The conventional wisdom across the political spectrum of punditry is that the Democrats’ Star Wars bar scene debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday night was an unmitigated disaster for the Democrat Party. The hand-wringers at CNN and MSNBC were immediately out in force after the debate concluded, and bloggers across the political spectrum weighed in with their post mortems, virtually all of which commented on the dog-eat-dog nature of the mini-debates, the direct confrontations, and the transparent nature of the prepared attacks by most of the participants. Everyone had their bad moments, but the conventional thinking across the board was that Mike Bloomberg’s lackluster performance doomed his candidacy (appropriate for “Mayor Doomberg,” as Rush Limbaugh might say).
Comments like this one littered the airways. Former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) remarked on MSNBC afterward: “It’s a little bit like a presidential version of ‘Survivor.'” CNN’s Chris Cillizza opined: “Brokered convention, here we come! (Maybe?)” And here is what neo-conservative (and anti-Trump) NY Post columnist John Podhoretz thought (albeit perhaps tongue-in-cheek):
Forget Lincoln and Douglas. Forget Nixon and Kennedy. Hell, forget the Athenians and the Melians back during the Peloponnesian War. Last night’s Democratic primary slagfest in Nevada was the greatest debate in all of human history.
Oh, was it glorious — the sheer raging hostility spraying across the stage as every campaign besides the Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg bids faces the desperate possibility that each might fade into the woodwork against the Bernie surge and the Bloomberg billions.
It’s not that the gloves were off. No, my friends, everybody was wearing steel-tipped boots and going right for the crotch. Those weren’t snowflakes. They were nunchucks.
Other comments heard/read included “Democrats’ disaster,” a “horrible debate for the Democratic Party,” “no one on that stage can beat Trump,” “the Democrats’ circular firing squad,” and “lightweights.” Some feared that the Democrat Party is so apparently fractured that none of the candidates on that stage, if nominated, could unite the party sufficiently to defeat President Trump. Others feared that the radical socialist beliefs of the candidates were exposed, which will destroy Democrat chances during the general election. (I guess they haven’t been watching the previous debates!)
All of the above conventional wisdom may, in fact, be true – at least in part – but my contrarian view is that the debate was a complete success for the Democrat Party Establishment. A question asked during the debate gives us a clue as to what the Party Establishment is thinking. The candidates were asked directly whether they believed that the candidate with the most delegates at the end of the primaries should be the party’s nominee even if that person didn’t win a majority of delegates. Interestingly enough, the only candidate on the stage who agreed with that premise was Bernie Sanders, the front runner at this point, who appears likely to garner the most delegates going into the Democrat Convention in Milwaukee in July.
I have maintained all along that the Democrat Establishment knew from the very beginning that the declared candidates had no chance of defeating President Trump. While Democrat consultants/hacks continue to chirp on Fox News and elsewhere that “polls show all of the top six Democrat candidates handily beating President Trump in November,” the Democrats’ own internal polls tell the opposite story – that ALL of the candidates, including Joe Biden, get trounced by the President. And knowing this, their political strategy has always been to orchestrate a brokered convention in which someone not currently even running is hand-picked to lead the ticket – someone who can (other than Bernie) generate sufficient excitement and enthusiasm to carry the day in November.
The national averages for the Democrat candidates across the legacy media polls as of today, according to Real Clear Politics are as follows:
Sanders probably has a top end of no more than 30%, and the Party Establishment is already doing all they can to tarnish him albeit delicately since they need to keep the Bernie bros in the fold. If the Democrat Establishment can “steal” the nomination from him one time, like they did in 2016, they can (and will, if necessary) do it again for the reasons cited in this article. There is no way in Hell that the Democrat Establishment will let a Communist head the ticket, as discussed in detail here.
Biden is damaged goods. He entered the race literally the week after the Mueller report was made public in order to set up the Democrats’ impeachment narrative (“Trump coerced a foreign government for help against a political rival”). His overt bribery and corruption in Ukraine (and elsewhere) are the end of the line, but he serves the Establishment’s purpose in splitting the vote and preventing anyone from receiving sufficient delegates to win the nomination outright. He MIGHT be able to siphon off 20% of the delegates, assuming he stays in the race after Super Tuesday.
Bloomberg is a wildcard. Why did he enter the race, to begin with? The conventional wisdom is that he looked at the candidates and magically determined they had no chance but that he somehow did. He certainly has the money to get his message out, but his debate performance showed that the emperor has no clothes. I believe the Democrat Establishment encouraged him to run as a foil against Bernie Sanders, as well as to further split the delegates, knowing that Biden’s campaign is fading. The dirty little secret is that Democrats are highly enamored of wealthy individuals, and Bloomberg has the wherewithal to buy a lot of votes, but I don’t see him topping 20% given that he is clearly a lackluster candidate.
Warren is treading water and has pandered about every leftwing cause imaginable during the campaign. Having falsely leveraged her claim to minority-favored treatment throughout her life, the harpy has no real chance at the nomination, but she can garner enough of the “shrieking feminist vote” to further split the delegates. Who wasn’t reminded of the classic caricature of a “bad mother-in-law” by watching her screeching attack on Bloomberg Thursday night? The Democrat Establishment wants her to stay in the race to continue attacking Bloomberg to ensure he doesn’t get any real traction, as well as to siphon off some of the radical vote away from Bernie, and she’s enough of a narcissist to still think she’s got a shot. Chalk her up for no more than 15%.
Buttigieg and Klobuchar continue to fight for the scraps (the remaining 15%). Buttigieg obviously picked a fight with Klobuchar, but for what reason is anybody’s guess. That cat-and-dog fight did them both some damage. They’re not going anywhere. The notion of either of them going head-to-head in a debate with the charismatic President Trump is absurd, and the Democrat Establishment knows it.
There you have it – the Democrats go into their national convention in July with a split vote with no one having sufficient delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot. Which is EXACTLY what the Democrat Party Establishment has been orchestrating from the beginning. The DNC have already been discussing rules changes to deny the nomination to Bernie, and the only way to do that will be through a brokered convention.
I have believed from the very beginning that Hillary Clinton is angling for the nomination “by acclamation.” The calculus is that she will only have to run a short, intense campaign without fear of apparent health problems like in 2016, and that there are enough Democrats and others who still think that “she was robbed” in 2016 who would be reenergized enough to drag her across the finish line in November – particularly if her running mate is John Kerry. That’s a perfect Democrat Establishment ticket.
Yes, the Democrat debate in Las Vegas was a great success – just as envisioned and orchestrated by the Party Establishment. That debate keeps the Party hopelessly split going into Super Tuesday. Say hello to a brokered convention.