The election is a year away, and no clear front-runner has emerged, so some progressives are wringing their hands and checking the time like White Rabbits muttering, “Oh dear, we're late!” A concern is that an ongoing war of attrition weakens everyone but Donald Trump.
Perhaps, but a runaway nominee also gives Trump more time to focus on one target. Joe Biden will tell you that being King of the Hill just means everyone else wants to knock you off.
Does Joe have enough gas in the tank to beat Trump? He's lost a step, but sure. The key here is electability, and that plays to Biden's favor. Policies matter, but more so in this election than any other, it comes down to basic humanity and normalcy.
There's discernible fatigue across America from the president's behavior, which ranges from inept to obscene to illegal to dangerous, and that fatigue weighs on liberals, moderates and true conservatives alike, all with well-founded concerns about the republic's survival. Democratic wins Tuesday in Kentucky and Virginia are evidence of such blowback.
Most critically, “Trump Fatigue” is taxing middle-of-the-road voters who'll decide the election — unless millennials vote en masse. Moderates will vote for the least-scary candidate, and right now, Trump's scary as hell.
Despite Biden's penchant for putting his foot in his mouth so often he has athlete's mouth, he's still broadly viewed as a good man. Barring catastrophic mistakes, he'd beat Trump.
Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders may win primaries by running to the left, but before the political pendulum can swing that far left nationally, it must cross the middle. Someday, Medicare for All will be a reality, but at present it frightens many moderates — maybe even more than Trump. A public option is the most palatable next step.
Could Warren or Sanders beat Trump, even with their “socialist” baggage? Possibly. Bernie might've won in 2016. However, first they must convince voters that their programs pencil out. If Medicare for All is scary for some now, Fox News will make it scarier. Every day will be Halloween.
Millions have become numb or oblivious to the creeping authoritarianism of this presidency. They might be convinced by Fox propagandists that a “Socialist from the Black Lagoon” is the greater threat.
Keep your eye on Pete Buttigieg. He's got youth, military experience, intelligence and a reassuring manner. Like Biden, he's positioned as a centrist. He's also gay. That'll dissuade some voters, but the contrast between his and Trump's demeanor would serve him well.
Still, Biden's the best bet to win in swing states where the election will be decided.
It's possible that impeachment revelations will disgust patriotic Americans and wound Trump so grievously that “Anyone But Trump” could win. However, if voters feel the process isn't fair or warranted, which is the ongoing false, desperate spin from Republicans, Trump will remain viable. In that instance, it'll take a moderate to beat him.
The American ship of state steers slowly to port.
At the moment, it's lurching starboard, toward fascism.
Counterintuitively, the best way for the left to win is to lose. A moderate's coattails could generate a Senate majority, and with control of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and Congress, therein lies hope for sanity and change.