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In the coverage of Ukraine, I've noticed how young most of the government officials and members of parliament are. This also seems to be the case in some of the Baltic states.

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Apr 17, 2022·edited Apr 17, 2022

I agree that we need younger leaders. It should become the habit of senior legislators to groom younger people to replace then, rather than hoping they can hold on a few more years. My congressman is young but not too young. He is married with small children, but he's really smart and dedicated to governing for the good of the country. He just doesn't have that much experience in politics. He practiced law for about 10 years before he ran for office.

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If you look at this picture (recent) would you say that woman is 78? People age at different rates — genetics, life-style and attitude make a huge difference in your stage of decline.

Diane Feinstein has been in a state of physical and mental decline for several years. That decline was visible as far back as the Kavanaugh hearings. Some of that decline can be attributed to caring for an ailing spouse.

Whatever, the cause — a woman approaching 90 should recognize that the job of representing the largest state in the union requires more energy and broader perspective. She should resign with dignity. If she needs some guidance in that direction it should not come in form of SF Chronicle headline!

I favor term limits in both houses of Congress. Maybe 5 terms in House and 3 in the Senate? Plenty of time to learn ropes and make an impact for good of the people.

Term limits would, by their nature , act to minimize the age factor.

Last, among the retiring Senators there are varying levels of “decline”. I expect to see several of them “commenting” on TV for years to come.

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This is where I do the thing that thousands of unhelpful trolls do at you on Twitter and go: "But Charlie, what about all those things you did back in the what when", etc.

It's not just you, but the reason we have so many damned old leaders is because we cut off all the young ones in their prime, routinely.

In the midterms of 2010, 2014, and (likely) 2022, we had a massive rising generation of new, young, perky, potential-filled young politicians, not just in Congress but in state legislatures, county boards, city boards, etc.

That got (politically) massacred in the off-years, because Dems no longer get excited for anything but presidential elections anymore, and Republicans use that opportunity to pounce on said vulnerable politicians in the cradle, and replace them with culture-warring psychopaths.

We're at the point where the only viable candidates for high office are dudes (and dudettes) with the power, experience, and know-how to survive those years, aka, olds.

Elon Musk was recently volcanically bitching about old people in office and how they should be younger than 70. I guarantee, people like Musk helped pave the way for that for refusing to vote, and letting all the potential young leaders get creamed.

And he, and we, wonder why we're governed by so many wrinkly addled bastards and bastardesses.

Charlie, I know you "ragret" much of your previous Republican years, but the dynamic of those years is why we have so many Mr. and Mrs. McGoos out there. My opinion. :/

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What is the motive of these old politicians to stay in power? It can't be the public good. They never serve the public good. It can't be money. They must have enough by now. Are they addicted to power? Is it sheer egomania -- they can't believe they can be replaced? Is it fear of god -- they want to stave off their entry into hell?

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Apr 15, 2022·edited Apr 15, 2022

Don't damn all long serving people in public office. As for money - like many government professionals (doctors, lawyers, others) for a good number of decades (check what the pay used to be), they made less than they could outside of public office. No wonder people don't want to work for the government! Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

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The pay isn't great. But look at how much actual time is spent on job. I'd like to have their hours and perks and health insurance and be able to give myself a raise. And how is it they go in earning not a great salary and leave office millionaires?

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Exactly. It's an all-you-can-eat buffet.

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When they're 88 what other job could they hold for higher pay?

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Most of them don't last that long in public or private life. Most of them are long gone or dead. A few linger on, and it's because their constituents keep voting them back. Given the toxicity of today's politics, how many people, especially those with families, are willing to subject themselves to the media and the public.

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I went looking for the place to buy those commemorative stamps and they have yet to be sold. When it happens, I'm gonna stick one on every letter I send like it was an easter seal.

The next aspect of the questionable competence of Russia is that ostensibly, they bombed the factory that makes the missiles that sank the bathtub toy. That was in "retaliation" as we read. Retaliation? That sounds like some of the strange drivel we have heard coming out of the middle East for two decades. It strikes me that if The Russians knew where the bombs were being produced, that they then found it preferable to bomb churches filled with civilians, that's notable in itself. These guys simply can't pull together any meaningful strategy. The first thing they teach you in War College is "Don't blow up your Flagship." They've been reading the great Western Children's book " Mr Bear and squash them all flat." That goes way back.

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I'm convinced that a huge portion of our "Woke Wars" have arisen because younger people have a huge amount of cultural power but very little in the way of political, and as a result, they've begun using their cultural power as cudgel. Eventually, enough old people in power are going to die to snap this and allow for an equilibrium, at which point a lot of those seemingly intractable disagreements are going to be hashed out, with the rest papered over. (Climate is a good example of this). It's in all our best interests to see this happen as quickly as possible; the longer it goes, the weaker the younger moderates are going to come out of it.

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A dilemma of dementia is that it impairs your ability to recognize your impairment. The Feinstein report is a cautionary tale as was the latter part of Regan’s presidency.

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I think the problem is that in general, if you're in politics you're probably old. Hell, if you're commentating on politics as a living you're probably old. You're 67 Charlie, and that's not young by any means. That doesn't mean you're as old as the people you're describing, but what I'm saying is that all the people who are in prominent positions on both sides of the isle are all very much either in or heading towards their twilight.

One major problem that the right had for a long time was the fact that there were no young GOP members in the same mold as the old; the result is that people like MTG and Cawthorn and Vance showed up to fill the hole. The same goes for the Democrats, whose leadership has been so reluctant to give up power that they butchered and entire generation of people and are now going to be overtaken by the younger generation as a result.

And make no mistake about it, this is partially why our politics are so insane. Because you have a bunch of old people not versed in the new ways of doing things, where the media market is 24/7 and never stops, and the young people who understand that actions and images beat words every time. There's a reason why the right was completely consumed by the MTGs of the world, and why the left has been consumed by the AOCs of the world. Because they understand the world they live in, in a way that Pelosi or Schumer or McConnell simply do not.

Young people are always more inclined to do rather than wait; and make no mistake, it's going to be quite the moment when Pelosi and Schumer and Biden and Sanders all have to retire, and they're replaced not by 50 somethings but by 30 somethings.

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I believe you're right. There should have been an opening into leadership positions sooner so that our leaders and Presidential candidates were in their 50's not 70's. And I say this as someone closer to 70 than 50.

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Comparing MTG with AOC seems to be a knee jerk trope lately. I call foul on that comparison.

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They're not the same except that they are both telegenic and their politics are on the extreme ends of the political spectrum.

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They're not equals by any means. MTG is undoubtedly worse. However, I think it's wrong to say that the environment that produced them is different. The same forces that provoked nativism and revanchism on the right has produced socialism on the left. These forces, largely caused by feelings of an old, out of touch political class, are well discussed and thought of.

It's not that these results are equal in any way. It's that the forces that created them are the same. They are a creation of the same things, though they themselves are quite different.

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I'm sorry. I'm not an AOC fan by any means, but Taylor Green is the Mayor of Crazy Town.

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That seems like a reasonable explanation, but my brain hurts because I don’t have enough background to completely comprehend it. Not to argue, but more to reveal my superficial thinking; AOC seems to have the best interests of improving the lives of her constituents, while MTG is a self centered outrage machine. I think “socialism” has become a standard boogey man in the U.S., all while the social democracies of Scandinavian countries deliver the highest global quality of life, year after year. I feel like any attempt to improve the lives of average Americans is quickly shot down as “Socialism!” in service to our own oligarchs.

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People are commenting a lot on the symphonic support that Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church give one another as if this was some new development or a unique relationship. It is not. Rather the Russian Orthodox Church is falling into its default relationship with the Russian state.

Russia has long considered itself the Third Rome. This has a specifically Christian understanding where Christian Rome I in the West collapsed, Christian Rome II in Constantinople was held captive by the Turks, and Christian Rome III in Moscow alone, with Imperial support, would have the strength to exercise dominion over the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Russian Church alone would have the strength to protect all the other Orthodox churches. Moscow alone would have the strength to stand against the decadence of Roman Catholic and Protestant Europe.

The fact that global Christianity finds the relationship between Putin and The Russian Orthodox Church in the context of the criminal war in Ukraine grotesque is of no consequence to Putin or Patriarch. Global Christianity is precisely the decadence they war against. The criticism of heretics and schismatics is nothing of which they need to take account. "Holy Russia" will prevail.

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When I saw someone speak of "faithful Christians" in opposition to "liberalism" broadly defined, I noted that there are churchgoing Christians who identify as liberal or progressive. It went past deaf ears. This was someone who spoke favorably about Putin's alliance with the Russian Orthodox Church, and not so favorably about our constitutional protection of free choice in religion.

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Ageism and the political world. Here's the deal, I'm 66 years old. I retired early and get less money from SSA for that reason. But AARP is telling me I've got YEARS of productive life ahead of me. When does it make sense to run for office: when I'm 36 with small children at home and I have to campaign 24/7 because re-election is just 2 years away from my inaugural OR when I'm 66 and my kids are grown, my nest is empty and I'm looking to put all that lifetime experience to work to help humanity? Is 88 and obviously in serious mental decline a line in the sand? Because I guarantee while this is a 'individual' problem, as a society we don't work well with 'take each case as you find it' and instead will impose some kind of knee-jerk 'one size fits all' response that will skew the other way in short order. I'm all for increasing the number of seats so that we don't have to be a billionaire (or supported by one) to win elections. Go back to 200,000 voters per district and this would not be as bad a problem, I promise.

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Interesting points. The advantage of ‘one size fits all’ is it is immune to accusations of bias, if we debated each and every situation of diminished capacity.

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Which is why it gets used so often. However, at least anecdotally, I have found that OSFA tends to make the pendulum swing too far in the opposite direction, and we lose valuable insight (dare I call it 'wisdom') from individuals who will be shut out of the conversation.

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WRT JD Vance

Why on Earth would Trump back someone who has already demonstrated that they are his creature and will totally abase themselves for the endorsement? There is no fun there.

What emotional/psychological profit is there in it for him? Answer: None.

Part of the allure is getting yet another person to grovel and embarrass themselves in public for his favor--while watching the servile fools writhe in anger and frustration as they are passed over.

If you understand that it is all about Trump's emotional satisfaction, you have the key to understanding what Trump does and why.

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I think that Vance's status as a best selling author and TV celebrity also influences Trump's choices. Same with Walker in Georgia and Dr. Oz. The thing they have in common is they have had media presence and Trump sees himself reflected in that. Old style mere politicians aren't interesting to him.

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As to the geriatric politicians, I'm an elder Gen X. I'm resigned to the fact that not only will Boomers not go away gracefully, in many case they won't go away at all. Narcissists just see old age as proof that they were right all along.

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Ha ha.

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This has actually been a legitimate issue in a wide array of fields, not specific to politics. The Baby Boomers just refuse to let go

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The other generations won't either when their time comes, this is a human thing, not connected to generation...lots of people when they reach a certain age, believe ( and are often right) that they are still capable

I have seen it over and over in my life, across generations, as I am one of those evil boomers ( though at the tail end) you speak of...

And btw, I don't know if you mean everyone of that generation I( or income level) or politicians specifically, but certainly I and my friends did nothing the younger generations accuse us of...and I kinda object and am insulted by being described as such

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Rules of general applicability do not apply in all cases.

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Prediction for 2024: Trump vs. younger Democrat, the Democrat wins. Biden vs. younger Republican, the Republican wins.

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founding

Agree. Jared Polis, Andy Beshear (D gov of a red state), John Bel Edwards (LA) and Roy Cooper (NC) are both term limited--any of those guys would mop the floor with Trump's ridiculous hair.

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Mitch Landrieu is 61. The new “young”.

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Young enough to be effective and old enough to be wise.

Although, is there anyone in politics in Louisiana who isn't a Landrieu?

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"True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country" Kurt Vonnegut.

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LOL! But true.

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In her piece on the "pregnant beauty blogger," Cathy Young notes that "the strategy of the Kremlin propaganda machine is not to create a convincing alternative narrative but to sow confusion and doubt."

If the soft-on-Putin types in the West can find one instance of erroneous reporting, they'll claim that the "legacy media" can't be trusted at all -- even if the error was later corrected, and even if numerous media outlets from various countries reveal, on the whole, the same appalling picture of unprovoked Russian savagery.

BTW, it's the same strategy that Trumpers use regarding Jan. 6 -- "Oh look, someone opened a door from inside! Therefore, the narrative of a forceful invasion is a hoax!"

I hadn't seen Delgado's tweet demanding an "apology from the thousands of monsters who attacked" her. It's quite telling that she would use the word "monsters" to describe people who criticized her cynical tweet, while she's trying to whitewash the sadistically brutal acts being committed by Russia on an industrial scale.

Again, there's a Trump analogy: He will speak of "evil" or "horrible people" or "dishonesty" when his own ego or self-interest are concerned -- and it seems to be only in such cases that he uses the language of moral condemnation with any passion. But he cannot bring himself to acknowledge that Putin's actions toward Ukraine are evil -- either because he will never speak ill of Putin, or because the whole bloody business doesn't hurt him.

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