The way our politics has shaped up (up? has it shaped up?), the South Carolina primary is a bit like the puppy bowl entertainment that precedes the Big Game with the leatherette ovoid every winter. On Tuesday, the Big Game in politics kicks off with primaries in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Democrats Abroad, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia. Big stakes.
Still, people — some people — like the puppy bowl. It’s cute, and though it doesn’t really matter who wins, the contest is good for laughs and does get some people worked up. I was pretty worked up myself in 2012 when Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary and proclaimed himself the ‘obvious’ Republican nominee. For about 15 minutes, I thought so too.
‘The saddest words of tongue or pen are these, ‘it might have been’. Just imagine, the Grecian Formula Candidate sent packing, Newt would have brought a little testosterone and street-fighting savvy to the race and would have (in my counterfactual exercise) won against Barack Obama where wonder boy Romney crashed and burned.
Let’s not, however, forget how beneficent the operation of Providence can be. Had we had Newt, we would have been spared four more years of the worst president in our history, but we would not have enjoyed the services of Donald Trump. Nor would we have exposed the insidious workings of the deep state, so actively aided and abetted by Obama and his cronies. A net loss, surely.
In any event, pundits are eagerly tuning into this year’s political puppy bowl in South Carolina. Twelve candidates appear on the ballot. Only seven are still running: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer,and Elizabeth Warren. The people whose names you’ve already forgotten — Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, John Delaney, Deval Patrick and Andrew Yang — dropped out after absentee voting began in the state, hence their ghostly appearance on the ballot. The world’s richest and most arrogant candidate, Michael Bloomberg, did not get started in time to appear on the ballot. His first showing will come on Tuesday. He has been doing what he does best, however, spending lots and lots of money, saturating the airwaves and cyberspace with ‘unprecedented‘ amounts of advertising. Word is that he has spent $50 million on California alone. Back in ’49, there was a gold rush to California. These days it’s a rush for the state’s 400 delegates.
So who will win? I have a sealed bid with the name of the lucky puppy. For now, I’ll just reveal that (in my judgment) Donald Trump is right: it will be either ‘Sleepy Joe Biden’ or ‘Crazy Bernie Sanders’.
Mirabile dictu, Joe Biden is ahead in the polls for the primary. The RealClearPolitics average has him up some 15 points.
Why is it amazing to be told? Because Joe Biden is on — or past — the threshold of senility. Everybody knows it, though not everyone is yet willing to say it. The Guardian asks whether a win in South Carolina would be enough to jump start Biden’s campaign. The answer is ‘no’. Bloomberg’s money might outshout Bernie. Maybe we’ll have a brokered convention. But whatever happens in South Carolina, Biden is finished. In my view, allowing him to continue humiliating himself by proceeding with this campaign is a form of elder abuse. The man isn’t even sure what office he is running for.
A few days ago, Biden publicly announced his candidacy for the US Senate and asked people to vote for him or ‘some other Biden’. Ouch. His friends and family ought to intervene to prevent further embarrassment. Of course, then all those consultants (which might well include friends and family) would be out of their fees, 15 percent of whatever is spent on ads and the like.
Probably, it was out of compassion that Donald Trump suggested that Republicans vote for Bernie. Well, partly out of compassion. The other reason is that, though Joe Biden would (in my view) be easy to beat, if Bernie Sanders is the candidate, it would be like dropping a daisy cutter on the Democratic party. Trump would take some 45 states and his coattails would add a few Senate seats and probably put the House back under Republican control.
I know, I know, the Democrats have high hopes that the short, sharp, shock of the corona panic in the market will do for Trump what Hurricane Katrina, weaponized by the Dems and their media lackeys, did for Bush.
My own view is that the effects of the coronavirus are vastly overstated, especially for the United States. Partly because of Donald Trump’s foresight in early on instituting a travel ban from China — as Sen. Tom Cotton observed, it was probably ‘the single most consequential and valuable thing’ done to slow coronavirus — we will probably emerge from the haze of this ‘crisis’ in a couple weeks with fewer fatalities than the flu causes and a huge market buying opportunity. Let’s see if I am right.
In the meantime, I can now reveal the winner of this year’s political puppy bowl. The lucky puppy is — wait for it! Sleepy Joe! Final numbers are not yet in, but he has clearly won. He gets a bagful of puppy treats and a new collar. It looks like Bernie will come second. He gets a chew toy and a pat on the head.