By GORDON GLANTZ
GORDONVILLE — Despite being the anti-gun party, the Democratic donkey is locking and loading and eyeing up a close-range target: Its own foot.
Yes, the party that can’t get out of its own way is back at it again, turning the primary and caucuses (eye roll) into what will be a prolonged and destructive civil war.
And, on one leg, it will be forced to hobble to the finish line in November of this year.
The real losers? The American people.
And the only winner will be the other side, the one with a vocal minority that will gladly give you four more years of their president (not ours), even though he has set the bar so low for civility and behaving presidential that any of the remaining Democratic hopefuls would have to join a satanic cult to match it.
Last time around, the Democrats made the mistake of trying to have an uninspiring candidate, Hillary Clinton, run unopposed.
Russian interference aside, she still should and could have won the general election – and for reasons I have enumerated before (a better running mate, campaigning in swing counties of swing states, standing up for herself in debates, etc.).
This time around, we have the opposite. There were so many candidates that the field looked like the ensemble of a Broadway musical.
Even now, with a few (Andrew Yang, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, etc.) dropping off, the battle for the lead role is up for grabs.
As it should be.
Nothing better – and more American, let alone Democratic – than a little healthy competition.
The problem is that the fighting has gotten dirty, with below-the-belt blows that were on full display during the debates ahead of the Nevada Caucuses and South Carolina primary.
The sand thrown around the sandbox, considering what is at stake, was laughable.
Upstart Michael Bloomberg is spending is own money to get elected? OK, and? What did your president (not mine) do to get elected? At least Bloomberg is diametrically opposed to your president (not mine) on all the issues that matter.
Bloomberg is not my candidate of choice, but I have to say he is growing on me. It’s interesting that he is now fielding issues about stop-and-frisk (a policy initiated by Rudy Giuliani when he was mayor and supported by the current “person” who calls himself president). We all knew about it before. It’s not a revelation.
It’s important to bring it up, sure, but let us not forget the intent – despite its clumsy and insensitive execution – which was to try and curtail black-on-black crime (the same kind that Louis Farrakhan decries to applause) in largely black neighborhoods.
Also, Bloomberg was allegedly caught saying not nice things to and about women.
But, uh, hello?
Remember that low bar we talked about? Should we get into the Access Hollywood tapes? I didn’t think so.
Let’s move on to my candidate Bernie Sanders, who is the frontrunner du jour. As such, he had to enter the debate with body armor to fend off his also-ran competitors.
They talked about his backers – the so-called Bernie Bros. – being not so nice on Twitter.
You mean the same Twitter format that your president (not mine) uses as his 3 a.m. bully pulpit?
Take it from someone who has gone the full 15 rounds with too many of his supporters to count, often having to block them when responses turned into challenges to have a duel in the Town Square, that no one goes as low as they go (especially once beaten down on the facts).
If your president (not mine) can’t be blamed for his brigade, why should Sanders take the heat for what a few supporters did in his name?
Heading into the debate, Sanders had close to a third of the vote in national polls, and had opened up a double-digit lead. That’s quite an accomplishment in a field made even more populated by Bloomberg’s surge.
And yet, television pundits twist and turn it around to say Sanders hasn’t grown his base from when it was just him and Clinton, who only built her delegate (and super delegate) lead by winning a lot of southern red states before he was a known entity to the black voters that make up a large part of the Democratic electorate in those states.
It’s a general theme, picking on Sanders’ electability (one guy with a book to sell on MSNBC said he’d lose 44 states and another disagreed, although slightly, saying 40).
Why is there never discussion about why Sanders is surging into Super Tuesday? They don’t want to address his popularity, and the crowds he brings out as compared to the others, because it doesn’t fit the script.
It is clearly evident that will come down to Sanders and Bloomberg, arguing like two old Jewish men at a deli over whether to get the lox or the whitefish on their bagels (I can say that, since I’m of the tribe). It’s pretty clear that only Joe Biden, who still clings to some tepid black support in those same states that gave Clinton that cushion she clumsily dragged to the finish line ahead of Sanders.
Biden will do well enough, I predict, that the pundits will declare the guy who needs a wake-up call and snooze alarm the “comeback kid.”
That means a temporary three-horse race, but one wonders if the others – Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg – will read the writing on the wall and do the right thing and drop out.
This will put all eyes back on the ultimate prize.
If the Democrats want to take aim on the White House, they need to stop targeting each other.
So far, with a foot wound in danger or getting infected, it does not look good.
This column ran in The Times Herald on Feb. 24, 2020.