It’s January 16, 2020, and I’m calling the election. It’s Trump, God help us.
I had this revelation not during the debates on the 14th, when it became apparent CNN’s production staff was attempting to provoke a fight between Warren and Sanders by asking carefully orchestrated questions. It wasn’t on the 15th when they released a private hot-mike conversation that immediately followed the debate. No, it’s when “Warren is a snake” began trending on Twitter.
Warren’s reply to an obviously biased question was disarming: “Bernie is my friend, and I am not here to try to fight with Bernie.” Her first move after the debate was to address the problem directly, and Bernie agreed to do so any time; when asked about the content of their conversation, he replied, “The weather.” Not much of a schism there.
But for 36 hours, Bernie’s loyal followers responded to every Tweet by Warren with increasing numbers of snake emojis. Apparently, Biden is senile and Buttigieg is a rat, and #NeverWarren is now trending. Seriously, people: Do you want more President Trump? Because this is how you get more President Trump.
Last time around I did my best to be non-partisan; it was easy enough. I voted for Gary Johnson and in a similar contest I’d do so again with no regrets. The major parties deliberately nominated the two most disliked and divisive figures since Jesse Jackson met Jesse Helms, and as a result we got what we so richly deserve.
But this time around, we’ve got four Democrats who are each extraordinary. Joe Biden may not be the brightest spark, but he’s one of the very few honest and honorable politicians left in this country. Bernie Sanders is more than a little extreme, but only the paranoid doubt his devotion to the ideals he’s championed for so many years. Mayor Pete has no real experience, but he’s brilliant, a combat veteran, and has great expertise in matters of policy. And Elizabeth Warren is one of the top legal and financial minds in the country, a scholar at the top of her field.
Understand: I’m not a Democrat; I find certain platform planks inimical, just as I do those of the Republican Party. Even so, I believe we would be extremely fortunate to have any of these four good and brilliant people as President; they would each do honor to the office, in stark contrast to its present occupant.
(I’ll grant to you MAGA folks that Trump is at the least extremely clever, but he’s not at all a good man, and he won’t take expert advice. Worst of all, he doesn’t read. I’ll grant you “madman theory“, but nobody’s smart enough to know everything.)
At present, if nothing major changes, we’re heading straight for a brokered convention. New Hampshire is anyone’s game at this point. Iowa may well go to Mayor Pete, giving him a needed boost. March 3rd, California and Texas will award chunks of delegates several ways, largely to Biden and Sanders; the small states are split between six people. And that’s fine: It’s what we were so disappointed we couldn’t get last time around. The candidate will be determined at the convention by the folks that bother to show up.
And one thing is absolutely certain: Bernie Sanders will not emerge victorious from a brokered convention. He’s bucked the party too often for too long to gain widespread support from insiders now. If he takes an early lead and makes the right alliances he may win outright, but otherwise he’s a kingmaker at best… and at worst an unwilling spoiler.
Biden’s electable; his people will quite obviously vote for anything with a pulse. Warren’s followers will back any Democratic candidate. Mayor Pete attracts only reasonable people (which is why he’s in fourth place). But then there’s Bernie.
This is a well-known maneuver in negotiations; it’s called brinksmanship. The idea is that unless you get your way you’ll gladly throw the whole deal. And it’s effective in a lot of venues. American elections are not among them; we’re too firmly attached to the value of our votes to be bullied.
So enough with the negative campaigning, people. Your candidates don’t want it, and push come to shove neither do you.
Because that’s how you get more Trump.
My loyal readers will surely recall my pronouncement last time: “It would take a massive meteor strike for Hillary Clinton to lose.” Obviously I was entirely correct in my assessment; were it not for Vermin Supreme’s time-traveling pony intervention, humanity would now be doomed. This time around, you can listen to what I have to say and avoid the need for such extreme actions.