...what happens if Bernie wins?: As we watch the liberal and mainstream worlds implode, we don't know which is sadder:
Is it this front-page report in the New York Times about the identity Babel within the Buttigieg campaign?
(As best we can tell, Katrina Smith is one year out of college.)
Or is it the pitiful report which leads this morning's National section—the sprawling report about several candidates' dogs?
So far, the Times hasn't gotten wround to profiling the various candidates' hairdressers, as was done, on the paper's front page, in the case of Candidate Romney. But as we bumble toward The End, can those reports be far behind?
Whatever! Today, we recommend a series of reports about the possible perils associated with Candidate Sanders.
What will happen in the general election if Bernie wins nomination? WE can't tell you that.
It was always hard to make predictions, especially about the future. Given the way all norms have crashed, we'd say it can barely be done at all at this point.
We can't tell you what will happen if Sanders wins the nomination. But in The Atlantic, David Frum makes a significant point:
FRUM (1/27/20): Bernie Sanders is a fragile candidate. He has never fought a race in which he had to face serious personal scrutiny. None of his Democratic rivals is subjecting him to such scrutiny in 2020. Hillary Clinton refrained from scrutinizing Sanders in 2016. It did not happen, either, in his many races in Vermont. A Politico profile in 2015 by Michael Kruse argued that Sanders had benefited from “an unwritten compact between Sanders, his supporters, and local reporters who have steered clear” of writing about Sanders’s personal history “rather than risk lectures about the twisted priorities of the press.”Sanders' foibles have never been frisked. Candidate Trump won't be like that.
The Trump campaign will not steer clear. It will hit him with everything it’s got. It will depict him as a Communist in the grip of twisted sexual fantasies, a useless career politician who oversaw a culture of sexual harassment in his 2016 campaign...
Frum goes on from there, detailing some of the candidate's vulnerabilities—and some of them, by traditional norms, are, without question, quite daunting.
And Frum is hardly alone. Time has passed and now it seems everybody is having those dreams! That includes Jonathan Chait at New York; William Saletan at Slate; and Michelle Goldberg in the New York Times.
Everyone's listing the potential list of horribles available to Herr Trump. That said, we'll recommend the analysis Goldberg offered back in 2016, when she was still at Slate.
What will happen when Trump goes wild? Four years ago, Goldberg mentioned these points, among others:
GOLDBERG (5/2/16): [T]here’s been only scattered excavation of Sanders’ radical connections. He has never been asked to account for his relationship with the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party, for which he served as a presidential elector in 1980. At the time, the party’s platform called for abolishing the U.S. military budget and proclaimed “solidarity” with revolutionary Iran. (This was in the middle of the Iranian hostage crisis.) There’s been little cable news chatter about Sanders’ 1985 trip to Nicaragua, where he reportedly joined a Sandinista rally with a crowd chanting, “Here, there, everywhere/ The Yankee will die.”...Goldberg continued from there. So Goldberg wrote, even before we all came to see how crazy Trump is willing to be. (As we all know, the word "reportedly" has little meaning to him.)
The Clinton campaign has also ignored Sanders’ youthful sex writings. Republicans are unlikely to be so decorous. Imagine an ad drawing from the old Sanders essay “The Revolution Is Life Versus Death.” First it might quote the candidate mocking taboos on child nudity: “Now, if children go around naked, they are liable to see each others [sic] sexual organs, and maybe even touch them. Terrible thing!” Then it would quote him celebrating girls who defy their mothers and have sex with their boyfriends: “The revolution comes … when a girl pushes aside all that her mother has ‘taught’ her and accepts her boyfriends [sic] love.”...It takes no special political insight to see that Republicans will try to make Sanders seem like a sexual weirdo. Will it work? I have no idea, but there’s no shorter route to the frightened lizard brain of the American electorate than dark talk about children and sex.
In fairness, Candidate Warren's past claims about being an American Indian would also beg for revival. The liberal world has shown amazingly little awareness of the way that matter might play if Trump chose to revive it. And how about Biden's wayward son? Surely everyone understands that he never should have been in Ukraine.
Could Trump ride such matters to re-election? We can't tell you that. But even in kinder and gentler times, Candidate Dukakis went down because Dems weren't prepared to deal with the Willie Horton matter. Later, along came Candidate Kerry, seemingly unprepared for the inevitable Swift boat attacks.
Donald Trump is out of his mind; our liberal world is fading away in a descent into Babel. Our public discourse has long been characterized by a very stable dumbness.
Future anthropologists keep insisting that it's too late to attend to such matters. Our president is out of his mind, they say, and our liberal and mainstream factions have never been more helpless.
That's what despondent future experts have glumly been saying to us. They communicate through the nocturnal submissions the haters refer to as dreams.