Monday, March 7, 2016

8 more days ‘til we get our crack at making the nation's presidential pick

I couldn’t help but be amused at the presidential activity that occupied our minds this weekend.

Is this how we should perceive Ted Cruz AND Bernie Sanders?
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders faced off against each other Sunday night in debate in Flint, Mich. – that small city where the water is tainted and everybody enjoys a chance to take a partisan pot shot or two.

WHILE DONALD TRUMP couldn’t quite finish off all his challengers in the elections and caucuses held on Saturday. It seems that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is becoming “The Thing that Wouldn’t Leave.”

He gained enough support from that Kansas primary that he can’t be written off yet – even though the delegate math is such that it would take a collapse something along the line of the 1969 Chicago Cubs for Trump to fail to win the Republican presidential nomination.

Does this mean Marco Rubio and/or John Kasich are out looking for a black cat to toss into Trump’s path?

As for Cruz, should he be played in a movie by the spirit of John Belushi – who after all was the “Thing” in that old Saturday Night Live sketch that parodied old horror films?

FOR WHAT IT’S worth, I can still hear in my mind Jane Curtin’s blood-curdling scream in that sketch – which is probably what many establishment-minded Republicans feel these days about both the Cruz and Trump campaigns – although the latter is the one that seems to terrify them the most.

Is this what it would take to stop Donald Trump now?
Even though it probably serves them right. All those years of pandering to the nativists and xenophobes and outright bigots of our society empowered those people to think they run the one-time Party of Lincoln (which is now the Party of Reagan, and I don’t mean the late first lady Nancy) to the point where they no longer want to hear from the “establishment.”

The haters have BECOME the party’s establishment!

Whether that means there’s some future sense of détente that can be achieved between the two sides is yet to be determined. Or do some of those people wind up working their way into the Democratic Party establishment the way that some one-time hard-core Democrats would up having children who couldn’t envision not voting Republican?

Will this one-time Goldwater Girl win in '16?
AS FOR THE Democrats, it’s intriguing to see how their primary is turning out. Challenger Bernie Sanders also doesn’t want to wither away – even though it is becoming more clear that Hillary Clinton will wind up being the party’s presidential nominee.

Even though, I’m sure in Willie Wilson’s mind (and only his mind), he’s still a legitimate option for the presidency!

If an opportunist like Trump or ideologue like Cruz winds up getting the GOP nomination, Hillary really will wind up being the establishment’s candidate. Which, for a one-time Goldwater Girl from suburban Park Ridge means she would have fulfilled the life that would have been prophesized for her way back when.

But there was the liberal touch to the campaign – which made sure to have its debate in Michigan in anticipation of Tuesday’s primary in that state.

THE PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFULS will get to pile on with other political people who like to remind us that the local pols who allowed the local drinking water supply to be tainted with lead are Republican. Just like the Republicans held their debate last week in Detroit so they could claim to be showing us the result of failed Democratic Party policies.

In mourning for spouse of modern-day GOP figurehead
All of this comes as we in Illinois – along with Missouri and Ohio – prepare for our own primary elections a week from Tuesday. Which may not matter so much because all the previous political action would make our electoral results a moot point.

We may have to focus our attention on the U.S. Senate seat up for grabs, or the Cook County state’s attorney race that will get national attention because we’ll want to see if the Laquan McDonald video was strong enough to dump incumbent Anita Alvarez.

More activity from the “silly season,” – which I’m sure has some people anxiously awaiting Nov. 9 (the day after the presidential election). Although for others, that date means the beginning of the process to try to re-elect (or dump to the wayside) Gov. Bruce Rauner!


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