The Ever-Shrinking Democratic Field

by Paul R. Hollrah –

Years from now, when historians write the story of the 2020 U.S. presidential election and they recall the names of the twenty-eight candidates who sought the Democratic nomination, they will have just one question.  They will ask, “Who were those people, and what in the hell made them think they were presidential caliber?”

One Democrat who has been thinking… quite correctly… is Rep. Al Green, who has represented Houston’s 9th Cong. District in Congress since 2005.  Green was one of the first Democrats to call for Donald Trump’s impeachment and he reiterated that position in an August 8 interview on CNN.

In that interview, Green made it clear exactly how much he hates and despises Donald Trump, expressing a desire to not only remove him from office, but to do it in such a way that Trump would be totally and utterly destroyed.  He said, “To defeat him at the polls would do history a disservice.  To do so would do our nation a disservice, and would not allow us to do (to him) what they did in 1868 when Andrew Johnson, who was the bigot of his time, who was impeached by the radical Republicans…”

Green is convinced that “There ought to be radical Democrats and Republicans who are willing to rise to the occasion and say to this president, ‘You are unfit, unworthy, and you must be removed from office.’”  He concluded by saying, “(Democrats) can’t let him walk the Earth without that stain (of impeachment).”

It would be interesting to know exactly who Green would choose from the ever-shrinking Democratic field who could even begin to accomplish what Trump has accomplished.  As a Democrat, he might choose a colleague such as Rep. Hank Brown (D-GA), a member of the House Judiciary Committee who has now voted in favor of Trump’s impeachment.  It was Hank Brown who stunned Admiral Robert Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, saying he feared that stationing 8,000 additional Marines on Guam would cause the island to “become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.”  As proof of the old adage that the people get exactly the quality of representation they deserve, Hank Brown’s intellectual capacity is representative of a great many Democrats in Congress.

But who would Green select from among the remaining announced candidates?  Of the twenty-eight candidates who have announced, to date, four of whom were so unremarkable that no one knew they were running, thirteen have already withdrawn, leaving fifteen candidates.  Of these, six candidates (Booker, Castro, Delaney, Steyer, Williamson, and Yang) are seen as having not even a remote chance of winning the nomination, leaving Democrats with just nine candidates to choose from.  These include Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), former vice president Joe Biden (D-DE), former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN), Cong. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), former Massachusetts governor Duval Patrick, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Of these, seven have all-but-disqualifying fatal flaws. In addition to Joe Biden’s serious health problems, making it all but impossible for him to maintain a campaign schedule even half as rigorous as Trump’s, he has major family-related corruption problems which haven’t even begun to cause major damage, as yet.  As the appearance of major corruption drag Biden deeper and deeper into the political mire, he will find it impossible to continue.  Having already slipped to fourth in some national polls, Biden can be expected to withdraw before the Iowa caucuses.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a unique case.  Serving as the mayor of the nation’s 306th largest city is not a major qualification for the presidency.  Thus, his political fortunes may ultimately rest on the strength of his military service and on the fact that he is openly gay.  At this point in the 21st century, most Americans are willing to accept the notion that a few of our family and friends may be homosexual or bisexual.  Most are indifferent to the issue, taking a live-and-let-live stance.  However, African Americans are known to be strongly anti-gay and it has been many years since a Democrat has won statewide or national office without carrying a prohibitive share of the black vote.

But the question arises, are there limits to the tolerance that most heterosexuals display?  In other words, if a heterosexual couple would refuse to rent a spare bedroom to a gay or lesbian couple, would they be just as intolerant of the notion of sodomy taking place in the White House… in the Lincoln Bedroom?  As matters now stand, with Buttigieg seen as a long-shot for the presidential nomination, the question of his sexual orientation has not been an issue.  But how far does such tolerance extend?  Democrats may soon have to decide, but not until they’ve entered the privacy of the voting booth.  The opinions they express outside the voting booth will not always inform the decisions they make inside the voting booth.  Scratch Pete Buttigieg.

Senator Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, is a self-described Democratic socialist.  He has developed a large following among young (age 18-36) liberals and progressives.  However, while he may attract young votes in the traditionally blue states, he would have a difficult time in the South, the Southwest, the Mountain States, the Farm Belt, and the Rust Belt.  Sanders would be 83 years, 4 months, and 11 days old when he completed a four-year term in January 2025.  Having suffered a heart attack while on the campaign trail in recent months, will he be able to withstand the rigors of the campaign trail for the next twelve months?  That is highly unlikely.  Scratch Bernie Sanders.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is the one 2020 candidate who seems to have a bit of staying power and she appears to be in good health.  However, her insistence that Medicare-for-all is a valid idea, in spite of her stunning cost estimate of $52 trillion over ten years, is bringing denunciation from every part of the political spectrum… left, right, and center.  The American people, while willing to pay for the best quality healthcare, have a strong aversion to what has always been known as “socialized” medicine.  They are not likely to changes their minds on that issue in 2020.  Scratch Elizabeth Warren.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, while a relatively popular mayor of New York, has proven himself to be quite dilettantish on the issues.  He has bought into the “global warming” hoax and he has spent a great deal of political capital attempting to limit the size of soft drinks that New Yorkers can consume.  As a multi-billionaire and a late entrant into the race, Bloomberg is seen by a great many Democrats, even among his fellow competitors, as a rich man trying to buy the presidency.  Scratch Mike Bloomberg.

Finally, former Massachusetts governor Duval Patrick, having entered the race very late, has had very little chance to build a field organization anywhere but in Massachusetts.  And with a cheering-squad of just one, Barack Obama, there is little or no chance that Patrick has time to create a political movement behind his cause.  Scratch Duval Patrick.

Of the twenty-eight Democrat candidates who announced their intentions to seek the Democratic nomination, that leaves Democrats with just three to choose from: Sen. Michael Bennet, of Colorado; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, of Hawaii; and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota.  And if all these assessments are valid, we can finally begin to understand why Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Nadler, and Adam Schiff are so hell-bent on impeaching Donald Trump, on grounds that do not even deserve to be called “flimsy.”

And as the attorney general, the Justice Department Inspector General, and U.S. Attorney Durham begin to put some meat on the bones of what is sure to be the greatest political scandal in U.S. history, Democratic chances in November 2020 will become slimmer and slimmer.  Congressman Al Green has it just right.  Since Democrats have little or no chance of winning the presidency, or to win control of either House of Congress, their only alternative is to remove Trump from office by impeachment.

As a long-suffering victim of Democratic treachery for sixty years, this is the day I’ve been waiting for.  | December 10, 2019

Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College.  He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply