Last week I talked about New Year’s predictions and how they’re generally not worth much since American politics is both eminently predictable and completely unforecastable at the same time.
It’s fairly easy to foresee, for example, certain aspects of any political year because the current leadership of both parties is largely controlled by the DC swamp establishment, and therefore, we already recognize there will be little push to limit spending or the growth of government and we can also wager that spineless RINO Republicans will do everything within their power to make the coming 12 months disappointing to conservatives in every way, shape or form.
Mitch McConnell as Republican senate leader? Does anyone expect the stodgy Kentuckian to fight the Democrat agenda? And Kevin McCarthy as Speaker? That’s assuming he wins today’s vote, but even if he does, the Freedom Caucus is lurking close behind him to make sure the Golden State pol keeps his promises to the millions of good conservatives who contributed to and worked the past two elections for a Republican majority.
But other aspects of 2023 aren’t quite so cut and dried. And mine wasn’t the only set of predictions. In a fascinating piece called “Predictions for 2023: Biden and Trump won’t run, Hunter gets a plea deal, and more”, the always salient Michael McKenna wrote at The Washington Times over the weekend:
“Neither President Biden nor former President Donald Trump will ultimately run for president.
“The most pressing political issue in 2023 will be Mr. Biden’s health, which, because it will affect all kinds of electoral decisions, will eventually infect almost all political calculations at the national level. That conversation will become increasingly fraught, as The New York Times, which has been engaged in a sotto voce campaign with respect to the president’s health, increases its volume on the topic.
“Mr. Trump will be indicted. Hunter Biden will not. Rather, in an attempt to protect his father, he will be given a deal in which he pleads to a handful of misdemeanors and does no jail time.”
This is hardly the complete list of Mckenna’s New Year’s premonitions – including one regarding Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ legendary quarterback, Tom Brady – but the ones concerning Trump and Biden (and Hunter Biden) are probably the most conversation stimulating. To suggest that neither of the two current party frontrunners will make it to the end of this calendar year in their respective primary driver’s seats is bold indeed.
I did find the Washington Times writer’s speculation on Hunter Biden to be close to right-on. No matter how much evidence exists that Joe Biden’s little boy used his daddy’s position to better himself, his crooked colleagues (including presidential brother Jim) and his commander-in-chief father, there won’t be the political will in the upper echelons of political or law enforcement authority to do anything about it. These are Democrats we’re talking about.
Don’t believe it? Recall that there was proven DNA residue that big bubba Bill Clinton was messing around with national security and a 22-year-old intern in the Oval Office and then lying under oath about it – and nothing ever came of it. And who can forget that Crooked Hillary Clinton took generous advantage of her vaunted position to work business deals for the family foundation and garner foreign influence favor during her tenure, and all Washingtonians did was look the other way.
Republicans are simply too disjointed and timid to hold Democrats accountable for the liberals’ willing misdeeds. And the equally compromised deep state is on the Democrats’ side, remember? When the investigators are little better than partisan ideological apparatchiks, good luck seeing justice done. Lady Justice isn’t blindfolded in Joe and Hunter Biden’s world – she wears an FBI badge and her scales have enough gold to purchase or alter desired results.
I do disagree with McKenna that Joe Biden won’t run. All indicators point to another Biden campaign – and running for office is the only thing Joe Biden doesn’t lie about. Today marks the 50th anniversary of senile Joe’s official stint in Washington. Think about that for a moment. When the corrupted Delawarean first took his oath of office, he was merely a balding 30-year-old from a tiny state. Now he’s a balding 80-year-old with an unstable gait and an uncanny penchant for maintaining the appearance of electoral invincibility to those who still support him.
I don’t believe Biden’s health or physical stature will prove to be any more of a barrier for Democrats in 2024 than it was in 2019 and 2020. Why? Because the alternatives to Biden are more unacceptable to liberals than any of Joe’s perceived demographic shortcomings. The only thing Democrats care about is electability, and if there’s a Democrat not named Biden who has a better chance than senile Joe to win nationally in November, please present said candidate.
Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrat House leadership team might be gone for good (or are they?), but there’s no similar drive to push Joe Biden to the side. Joe runs, Joe wins. In 2020 it took hundreds of millions donated by liberal billionaires and tech barons to generate the necessary votes to put Biden in power, but it certainly looks as though the man won. Legitimate? Democrats don’t care!
McKenna’s observation on Trump is probably more realistic. As I argued a couple weeks back, Donald Trump will not sustain his campaign if he believes he’ll ultimately lose the Republican nomination. And yes, all signs point to an indictment of Trump sometime in the coming months. A few years ago, reasonable folks might’ve reasoned Democrats wouldn’t actually have the audacity to bring criminal charges against a controversial though beloved politician with an answer for every insinuation of impropriety.
But recent events – including the release of Trump’s tax returns as well as the shockingly bold ransacking of his Mar-a-Lago resort home by the FBI demonstrated that Democrats don’t give a lick about appearances or respect for history. They’ll keep digging and digging until they discover the piece of evidence that will fly in a public cashiering of Trump. With opinion seemingly turned against the former president of late, he’ll possibly remove himself from the 2024 conversation, citing declining health.
Unlike with the Democrats, the Republican “bench” of candidates ready to step in – and win – for Trump appears to be full, or at least it contains a plethora of would-be possibilities.
McKenna surmised Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin will definitely throw his hat in the ring, but again, I’m not so sure. The Virginian hasn’t been governor for an entire year yet, and although the 6’8” first termer could easily sell himself as a reformer who potentially appeals to independents and moderates, his accomplishments aren’t nearly as impressive – or complete – as those of someone like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis has staked a claim as the hero of traditional cultural conservatives through repeatedly taking on the “woke” leftist forces as well as presiding over a state that is comfortably moving in the Republican direction. Youngkin doesn’t – yet – have the record to suggest that something similar is taking place in the Commonwealth. Virginia’s 2022 statewide results were mixed at best and there’s little indication that a permanent political shift is taking place here – at least not on the scale that’s revolutionizing Florida.
Because of the semi-permanent presence of the executive agency bureaucracy and a heavy federal employee influence in most of Virginia’s more populated regions, it would be extremely hard for any Republican to pull a “DeSantis” and shake the ground with former liberal areas converting to conservatism. The more the federal government spends, the more dependent the liberal constituencies become. Youngkin could make a solid case for a presidential candidacy, I just don’t think he will, especially if other, more universally known GOP prospects jump in first.
Much depends on whether Biden announces his candidacy in the next month or two. Some Democrats will continue to point to the current president’s age and tendency to hurt his and the party’s cause with his own mouth, but senile Joe’s handlers have done a decent job of minimizing the public relations damage. And face it, the low information portion of the public doesn’t possess a long memory for anything Biden does.
The new Republican House majority will do its best to keep focus on senile Joe and Hunter Biden in addition to shining a spotlight on the myriad of COVID failures and the absolute disaster at the southern border. None of it will mean much in the Democrats’ way of thinking and governing. Democrats just could be the lone constant in an everchanging world.
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