I woke up this morning, and realized that the best case scenario for next January is that the worst president in the history of the observable universe steps down semi-peacefully after losing the election to Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, or Mike Bloomberg. (Bloomberg is a super long shot at this point, but he’s still the third-most likely candidate to come out of the Democratic — or “Democratic” field).
Think about that. Think about what it says about this country in general, and about the Democratic presidential nominating process in particular, that this is what the choices are at what is still, formally speaking, the very beginning of the nomination process.
First, all these guys are, like, really really old. Sanders will be 80 next year — and he just had a heart attack! Mentally speaking, he seems like a veritable whippersnapper in comparison to Biden, however, who was never the sharpest tool in the shed to begin with, and is now combining his lifelong habit of making stuff up as needed with the sort of rambling vagueness that’s not exactly shocking from somebody who remembers Truman defeating Dewey.
As for Bloomberg, he seems the healthiest of the three, probably because he pays for youth-infusing cocktails made from the blood of endangered species or Guatemalan children. (Speculative).
Second, they’re all terrible candidates even without regard to their grim actuarial prospects (and to be clear my main concern about an eightysomething president is not that he’ll drop dead, but that he’ll become mentally and/or physically debilitated, and there won’t be anything we can do about it).
Sanders is a faux-socialist populist demagogue, surrounded by grifty hangers-on (sounds vaguely familiar!), who has a great fondness for the filibuster, and no track record of significant legislative accomplishment. You add all that up and he’ll pass no legislation, do a bad job of staffing the executive branch, and basically spend all his time giving speeches, which is frankly the only thing he’s particularly good at.
He’s still preferable to Biden: an old confused man who LAST WEEK made up a crazy story about getting arrested trying to free Nelson Mandela, either because he’s a pathological liar or frankly delusional (People talk about how “gaffes” don’t count in the Age of Trump. I don’t know about you but I still consider pathological lying and/or frank delusion to be disqualifying for a presidential candidate. And Biden has a LONG track record of this kind of crap, although this was a particularly egregious example, probably because he’s starting to lose the limited number of marbles he once had). Biden is also a guy who IN 2018 was taking big bucks from Republican donors to help a Republican get re-elected in a very winnable congressional seat. Seriously?
And yet he’s still much better than Bloomberg, for reasons that surely don’t need elaborating on this blog. (Here’s a link if you really need one).
I mean come on. This is it? This is what we’re getting? In 2020?
Democratic candidates who are/were VASTLY PREFERABLE to any of these three:
Candidates who were still preferable, if not quite as emphatically:
Hickenlooper/Bennet/Delaney/Bullock/Ryan all the other generic white guys who weren’t twelve million years old and/or equipped with their own personal cults of personality. I’m not kidding. I mean if you just have to have a centrist white guy, why would anybody prefer Biden or Bloomberg to these characters? Sanders is a more complicated case, but still.
Basically the ONLY choices who were clearly worse than the three Bs were complete joke candidacies like Tulsi, Marianne Williamson, and Mike Gravel.
Yet here we are.