The “Gong Show” of a Democratic presidential primary debate Tuesday night just made it clear how desperately this intellectually bankrupt rag-tag team of harpies and hustlers truly is. They are the heirs of the Clinton-Obama place men who mismanaged America, corrupted the Justice Department and the intelligence services, and created such a scarcity of serious candidates for the presidency.
The former mayor of New York City announced he was seeking the nomination because the 20 declared candidates were inadequate. He was correct—but so, on the face of things, is he inadequate. The debate in Charleston on Tuesday was like a scene from Lord of the Flies as a disorderly, screechy group of misbehaving superannuated juveniles spoke and shouted over each other, waving their arms in the air and exchanging epithets. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), her hopes withered by her mendacity, robotic uniforms, and humorless righteousness, is reduced to hurling vitriol at Mike Bloomberg.
Bloomberg was more responsive than in his first debate, but still exuded a presumption that everyone in America is enviously fixated on the Big Apple, and his attempts at humor bombed somewhat embarrassingly. It is hard to believe that more than $400 million has already been spent trying to promote the idea that this is the redeemer of Trump’s (increasingly well-satisfied) America.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), finally targeted as the frontrunner, was querulous and belligerent, shouting back at the audience and more demonstrative and short-tempered than ever. He is almost majestic, barricading himself into his praise of Fidel Castro and not budging an inch on the authoritarian extravagance of his compulsory medical care plan that would sweep away the satisfactory arrangements that 180 million Americans have already made with their physicians of choice.
It is the majesty of a persevering and cranky old man, but it is also acoustically irritating nonsense and anyone who imagines that the American electorate is going to put this raving, neo-Marxist, charmless, cantankerous old dervish into the White House is in the same fantasyland as the candidates.
The imperishable Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, at the end and beginning of their respective political careers, were poignant. Biden had 150 million Americans killed by gunfire in the last 13 years, as he has mistily recalled being “arrested” in Soweto while trying to visit Nelson Mandela on Robben Island (450 miles away). No one holds his verbal slips against him and he has gained considerable sympathy as someone well past his sell-by date, gamely trying to keep up.
Buttigieg is exactly the opposite: a completely unqualified, well-programmed glib answer machine, always fluent but never substantive, a person who is annoying by his jack-in-the-box verbal ubiquity and who simulates a candidate, a send-up of the absurdities of identity politics.
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) remains amiable and on-message as an experienced and genuine legislator, relatively sensible and likable but too ordinary to be a believable candidate for a race against such an extraordinary candidate and not quite plucky enough to take a lot of support away from the others.
The utter shambles of the Democrats is illustrated by three facts. Their leading candidate, Sanders, recited as if on autocue from a 1930s campaign against Herbert Hoover, that the income of the American worker is only increasing at the rate of 1 percent per year; the real number, according to uncontested council of economic advisers and Federal Reserve statistics, is about 5 percent. The bottom 20 percent of American income earners enjoys a faster rate of growth than the top 10 percent in percentage terms, and thanks to the roaring economy and the drastic reduction in the arrival of unskilled illegal immigrants, their incomes are rising more than twice as quickly as they did in the Obama years.
Trump is the only leader of a serious jurisdiction in the world who is addressing the vast problem of income disparity. It is impossible for the Democrats to retain an unshaken hold on this socio-economic echelon of voters, given the progress they are making under this administration. Sanders and his followers are just reciting an ancient script of no current relevance and proposing socialist remedies to a problem being effectively addressed otherwise.
Second, the level of back-biting between the candidates is so destructive and so ludicrous, it is damaging the Democrats generally.
Bloomberg is reduced to claiming that the Russians are assisting Sanders because they want Sanders to be the nominee to assure the success of Trump. The Democrats still routinely refer to the president as “a Russian agent,” and “a Russian operative.” It is all surreal nonsense and only the most rabid Trump-hater or inflexible Democrat can stay the course. Meantime, all polls show Trump steadily advancing among independents and holding and expanding practically all of his traditional base of supporters.
Finally, the appointed savior, the deus ex machina to whom the party elders turned, as Britain turned to Winston Churchill in 1940 and France turned to Charles de Gaulle in 1958, Michael Bloomberg, has been a bust so far. All indications are that he will not get above the teens in the principal Super Tuesday states next week, and won’t win any of them despite what will by then have been a spend (on skilfully composed advertising) of $500 million.
There is now no exit for the Democrats from the triple conundrum of the inadequacy of their candidates, the consequences of the Obama-Clinton illegalities inflicted on the Trump campaign and early presidency which are now under criminal investigation, and from the ineradicable taint of socialist extremism, Sandersite Communist apologia, and general goofiness, such as billionaire 1 percent vanity candidate Tom Steyer advocating reparations for all African-Americans.
Biden is set to win safely enough in South Carolina and to come in ahead of Bloomberg in some of the Super Tuesday states, and thus to plod on masquerading as a serious alternative to the accelerating trainwreck of a Sanders candidacy. The Democrats and the United States need a Sanders candidacy, so the existing Democratic Party can be completely defeated and humiliated and most of its most obnoxious officeholders can be flung out of public life head-first; and so the country can administer to itself the emetic necessary to disgorge this socialist idiocy.
An ineluctable process of national political renovation is proceeding apace. While those responsible for the political corruption of the justice department and the intelligence services in 2016 and 2017 are being identified and (one hopes) convicted, the Democratic Party will already slouch off to Milwaukee to consummate temporary suicide, enabling a sensible resurrection worthy of that historically great party.