Biden, Warren to the Rescue?
Perhaps the shrewdest move Joe Biden made was taking a pass last autumn at a presidential run. Then, he might have been considered a spoiler. Not so Elizabeth Warren, whom the left wanted badly to run early last year. Warren, up against Hillary’s money and establishment muscle, took a pass. No profile in courage for her.
But Warren might get a second chance at the brass ring. Biden, most definitely. Hillary the Inevitable is doing what Hillary does: melt down as inspection of her heats up. Criminality -- no stranger to the Clintons -- holds out the promise of being more of an upset than Bernie.
Had Warren not been intimidated into skipping the race, she’d be building momentum toward the Democratic nomination. With a credible alternative, Hillary would be closing in on yesterday’s news status.
Instead, the Democrats have a huge dilemma. Their putative nominee is besieged. Democrat voters (enough of them, anyway, and never mind independents) don’t much like or trust Hillary. She is what she’s always been: bloodless and programmed. She oozes calculation and insincerity. She gives off the cloying odor of noblesse oblige. Hillary wants the presidency because it’s a trophy and yet another means to boost the bottom-line of Clinton Family, Inc. The presidency represents a big revenue generator for Bill and Hillary.
Compounding Hillary’s troubles, her wing-person (a nod to Lena Dunham’s sensibilities) has gone from being a lovable scamp to a lecherous old man. Actually, Bill’s more than a lecher. He’s finally, openly been called out for what he really is: a woman abuser. He’s, well, a white-faced Bill Cosby, per The Donald’s withering inference.
The Donald doesn’t play beanbag. He plays kneecapping, in that charmless but highly effective New York way.
Trump’s counterpunch to Hillary’s sexism left hook whiff couldn’t have resonated beyond the right had the cultural terrain not shifted. Younger feminists, we’re told, expect men to not only talk the feminist PC talk, but walk it. Pro-feminist legislation and policies, past or present, aren’t enough for today’s militant chicks. Stories of Bill’s jaunts with Jeffrey Epstein, proprietor extraordinaire of Orgy Island, must leave these out-for-blood feminists stewing. You know Orgy Island? Where underage beauties are reported to service Epstein and his men guests. That includes Bill.
So the Fates are being particularly vicious to Hillary. But there’s no sign yet that Hillary is prepared to buckle. She has that Nixon-like tough-it-out quality. An FBI referral for an indictment about her misuse of her private email server isn’t likely to get her to quit. Nor Clinton Foundation improprieties (the entire professional careers of Bill and Hillary have been improper). It would likely take Obama DOJ indictments to push her from the race.
Conceivably, if Hillary thought indictments could materialize, she might cut a deal with the president: no indictments and she’ll walk. She’d say publicly that the “vast right-wing conspiracy” is at it again. The conspiracy’s phony charges and the ensuing hubbub make it difficult for her to successfully address the nation’s pressing issues. She’ll step aside for the good of the party and nation.
Or Hillary will cling to her candidacy the way the rest of us cling to our guns and bibles. If she does that, and if, as anticipated, the FBI makes criminal referrals, and Obama, for whatever partisan reasons, chooses not to pursue indictments, then the words “pox” and “pariah” would not adequately capture Hillary’s standing among Democrats, except for her hardcore supporters. Many independents would look askance at Hillary for gravely compromising national security –and getting away with it.
Then there’s Bernie -- you know, the Larry David impersonator. Or is it the other way around? Bernie, the 74-year-old true believing democratic socialist. (Where on God’s green earth have socialists ever called themselves “undemocratic?” The Soviet Union? China?)
Bernie as the Democrats’ default, should Hillary disappear, sends shivers down the spines of Democratic pros and -- yes, really -- professional leftists. Neither wants the party’s nominee to be the quixotic “Bern.” The pros -- establishment and left -- gave up tilting at windmills when George McGovern was pasted in ’72. Moneymaking and career-driven Democratic pros want a “W” in the D’s column this November. No less the professional left, though they want to advance their ideology, too.
Bernie’s not the “vehicle,” and the professional left knows it. If anything, a Bernie nomination imperils gains made by the left over the Obama years.
Bernie loses to almost any of the Republican candidates (Jeb might even beat him). Bernie might even lose a few states that Democrats normally win. The House would surely stay in the GOP’s hands, with an increase in seats probable. The Senate, now up for grabs, would stay Republican. On the afternoon of January 20, 2017, a Republican president will peel off Obama’s executive orders like an underage stripper peeling off her threads at an Orgy Island burlesque show.
Whatever the “progressive” tilt of the nation recently, most voters aren’t prepared to accept any packages labeled “socialism.” Not even from a lovable old codger like Bern. Savvy Democrats and leftists figured this out decades ago. To sell socialism, it mostly has to be done piecemeal and presented as compassion, fairness, or justice (or some mix thereof). The lie has always been that leftism doesn’t fundamentally alter America; it merely updates it, ameliorates the bad, and evens things out. “No,” say Democrats and their smarter leftist comrades, “we’re not for socialism. Like you, we hunger for compassion, fairness, and justice.”
Bernie has already labeled the package, probably never believing that he’d have any real shot at the nomination. An eccentric with a checkered past isn’t someone Americans are prepared to put in the White House. Democratic pros -- and the leftists among them -- aren’t prepared to go down in flames.
The betting here is that Hillary struggles through Iowa and New Hampshire. Bernie “Eugene McCarthy’s” her with strong showings (if not a convincing win in New Hampshire). All the while, the pot boils on Hillary’s indictments. Hillary and Obama back-channel a deal. Hillary leaves the race.
Immediately on Hillary’s departure, draft Biden and Warren movements commence. But Joe and Liz have cut a deal, too, with the blessings of Barack. Joe leads the way, pledging one-term. Liz acts to cover Joe’s left flank. Bernie is carrot-and-sticked into acquiescence. The Biden-Warren unity ticket premieres at the Democratic National Convention in July.
Maybe, or maybe not. But one thing is sure: forget Republicans’ challenges. The Democrats are neck-deep in alligators -- once again, thanks to the Clintons. The way forward is hazardous and certainly uncertain for the whole lot of them.