Code Blue: Democratic Field DOA
Joe Biden, really? The polls show Biden well ahead, but there’s little real enthusiasm. Biden’s lead comes from name recognition – the other candidates have done little in their careers to gain serious attention. And, to a large degree, Biden’s lead shows how much the majority of Democrats want to avoid the losing path of choosing extremists, and especially a socialist/Marxist like Bernie Sanders. They retain the false hope that Biden will be the “moderate” who can reclaim the center against Trump.
To begin with, Biden is an awkward and gaff-prone campaigner. Even before his unpleasant behavior toward women became news, he had already launched a broad “apology tour,” asking voters to excuse his past record. What Yogi Berra got away with, a Presidential Candidate cannot: “What this country needs is a three letter word … JOBS!” Or when he said Margaret Thatcher recently called him to complain about Trump. Huh? In a seance? Thatcher has been dead for a while. On a more chilling note, Biden told an African American audience that Romney wanted to “put them in chains.” Now that is blatant racism, a “dog-whistle” if there ever was one, and massively insulting to the audience as well as to white, middle-class Americans. And these do not appear to be awkward mistakes. In his Vice Presidential debate with Paul Ryan, he laughed, sneered, was continuously snarky, and interrupted Ryan nearly 50 times, providing a pretty clear view of how he’d behave given real executive power. General Stanley McChrystal, unquestionably one of America’s greatest contemporary military heroes, provided an overly candid, but withering assessment of Biden’s lack of capability in defense and foreign policy. Most problematic of all is that “lunchbox Joe” is a phony narrative. Biden was elected to the US Senate three years after getting his law degree. His entire career has been on the government payroll. He’s never put on a pair of work gloves nor went to work with a lunch box. His origin story has major holes. His father was well off but lost his money, went through a difficult period, and then got back on his feet as a car salesman. Biden isn’t his father and hasn’t struggled. And the steel mill/factory worker imagery doesn’t fit. Biden has little or no real background in understanding the struggle and issues of middle class workers. Oddly, by contrast, Trump has bought tons of steel and concrete, worked with tens of thousands of steel workers, electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. It is little wonder he has been so effective in bringing jobs back home, dramatically lowering unemployment rates, and raising real wages. And Biden has already betrayed the middle class worker by promising to eliminate the tax cuts that have spurred investment and created the current economic boom (no, it wasn’t Obama’s free-money Fed, it actually was Trump’s tax cut). Bottom line: most know Biden would not be a winning choice.
Bernie Sanders has used the “free everything” pitch of socialism, which has attracted many over the years and led inevitably to failing economies and misery. And Bernie is far too old to live long enough to build the inevitable police state required to enforce his ideas, once the public sees his catastrophe unfolding. The majority of Americans understand all of this, flirt with socialist ideas, but will not vote for it once they understand the costs.
“Mayor Pete” Buttigieg is a well-packaged and well-disguised, “little-Bernie.” He served as mayor of a small town, but was rejected by voters for state-wide office and chair of the DNC. As with Stacey Abrams and Beto O’Roark, he argues that being rejected by voters who know him best qualifies him to be President of the United States. He was raised in an aggressively Marxist family – his father founded and chaired the Marxist Gramsci Society – and Mayor Pete wrote a thesis praising Bernie Sanders and his “courageous” advocacy of the Soviet system. It would be not without irony if the Democrats, who have been rabid in their search for a Russian conspiracy, nominate a candidate who admires Soviet and Russian economics and political principles.
Elizabeth Warren might have been a good candidate if she had delivered on her initial promise to get to the bottom of the mortgage-backed-securities scandal and put a few Wall Street fraudsters in jail. She failed in all of that and then went off the rails pursuing her ever more extreme version of “New Communism.”
Sanders, Buttigieg, O’Roark, Warren, and eight other Democratic candidates all but disqualified themselves by bending their knees to Al Sharpton and being coerced into to signing his “reparations” commitment. If they can’t stand up to a little pressure from Sharpton, they certainly can’t be trusted to stand up to Putin, Xi Jinping, or the Ayatollahs.
Conclusion: a winning candidate is not in the race. Mike Bloomberg has the stature and experience and would be a better candidate, even at his age. Howard Shultz might even be good. They would at least be candidates with moderate ideas and credible executive experience to take on the Presidency. In the meantime, the Democrats’ primary season struggles along on Code Blue life support.