You know, Will Rodgers really nailed it to the barn wall when he lamented, I don’t belong to an organized political party. I’m a Democrat. As a lifelong bleeding heart, I will be the first to admit, most of the time we drive me crazy!
Because we’re freakin’ bi-polar. On the one hand, we celebrate our incredible inclusion and diversity as a Big Tent Party. And in the next breath, we turn around and piss and moan about how we can’t even all agree on where to go for lunch! Welcome to diversity. This has led to decades of not very gentle ribbing;
- Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line
- Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory
- Lucy and the football
- The Chicago Cubs of politics (and how that one stings)
Earlier today, I wrote an article in which I expressed my pleasure that Biden had finally popped His Lowness in the chops. and how that needed to become a regular feature of the campaign. One of my readers commented that he thought Biden’s lack of aggression against Trump and the GOP was one of the reasons for his sagging polling numbers. And since I have this platform, and this here keyboard, I decided I wanted to put a little more meat on that bone.
Here’s a little ditty about Jack and Diane. Two American kids Scratch that. I want to tell you a true life story about two different Presidential primaries. In one, the full glory of the Democratic Big Tent bedlam was on full display, with disastrous results. In the other case, not so much.
In the fall of 2015, the Democrats started lining up to announce their candidacy for the 2016 Presidential primaries, what with current President Barack Obama being termed out. And while the GOP was busy running a Godsmack mosh pit, the Democratic field quickly narrowed into a two horse race, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
It was brutal. Both sides waged hard, clean, issue driven campaigns. But it was more than that. Sanders represented the then ascendent progressive wing of the party, while Clinton represented the currently dominant moderate wing of the party. And the schism between the two wings was utter and complete.
The party never recovered. There were angry claims that a sizeable number of Bernie Bro’s sat out the election rather than vote for Clinton. And then there were counter charges that moderate Democrats who found Clinton distasteful sat out the election, thinking she had it in the bag against an ass hat like Trump. And today, we’re still digging out of that rubble.
In 2019 Donald Trump was President. And as a result, pretty much every Democrat with a filing fee in his pocket ran for President. If you had a penny for every serious candidate that ran, you’d literally have enough for one pull on a quarter slot machine. It was ridiculous. Joe Biden was the presumed front runner, but he just didn’t seem in a hurry to claim it.
Biden ran a disjointed campaign, never finishing above 3rd in the first four primaries. In fact, there was no clear front runner at all. And then a funny thing happened. South Carolina power broker Representative Jim Clyburn made a call, endorsed Biden, and Biden blew everybody else out of the water in the South Carolina primary. Which was the burning bush the Democrats had been waiting for.
With horror the Democrats had been watching a potential slow motion train wreck as the primaries limped into may and June with no clear winner in sight. With Biden’s crushing victory in South Carolina, the Democratic base said Enough already! Biden will crush it on Super Tuesday. Biden it is! Anybody rather than Trump! Let’s get on with it already! And the other candidates quickly got the memo, and bowed out, and today, Joe Biden’s alarm clock serenades him with Hail to the Chief.
But here’s the McGuffin. Biden didn’t actually do anything! He wasn’t running a compelling populist campaign, in fact he was basically literally campaigning out of his basement in Delaware. But the Democratic base could only see the specter of another 4 years of Trump, and when Biden surged, the entire party rallied around him.
That’s why I think it’s so important for national Democrats like Biden and Harris to start hammering Trump regularly. Memories are short in politics, and Trump has sunk into the background with his social media ban. And Democrats are now turning on Biden and each other, instead of keeping their eye on the ball. Trump already has a war chest of around $100 million, and is promising to run again in 2024. Time to drag his Mango Messiah ass back into the spotlight for some national ridicule to dent his ego, and to remind Democrats of the real stakes here.
Democratic House incumbents and Senators, as well as challengers can still run on local issues, but they can also tie their opponents to Traitor Tot and force them to defend themselves. Mr. Nice Guy isn’t working. If you’re a Christian missionary, Kumbaya is great to sing on Sunday, but if you’re surrounded by radical Islamists, you’d better be packing something with a little more punch in your backpack. Trump is the gift that keeps on giving, so let’s keep on taking.