Civil War on the Left: Election Outlook Edition

One thing you can reliably count on in a presidential election cycle is that the raw ambition to power will cause candidates eventually to roll out their nastiest attacks on their intra-party rivals. Remember, for example, how embattled incumbent Jimmy Carter obliquely brought up Ted Kennedy’s disgrace at Chappaquiddick in 1980 with his comment that “I never panicked in a crisis,” or how Al Gore was the first person to bring up Willie Horton against Michael Dukakis during the Democratic primaries in 1988, and Jerry Brown brought up Hillary Clinton’s dodgy dealings with the Rose Law Firm in the 1992 primary debates.

Despite some of the early attacks we’ve seen, such as Kamala Harris going after Biden or Tulsi Gabbard going after Tim Ryan and Harris, we haven’ seen nuthin’ yet when it comes to Democrats attacking each other. They’re just getting warmed up. I have been expecting a frontal attack on Elizabeth Warren’s fraudulent claim to be part native American to advance her career (does anyone really think she didn’t play this card to get hired at Harvard?), which most of the country that doesn’t follow politics closely still isn’t much aware of. Biden’s age is sooner or later going to come under direct attack.

Already we can see articles like this one in The Hill calling for Slow Joe to drop out:

Nice guy Joe Biden should retire from presidential race

By Liz Peek

Joe Biden is done. He just doesn’t know it yet. He seems like a nice guy; it would be far nicer if someone told him.

Why is the former vice president about to skid off the campaign trail? Because his behavior is becoming ever more peculiar, his efforts to raise money and reach voters (the widely mocked “No Malarkey” bus tour) are failing and because there is a new moderate in the race – Mike Bloomberg – who is likely to clean his clock, to use the kind of expression Biden would love.

We know that generally the Democratic Party establishment—that is, the non-insane part of the party not based on college campuses, in Hollywood, or in “news”rooms—is terrified that the weak field is doomed to lose to Trump. NBC News reported last month:

WASHINGTON — The offer: A $1 million check from a major Democratic donor to a major Democratic group. The one condition: The money would be refunded if Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren becomes the party’s nominee.

That offer was rejected, according to an official familiar with it, but it was indicative of the larger anxiety felt by many in the Democratic Party’s elite circles about the state of the 2020 Democratic presidential field. “Ninety to 95 percent of our donor base is terrified about Warren,” said a prominent Democratic official.

Democrats, often prone to fretting about elections, have been increasingly worried that their large and divided presidential field, currently led by four imperfect front-runners, doesn’t have what it takes to beat President Donald Trump next year.

With Warren fading and Mayor Pete surging, it is interesting to watch especially the “progressive” wing of the Democratic Party train their sights on him and sharpening their swords. Out today from McClatchy News:

How progressives are plotting to stop Pete Buttigieg’s rise in the 2020 race

Progressive activists around the country are mobilizing to halt the momentum of Pete Buttigieg, who they increasingly view as a formidable threat to win the Democratic presidential nomination.

Top liberal leaders from multiple organizations are independently crafting strategies that center around three prongs: a heightened focus on Buttigieg’s checkered record on race in South Bend, Ind., his little-known work at the McKinsey consulting firm and an argument that his tempered policy proposals align with the wishes of large corporations.

Hmmm, what’s missing from that list of Buttigieg’s vulnerabilities with voters—especially the all-important black voters in the Democratic Party? As noted here before, Buttigieg is the first serious gay candidate, and homosexuality remains highly unpopular among black voters. But there’s no way any of the leading Democrats will risk alienating the identitarians that are so central to the progressive worldview right now, so no one is going to bring this up directly. I predict a huge and very nasty whispering campaign against Buttigieg’s sexual orientation in South Carolina, Iowa, and other non-coastal states.

Meanwhile, while Donald Trump will never be confused with Demosthenes, he does continue to show moments where he understands how to tap into the sentiments of the common man, such as his comments yesterday about light bulbs and low-flow plumbing. It’s part schtick, but it works:

Complete text here. I don’t see how any of the current Democrats are going to beat this guy.

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