Joe’s Journal

Oops and Double Oops

Ramblings from an old scribbler
Wed, 07/10/2024 - 7:00am

For most of the political season, the focus has been more on the two old geezers, Grandpa Don, who is 78, and Grandpa Joe, who is 81.

The younger grandpa saw his business hauled into court accused of cooking the books to avoid taxes. That didn’t go well and the judge ruled the books were fraudulent. Oops.

There was the matter of the NYC writer who accused him of molesting her and, despite his claims he didn’t know her at all, the court found otherwise and hammered him with an $83.3 million judgment. Double Oops.

There is a pending matter accusing him of hiding secret classified papers in the bathroom and ballroom of Mar-a-lago. He said it was kosher, but the matter sent the national security types into apoplexy. Oops, redux.

The weather got a bit stormy for him when a jury convicted him of a batch of felony counts for paying a porn movie actress $130,000 to keep her from blowing the whistle on him during his last political campaign. He, of course, denied the claim over and over and over again. The jury disagreed. You get the point.

It seemed that night after night, the news of the day centered on the trials and foibles of Grandpa Don.

Politics 101 says that, in most cases, spending the candidate's pre-convention year in criminal and civil courts is not a good thing.

Then, a week ago, the spotlight turned to Grandpa Joe as he stumbled and froze up during a face-to-face debate with Grandpa Don.

To say that his debate performance caused problems with his re-election campaign is like saying the Titanic’s encounter with the iceberg caused a few problems for that unsinkable ocean liner.

In a political year like no other in history, the focus shifted to Grandpa Joe. The spotlight was not on his political and governmental policies, like inflation, immigration/secure borders, foreign policy, climate change, and social security. Suddenly, his age and ability to carry out the duties of the Oval Office were in question.

Now, the presidency does not require a lot of heavy lifting. They have folks on the payroll who can be called in to move the furniture around so the sun does not shine on the Resolute desk and ruin the finish.

You have a military aide at your side carrying the “football,” the briefcase containing the codes to permit the president to launch a nuclear holocaust at a moment's notice.

But the world is a complicated, nasty orb. There are many bad guys out there who want to do us harm. We have major league problems that need the president’s attention, including storms, fires, floods, crime and the whole laundry list of other items. The president must be on his toes at all times.

As the debate began, Grandpa Joe looked befuddled and lost. He mixed up stuff, lost his train of thought, and looked and acted his age.

In this age of instant communication, lawmakers on both sides grabbed their phones. A panic ensued and soon, some Democrats, like Maine’s Congressman Jared Golden, went public with calls for Grandpa Joe to drop out of the race.

Despite Grandpa Joe’s recent claim that he had a poor debate, the chatter continued. While he admitted could not run the 100-yard dash in 10 seconds, if he ever could, he bragged he had done great things in his first three years in office. His efforts failed to stem the calls for him to step down.

It seemed his attempts to move on from the debate debacle did about as much good as the Titanic’s First Engineer's attempt to plug the massive hole in her bow.

For the record, his debate performance, dubbed a hydrogen bomb by Bob Woodward, the Washington Post’s Watergate hero reporter, violated the first commandment of all political officeholders: A politician's first duty is to get elected.

If you want an example of the workings of the political first commandment, refer to the above paragraph involving Grandpa Don and a $130,000 check written to avoid stormy weather.

The GOP national convention will begin on July 15. Usually, at this time, we would be talking about the candidates, platform, and the usual lineup of political gobbledegook.

But this year, a year like no other, save maybe 1968, we are in the political twilight zone, as we focus on Grandpa Joe. Meanwhile, the pundits, and paid spokesmen, debate the pros and cons of the Democrat leaders going to him and asking him to hand over the keys to the White House.

What happens if he does? Or what happens if he doesn’t? Who is up next?

Even the Swami can’t answer those questions.

Stay tuned.