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Kennedy: Musing on fellow columnists’ takes, current state of presidential race

Although I might not always totally agree with the other columnists who fill this page with their thoughts — and in some cases I never do — I read each and every one of their submissions. Two, recently, caught my attention and moved me to comment.

Joe Vigliotti, my fellow resident of Taneytown and a City Council member whom I actually voted for in the preview election, in his Feb. 28 column did his usual dissertation on how far left the Democrats keep creeping. He wrote about how Donald Trump won in 2016 and will again in 2020 because he is able, despite his wealth, to relate with the average American.

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It is the very last paragraph of the column that tells the tale of why Trump should not win re-election. It says, “In other words, relatability doesn’t require the exact same set of circumstances or experiences. It requires a little respect.” Those last five words will tell the tale. Trump has shown — even by giving him the benefit of the doubt — almost zero respect for the office he holds, for our allies, for the people that he has hired for his administration — and subsequently fired — for those who are seeking a better life in our country, whether they come from other countries or are home grown, and just about every segment of the population.

Another of the openly Republican columnists, Christopher Tomlinson, penned a column whose premise I actually agree with. I, too, was against the proposed tax bill, which has since failed to get out of committee in the state legislature, that would have imposed a sales tax on the service industries. That would have been one of the most regressive taxes ever foisted upon the citizens of this state.

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In his treatise, Tomlinson quotes from the Beatles song “A Day in the Life” to make his point. I might also suggest the band’s condemnation of England’s tax system, appropriately titled, “Taxman,” which told of the myriad things that might be taxed if the prime ministers at that time period had their way. One line that I found apropos to the current situation in Maryland is, “My advice for those who die, declare the pennies on your eyes.”

Super Tuesday has just passed, and with businessman Tom Steyer, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar all dropping out over the weekend, I was curious as to how the remainder would shake out. I stayed up well past my usual bedtime to get some idea. Even with the far western states results not complete, it looked like Joe Biden had risen, if not from the dead, but from very near death, politically speaking. He did very well among the southern tier and, surprisingly, took Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas by significant margins.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, as expected, looked to gain a significant number of delegates from California, Colorado and Utah. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg flirted with the 15% relevancy threshold in most of the states, usually alternating between third and fourth, although Bloomberg did finish near the top once. Along with Steyer, Buttigieg and Klobuchar, he also has now dropped out and endorsed Biden, and has pledged his organization to Biden for his campaign.

Warren decided that continuing her campaign was fruitless and she dropped out of the race as well, but is withholding any endorsements for the time being. Both she and Bloomberg will still have some influence as to who becomes the Democratic nominee, but that influence might not become apparent until the convention.

Our Maryland primary, although coming very late in the proceedings and with relatively few delegates, could become more important than we have been in previous election cycles considering that, at this point, it looks like the two-man race will come down to the last few primaries to determine who can garner the 1,991 delegate votes needed for nomination. That could result in visits from the candidates, or at least some of their top surrogates.

Not being a true political junkie, I was rooting for a “contested” convention in Milwaukee, which hasn’t happened since 1952, and could possibly result in someone other than one of the remaining major candidates garnering the nomination. Wouldn’t that be fun? The chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez, stated recently that he doesn’t foresee that situation, though.

As the old saying goes, “Politics makes strange bed fellows.” I’ve said it before: Stay tuned, as it’s going to get curiouser and curiouser.

Bill Kennedy writes every other week from Taneytown. You may contact him at wlkennedyiii@verizon.net.

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