Kamala D. Hopeless

Kamala D. Hopeless. By Robert Kaus.

Why are they sounding the tom toms of doom about Kamala Harris now — in what seems to be a campaign spearheaded by an article in Dem-friendly CNN, featuring indirect testimony of “key West Wing aides?”

Do I mean to suggest that Biden’s White House encouraged, maybe even proposed, CNN’s nasty take? Yes! But why? The answer seems to be: If Biden declines to run again, and Harris declares her candidacy in 2023 or even 2024, it will be very hard to stop her without being accused of racism and/or sexism and/or disloyalty. Biden himself will be put on the spot — endorse or not endorse?

The time to short-circuit Harris is now, before she begins her run. Signal that you’re giving potential opponents time and political space to build up their reps and their networks.

This is what the Biden team, worried that Harris will be a loser, seems to be diligently doing. …

The Republicans have a similar dilemma with Trump:

It looks as if Trump is going to run, whether he’s needed or not. And he’s heavily favored to win the party’s nomination …

Could Trump perhaps be …. bribed. This isn’t as unprecedented an idea as you might think.

In some accounts, Dwight Eisenhower met with rival Earl Warren before the 1952 election and promised him a spot on the Supreme Court in exchange for Warren’s strong support. True, Trump seems an unlikely SCOTUS nominee. But what else might a committee of public-minded, patriotic Republican billionaires — not that hard to orgnize — offer him? …

Give him Fox News.

It’s only couple-of-billion-dollars-a-year business! The Murdoch son who runs it doesn’t seem wildly excited about doing that forever. … But it’s a cash cow — very profitable. For the right price, it could be a cash cow for the Committee of Patriotic Billionaires, who’d pocket a chunk of the profits to leaven their sacrifice while ceding Trump total day-to-day control. If Trump wanted to put himself on television every evening and fill the rest of the time slots with others who passed his loyalty test, he’d be free to do so. …

Might not work, of course. You got a better idea?

Keep in mind that even if Trump doesn’t win the 2024 nomination, Republicans might nevertheless have to essentially bribe him to keep him from undermining the official GOP nominee.

It is important to separate the issue of Trump the man, and his personality, from the fact that he was the mouthpiece and chosen candidate for the majority of Americans. That would be those who are excluded from the political process, mocked as deplorables and exploited for low wages, while the ruling class gets on with celebrating its chosen voting blocks and giving them economic privileges.

Trump is dispensible, but only if another champion of the forgotten people arises.