Joe the Great

Who knew?

Who knew way back in 2019 when the debate stages filled with 2020’s candidates for the presidency that we would go with the old guy in the middle? How often had he run for President? Had he ever come even close? Wasn’t there a scandal of some kind? Plagiarism, I believe it was. What kind of scandal is that, anyway? Oh, an unattributed quote? You’re kidding.

My first choices for P/VP were Kamala Harris/Sherrod Brown. When Kamala dropped out, I switched to Amy Klobuchar. I was waffling on Mr. Brown by this time since he is a Senator from Ohio and we really couldn’t afford to lose him there. Anyway, then Jim Clybourn endorsed Joe in South Carolina and the Biden campaign made like a rocket. I worried myself into an Elizabeth Warren fan – she reminded me too much of my mother, which wasn’t fair to either of them, but there it is – because I was still hell for leather for a woman candidate. In the end there I was, in November of 2020, happily blacking in the circles next to the names of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Wha hoppen?

The Coronovirus hoppened. And I dread to say that I dread to think of what the outcome of that election might have been had the former guy stepped up in any discernible way. I dread to say that, because it’s a bit like saying that thank goodness half a million people died or the former guy might have become the present guy. In which case – oh, nevermind. It doesn’t bear writing about.

The miracle of it all is that the old guy in the middle is doing better than any of us, maybe even his staunchest supporters, believed that he would. He’s taking his job seriously. He’s working for the American people.

In the 57 days of his presidency, at this writing, he has invoked the Defense Production Act encouraging Johnson and Johnson to work with Merck to produce vaccine, vaccinated his promised million+/day, sent FEMA to the border to help with the influx of unaccompanied minors, and signed the American Rescue Plan in an effort to assist the lower strata of the American economy and to make it possible for businesses and schools to reopen, as well as giving states the wherewithal to continue fighting the virus at home.

Next on the docket seems to be a voting rights bill (HR1) for which he seems willing to ditch the filibuster as it stands today. Right on the heels of voting rights, comes infrastructure – long promised, now delivered? Immigration? Climate change? International cooperation? He's got a lot of good people already on the job. Who is to say what kind of sea change we will see over the next four years? And all the while he's spending his time in meetings, meetings, meetings hammering out the details on this, that or the other thing. Golf is something he used to do and might do again. He's just too busy for it right now.

I remember LBJ, when asked why he was digging in on civil rights, saying, “What’s the use of power if you don’t do something good with it?”

Joe might have been an old time centrist, going along with the programme, hoping for the best. But now he has at last earned the power to do something and he’s going to do something good with it. He might even do something great with it.

Joe the Great. The First of His Name.

It's always possible.