If Democrats actually believe that President Donald Trump poses an existential threat to our nation, they would do well to start acting like it. Now.
They surely didn’t at their debate on Wednesday night in Las Vegas.
Instead, they attacked one another, focusing particularly on Mike Bloomberg, the multibillionaire former mayor of New York City who joined the race just 10 weeks ago and has been advertising like there’s no tomorrow. And if his performance on Wednesday was all he’s got, there may not be.
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The so-called debate — it was really more of a two-hour shouting match — was staged in advance of Saturday’s Nevada caucuses. With the South Carolina primary just a week later and Super Tuesday coming up fast on March 3, nearly 40% of convention delegates will have been awarded in less than two weeks.
The Nevada caucuses — the first major vote of the Democratic presidential nominating contests in the Western United States — will be held on Saturday.
Here's how the process works in Nevada, and the lessons from Iowa that show us what could go wrong. https://t.co/Ad2nA3kNte
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 21, 2020
In other words, Democrats don’t have the luxury of time.
Because if things go as they’ve been going, with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who isn’t even a democrat, racking up big delegate hauls in Super Tuesday states such as California and Texas, he may well soon open a lead that no one will be able to surmount.
Which is why the others on stage should have focused more of their fire on the 78-year-old unreconstructed socialist. They hit him a bit, but not nearly as much as they should have.
He wants the government to take away people’s private health insurance. And he can’t say how he’ll actually pay for the enormity of his Medicare-for-all proposal. Oh, and he won’t release his full medical records despite having pledged to after recently suffering a heart attack.
When Bloomberg took a shot at Sanders’ anti-capitalist manifesto, noting that such a thing has been tried before, and failed — “that was called communism” — Sanders reacted as though the former mayor had taken some kind of a cheap shot. Just imagine what will be coming from Trump is Sanders were the Democratic Party’s standard-bearer.
If Sanders wins in Nevada, one of the moderates needs to finish a surprisingly strong second. Former Vice President Joe Biden, maybe?
Here’s hoping. Because if Sanders, a socialist crank beyond parody, is the nominee, Trump will be reelected, the Senate will be out of reach, and the House may well be in peril. Talk about an existential threat.
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