For years the Democratic Party has kicked and screamed about the dangers of President Trump’s derangement and shocking level of incompetence. Yet, with the first two voting contests something like behind them in the primary to earn the right to go up against Trump in this year’s general election, the Democrats have almost completely ceded any credibility when casting those particular stones.
The party came screaming out of the gates by being unable to count its own votes in a caucus held in Iowa, where a grand total (we think?) of 172,669 votes were cast. The whole thing exhibited a sort of incompetence Trump would be proud of if he himself had any self-awareness about his own failings. It was so poorly handled that cries of conspiracy inevitably followed, mostly by the supporters of Bernie Sanders, who frankly are correct in assuming that the party itself is doing whatever it can to thwart their political will. Trump, while taking a victory lap after being ‘acquitted’ on impeachment charges, bleated on to his faithful about the embarrassing events in the Hawkeye State. How in God’s name could you put your healthcare in the hands of a party that cannot count its own votes in Iowa? He feigned sympathy for Bernie, calling out that the corrupt DNC is trying to rig it against him. He, tragically, was at his best, in his pomp, reveling in the self-inflicted humiliation of a party that is trying to convince America that it is to be the responsible, pragmatic, steward of America’s near-future.
Then, there’s the voters. Two contests, full of people likely pretending to be undecided so they can get a bit of airtime, as foolish pundits fawn over the supposed beauty of the democratic process. Look at these fine, hard-working Americans, taking their civic duty so seriously, as they go to the polls to disproportionately shape the race for the rest of their fellow citizens! Then, over two eggs any style, we get to hear why Jimmy just loves all the candidates and it’s so hard to choose! But, hey, he’s going with Pete, because he ‘has the energy’. A politics so emptied of substance, so imbued with an obsession with mere aesthetics. Mayor Pete is the current shining star of this malignant American phenomenon. You can ask Pete the most specific question and he will response with something like, “Without the spirit of wellness, we will never find the wellness of spirit” and it brings the fucking house down.
The poor voters, taken for that most American of rides. Of course these poor souls have to wrestle with this until the bitter end. Voters who have moved from Biden to Warren to Pete and finally to Amy because of a quip or two last Friday on a debate stage, could not better describe the utter emptiness of the process and the politics of the establishment Democrats. Free from the burden of having to compare ideology or policy or principles, instead voters who choose to be ‘turned off by Bernie’s supporters’ or some such, are free to dance in the nothingness of all the others. Well! I liked Joe because he was going to restore the soul of the nation, and I liked how Elizabeth just has so many plans! But I heard less about her and I went and saw Pete and he made me hopeful for a future of hope, and he could get some Republicans to vote for him because he’s basically a Republican, which I guess is good because we all want to get rid of Trump! But, I ended up with Amy because I think she can really get things done and work across the aisle! And, hey if it doesn’t work out, we can all vote for Bloomberg, because say what you will, he has enough money to win! Which is good and totally indicative of a healthy society! No lie, a pundit on MSNBC the other day suggested Bloomberg was a good idea for the Democrats, because in order to beat Trump you have to ‘fight like a Republican, and he IS a Republican!” This is something like Hell.
Ultimately, this is why front-running Bernie Sanders is so dangerous to these people. His platform itself is not revolutionary. He wants people to go to the doctor and taxes to go up a bit. The revolution, however, is in the idea that politics, power, and policy in America might actually be about something. That the material interests of the masses will actually be addressed, as opposed to described in lofty metaphor before being completely ignored. That the aesthetics of the Presidency finally take a back seat to using the power of the office to address the broken structure of American society. This is too much for many Americans, who need the vacuousness of a Mayor Pete. They need to be swaddled, and told that they themselves are really pretty alright, and nothing is their fault, and things will always get better. Say what you will about Bernie, it is hard to imagine him stopping by Yankee Stadium to throw a zinger down the heart of the plate before jetting off to blow up the Middle East, propelled by the cheers ringing in his ears as he steps off the mound. Sanders matters because he is about something, not just a smokescreen of ‘American Values’ to be trotted out while the business of pillaging the world continues unabated. That something, even one thing, actually may change, that is frightening for many Americans. On to Nevada. V