Looking Forward

I’m an absurdly lucky man.

Who knew that yesterday would be the day that I would really need the delivery of a new, sustaining delight?

Back in the lockdown-darkened days of June, like many others I decided that a puppy would be just the thing. We had had and loved dogs when our children were growing up, but with the passing of Tolo had gone into mourning and entered seven dogless years.

Because of some allergies in the family, a new canine friend would have to be acquired from a breeder so we did some research and applied to buy the right sort of puppy. We were told that because of the pandemic such dogs were particularly hard to come by, and that we might have to wait a long time.

Sundae, pictured below checking out some fallen leaves this morning, arrived yesterday. She has already brought a vivacious, childlike joy back into our home. We’re mostly calling her Sunny.

Sundae

***

And now for a quick take on the political news:

At this point, I take it as a given that Trump has lost to Biden. Even if Trump has Pennsylvania, as looks likely, to win he would also need Michigan and a string of other saves. That combination looks prohibitively unlikely given the closeness of the Michigan race and the fact that urban votes tend to be the last ones counted (or sometimes, manufactured). At the same time, the Republicans seem to have gained House seats, though not in sufficient numbers to take control of that chamber, and look likely to maintain control of the Senate, which is of enormous importance for the reasons discussed below.

I have been deeply critical of Joe Biden’s merits as a prospective President. I take none of those observations back, but now find myself hoping that his descent into senility is slow enough that he can serve a full term. I see the prospect of a Kamala Harris presidency as even more frightening that that of a fading Joe Biden because I see her as a much harder-core leftist authoritarian than Biden is. Biden isn’t so much a hard-core leftist as a careerist hack who is wholly-owned by his (increasingly left wing) party – though apparently he’s sometimes rented out to China.

Even without support from Congress, Biden will be able to undo much of the regulatory reform that the Trump Administration put in place – and he’ll be able to tighten the screws on all sorts of now-politically-disfavored industries. That will happen, and it will have seriously negative implications for both the US economy and our position in the world. The oil independence that the US achieved for the first time since the 1960s as a result of fracking is likely to disappear again – and the higher energy prices that will result from less or no fracking will both hurt the US economy and enrich, among others, the Russians (savor the irony if you can), the Iranians and the Venezuelans.

A Biden/Harris Administration undoubtedly can and will also drop all criminal inquiries (all inquiries at all, really) into the deep state abuses that led to the damaging waste of time that was the Russiagate investigation. So much for accountability.

And I very much doubt that the new Administration will pursue the Google antitrust case or meaningfully regulate the tech lords’ control over the distribution of information. Those companies – and the old-line infotainment companies – provided the Biden/Harris ticket with air cover for the Biden family pay-to-play scandal by suppressing word of it over the last month; why would the Administration try to reel in their friends’ enormous power?

Biden has also said that he will re-enter the JCPOA with Iran and relax the ‘snapback’ sanctions on that country. These actions will mean much more moolah for the mullahs and likely enable the Iranian regime to acquire nuclear weapons within a few years. As a matter of interest, Biden will certainly bypass the Senate, which is supposed to approve treaties, to accomplish these ends, just as the Obama Administration did. This likely reversion to an objectively pro-Iranian policy will threaten Israel – one of our few dependable allies – and the Arab regimes.

And Biden will take a much friendlier approach with China – going back to a more open trade environment and backing off any pushback against Chinese territorial aggressiveness in their neighborhood. This shift will worry Taiwan, Japan, India and most of the nations of Southeast Asia. He will also worry less about Chinese spying in the US and on our companies, and scale back on our military spending generally. We had better hope that his perspective that China’s intentions are benign proves to be correct.

Taxes and permanent spending commitments on entitlements (possibly to include some version of free college and Medicare for all) will surely rise dramatically – adding vast new unfunded liabilities. There will almost certainly also be massive bailouts of overspending, essentially bankrupt blue cities and states. Another likely gift to (mostly wealthy people who live in blue states) will be the return of federal tax deductions for state and local taxes. Gotta repay those well-off progressives who supported the ticket, after all.

And finally, we’ll have, if possible, more race consciousness in all government and many corporate decisions. And more racial strife as the inevitable result.  

***

The likely Republican control of the Senate will almost certainly, however, stymie the Democrats’ dreams of achieving permanent political dominance by a) giving statehood to The District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and b) packing the Supreme Court and filling the lower courts with committed leftists. In this latter light, the recent elevation of Amy Coney Barrett seems heaven-sent to me and to others who think the Constitution should be taken seriously, because it cements a 5/4 conservative majority (with Roberts, sadly, playing for the wrong team) for as long as the current Justices serve. Also, we can expect very little, or no, more legislating from the bench for as long as the conservative majority lasts.

***

As you doubtless know, the now-prohibitively-likely election of Joe Biden both shocked and saddens me. Those who spent four years unjustifiably slinging mud at Trump, while protecting their progressive friends, won. And I’m pretty sure that Joe wouldn’t have had a chance but for the Coronavirus for which he and his media backers unjustly blamed Trump.

Our republic will survive this setback. With the Senate and the Supreme Court in majority Republican hands, the balance of power built into the Constitution will work its magic. And I have to believe that, like the soon to be late, but not by me lamentable, Trump Administration, the Biden Administration will be a one-termer.

What a great country this is.

Time to take Sunny out again…

M.H. Johnston  

6 comments to Looking Forward

  • Anonymous  says:

    Please post more pictures of Sunny.

  • Rob A.  says:

    This election shows that half the country believes they can have others pay for a free lunch and the other half wants to work and be free. I would rather be governed by Sunny than Kamala Harris. God be with America.

  • Anonymous  says:

    Gun control, abortion, healthcare, alternative energy development, a society torn apart by infotainment reinforcement of wedge issues – a nation who’s very founding is based on a divided sense of identity – ‘states” that are held together by a belief ‘United’ – if puppies are what it takes for us all to see each other as more connected human, that’s fine too. Who let the dogs out? Bring on the pics….

  • Bill  says:

    Congratulations on the puppy and outperforming pollsters including Realclearpolitics, 538, and WSJ/NBC. More Sunny pictures please.

  • Dennis Paine  says:

    Thank you, Mark, for a pleasant footnote to the election.

    BTW, what breed is your new family member?

    • M Johnston  says:

      A Newfoundland/Poodle mix, called a Newfiedoodle – a breed that virtually doesn’t shed. On the evidence of two days and ten hours, our little lady (who will grow pretty large) is a total sweetheart.

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