to offer in his bid for president? Sure, he’s smart — brilliant, even; Mayor Pete’s a Rhodes Scholar who speaks at least eight languages — but what does the openly gay mayor of a podunk Indiana town really have to offer the country? Quite a lot, as it happens; read on and I’ll tell you. (more…)
If you’re into identity politics, there’s no denying this candidate is the most individually diverse. She’s Samoan-Asian-Polynesian-European-American (among other things), is Hindu and a vegan, and is running for president as a champion of the Aloha Spirit. She’s met with Modi and Assad, resigned from office to go to war, opposes regime change wars but believes fervently in hunting down and destroying terrorists wherever they are, and is presently a major in the Hawaii National Guard.
Our second-most-famous Slovenian-American is running for president, and I happen to think she’d do a fine job. She’s intelligent, witty, thoughtful, and has scads of policy expertise. She also, and quite famously, does not suffer fools gladly.
How many more of these goddamn elections are we going to have to write off as lame but “regrettably necessary” holding actions? And how many more of these stinking double-downer sideshows will we have to go through before we can get ourselves straight enough to put together some kind of national election that will give me and the forty million people I tend to agree with a chance to vote for something, instead of always being faced with that old familiar choice between the lesser of two evils?
—Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72
Hunter is dead, and I’m not him. Now we’ve got through the bad news, let’s take a good hard look at what’s changed in the past 48 years.
OK; I lied: We’re not through with the bad news. (more…)
My serious political writing may not appear in national publications, but I still follow the rules of journalistic ethics as best I can. Verification is two independent sources; direct quotes are desired; hard evidence is necessary before I go to press. As a result, I’ve achieved a curious distinction, somewhat unique in this age: I’m not often mistaken, and when I’m biased I tell you.
It’s January 16, 2020, and I’m calling the election. It’s Trump, God help us.
I had this revelation not during the debates on the 14th, when it became apparent CNN’s production staff was attempting to provoke a fight between Warren and Sanders by asking carefully orchestrated questions. It wasn’t on the 15th when they released a private hot-mike conversation that immediately followed the debate. No, it’s when (more…)
Home of the Cubs, Harry Dresden, deep dish pizza, and hot dogs dragged through the garden. The city where Al Capone became a folk hero. A place where you can visit Sue the Dinosaur, Inez at Graceland, and the oldest tobacconist in America; where the river runs backwards, guns are banned, and shootings are everywhere. Ten percent of the country lives within a hundred miles of here, and the graveyards all vote Democrat.
We joke about it because what’s the choice? There’s (more…)
The United States has the most powerful conventional military in the world by a factor of three; measured in terms of effectiveness, five. We have state-of-the-art aircraft carriers, missile platforms, AEGIS anti-missile systems, and the M1 Abrams main line battle tank. We’ve got stealth fighters, Hellfire-equipped drones, and some of the best-trained and best-equipped ground troops in the business.
So why exactly would we be worried about taking on Iran, a nation whose navy consists of speedboats with machine guns, whose air force dates from the 1970s, and whose top-performing battle tank is a slightly up-armored Russian T-72? Their infrastructure is sub-par; their command-and-control systems have little to no redundancy, and their government is wildly unpopular (more…)