At The Week Matthew Walther muses about the Democrats’ predicament:
Unlike Gaul, the Democratic primary electorate is divided into only two parts. Bernie Sanders’s victory in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary reminded observers of what we have known for a long time, namely that the smaller of these two parts remains united in favor of his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. The larger moderate one remains split, not quite evenly, between Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Joe Biden.
We know which side the Democratic National Committee, the party’s leadership in Congress, wealthy mega-donors, and luminaries like the Obamas and the Clintons are on. We also know that they are willing to do pretty much anything to prevent Sanders from winning the nomination in 2020. The question is whether they will be able to.
I am not so sure the answer is yes.
I don’t think that’s “the question”. I think the question is whether they will be willing to. Rahm Emanuel articulated the choice that the Democrats face pretty well. They can run Bernie Sanders as their presidential candidate and in all likelihood lose in the general election or they can split the party.
The party nomenklatura can do pretty much anything they care to. They could simply ban Sanders from being put on the ballot as a Democrat. He isn’t one, after all. They could alter their present rules and just award his delegates to other candidates on those grounds or some other they come up with. There are all sorts of things they can do. But will they? Frankly, I doubt it.
There are several different ways of looking at the general election. Plan A has already failed. Plan B operates under the theory that anyone running on the Democratic ticket will beat Trump in November. I would have thought that 2016 would have persuaded the Democrats otherwise but apparently not.
If Biden continues to tank, Democrats are left with the following alternatives
- An elderly “democratic socialist” whose preferred policies actually resemble those of much more radical regimes than they do those of the Scandinavian social democracies he claims to admire.
- A Red Diaper baby who has never held anything other than local office and whose primary vote counts are more votes than he’s ever received before.
- Hillary v2.0
- Amy Klobuchar who, apparently, is mean to her staff
- A billionaire former New York mayor
They’d best hope that Plan B will work.