James Shott / December 20, 2016

Can the Democrat Party Recover? Let’s Hope Not.

We expect Democrats to field candidates — just not competent or satisfactory ones.

Having blown the 2016 “sure thing” coronation of Hillary Clinton, and having magnificently failed to realize how badly they had alienated the people who live between the two coastal liberal strongholds, not noticing their growing displeasure and desire for change, we are left to wonder if the Democrats can return to Earth in time to rebuild their party and find candidates to head the party ticket in 2020. It would be better for America if the party died, to be replaced by a party that actually cared about constitutional governance and our great nation. But let’s deal with what’s there.

In their desperate blame game over what happened, Democrats have blamed James Comey and the FBI, Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders, WikiLeaks, racism, sexism, fake news, Russia, and voters. Everyone and everything is to blame except the DNC itself and its horrible candidate.

After the election there were demonstrations by Clinton supporters that turned into riots, crying sessions and a search for safe spaces. Then came the panicked reports that Russian hacking impacted the election, which led to efforts to undermine the Electoral College by persuading Republican electors to not vote for Trump, as their voters have instructed them. There were instances of intimidation and death threats against some electors.

But no evidence has been advanced to prove that the Russians actually changed votes or affected the results of the election. Besides, all the Russians really did was hack Democrat emails that were then released by WikiLeaks, which exposed the lies, deceit, corruption and collusion of the Clinton campaign, the DNC and the media to the public. Since their dirty little secrets were exposed to the world, naturally the Democrats had to try to get the electors to overturn the results of the election.

Of course, Democrats, shall we say, disagree with this analysis. But the fact remains that they are so badly flummoxed and disoriented that we have every reason to wonder if they can recover in time for their party to function well enough to field competent candidates for the next presidential election.

Okay, we expect them to field candidates — just not competent or satisfactory ones.

Assuming the DNC is able to establish lucidity — a big assumption — who are the potential candidates? Eight years of Obama has decimated the Democrat bench of up-and-comers. Which means only a few fossils remain.

Odds are that if Clinton is still alive and well, she will put herself out there again, despite her weak performance in 2008 and her substantial defeat this year. There are alternatives, of course, but some are even older than Hillary.

The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto cites a poll by Public Policy Polling showing that “Joe Biden leads the way for Democrats with 31 percent to 24 percent for Bernie Sanders, and 16 percent for Elizabeth Warren.” As if to underscore the depths of confusion among Democrats, however, Taranto goes on to say that they also expressed preference for younger candidates: “57 percent of Democrats say they want their candidate to be under the age of 60, and 77 percent say they want their candidate to be under the age of 70. Only 8 percent actually want a candidate who’s in their [sic] 70s.”

He points out that by the time of the 2020 election the favored potential candidates will be north of 70: Biden will be 77, Sanders will be 79, and Warren, the baby of the group, will be 71. Based upon the ages of the favored Democrats, Taranto jokingly termed the DNC the “Great-Grand Old Party.”

James Hohmann, national political correspondent for The Washington Post, suggests that, since VP candidate Sen. Tim Kaine has seemingly declined to seek the presidency in 2020, the door is open for other recognizable faces to enter the fray. Those faces include New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand, who took over Clinton’s Senate seat when she became secretary of state.

In addition to the aforementioned possibilities, opinion writer Chris Cillizza names some other lesser-known potential candidates. California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in November, is the first African-American woman elected to the Senate since Carol Moseley-Braun in 1992. Cillizza points out that she also represents the largest and most-Democrat state in the country, and that her “law-and-order-background” as AG will help her.

With first a business background, then serving as a mayor and now Colorado’s governor, John Hickenlooper would have broad appeal, Cillizza believes. One negative is Hickenlooper’s somewhat moderate political position, which may not appeal to the current hard-left state of the Democrat Party.

Having demonstrated an ability to work across the aisle to achieve things for veterans and child adoption, Cillizza believes Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has a positive profile for national office. Her state isn’t exactly a fundraising hotbed for national politics, but her ambitious demeanor may be attractive to Democrats.

Cillizza also argues that while current First Lady Michelle Obama has never run for office or expressed interest in doing so, she has excellent name recognition and “star power,” and she would go into a race for the nomination as a beloved figure.

So, after Biden, Sanders, Warren, Booker and Obama, the other possibilities have the name recognition hurdle to clear. Watching who says and does what during Trump’s first couple of years will help clarify the DNC’s dilemma.

Of course, if none of the above finds favor with Democrats, Kanye West has already thrown his hat into the ring, and Martin Sheen of the recent effort to persuade electors to not vote for Trump is available. He’s never been a president, but he did play one on TV.

In any case, as 2016 comes to a close, Democrats are in dire straits. Such situations rarely remain permanent in politics, but those of us who fight for Liberty can make the most of our moment.

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