By John Kass
Nov 10, 2022
It might not be the most impressive of photographs, but just think what a Raphael or some other Italian Renaissance master could do with with it.
There’s President Joe Biden in 2015, then our Vice President Biden, A.K.A. the Big Guy, Mr. 10 percent standing with then Secretary of State John Kerry. They raise their glasses to toast Chinese Communist President for Life Xi Jinping.
They are so sure. So confident. Those perfect self-satisfied courtly Masters of the Universe smiles. And who is that hard-eyed blonde in the corner? Whether her name is Jill Biden or Edith Wilson, Raphael would capture her there, in that bottom left corner of visual power, and fix her staring off into middle distance to look for traces of angels.
What wasn’t known by Americans then–perhaps the Obama White House but not the rest of the country–was this: Biden and Kerry’s sons had formed a Washington-based investment firm business, Rosemont Seneca Partners, that aimed to cash in on China.
On Wednesday, Biden held a news conference after the Little Red Ripple election where Democrats did much better than projected. I certainly thought a Red Wave was coming. The issues were right–crime, inflation, open border etc.– but I was wrong. So please pass me that steaming platter of roasted crow.
Before the midterms Democrats were pushing Biden to announce he wouldn’t seek another term, and just keep him in the basement. But after the GOP barely took the House and Senate control was still up for grabs, President Biden found his confidence, like some old geezer in the neighborhood who drank some liquid courage and found his beer muscles.
He made three things clear: He’d seek a second term. Despite the fact that 75 percent of Americans see the country as being on the wrong track, he planned on changing nothing. And no, he wasn’t all that worried about an incoming Republican House majority investigating his family’s China business ties.
When asked about investigations of the China deals, Biden’s eyes narrowed like a kid shaving in a mirror channeling a movie tough guy:
“Lots of luck in your senior year as my coach used to say,” wisecracked the president.
Democrats won’t be able to get rid of him now.
So what happened with that Little Red Ripple? It was a Big Red Wave in Florida with Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio, but a GOP disappointment in the other states. And now control of the Senate rests with Georgia. The Republicans will need a team effort, and even with Biden’s personal ratings in the toilet, Republican leadership is at each other’s throats.
Chinless Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnel of Kentucky can’t stand former President Donald Trump and Trump loathes him right back. But Trump’s jealousy of DeSantis is toxic and corrosive. And it is why, years ago, I wanted Sen. Rand Paul for the Republican presidential nomination, because I did not think Trump had the temperament for the job. I wasn’t wrong then, was I?
“I don’t know if he is running,” Trump told Fox News Digital. “I think if he runs, he could hurt himself very badly. I really believe he could hurt himself badly. I think he would be making a mistake, I think the base would not like it — I don’t think it would be good for the party.”
And then Trump dropped the ugly threats against DeSantis that should haunt him.
“I would tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering — I know more about him than anybody — other than, perhaps, his wife,” Trump said.
My wife sees DeSantis’ family on TV news and likes what she sees. She likes the story of DeSantis attending his wife and their young children during her health problems. And what the former president did made my wife ill.
It makes me hope he might pause and put the country first and just float away. But Trump can’t do that. And yet, after his blackmail threats, no matter what he does, I think DeSantis is the future of the Republican Party now.
I know that politics ain’t beanbag. I’m from Chicago. I appreciated Trump’s policies and his historic push for conservative Supreme Court justices to save the unborn. But Trump publicly threatening DeSantis is a stupid thing to do. Public blackmail doesn’t express confidence, but weakness and fear. It the act of a ruffiano. It tells me that Trump can no longer read the room. But I’ve been wrong before. I can still taste that crow.
Here’s the thing to know about elections. Once you put one in the bag, two hydra heads grow from that stump.
Now that the Little Red Ripple is done, President 10 Percent wants another term and isn’t all that worried about Congressional investigations or even what the people think. And another one sprouts up in Chicago.
The race for mayor, the main event, begins.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot hasn’t yet been carried out of the ring feet first. But I was a boxing writer once. And I think she’s shot. She’s not punchy exactly, but crime is up and the people are exhausted by her incompetence and the constant threat of violent crime. And who wants her sticking around?
I don’t see her as a prizefighter. She’s a corporate lawyer, therefore an assassin. Corporate lawyers prefer soft carpets and stilettos. But Lori as a prizefighter, punching and taking punches on her own two feet? Like some Roman legionnaire in Gaul? No.
Chicago is plagued by violent crime and a leftist political class cares more about supporting violent offenders than supporting law enforcement. With street crime rising and public education a complete and utter failure, the fate of Chicago is in the balance.
Who rides the CTA rapid transit unless they’re desperate, unless they must? Nobody takes the CTA if they have other options. And the city of Chicago is dying. Crime is that bad. The public schools are that bad. Chicago lies to itelf, but the time for lies is ending. Without proper management, the city can’t survive.
Paul Vallas worries Lightfoot so much that she has her mouthpieces in corrupt legacy media brand him as some sort of Trumpian Republican. She’s desperate. She knows he can run the city and that she can’t. He’s the serious candidate. And she knows he’s raising serious campaign money now.
I’ve known Vallas for years. He’s not a Republican. He’s a Democrat But he’s not some neo-Marxist. He’s posted his policy solutions. They’re out there for all to read.
“Public safety is a human right,” Vallas told me. “Releasing violent criminals back to the street and not providing resources to keep people safe is a violation of human rights. Education is the great unfinished battle of civil rights, and determining education based on zip codes is a sin. This is the campaign against crime and the reasons for crime, and one of those reasons is the lack of education choices for parents.”
Vallas has a sharp political strategy for this campaign to save the city. To deal effectively with crime, he knows the next mayor must isolate those anti-law enforcement crime enablers on the left. And to keep hope alive among Chicago parents, he’s pushing against all odds and the city’s political culture for real school choice, where tax dollars follow the students.
Yes, Lightfoot has been a failure. I think most people know this. I backed her once. She was out of her depth and it got worse. But Chicago may still be saved with the right leadership. Without competent leadership, the city will die a violent and painful death.
Vallas is an interesting candidate. I put out an invitation for all candidates to write guest columns, and he answered the call. But that window is about to close.
Yet, Ald. Ray Lopez, 15th is also an interesting candidate. As is Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th, an experienced sober politico, following his father’s footsteps. Uber progressive Ald. Sophia King, 4th,and the pro-Chicago Teacher’s Union candidate, Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson. And businessman and gospel aficionado Willie Wilson. There are others.
I hear U.S. Rep. Chuy Garcia is getting into the race. Is that just a dream or does Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s money come with it to buy signature circulators? And Ald. Tom Tunney, 44th, is flirting with the idea too.
Lightfoot, so adept at doing corporate battle on carpeted floors, must realize that the piece of carpet she’s standing on shrinks every day.
Democracy isn’t dying. And it doesn’t die the way the Democrats suggest. That’s just another cheap scary story and more self-serving pap for American corporate legacy political media. I know them. I worked among them for decades. I was one of them.
I’ve looked into their eyes as they mocked voters. What do their eyes look like?
Like pissholes in the snow.
I wonder, after China makes its final move against the United States, will Xi Jinping or his successor will remember that glorious White House champagne toast with Biden and Kerry?
Biden and Kerry raised up their glasses, made pleasant sounds from their throats, politely avoiding mention of their sons and Rosemont Seneca Partners. They smiled their Masters of the Universe smiles. And Xi Jinping, his eyes flat, turned to those greedy Western clowns. He smiled too.
Will China worry about our feelings with their boots on our necks? The Greeks did not worry about Troy, did they? The Greeks wanted those gates breached because there was treasure behind them and they wanted to take it. Did the Turks worry about the Armenians?
Will the Chinese generals ever care who we were, once, about our obsession with pronouns and our military’s obsession with distractions? Or will America become as the gentle Eloi were to the meat-eating Morlocks in some future past?
Perhaps the warrior Queen Galadriel knew the truth of it. Some things that should not have been forgotten will be lost. History becomes legend. And legend passes into myth.
(Copyright John Kass 2022)