GOP Self-Own Open Thread: Repubs Are Officially Anti-Anti-Hate

“Present”?!? Pigmuck King’s a godsdamned gift!

Open Thread: Does Joe Biden Actually Want to Run Again?

Certainly the Horse-Race Media Touts want him to get out in the scrum again, but I don’t get the impression he’s all that enthusiastic about the idea. In fact, I’m getting a strong flavor of Teddy Kennedy’s reluctance before his disastrous campaign against Jimmy Carter (which, as we only discovered after Teddy’s death, was because he was credibly afraid of being murdered like his brothers).

There is, or was, a weird theological argument / superstition among working-class American Catholics that used to be called “Irish Jansenism”. Basically, it held that the right ethical choice was the one about which you felt the least enthusiastic or the most conflicted — “If being virtuous was easy, anyone could do it.” It was widely influential when I was growing up, and I assume at least as popular in Joe Biden’s formative years.

Biden’s certainly old enough, and experienced enough, and has done enough for his party and his country, that an honorable retirement has to be tempting. He doesn’t talk about wanting to be President any more; he talks about the urgent necessity of removing Trump, and hints about promises made to his dying son. But he sounds, to me, like a man trying to talk himself into an unpleasant duty because he “should”, not like the happy warrior he’s always played on the national stage.

If that is what you say it is, I love it this summer

The New York Times reports on the ongoing exhumation of the festering boil of fraud that is Trump and the Trump administration:

New York State regulators have issued an expansive subpoena to the Trump Organization’s longtime insurance broker, the first step in an investigation of insurance policies and claims involving President Trump’s family business, according to a person briefed on the matter.

The subpoena was served late Monday on the company, Aon, one of the largest insurance brokerage firms in the world, as part of an inquiry by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

The most important thing here is that state regulators are the ones who are wading through the muck. Presidential temper tantrums can’t touch them. And Presidential pardons are irrelevant. It might “just” be an investigation of the corporate entities but if the state is following the money to the highly probable lies, it will get some meat in its teeth very quickly.

Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Mardi Gras!

And the next day, also in the Washington Post (paper of record for a company town where the monopoly industry is national politics), E.J. Dionne:

The core political challenges facing Democrats are not the rise of those who proudly call themselves democratic socialists and the danger that Republicans will succeed in red-baiting the entire party.

Instead, Democrats face formidable coalition-management problems because they now provide a home to millions of voters (and scores of elected officials) who in earlier times might well have been liberal Republicans.

Democratic leaders — and presidential candidates — must find ways to cope with an alliance that spans not only their own long-standing left and center-left factions but also many moderate voters who despise President Trump but have not been Democrats before…

Finally, ex-Republican Jennifer Rubin, on “The benefits of Joe Biden”:

In the current field there is a decided lack of gravitas, for lack of a better word. The contenders don’t lack for ideas or for fiery rhetoric, but there is a certain lighter-than-air quality to the case they make for their election…

In short, the current field has been good at identifying the problem — Trump and the middle-class squeeze — but may badly overshoot the mark on solutions and overestimate the degree to which Trump, total gridlock and nonstop fighting in Washington have exhausted the country. The country arguably yearns for normalcy, not for revolution.

That brings us back to Biden, who routinely praises the country in a way that communicates that our problems are manageable. After all, the economy is pretty good now. (It’s not as if it’s 2008, when Barack Obama was able to run against a party on whose watch an economic disaster had occurred.) Biden instills a level of confidence, perhaps aided by years of experience, that he has the tool kit to fix some sizable problems without upheaval…

Biden is not any less committed to universal health care or anti-climate-change measures or raising take-home pay for working-class families than others in the race. What would set him apart is a certain wiliness and a sensibility that voters, even those who oppose his policies, analogize to a pair of comfortable shoes…

In the carnival spirit of overturning conventional wisdom, a Modest Proposal: Joe Biden should run against Trump — as a Republican.

‘Come back to sanity, my GOP friends! You’re better than that malarkey!’

Or even ‘I knew Ronald Reagan. You, Donald Trump, are no Ronald Reagan.’

Yeah, yeah, won’t happen in this fallen world. But wouldn’t you love to see Chris Cillizza and Chuck Todd fall down and swallow their own tongues, as their inadequate circuitry overloaded?

Paging Mr. Baron…Paging Mr. Miller…Norwegian Anti-Fraud Squad On Line One

Mr. Baron and Mr. Miller, you may recall, have a close relationship with the cheetoh-faced, ferret-heedit shitgibbon.

We don’t know the name of anyone who may have displaced Miller and Baron in the Orange One’s heart, but he is clearly keeping busy:

A total of 329 candidates — 217 individuals and 112 organizations — are being considered for this year’s prize, which will be announced in October…

But a wrinkle in this time-honored process — the peace prize was first awarded in 1901 — emerged on Tuesday, when the committee announced that it had uncovered what appeared to be a forged nomination of President Trump for the prize. The matter has been referred to the Oslo police for investigation.

Mr. Baron or whatever the alias now may be is, it seems, a recidivist:

…the forgery appears to have occurred twice: Olav Njolstad, the secretary of the five-member committee, said it appeared that a forged nomination of Mr. Trump for the prize was also submitted last year — and was also referred to the police. (The earlier forgery was not disclosed to the public at the time.)

What kind of person is at once so disdainfully fraudulent and so hilariously inept at his con?  Who could it be?

Well…Trump, recall, was the man who put his lens-shattering mug in fake Time Man of the Year covers, so there’s form here.

I’d file this one under “Point and Mock”…but then I remember that the entire GOP stands in thrall to this pathetic, hollow, terrified tosser.  And then I weep for the Republic, and worry, desperately, for my son.

(Also too:  I would so love an appendix to the Mueller Report dealing with all this.)

Image: Jacob Willemsz de Wet, Allegory of Peace triumphant over War1650