by Trevor Law
As I have already covered the republican primary, and the general election dynamics that will be at work next year, now it is time to talk about the Democrats. Alright, so a couple of things you all should know; first, there are only really three Democrats worth talking about in 2016, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton. Now some people have taken the massive stampede of GOP candidates as a sign of huge divisions and the much smaller Democratic fields as a sign of unity. Those people don’t really know what they are talking about. The Democratic field is not small because it is united, but because they have so few good candidates to choose from to begin with. If you look at the titles of the GOP candidates you will see some pretty impressive stuff, and a lot of candidates will have them, yet the democrats could only scrape together three serious candidates, and all three have extremely large problems, and I am not talking about any of their policy positions.
As I have stated early the Democrats are actually winning in terms of conceiving the country to support their policies, what they are failing on is selling themselves. Lets take a look a look at the heavy weight of the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton. A former senator, and secretary of state, she should be nigh unbeatable right? Yet why do so many Democrats not want to support her. Why have so much of her base sighed before supporting her? The answer is because she is simply the best they have. For a woman who has been in the national spotlight for over 20 years you would think she would have a laundry list of achievements to fall back on. Instead she is really been an object of hatred by the right for that entire time. She is loathed by the right and that is never going to change. She is constantly dogged by scandals and seems to always be finding a new one just as the old ones fade from memory. To anyone other than a senior Democratic operative this would be pants crappingly terrifying, but the Democratic establishment seems to have decided this is their best option, and that is what is worse…because it is.
Martin O’Malley is one of the worst candidates I have seen in a long time. At a time when Democrats best argument to the electorate is that they can get things done, he is a governor from a blue state, who ran one of the worst Obamacare rollouts, and as mayor of Baltimore, did nothing to stem massive police abuses against minorities. Two of the biggest pushes within the Democratic party and he is proven woefully inept at dealing with them.
Then…there was Bernie Sanders.
Bernie Sanders is not even technically a Democrat. He is a member of the Socialist Party. He is the embodiment of a new liberal spirit that is sweeping the Democratic party, which actually could be a winning strategy. What is less of a winning strategy is making yourself the staple of a new liberal tea party. He has been in the senate for 12 years and has remarkable little to show for it. He has railed for more liberal policies but done little to nothing to advance them. If he were the nominee, all a Republican nominee would have to do would ask, “how has he advanced the cause of income inequality?” The American people might believe in what Bernie Sanders stands for, but if he can’t deliver on his policies, he just sounds like one more politicians who is a lot of talk, and little action.
This brings us to one of the biggest problems for the democrats in 2016. They have a very weak slate of candidates to choose from, at a time when the country is demanding action. Say what you will about Jeb Bush, or Scott Walker, but these are candidates who did stuff. This has been partly caused by two things, one is that so many people called Hillary “inevitable” early on and that scared away the few candidates that could’ve beaten her. Second, that list of candidates is so small because democrats did a HORRIBLE job of fighting for control of governorships and state legislatures. In the last 100 years an overwhelming amount of Americans have chosen governors to be President, because they have proven to some extent or another the ability to govern and have executive experience. By the Democrats forfeiting these important offices they essentially handicapped themselves in all future elections. So now you are stuck with the three stooges of the Democratic party.
But Trevor, who will actually win the Democratic primary? Hillary…it will be Hillary. So many Democrats have a love affair with her, and so many think she is much stronger than she actually is. Also far too many people believe that she can bring the white working class vote back to the democratic party, and that women will rush to vote for her. I have seen very, very little evidence of this and frankly think it is more wishful thinking that anything else. On top of that many of the establishment forces in the Democratic party cling to the idea of the Clinton brand of centrism. That the party needs to be more moderate to succeed, instead of appealing to the left. This will kill so much of the spirit of liberal activism in the party and it will suck any attempt to bring the new liberals along with her, but they will be buried by the notion of inevitability and the weakness of their own candidates. So we will have a very similar situations we saw in the 2012 republican primary. One glass jawed candidate that everyone knows will win, but half the party doesn’t want, so they will be beaten up by their own party, and further weakened in a general election, that they won’t win anyway. Only the Democratic party could look at a failing strategy, duplicate it, and be surprised that things are working out.