by G. Murphy Donovan (April 2019)
Election Night, John Sloan, 1907
Democracy is when the indigent, and not men of property, are the rulers. —Aristotle
The 2020 presidential aspirants are out of the gates; alas, mostly donkeys if not a few jackasses.
There are no candidates on the far right, one incumbent in the middle of the American middle, and a dozen or more angry Social Democrats on the left. Donald Trump didn’t quite adopt the Republican Party in 2016, but in two years, Republicans have adapted to Trump.
If nothing else, Trump has given Republicans some grit and a better brand.
Trump will run again in 2020 and probably have more establishment support this time around. There will be no far right and probably no “moderate” candidates running in 2020.
It’s Donald Trump against what‘s shaping up to be a pack of angry urban sore losers. A witch hunt has morphed into a coup-crazed lynch mob, led on the left by Kamala Harris, and on the far left by Bernie Sanders. With half the Congress in Democrat hands, subpoenas are likely to fly like poison darts. For a shoot-from-the-lip like Trump, next year’s Democrat scrums inside the Beltway and on the campaign trail are sure to be target rich environments.
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Indeed, the early going is a lot like a Marx brother’s movie, a Day at the Races or maybe Horse Feathers; zealots and schemers trying to fix a horse race or a ball game. With the Clintons, the big fix was the leitmotif of the 2016 Democrat primary too; an ironic tale of iconic blowback where Hillary earned her place in political history as arrogant liberal roadkill.
Withal, 2016 was a historic milestone even before Trump took the oath of office. The Clinton dynasty was extinguished and the deep state, the true blue demographic, was flushed from Uncle Sam’s water closet. Trumps electoral success exposed America’s first attempted coup. America now knows that the deep state is the permanent state, largely entrenched left- leaning apparatchiks; illustrating once again that the honorific “civil servant” is always a half-truth at best.
Still, the last Democrat poll standing in 2020 might make Ms. Clinton, in retrospect, look like an enlightened choice. The 2016 “witch hunt” is now a rolling coup with less than two years on the clock.
Yes, the American left, and not a few Republican mandarins, are still smarting from the big Clinton fail. Since the last presidential, the “best qualified woman” (sic) has been kicked to the curb by a party now driven by coup fantasies.
The yen for “herstory” is still trending, however. Many of the top contenders on the left for 2020 are women. This time around, hysteria and sedition displaces arrogance. If the deep state coup fails; the 2020 primaries will be a nasty prologue to a prosecutorial general election. Thus Trump runs again with a large handicap. His deep state, the national security state, two years in, is still populated by seditious if not traitorous partisans.
Trump might whip a jackass or two, but he can’t fire them all.
Two themes are sure to dominate 2020; “get Trump” and genital politics. Pink pussy hats may bloom again. If other memes matter, the feminist cadre of 2020 will try to run to the left of Bernie Sanders. Bait and switch always makes the socialist play book. Promises made are seldom kept, but that doesn’t matter.
Politics is a game of emotional manipulation, not achievement.
Heretofore, what you said in politics was both necessary and sufficient; actually getting something done, not so much.
Thus far, the Democrat Party of 2020 appears to have learned nothing from 2016. The next election will be very much like the last, only worse. Democracy may not be trending in either the American primaries or the general election to follow.
Democrat memes, however, will be hard left, or should we say father left. In truth, all races, (horse, dog, foot, or political) literally and figuratively run to the left for various reasons none of which, save tradition, are underwritten by necessity. Contemporary electoral contests, especially in urban Democrat ghettoes, circle to the ideological left on axles of taxes and benefits.
Curb level politics in a modern social democracy is the art of redistribution. No politician runs on thrift, frugality, or economic prudence. Most Americans believe that Uncle Sam is Santa Claus; too fat to fail at all echelons. Tax it and spend it is the mantra. More spending buys more toys—and votes. Debt, deficit, and dependencies are contemporary civic virtues.
Change in America is unlikely until the rent seeker’s Prius turns into a pumpkin.
Still, social entitlements and Marxist rhetoric are electoral magic, especially in urban America. The profligate American left now has the most faithful municipal voters that tax money can buy, a fairly reliable plurality. Colin Powell once said that “that’s (the cities) where the votes are.” He forgot to mention that the liberal metropolis is where public monies go to buy votes—and—die.
The dole is now just another career option for slackers whilst likely Trump voters still pay the bills.
Communists, socialists, and rent seekers are now all of a piece, utopian schemers where shills must promise more “free” stuff or subsidies, social programs that must be funded with other people’s money. Federal and municipal dependency is not simply trending anymore; it’s now a part of American political and cultural DNA.
Two great lies underwrite the nanny state; “free” stuff and faux “rights.” Dupes are led to believe that government provides “free” health care, housing, groceries, education, wage supports and a plethora of perks including sex change surgery for soldiers or convicts.
In the real world, no social program is free. Eventually, someone pays.
Many services, like welfare, are corrupted over time; wants become confused with needs, or worse still, desires are confused with “rights.” Social emoluments are not human rights. If you are unhappy with your penis, you may want a vagina, but the taxpayer should not have to fund the knife or any new giblets. Confusing needs with wants is a little like giving a junkie the keys to a pharmacy.
Déjà vu, unlike lightning, does strike twice. Nevertheless, the donkeys are out of the gate. What follows here are some speculations about poll positions and early handicaps for Democrat candidates.
For the moment, Kamala Harris is leading the pack. She missed the “first black” tailwind, but “first women” is still up for grabs. Ms. Harris is pink pussy hat proud and carries the usual left coast baggage.
Race and sex are sure to feature prominently in her campaign. Ironically, unlike Obama, Harris has already played the identity card badly, suggesting that Jamaicans are a nation of stoners. Subsequently, her Jamaican dad gave her a public spanking for validating a national stereotype. Daddy issues aside; with Harris, Democrats are likely to adopt some kind of national pot plank for 2020.
Mary Jane and IIhan Omar’s (D-Minn) Islamist headgear is a mix that could only debut in a Democrat Congress. To date, Ms. Harris is loud and proud for weed and mute on anti-Semitism or the congressional sharia caucus. Democrats have made common cause with the American jihad and sharia thanks to Linda Sarsour, not a good omen for democracy, Israel, or America.
Sharia wind beneath Democrat wings
Like Hillary, Kamala has a “Willie” problem too. Ms. Harris used to be Willie Brown’s arm candy when he was kingmaker in California. Willie’s willie, begging your pardon, is sure to be come up more than once in the coming campaign. Of course, this is not to suggest that Ms. Harris, or any other California girl, ever gets to the top on her back.
An affair with a political fixer old enough to be her grandfather may have had little to do with her high-level California appointments, but such “coincidences” are surely to become debate fodder. Willie Brown is already trying to preempt the inevitable.
“We dated, I influenced her career, so what?” says he. Not helpful. For her part, Kamala has referred to her Willie as an “albatross.” Not helpful either. Sugar daddy is what sugar daddy does.
If we can abuse another zoo metaphor for a moment; an albatross is not an elephant. The elephant in Kamala’s closet is likeability. Again, politics is a popularity contest. Image matters. Emotions matter. Civility matters too.
Harris comes across as a shrew. When asking a question, she seldom waits for an answer; interrupts loudly, rudely, albeit photogenically. Invariably she seems more than a tad unhinged. “Prosecutorial” may sell on the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco or on Jenkin’s Hill. Alas, the average American “deplorable” might choke on a Harris hairball.
Unlike Trump, Kamala runs with a pronounced sincerity deficit.
Speculation that Trump’s behavior, in contrast, will give Harris some kind of sex burka is delusional. Trump is not a girly man, not a sleazy lawyer, and most certainly, not your average professional political hack. His macho excess and hyperbolic flourishes have already been discounted. Say what you will about Donald Trump’s bimbos, he never put any of them up for California Attorney General.
For many, Trump rhetoric is refreshing candor—or bragging rights earned by promises kept.
Still, Beltway schemers may believe that Kamala can out-Trump Trump and thus reduce 2020 to a “she” versus “he” pissing contest. If this is the thinking, then team Kamala learned nothing from 2016. Nobody on the face of the earth throws political shade on a sunny day like Donald Trump.
For the moment, the Harris quest for the Democrat nomination is Kamala’s to lose.
Many other feminist candidates suffer from self-inflicted wounds too. Elizabeth Warren, for example, has morphed into a cartoon. In the last go-round, Trump branded her as a race hustler with one word, “Pocahontas,” not a good look for a white girl from Massachusetts. Apparently, Ms. Warren has been playing the Amerind card for years. True Native Americans are not amused.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) recently ran Jeff Bezos out of the Big Apple with an anarchic blitz against Amazon. Boom! Another golden goose bites the dust in the Democrat heartland. With one short crusade, AOC screwed the entire city and state Democrat leadership in New York. Elizabeth Warren now goes AOC one better by claiming that Amazon ought to be broken up under monopoly statutes.
Poor Jeff Bezos, collateral damage, was dumped by wife, party and the Big Apple. Apparently, the “new green deal” really means fewer” Benjamins” for urban Democrat coffers. You can’t make this stuff up!
Demonizing success may be a Democrat Party value, but surely sober Americans still know who pays the bills. With friends like AOC and Lizzie Warren, who needs capitalist enemies? A circular firing squad is trending on the American left.
There are several other distaff opportunists, or also rans, who have thrown their ambiguities into the 2020 ring to date. None are likely to make it past early debates or primaries.
Let’s talk spoiler alert first. A caffeine mogul, putative Democrat Howard Schultz, threatens to run as an independent or “moderate,” whatever that might mean in the bull rushes of the American left. If more than two social democrats get on the general election ballot, all Democrats are toast.
Joe Biden might run too, but he would be old news, as a boy’s club vet. “Joe six-pack” was the perfect second banana, loyal to a fault to a largely inert, clueless, if not apologetic president. Already, the Obama crew, including Hillary, is remembered as team lame or just another identity footnote in American history.
Moving away from the geriatric end of the boy’s club for a moment, we have Robert Francis O’Rourke of Texas, better known as “Beto,” the Spanish diminutive for Robert. O’Rourke, like Elizabeth Warren, seems to have more than a bit of a cultural appropriation problem. O’Rourke makes you wonder if JFK would have ever styled himself as “Juan.”
For a while, Robert Francis was in denial about White House fever, a straddle he might have kept until 2024. Maybe by then folks would have forgotten that his ancestors are Irish, not Mexican. O’Rourke also benefits from a classic Kennedy overbite, an RFK look-a-like that’s sure to make millennials squeal. Out of the gate, RFO is the odds-on media favorite.
Among the boys on the left, Bernie Sanders was the man, is the man, and will be the man in 2020.
Sanders is the chap who best represents the vector of Democrat politics since FDR. He is an out Socialist. He is an American politician who makes no secret of his admiration of Communism and the old Soviet model. Who, besides John Brennan, would take pride in a USSR honeymoon?
If nothing else, there is little ambiguity in Bernie’s Vermont politics. He really believes that successful men and women should be ruled by their dependent inferiors.
The far left loves Sanders for the same reason that deplorables love Trump. Both candidates wear their ideologies like blue and red badges of courage. Neither does much hedging about anything, although Trump might actually have a sense of humor.
Nevertheless, Bernie Sanders is no longer a dark horse.
Team Clinton probably stole the last Democrat presidential nomination, but that bolt of lightning is unlikely to strike twice. The logic of Bernie now seems to be inevitable; driven by sentiment, history, fate, and momentum. Soviet America has not had such a tailwind since Stalin was “Uncle Joe.” And surely, this time around, Sanders on the ticket puts the jihadi, the anti-Semitic wing of the Democrat Party between a rock and a hard place. On that basis alone, Bernie needs to be in the hunt.
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First woman may have to yield to first Jew. Imagine, if you can, how the hijab sorority in Congress will gag with Bernie on top.
Sanders is a serious guy; his likely competitors have made cartoons of themselves. He is the logical choice because he is the best choice, an either or choice, a Leon Trotsky versus Adam Smith choice.
Unlike Hillary, Sanders could win.
Differences between Sanders and Trump are crystal clear. America might finally have the political cage match that has been pending in urban America since the Russian revolution. Will America move farther to the Marxist left or stay with the Enlightenment values that made America great to begin with?
Trump and Sanders in 2020 might provide the definitive 21st Century political omen. No matter who wins next year, the first “Madam President” is likely to be a real Indian lady from Dixie.
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G. Murphy Donovan writes about the politics of national security.
Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast