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Act I was selling America on Joe Biden as the sane one, steadfast, statesmanlike, serene, smart. Act II was installing Kamala Harris as the insurance policy, in the event that sleepy Joe would reveal his real profile, dementia Joe, and be the first zombie president.
Of course, the Democrat playwrights never got around to scripting an Act III, and instead, they now face the unfolding reality theater, where Joe is disabled but has no replacement.
The Dems, stuck on Kamala’s race and impressed by her shallow posturing, never accounted for her thorough unsuitability for the V.P. job, let alone ascending to the presidency. During the primaries, Harris enjoyed top-tier billing for only a few months until the actual voting started, then was raked into a brush pile, beset by arrogance, incoherent messaging, incompetence, and an unappealing acidic personality.
Kamala Harris as vice president has followed the identical pattern to her campaign. She is largely invisible, but when she does make an appearance, her dreadful campaign and previous political defects are on full display. Unintelligible messaging, zero communication skills, bereft of originality or problem-solving leadership, while her V.P. office organization staff are fighting a brutal civil war, where discord and enmity capture the news headlines on a daily basis. Only aphid-stressed roses and recriminations remain.
In five months, Kamala Harris is contending for the worst vice president in history, with few rivals. She will soon be the marquee headliner at The Quayle Vice Presidential Learning Center in Huntington, Indiana, a flea-market emporium of mediocrity, proving that John Nance Garner’s quip that “The job of vice president isn’t worth a bucket of piss” is both undeniable and enduring. Most VPs were plucked from obscurity and retired to oblivion. Kamala Harris won’t break that axiomatic life cycle.
The speed by which she has ascended Mt. Nothing is toppling the irrelevancy of Thomas Marshall, Woodrow Wilson’s V.P. According to the Miller Center, not even Marshall’s own president, Woodrow Wilson, could tolerate his presence.
Time magazine says Marshall and Wilson’s relationship was “one of functioning animosity.” After his first session, Marshall stopped attending Cabinet meetings and sought to find an office where he could smoke and put his feet up on a desk. When Wilson departed for Europe at the end of World War I to meet with the leaders of the Allied powers, he left Marshall in charge of the nation, to which Marshall said he would not be responsible for anything that happened while Wilson was in Europe.
Nor was Thomas Marshall himself impressed by the vice presidency. During his inaugural speech, he promised to “acknowledge the insignificant influence of the office” and accept his second-class role “in a good-natured way.” As President Woodrow Wilson’s number two, he frequently complained about his “nameless, unremembered” duties and once told a bodyguard that his job was pointless because no one ever shoots a vice president.
So what are the Democrats to do now? Joe Biden’s flaccid and dysfunctional performance is only slightly better than Harris’s wretchedness, relying exclusively on revenge, reversing everything Donald Trump accomplished. Joe’s legislative roadmap leads nowhere but to the inhospitable wilderness, where Joe is disoriented and Kamala pretends she is not alone in the forest.
Kamala is not now and never shall be the answer. The Dems are in a pickle barrel filled with undrinkable vinegary brine; they cannot pump or climb out of the barrel. And inside the barrel, the Dems are tied up in a knot that neither bolt-cutters nor acetylene torches can unravel.
In a former life, I was running a not quite break-even industrial business that we inherited. No amount of re-engineering, new product announcements, or cost-cutting could stanch the flow of red ink. My boss, the corporate president, finally remarked, “Geoff, it is obvious you don’t know how to get where we need to be, and if we get there, we won’t want to be there.”
That was the classic head-scratcher, yet an apt, albeit tortured, description of a migraine-inducing dilemma that could never be resolved. The Dems are now tied up in a Gordian knot, stuffed into a pickle barrel. How delicious.