One of the most difficult things for an ego – particularly an ego that thinks people are standing in line to vote for him or her – is to realize when it is over. That seems to be particularly true this year when there are twenty-six Socialists and Democrats running for the presidential nomination. Well actually two have already dropped out – Richard Ojeda (a state senator from West Virginia) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) (who joins Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in running his mouth for six months about running for president but lacks the courage to give up his safe congressional seat to do so). In the end, however, there is an end and it comes sooner for some than others.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (Socialist – VT) was a phenom during the 2016 Democrat presidential primary. He was the anti-establishment candidate who straddled the disaffected youth vote and the ABC (anybody but Clinton) vote and probably would have won the Democrat primary but for a rigged process engineered by Bill and Hillary Clinton. (In case you cannot remember back to when you were eighteen to twenty-eight, being anti-establishment was clearly within your wheelhouse, as you doubted the wisdom of virtually everything the preceding generation did.) But Mr. Sanders was a phenom precisely because there were no other choices – it was Bernie or Hillary, that’s it.
But now there are others – lots of others. And the other choices have exposed the fact that much of Mr. Sanders’ previous support was simply anti-Clinton disgust. With so many other choices the mainstream media and disaffected Democrats have abandoned Mr. Sanders in droves. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has managed to promise even more free things than Mr. Sanders. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and her mean girls have replaced Mr. Sanders as spokespersons for socialism. Mr. Sanders stumbled when trying to explain the difference between socialism and communism, or even his brand of Democrat socialism – it all sounded the same using different words. And finally with so many younger candidates there are a multitude of choices for the young and disaffected.
Mr. Sanders’ poll numbers are dropping. The unions have turned on him demanding that he pay the $15 minimum wage he demanded of others. The “tax the rich” crowd have criticized him for making millions on his books and using loopholes to minimize his income taxes. Many in the mainstream press have abandoned him to the point that he is claiming bias in such publications as The New York Times and The Washington Post. And as Mr. Sanders pounds the podium, jabs his finger and shouts his rehearsed speeches, he reminds us more of Howard Beale (played by Peter Finch) in Network, or the old grouch yelling at the neighborhood kids to “get off my lawn.” Somewhere in the wings, the “fat lady” is warming up to sing.
Former Rep. Robert (Beto) O’Rourke (D-TX), born with a silver spoon in his mouth and upon which he has been choking ever since identity politics has become the norm for Democrats, is a dead man walking. His sole claim to fame is that he lost a Senate race to the least popular Republican in Texas, Sen. Ted Cruz. And that is despite nearly $70 Million dollars poured into the state by trial lawyers, unions and far-left super PACs. Doonesbury cartoonist, Gary Trudeau, famously depicted President George W. Bush as a “feather.” Unfortunately the depiction was a generation early and more appropriate for Mr. O’Rourke who has wandered aimlessly as an adult from one dead end job to another until – like so many other Democrats – he found his first job in government. It is hard, even for Mr. O’Rourke’s supporters, to define that for which he stands – he stands for everything free, and nothing for work. He sought to replicate former President Barack Obama’s first campaign to be “a slate upon which every voter could write his own desires” but his essence was so gossamer that nothing would stick. There was even the allusion that he was the new “Bobby Kennedy.” A claim to which now deceased Sen. Lloyd Benson (D-TX) would have said:
“I knew Bobby Kennedy, he was a friend of mine and you, sir, are no Bobby Kennedy.”
Mr. O’Rourke has spent most of his time apologizing for his “white privilege” while, in fact, embodying it in all of the Far Left’s depiction of its excesses. Mr. O’Rourke’s poll numbers are falling fast and will soon match those of other losers like Mr. Swalwell. (He currently has 1-2% in the latest RealClear Politics polls.) It’s time to cash in your chips and go back to work in your mother’s (now your wife’s) furniture store.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) succeeded Hillary Clinton as the junior senator from New York when Ms. Clinton was appointed Secretary of State. If you look up “opportunist” in the dictionary you will find Ms. Gillibrand’s picture. She courted Bill and Hillary Clinton to win appointment to Ms. Clinton’s senate seat despite knowledge of Mr. Clinton’s sexual aggression towards women and Ms. Clinton’s willingness to cover for him. And then abandoned them when the “#MeToo” movement began counting coup. It wasn’t that Ms. Gillibrand was ignorant of the slime surrounding the Clintons, it was just that it was convenient to court them when she wanted the appointment and then condemn them when she prepared to run for the presidency. Likewise, she abandoned her friendship with former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to drive him from office over allegations of sexual misconduct at the height of the #MeToo campaign. (You couldn’t know Mr. Franken for eight years and call him your friend as Ms. Gillibrand did without knowing what a creep he was.)
But Ms. Gillibrand has not connected with voters. She is running so low in the polling the RealClear Politics does not even register her in the national polling and she fails to show up on three out of the four early state primary polls. Even in the one poll (Texas) where she registers an anemic 1 percent she trails the other one-percenters – Delaney, Gabbard, and Yang. (Yes, I know. Who the heck are they? Another set that doesn’t recognize it’s over.) Fortunately for Ms. Gillibrand, she does not need to give up her senate seat to run for the presidency and unfortunately for the rest of us we are going to have to put up with her in Washington for the foreseeable future. Right now, it appears that Ms. Gillibrand is hanging on in hopes of being picked as a running mate if the ultimate Democrat nominee is a white male.
And then there are a host of Democrat candidates who simply do not register credibly in state or national polls. These include: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), former Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA), Sen. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Andrew Yang, Mayor Bill DeBlasio (D-NYC), Cosmic Sorceress Marianne Williamson, former Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT), former Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), Sen. Mike Bennet (D-CO), former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Seth Moulton, Wayne Messam, Joe Sestak, and Mike Gravel. It was over before it began. I didn’t include billionaire Tom Steyer simply because regardless of poll numbers he is wealthy enough run until he doesn’t.
For some, the reality of national polls at one percent or under hasn’t registered. For others exclusion from the first two rounds of Democrat televised debates hasn’t registered. Soon enough reality will be unavoidable and the Democrats will be down to the half dozen credible candidates. Until then, find a good movie in lieu of these early debates and explain to your children that running and winning are two entirely different events.