Democratic Debate 2016: Half the Country is Crazy
Watching the Democrats debate Tuesday night, my first reaction was the obvious one: Dear God, half of my fellow citizens broadly agree with these maniacs — and some of them are operating airplanes I might have to fly on. I really don’t want my life in the hands of people who think that money comes out of thin air, that vast federal programs are the answer to every American’s day-to-day dilemmas, that making tuition free will improve our educational standards … the list of rotted ideas and failed policies goes on and on. It’s enough to make you afraid to leave the house.
That said, in around a year our citizens will swarm and try to sting the Leviathan we’re riding either to the left or to the right, and one of the Republicans will face one of the Democrats. There’s no escaping the fact, so instead of curling up in denial, let’s take a look at the defining issues and characteristics of each Democratic candidate, and assess which Republicans they’d have the hardest time beating.
Biggest Bad Idea: Apart from her loud cheerleading for legal abortion and Planned Parenthood — which alas, is mandatory groupthink for Democrats, even decent men like Jim Webb — the worst policy that Hillary Clinton stands for is enshrining Wall Street crony capitalism even more deeply in the law. Remember that it was her husband’s administration that supported the cheap money Alan Greenspan pumped into the economy, fluffing up the dotcom bubble — shortly before Clinton imposed rules and policies that helped create the mortgage bubble, by directing federal housing loans to people with bad credit ratings. Now the favorite candidate of the investor class promises to impose more regulations, of the very sort that huge banks benefit from because they can afford the lawyers and lobbyists to help them get wealthier while still “complying.”
Hardest Opponent: Carly Fiorina, who would drain off some of the mindless “we need a woman in there” vote, and whose heartfelt defense of unborn children would play better in the general election than it would coming from male candidates. Also, Carly is clearly smarter, without seeming so calculating — maybe it’s because Carly can laugh without one right away hearing in one’s head, “I’ll get you, my pretty, and that little dog, too!”
Biggest Bad Idea: Converting America to 100% green energy by 2050. There’s just one way we could attain that: by imposing a totalitarian state. How else would you force Americans to leave all that oil and gas in the ground, and rely on shaky technologies such as windmills and solar panels? Not even the heavy-handed oligarchs who rule the EU countries have set such an ambitious goal, which tells us that O’Malley is still an ideological undergrad.
Hardest Opponent: Ted Cruz, who in any debate would reduce O’Malley to a pile of vegan chopped meat, especially on the energy issue.
Biggest Bad Idea: Here it would be easier to mention Sanders’ only good idea, which is a more cautious approach to launching American wars. But on every other issue, he comes as close to wrong as it is possible for a conscious human being to get. Unrepentant about his support for the Sandinistas and his honeymoon in the pre-Gorbachev Soviet Union, this self-styled socialist is campaigning on naked envy and resentment. His personal style seems less like a possible president than the leader of a greedy NYC teachers’ union circa 1977, which makes him the ideal candidate for Americans who currently take more from the government than they give, or members of far-left public employee unions.
Hardest Opponent: Donald Trump, whose populist stances would defang some of Sanders’ appeal as a grumpy old man willing to give you free stuff. Unlike Sanders, Trump doesn’t see our failure to adopt Scandinavian nanny-state socialism as a “national embarrassment.”
Biggest Bad Idea: Here’s an honorable man running for Democratic nominee … in 1960, back when both parties agreed on fundamental principles of decency and sanity, though they differed on implementation. But to survive in today’s Democratic party, he has had to adopt the party’s pro-choice position. And that’s his worst idea: that America can embrace responsibility, prudence, self-restraint and bi-partisanship — all principles which Webb has embodied in his military and public service — while sloughing off the rights of a million unborn children a year, as the butcher’s bill for the Sexual Revolution. Jim Webb knows better, which is why his pro-choice position comes across as the most offensive.
Hardest Opponent: Jeb Bush, because their positions are almost identical, except on social issues. And on those issues, voters will know that Webb isn’t even sincere. He’s just reading from the multiculturalists’ and baby-parts merchants’ script. If both these decent men were to win the nomination, expect a record low turnout, since neither of them offers any red meat to the crazies.
Biggest Bad Idea: Expanding immigration and offering amnesty. Yes, all the other candidates (even Webb) agree with this as well. But nothing about Chaffee distinguishes him from the other Democrats in the race, except his past as a turncoat RINO Republican from New England — and the fun fact that he inherited his senate seat from his daddy. In fact, Chaffee seems less like a politician than a historical throwback: “Hey folks, remember when we progressive WASPs used to run the country? Now you remember why we don’t anymore.” Chaffee is running for president all right — of Brown University. I hope he gets it; they deserve each other.
Hardest Opponent: Anyone. Anyone at all. Lindsay Graham, George Pataki, even Deez Nuts could probably whip Chaffee in the general election. And Chafee seems to know it. That smile of his seems to say, “You didn’t know who I was, but now I’m here on television! Honey, did you remember to DVR this?”