Monday, August 24, 2020
The Lesser of Two Weevils
On the first night of the Democratic Convention I tried to watch it on the ABC feed provided free by Hulu (I don't have TV, just streaming on Hulu or Netflix or Prime). The talking heads immediately annoyed me beyond watching so I turned it off... coming back late the catch the last half of Michelle Obama. The second night I checked in with the NYT feed, which had the advantage of not being interrupted in any way by talking heads, except for the common-taters who opined in the comment section and were easily ignored. Chuck Schoomer bored me into returning to the comforts of ER, so I caught the rest of the convention by looking up the speeches I wanted to hear on YouTube.
I was not particularly impressed. I guess this is what we have, and I will be out there, phone in hand, dialing up potential votes for the party. On the whole it is not a lot better than 2016. It's hard to sell the sizzle when there is not a lot of steak.
The party is offering the same old solutions to some problems and will., with a Democratic Congress, spend a butt-load of money on everything. Big priorities will be infrastructure (who doesn't love construction jobs and big money for Halliburton and Fluor?). They will fix Obamacare and maybe lower the Medicare age to 60 (that solves one of my personal problems.) It does not solve the problem of most working Americans and small business people who make more than the poverty wage and still can't afford healthcare. It will not address what has become by now a national insecurity over the cost of health care.
The party version of the Green New Deal is a also a jobs bill. Like all Democratic bills it prefers to throw money at the problem while ignoring the carbon tax, a common sense approach that has long been supported by thinking Conservatives (as opposed to most of the Republican caucus). Not that there is anything wrong with throwing money at the problem, but the current situation calls for all reasonable measures, not just those that are politically correct.
Likewise money will be thrown at education. It will be the kind of money that prefers teachers' unions (a good thing) and institutionalized solutions that may not be so good. Charter schools may be put in their place as solutions that are no better than the people who run them, not as a panacea... and not as a tool to destroy teacher unions. Not a bad outcome overall. There are still outrageous levels of poverty and inequality in the black and Latino communities as well as in the cracker communities... small towns and rural areas where populations are thin, money scarce, services severely limited. The Democratic Party is not solving problems, it's just making itself feel better.
So I'm fine with the party doing what it can, and I'm more fine with the fact that it is not Trump. We can expect Biden to quickly take back the bureaucracy and set it straight. Fix the EPA, NLRB, Labor Department, CFPB and other agencies crippled by years of ignorance and neglect. Appoint some decent judges. Still, it's just the lesser of two weevils. Not a choice I'd like to have to make.