This week’s podcast looks at the final presidential debate, the panic among Democrats about GOP post-election shenanigans, the panic in the media about Jeffrey Toobin’s Zoom shenanigans, the feud between Lou Dobbs and Lindsey Graham, and how Sacha Baron Cohen may have just helped make Joe Biden president.
by Kevin Kelton
As we count down to election night and then a week or two of uncertainty following it, it’s important that everyone take a step back and settle in for the possibility of BOTH outcomes. With that in mind, here’s a few tips on how to survive the next two weeks:
1) Remember that no election is ever a sure thing. It’s okay to like your chances and feel optimistic. Just remember that no matter which way the polls are leaning, either candidate could win. It’s when you go in to an election night thinking the outcome is certain, that you come out devistated.
2) Realize that history is longer than you and me, and America isn’t falling apart due to any election or presidency. Even given another four years, this guy can’t undo 240. America survived James Buchanan (barely), Andrew Johnson, Grover Cleveland, Warren Harding, Herbert Hoover (barely again), Richard Nixon, and two Reagan terms. (And believe me, plenty of us thought he was pretty awful at the time.) If you don’t know much about these infamous stains on the presidency, listen to a few episodes of the Very Presidential pocast. You’ll learn that Trump is just the latest in a long history of crazy, narcisistic, incompetent a-holes who somehow fooled enough voters to get to the Oval Office. Sure, Trump is worse by far, and a second term would be dreadful. But he won’t dismantle America. He’ll just reset the bar a few notches lower.
3) Know that we’ve had conservative SCOTUS courts before. But a somewhat sane middle tends to emerge. Look at John Roberts. Look at Anthony Kennedy, who was a conservative appointee. Look at Sandra Day O’Connor (a Reagan appointee), David Souter, John Paul Stevens, Earl Warren. All Republican appointees who moved considerably left over time.
4) Read some history to get some perspective. American presidential politics tend to swing to extremes, from Coolidge and Hoover to FDR… from Eisenhower to JFK… from Nixon-Ford to Carter… from Carter to Reagan… from Reagan-Bush to Clinton… from W to Obama… from Obama to this guy. I suspect it will swing again in 2020. But if it takes until 2024 or even 2028, a progressive Democrat will occupy the WH eventually and there will be a new progressive era, with a progressive congress to help move this country in the right direction. Shifting demographics and the arc of history dictate it. You can take that to the bank. (Even to a Chinese bank account.)
5) Reset your priorities. Our job in life is not to obsess over D.C. and MSNBC/FOX all day. All you can do is volunteer in campaigns, donate, advocate, and vote. Then you have to let your representatives (loathesome as some may be) do their jobs while we return to our lives. As everyone in Open Fire knows, I love politics. You probably do too or you wouldn’t be reading this. But it’s not healthy to become obsessed with it. Live you life! Eat good/bad food. Play golf, or travel, or see a show. Make love. Enjoy your kids and grandkids. Do great things at work and build a nest egg. Find Facebook friends you genuinely like go meet them in person to make new real-world friends (as I did recently). Politics – like work, sex, family, sports, and cleaning up your dog’s poop – need not dominate your mind and soul. You don’t have to live every day under Trump’s spell.
6) Finally, take heart. Because I promise you this: this man you detest, he will get his comeupance. He’s too vulnerable and too crazy not to. And because of who he is, it will be gnawing and painful. His marriage is vulnerable. His children are (very) vulnerable. His business is vulnerable. And there will be legal consequences. Nixon fell. Weinstein fell. Cosby fell. OJ fell. Epstein fell. This guy will too. He’s a walking timebomb and his mouth is the lit match. So sit back and wait for the fireworks.
Because THAT show, whether it’s in 2021 or 2023 or 2025, will be freaking awesome!
This episode looks at the president’s return to the campaign trail after his Covid vacation, the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings, and whether Donald Trump can revive his sinking re-election campaign.
This episode covers Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis, the first presidential debate and how SNL parodied it, and whether sente candidate Cal Cunningham’s sexting scandal could doom the Democrats’ chances for control of the senate.
Topics include how Joe Biden and the Democratic party should fight back against attempts to overthrow the will of the people in November, the upcoming presidential debate, and how Senate Democrats should go about questioning SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett during her confirmation hearing.
by Kevin Kelton
This week the gang discusses what the world will be like in the aftermath of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing, the future of the ACA and Roe v. Wade, the presidential campaign in the shadow of the upcoming confirmation battle, and the Emmy Awards in the time of Covid-19.
This week’s episode looks at the new Bob Woodward book and Trump’s audio tape confessions, the potential sale of TikTok to Oracle and what that could mean for the popular social media platform, and the state of the presidential race as we march toward the debates.
By Kevin Kelton
There can be little doubt that President Trump will use the announcement of a coronavirus vaccine breakthrough as an October surprise to try to peel voters away from Joe Biden. He will brag about his role in fast-tracking the process and claim that he alone can get it to the American people in an organized, timely fashion. And with only 50 to 100 million doses available in the initial wave of the rollout, the unspoken truth is that some people will be first in line for the “miracle cure” while millions more are left to wait. And wait. And wait.
But what Democrats should be ready for is the racial wedge issue that a vaccine could become. A real American president would never use life-saving drugs as a cultural wedge issue. But for this president, the temptation to dog whistle to the worst instincts of his base may be too strong.
What happens when Trump and his down-ballot surrogates begin to imply that a Biden-Harris administration would favor high-risk demographics such as blacks and the elderly for the first round of vaccines, leaving other Americans unprotected from the disease? Is Biden ready to respond when Trump wonders aloud if Joe and Kamala would target the those precious life-saving doses to their elite blue state supporters at the expense of hard-working voters in the heartland (i.e., white people)? How do you deny a charge like that?
Biden better be ready to hear Trump drop that loaded accusation in one of the debates. A question about how each candidate plans to implement a vaccine rollout is the perfect moment for Trump to suggest that “some people are saying” Biden would target the first doses to his black and elite coastal supporters as a political reward while leaving “most Americans” (the racist dog whistle) to continue to perish.
Will Biden be caught by surprise? Will he be able to cobble a stronger rebuttal than “that’s poppycock” and “c’mon, man!”
Once those charges are blasted into the public consciousness, all bets are off. You’ll have Tucker Carlson asking, “Who do you want making decisions about whether your family gets vaccinated? King Fauci and Cory Booker?” I can hear Trump’s rabid supporters echoing those thoughts on social media. “Can you really trust white lives to people who think only Black Lives Matter?”
If the Biden-Harris campaign is smart, they will preempt such an attack by announcing their own rollout plan first. Instead of simply parroting the tired bromide that he’ll turn to the scientists and ethicists to decide (as he’s already said), Biden should release a detailed position paper that explains how his White House would administer the vaccine program and what will be the specific medical criteria for who gets the first wave of inoculations.
A coronavirus vaccine will come in it’s own time, but the presidential candidates better be ready to answer hard questions about what they’ll do with it. The campaign that owns that issue may own the late-breaking voters in November.
It’s clear that Donald Trump will use any tactic at his disposal to win those voters. The only question is, will Joe Biden be prepared.