Silly Season Starts Early (For Me)

[ Posted Tuesday, July 25th, 2023 – 15:53 UTC ]

I begin today by apologizing for getting ahead of the calendar, as the official "Silly Season" hasn't quite kicked off in Washington yet. Congress has yet to scarper off on their annual five- or six-week vacation (with full pay, courtesy of American taxpayers), so we have yet to hit the real dog days of summer in D.C.

Speaking of dog days (and silliness), I had to grin at a big important political story today in Politico, because of its opening paragraph:

The Biden family's dog, Commander, has bitten several Secret Service agents -- sending one to the hospital -- and exhibited "aggressive behavior" in at least 10 incidents since he took residence in the White House in December 2021, emails obtained by a conservative watchdog agency show.

Obtained by a conservative what kind of agency? That's some doggèd reporting there, I must say... and they're not exactly using political dog whistles or anything.

OK, sorry... but when "Dog Bites Man" is the political headline of the day, you'll have to forgive me for thinking the Silly Season has already begun. Then I came across an idea that was downright brilliant in its silliness, so I couldn't resist writing about it (no matter what the political calendar actually says).

I had been reading an article about Mitt Romney, who recently suggested what at first glance seems like a good idea, but (as the article takes pains to point out) would likely wind up being too little, too late. Mitt's idea is something I talked about yesterday, in fact:

"Republican megadonors and influencers -- large and small -- are going to have to do something they didn't do in 2016: get candidates they support to agree to withdraw if and when their paths to the nomination are effectively closed," Romney wrote. "That decision day should be no later than, say, Feb. 26, the Monday following the contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina."

As I said, the author of the article expressed the opinion that Romney's idea (if it actually happened) would not wind up being effective enough to stop Trump. But the brilliant silliness was to be found down in the comments section.

Alas, I didn't save the link (my apologies to the comment's author, since I can't give proper credit for the idea), but the idea was indeed a simple one: if Mitt Romney truly does want Donald Trump to be defeated, the best way for Romney to facilitate this would be to run for president next year himself -- as an independent, perhaps with Liz Cheney as his running mate.

That could indeed shake up the race!

Democrats are already worried about the No Labels group running a third-party ticket, which they fear could siphon votes away from President Joe Biden and tip the election to Trump. So why couldn't some ultra-wealthy lefties mount a similar effort to run a "sane Republicans" slate (perhaps calling themselves the "Constitutionalist Party," or something along those lines), to siphon off some GOP voters from Trump?

The first thing to consider is whether it could work or not. Romney/Cheney wouldn't win, of course, that much almost goes without saying. It is highly doubtful they'd even come close to winning a single state (OK, perhaps Utah, but even that's a serious stretch). But it would give Republican voters who are completely disgusted with Trump someone to vote for next November. And in the battleground states, even a few percentage points subtracted from Trump's column could hand the victory to Biden.

It is pretty far-fetched, but it does have a flavor of plausibility to it. Especially if No Labels does run a slate themselves, because then Romney/Cheney might be a necessary counterbalance for any votes Biden might lose to the so-called "centrist" No Labels candidate.

I look at the calendar, and it tells me we are still in July, and that the dog days of "the August congressional break" have not even begun yet. Perhaps it is because I just took my own vacation and have still not quite regained the seriousness politics usually demands, but for me it appears that the Silly Season has already begun.

Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney! An idea that is both silly and brilliant! It's a dessert topping and a floor wax! An idea whose time has truly come....

[You'll have to forgive me... on a lazy summer day... I'll try to get a lot more serious for tomorrow's column, I promise!]

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


8 Comments on “Silly Season Starts Early (For Me)”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    hey wasn't there a story about mitt romney putting his dog on the roof of his car?

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    But it would give Republican voters who are completely disgusted with Trump someone to vote for next November. And in the battleground states, even a few percentage points subtracted from Trump's column could hand the victory to Biden.

    I guess the non-partisan polls are still showing that Trump beats Biden, eh?

  3. [3] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    After all our country went through in 20 and 21, putting Donald back in the white house is about the dumbest thing we could possibly do, and of course it's entirely plausible.

  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Of course, even dumber would be putting Republicans in control of both houses of Congress with Donald back in the White House.

    It's always darkest before it goes completely black.

  6. [6] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Nonsense, people. D’yall think the 60-some percent of Muricans who disapprove of Trump (or the 81 million voters from 2020) are NOT going to show up next November? Sure, Trump defied expectations in 2016 but it took a perfect storm for that to happen. That lightening won’t strike twice and meanwhile the GOP is all in on the madness which portends the perfect storm is on the Dem’s side this time.

    Good Lord we Democrats love our hand-wringing.

    Blue Tsunami — there, I said it!

    And yes, Elizabeth, Ukraine will fight until it’s recovered every last square meter of Ukraine…as long as it takes.

  7. [7] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    In fact, to truly neutralize the Russian threat the Ukrainians will have to at least rampage through Belgorod and thence down to Rostov-on-Don. These are the two supply hubs to the invasion and taking them out buys Ukraine and NATO to get fully integrated.

  8. [8] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Exceptional penultimate sentence!!!

Comments for this article are closed.