Tuesday Talk*: When None Of The Above Is Not An Option

While many people who find Trump so personally repugnant that they could never vote for him under any circumstances, that doesn’t mean that they’re enthralled with the alternative. There is a debate coming up, during which we may learn that neither candidate is fit for office, even if Joe Biden isn’t as bad as Trump. Then what?

I posed the question on the twitters and the responses were . . . interesting.

Biden partisans responded by saying “vote for the person who isn’t a convicted felon and didn’t engage in insurrection,” which failed miserably to grasp the conundrum. My fellow curmudgeon, Mark Herrmann, offered an interesting idea.

Joe Biden’s consistently behind in the polls. He’s too old to be president. There’s nothing he can do to turn the tide.

Kamala Harris is even less popular than Biden. If Biden is incapacitated, no one trusts Harris to serve as president. A disaster’s in the making.

If the Dems weren’t stuck because of Biden’s decision to run again rather than let the Dems pick a candidate with a greater likelihood of surviving the term of office, and to make someone his running mate who rational person would support, what could they do instead?

I have a better idea: Maybe Barack Obama can step in at the last minute and save the ticket. Biden should consider asking Obama to run as Biden’s vice presidential candidate.

Mark goes on to explain why the 22nd Amendment may not be a bar to this. At the same time. no one believes this fanciful notion could possibly happen,

In a sane world, the Democratic nominee for president should be 10, 20 percent ahead of Trump. Yet Biden is, more or less, running neck to neck with Trump. Since Trump hasn’t gotten less Trumpish, vulgar, deceitful, narcissistic and ignorant, then the problem must be on the Democratic side. How is it possible that the Dems, facing the most despicable candidate imaginable in Trump, can’t manage to find a candidate that people want to vote for and would crush Trump once and for all?

Can anything be done at this point, or are we stuck with a choice between two candidates no one wants, The argument that Biden is less repugnant than Trump is certainly true, but that doesn’t make Biden an acceptable choice. This is exacerbated by the worst, but quite possible, case scenario: Biden can’t complete his term and Harris steps in.

And lest we forget, while Trump appears more physically rigorous than Biden, his mental acuity was never well regarded, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t lapse into total gibberish.

Somebody is going to have their hand on the football. Shouldn’t it be someone who can be trusted with such responsibility? Can that be said of Trump or Biden? If not, is there anything to be done or are we stuck making a choice between bad and worse?

*Tuesday Talk rules apply, within reason. Do not stan for your guy or your comment will be trashed.

36 thoughts on “Tuesday Talk*: When None Of The Above Is Not An Option

  1. Elpey P.

    “Shouldn’t it be someone who can be trusted with such responsibility? Can that be said of Trump or Biden?”

    “Do not stan for your guy or your comment will be trashed.”

    Both-siders privilege.

    Reply
  2. $.02

    I remember the day when I decided there was no possible way I could vote for McCain. It was right after he nominated Palin to be his running mate, plus a day or so for her to speak words aloud.

    At 71, I considered McCain’s age too much of a risk for such a position if Palin stood in the background. Biden had another decade beyond what I thought was too risky.

    Now what?

    I agree with Mark, a disaster’s in the making.

    And channeling my inner Greenfield… just because it’s bad doesn’t mean it can’t always get worse; we have yet to see who Trump names as a running mate.

    Reply
  3. phv3773

    No one looks like a President until they are President. Governors look more like Presidents than do Senators or Congressmen or anyone else. Hence Newsom.

    Reply
  4. B. McLeod

    The “debate” is going to be like two brain-damaged monkeys in a dung-flinging contest.

    49% of Americans are not signed on with the “party” organizations. It remains simply for Americans to finally do the right thing when the conventional gangs (each supported by about 27% of voters) insist on putting up candidates unfit for office. A write-in campaign isn’t feasible, but other candidates will be on the ballot. The ones who turn out to be on the ballot in the most states are potential alternative choices. If their neurons are firing, they are better than Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Nuts, and the voters need to pick one to teach the party inbeciles a lesson.

    Reply
  5. Michael Watson

    In Canada at least, “none of the above” is an actual option. When you’re given the ballot, you can return it unmarked. These need to be counted and announced alongside the other results. No idea if the US has a similar mechanism.

    Reply
    1. David B.

      Not at the federal level, at least not that I can find in the Canada Elections Act. (Yes, you can hand back the ballot unmarked and it gets tallied with “rejected ballots”, but that phrase’s usage in the Act means ballots rejected by the election officer – for being blank, double-marked, otherwise spoiled, identifying the elector, etc. – not rejected / declined by the elector.) Unless some judge has reinterpreted §284 (1) and §287 (1) and I missed it.

      Certain provinces do permit officially refusing / declining ones ballot, Ontario for instance.

      Reply
  6. BlueThing

    There are times that is relieving to live in a single party locale of a single party state.

    I can vote for third party candidates with a clean conscience, knowing that a vote for the lesser weevil is irrelevant because only the party label matters to voters here.

    Reply
  7. Pedantic Grammar Police

    The president is an actor who pretends to be running the country. His job is to confuse and distract us. There was a time when these actors portrayed competent, respectable characters. Now they portray clowns. This is concerning, not because the president is running anything, but because it gives a clue regarding what our rulers have planned for us.

    Reply
    1. Elpey P.

      “…the qualities he is required to display are not those of leadership but those of finely judged outrage. For this reason the President is always a controversial choice, always an infuriating but fascinating character. His job is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it. On those criteria Zaphod Beeblebrox is one of the most successful Presidents the Galaxy has ever had — he has already spent two of his ten presidential years in prison for fraud.”
      ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

      Reply
  8. Hunting Guy

    I’ll be dead by the time the damage done to our country by either one comes to fruition.

    But I feel sorry for my grandkids. They are headed for a third world dictatorship no matter who wins.

    Reply
  9. Sean T

    Vote third party or write in a candidate. (I plan to write in John Fetterman’s name, among the few with any integrity in Washington.) Trump being unqualified doesn’t make Biden qualified, and no one is entitled to your vote. If enough people begin voting third-party, maybe the 2 parties will actually wake up and take us seriously. The Dems have as much a cult-of-personality problems as Repubs., where apparently no one had the courage to tell Joe to step aside.

    Reply
    1. B. McLeod

      It’s not a cult of personality with the dotard. He barely has one. It’s that he’s a malleable puppet for the special-interest fanatics in the shadows. They could replace him with any other malleable puppet, which could even be an actually competent person who simply has no personal dignity. The reason they don’t is that they have convinced themselves they can make it to the finish line with the one they have.

      Reply
  10. Mike V.

    I’d posit that it isn’t Biden that is so unpopular. Rather it is his policies and handling of the economy. Everyone feels the difference every time they buy gas or groceries. Maybe inflation isn’t his fault, but he is in the chair at the time, so he gets the blame or credit as the situation dictates. Were I Trump, my ads would simply be “Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago?”

    Reply
    1. PK

      My answer is yes. Not that the health of the economy is at issue. It’s two geriatrics embarrassing themselves in different ways. Rather embarrassing for all of us really. I’d very much like a none of the above option, but I’ll hold my nose and pick one anyway. Yay.

      Reply
  11. Ken Hagler

    RFK Jr. would have been a better candidate than either Trump or Biden for ordinary Americans, and I think he probably would have been able to beat Trump despite the Democrats’ best efforts to boost Trump’s popularity. However, he would have been a terrible candidate for the people who actually run things, so the Democrats changed their primary rules to ensure he couldn’t be their candidate.

    Reply
  12. Miles

    These guys are both old, and as olds, they could die or become disabled at any moment. Stroke. Heart attack. There’s a long list of bad things that can and do happen to old men without warning. But if not them, who?

    For Trump, there’s the list of VP candidates to draw from, but they’re second fiddles. Or god forbid, Junior.

    For Biden, the obvious and likely only party-acceptable fill-in is Kamala, because how can you throw the VP who happens to be a black woman aside? Had Biden and Kamala stepped aside for the good of the nation, perhaps there could have been a nominee people actually want, but that won’t happen.

    And none of the third party candidates are remotely viable to normies.

    Reply
    1. B. McLeod

      When Trump goes away, the cult of personality goes with him, and the Republican field would be wide open. If Biden was suddenly out of the picture, the candidate probably would be Harris, a shameless, posturing panderer, but at least mentally functioning. Either development would be an improvement, but it’s mid-June, and we haven’t been that lucky in recent times.

      Reply
  13. Skywalker

    Michelle Obama would win in a landslide. Michelle’s not a politician, and she doesn’t want the job. But that will add to her appeal. She doesn’t get the blame for Biden’s policy failures and Michelle has the outsider appeal that made Trump a viable candidate in 2016 Michelle would reluctantly accept a draft because she fears a Trump victory which is more likely than the polls predict. if Barack, Schumer, Jeffries and Pelosi tell her that she is the Dems best hope to stop Trump, then she would take the job. If the Dems wait to win they will pressure Biden to step aside just before the August convention and announce a “Draft MO movement” at the convention.

    The elephant in the room is the fact that the multiple prosecutions of Trump by Democratic prosecutors and the gag order on the lead up to the election guarantees that Trump supporters will not accept a Trump defeat. I fear that Biden and the Dems, by using Putin like tactics against
    Trump may have set the stage for a constitutional crisis in November when the Trumpists claim election interference if Trump loses.

    Reply
  14. Steven G

    The republican party has been taken over by MAGA, and the democratic party has been taken over by progressives. I can’t think of anyone on either side that would be able to rise above that.

    I think this issue is more related to the “winner takes all” rules laid out. We are stuck with choosing one or the other, it is almost impossible for a 3rd party to even compete.

    I do wish that Biden stepped down instead of running again, but I am not sure the democrats could have put someone any better (other than being younger).

    Reply
  15. Skink

    Sorry GD and Howl:

    Vote for me, vote for me
    I want the nomination for the Presidency
    Vote for me, vote for me
    If I am elected, this is how it will be.

    My only promise is to say, “bite me” to everything.

    Reply
    1. Howl

      No need to apologize, Skink. I appreciate teamwork.
      There’s a lot of music out there We all have a duty to make sure it’s heard.

      Reply
  16. Who Knows

    There’s an easy answer, then the other side of the equation. First easy–if both candidates are repugnant, will your vote affect the Electoral votes fir your state? For 36 years New York (presuming SHG is registered to vote in New York State) has been guaranteed to deliver to a certain party’s presidential candidate, and the trend has accelerated to the point that the electoral count for New York is foreordaned in November 2024, isn’t it? So don’t sweat it–vote for whoever you want, and focus on the rest of the ballot where your vote actually could effect the outcome.

    But the issue is bigger, isn’t it? The concern is that the Republican nominee, despite his political and criminal history, has a really good chance to be inaugurated President of the United States on 20 January 2025, isn’t it? One presumes because SHG wrote:

    In a sane world, the Democratic nominee for president should be 10, 20 percent ahead of Trump. Yet Biden is, more or less, running neck to neck with Trump. Since Trump hasn’t gotten less Trumpish, vulgar, deceitful, narcissistic and ignorant, then the problem must be on the Democratic side.

    Is this true? There are serious doubts raised by the polls of the 2020 election, that showed the Ds running away in all categories but instead losing seats in Congress and winning the White House in a squeaker. The presidential matchup was the same then as it is this cycle, but which D candidate would have led to a 2020 election resembling a Roman triumph, especially considering the polls before November 2020 showed such a blowout?

    Could it instead have been because Trump is particularly popular with more than 45% of American voters not despite his foibles but because of them? Does a particularly large percentage of Americans rabidly support this man because he instigated a storming of the Capitol, got convicted on 34 charges in New York, has over 50 criminal charges outstanding, and is promising bloodthirsty revenge instead of cowering in fear? Do a large (perhaps a majority) of American voters really want a right-wing despot or tyrant?

    The answer is quite obvious: they do. The last time a presidential candiate won a blowout the way SHG posits was in 1984, while the Reagan administration was up to its eyeballs in committing the crimes that exploded into the Iran-Contra Affair. Despite this blowing up in Reagan’s second term, his VP won a convincing victory in 1988 that was more lopsided than Clinton, Obama or Biden ever managed. American voters prefer sleazy and corrupt politicans–the results speak for themselves.

    Reply
    1. L. Phillips

      Minor addendum. We prefer our sleazy and corrupt politicians over their sleazy and corrupt politicians.

      Reply
  17. schorsch

    You americans are sooo lucky! You have the choice between a nincompoop and an outdated idiot. In quite a lot of european states we can choose between three kinds of authoritarian leaders and parties. Authoritarians from the extreme left, authoritarians from the extreme right and authoritarians from the political center.

    On the other hand – as long as they would let me go my way, I would vote a third party candidate, don’t look on the election results and go my way.

    Unfortunately neither Trump nor Biden nor the authoritarians will let you go your way.

    Reply
  18. David

    I vote for who I think will do the least harm to the US (and the world – I am a US citizen living outside the US, in Canada). Which really annoys many of my family and friends, who want me to like/support the person they do, instead of me saying I think they’re bad, but not as bad/dangerous/risky as the alternative(s), so I’ll vote for them.

    Also, not that either seems surrounded by good advisors, but Biden seems more capable of accepting advice than Trump the far looser cannon, making Biden a somewhat safer choice in my view.

    When applicable and possible, I prefer for power between Congress and the Presidency to be divided between parties (i.e. House/Senate/Presidency not all the same party). Because while it may lead to some gridlock, it helps avoid the excesses of the legislative and executive branches all swimming in the same direction.

    Reply
  19. merlyn

    Times like this, I’m tempted to vote for Cthulhu. I mean, why settle for the lesser evil?

    Honestly, I’m going to watch the debate tonight with some friends, and just see what happens. I probably won’t vote Trump because I don’t like the people that support him. I don’t like their racist, bigoted tendencies, and I don’t like their Christian Nationalism. I don’t like what they’ve done to women, and what they’re doing with “free speech” (I haven’t, ever since Citizens United)

    Reply

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