Today’s Prompt

I have heard mixed reactions to WordPress’s daily prompts, which is one way of saying that I like them but my partner doesn’t.  Let’s take a look at today’s prompt.

If you had a freeway billboard, what would it say?

I have no idea.  That is actually what my freeway billboard would say.  There’s no shame in admitting that you don’t know everything.

Speaker McCarthy

It took 15 ballots but Kevin McCarthy is now Speaker of the House.  For all the ridicule and hand-wringing of the past week, this is actually the way that the House is supposed to work.  No one is supposed to be guaranteed a victory and the Speaker is not meant to be a benign dictator whose every whim is law.

If all of this drama leads us away from the concept of the Imperial Speakership, it’ll be worth it.

Stabenow Retires

I don’t think anyone was expecting Debbie Stabenow to announce that she wouldn’t be running for reelection this week but here we are.

Because Trump won the state in 2016, there’s a misconception that Michigan is more of a swing state than it is.  Michigan is a blue state.  Hillary lost Michigan because of her own hubris and ineptness as a candidate but, as the 2022 midterms showed, winning statewide in Michigan is still going to be an uphill climb for most Republicans.

When Stabenow made her announcement, there was some online chatter about Rashida Tlaib running for the seat.  Tlaib trying to run for higher office and losing the primary is probably the only way that she’s ever going to leave Congress but I haven’t seen any signs that she’s planning on running.  It feels like Elissa Slotkin’s race to lose.

Hopefully, John James will resist the calls to make another statewide run.  He can do a lot more by staying in the U.S. House than by running yet another underdog statewide campaign.

Bolton?

President John Bolton?

It will probably never happen but it does sound like John Bolton is determined to run against Trump in the 2024 primaries.  I think he’d be better off just supporting a candidate who actually has a chance to defeat Trump but I think, in Bolton’s case, his opposition to Trump is more personal than political.  Bolton took a job with Trump, at a time when many other establishment types were going out of their way to disassociate themselves from the President.  Trump responded by telling everyone that Bolton’s advice was worthless.  Much like Al Haig in 1988, Bolton’s campaign will be about trying to win back the respect that he feels was stolen from him.

A New Speaker?

I assume Kevin McCarthy will eventually get enough votes to become Speaker today but anything’s possible.  The fact that there’s even a question about who will become Speaker is why so many members of the party now consider their governors to be the true leaders of the GOP.

For what it’s worth, Justin Amash has offered himself as a non-partisan Speaker.  In theory, I like the idea of having a non-partisan speaker but I know  that, in practice, it’s not the sort of thing that would ever work in today’s Washington.  And, even if it could work, Justin Amash isn’t the one who is going to make it happen.

Damar Hamlin

I was watching a movie during the Bills/Bengals game so I didn’t hear about what happened with Damar Hamlin until almost an hour afterwards.  I have seen the footage on YouTube and replayed countless times on television and it’s scary to watch.

As opposed to some of the other recent injuries in the NFL, both Damar Hamlin and Tee Higgins did what they were supposed to do.  It was a clean tackle on Hamlin’s part.  To see Hamlin get up and then collapse like that was, again, scary.  My hope is that he’ll be okay.  I have seen so many testaments to this player’s character.

Football is a sport that, rightfully, gets criticized for the lasting damage that it does to its players.  But, again, neither one of the players last night did anything wrong.  They were both playing clean.  When they took Hamlin off the field, both the Bills and the Bengals were on the field praying.  I hope everyone is keeping both players in their thoughts.

A Frustrating Few Weeks

If you’re like me and you follow politics and you think a second Joe Biden term would be disastrous for the country, the past few weeks have been frustrating.

Among my problems with the Democrats, two of the big ones were that 1) the Democrats have consistently refused to strongly call out anti-Semitism in their own ranks and 2) the Democrats have no problem shredding the Constitution to get what they want.

So, of course, Donald Trump goes off and has dinner with two of America’s best-known anti-Semites (yes, Milo was there as well but I’m not sure anyone who isn’t very online has the slightest idea who Milo is) and then he demands that the Constitution be shredded so that he can be president again.  Thanks, Don!

(For whatever it’s worth, I don’t think Trump is himself an anti-Semite.  I just think he’s a man in his mid-70s who isn’t really in touch with modern pop culture and who can’t let go of a grudge and who will have dinner with anyone who sucks up to him.)

Myself, I’ll be voting for DeSantis.  Or Kemp.  Or Youngkin.  Or even Larry Hogan!  (I like Larry Hogan more than most Republicans and I think he was effective as any Republican governor could be in a state as blue as Maryland.  But I know there’s no way a Hogan presidential campaign would get beyond New Hampshire.)  In 2024, vote for a governor.