The Blue Checkmarks of the American media are an uncreative lot. They lack the basic curiosity once thought necessary to the art of journalism. As former Obama White House advisor said in 2016, ‘The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.’ The Blue Checkmarks are stenographers really, retelling narratives set by the nation’s two most important newspapers. The New York Times and The Washington Post.
This week both papers ran glowing profiles of Stacey Abrams, former member of the Georgia State House and failed gubernatorial candidate. The Times portrayed Abrams as the candidate who could help Biden reach swing voters. But The Washington Post took the science of hagiography to a level thought impossible by physicists. The Post published a 6,000 paeon to Abrams titled The Power of Stacey Abrams. Accompanying the piece was a photograph of Abrams wearing a cape and backlit like an angel. And so, The Times and The Post set the narrative: for the Blue Checkmarks, Abrams is the Democrat Party’s savior. Does the Democrat Party ever need a savior?
Democrats have a tremendous problem: their presumptive nominee is Joe Biden. This observer has been saying the same thing about Biden since the summer of 2019 and is aware he sounds like a broken record. But right now, the most important fact of campaign 2020 is that Joe Biden is old and out of touch. The Wuhan Coronavirus quarantine isn’t helping the man. Biden’s been confined to his basement for two months, campaigning via Twitter, television interviews, and rallies via Zoom. At last week’s MSNBC townhall, geese honked and distracted the 77-year-old. In the background, a pink shirted Secret Service agent wondered about. Biden tried to carry on a conversation with a young Californian who had pre-recorded his question. ‘Hi… thank you for participating,’ the former Vice President said to the recording.
This can’t go on, and the Blue Checkmarks know it. Since the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak, they’ve wondered if New York Governor Andrew Cuomo could replace the sunsetting Biden. For weeks they’ve swooned at Cuomo’s daily press briefings in which he played the man in charge and on top of things. But now, Cuomo has come under fire for ordering nursing homes to accept elderly Wuhan Coronavirus patients. As of this writing, more than 5,000 nursing home residents have died in New York State. Cuomo is now politically vulnerable. We know this because he’s arguing that nursing homes should be immune from prosecution for wrongful deaths. ‘Older people, vulnerable people are going to die from this virus. That is going to happen despite whatever you do,’ declared the man who in March said, ‘I want to be able to say to the people of New York — I did everything we could do. And if everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy.’ These days the king of New York seems humble, an unusual position for the three-term governor who, with great braggadocio, portrayed himself as the leader of the anti-Trump resistance. So, Cuomo is unlikely and the Blue Checkmarks are now touting Stacy Abrams.
Already, during this election cycle, the Blue Checkmarks tried elevating a losing candidate to victory. Does anyone else remember Robert Francis O’Rourke? For six months, the former El Paso Congressman and failed senatorial candidate was the heart throb of the Democrat field. The lanky 46 year was the reincarnation of Bobby Kennedy, the old liberal lion, tinged with a bit of Robert Redford’s weather beaten and sinewy good looks. He too was the subject of hagiographic profiles, photographed in the Texas desert standing beside his trusty pickup, hands thrust into the back pockets of his blue jeans as he contemplates the progressive task before him. ‘You’re a Rock Star!’- ABC’s Paula Faris gushed during an interview. O’Rourke didn’t win a single delegate.
The Democrat Party faithful see Biden as vessel for his advisors to advance their agenda. Already, the leftwing intelligentsia is saying Biden should pledge himself to a single term. Which makes Biden’s vice-presidential pick exceedingly important. So, who is Stacey Abrams? She served ten years in the Georgia State House rising to the position of Democrat minority leader. In 2018, she ran for the state’s open governor’s seat against Republican Brian Kemp and lost by 55,000 votes. In the aftermath of the election, without evidence, Abrams alleged systematic minority voter suppression and refused to concede. Prominent Democrats everywhere insist Abrams only lost because of minority voter suppression. Since then, she’s been a regular on cable news and is actively campaigning for the vice-presidential slot, telling an interviewer, ‘I would share your concern about not picking a woman of color because women of color, particularly black women, are the strongest part of the Democratic Party — the most loyal, but that loyalty isn’t simply how we vote, it’s how we work.’
Last week, Joe Biden asked Stacey Abrams to appear with him on MSNBC. Host Lawrence O’Donnell asked Biden if he had a reason for inviting Abrams. Did he have an announcement to make? Abrams laughed and her face lit up. Then Biden talked about Abrams’s efforts at minority outreach and voter turnout, rambling on until he ran out of steam. One could actually see Abrams’s face turn to stone.