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What We Believe (Part Two): “The Bracket”

 

So the presidential bracket is set, one looking at six, five versus two, four and three partial clones, the last rankings of the populist voice for the Democrats.  Tonight, (1/14/2020), should be a bloodbath.  You got Bernie “Exasperated Rage,” Sanders

going after Elizabeth “Lizzy” Warren,

brawling three vs. four.  Two and five should be a savage, two snapping wits cracking the whip, demanding that their opposition yield.  Amy “Don’t Fuck With Me” Klobuchar,

number ranks five, going at hard-hitting number two, “Charming” Pete Buttigieg!

This is a battle that could go either way, the sharp Mrs. Klobuchar looking to rattle the young man,  smiling stern siren scolding–(I can imagine her as a great parent, smart and vulgar and cool, no doubt wishing she were home with those she loves.  She’s a fun mom with a cool career, who takes good care of her family, and she won’t take any shit from her husband or daughter.  My guess is that she was probably a smacker when Abigail, was young, or she sulked or whined.

 

I’ll bet (odds are currently 3:1 and I’m checking the analytics; it is getting closer and closer), that Amy is guilt-ridden because sometimes-work-gets-in-the-way, and she misses her family, and she’s so-sorry that-she’s-too-busy and she can’t-spend-any-time-with-them  At the same time she needs everyone just to shut-the-fuck-up-for-a-little-while-and-give-me-time-to-think!  “Talk to your father!” she has snarled numerous times, I’m sure, “I don’t have time for any of your bullshit!”  Then off to the office to fight what she is intellectual enough to believe is an existential crisis, Trump.

 

Amy has no time for that pertinent-little-prick, Buttgieg.  Yeah he’s-smart, and, certainly, he-is-one-hell-of-a-politician, He’ll probably be-president-someday, too; but he is a voice of the future and we can only live in-the-now.  We must fight-for-the-future without going crazy with equal-and-opposite-rage.  This has happened within the pro-Trump opposition too.  Both sides are irrational, and somehow they do not recognize their own faces-in-mirror-images, back when Trump finally jumped into the fight, going  after the championship belt.  King Donald!  Or President.  Or whatever, as long as he’s in charge.  This flame fans the far left today too, and the pro-Trump have somehow transmogrified into the smug Democrats of the late Obama years, still-in-charge and looking-to-leave-you-in-the-dust-!

 

Senator Klobuchar wants to bring a calm to the nation.  Shhh!  Quiet down.  Yeah, we’ve been thoroughly fucked over by this slaughterhouse of the last three years, but you can’t tear the whole system down.  That’s what they want to do.  They’re doing it well too.  It’s lunacy–sheer lunacy!  Do you want the world to keep freaking out over everything?  Sit down.  Calm down.  Take a fucking breath!

 

“Handsome” Pete Buttigieg has a lot of things going for him, which is why I rank him at 2.  First off all he is really damn smart, and has a great personality.  He’s professional and is disciplined enough to keep the message steady.  He has an apparent genuine decency.  He scores points for integrity.  He also has a boyish mischievousness and sarcasm sometimes gets him into trouble.  He’s an excellent defensive player, swatting aside a modestly inappropriate statement with a laugh.  I’m sure this characteristic made him very popular with his fellow soldiers–Pete don’t take shit from nobody!

 

One of the highlights of the fight should be the gender issue.  This is very complicated, of course, the fire over the possibility of Bernie Sanders having barked “A woman can’t win!” right in Elizabeth Warren’s face.  This works well one-on-one for Klobuchar versus Warren.  “Yeah,” Amy sniggers, “I am going to crush thin ‘Lizzy,’ and the gender equality issue will be mine!  I’m a much better candidate for national consensus.” And she certainly is, a genuine moderate with some serious civil liberties leanings.  And for all Senator Warren’s academic braininess,  Senator Klobuchar is every bit as sharp, just not always in Warren’s own expertise.  Amy more so has a real-person-who-cares presence.

 

And Warren certainly cares too.  But she has been a victim of the media, painting her on both sides by ramping up the slurs and complaints other people are baying.  She is clearly a radical on everything, now, this studious and sometimes silly woman.  She’s a real awkward professor type, someone whose class you enjoy and you like her a lot, but you still roll your eyes while she goes on and on and on, trying to teach you her point.

 

The problem for Amy is that this is a battle of precedent and prejudices.  If anything in politics (as well as other forms of sports and entertainment), the word “precedent” means breaking a glass ceiling made from the stitched up shards of the glass.  Obama really smashed his head through it.  The prejudiced people went wild, and the smug victors went wildly condescending, inventing a left wing “aloof” sort of “I’ll pray for you,” just like the modern irrational Christian Far Right, where people see Santa Claus with his sled and his reindeer on fire, or Jesus Christ, pissed off and coming to punch the Antichrist in the face.   Or maybe it’s the 7th or 12th Mahdi, whichever one is Sunni and Shea.  Perhaps some other prophet we never suspected, the Spaghetti Monster making Itself known.  They see the tearing of the seventh seal, Donald Trump kicking open the gates because his sons want to shoot the Four Horses ridden by the Horsemen of Apocalypse.

 

Mayor Pete–a homosexual from a Midwestern state–can use this to great advantage in the forthcoming vote in Iowa.  Who do people hate more?  One from the increasingly complicated acronym that represents every new designation of gender or sexuality–LGBTQQIP2SAA, (looking more like a product number than a fully inclusive group)?  Or is it women?

 

This is a difficult question to answer and we are likely to find out right there in Iowa, perhaps the perfect political leanings to narrow down the qualities that, at least today, represent the people who actually get you elected.

 

My suspicion is that Pete ekes this one out.  Amy will look better, and school the little-boy-she-really-doesn’t-like in how to ‘get!’ someone in a debate.  She respects Pete enough to show this to him by demolishing Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders–certainly Joe Biden!  But women are hated more than men, still, in this increasingly fragmented world.  Men are afraid of women–they always have been.  In superstitious times some men believed that women had the power to decide the child inside them’s gender.  With so many women being born, some frightened men suspected they were being bred out.  And another truth–many women do not trust other women.  Think about young girls in school–the cruel, petty nastiness of teenage girls.  I used to be a High School teacher and I defined the differences between boys and girls like this: “Boys?  They are impulsive and stupid.  They dream hard and most of them merely watch their dreams coming true for others on TV, fellow classmates that someday they can tell their children they knew when they were young.

 

“Girls are a different sort of monster,” I have proclaimed numerous times.  “No, girls are just mean.  They pick on each other in the most devastatingly self-conscious ways.  The girls can make you feel like shit over anything you’re not comfortable with about yourself.  They criticize your hair, or point out a pimple on your forehead or nose, and then they all laugh.  When girls get in fights at school it never ends.  It never ends.

 

I worked in schools where there actually were quite a few fights.  Kids would jump each other, call someone a “fucking asshole” (or “fucking faggot!” depending on who was fighting), and the boys brawl in violent, chaotic rapture, clashing temper tantrums being worked off between them.  Sometimes a student (or a teacher) gets arrested.  But once it is over it is usually over.  Boys forgive easily.  This is not true with girls.

 

Fights between girls are the main event, those entertaining reflexes with guys merely the preliminaries.  No, a fight between girls is savage.  They will turn your friends against you.  They will bring their own friends in.  You might even have a sort of riot with numerous students racing around, kicking and punching and biting each other, some smashing chairs or pulling fire alarms.  One girl might set fire to some toilet paper, or break some glass.  No matter what, several of them will be suspended.  Know what happens when they come back to school?  The story isn’t over.  Something may have happened when the two of them were stuck at home (or hanging out with their friends, cutting school).  Regardless, the fight isn’t over.  It isn’t over.  The next conflagration–maybe even the very day of their return–will be both shorter and with far more violent intentions.

 

Certainly people mature.  Their mode of offense is refined.  You learn how to pitch a slider.  Women sometimes take even more glee over destroying one another than the sheer bliss of crushing a man under your middle finger.

 

The last fight won’t even happen.  Joe Biden,

still an honorary top seed, has no reason whatsoever to acknowledge Tom Steyer,

who himself suffers from the sin of being the last polite voice on the stage.  He will chirp in a few remarks, several of them likely right on point, but missed by the audience because of some controversial brouhaha Sanders or Warren get into over the price of lead, or whose version of climate change is worse, or maybe they won’t avoid the obvious and call one another liars over the latest outrage.

 

Biden will be directly on message until a subject he either knows nothing about, or doesn’t think important comes at him like a sharp right hook that staggers him.  He will wobble around for a while, holding on, until the bell rights and he can take a breath and answer the next question he can handle.

 

Steyer?  Should be gone already.  Too rich to give in so easily in something he clearly believes in.

 

Of course a few vultures still circle on the perimeter.  Michael Bloomberg

doesn’t need debates if he can hammer television and the internet continually since he threw his head into the race.  He is like a fighter who circles you and keeps flicking jabs.  They are effective, winning on the cards, and limited only by his enormous resources.  It does, however, make a boring fight.

 

Devel Patrick?

The US will tell itself that we’ve “already had the first black president” (whether you supported him or not).  Let’s give some other unprecedented name some history first–a woman or a queer.  Let ‘um both have a go at it before we go black again.  More than we hope are thinking thinking.  Others–especially the young–have decided that they really never ‘can go back.’  This is the less than 1% presently supporting Patrick, completely on the fringe despite his completely moderate resume.

 

Andrew Yang.

Is he still running?  He had a small surge, and he seems like a nice guy, but I think its over.  It took a long time to get a black man in the white house (or ‘biracial’).  How much longer before red-necked Americans and serious nativist patriots allow someone who still looks . . . foreign . . . into the highest office?  I am sure Mr. Yang already has some new invention promising to make the world a better place to sell to whichever administration claims the gauntlet.  Win-win for him.

 

I got both Klobuchar and Buttigieg winning this one, the actual winner being the one who knocks the other down in a close fight, a split decision.  Of course I also have the press fixated on the errors or “memorable moments” one of the “bigger names” commit throughout the night, once again avoiding the substance.

 

Either Warren or Sanders are on their way out, and soon too.  One will steal all of the other’s followers, eventually, and this will surge once one of them handles the gender issue best.

 

Odds*:

Buttigieg: 2.5:5

Klobuchar: 2.5:5

Warren: 6:1

Biden: 7:1

Sanders: 8:1

Steyer: 100:1

 

(* This is not a gambling site and I will take no bets.)

 

Good luck to all the partisans rooting for your hometown squad.

 

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