What, you might ask, is both leaderless and rudderless? That would be the Democratic Party if the Washington Examiner and Harvard-Harris poll of 2,092 registered voters is to be believed. The poll asked this question: Who is the leader of the Democratic Party today?
40% of respondents stated simply that there was no leader of the Democratic Party.
15% think that Barack Obama is still the Dems leader. 12% say it is Bernie Sanders. 11% say it is Elizabeth Warren. 10% say it is still Hillary Clinton. 8% say that the Party needs someone new. 4% either had no idea or named someone who isn’t ‘someone’ and thus the answers weren’t noted.
The next question was: Who should be the Democratic presidential candidate in 2020?
Bernie Sanders led with 14% of the vote. Michelle Obama came in second with 11% of the vote. Elizabeth Warren scored 9%. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tied at 4% each, and Oprah Winfrey and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker tied at 3%. This survey was conducted with a group identifying as 37% Democratic, 30% Republican, 28% Independent and 5% saying they were ‘other’ than these.
There is, as the Examiner pointed out, no consensus leader and there are deep divisions between the “grassroots liberals” and the “mainstream establishment Democrats”. This is a gift if we conservatives are but willing to accept it. And, unfortunately, that seems to be in question on certain days.
What this seems to be saying is simple: We can expect that current elected Democratic party members will be seeking the right person and those with recognizable names will be jockeying at each others’ expense for the next two-plus years. They will all have as their target the combination of President Trump, the Republican Senate, and the Republican House. Thrown in for good measure will be whoever is finally seated as our next U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
IF the Republicans can get their respective ‘stuff’ together, they can capitalize on what will seem disarray from within the opposition. If they cannot get their ‘stuff’ together, and if they bicker back and forth, and if they act like the ‘gang that couldn’t shoot straight’ we have occasionally seen in the past, then this gift of a leaderless and rudderless Democrat Party will have been lost and lost quickly.
There are, unfortunately, those members of the Republican caucus who are constantly placing self above party. You can picture them in your mind’s eye as you read these lines. They are members of the Freedom Caucus group in the House and they are members of the Senate who are in their own quest for dominance in the polls. They are those in the House who love to take on the Speaker in their effort to make him look inept and weak and not at all the leader he is to have been elected to his position by the majority in the first place.
It is very difficult to have unity on the one hand while placing self above all the others in your party. If the Republicans, all the Republicans in both the Senate and the House, could reach the point of simply permitting the Dems to self-destruct, we could see much success over these three and one-half years. That isn’t to say that there cannot be spirited debate. There needs to be spirited debate. What there doesn’t need to be is the petty political carping and conniving especially when the Dems are trying to gift us in a significant way.
As a conservative, I must be thinking Republican. That is our sole choice for candidates whom we can actively support even though we recognize that these candidates aren’t necessarily as conservative as we might desire. We need to be realistic about the Republican candidates since they may not be as ‘conservative’ as we’d like. They could be a liberal Republican and still be more conservative than the Democrat’s candidate. Bernie Sanders, for crying out loud, came in first in this poll and he is anything but a conservative Democrat. He is a socialist and he scored well in this poll. If that doesn’t give us a clue, nothing will.
We simply need to get out of our own way and permit this gift, wrapped in pretty paper with big beautiful bows, to be received.
Us conservatives cringe at the Republicans in Congress. These people, our only hope as conservatives, threaten to ignore the opportunity we all have to permit the Democrats to implode. As this is being written, the Republicans are doing their best not to get a reasonable health care bill passed with the internal battles that some believe they were called to engage in by their constituents. You can picture them in your mind’s eye as well as can I, and it is always the same people. So, the Democrats are leaderless and in disarray…and Republicans, granted not all but enough to be trouble, are seemingly doing their very best to find a way to lose the vote on a replacement for ObamaCare.
Is this the new “Gang that couldn’t shoot straight”? What about winning do they not like?
This group of so-called Republicans is apparently so enamored with self as to be unable, or more to the point UNWILLING, to accept a victory because they didn’t get everything they wanted. To watch a small, but important, segment of the Republican party declare victory as they cause the party, and much more significantly the people of this country, to take a defeat that was unnecessary is simply more than I can forgive.
Us conservatives have no place to go except to the Republican party, at least for now. In the face of the gift bequeathed to us by the leaderless and rudderless Democrats, we are forced to watch this stupid “mine is bigger than yours” histrionic display by what ought to be adults with the ability to think beyond the end of their noses.
The Dems have hope only because of this internecine silliness, more like stupidity, amongst people calling themselves Republicans.