Three Thoughts/Observations

Recently I had three thoughts/observations that merited coverage but not a complete article. I thought, Why not combine them? Today you have it.

‘24

I know I’ve already endorsed Joe Biden for reelection and I certainly haven’t changed my mind. However, I’m cognizant of reality and the reality is that few Democratic leaning voters are excited by the prospect of voting for him. The Democrats will be facing an enthusiasm gap in 2024. Turnout is always a challenge for Democrats and turnout is key in most close elections. (Although I don’t anticipate the national popular vote being close, it will be in several swing states.)

While it’s a gamble because a second Trump administration would be the greatest threat to America since World War II, politically Trump could erase the enthusiasm gap. I am convinced that generally speaking Americans vote against, not for, candidates. 2020 is a prime example. There were millions more American who were motivated to show up to vote against Trump than for Biden. If 2024 is a rematch (and it’s way too early but it looks that way at tis point – Biden’s a lock, Trump is the question mark in my mind) I only see that magnified.

Debt Ceiling

The issue of the debt ceiling has been a concern to me for months and it isn’t getting any better. Remember when the know nothing, Republican, congressional rookies called themselves the Tea Party in the wake of the 2010 election? Today they use different names and some of the faces have changed but if anything, they are even less economically astute. That group is responsible for the only downgrading of America’s credit rating in history. If this group doesn’t find a knowledgeable leader – and McCarthy certainly isn’t it! – they may repeat the “achievement”. Remember the serious threat of a default (which fortunately never happened) was the cause of the downgrading.

Last week House Speaker Kevin McCarthy squeaked out the 217-215 passage of a debt ceiling bill that is not only dead on arrival in the Senate, it’s not even a basis for negotiation. McCarthy, who now thinks he is a legislative genius, only passed the bill with the benefit of several members not voting. The 217 number is not a true measure of the support he has in his own caucus on this issue. It is obvious that several Republicans went along with him because they knew this was basically a throw away vote.

This situation is dangerous and I don’t know exactly how it will be resolved but I’m positive this bill isn’t it.

Poison Pills Coming

Despite the fact that I’ve lived in the Tar Heel state for over a decade I don’t write much about North Carolina politics. If you are really interested in that topic, I suggest you give Thomas Mills a look; he does a very good job of covering it.

A lot of people got all excited when the Republican controlled General Assembly finally voted for Medicaid Expansion. I was among the cautious and skeptical. The “approval” had a caveat. The expansion wouldn’t take effect until a budget was passed including the funding. Much like the DC Republicans are trying to use the debt ceiling to extort concessions from the Democratic administration; the Raleigh Republicans are going to use the budget to extract concession from the Democratic Governor. It hasn’t happened yet but it’s like anticipating a 3-0 fastball from a pitcher having trouble finding the strike zone.

OK, those are all basically predictions. One might not even interest you but I bet I hit better than .300.

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