A perfect storm enabled Donald Trump’s ascendance in the 2016 primary race, leading him to capture the Republican nomination and reshape the party in his image. It seems the Democrats and the establishment media are ignorant to the fact that the exact same set of circumstances is occurring again in 2020 — but this time it’s coming from inside the house.
It’s no wonder that the same party that spent the better part of the 2016 primary blinded by laughter over Donald Trump’s candidacy cannot see what is happening with the rise of Bernie Sanders. But we do.
Sanders’s campaign has been buoyed by a populist message, a faltering and terrified establishment, a rabid, angry base and a paralyzed media that has lost any and all influence on voters. The similarities don’t end there.
As the ‘moderates’ walked away (we think) victorious in Iowa with Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the need for Bernie Sanders to strike back in New Hampshire invigorated his online army and boosted his polls for Tuesday night’s race and perhaps beyond. The people who bristled and scoffed at a Sanders presidency are suddenly very, very scared. As they should be, because they are the same crowd that ignored warnings from people who understood Trump’s rise in 2016 and were not blinded by Russia conspiracies and other establishment propaganda.
Meanwhile, the candidates trailing Bernie are making many of the same mistakes as Trump’s old opponents. In a TIME magazine profile, Elizabeth Warren’s advisers admitted they aren now more concerned with racking up enough delegates from second and third-place finishes to force a contested convention. Ask Ted Cruz how that worked out. Josh Rogin of the Washington Post suggested Biden and Klobuchar should announce a ticket together now to stop Bernie, combatting too much vote splitting amongst the moderates in the race. Again, Cruz and Carly Fiorina didn’t have much success with this strategy in the last election. It’s all too little, too late.
Joe Biden, the establishment stalwart, is limping his way across New Hampshire (or whatever state he thinks he’s in at the time), and echoes of Jeb Bush are impossible to ignore. Biden is the assumed frontrunner faltering early due to a lack of enthusiasm and too much baggage. As he turns his attention and attack ads on the young upstart Mayor Pete Buttigieg — Rubio, anyone? — Bernie once again remains unchallenged and content to let all his competition destroy itself. Remember, Donald Trump rarely won a majority of the vote in primaries. Instead, he walked away with around a 25 percent plurality, while the remaining 75 percent of votes were divided between six or seven other candidates all too busy killing each other to gain a brief lead.
In New Hampshire, NeverTrump Bill Kristol is allegedly whipping votes for ‘moderate’ candidates behind to the scenes in an effort to thwart Sanders. This will only electrify Sanders’s supporters even more: ‘See, not only is the failed DNC trying to stop Bernie, but the Neocon Republicans are as well!’
Meanwhile, the Post and Courier is reporting that local GOP groups in South Carolina are leading ‘Get Out The Vote’ efforts for Sanders in hopes of elevating him to a primary win and almost unstoppable momentum heading into Nevada and Super Tuesday. This was the Democratic strategy with Donald Trump in 2016, and it didn’t end well. The GOP lifts up Bernie Sanders at its own peril.
The crystal ball tells us exactly how this all plays out; Bernie Sanders is going to take New Hampshire, most likely Nevada, and South Carolina becomes a toss up. Then, if Bernie twins a majority of Super Tuesday states, the primary season is effectively over. The question becomes which candidates fall in line for post-primary cable news gigs and possibly cabinet positions in a Sanders administration.
The DNC has no good plan to stop this, and can now only achieve acceptance of its fate — a state of being which still evades many never Trumpers. Bernie, much like Trump, is the Chinese finger trap of the election — the harder you pull, the stronger he gets. It’s an impossible-to-win situation. The Democrats just haven’t realized it yet.