May the fourth be with you!
This is going back over two decades, but there was an episode of the classic TV sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond” (in 2000) that I often think about when a situation arises that reminds me of the “What ifs?” in life.
The episode, titled “The Walk to the Door” included a scene where each of the series’ cast members, while seated at a circular wedding reception table, took turns relaying some incident in their past that they still regretted years later. Ray Barone (the title character and lead) had unwittingly initiated the discussion by recalling that he hadn’t walked a blind date (the same woman was also at the wedding reception) to the door twenty-five years earlier and he had worried, all the ensuing time, that the girl might still feel insulted or hurt by his lack of a formal ending gesture. He wanted to apologize, too.
Aside from the hilarious nature of the “regrets” from each of the show’s familiar players, the notion that anyone would harbor unpleasant memories for decades was something all of us have had to endure in one form or another. Be it a failed relationship, a career opportunity passed up, an argument with a loved one or friend or an incident at a college party that led to trouble for the perpetrators, there’s no way to go back and undo the damage. And it eats at you. Chances are when the hurt is finally exposed that it won’t be nearly so funny as “The Walk to the Door” from the Raymond series, either.
They would never admit it, but today’s politicians must have lists of regrets a figurative mile long. Dwelling in the spotlight of the establishment news media and hounded twenty-four hours a day on social media, for every political action there’s an equal and opposite reaction (yes, that’s Newton’s third law of motion). Nothing exists in a vacuum and for every supporter there’s likely a healthy contingent of boisterous naysayers chirping on Twitter.
It goes without saying that president senile Joe Biden carries with him a lifetime’s worth of regrets, even if he rarely concedes anything -- and probably doesn’t even remember 99.9 percent of everything’s he’s done to people over the years. Anyone remember the name of Tara Reade from the 2020 campaign? How about his abusive and unfair treatment of Supreme Court nominees Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas? Does Joe regret repeatedly plagiarizing material and lying through his teeth at every public appearance?
At any rate, it was recently revealed that he had serious misgivings about naming Kamala Harris as his running mate on the Democrat presidential ticket two years ago.
It turns out that, if Biden was apprehensive about giving such a huge political souvenir to Harris, he had every right to be. She’s truly terrible and the former California senator has been a disastrous choice for the doddering old dolt from Delaware, even if he believed, from an identity politics standpoint, that Kamala helped him win the Oval Office.
“During a bruising vetting process to name his vice presidential running mate in 2020, Joe Biden wondered whether advisers to Kamala Harris were behind the flood of negative press coverage that engulfed some of her well-placed rivals.
“While candidates expect to face heavy scrutiny, the authors of a forthcoming book wrote that ‘something about this seemed more deliberate, even targeted’ as Biden and his advisers searched for a reliable No. 2 who would not hurt his chances in a general election. The onslaught was ‘aimed at all of the most formidable Black women under consideration,’ wrote Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns of the New York Times. ‘[E]xcept for Kamala Harris.’
“Harris’s team was known for circulating blistering opposition research on other candidates during the primary contest, driving suspicion to the top that it was behind attempts to sabotage the California senator’s rivals, according to Martin and Burns in This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future.”
Martin and Burns’ book, which came out this week, must be full of juicy tidbits. I referred to one last week, where the New York Times reporters spilled the gossip on Barack Obama’s purported jealousy and envy of Joe Biden.
Senile Joe hasn’t come out and announced it, but in piecing the individual bits of information together, you get the picture that Biden regrets choosing Harris to become the future second-in-command. Hers is a name that will forever be associated with the name Biden now. Talk about a regret! How would you like to go through eternity knowing that there was no way to undo that kind of public relations damage?
But he did it to himself. Senile Joe gave the go-ahead to asking Harris to be his political soulmate, just as Obama had proverbially gotten down on one knee to pursue Biden twelve years earlier, believing, as a Democrat would, that the truth bending career swamp dweller would be necessary to court the racist working-class voter in places like Pennsylvania and Iowa.
There are many other sordid name associations with regret, too. Alexander Hamilton’s name will always be linked to Aaron Burr’s, right? One of their faces is now on federal currency and had a Broadway musical dedicated to him, the other is regarded as one of the most notorious political scoundrels of all-time. Think there was any regret involved on anyone’s behalf back then?
Political regrets are rarely aired in public, and when they are, they draw notice. After leaving office, Dwight Eisenhower reportedly confessed to friends, “I have made two mistakes, and they are both sitting on the Supreme Court.” Or that [Chief Justice Earl] Warren’s nomination was “the biggest damn-fool mistake I ever made,” or that his biggest mistake was “the appointment of that dumb son-of-a-bitch Earl Warren.”
Now THAT is a regret!
Ronald Reagan came clean that he regretted trusting Democrats in the infamous 1986 mass amnesty for illegal aliens, a stain on an otherwise clean principled conservative record for the beloved former president. Big Bubba Bill Clinton must’ve regretted allowing Monica Lewinsky to deliver pizza to him in the Oval Office (this is how they met, I think), but the former intern herself hinted that she lamented becoming friends with phone call recording “friend” Linda Tripp.
It's highly unlikely that Biden would ever make similar bold admissions since it’s not in the man’s character to ever admit he did anything ill-advised and it’s always someone else’s fault when anything goes wrong. Upon hearing that the economy shrank 1.4 percent last quarter, Biden delivered a rambling and mostly nonsensical explanation for what happened. Such unequivocal rear-end covering is a character flaw of Joe’s, but it’s not much different in kind than with any other Democrat, few of which ever stoop to acknowledging culpability and wrongdoing despite the country and the world falling apart around them.
Critics used to accuse Donald Trump of being intractable as far as admitting mistakes, but the former president was steadfast from the beginning that the Russian collusion scheme was “Fake News” and created by his enemies to discredit and destroy him. Time, various investigations and mountains of evidence later have largely vindicated Trump of any wrongdoing -- at least where Russia is concerned. But no doubt there are still regrets in Trump’s orbit. The former president himself has said that he shouldn’t have appointed former Alabama senator Jeff Sessions to be his first Attorney General, and the New Yorker was correct there, too. Nor should Trump have tapped Bill Barr to lead the Justice Department further down the road since Barr completely botched the post-2020 election controversies and has since said damaging things about his former boss.
It seems clear that Trump said a lot of things to a lot of people in the heat of the moment that he may regret now, but he, like senile Joe, would probably never concede it. Trump is one of a rare type of human being who holds (some) grudges but doesn’t often look back. Never forget that he and 2016 GOP primary rival Ted Cruz have largely buried the hatchet, which was a good thing. Trump needed Cruz’s particular brand of advocacy in the senate.
And though senile Joe surely rues picking Kamala Harris to be his “last one in the room” for his presidency, there’s little indication that the crooked old fool relies on the woman to do much of anything. Biden put Kamala in charge of “discovering the root causes of illegal immigration” and sent his vice president down south to stumble over interview questions and famously declare “Well I’ve never been to Europe… I don’t understand the point you’re making.”
The only question is how long it took senile Joe to regret bowing to the arguments of certain advisors -- including likely his wife, who can’t stand cackling, opportunistic Kamala -- to accept Harris as a key part of his team. There were plenty of clues that she would turn into a drag on his ticket and tenure in the Oval Office.
It’s safe to say most folks shouldn’t go through life dwelling on regrets from the past, but politicians in particular probably can’t help looking back and noticing forks in the road or turning points where they screwed up. Senile Joe Biden’s biggest mistake is evident for all to see, the rolling embarrassment known today as Vice President Kamala Harris.
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