Get Off My Grass

This crop of Democratic presidential contenders is a rare bunch, aren’t they? Has there ever been a more transparently disingenuous, pandering group of politicians more willing to out-promise the most unrealistically outrageous things than this group? They all share one trait in common, one that is usually a death knell for a presidential candidate -- they are all patently unlikeable: phony, caustic, shrill, unapproachable. Is there any one of them -- just considered as an individual, not as a politician -- that you’d like to invite over for dinner or to watch the Pats game with?

Even the most ardent conservative would likely admit that, as a person, as an individual, both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were kind of cool guys -- they knew sports, they liked music, they dressed well, and they seemed in touch with social trends and happenings. Decent guys. Wacko polices and outlook for the nation perhaps, but not bad guys at all, personally. Their personal likeability went a very long way in helping them get elected.

Setting aside policy positions, let’s look at the higher-profile Democratic contenders simply as people, to gauge their all-important “likeability quotient.”

Joe Biden

This is your friend from the old days. You used to like him a lot and spend a good deal of time with him. He always had an interesting take on things, some good insights and had experience and familiarity with people and events that you didn’t know too much about. You certainly disagreed as much (or more) than you agreed on a lot things, but he had a solid place in your life. You probably even shared a few hobbies together, when you could enjoy each other’s company without bringing up those areas where you disagreed.

Now, your former friend has lost it. He spews mostly nonsense these days and he has taken to trying to get in with what he mistakenly sees as the so-called younger, cooler crowd. It’s worse than not having anything in common any longer. You’re actually embarrassed for him. He‘s making a fool of himself.

Elizabeth Warren

When the two of you were in 6th grade together, she was the person who claimed her dad knew Mickey Mantle, but you knew it wasn’t true. She’d conveniently “forget” to bring in the autograph every time someone asked her. But you could never prove it. She always had an excuse, a rationale, she’d always escape being pinned down.

Now, she’s trying to deflect criticism of her character and questionable qualifications by papering them over with grandiose-sounding plans and a haughty, holier-than-thou attitude. She’s the person in whom you’ll take a decided satisfaction when her thin shroud of legitimacy is finally torn off, revealing the lying, empty fraud underneath that we knew was there all along. See? She never had the autograph.

Kamala Harris

We all know someone like this: the person who tries to sound “smart and calm.” Lots of people get excited and emotional, but there’s always that one person who tries to come off as the reasoned adult, in charge of the facts, not given to wild swings between anger and elation. Instead, this is the person who always shows artificial concern and empathy. They don’t mean it for an instant -- it’s just intended to curry situational approval -- but if they furrow their brow in just the right manner and never smile, they hope to be taken seriously.

Beto O’Rouke

We’ve met him before and we don’t like him. He’s the guy who comes off as thinking he deserves it, because he thinks he’s just so darned much smarter than everyone else. He’s too good for us, we hardly merit the good fortune of having him. Even his name: “Beto.” It’s not a real nickname for his name (Robert Francis), but it sounds cool and has an air of mystery about it. You know, like a super-smart guy should have.

But then the super-smart guy gets a ‘C” on a very public exam and he turns desperate, saying and doing almost anything to explain away his newly-revealed mediocrity. Now, every time he speaks to anyone, he tries to shock us with profanity -- so unexpected for a “smart guy” -- and he starts flailing his arms wildly, as if crazy-looking physical gesticulations will restore his former “intelligent” aura and mien.

They won’t. We clearly see him for what he is: A self-deluded buffoon skating by as the flavor of the month, who never had even the slightest shred of fitness for the job.

Cory Booker

This one is easy. He’s the 11-year-old who, during his campaign to be class president, promises free ice cream and longer recess. He has absolutely no ability or authority to deliver either one, but he knows that people want to hear it so he says it. Somewhere along the way, he likens himself to a great school athlete who graduated some years past, but no one understands exactly why he said it. He’s actually a pretty nice guy when you talk to him one-on-one, but he says things that even he knows will never happen. You may enjoy sitting with him at lunch, but you dismiss his class president aspirations instantly and completely because he’s unserious and conniving.

Bernie Sanders

This is the best one of all, by far. Bernie has a bit of all the unfortunate character defects that we just detailed in this article, plus one more that’s his and his alone. And it’s a doozy. Look at this video of Bernie yelling at a baby to quiet down and stop crying. Know who Bernie Sanders is? He’s that scary old-man neighbor who lives down the street, the one who’s always yelling, “Get off my grass!” He terrifies everyone. Sanders may be the most unlikeable crank to ever put himself up as a serious presidential contender in history. Forget his free Medicare-for-All, free college, approval of unrestricted illegal immigration or anything else. Not only won’t Bernie kiss babies, he hates babies. It’s a political image for the ages.

There was one -- and only one -- Democratic presidential contender who had a truly likeable, adult, mature demeanor: Tulsi Gabbard. You could find yourself disagreeing with some of her too-liberal policy stances, but at no time was there ever even a fleeting instant where you thought she was phony, transparent, or pandering. She came across as a thoughtful individual, genuinely concerned with the good of the country. But before she could make the rest of the field look bad by comparison, the Democrats rigged the eligibility requirements and excluded her from future debates, ending her candidacy before it could do any lasting harm. That was too close for comfort.

This crop of Democratic presidential contenders is a rare bunch, aren’t they? Has there ever been a more transparently disingenuous, pandering group of politicians more willing to out-promise the most unrealistically outrageous things than this group? They all share one trait in common, one that is usually a death knell for a presidential candidate -- they are all patently unlikeable: phony, caustic, shrill, unapproachable. Is there any one of them -- just considered as an individual, not as a politician -- that you’d like to invite over for dinner or to watch the Pats game with?

Even the most ardent conservative would likely admit that, as a person, as an individual, both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were kind of cool guys -- they knew sports, they liked music, they dressed well, and they seemed in touch with social trends and happenings. Decent guys. Wacko polices and outlook for the nation perhaps, but not bad guys at all, personally. Their personal likeability went a very long way in helping them get elected.

Setting aside policy positions, let’s look at the higher-profile Democratic contenders simply as people, to gauge their all-important “likeability quotient.”

Joe Biden

This is your friend from the old days. You used to like him a lot and spend a good deal of time with him. He always had an interesting take on things, some good insights and had experience and familiarity with people and events that you didn’t know too much about. You certainly disagreed as much (or more) than you agreed on a lot things, but he had a solid place in your life. You probably even shared a few hobbies together, when you could enjoy each other’s company without bringing up those areas where you disagreed.

Now, your former friend has lost it. He spews mostly nonsense these days and he has taken to trying to get in with what he mistakenly sees as the so-called younger, cooler crowd. It’s worse than not having anything in common any longer. You’re actually embarrassed for him. He‘s making a fool of himself.

Elizabeth Warren

When the two of you were in 6th grade together, she was the person who claimed her dad knew Mickey Mantle, but you knew it wasn’t true. She’d conveniently “forget” to bring in the autograph every time someone asked her. But you could never prove it. She always had an excuse, a rationale, she’d always escape being pinned down.

Now, she’s trying to deflect criticism of her character and questionable qualifications by papering them over with grandiose-sounding plans and a haughty, holier-than-thou attitude. She’s the person in whom you’ll take a decided satisfaction when her thin shroud of legitimacy is finally torn off, revealing the lying, empty fraud underneath that we knew was there all along. See? She never had the autograph.

Kamala Harris

We all know someone like this: the person who tries to sound “smart and calm.” Lots of people get excited and emotional, but there’s always that one person who tries to come off as the reasoned adult, in charge of the facts, not given to wild swings between anger and elation. Instead, this is the person who always shows artificial concern and empathy. They don’t mean it for an instant -- it’s just intended to curry situational approval -- but if they furrow their brow in just the right manner and never smile, they hope to be taken seriously.

Beto O’Rouke

We’ve met him before and we don’t like him. He’s the guy who comes off as thinking he deserves it, because he thinks he’s just so darned much smarter than everyone else. He’s too good for us, we hardly merit the good fortune of having him. Even his name: “Beto.” It’s not a real nickname for his name (Robert Francis), but it sounds cool and has an air of mystery about it. You know, like a super-smart guy should have.

But then the super-smart guy gets a ‘C” on a very public exam and he turns desperate, saying and doing almost anything to explain away his newly-revealed mediocrity. Now, every time he speaks to anyone, he tries to shock us with profanity -- so unexpected for a “smart guy” -- and he starts flailing his arms wildly, as if crazy-looking physical gesticulations will restore his former “intelligent” aura and mien.

They won’t. We clearly see him for what he is: A self-deluded buffoon skating by as the flavor of the month, who never had even the slightest shred of fitness for the job.

Cory Booker

This one is easy. He’s the 11-year-old who, during his campaign to be class president, promises free ice cream and longer recess. He has absolutely no ability or authority to deliver either one, but he knows that people want to hear it so he says it. Somewhere along the way, he likens himself to a great school athlete who graduated some years past, but no one understands exactly why he said it. He’s actually a pretty nice guy when you talk to him one-on-one, but he says things that even he knows will never happen. You may enjoy sitting with him at lunch, but you dismiss his class president aspirations instantly and completely because he’s unserious and conniving.

Bernie Sanders

This is the best one of all, by far. Bernie has a bit of all the unfortunate character defects that we just detailed in this article, plus one more that’s his and his alone. And it’s a doozy. Look at this video of Bernie yelling at a baby to quiet down and stop crying. Know who Bernie Sanders is? He’s that scary old-man neighbor who lives down the street, the one who’s always yelling, “Get off my grass!” He terrifies everyone. Sanders may be the most unlikeable crank to ever put himself up as a serious presidential contender in history. Forget his free Medicare-for-All, free college, approval of unrestricted illegal immigration or anything else. Not only won’t Bernie kiss babies, he hates babies. It’s a political image for the ages.

There was one -- and only one -- Democratic presidential contender who had a truly likeable, adult, mature demeanor: Tulsi Gabbard. You could find yourself disagreeing with some of her too-liberal policy stances, but at no time was there ever even a fleeting instant where you thought she was phony, transparent, or pandering. She came across as a thoughtful individual, genuinely concerned with the good of the country. But before she could make the rest of the field look bad by comparison, the Democrats rigged the eligibility requirements and excluded her from future debates, ending her candidacy before it could do any lasting harm. That was too close for comfort.