This is a profoundly provocative question behind the New Yorker story that deals with the same subject, but more from a “whether” perspective than from a certainty. I am sitting with the certainty at his point that some one will pull a trigger on a hidden weapon and send the whole mass of them, all 20 candidates, into a screaming fit.
They will call names and point fingers and try to push people out of the game based on their ages (too old, too young?) their experiences (Bernie is NOT a Democrat after all) or their track records, some of which are too short to contain much and some of which are biblical in their length (Take a bow Joe!).
Being a “moderate” will be a fatal mistake for some of them and being too “progressive” will draw out suggestions they are actually communists in waiting. Whole teams of reporters will be rooting through their histories to find anything wrong that might lead to a great book contract and a quick $150,000 advance.
But that’s how stupid this process is.
It will include the mandatory debates of however many of the 20 meet the standard of excellence of getting some total in a useless poll (or polls) that indicates nothing but a useless collection of polling results. I could go on, but I tend to depress even myself, so I won’t.
But you know what I am getting at.
This campaign has all the potential of becoming a gigantic mud festival aimed only at dirtying up everyone but a survivor, who may well be too damaged by the process to build a successful challenge to the bloviating man-chimp currently serving as president of the United States.
And that’s without even factoring in what the Russians could do this time around. Or the Chinese. Or the North Koreans. Or someone who hasn’t yet presented a threat.
Once again, we are pushing our advantage right through our bladders and almost guaranteeing Donald Trump will be reelected. I hate the thought of that. I hate even saying that. But that’s my deepest, darkest fear, that he will be reelected on the basis of a strong economy (because what interest weights more than self interest?) and the public’s capacity for wanting to skate on good times no matter the consequences.
This could be one of the most regrettable campaigns in modern history (in which we have had some doozies). And it will all start with the Democrats so eager to beat that flabbergasting windbag they will whack each other over the heads just to get bloodied up for it. Meanwhile, the president will continue to gin up more scary threats from the south along the border and whatever else gets him a bump on his jerk-om-meter poll reading device.
He’ll be red baiting before long. You just watch.
Shit. (Because no column like this can survive without at least one curse word.)