Tag Archives: Joe Biden

Election 2016: The Incredible Evitable Hillary Clinton

Frontrunner Hillary Clinton got into a heated ...
Hillary Clinton circa 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, I’m a concern troll. I’m no Democrat, nor am I a Republican. But I would really, really, really like to see the Democratic Party nominate a viable candidate for President of the United States this year.

Why? In a word, gridlock — or at least what passes for it in this age of unrestrained “unitary executives.” Checks and balances ain’t  what they used to be, but it gets worse when one party controls both houses of Congress and the White House at the same time. The last time that happened, we got ObamaCare. The time before that, the war in Iraq.

Since it’s unlikely that the Republican Party will lose control of either the Senate or House of Representatives, it’s important to me that the presidency go to a candidate of another party. In a perfect world, that would mean a Libertarian moving in at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Unfortunately, the least bad LIKELY outcome is Democratic victory.

But Democrats don’t seem interested in winning. In fact, they seem to be going out of their way to throw the fight.

The “inevitable” Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, was “inevitable” in 2008, too. Remember how that came out? She placed second in the Iowa caucus and would have placed third if John Edwards had flamed out a little earlier. Barack Obama pretty much ran the table. “Inevitable.” Yeah, right.

This time last year, an NBC News/Marist poll had Clinton at 68% and Bernie Sanders at 7% in Iowa.  By Monday, that lead had evaporated. Clinton eked out a “victory” in the caucus on the basis of six coin tosses for tiebreaker delegates. Some “victory.”

When Bernie Sanders — an “independent social democrat” whose picture appears in the dictionary next to the word “gadfly” — comes back from a 61-point deficit to hand you your head in Iowa and outpolls you nationally versus likely GOP candidates, you are not a strong contender for the presidency and  you SHOULDN’T be treated as a strong contender for the Democratic Party’s nomination.

Two decades of “inevitable” talk aside, Hillary Clinton is a lemon, a  jinx, a Jonah. Everything she touches falls apart. Even if she manages to make it to the convention with a majority while avoiding a criminal indictment, we will almost certainly end up with Republican monopoly government for at least two, and more likely four, years. That won’t be on Hillary Clinton. It will be on Democratic caucus and primary voters.

Tip to Democrats: Stay fractured until convention time, then draft Joe Biden. I’m not just saying that because I have ten bucks riding on him in a prediction market. He’s really your only shot.

Tip to voters: Vote Libertarian. Train wreck and clown car are not your only options.

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


Joe Biden’s Dangerous Game

RGBStock.com WW2US vice-president Joe Biden put American exceptionalism on display in a big way Saturday (February 7), laying down a tough line of patter to the 2015 Munich Security Conference. Biden called on Russian president Vladimir Putin to “get out of Ukraine,” doubling down on US threats to escalate conflict in the Russia-Ukraine border region by arming Kiev’s forces.

“Too many times, President Putin has promised peace and delivered tanks, troops and weapons,” quoth Biden, by way of promising peace and simultaneously promising to deliver tanks, weapons and possibly US troops.

At issue are two new “ethnically Russian” states — the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics — which seceded from Ukraine in the wake of last year’s US-backed coup and the installation in Kiev of a regime friendlier to the US and the European Union and more hostile toward Russia.

Biden’s newly minted opposition to ethnic secessionist movements rings hollow, given his enthusiastic backing of such movements in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. He recalls his support for Bosnian and Kosovar secessionists — up to and including US bombing campaigns and ground troop interventions versus Serbia which  dwarf even the most inflated claims of Russian meddling in the current conflict — as his “proudest moment in public life.” Hypocrisy much, Mr. Vice-President?

Biden, US president Barack Obama, and the more hawkish contingent in Congress might also do well to reconsider the practicality of a counter-insurgency campaign in the region.  Given the complete failures and follow-on consequences of the 21st century’s first two such US campaigns — in Iraq and Afghanistan — a betting man would likely put long odds on success in a third such misadventure. Especially one which antagonizes a major military power with the capacity to, in extremis, take things nuclear. But that same gambler would put similarly long odds on the likelihood of such reconsideration.

It took 58,000 American deaths in Vietnam to raise even minor self-doubt among American politicians on their post-World War II conception of themselves as “leaders of the free world,” disposing of the military might to impose their will around the globe in, as George III put it to Britain’s rebellious colonies in 1775, “all cases whatsoever.”

The fall of the Soviet Union and the sugar high of victory in the first Gulf War dispelled that doubt. 9/11 put the War Party completely back in America’s driver’s seat. And we’ve been cruisin’ for a bruisin’ ever since.

If Joe Biden and Company can’t figure out a way to gracefully walk away from the mess they’ve made in Ukraine and let Russia, Ukraine, the breakaway states and the EU settle their own arguments, this conflict may very well turn out to  be that bruisin’.

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.