Drunken Dems Need to Sober Up After Mueller Tequila Party

Drunken Dems Need to Sober Up After Mueller Tequila Party
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
Drunken Dems Need to Sober Up After Mueller Tequila Party
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
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Oh, how their heads hurt. After two intoxicating years, the Mueller Investigation & Media Tequila Party is over. Morning has come, and Democrats have opened their eyes to a pounding headache. Liquor bottles held high the night before now litter the floor: Democrats even ate the Michael Cohen worm. 

Inconveniently, the special prosecutor found no collusion. Those who imbibed most have been left stumbling, trying to explain how Donald Trump covered up the crime no one committed. But the feast was moveable, and the partygoers celebrated each other. They are convinced it was not overindulgence that caused their hangover; merely that they stopped drinking. A little hair-of-the dog is all we need. Pour us another Margarita, and let’s get this party started again.

In the confusion, more sober leaders reasserted control. Old pro Nancy Pelosi determined Democrats are not going to raise the flag of impeachment now, understanding it will become even less likely as the 2020 election grows closer. Delay, delay, delay, Pelosi believes, until the mystic chords of impeachment become memories that never again swell. 

Pelosi did have to throw her caucus’s fine young radicals a bone: Madam Speaker gave them impeachment without impeachment. Democrats will be allowed to hold hearings and pursue investigations. That will keep Trump in the spotlight, Democratic activists motivated, and MSNBC fed.

Pelosi has even gotten most of her 2020 presidential candidates on board. With the notable exceptions of Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, most Democratic contenders are calling it closing time. It is a remarkable display of the speaker’s power, considering the Democratic field has expanded to 20 candidates, requiring at least two clown cars. Poor Joe Biden is just entering the race.

Sen. Harris, who tells us she is not a socialist, just another Democrat who supports Bernie Sanders’ socialist agenda, would like to party on. She has said, “I believe Congress should take the steps toward impeachment.” California’s junior senator is sinking in the polls despite or, perhaps, because of her powerful socialist/impeachment one-two punch. She has dropped 6 points in New Hampshire, falling to 4% support, the survey’s margin of error. Technically, Harris may have erased herself.

Warren, who has been defined by her war with Trump over her illusory Native American heritage, has also worked her way down to near nothing in the same survey, notching only 5%. The Massachusetts senator, too, would like to extend impeachment festivities and she embraces every possible radical orthodoxy, including reparations for oppressed minorities, confiscating billionaires’ wealth, and canceling student debt. How would you like to be the last generous soul to pay off his or her student loan, just before Warren erases everyone else’s?

Harris and Warren provide lessons for Democrats who hear “Hail to the Chief” every time they rouse crowds with molten, anti-Trump rhetoric: Voters who don’t support Donald Trump aren’t looking for a Democratic Trump replica. They are looking for an alternative. Hot Democrats who balance Trump's fire with their own aren't different from our current president. They are just the other side of Trump's coin. One of his great gifts is magnetism: The Donald drags his adversaries into no-rules-barred combat on the muddy turf where he fights best.

Yet, the Democrat gaining momentum is not a rabid, anti-Trump fanatic, nor a radical, collectivist zealot. Pete Buttigieg is the calm to Trump’s storm, the still waters to this president's tempest. As others have noted in the now obligatory veneration, the gay, 37-year-old, left-handed Mayor of Smallville is an articulate polymath who speaks numerous languages, quotes Scripture, plays piano, and has studied history, philosophy, and ethics. If Buttigieg’s resume is a contrast to the president’s, so is his joyful maturity, which stands in staggering contrast to the cheerless and substanceless knife fights that pass for Republican and Democrat debate these days, ravenously merchandized by our sensationalist news media. When Bernie Sanders flies into space, for example, endorsing the right of convicted terrorists, rapists, and pedophiles to vote while in prison, it is the young mayor who plays grown-up, elegantly distancing himself from Sanders’s enflamed radicalism by saying, simply, “No, I don’t think so.” 

Cool as an after-dinner mint, Buttigieg uncommonly resorts to reason to explain his positions, avoiding name-calling, charges of senility, or accusations of treason. "Part of the punishment when you are convicted of a crime and you're incarcerated is you lose certain rights. You lose your freedom," Buttigieg told a town-hall audience. "And I think during that period, it does not make sense to have an exception for the right to vote."

Often, voters want in their next president what they didn’t find in their last one. That’s trouble for Sanders who, in many ways, parallels Trump, a fellow radical, white-hot populist who aims to overthrow the corrupt Washington establishment. Sanders, we might argue, is Donald Trump with a smaller balance sheet, no experience leading anything, and a college sophomore’s naïveté.

Joe Biden is calmer than Donald Trump, but the dead often are. Having lost twice, Biden 2020 is the sequel to movies no one went to see in 1988 and 2008. He is #YesterdaysCandidate, the old, white male that today’s Democrats crave to run against. Biden still owns a 1967 Corvette. It is an antique everyone admires, but no one would drive today.

No Democratic candidate provides a brighter alternative to Donald Trump than Pete Buttigieg. Could he give the incumbent a real run for his billions? Maybe, but Trump is still the odds-on favorite for re-election. 

First, he’s doing a good job delivering growth, jobs, and higher wages, and Democrats admit as much when they openly hope the economy won’t be in as good a shape in 2020. Desperate prayers for an economic downturn do not usually evolve into promising strategy. Second, Buttigieg is a self-described democratic capitalist and a voice of reason, but only in comparison to the rest of his left-lurching party. He is at home in a party that has swallowed Sanders’ socialist agenda whole. Behind his moderate appearance, he embraces the tenets of the global elite, including a carbon tax. That is the tax that alienated the working class from the cognoscenti in Emmanuel Macron’s France. Third, Buttigieg is young and untested, and newbie challengers often get beat when the economy is doing well. Adversaries don’t have to persuade people to vote against them, just to put them back in the pantry until they have time to ripen. Lastly, Democrats have control of the House and a reasonable shot of taking the Senate in 2020, when Republicans will defend 22 of the 34 seats contested. 

A turbulent Donald Trump may make the case that he is actually the candidate of stability and restraint, the indispensable counterbalance to a rabid and socialist Democratic Party, proving that God does have a sense of irony, if not humor. So party on, Democrats. As someone once wrote, “There is a great independence, and a confident immunity to risk, in all drinks made out of cactus.”

Alex Castellanos is a Republican strategist, a founder of Purple Strategies and a political analyst for ABC News.

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