The Sunshine Boys

We’ve had the midterm elections, and it’s time to comment. Unfortunately, we’re a week’s end, and we still need to find out who controls the Senate and the House. As I feared, the most incompetent administration since Buchanan could hold the executive and legislative branches for two more years. This lack of resolution indicates how hard it is for the government at any level to do things in a timely fashion.

This outcome would allow Biden to pass Lincoln’s predecessor in the all-time presidential dud rankings. I can almost hear the media cheering on the new champion. Given his past performance, he’s up to the challenge. After all, at his news conference, he was asked if he would do anything different in the future, and he replied, “nothing.”

Biden claims he won a significant victory and has all but announced his reelection bid. The fact he will be 82 in 2024 gives new meaning to the old geezer.

It brings to mind Neil Simon’s play, the Sunshine Boys” about a hugely successful vaudeville act. The two performers hated each other but needed each other to succeed. Brought back in old age to perform together, the dislike and need were still present.

No matter how much they loathe each other, Joe Biden and Donald Trump need each other to thrive. The prospect of a 2020 rerun is the only justification for either to lead their party.

With Biden’s reelection campaign all but set, the problem is Donald Trump may not hold up his end. The former President supported loyal outsiders in the Republican primaries. Perceiving these candidates easier to beat, they gained financial support from the Democrats. The combination of Trump endorsements and Democratic money put these novices on the ballots.

Claiming a stolen election, these candidates joined Trump in denying Biden’s 2020 victory. If they won, Trump would receive an immense boost. Almost all of them lost.

They ran well behind on the same ticket as other Republican non-election deniers. This result means Republicans had to split their tickets. Just as the Democrats recognized, the Trump connection was the kiss of death.

Parties exist to win elections. In a contest where the issues of inflation, crime, education, and a wide-open border should’ve meant a big Republican victory, they lost almost all the crucial races because of weak pro-Trump candidates.

Republican party stalwarts spent a ton of money and devoted too many hours to the election to come up short. With the issues favoring them, they know who to blame. They’re not amused.

Nonetheless, Trump is about to announce his candidacy. A preemptive strike to keep others out is likely to be greeted with derision. The man who promised Republicans would get tired of winning so much has done nothing but lose since 2016. Renominated losers generally keep losing. Just ask Charlie Crist, Beto O’Rourke, and Stacy Abrams. Republicans are in no mood to lose again. Maybe after he gives up on the presidency, Trump can host a reboot of the “Biggest Loser.”

For Biden to have a reelection chance, he has to have Trump as his opponent. No matter how much he despises Trump, Biden desperately needs him on the debate stage with him. Up against another old duffer with a shakey grasp on things, he doesn’t look so bad. A successful young governor is a whole different story.

The Republicans have a stable full of outstanding younger governors, led by Florida’s Ron Desantis. Reelected in impressive landslides, they show sans Trump’s baggage; people favor Republicans.

While abortion played a part in this election’s Democratic success, the “Threat to Democracy” narrative pertained mainly to Trump and his supporters. Having been just Democratically reelected by wide margins, this tact won’t work against any of these governors.

Given their success supporting weak pro-Trump candidates this election cycle, Democrats pouring big bucks supporting the Trump campaign sounds like a plan. Trumps is always reluctant to spend any of his own money. Just ask the nominees he endorsed how little he gave them. Look for the Democrat media allies to gang up on Trump’s leading nomination challenger and lightning up on the ex-president. As a man with no shame, Trump will take help from anyone. The Democrats and Trump will do anything to get the “Sunshine Boys” back on stage.

America deserves and needs better.

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