My first 4 years of writing Inspection I had two professors in two different colleges use the same description for my column: Doctor English and Mr. Mocko. Steve Mocko’s comment was phrased slightly different than the following, but pretty much the same as what Doctor English said: “I don’t always agree with you, but I think you do a good job. It manages to rile a lot of people up on all sides, that’s a good thing.”
This is going to be one of THOSE columns.
Like most sane people I’m waiting to hear from the nominees. This is just a pre-vision of what might be the best team to take on the Republicans. Let’s start with Bernie Sanders. Yes, I know all the arguments against that, though he has proven to be a youth magnet and to have the ability to bring in progressives. But progressives: don’t be too quick to applaud. My VP choice will most likely seem offensive to some of you. Hold on: there’s a logical reason.
Oh, yeah, “This is going to be one of THOSE columns.”
Any one of the women running who is identified as more moderate. I’m not really married to any specific one. Considering my wife’s concerns she probably would consider that to be big-o-me. (Laugh, readers, laugh!)
I’m know I’m going to catch hell for the suggestion. But I think the logic here is undeniable, especially if Bernie promises that his VP will have more of a role than Cheney or Pence. (By the way, I would not be adverse to flipping this formula, but really want a progressive at the top.)
This is an age old formula that has been used with much success. Nixon had his Agnew. As bad as Nixon was, who wanted Agnew? Trump used it with Pence, most people not realizing that Pence’s religious fanaticism would become administration dogma because Trump really doesn’t give a damn about topics like abortion… however he ‘wins’ is all that matters. But for Dems you have to go back to Kennedy and LBJ for a formula anything like this: LBJ was a conservative democrat from Texas and Kennedy more liberal. Irony being LBJ eventually brought us social reform, though Vietnam remained his all too vulnerable Achilles heel.
Democrats seem to have forgotten this formula. Obama and Biden were really very similar politically, as were Barack and Hillary. But by using vague words like “hope” and “change” Barack managed to pull progressives in. I can’t blame some for feeling cheated. I remember arguing with progressives when he first ran about that. They bought the vagaries he used meant he was speaking progressive speak and would bring ‘real’ progressive change. I don’t feel righteous about this in any sense, I just understand that we all get fooled sometimes. Hey, I thought Cheney would be more rational and have some moderating influence on the dolt.
Clinton and Gore were very much alike. It was only after the fiasco in 2000 that Gore started hanging more to the left. He was my senator for years and most Democrats I knew who worked the local office with here in Nashville in the 80s considered him a DINO.
Of course the framing of Bernie as a socialist boogeyman will be dug up from the Reich’s “well he didn’t become the candidate, so who cares?” political framing graveyard. You can see the trolls and the extreme right posting memes and such from that graveyard marching across Facebook with memes and such already.
If it were just a purely progressive ticket I’m guessing we’d find out that nasty flavor and underhandedness wasn’t just something that happened in 2016, just some vast DLC-like anti-Bernie conspiracy. Republicans and trolls who work for whomever, whatever, have gotten real good at this. But with a more moderate woman VP candidate, and a promise she will be a partner not just some “whatever you say, Mr. President” gal, that can be countered.
Whatever we do we need to start strategizing now for all possibilities.
I hope I’m wrong. A 100% progressive team would sure be a grand thing. There’s so much to do and we have been dragged backwards so far: we can’t afford to lose. Considering all the lies we know will be told, the framing, the trolls that will flood social sites with propaganda posing as ‘news,’ the MSM which will puppy dog Trump again; a ticket with someone on it harder for them to frame it all in the worst ways would be better. More variety should help. It’s like having two batters ready to hit their balls, and I mean that both in the nasty and nicer sense.
Whatever we do I sure as hell hope we do it well. “Batter up” will becoming sooner than we think.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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