February 12, 2020
You know by now that American Consequences executive editor Buck Sexton doesn’t pull his punches.
And you can now hear Buck live on the largest talk radio station in the nation, The Voice of New York, 710 WOR, every weekday night at 6 p.m. Eastern time. Click here to listen online.
But first, today’s essay from Buck is one of the best overviews of the Democrats’ crowded field that we’ve ever read…
Could Bloomberg Be the Democrats’ X Factor?
By Buck Sexton
There is no longer a clear frontrunner in the Democratic primary. That much should be clear after the Democrats’ debacle in Iowa. That the DNC in that state would still be counting votes days after the caucuses ended was a public relations disaster.
Democrats are supposed to be the party of Silicon Valley and the faculty lounge. But they seemed to have a lot of trouble with technology and basic math in Iowa.
And for many, it raised a lot of questions about whether the Democrats are really ready to take on President Donald Trump…
Could it be Bernie? He got the most votes in Iowa, and had a similarly strong finish in New Hampshire. The Senator from Vermont is the only self-defined “Democratic socialist” in the race, which the more establishment wing of his party recognizes as an Achilles heel in the general election against Trump. His answer to every question sounds like a variation of “government will make it free, and I will make rich people pay for it.” That’s troubling rhetoric to anyone with a knowledge of history or economics.
But for anyone looking for a candidate who has enthusiasm and buzz on the Democrat side, Sanders would be the clear choice. His rallies draw enormous, engaged crowds. There is a passion – let’s call it a socialist zeal – that seems to invigorate his followers to go door to door and create the kind of grassroots apparatus that wins elections. Unlike the other candidates on the Democrat side, Bernie offers a clear, major departure on policy from his would-be opponent, Donald Trump.
Could it be Biden? After Iowa and New Hampshire, it seems like Joe Biden had been a default frontrunner all along. It’s easy to forget now, but the former Vice President was a bottom-tier presidential candidate in the 2008 field that included luminaries such as Dennis Kucinich. To anyone paying close enough attention, Biden has always been a second-tier politician with a third-tier mind.
Being a longtime, Democrat-machine politician from Delaware isn’t all that impressive. Biden has been reliably wrong for more than 30 years on every major foreign policy question. He got lucky when Obama picked him to serve as vice president, and he has been more or less trying to ride on the fumes of the Obama administration into the big chair in the Oval Office in 2020.
After that, you have the remaining candidates…
- Pete Buttigieg is too young, inexperienced, and has almost zero minority support, which means the upcoming Democrat primary contests will not go well for him.
- Amy Klobuchar is a liberal, but not enough of a leftist for the Democrat party of today. She may end up as someone’s vice president.
- Tom Steyer is a charmless absurdity, a billionaire who apparently owns only one tie.
- And nobody really thinks Andrew Yang or Tulsi Gabbard has a chance.
That then brings us to Bloomberg. Mike Bloomberg is different from all of these other candidates, because he can – and is – funding a national level contest out of his own pocket. There are plenty of candidates who will spend millions of their own dollars to be president. None of them can spend billions. Bloomberg can.
Will that be enough to win the Democrat nomination? Nobody knows.
Bloomberg is a billionaire running at a time when the left wing demonizes wealth and calls for open socialism. He’s a coastal elite business magnate who is rabidly against the Second Amendment, and his nanny state prohibition of big sugary sodas is still the stuff of late-night TV legend.
But he’s also smart, capable, and one of the richest human beings on Earth. Trump, the great showman, harnessed billions of dollars of free media attention to defy establishment prognostications in 2016. Mike Bloomberg can just buy it. And that’s what he’s doing.
We are very early in the Democrat nomination process. In political terms, November is eons away… as you will hear every week until election day. Perhaps Bloomberg will merely help winnow the field faster, and consolidate more support behind Bernie. Or maybe Biden catches a miraculous second wind. Anybody who tells you they know how this will play out is mistaken.
But as much as it may shock the conscience Democrat base and surprise the rest of America, there is a greater than zero chance – and it appears to be growing – that the 2020 presidential contest will come down to two billionaires from New York City with egos to match their bank accounts.
Now here are some of the stories we’re reading…
The PRO Act won’t do anything to help workers. It’s a plan to empower Dems’ Big Labor allies
Dwindling union membership means declining revenue and political influence. So, the Democrats, who depend on union endorsements and union dues to support their political campaigns, are advocating policies that essentially eliminate the option of going non-union.
The FAA Doesn’t Care If You Feel Like a Sardine in That Plane
The FAA is a classic case of “regulatory capture” — it is more focused on the needs of the industry it is supposed to regulate than on the consumers it is supposed to protect. Letting airplane makers certify their own planes is only one example. Another, I learned recently, is the way the agency approaches airline seats…
The Coming Retirement Crisis Part II
Raoul Pal explains in detail how the baby boomer generation, through the rational and reasonable behavior of seeking to live and retire comfortably, has fueled the creation of a massive financial bubble that touches nearly every corner of the economy as pensions take more and more risk.
Greg Ip Unwittingly Reveals the Fed’s Toothless Existence
Just as the alarmist crowd could never keep funds from flowing to oil companies, neither can the Fed keep funds from migrating to the growth parts of the overall economy. The Fed can’t overwhelm market realities; at best it can confirm them.
And let us know what you’re reading at [email protected].
Publisher, American Consequences
With P.J. O’Rourke and the Editorial Staff
February 12, 2020