These are strange days indeed. If you want to really understand the ideological divide that plagues the American political conversation, one needs to look no further than the results of yesterday's New Hampshire primary.
I really do hope that Bernie Sanders is nominated at the convention this summer. All this talk about how the American people would never elect a gruff, Jewish guy from Vermont who speaks with a New York accent and buys his clothes off the rack doesn't hold much weight with me. That's what a lot of people said about a young black guy from Chicago when he had the audacity to announce his run for the White House nine years ago this month. "It'll never happen", they said. It happened. And are you ready for the punchline? He turned out to be a pretty decent chief executive. He could have been a little better for my money, but in the final analysts, Barack Obama was the right person for the job at that point in history. I've never regretted casting my vote for the man - not for a second.
I'm a realist. I understand that Hillary Clinton has the money and the power to eventually send Bernie back to the senate; I don't know how he's going to come through Super Tuesday without being beaten badly. He has too much of an uphill struggle - but I can dream, can't I? Perhaps his win last night in the granite state was a fluke, a tip of the hat to a favorite old uncle from neighboring Vermont. We shall see.
The fact of the matter is that I just don't trust Hillary Clinton. That is not to say she would be a terrible president, it's just that I know that her attorney general - not unlike Eric Holder - will not be prosecuting the Wall Street bastards who have made a sport out of plundering the American economy these past thirty-plus years. It would be an entirely different scenario with Bernie in the White House. Hillary is a good woman, and no serious person doubts her intellect. But as a progressive her credentials suck. If she is the nominee I'll be voting for her come Election Day, what other choice will I have? Look for me at the polls; I'll be the one holding my nose.
Bernie is the only candidate for national office - since Franklin Roosevelt eighty-four years ago, -with the courage to say the things that need to be said, things the people of this doomed country need to hear. In fact, in many ways he's gone beyond FDR. Frankie never came out in favor of gay marriage. Can you imagine if he had? That would have been interesting to say the least.
On the GOP side, things have been as bleak as they can possibly be during the last week: Ted Cruz in Iowa, followed by Donald Trump in New Hampshire: Two candidates so laughably extreme that the suits at the Republican National Committee are in complete and utter despair. As has been noted on this site a number of times in the recent past, these two guys are the price the GOP is paying for courting a class of voter in recent years that had historically been ignored by both parties: I refer to the terminally insane. Cruz is so completely loathed by his fellow Republicans that there is now serious talk among the party to throw their support behind Trump for no other reason than to deny Teddy Boy the nomination. This is a party wallowing in pathos. Their biggest concern is that Cruz would lose the party both the House and the Senate When he's beaten senseless at the polls in November.
These sure are interesting times.
I am beside myself with joy pondering the fact that I will be an eyewitness to the strangest year in American political history. Extremism in the defense of Librium. As Hunter Thompson once said, "It still hasn't gotten weird enough for me".
This essay by Thomas B. Edsall appeared in this morning's New York Times. It's well worth your time:
What About Ted Cruz?
Like the old song says, "Life could be a dream....Sh-boom!"