29 April 2019

Note From Norm: A Platform a Socialist Would Be Proud To Run On

And, so Joe Biden makes it 20.

The Gang of 20.

That is, 20 Democrats all vying for their party’s nomination to be the candidate that takes on President Donald Trump in November 2020.

Yes, the Gang of 20 it is.

Or, is it?

The New York Times reports as late as last week that there are potentially another 5 Democrats who might enter the race for President.

So, for arguments sake let’s assume the field, while currently 20, may increase in size and call it The Gang of 20***

So, what makes each of these candidates stand out from one another?

On the surface you might point to their gender, years of experience in public office, their skin color and, yes, even their age.

If one digs a bit deeper you can find differences based upon their sexual orientation, religion, their relative level of wealth and marital status.

But if one were to truly scratch the surface beyond the public story of each of the candidates seeking to defeat Donald Trump we can begin to see a pattern that has developed that bodes well for the incumbent, not so much for his potential opponents and even better for Congressional Republicans in 2020.

There’s no doubt that the further left the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination veer the more money, media attention and plaudits from party activists they receive.

Notwithstanding the entry of Biden, who, by virtue of having been the most recent Democratic Vice President, raised a wheelbarrow full of money from a nearly 50-year career in politics, the top 5 Democrats are also the most liberal Democrats of their party.

The top Democrat in the race, if only slightly behind Biden, is Bernie Sanders.

To be fair to Democrats, Bernie Sanders really isn’t a Democrat.

He’s a Socialist.

When he was Mayor of Vermont he was a Socialist.

In the Senate, he has called himself an Independent, far more often than not voting with Democrats than against them.

And, he would like to parse his political affiliation as being a Democratic Socialist more than being a Socialist.

And, a pig with lipstick is still a pig.

Sanders, as he has in his career as a candidate for Mayor, for U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senator, has used the infrastructure of the Democratic Party to run and win public office only to disengage from the infrastructure so he can espouse, govern and vote like a Socialist.

To compete with Sanders virtually every Democrat running for President has tried to run alongside him, willing to accept Sanders socialist ideology to define the issues in the race for the party’s nomination.

Some, like Warren, have tried to push the envelope even further left than Sanders in order to have a break-out moment in the campaign.

There are others, like U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and to a lesser extent Congressman Beto O’Rourke and U.S. Senator Cory Booker who have tried to temper the glaring left-ward tilt of the race and add some element of centrism to their candidacy.

Each of them has been met with outright derision by party activists who chide them for not being angrier, more strident and active members of the “resistance.”

Biden, who is not ashamed of his liberalism, is new to this race, although not new to politics or to the nation.

Yet, it is not Biden who the 18 other candidates, other than Sanders, will be competing against at the end of this long race for the endorsement of the Democratic Party.

It will be Bernie Sanders all the way from now until July of 2020 when Democrats gather in Milwaukee to choose their party’s candidate.

Yes, Biden appears to be the 900-pound gorilla in the race right now, but he has been baked into the cake by the 19 Democrats already in the race.

They knew he would raise a lot of money.  Have a lot of establishment party support, including some of the long-time institutional labor union support that traditionally supports the Democratic Party.

Biden will not, however, dictate the issues and the terms of this campaign in the end.

Bernie Sanders has, and will continue to do so.

On Medicare, Health Care, Foreign Policy and the role of government in virtually ever area of American life, Democrats running for President will have to meet, or exceed, the Bernie Sanders bar of approval to have any chance of the party’s nomination.

No matter who is the candidate, though, this much is clear:  A Socialist is at the head of the race for the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States of America.

In the end, Bernie Sanders may or may not be the Democratic Party candidate for President.

He will, however, made sure that whoever is the candidate will be running on a platform that would make a Socialist proud.