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September 20, 2023 8:12 am MST

Wednesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Nothing is more intolerable than to have to admit to yourself your own errors.”

–Ludwig van Beethoven


18 thoughts on “Wednesday Open Thread

  1. I hate to suggest it but it is a subject which needs to be discussed ….

    Kamala Harris Should Quit—So Joe Biden Can Retire | Opinion (

    Let me preface this by saying that I think Kamala Harris is quite qualified to become president if necessary. That's a low bar to clear given the  collection of VEEPs and VEEP candidates we've had in my lifetime:  William Miller ('64), Spiro Agnew ('68 and '72), Dan Quayle ('88 and '92), John Edwards ('04), and Sarah Palin ('08).

    But my opinion is meaningless compared to the perception of millions of other people who will be voting next year. And if the polls are correct, many of those folks do not feel comfortable with President Harris.

    Biden is going to be a difficult enough sell by himself. The only way he navigates the Age Issue is by openly acknowledging it as well as the actuarial data, admit that he may not last the full four years, and select Gretchen Witmer as his new running mate.

    I'm (just barely) old enough to remember when Nelson Rockefeller took one for the team and told Gerald Ford that he did not want to be considered for VEEP in 1976, freeing Ford to select a right winger replacement at a time Ronald Reagan was breathing down Ford's back.

    Witmer does three things: (1) places a skilled politician with executive experience as first in line of succession, (2) maintains gender balance on the ticket, and (3) cements Michigan as a blue state once again. (She probably doesn't hurt in Wisconsin, too.) 

      1. We can't have a functional SCOTUS with originalists who believe the Constitution's interpretation rests on the cherry-picked history they deem to be the original understanding.  No respect for precedent, no respect for the powers of Congress or administrative agencies.  We have to work around SCOTUS, not with it.  Unless we expand the Court by 6 justices, something I would favor along with a curtailing of certain jurisdiction of the Court.  

    1. Actuarial data says an 80 year-old male has a life expectancy of 7.74 years. Nothing is certain, of course, but statistically he's likely to live beyond 5 years.  Then take into account that Biden has been married nearly all of his adult life, lived in a Blue state and has excellent health care while working in DC, is trim, doesn't smoke or drink, and had parents who lived above the actuarial expectation

        * father: Nov 13, 1915–Sept 2, 2002, or 86 years , 1915 male average was 52.5 years;  and

        * mother: July 7, 1917 – Jan 8, 2010, or 92 years, 1917 female average of 54.0 years

      If Biden dropped out, there would be a scramble among multiple candidates… Several who ran in 2020, plus some of the other "possibles/"  First time national candidates are a true roll of the dice. Whitmer could be a wonderful candidate and beat out others, like Bill Clinton did in his first run.  Or she could be a successful governor who campaigns and becomes a new version of Mike Dukakis.

      1. Your question about whether Gretchen Witmer is a Bill Clinton or a Michael Dukakis is a good question.

        But there are a couple of big differences between Witmer and Dukakis. First, their personalities. Witmer can do retail politics. Dukakis was cold and wooden. Remember how he answered the debate question in ’88 about whether his position on the death penalty would change if his wife were murdered?

        Second difference is that Witmer knows how to run against Republicans. She replaced a Republican governor. And while she’s been governor, they flipped the legislature. Dukakis’ only problems were within the Democratic Party in Massachusetts because the Republicans were irrelevant.

        As for the actuarial stuff, Biden may very well live to be 100. He may complete a second term and live to see the ground-breaking at his presidential library. I certainly hope he does.

        And even though he has excellent health care, he has a job which many have described as stressful. And he has never been in perfect health. He has had a couple of aneurysms over the years.

        But in politics, perception becomes reality. And if that small group of truly swing voters in states like WI, MI, and PA keep seeing him tripping over his own two feet or mangling his sentences (I know, he has always had a speech impediment but if you’re explaining, you’re losing) believes he is cognitively impaired, they’re going to believe that.

        Ordinarily the VEEP candidate has virtually no impact on the election. I remember 1988 when the Dukakis campaign ran what I thought was a very effective TV commercial about Dan Quayle and the number of times a VEEP became president. But it had zero impact on the election outcome.

        This time might be different because of the age of each candidate. Yes, the good news is that Trump is only 3 years younger than Biden and comes across as mentally impaired so the Republicans will have a similar problem. And those swing voters in those states like WI, MI, and PA may be looking at both VEEP candidates as potential presidents.

    2. Man. You all  just are anxiously craning to see over the head of an actual qualified black / multiracial woman candidate. What is the difference between those two women?

      Both are successful, charismatic people with extensive experience in governance and public service. Both are reasonably attractive, progressive, and about the same age.

      I don't know. Let's let them arm wrestle. See any difference in the arms? Oh, wait…one is darker than the other. Now I understand.

      1. She's not a problem for me. I voted for her in 2020 and if she is the VEEP nominee, I will happily vote for her again. 

        But keep in mind, KW, that I have a long, rich history of voting for losing unpopular liberals spanning from Walter Mondale in '84, Jesse Jackson in the '88 primary, Michael Dukakis in the '88 general, Al Gore in '00, and John Kerry in '04. What I think is immaterial.

        The problem you have is that there are a lot of people out there in states like WI, MI, and PA who do not like her. For some, it no doubt is her race. For others, her gender. For others, her political views and her being from the Bay Area of California. I actually know of a couple of progressive criminal defense lawyer friends who dislike her because she was a prosecutor. 

        Of course, your PC mind automatically assumes that anyone who questions a candidate of color must be a racist. It's the default setting.

        1. Sheesh – that was a quick knee jerk reaction into attack mode on your part. I didn’t say that you were racist, unlike your jabs about  “ the problem I have” and my “PC mind”. 

          However, I believe that the argument that Whitmer would make a more electable VP and help Joe Biden more than Kamala Harris is at core  a racist argument. Saying that “ some people in ——state don’t like Harris “ doesn’t make the argument stronger.

           There are no material differences between the two women other than Harris’ ethnicity and skin color. Both are progressive accomplished managers, both have executive experience, both piss off the usual fringe suspects on the right wing, both have gotten  death, threats, and in f Whitmer‘s case, even a kidnapping plot. 

          Biden picked Harris for sound reasons. If he tosses her out now, the conclusions people will come to may not be the “PC” you love to sneer at”, but they won’t help him win the election.

          1. "There are no material differences between the two women other than Harris’ ethnicity and skin color."

            But there is.  Witmer was able to flip what had been a Republican state (her predecessor was a Republican and the legislature was controlled by the GOP). She knows how to deal with an opposition party and win in a competitive state.

            Haris is skilled at navigating the treacherous waters between the various identity political groups in a one-party state like California and managing to keep everyone happy.

            Different skill sets.

    1. Christ! Sounds like she might have had a subdural and/or epidural hematoma. Here's wishing her a complete and quick recovery. One good outcome of the 2020 redistricting is that our family ended up in Sen. Winter's district. Until then, we'd been represented in the state senate by galaxy brains like Shawn Mitchell, Vicki Marble and Barb Kirkmeyer.

  2. Colorado GOP leadership launches yet another effort to make it easier to block unaffiliated voters from the party’s primaries

    Dave Williams and the Colorado GOP's main goal continues to be making sure only Republicans that they like can vote in elections.

    Yeah, sure. It's only about primaries now, but let's say that succeed at that (CO GOP? Succeed?! I know. It's funny, but let's just keep going) and their fuming-mad-for-unknown-reasons, MAGA candidate gets to the general election. What happens then?

    Well, the candidate loses the race handily. Then what does Williams and the CO GOP do?

    They'll raise heck about how "unfair" elections are and dream up more conspiracies about voting. So what's the conclusion?

    Dave Williams and his ilk in the Colorado GOP will only think elections are fair if Republicans they like are able to vote a Republican they like (or a Libertarian, I guess) into office. This is the only time they'll admit an election is "fair".

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