You have probably seen the clip on YouTube. Jeff Daniels playing a news anchor on a political discussion panel in the HBO drama “Newsroom” is asked, “What makes America the greatest country in the world?” He saucily replies, “It isn’t.” Everyone gasps and looks flabbergasted. Sensing an opportunity to roast anyone and everyone, he proceeds to turn to a fellow panel member, a liberal woman, and rhetorically asks, “You know why people don’t like liberals? Because they lose.” And boy howdy have they been.
An impeachment on party lines that will be dismissed by the time of print, a royal snafu of an Iowa caucus, mass firings among the Milwaukee convention staffers and the distinct possibility that a socialist non-Democrat, Bernie Sanders, could win the nomination. The Democrats have managed to lose not only in 2016 to a uniquely unpopular opponent, but continue to exhibit why dreams of technocracy should not be entrusted to such an incompetent party.
As I write this on Wednesday, Feb. 5 — well past when my editor would like this submitted — the Senate is preparing to acquit President Donald J. Trump of the charges of high crimes and misdemeanors levied against him by the House. This comes days after Republican Senators voted to have no additional testimony and move towards acquittal. Just like that, impeachment will be over. Hardly a bang, more a whimper.
How could the Democrats botch an impeachment where the President releases the transcript of the call voluntarily? A call between Trump and Ukraine’s Zelensky so obviously intended to suss out information about Trump’s likely political opponent, Biden. This should have been a lay-up, at the very least tarnishing Trump so severely that his approval ratings remain in the 30s until an ignominious defeat come November. But no.
Much like Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers trilogy, Democratic leadership stumbled around until they bumped into the self-destruct button. Instead of using their political majority in the House to subpoena witnesses, work the subpoenas through the courts and then set Trump’s men down in front of the house and torch them, the House Democrats — led by Nancy Pelosi — thought it prudent to declare the matter of such great importance that the articles of impeachment be sent pronto. She then hung onto said articles for weeks, as one does with super-duper important documents, instead of sending them on a tax-payer funded bullet train straight to McConnell’s desk in the Senate.
She did not subpoena the witnesses, “Because justice delayed is justice denied. We would not be able to get our work done … [and the Senate] can subpoena those same people and save a great deal of time,” according to the New York Post. This was and is one of the most ridiculous political stratagems I have seen. Pelosi’s power is in the House where her Democrats hold a majority, whilst Mitch McConnell and his Republicans hold a strong position in the Senate. Why give up your powerful position in the hopes that your opponent will do what you want them to do? McConnell has no interest in removing Trump, and for Pelosi to entrust her impeachment baby to a political opponent was inane. In the words of Omar from HBO’s “The Wire,” “You come at the king, you best not miss.” The Democrats whiffed so hard Trump has a popularity rating of 49, a number that, if he can maintain it — a big “if” for one so talented at saying the outrageous — he should win handily in November.
As if the flaccid impeachment was not bad enough, the Democrat’s Iowa Caucuses descended into chaos. An app that was supposed to be a bulwark against misplaced votes and/or interference failed to operate as expected, which means the results of the primary were delayed by a full 24 hours. The media was confused, all the candidates made baseless speeches about their ascendancy and the Democrats tried to find some local Dem yokel to toss under the many campaign buses for this embarrassment. On most any day this snafu would be a major fail, but this came the day before and day of President Trump’s State of the Union address, where before the nation he was given ample ammunition by the Dems to dunk on them left, right and center for their ineptitude.
Pray, do not think it is only the Democrats outside of Wisconsin who exhibit a reality-defying ability to trip over their shoe-laces. The Milwaukee Host Committee, tasked with preparing for the DNC’s eventual convention here in our lovely state, was found to be headed by individuals who are alleged to have fostered a “toxic and hostile work environment” rife with “bullying and workplace harassment,” according to the Milwaukee Business Journal. For a party that purports to support “inclusive spaces” and “diverse intersectional coalitions,” one could be forgiven for thinking this was all lip-service, i.e. hogwash.
Lastly, there is the matter of Bernie Sanders: a lover of pudding, honeymooning in the USSR and democratically taking your stuff via coercion. This ol’ rascal also just so happens to be an Independent — in other words, not a Democrat at all. This non-Dem running in the Democratic primary has — of my writing this — secured a strong second-place finish in Iowa. Last time around in 2016, he came so close to winning that the Democratic establishment had to start changing up some rules just to keep him from the nomination. How can a party incapable of stopping a frizzy-haired Marx fan from co-opting their platform have any chance of taking on a braggadocious blowhard with a massive war chest and the bully pulpit of the presidency? You tell me.
This all may sound rather unkind to the Democrats. After all, they have had a rough go of it since 2016. In their pride and arrogance, they thought they would control the presidency for 16+ years, with the voter turnout secured by the Obama presidency bringing Hillary to power. It was not to be, as we all know.
No, I do not mock the DNC because of my right-leaning tendencies nor because they so richly deserve it. I mock them because they should be betters, and the Republican Party will likewise be better having a quality opponent. Competition leads to better alternatives. If the DNC has their house in order, they will win more. To best them the Republicans will have to shift their own dead-weight and less savory hangers-on to keep up. What we have seen instead is the Republicans overrun by an outside presence that many deem ill-suited. Instead of producing a high-quality candidate who most represents their ideals, the Democrats have sought out their own bludgeoning curmudgeon in Bernie Sanders. I do not know about you, but I would prefer not having to choose between an irate socialist and a populist-nationalist. We need better parties, and it can begin by calling them out on their multitudinous flaws.