This should be a layup

Opinion: Columns

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By John Hubbuch

Unless the smoldering resentment of our increasingly incoherent president causes him to burst into the flame of spontaneous combustion like Mr. Krook in Dickens' Bleak House, it looks like the country must endure another exhausting campaign and election.

Being an optimist, I feel pretty good about ending the rule of this Caligula wannabe. Of all the things President Trump has done wrong, he somehow managed to turn a public health issue into a political one. That error will result in the unnecessary loss of tens of thousands of lives, an economic loss of billions of dollars, and immeasurable physical and emotional pain and suffering. Long after the youngest of us are gone he will be unfondly remembered.

The way I see it, there are two possible scenarios whereby he could somehow get re-elected. 

The first, less likely one, is that by some combination of voter suppression, Russian manipulation or other chicanery, Trump cheats and wins the election. The short response here is for the Democrats to make sure that doesn't happen. Figure it out. The Democrats are supposed to be the smart ones.

The second is that Joe Biden and the Democrats blow it by running a stupid campaign. Recall that this election is binary — either Biden or Trump. The single best thing every Democratic constituency can do is to vote, campaign and donate in support of Joe. Whether your passion is DACA, Me Too, the environment, BLM, income disparity, animal rights, women's health, education — whatever, the best and fastest way to move the needle in your direction is to get Trump out.

I think Joe gets it. He needs to imitate the 21st-century version of a "front porch campaign" with judicious use of surrogates like the Obamas, Sanders and Warren. They should talk about jobs, infrastructure, police reform, tax the super-rich, health care and the restoration of relationships with our allies. Biden needs to avoid being baited into side issues like safe spaces, Civil War monuments, free college reparations, defunding police — pretty much anything AOC is for.

 By way of example, take those Civil War statues. Most Americans do not know or care who Jefferson Davis was. Many cannot identify the decade or even century the Civil War was fought. Relatively few people on either side care passionately about these statues. Those on the far left do. They find it therapeutic to pull them down because they don't want to do the hard work necessary to effect more meaningful change. Those on the far right who feel passionately about the issue are likely Civil War re-enactors who enjoy not bathing for weeks at a time like the soldiers they emulate. 

On the other hand, lots of voters care about the environment and health care and avoiding pandemics. Perfect is the enemy of good. Alas, good is the enemy of better.

Win the middle and win the election. Carrying Illinois, California and New York by larger margins than 2016 is not important. Carrying Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin is important.

Keep it simple. Joe is not Hillary. Trump is losing it. Keep the car on the road until November. This should be a layup.

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Reader Comments

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Dave Slade from Oak Park  

Posted: July 25th, 2020 12:36 PM

And the choice of choosing between the lesser of two evils continues.

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: July 24th, 2020 6:13 PM

Yeahyeahyeah... What I've seen of Joe Biden is on videotape talking with the last genuine President we had, and Biden speaks in complete sentences, stays on topic and says "we" instead of "me."

Warren's Refinement  

Posted: July 24th, 2020 9:59 AM

What difference does it make? Regardless which member of the corrupt and embarrassing duopoly we're forced to choose from wins, the hand that guides them will remain the same. Obama certainly proved that.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: July 23rd, 2020 10:08 PM

Joe Biden is on audio and visual tape explaining with glee how he used his office to interfere with an investigation of another country to not investigate hjs son. When Joe comes to your front porch, ask him if he can obtain the same position his son had for your child.

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: July 23rd, 2020 7:08 PM

OK, Simpson. You're sinking pretty low when you need to manufacture outrage, sport. Maybe you should take up your gripe with your Ignorant, cruel and unfeeling hero, Mr I'm So Amazing. Get real.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: July 23rd, 2020 5:57 PM

OK Dwyer, I lived through the final stages of Dementia when my wife of 52 years lost her battle. I find it ignorant, cruel and unfeeling on your part to make light of those horrors! I see that same horror in candidate Biden's eyes when he gets confused or fails to understand what is going on. But then. he is your candidate so enjoy his blunders and gaffs. Be careful accusing POTUS of criminality. you might wind up looking a stupid as Adam Schiff and Jerrod Nadler!

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: July 23rd, 2020 10:27 AM

Ahhh, Ray-Ray. "And still a man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest." I guess it's progress that you're "less than enthusiastic" about some aspect of Trump's criminality. So, how do you feel about your hero continuing to blather on about his "amazing" performance on a test that is used to determine if you have dementia.

Ray Simpson  

Posted: July 23rd, 2020 9:18 AM

I find it funny that this irrational "Hit Piece" is unsigned. The president has been stabbed in the back at every turn by Schiff, Pelosi, Nadler, Waters, Durbin and an army of people who have been in Washington decades to long. I am less than enthusiastic about the Trump rhetoric but he is getting things done despite self serving political hacks. Do not turn this country over to people who are committed to make this country into another Cuba. Joe Biden is incapable of putting a single complete sentence together and has a history of corruption we are now discovering. Just let us know what his accomplishments have been over the last 40 years. Focus on what he has done rather than why you hate President Trump. His list of accomplishments are awful thin.

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