"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Monday, February 12, 2024

Stumbles, Bumbles, And Leaks In The White House - With Trump In The Wings What's A President To Do ?

 Joe Biden has had his share of reverses recently.  There were the usual stumbles, impenetrable prose, and vacant stares, but this time it was far worse.  An official, White House commissioned review of the President's mishandling of secret documents, exonerated him but for the worst possible reason.  'The President is a kindly, elderly man with an unfortunately failing memory', or words to that effect; and so, deep into election year planning, Biden went on the counter-offensive.  His claques, shills, and acolytes went to his rescue.  'He is like a young man', said one. 'More than up to the task, more willing and ready 


No one was buying it, however, as the President continued to wander in the weeds of his childhood, remembering things that never happened, people who never existed, and encounters never enjoyed.  His staff worked overtime to double the font on the teleprompters, fix hi-tech devices in his ears, and deploy caretakers to nip errancy in the bud. 

Worst of all the bickering and infighting in the White House trebled in intensity and frequency.  There were those who insisted that the old man, way past his prime, should hang 'em up, retire gracefully to the farm, and leave the running of the country to young men and women, many of whom had already lined up in readiness. 

The Vice-President of course wanted the President to stay the course, doddering or not; for her big chance would come when he toppled over and was done and gone.  President Kamala Harris had a nice ring to it, the first female President, the first black woman President, and the first Asian; and she hoped against hope that she would have her chance. 


Of course the country was solidly against her.  Her approval ratings were far worse than Joe's, and more and more voters were chary of her cackling non-sequiturs.  God forbid! said most voters. 

Kamala saw the polls, but knew they were irrelevant.  If the President did indeed die in office, the polls would not matter.  Constitutionally, she would be Queen of the Realm, unimpeachable if not desirable.

Others in the East and West Wing desperately wanted the President to abandon ship, make for a warm, sandy shores, and retire in a chaise lounge under a stand of palms.  

Leaks dribbled out of the White House daily about who was in and who was out, what was the likely scenario, and who would be the best man or woman to beat Donald Trump.  The Washington press was all ears as staffer after staffer leaked bits and pieces of inside gossip, hearsay, and innuendo.  The whole place had spring leaks. 

Meanwhile The Donald did his best in subterfuge and misinformation to encourage the candidacy of the incumbent.  Trump was a shoo-in against Biden, for despite the former President's problems, no one really wanted an alte kocker who couldn't remember who's who or what's what in the Oval Office for another four years. Besides, the nation was sick and tired of an old liberal chestnut who banged on about race, gender, and ethnicity in parallax verse, the black man this, the black man that.  When will it end? they ask; and better a devil-may-care macho man with a trophy wife and a string of Mar-el-Lago arm candies than that old fart. 


Each disclaimer, each attempt to prompt the old man up did just the reverse.  When Biden's Chief of Staff went on public record to assure the public that his boss was fit and able, he so created an impossible, over-varnished, tortuously engineered argument, that he was pilloried by the press and his ordinarily supportive friends, let alone his enemies.  When Kamala Harris went on television in a campaign appearance, she lost her way between Rehoboth and Arlington, got tangled in the weeds of the famous Northern California swamp, and made no sense whatsoever.

If the two top officers of the division make no sense, who can speak for the Administration and tout its successes?  How deep does one have to dig to come up with an articulate, convincing spokesperson?

Again political preferences got in the way, and neither the black transgender Undersecretary, nor the small, octoroon Senior Domestic Policy Advisor, nor the Latino wetback immigration advisor could do the trick.  Was it the message or the messenger that was so off-putting?

Conservative Republicans loudly said 'both' and had no intention of voting for that socialist dyad, those two discredited wannabees sans street creds; so no matter how many new leaks were sprung nor how many progressive fingers in the dike, the country was ready to throw the bums out.  

Then came Henry Towne, patrician Bostonian turned Samuel Gompers, Saul Alinsky radical.  Towne was a tow-headed, blue-eyed poster boy for the embedded aristocracy who somehow - perhaps at Harvard but more likely at Duke, changed his spots and became a dedicated progressive.  'Let him leak the good news', the White House said, and put this white boy front and center.  He will calm the waters of the intelligentsia, worried about a Democratic future, and salve the wounds of the far Left.  He looks good, sounds, good, and is good; so forget his whiteness, his storied WASP heritage, and his home in Nantucket.  His leaks will be good leaks. 

The choice of Henry Towne was of course resented by the current White House spokesperson, a black gay woman who had been chose expressly for her race and alternate sexuality.  She understood why this white boy had to be out there, good politics and all, but still, resentment festered; and behind the scenes she began to undermine her boss.  That too leaked out, but so be it said Biden's closest inner circle.  It was time to circle the wagons regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity. 

Donald Trump chuckled and chortled when her got wind of the dissension in the Democratic ranks.  Biden and his claques would never get it together in time for the election; and meanwhile he could harp and hammer about the old man's senility, political incompetence and downright failed policies.  The election would be a shoo-in, but there was still work to do.

The former President went on a grand whistle stop election tour and was greeted by thousands at each stop who waited for his zingers, one-liners and ad hominem jabs.  One of a kind, Mr. President and God bless you. 

The crowds increased as November drew nearer.  Biden, kept away from the public except at small Midwestern diners and ladies' teas could never get any traction let alone applause, and his team pulled out all the stops.  Racist! Homophobic idiot! Misogynist, anti-democratic, insurrectionist traitor! and much more; but the country had been hearing this poppycock for four years and paid no attention.  Exit stage left, they shouted, and the kindly elderly gentleman with the failing memory did just that. 

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