OK, the debates were kind of boring. But really, boring is fine, isn’t it? At this point, boring is cool. The only thing not cool is for Democrats to show up with machetes and start carving each other apart on nebulous policy issues. It veered that way for a bit, but cooler heads prevailed.
What I want in a president is (a) somebody who is smarter than I am, (b) someone who values the concept of decency, and (c) doesn’t incite me to spew obscenities eight or nine times a day. The wife is getting tired of that.
Any of those 10 people on the stage in Houston last night will fill the bill nicely. Personally, I favor Kamala Harris, with her cool dismissal of the “really small dude” we know as Trump, and the amused gleam in her eye when she envisions his absurd head exploding.
I particularly appreciate the point she made early on: that none of the wonkish policies on offer — whether on health care or guns or immigration or wealth disparity — will mean a damn thing until the Lard Ass in Chief is forcefully kicked out of the White House and down the front steps.
That’s job one. If Harris ends up with the nomination — a long shot at this point — she appears nicely qualified keep her cool when Trump’s GOP turns its fire hose of shit in her direction.
But that’s just me. When the enemy is Trump, any Democratic nominee will have my wholehearted support — just as would any random passerby. (Not sure about Andrew Yang, with that oddball cash-giveaway idea. But it’s still way better than the Trump’s bold work to Make America Polluted Again.)
Things will get ugly in the run-up to the Democratic Convention in July. They’re already ugly: that GOP ad setting AOC’s face on fire, like it’s the opening of “Bonanza”. The flames burn away to reveal not Hoss and Little Joe, but images of Khmer Rouge atrocities. Because of course expanded health care and fighting climate change are right out of the Pol Pot playbook.
Then there’s the Republican lawmaker who tweeted during the debate that his “AR is ready” for Beto O’Rourke. In short, homicide threats remain very much a part of the GOP’s political toolbox. Talk about Pol Pot.
We know this much: One of those 10 on stage last night will be running against Trump. That would seem a slam dunk in normal times, but these are not normal times. Russia and Israel and China and North Korea — hell, maybe even Liechtenstein at this point — all remain interested in manipulating the American electorate. Especially since there are no consequences for doing so and our present administration is seen to welcome it.
The nominee will have to be tough and disciplined (you listening, Joe?). So will the voters. Don’t believe every Facebook meme or Twitter bon mot you see; even the ones you kind of agree with are meant to incite and divide more than anything else. Keep your own counsel. And for God’s sake, let’s stay unified. It’s the only way we’ll win.