The Democratic Establishment Is Very Stupid

This is one of the surprising things about the entire Democratic primary (boldface mine):

With six days until the Iowa caucuses, the political establishment has arrived at a troubling realization: It might be time to take this Bernie Sanders guy seriously…

In the aftermath of Sanders’s ascendancy, various corporate gatekeepers and big-money representatives are scrambling—with little coherence or success—to put together a last-minute campaign to slow him down. The justification for such action, of course, is that the political establishment and their corporate henchmen, self-styled paragons of pragmatism and stewards of lucid, sober thinking, need to protect the electorate from a wild-eyed radical who is dangerously out of touch with America.

But the last-second freakout tells us less about the Sanders campaign than about those political elites themselves, whose political instincts are so alarmingly wrongheaded that they’ve managed to ignore an obvious risk to their continued status until a week before voting begins. If anyone has revealed themselves as inept to the point of disqualification, it’s the anti-Sanders neighborhood watch.

Sanders has been in the race since last February, which means he’s spent some 350 days shattering donation records, building a committed fan base of millions, and never exiting the top three in polling, while spending the majority of the race in second place. Meanwhile, he’s run up a long list of high-profile endorsements from prominent politicians and celebrities. This is not someone who snuck up on the field….

Instead, in what could go down as one of the all-time blunders, these brilliant political prognosticators set their sights on Elizabeth Warren, thinking that she, and only she, could break through the establishment blockade. As soon as she came within a hair’s breadth of front-runner status, the centrists pummeled her with precisely the kind of attacks that they could have applied to Sanders, deeming her too liberal for the electorate and questioning the details of her Medicare for All plan.

Incredibly, after weakening virtually the only other candidate appealing to the party’s progressive wing, the center-left decided to never contest Sanders. They made the assumption that he couldn’t grow his base, despite a fractured field that only required him to come close to his 2016 numbers to gain a lead. They saw the candidate with the most money, the most volunteers, and poll numbers at or near the top in the early states, and decided he wasn’t worth the effort.

These are the strategic geniuses we should trust, not only with a general-election campaign against Donald Trump, but with running the country? The people who couldn’t see a Jupiter-sized asteroid headed straight for them?

…The only upside to our interminable death march of a presidential campaign is that it mirrors the unpredictability and fluidity of governing. Campaigns force leaders to identify emerging threats, game out long-term scenarios, and react before insurmountable obstacles swamp them. By simply forgetting about Bernie Sanders, the establishment wing of the party has shown itself unfit for office.

Put another way, these jokers are so stupid they can’t even hew to the Iron Law of Institutions: I expect Republicans to beat them silly (it happens quite often), but they can’t even control their own party (mind you, I’m fine if Sanders winds up being the nominee).

One of the greatest ‘centrist’ myths was their competence. Well, they don’t look very competent at all, just lazy and stupid. And after a quarter century of their brilliance, we are now faced with incipient fascism at the hands of Donald Trump. Good job, assholes.

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