It is the middle of November, 2012. Barack Obama has just defeated Republican Mitt Romney. It is the second consecutive defeat for the GOP after eight years of George W Bush. McCain, the heir apparent for the Republican nominee ran a disastrous campaign in 2008, resulting in the freshman Senator from Illinois winning the election. An unprecedented moment on countless levels for the country.
An article tried to make light of the situation. Republicans were flying high. As they were heading into the 2012 election, it had seemed a forgone conclusion that they’d defeat Obama. He had horrible approval ratings, and Republicans were galvanized after the passage of Obamacare. The Tea Party had sprouted before the 2010 midterms, and the GOP had regained control of the House. The party had one final step left to recapture control. Defeat an unpopular president. Well, Romney and his confidants failed to bring home the prize. But, why? And, how?
The piece referenced American, British, and French politics post-WWII and discussed a few instances relevant to what had just occurred in America. It talked about conservatives in power in the UK during the rise of Thatcher. It mentioned party shifts in France after a decade or so of executive control. Finally, it spoke of the control Reagan and H.W. Bush had amassed for twelve years. The conclusion the piece rendered was that western democracies had seen voters afford one party control for typically ten-years before revoking the control and offering it to the opposition. The moral of the story was that it simply wasn’t time for Republicans to regain power having been out of it for only four years. Americans weren’t ready to hand it back. The hypothesis is voters like to give the opposition a chance, and intend to see it through. In short, better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.
Take a trip down memory lane and one can see a striking overlap with the Bush and Obama administrations. Republicans coronated McCain to run in 2008. Why? The justification that it was his time. Sound familiar? It was Hillary’s time post Obama’s eight years. What happened in both cases? The establishment chosen one lost. Two years removed from the victory and both times the House switched in power to the opposing party. Republicans in 2010 and Democrats in 2018. Move forward to Romney and overlap it with it today. Romney was put against an incredibly unlikable president. The conservative media was vitriolic in their treatment of Obama. The base of the GOP was fired up. Scandals, especially Benghazi, we’re beginning to plague the administration. There was momentum across the board. It seemed that there was no way Obama was going to retain control. But, he did, and with ease.
Overlap that with the current situation in the Democrat party. You have a president garnering unfavorable ratings even worse than Obama. The Liberal media is drastically opposed to Trump. The base is fired up. The scandals are aplenty. There is unquestionable momentum. But, does anyone actually believe the Democrats will win in a few months? But, why?
Psychologically, you can reference the historical piece that voters in western democracies give their elected leaders, and the respective party they represent a long chance to make things right. Specifically, like Romney in 2012, and the slate the left has today, the candidate pool is subpar to the competition.
Just look at what happened in Iowa on Monday evening at the nation’s first caucus of this election. The entire country is watching this event take place. The entire political class has been eagerly awaiting this moment for years. The anticipation for this event cannot be understated. And, somehow, they completely found a way to mess this up. Amazingly, they messed it up on proportions most generations of voters have never seen. Simply no results.
At its core it is a resounding display of incompetence. There is no way to describe this with a silver lining for the left. It was an unmitigated disaster. At its worse, it was an attempt by the Democratic establishment to quell results. Why? To either take away from Bernie Sanders’ shining moment, or to prevent heir apparent Joe Biden from an embarrassing disaster. This could also be a way for Democrats to begin planting the seeds of doubt in voter’s minds. They’ve been telling voters the 2016 election was rigged and unfair for years now. Impeachment was based on a premise that Trump is and was gaining an unfair advantage in 2020. Why would they not continue the trend?
We know Bernie Sanders has had the deck stacked against him not once, but twice now. And, this was before the ridiculousness of last night. Bernie faced rules that enabled Hillary to win, regardless of what the voters did in 2016. He was dealt a bad deck when questions were fed to Hillary ahead of their debate. And, amazingly we saw what the media and DNC has done to Bernie in the past two-weeks. Again, debate rigging at CNN, an attempt to change the rules of the primary, and establishment folks like Hillary vocally voicing their disdain, and fear, of a Sanders candidacy. It is tough to imagine that the results of last night were simply a coincidence. Lightning doesn’t strike twice.
To make matters worse, we haven’t even discussed the obvious policy differences among the candidates. There is wide divide between the Sanders/Warren/Yang camps and the rest. There isn’t an appropriate analogy when you examine the Republican primary of 2016. Why? The left has vehemently different policy disagreements within their candidates. The right had wildly different personality contrasts among their candidates. The latter is easily reconciled, while the former requires someone to abandon their beliefs.
The Democrats are heading off the cliff, and no one is around to save them from themselves. It’s too late. This is what happened to Republicans in their lead up to 2012. They spent nearly four years passionately going against one man, Obama, in hopes that their unifying anger against one man was enough to carry them over the finish line to take back the White House. The problem? Not all voters are the base. Most voters sit idly by in the middle, and as long as they can afford the essentials, and sleep easy at night, they typically don’t have a problem. It is much easier to vote for something, rather than against someone. Democrats will learn what Republicans learned in 2012.
Iowa was just the beginning of the fight we all knew would occur. The in-fighting is going to be intense. The Sanders camp will not go quietly into the night this time. And, they were already crying foul before Iowa even happened. To think they’ll sit idly by after this craziness is complete lunacy. They will undoubtedly believe that they were wronged, regardless of the outcome. This includes a victory, because they’ll say they were robbed of their shining moment in the press.
The rule changes the DNC is implementing to allow billionaire Michael Bloomberg onto the debate stage will send shock waves through the supporters of most camps. They’ve spent months supporting a candidate of their own, only to see a billionaire come in and try to steal their victory. Most of the Democrat campaigns are fighting against billionaire control in this country, and to think they’ll stand for this is sheer lunacy.
The Democrats delayed their in-fighting for the entire primary season until now. By this moment in 2016, Republicans were already tearing each other apart. They were ahead of the game. The Democrats have a lot of fights to sort out before they can mend the wounds. There are nine months before Election Day. Yes, that’s an eternity in politics, so they may be able to unite, but it seems unlikely. There are many moments when a party was beyond fragmented at the convention, and was unable to unify before the general election. Expect this moment to add to that list.
But, why? All of this was avoidable. All the Democrats had to do was listen to the voters post their 2016 defeat. But, they said that because they won the popular vote, they didn’t need to change their views. Well, unfortunate for them, the electoral college still reigns supreme in November of 2020. Winning a landslide vote in New York and California won’t do much for them.
The voters expressed their dissatisfaction with the left in 2016. The Clinton era Democrats showed their frustration that they were left behind with the new form of progressivism. The party opted to focus their attention against Trump, instead of reforming themselves. The problems within the Democrat party still remain. They do not have a unifying message. They do not have creative, new, and realistic ideas. They remain too focused on a divide and conquer strategy based on classes, instead of a uniting economic message for all. It was a disastrous misstep, or a horrific display of arrogance. Either way, it will end poorly for them.
The party has no savior. No one is entering the game at this hour and saving them from themselves. It’s too late. They spent too much time focusing on Trump, and not enough time focusing on themselves. They’re your friend who has substance abuse issues. They’re always blaming someone else. They refuse to admit they have a problem. But, what’s the first step when an alcoholic goes to AA? Admittance. Clean your own backyard before you judge others.
Grab the popcorn, because it’s going to be one hell of a show. The party is going to absolutely self destruct from within. Iowa was the last leak from a ship that’s been sinking for nearly four years.
Yes, Trump will win re-election, likely take back the House, and retain the Senate. But, there’s a good thing that’ll come from this. The Democrat party as we know it today will die in early November. This is its last stand. We will see a complete rehash of ideas, and new, formidable leaders will be rise up. The country will benefit when this new group is born. It’ll provide voters with a great option, as opposed to a loud opposition. That bodes well for American voters. And, Trump will get two years to try and carry out his agenda. An agenda that was largely trampled on in his first two years. Then, Americans can keep Republicans in power in 2022 if he’s doing a good job, or switch back control to a new and improved left.
The Great American Experiment will continue on.