THE COLUMN: 'They Only Eat Rat'
When we Baby Boomers entered first grade back in the early/middle 1950s, it was not unusual for us to encounter forty or fifty other children competing for classroom space while a single harried nun or teacher herded us little darlings into some semblance of alphabetical order, made us take our seats, and began instruction. Crammed into newly built classrooms to accommodate our unprecedented numbers, cheek to jowl with a bunch of strangers, and constantly skirmishing with others for the teacher's attention, a place at the drinking fountain, or just a spot in the lunchroom, we hated each other on sight—and, like too many rats trapped in too small an area with not enough food, we've been fighting with each other ever since.
Now here we are, in our seventies, and we're still strapped together in this ghastly generational pas des millions. Some of us have died off, of course, but the remnants of the legendary pig in a python generation are still wending our way through the snake's entrails, tussling with each other as we pass through the intestines of the body politic. And yet, to our surprise, we still find ourselves outranked by those born years, even decades before us: our country currently has a 79-year-old president, a 75-year-old principal GOP contender, an 82-year-old speaker of the House, an 80-year-old Senate minority leader, an 88-year-old senior senator from California, an 88-year-old senior senator from Iowa, and an 80-year old junior senator from Vermont who has his eye on the White House. Meanwhile, waiting in wings like a sodden, road-company Lady Macbeth, is 2016's loser, Hillary Clinton, 74, ready to step over the bodies if and when they ever drop.
There's no love lost among them, but like the Struldbrugs of Luggnagg in Swift's Gulliver's Travels, they can neither quit nor, seemingly, die—only keep aging in perpetuity, at each other's throats forever.
After this preface, he gave me a particular account of the STRULDBRUGS among them. He said, "they commonly acted like mortals till about thirty years old; after which, by degrees, they grew melancholy and dejected, increasing in both till they came to fourscore... When they came to fourscore years, which is reckoned the extremity of living in this country, they had not only all the follies and infirmities of other old men, but many more which arose from the dreadful prospect of never dying. They were not only opinionative, peevish, covetous, morose, vain, talkative, but incapable of friendship, and dead to all natural affection... Envy and impotent desires are their prevailing passions."
There is a certain amount of truth in the old saw that with age comes wisdom. And it's also true that our word "senate"—a body of elder statesmen—has the same root as "senility." But at this point in our nation's history, we have gone beyond mature age and into the realm of the Grim Reaper, with Washington, D.C., having replaced Florida as God's Waiting Room. A nation that was founded by young, vigorous men, most of them in their prime (in 1776, Washington was 44; Jefferson, 33; Hamilton, 21; James Monroe, 18) and with their lives on the line, has been co-opted by snarling, barely articulate, grudge-ridden rent-seekers desperately hanging onto their livelihoods, and to hell with everybody else.
Hence the cage match now being played out in the runups to the fall congressional elections. Thanks to the manifest malignancy that is the Biden administration, everyone is looking past this November and focusing on 2024, when our rancid political system could possibly stage a presidential election featuring an 81-year-old Joe Biden vs. a 77-year-old Donald Trump, both of them at that point beyond the average American male life expectancy. What do do? Take a moment and listen:
Could there possibly be a spectacle more unedifying than a (literally) terminally senile Biden scratching and clawing at a bitter, revanchist Trump, the pair of them wrestling over not the future of the country—why would they care? They won't live to see it—but over the 2016 and 2020 elections. Russian collusion! Dominion voting machines! Hunter's laptop from hell! January 6th! Get off my lawn! It would make us all remember what fun the past eight years were, and recall how little desire we should have to relive them.
Let's start with barely-there Biden, a continuing embarrassment to the country, with him the only one who's not in on the joke. He's always been a classless boor, the Fredo Corleone ("I'm smart! And I want respect!") of the Democrat Party, hitherto passed over until suddenly, two years ago, the criminal organization masquerading as a political party ran out of godfathers. By now, though, the sheer destructiveness of this man is apparent to everybody, so cue the New York Times to instruct the faithful that it's time for him to go:
To nearly all the Democrats interviewed, the president’s age — 79 now, 82 by the time the winner of the 2024 election is inaugurated — is a deep concern about his political viability. They have watched as a commander in chief who built a reputation for gaffes has repeatedly rattled global diplomacy with unexpected remarks that were later walked back by his White House staff, and as he has sat for fewer interviews than any of his recent predecessors.
“The presidency is a monstrously taxing job and the stark reality is the president would be closer to 90 than 80 at the end of a second term, and that would be a major issue,” said David Axelrod, the chief strategist for Barack Obama’s two winning presidential campaigns.
The kiss of death from Jake Lingle is no laughing member, and a signal to the Democrats to begin greasing the skids and start prepping somebody. Anybody. Bueller? Sanders has the same geriatric problem as Biden, as does Elizabeth Warren and of course Hillary. Meanwhile, their kiddie corps of Li'l Pete Buttigieg, Gavin Newsom, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not ready for prime time, and as for Kamala Harris:
Meanwhile, the New York Post last week came out with an editorial explicitly calling on Trump to step back from his increasingly hopeless 2024 nomination quest and for the Republicans to look to the future:
Trump has become a prisoner of his own ego. He can’t admit his tweeting and narcissism turned off millions. He won’t stop insisting that 2020 was “stolen” even though he’s offered no proof that it’s true. Respected officials like former Attorney General Bill Barr call his rants “nonsense.” This isn’t just about Liz Cheney. Mitch McConnell, Betsy DeVos, Mark Meadows — they all knew Trump was delusional. His own daughter and son-in-law testified it was bull.
Trump’s response? He insults Barr, and dismisses Ivanka as “checked out.” He clings to more fantastical theories, such as Dinesh D’Souza’s debunked “2,000 Mules,” even as recounts in Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin confirm Trump lost.
This is not to underplay the former president's very real contributions to the Republic, including most notably saving it from Hillary Clinton and her flying-monkey media squadrons and black ops practitioners. Trump was the only one who could beat her, and he was the only Republican candidate she could have lost to. And there's no question that the 2020 was "stolen" fair and square by the Democrats doing exactly the things I predicted they would in my Sept. 7, 2020 column for the Epoch Times:
The pattern is clear: In close races, the Democrats follow the totals very closely, until they know exactly how many votes they have to fabricate or manufacture, et voila! Who needs cemeteries when [a friendly judge or two] can decree extra time to benefit the Democrats? In fact, at least since the middle of the 19th century, the Tammany Party has been rigging elections, intimidating voters at the polls, having their partisans vote multiple times, and conjuring marked ballots out of thin air.
The reality is that the Republicans must be ready to combat levels of fraud that Plunkitt and the old Tammany sachems could only have dreamed of. For it’s clear, under the guise of “protecting our democracy” that the Democrats will instead abide by their real slogan—“by any means necessary”—to rid themselves of this meddlesome president.
Trump, in fact, lost in 2020 the same way he won in 2016: at the margins in a few key swing states, where this time they knew he was coming. Paradoxically, the more Trump continues to bark about the last election, the less likely he is to win the next one. This, however, doesn't seem to be going to stop him. According to Rolling Stone, Trump is mulling announcing his candidacy even before the midterms, and doing it in Florida, to boot:
Donald Trump in recent months has been telling confidants that he may launch his 2024 presidential campaign early — and that he’s considering launching it in Florida to stick it to Gov. Ron DeSantis. Trump has kicked around staging a large, flashy launch rally (with fireworks, of course) that would announce his White House bid before the 2022 midterm elections, according to three sources familiar with the matter.
People who’ve spoken to Trump say that one reason he’s eying the Sunshine State is to assert his dominance over an ascendant DeSantis, who — if they both run in 2024 — would likely be the former president’s most formidable competitor in a primary fight for the GOP nomination. One of the sources said Trump’s motivation is to show the governor “who the boss is” in the modern-day GOP.
Good Lord, what a terrible idea. Trump's last, greatest, and noblest service to his country would be to announce, shortly after the mid-terms, that he will not be a candidate in '24, but will crisscross the land to campaign for the party, starting at the top with DeSantis, 46, for president of the United States. He might even quote John F. Kennedy: "the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans."
Otherwise, the Boomer cage match continues, the country slides further into the python's bowels, and all we have to eat is rat.