Absent the appearance of a last-minute deus (or dea) ex machina, and always keeping in mind Harold Wilson’s observation that a week is a long time in politics, the bookies are coalescing around the prediction that the Democratic nominee for president will be Big Squaw E. Warren, senator from Massachusetts, purveyor of authentically fake ‘Pow Wow Chow’ which experts reckon are 0.1024 percent Cherokee, the same as paleface Warren herself.
It was only yesterday, it seems, that the Democratic field was teeming with candidates. Whither Spartacus Booker and his imaginary friend T-Bone? What price Kamala Harris? Who remembers Mayor Pete? I won’t bother to mention tall guy Warren Wilhelm, known to some as Bill de Blasio, econut Jay Inslee, or stand-up comic and Twilight Zone escapee Eric Swalwell.
It’s a bit like that Agatha Christie novel Ten Little Indians (please don’t tell the censors and scolds what the book was originally called). I reckon that, with Liz, we’re down to the last of the island holiday makers. Some others are still ambulatory, it’s true. But that’s only because the fatal poison they’ve ingested hasn’t yet gone to work.
Warren’s two most plausible rivals are Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Bernie has suffered a heart attack and announced that he is ‘changing the nature’ of his campaign. It’s rocker-on-the-front-porch time for Bernie and everyone knows it.
And Joe Biden? Until the day before yesterday he was the semi-anointed front-runner, the one adult on the Democratic side of the ledger. Well, poor muttering Joe is falling behind in fundraising and the polls: by mid-October Warren had edged in front of him by a few points. That, friends, is less a data point than a trend.
That’s not all. As I write, the identity of the so-called ‘Ukraine whistleblower’ is still not public knowledge. I sometimes wonder whether he (or she) is an anti-Biden plant. At the end of the day, the news from Ukraine will not hurt Donald Trump; already the vaunted ‘impeachment inquiry’ is spluttering to an ignominious end; but the publicity accorded to Joe and Hunter Biden’s corrupt activities in Ukraine and China has delivered a serious, probably a fatal, blow to Joe Biden’s candidacy.
Now that we are down to the last little Indian, a question that has been furtively whispered ever since the Democratic field assembled for playtime this summer is out in the open: do the Democrats have a death wish? Forget about the comic relief candidates — Cory Booker, Eric Swalwell, Jay Inslee et alii. What does it mean that two top Democratic candidates are an avowed socialist who harbors a special place in his heart for the Soviet Union, one of the most monstrous tyrannies in world history, and an unavowed socialist who traipses around the word but embraces all the policies? Remember, Warren has publicly declared that ‘I’m with Bernie’ when it comes to ‘Medicare for all’, i.e. government-run (which means badly run) healthcare. Ronald Reagan was right when he noted that ‘one of the traditional ways of imposing statism or socialism’ on a society was by way of medicine. Obamacare took a huge step in that direction. ‘Medicare for all’ would finish the task.
I think that most voters understand that, which is one of the reasons I wonder about the Democrats’ embrace of what Freud called Todestrieb, ‘death instinct’. What else does Elizabeth Warren — Hillary with ankles and less Chardonnay — wish to impose upon us?
Chew on these morsels. ‘On my first day as president,’ she tweeted, ‘I will sign an executive order that puts a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases for drilling offshore and on public lands.’
Think about that. Barack Obama famously said that ‘we cannot drill our way out’ of the problem of getting enough energy. But it turns out that we can. President Trump’s aggressive support for fracking and other methods of harnessing America’s energy resources have, in a little over two years, transformed the US from a net importer into a net exporter of energy. More energy, more prosperity. Unemployment under Trump has fallen to historic lows, especially for women and minorities. Meanwhile his energy policy, tax cuts and ‘America first’ initiatives have fueled the first real wage increases for the working and middle classes in decades. In less than three years, middle-class incomes have surged more than $5,000.
What does Elizabeth Warren want to do about that? Raise taxes. Institute a wealth tax of 2 or 3 percent. Raise taxes. She wants to make college free while forgiving most student debt. Also, raise taxes. She wants to spend $1.5 trillion (but who’s counting?) battling a phantom she calls ‘environmental racism’. She wants to abolish the electoral college, ‘study’ reparations for slavery and institute a federal minimum wage of $15. Did I mention that she wants to raise taxes? She thinks it’s OK for felons to vote, isn’t worried about illegal immigration or border security and wants to slash defense spending.
Donald Trump has made America more prosperous, more secure and (through his attack on bureaucratic overreach) less beholden to the state. I think these are good things. So do most voters, including women and minorities who are too smart to be dazzled by talk of ‘environmental racism’. Elizabeth Warren thinks she can win on an anti-prosperity, increased bureaucracy platform. She lied about being part Cherokee to get hired by Harvard Law School, she lied about being fired because she was ‘visibly pregnant’ to garner sympathy and now she is lying about what her socialist policies would do to the United States. To me this hectoring Hillary retread perfectly epitomizes the Democrats’ death wish. I think they will get their wish, and thank God for that.
This article is in The Spectator’s November 2019 US edition.