- - Tuesday, January 14, 2020

I see that the mainstream media is promoting the candidacies of Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden at the expense of the 13 other admitted Democratic candidates and the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Democrats who feel in their heart of hearts that they should be president. They would become president after thrashing President Donald J. Trump, if only the 13 present contenders would get out of the way. Incidentally, my favorite, among the thousands of would-be contenders was Beto O’Rourke before he dropped out of the race, having given a surprisingly seemly speech utterly devoid of the F-word, his trademark, or any other back-alley language. 

The reason that the mainstream media is in a lather to promote Crazy Bernie and lunch-bucket Joe is that the media has made an unexpected discovery. It is that if the Democrats do not nominate Crazy Bernie or lunch-bucket Joe they are probably stuck with Pocahontas or Mayor Pete Buttigieg, he of the unpronounceable last name. The fact that Mayor Pete has a last name that only highly-paid anchormen and anchorwomen can pronounce and then only after daily coaching is not the reason the mainstream media is passing on him. It is because he is mayor of an embarrassingly small town somewhere in the Midwest whose only claim to fame is a football team. That is not enough. He has laid claim to being a war hero, but now it has been revealed that he got in and got out of the service by using a fast-track shortcut, only served in a war zone for a matter of months, and his only heroics were serving as a chauffeur for officers and dignitaries. 

No, Mayor Pete and Pocahontas will not do, not against Mr. Trump, who apparently does not sleep and specializes in making fun of his opponents. Remember what Mr. Trump did to the Republican frontrunner? “Low energy Jeb,” candidate Trump called him, and that about finished the governor of Florida off. He only lasted a few months before throwing in the towel. 

Of the two anointed candidates, I think Joe is the better choice. Of course, he has a long list of embarrassments. There was the time he had to pull out of the 1988 presidential race after admitting to having plagiarized from a speech by the leading member of Britain’s Labor Party. But that was only one of the revelations that came out at the time. There were questions about his performance in law school and cheating on tests. Then too he has repeatedly misspoken through a public life that spans over 40 years. To say he has committed gaffes is an understatement. He is positively gaffable. That is the neoterism that I applied to him long ago, and if he were a Republican it would have earned me a place in the Oxford English Dictionary. 

Then there was the time Joe boasted that when the stock market crashed in 1929 Franklin Delano Roosevelt “got on television” immediately to address the American people. Actually, Roosevelt was not elected until 1932, and when the stock market crashed in 1929 there was no television audience. Or how about this? He once said, “The number one job facing the middle class … happens to be as Barack says, a three-letter word, jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs.” Or how about when he walked up to a reporter (one hopes it was a male), tapped the reporter on the chest and advised: “You need to work on your pecs.” All these priceless moments came in a matter of months. Joe’s public life has meandered through more than 40 years of mediocrity. This mediocrity he now presents as proof of his electability. 



By comparison, Crazy Bernie is running as a socialist during one of the greatest economic booms in American history. What is his platform? He raves about socialism. With Venezuela and Cuba at our doorstep, two once prosperous countries now bankrupted, Crazy Bernie thinks socialism can take root here America. He has not figured out that even during the Depression socialism was a loser. I think the Democrats will agree with me. Their candidate is Joe Biden.

Besides, Joe is almost as amusing as Donald, though inadvertently. So what. A laugh is a laugh, but why are the Democrats such easy targets for ridicule? There is not a candidate among those still running (and those dreaming of running) that is not an easy target for laughs, sometimes rude laughs. Well, beginning with Bill Clinton and his lovely wife Bruno, the party leadership has increasingly been made up of phonies. I estimate that the last normal person to run for the presidency as a Democrat was Hubert Humphrey. As to his successors, there is not one of them who you would want to have living in your neighborhood. Even their household pets are weird.

• R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator. He is the author most recently of “The Death of Liberalism,” published by Thomas Nelson Inc.

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