If the Democratic presidential debates reflected the sort of person who votes for the party, Marianne Williamson and Tulsi Gabbard would be center stage. As would Ed Buck, Harvey Weinstein, and the ghost of Jeffrey Epstein. But with Williamson systematically sidelined by the Democratic machine and Gabbard abruptly deployed to the front lines at the behest of a vengeful Kamala Harris (I mean, maybe?), we were left with the chum.
The Democrats’ great white hopes are, in order: a loose-toothed septuagenarian who can’t reliably remember Barack Obama’s name, a hectoring fake Indian schoolmarm (wearing far too much hair product) and an embattled socialist author who can’t explain why the millions of dollars he’s earned in royalties have gone on boats and third homes instead of, maybe, feeding the poor.
None of these guys have serious policies or sincere presidential ambitions. The Democrats seem to know the election is a shoo-in for Trump. Therefore, they offer voters and activists a series of unconvincing bromides about how they will beat him, while demonstrating no ability to do so. For a pantheon of supposed heavy hitters whose sole unifying message is ‘beat Trump at any cost,’ it’s remarkable that not a single one of them landed a blow on the president.
Politics in America is becoming more explosive and more cultural. Consequently, I’ve noticed that my smarter and more independently-minded gay friends are better bellwethers of what’s coming than any verified prognosticators on Twitter and certainly more reliable than any network anchors. Call me — call us — crazy, but there’s a consensus among the cleverest people I know that Marianne Williamson is the only person who could conceivably wrong-foot Donald Trump in 2020.
She is, after all, his precise opposite. Where he appeals to the male ego, to patriotism and to bombast and is almost cartoonishly masculine, she is the mysterious feminine, the crystal witch warrior with keen instincts about the electorate, compassion and — as she likes to say, simply — ‘love’. Williamson is Trump’s perfect female counterpart.
In 2016, during the debates, Megyn Kelly accused Trump of calling women ‘disgusting’ and ‘pigs.’ ‘Only Rosie O’Donnell,’ he responded. That moment won him the election. There was no one on the Democratic stage last night capable of the volatility, capriciousness and raw honesty that makes those singular occurrences that swing elections and knock culture off its trajectory. Where Trump had red-blooded American males crying, ‘fuck, yeah!’ only Marianne could produce a similar number of women intoning, ‘yes, please!’
None but the dorkiest political obsessives managed a full three hours last night; most people tuned out by the time Sleepy Joe was heckled by indigenous rights and immigration activists about the three million illegals deported under Obama. And that’s the problem the Democratic party has – the sinister machinery that stole the nomination from Bernie for Hillary last time around has ejected the candidates with enough mercurial juice to stand up to Trump in favor of the hopelessly anodyne, the dimwitted and the predictable.
Also, the flat-out crazy. Take Julián Castro, the diminutive Latino immigration extremist who wants to throw open the doors on the southern border. Or the even more diminutive GINO (Gay In Name Only) Mayor Pete, or, as I like to call him, the angriest bottom in politics. None of the candidates held a candle last night, however, to the ‘yes, I’ve accepted that I will never be president’ self-immolation of Beto O’Rourke, who proudly announced his intention to snatch AR-15s and AK-47s from every American.
All Trump now has to do to win, I suspect, is play a few seconds of the crowd cheering after Beto admitted that, hell yeah, he’d take your guns. Job done. This sums up the left: brilliant at infiltrating and corrupting the institutions of civil society from behind the scenes. Suddenly, hopeless at appealing to people when shoved into the light and forced to tell you what they really think.
The candidates have no idea how they sounded when they fell over each other to claim that the El Paso shooter was ‘inspired by’ President Trump’s tweets. And Kamala Harris adopting a black-ccent for the majority-African American audience has got to be the low point of this election cycle so far. Amy Klobuchar, bless her, has no idea how badly her role in the Kavanaugh hearings destroyed her reputation, even though she went easy on him relative to her senatorial colleagues.
In Cory Booker news: he was never more fey than last night — an effect not helped by a make-up mishap that left his ears several shades lighter than the rest of his head. Mayor Pete banged on about serving during ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ It was repealed one year after he enlisted. He didn’t come out of the closet for another five years after that, at the tender age of 33. Okay, sweetie!
As John Stuart Mill observed, we need strong adversaries to keep us honest and to keep us in fighting shape. These people ain’t it.