Democratic voters and the Democratic establishment w/ their media allies have decided the party cannot afford to embrace an overly progressive agenda for the 2020 Election. Defeating Donald Trump and holding the US House are the priorities we are reminded on a daily basis. With this in mind I have a suggestion, though I concede it is not one I embrace, but merely respect given the trajectory of things – that Joe Biden pick a Republican (preferably female) running mate.
Typically VP choices do not matter much in electoral politics. But with America more polarized than any point since the 1896 election or maybe even the Civil War, this time it very well could make a huge difference.
Ideology as we’ve pointed out time and again on these pages no longer matters to Democrats, as they’ve invited anyone opposed to Trump, even the most pro-war neoconservatives into the camp. The party lacks any sort of guiding compass on values. It’s hard to imagine that the Democrats can recapture the left honestly at this moment because the party’s establishment is completely unable to comprehend what drives progressives. Since this is the case a play that remains for the party and its nominee for President is to push for national unity. The one demographic Democrats consistently think they can cut into the margins of are GOP women – and on this I agree. The Trump years if anything should push enough GOP women away from their party to help the Democrats win elections as we saw in 2018 (outside Florida).
Viewers of CNN or MSNBC may disagree, but outside of social issues the differences between the major parties at this point are more stylistic and subtle than substantive. Again I concede on social issues a wide gap exists with the Democrats occupying the left and the GOP a hard-right position. However, on matters of economics the parties are not terribly different and on foreign policy, I would argue President Trump is to the left of the rest of his party as well as to the left of the mainstream of the Democratic Party.
One thing is for sure – the Democrats have proven time and again the middle lane doesn’t work well in 21st Century electoral politics. Joe Biden is arguably the single most qualified person to be nominated by a major political party for President since the Democrats nominated Hubert Humphrey in 1968. But Biden, contrary to the media narrative and chattering class bubble remains an underdog to President Donald Trump. Like John Kerry, an overly qualified and technocratic nominee going up against someone whose knowledge of anything Presidential was lacking, Biden’s “middle mature lane” probably won’t work, especially when the electoral map is reduced to a few purple states in the Rust Belt and Upper Midwest. Hillary Clinton lost as everyone points out but few it seem look at 2004, a similar election in its complexion.
The meandering approach of the Democrats, literally mixing and matching positions on issues with what the other side says or what some special interest group wants has led the party to depth of despair. Never before in the post-New Deal era of American politics has the GOP had as much electoral success as they have the last decade.
Since Democrats are unwilling to openly challenge the GOP on ideology and instead rely on personality, why not embrace the idea of less radicalized Republicans being courted aggressively?
The idea of placing someone like Condi Rice or Susana Martinez on the Biden ticket is appealing – less appealing than Elizabeth Warren from where I sit but more appealing than (fill in the blank) mainstream Democrat. But putting Warren on the ticket won’t placate a good chunk of Sanders supporters and very well could alienate the “radical center” (which is probably what, 3% of the electorate if that – but maybe the 3% that swing elections?)” that Biden and the Democrats think they need to capture.
Simply put Biden must do something brave to win this race, unless an intervening event takes place, Trump is the favorite. Coronavirus could be that event, but in the likelihood that it doesn’t move the President’s negatives much higher, a gambit might be necessary.
This could be that gambit that wins the election.