Democrats are sitting between a rock and a hard place today, aka between the S.C. primary and Super Tuesday! This is a perfect perch from which to consider the unbearable incompetence of Democrats as they try to nominate a presidential candidate who won’t screw the pooch. My thesis is that no matter who they nominate, the dog better run for cover! This is my column today at Real Clear Politics.
The Unbearable Incompetence of Democrats
By Frank Miele
According to Maya Angelou, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
I guess that’s easier said than done … because the Democrats have proven themselves incompetent at every step of the 2020 presidential campaign so far, and yet the media and the party faithful are still closing their eyes to the unbearable reality of a party on the edge of chaos.
Consider the Iowa caucuses. That was the way Democrats introduced themselves to the nation’s voters during this presidential election year — and what the nation saw was an abysmal incompetence at planning, messaging and execution of a political task that they had known about since 2016. In years past, the results of the caucuses were released to the public within a few hours, but the Democratic Party proudly introduced a new app designed to modernize and speed up the process.
Of course, it didn’t work. By the time most voters went to bed on caucus night (Feb. 3), just a small fraction of the votes had been counted. It wasn’t until three days later that a version of the final vote tally was presented, although even that was still in flux till just a few days ago.
The corrupt media tried its best to shift blame to Iowa, but caucuses are run by the political parties, not by states, and it was the choices made by national Democrats that led to the massive embarrassment of being unable to calculate the results of just over 175,000 votes in a state with 3 million people. It was a “technical glitch,” a software problem, but how many glitches can be forgiven when you are vying to run a nation of more than 330 million people?
Meanwhile, another kind of glitch is also threatening to expose the Democrats as a party too incompetent to be trusted with the nation’s affairs. Call it the “Bernie glitch.”
It should have been obvious to the party elders (pardon my age-ism) that Sen. Bernie Sanders, the self-proclaimed democratic socialist, is a charismatic Pied Piper who has the power to lure vast quantities of the electorate over the cliff of free stuff. He nearly won the nomination over Hillary Clinton in 2016, and maybe he would have if the Democratic National Committee had not rigged the system against him.
But 2020 may be Bernie’s revenge. In part thanks to “reforms” made to the system to ensure that Sanders and his supporters will not become disaffected, the DNC changed the party’s nominating rules in ways that practically provide a roadmap for disaster. Specifically, the dreaded superdelegates (elected officials and party insiders who represent the establishment Democratic Party) lost their right to vote on the first ballot at the national convention. In 2016, those superdelegates were nearly monolithic in their support of Hillary Clinton, and by moving them to the second round, it looked like no one could complain that the system was rigged.
Or at least possibly wrong. We will know after tomorrow, Super Tuesday, when more than one-third of all the pledged delegates will be selected in a heap by voters in 14 states and a territory. The weird thing is that most of the candidates have not been able to run advertising or to campaign in those states, including delegate-rich California and Texas, because they have been busy stumping in Iowa and New Hampshire, then briefly in Nevada and South Carolina, to try to gain momentum, name recognition and money. Essentially, the Democratic establishment was rolling the dice and hoping like hell that Bernie Sanders would have been stopped by someone like Joe Biden before Super Tuesday. Instead, Sanders has built up a head of steam, and looks poised to capture the lion’s share of delegates tomorrow.
Ultimately, and ironically, the only candidate with the money (if not the mojo) to beat socialist Sanders on Super Tuesday is the anti-Bernie candidate — billionaire Mike Bloomberg, the former Republican mayor of New York City. That’s because Bloomberg has spent some staggering amount of his own money (maybe $400 million, probably more) on advertising across the country in an effort to look like a serious candidate even though he is of diminutive stature — not in height (he’s taller than Amy Klobuchar!) but in ideas.
Chances are that coming out of Super Tuesday, a number of candidates will top the 15% threshold to capture delegates in at least one of the states. We can predict that Sanders will earn between 35% and 45% of the delegates, and that Bloomberg and Biden will each hover between 15% and 20%. That leaves 15%-35% to split between Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Klobuchar and possibly Tom Steyer.
While any or all of the bottom four candidates might drop out at that point, it is unlikely that enough support will go to Sanders in subsequent primaries to give him the 50%-plus-one majority he would need to ensure a first-ballot victory at the convention July 13-16 in Milwaukee. If he does win outright, then the party will have nominated a cranky 79-year-old socialist with a man crush on authoritarian communists like Fidel Castro. That would normally be a nightmare scenario, but this year it is the best-case scenario.
If he doesn’t win outright, then pandemonium is sure to ensue. The Democratic establishment would have to decide whether to endorse a socialist as its standard-bearer, in which case they would be responsible for the subsequent George McGovern-style bloodbath, or to stop Sanders by throwing their support to another candidate, possibly even one who has not campaigned but is willing to be drafted as the nominee. (The possibilities: Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Michelle Obama or even Adam “You Won’t Have to Ask Me Twice” Schiff.)
Should that happen, it is widely expected that Sanders would leave the Democratic Party for good, and take his dedicated supporters with him, maybe even consider an independent bid. Even if Sanders somehow decided to play the good soldier and support the eventual nominee, it is impossible to imagine the bulk of his anti-establishment supporters looking kindly on the nomination they had fought so hard for being handed to someone who had not earned it. Unbelievably, that could result in an even worse defeat for the Democrats in November.
Some senior Democrats are terrified, and have even floated the idea of letting superdelegates vote on the first ballot after all. No way that could cause a permanent split in the party, right? Is it the Democrat Party or the Stop-Bernie-at-All-Costs Party. Someone had better decide!
How could the Democrats have put themselves into that position — especially when running against a president who has barely tipped 50% in popularity and who was recently impeached?
As I said, incompetence is the only explanation. They’ve told us who they are repeatedly — yep, I’ll include the failed impeachment that increased Trump’s popularity across the board — and it would be smart for us to believe them. If Democrats can’t run a caucus, can’t pick a candidate, and can’t impeach an unpopular president, then what makes anyone think they can run a country?
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Frank Miele has spent four decades in the news business and now offers conservative commentary to counter the left-wing bias in the national media. If you enjoy reading these daily essays, I hope you will consider purchasing one of my books. They are available through the following Amazon links. My new book — “The Media Matrix: What if everything you know is fake?” — shows that Fake News has been around for years. The “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy tackles the politics of the last two decades: Part 1 is subtitled “Bush’s Global Failure: Half Right.” Part 2 is “Obama’s Fundamental Transformation: Far Left.” Part 3 is“Trump’s American Vision: Just Right.” As an Amazon Associate, I may earn referral fees for qualifying purchases through links on my website. Also consider subscribing to Heartland Diary on YouTube by clicking here for News Every Conservative Can Use. My goal is to reach 1,000 subscribers.