2020: Year of the Democrats? Maybe Not

By Patrick J. Buchanan

If Democrats are optimistic as 2019 begins, it is understandable.

Their victory on Nov. 6, adding 40 seats and taking control of the House of Representatives, was impressive. And with the party’s total vote far exceeding the GOP total, in places it became a rout.

In the six New England states, Republicans no longer hold a single House seat. Susan Collins of Maine is the last GOP senator.

In California, Democrats took the governorship, every state office, 45 of 53 House seats and both houses of the legislature by more than 2-to-1. In the Goldwater-Nixon-Reagan Golden State bastion of Orange County, no GOP congressman survived.

Does this rejection of the GOP in 2018 portend the defeat of Donald Trump in 2020, assuming he is still in office then?

Not necessarily.

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For consider. Nancy Pelosi may want to close out her career as speaker with solid achievements, but she could face a rebellion in her party, which is looking to confront and not compromise with Trump.

The national debt may be surging, but Capitol Hill progressives will be demanding “Medicare-for-all” and free college tuition. Trump-haters will be issuing reams of subpoenas and clamoring for impeachment.

Other Democrats, seeing the indulgent attention their colleagues are getting from the media, will join in. Chairman Jerrold Nadler’s House Judiciary Committee may have to accommodate the sans-culottes.

Is this what America voted for?

By the Ides of March, a dozen Democrats may have declared for president. But looking over the field, no prospective candidate seems terribly formidable, and the strongest, unlike Barack Obama in 2008, are too old to set the base afire.

According to a USA Today poll, 59 percent of Democrats say they would be “excited” about “someone entirely new” leading the party in 2020. Only 11 percent say they would prefer a familiar face.

Yet, who did these same Democrats view most favorably? Joe Biden, a 76-year-old white male first elected to the Senate when Richard Nixon was president.

Biden polls better than any of his rivals, with 53 percent of all Democrats saying they would be “excited” about his candidacy, and only 24 percent saying he ought not run a third time for president.

The candidate who comes closest to Biden in exciting the base is 77-year-old Vermont socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders. Bernie’s problem?

Almost as many Democrats believe he should not run again as would be excited about having him as nominee.

As for Elizabeth Warren, the USA Poll must be depressing news. Twenty-nine percent of Democrats would be excited about her candidacy, but 33 percent believe the 69-year-old Massachusetts Senator should not run.

Beto O’Rourke, the three-term Congressman from Texas who put a scare into Sen. Ted Cruz in November is less well-known than Bernie or Biden. But those excited about an O’Rourke run outnumber those who think he should not run.

Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, both African-American, are less well-known but have more Democrats excited about their running than are opposed to it.

However, as Harris is from California and Booker from New Jersey, both blue states that Democrats are almost certain to carry in 2020, and both are from a minority that already votes 90 percent Democratic, even their appeal as vice presidential nominees would not seem to equal that of O’Rourke or Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who won re-election while his state was going Republican.

Yet, Brown, too, at 66, is eligible for Medicare.

A Biden-Brown ticket would present problems for the GOP. But could a Democratic Party that ceaselessly celebrates its racial and ethnic diversity and appeal to women and millennials get away with nominating a ticket of two white males on Social Security?

Other problems are becoming acute within the Democrats’ coalition of blacks, gays, Asians, Hispanics, women and LGBT, fraying the seams of the party.

After Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan praised the Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory, and declared Jews to be the enemy in a speech last February, the Women’s March movement has splintered.

Asian-Americans who vote Democratic nationally are growing bitter over diversity policies in the Ivy League and elite schools that admit black and Hispanic students over Asian students with far higher test scores.

The BDS movement (boycott, divest, sanctions), targeted against Israel, is angering Jewish Democrats while gaining support on campuses.

Elizabeth Warren opposes BDS, but also opposes efforts to punish those who champion BDS. “I think the boycott of Israel is wrong,” said Warren at a town hall meeting, but added that “outlawing protected free speech activity violates our basic constitutional rights.”

In identity politics, loyalty to race, ethnic group and gender often trump the claims of party. The diversity Democrats celebrate is one day going to pull their party apart, as the social, cultural and racial revolutions of the 1960s pulled apart the party of FDR and LBJ.

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No Party for Old White Men

No Party for Old White Men

By Patrick J. Buchanan

For Nancy Pelosi, 78, Steny Hoyer, 79, and Joe Biden, 75, the primary results from New York’s 14th congressional district are a fire bell in the night.

All may be swept away in the coming revolution. That is the message of the crushing defeat of 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley, who had aspired to succeed Pelosi and become speaker of the House.

The No. 4 House Democrat, Crowley, 56, had not faced primary opposition since 2004. He outspent his opponent, 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was tending bar a year ago, by 10 to one.

The son of an Irish immigrant, Crowley was leader of the Queens Democratic Club. He had the unions’ support. So confident was he that he skipped a debate and sent a Latina politician to stand in for him.

First comes Hubris, the god of arrogance. Then comes Nemesis, the goddess of retribution.

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Tossing Crowley’s credentials back in his face, Ocasio-Cortez ran as a Latina, a person of color, a millennial and militant socialist who lived in her district, and painted Crowley as a white male with lots of PAC money who had moved to D.C. and sent his kids to school in Virginia.

“The Democratic Party takes working-class communities for granted; they take people of color for granted,” railed Ocasio-Cortez. The party assumes “that we’re going to turn out no matter how bland or half-stepping (their) proposals are.”

“Bland or half-stepping” are not words her agenda calls to mind.

A Democratic Socialist, endorsed by MoveOn, Black Lives Matter and People for Bernie, Ocasio-Cortez favors Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage, 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, free tuition at public colleges, federal jobs for all who want them, and abolishing an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency that runs “black sites” on the Mexican border where “human rights abuses are happening.”

When tear gas was used in Puerto Rico, whence her family came, Ocasio-Cortez laid it at Crowley’s feet: “You are responsible for this.”

Crowley tried gamely to keep up, declaring that ICE, for which thousands of Americans work to protect our borders, is a “fascist” organization, presumably something like Ernst Rohm’s Brown Shirts.

While the victory of Ocasio-Cortez is bad news for Pelosi and Hoyer, it may also be a harbinger of what is to come. For the Democratic Party appears about to unleash its radical left, its Maxine Waters wing, and give its ideology another run in the yard.

When the party has done this before, however, it did not end well.

After Hubert Humphrey lost narrowly in 1968, an enraged left seized the nomination for George McGovern, who went on to lose 49 states to Richard Nixon.

After Hillary Clinton’s defeat, the left, whose champion, Bernie Sanders, they believe, was robbed by the establishment, seems to be looking to settle scores and seize the nomination for one of its own.

But if an apertura a sinistra, an opening to the left, is what lies ahead for the Democratic Party, then that is better news for the party of Trump than for the party of Pelosi.

Just as Crowley’s congressional district had changed, so, too, has his party in Congress. Columnist Dana Milbank, who sees it as progress, writes, “A majority of House Democrats are … women, people of color or gay.”

These rising forces in the Democratic coalition are looking to bury the Democratic Party of yesterday, where white males and older ethnic groups — Irish, Italians, Poles and Jews — were dominant.

It seems certain now that the summer of 2020 will see a woman, a person of color, or both, on the Democratic ticket. Two whites would likely offend the rising base. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine may have been the last of the all-white Democratic tickets.

However, inside this emerging Democratic majority of peoples of color, fractures and fissures are already visible.

In New York City, the Asian community, which votes Democratic in presidential elections, is in an uproar over efforts by leftist Mayor Bill de Blasio to eliminate the entrance exams that have enabled Asian kids to capture most of the seats in the city’s elite public schools.

De Blasio and his allies want the Asian numbers in these select schools reduced, so the schools mirror the city’s demography, no matter how well the Asian kids are doing on the competitive admissions tests.

Also, the hard left in the Democratic Party, oriented more toward the Third World than the West, is increasingly anti-Israel. And while the Jewish vote is small and largely concentrated in blue states, among donors to the Democratic Party the Jewish contingent looms large.

The new demography of the Democratic Party brought about the defeat of Crowley. A majority white district when he first ran, the Bronx-Queens district he now represents is only one-sixth white.

The Irish and Italians have moved out or passed on. And Archie Bunker? He rests in peace in Calvary Cemetery. Like his party.

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