Well, that was … unexpected.
I should have known better. I mean, I did, after South Carolina, where the firewall held. I was 99% sure of a Super Tuesday sweep by Joe Biden after his arch-rivals jumped on board. Joe won Texas largely because of Beto, Minnesota largely because of Amy, and a lot of moderates everywhere largely because of Pete. The coalition formed, in a god-awful hurry, right before our eyes.
The mission? To stop Bernie before stopping Trump.
And it makes sense, loathe as I am to admit it. Joe Biden can challenge Trump in the electoral map better than Bernie Sanders can, and will also be a better establishment name to help keep the seats at risk in Congress. Change is really, really hard, particularly in the face of the type of overt, transparent corruption we have endured over the last three years. The demagogue and his rabid, misguided worshipers have destroyed institutional democracy. They have broken the norms of political order. Why risk that with another demagogic populist?
Let’s get back to ‘quo with Joe, could be the slogan.
Joe is the safe route. I get it. Bernie, like Trump, is a movement unto himself. A lot of his followers, like Donald’s, see him not so much as a leader but a god, the solution to all of society’s ills. A cult of personality. Those who are all-in on a figure like that – and I know many – will slug it out for their guy even more than for the ideals they themselves espouse. Republicans, as a whole, have thrown their long-standing messages aside for the cult. Free markets? Family values? Fiscal conservatism? Nah. Trump said we don’t need that no more. All we need is Him. We’re fine.
Same might hold for Bernie. Bernie could be bigger than the party, bigger than the country. Trump on the left. I don’t think it’d play out the same – Bernie Sanders is, in his heart, a far better man than Donald Trump – but the perception is enough to create the reality. And I could be wrong. Absolute power does tend to corrupt absolutely, as we’ve seen with the current president. Donald Trump has become unabashedly more demagogic and authoritarian before our eyes, pushing out the adults in the room, pushing out any who would oppose him as he built the framework for American tyranny.
That part I expected.
The perception that Bernie might do the equal opposite, manipulating the levers of the left for his own gain, is frightening to some. The mistaken perception, as well, that Bernie is a classic Socialist, or the laughable claim that he is a Red Communist, is enough. I understand you, America. I empathize. The revolution came too soon.
Several months ago, I made a list. A couple of months ago, I updated it. In both lists I had my top ten favorite presidential candidates. At #9 I said “anyone currently running not named Donald Trump or Joe Biden.” At #10 I said “Joe Biden.”
So, here we are.
Biden has all the momentum. His rivals are lining up to endorse him. He’ll probably get the Bloomberg money, and Liz might even pick him over her own rival Bernie Sanders. Liz might even be VP. We can just about bank on the matchup now. Biden vs Trump. Two bumbling fools. A couple of old white guys who don’t seem to know what they’re talking about most of the time.
The Demagogue vs Mr Establishment.
Covfefe vs Super Thursday.
What can I say now? It’s #10 vs #NeverAgain, so I guess I’m in. The revolution will have to wait.
Let’s go back to ‘quo with Joe. 🤷