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Sen. Bernie Sanders may be on the cusp of both capturing the Democratic nomination and transforming his party as dramatically as President Donald Trump captured and remade the Republican Party.

After his sweep of the Nevada caucuses, following popular vote victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders has the enthusiasm and the momentum, as the crucial battles loom in South Carolina on Saturday and Super Tuesday on March 3.
The next eight days could decide it all.

And what is between now and next Tuesday that might interrupt Sanders’ triumphal march to the nomination in Milwaukee?

One possible pitfall is tonight’s debate in South Carolina.

Sanders will be taking constant fire as a socialist whose nomination could end in a rout in November, the loss of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House and the forfeit of any chance of recapturing the Senate.

Yet Sanders has often been attacked along these lines, to little avail.

He’s shown himself capable of defending his positions, and attacks on Sanders may simply expose his opponents’ own political desperation.

“Buchanan,” Richard Nixon once instructed me after I went to work for him in 1966, “Whenever you hear of a coalition forming up to ‘Stop X,’ be sure to put your money on X.”

Nixon recalled the Cleveland governors conference after Barry Goldwater defeated Nelson Rockefeller in the California primary. There, on the Cuyahoga River, Govs. Rockefeller, George Romney and Bill Scranton colluded absurdly to derail the Goldwater express.

A second event is the anticipated endorsement of Biden by Rep. Jim Clyburn, the most influential black politician in South Carolina, who warns that nominating a socialist like Sanders invites electoral disaster.

Yet Clyburn’s endorsement could be a mixed blessing.

With it, Biden becomes the favorite in the primary where 60% of the vote is African American. If Biden cannot beat Sanders there, in his firewall state, with Clyburn behind him, where does Biden win?

Biden faces another problem: Billionaire Tom Steyer has pumped millions into South Carolina, hired black leaders and pledged to support reparations for slavery. Polls show Steyer with rising support among black voters who might otherwise have stood by Biden.

For Biden, South Carolina is do-or-die.

If he wins here, he is revived. Yet, still, he lacks the broad and deep support Sanders has and the funds Michael Bloomberg has to be competitive in all 14 states holding primaries March 3, including the megastates of Texas and California.

Sanders is predicting victories in both and has been gaining in the polls on Sen. Elizabeth Warren even in Massachusetts, her home state, which also holds its primary on Super Tuesday.

The basic question: With Biden, Buttigieg, Warren, Steyer and Klobuchar — none of whom has beaten Sanders in the popular vote anywhere, and all competing in South Carolina and Super Tuesday three days later — who beats a surging Sanders? When and where do they beat him?

Bloomberg can probably buy enough votes to win some states. But would the other Democratic candidates, who have fought for a year, stand aside to yield the field so this ex-Republican oligarch can save their party from Sanders? Why should they?

And where is the evidence that Bloomberg can beat Sanders? Or beat Trump?

Bloomberg’s first debate raises questions of what, besides his $60 billion, qualifies him to be on the stage or in the race.

The Democratic establishment worries that if the “moderates” in the race do not start falling on their swords, dropping out, and joining behind a single candidate — Biden, Buttigieg or Bloomberg — to challenge Sanders, they will lose the nomination to Sanders and the election to Trump.

The establishment is right to worry.

While Sanders’ chances of becoming president are slim, the odds he wins the nomination and reshapes the party are good and have been improving weekly.

What model does socialist Sanders have in mind for the Democratic Party? Something like the British Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn.

“Medicare for All.” Abolition of private health insurance. War on Wall Street. The Green New Deal. Free college tuition. Forgiveness of all student debt. Open borders. Supreme Court justices committed to Roe v. Wade. Welfare for undocumented migrants. A doubling of the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Winston Churchill once observed: “Some regard private enterprise as if it were a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look upon it as a cow that they can milk. Only a handful see it for what it really is — the strong horse that pulls the whole cart.”

Sanders sees free market capitalism as a fat goose that lays golden eggs and can be hectored, squeezed and beaten into producing lots more.

And those most widely receptive to his message — are the young.

Welcome to the Party of JFK as reconceived by Bernie Sanders.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2020 Election, Bernie Sanders, Democratic Party 
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Wednesday night in Las Vegas, Mayor Mike Bloomberg learned what it is like to be thrown up against a wall and frisked.

At the opening of the Democratic debate, his first, Mayor Mike was greeted by his nearest neighbor on stage, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, with this warm welcome:

“We’re running against … a billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians.’ And, no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.”

Bloomberg was not only charged with misogyny and sexism but racism for his stop-and-frisk policy, which the NYPD pursued during his three terms as mayor. By Bloomberg’s own admission, stop and frisk singled out black men between 16 and 25.

Undiscussed were the positive results of the policy.

Gun homicides in New York fell to levels below those attained by his predecessor, Rudy Giuliani. And if those most often frisked were black and Hispanic men, the lives saved and the woundings prevented were also mostly those of people of color.

Yet, a question that remains after this debate was one that was puzzling even before the debate.

Why did he do it? Why did Bloomberg, who is not on the Nevada or South Carolina ballot, decide to join the debates before these contests?

Today, the mayor’s campaign is probably buying tens of millions of dollars in ads to undo the damage done to him under the remorseless fire on his character, campaign and record from his rivals Wednesday night.

These attacks were predictable and predicted. Why did he submit to this? Who counseled Bloomberg to climb into the ring?

By investing $350 million in ads in primary states since November and crafting scheduled appearances while avoiding adversarial talk shows and candidate debates, Bloomberg had propelled himself from nowhere into the top tier of candidates in every state on Super Tuesday.

Why did he abandon a winning strategy to walk out, unprepared, onto a stage full of enraged and exasperated rivals who think he is buying and stealing a nomination for which they have fought for a year?

Why did he volunteer to enter a forum where he had to know his rivals would become a flash mob before he answered his first question? This was campaign malpractice of historic dimensions.

It is going to take hundreds of millions of dollars in new ads to undo the damage done to Bloomberg’s reputation among the millions of voters who got their first impression of the mayor from the debate.

Where does the race stand before Saturday’s caucuses in Nevada?

Sen. Bernie Sanders, his energy restored after his heart attack a few months back, his lines honed by a year’s repetition, was at the top of his game Wednesday night, fending off attacks and fighting back with a passion and ferocity that Bloomberg never exhibited.

With his popular vote victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, five national polls showing him taking the lead from Joe Biden, and contributions pouring in from his huge army of small donors, Sanders is the favorite to win in Nevada and man to stop.

But after Super Tuesday, March 3, he may be unstoppable.

A new Washington Post poll Wednesday shows Sanders with a huge lead among young voters and in a statistical tie with Joe Biden among African Americans. And he is flush with cash.

March 4 could see Sanders with an almost insurmountable lead that could have him enter the Milwaukee convention with a majority of delegates or a plurality so huge as to make it politically impossible for his adversaries to gang up on him and take the nomination away.

For who would be the beneficiary of such a robbery on the convention floor? The same Bloomberg his rivals described Wednesday night as a misogynist, sexist and racist.

Bloomberg’s campaign is sounding the alarm that Sanders could soon amass an insurmountable delegate lead if the Democratic field stays split, and is urging the other candidates to drop out.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Vice President Biden are being told that if they do not get out of the race and clear the lane for the mayor, they will get a socialist as their nominee, and the party will deserve the fate November will bring — a second term for Trump.

Bloomberg’s strategist Kevin Sheekey was pointedly warned by staffers on Thursday:

“If Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar remain in the race despite having no path to appreciably collecting delegates on Super Tuesday (and beyond), they will propel Sanders to a seemingly insurmountable delegate lead by siphoning votes away from (Bloomberg).”

As the other candidates cannot beat Sanders, Bloomberg’s campaign is saying, they should step aside and clear the field for Mayor Mike. This would call for a spirit of self-sacrifice and measure of esteem for the mayor not evident on that stage Wednesday night.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has just given us notice he will be terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement that governs U.S. military personnel in the islands.

His notification starts the clock running on a six-month deadline. If no new agreement is negotiated, the VFA is dissolved.

What triggered the decision?

Duterte was offended that one of his political allies who led his anti-drug campaign in the islands, which involves extrajudicial killings of drug dealers, had been denied a U.S. visa.

Yet, Duterte has never been an enthusiast of the U.S. presence. In 2016, he told his Chinese hosts in Beijing: “I want, maybe in the next two years, my country free of the presence of foreign military troops. I want them out.”

The Pentagon is shaken. If there is no VFA, how do we continue to move forces in and out to guarantee our ability to honor the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty? Defense Secretary Mark Esper called Duterte’s action “a step in the wrong direction.”

President Donald Trump openly disagreed: “If they would like to do that, that’s fine. We’ll save a lot of money.”

The Philippine Islands are among the largest recipients of foreign aid in East Asia, and we’ve provided $1.3 billion in military assistance over the last two decades. But money shouldn’t be the largest consideration here.

Trump has been given a historic opportunity to reshape U.S. and Asia policy along the lines he ran on in 2016.

He should tell Duterte that we accept his decision and that we, too, are giving notice of our decision to let the 1951 treaty lapse. And following expiration of that treaty, the U.S. will be absolved of any legal obligation to come to the defense of the Philippines.

Time for Manila to take charge of its own defense. Indeed, what is the argument for a treaty that virtually dictates U.S. involvement in any future war in 7,600 islands 8,000 miles from the United States?

When we negotiated the 1951 treaty, it was a different world.

We had entered a Cold War with Stalin’s USSR. We were in a hot war in Korea that would cost 37,000 U.S. lives. Gen. Douglas MacArthur had just been relieved of his command of U.S. forces in Korea by Harry Truman. A disarmed Japan had not fully recovered from World War II.

The Communist armies of Chairman Mao had overrun China and driven our Nationalist allies off the mainland. The Viet Minh were five years into a guerrilla war to drive the French out of Indochina.

Today, the Cold War is long over. Vladimir Putin’s Russia is no threat to the Philippines. Nor is China, though Xi Jinping has occupied and fortified islets like Mischief Reef in the South China Sea that are within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.

There is no U.S. vital interest at risk in these islands to justify an eternal war guarantee or treaty commitment to fight Beijing over rocks and reefs in the South China Sea.

Trump should seize this opportunity to tell Duterte that when the VFA, which guarantees immunity for U.S. forces in the Philippines, is dissolved, the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty is dissolved.

A message would be sent to Asia, and the world, that Trump was serious when he said that he intends to revisit and review all the defense alliances and war guarantees entered into 60 and 70 years ago, to address threats that no longer exist in a world that no longer exists.

The U.S. has a long history with the Philippines, beginning in the War of 1898 with Spain, when Admiral George’s Dewey’s Asian squadron sank a Spanish fleet in Manila harbor, and we invaded, occupied and colonized the islands, thus emulating Europe’s imperial powers and abandoning the anti-colonial legacy of the Founding Fathers.

“Take up the White Man’s burden,” Rudyard Kipling admonished us.

After Filipino patriots fought for nearly four years to liberate their islands from the Americans, as they had from the Spanish, inflicting on U.S. soldiers and Marines thousands of casualties, the New York Herald replied to the Poet of Empire:
“We’ve taken up the white man’s burden/Of ebony and brown/Now, will you tell, Rudyard/How we may put it down.”

After Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the Japanese invaded and occupied the islands, until Gen. MacArthur made good in on his famous pledge on leaving Corregidor, “I shall return.”

In 1944, we liberated the islands.

A year after Japan’s surrender, on July 4, 1946, we granted the Philippines full independence. And that nation and people, far more populous and prosperous than in 1946, should take full custody of the defense of their own sovereignty and independence.

At the end of the Cold War, nationalists in Manila ordered the U.S. to vacate the great naval base we had built at Subic Bay. We should have used that expulsion to let the 1951 security treaty lapse.

Trump should not miss this opportunity.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
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From the day he entered the race, Joe Biden was the great hope of the Democratic establishment to spare them from the horrifying prospect of a 2020 race between The Donald and Bernie Sanders.

Today, that same establishment wants Joe out of the race.

Why has Biden suddenly become an albatross?

His feeble debate performances and fifth-place finish in New Hampshire all but ensure Joe will not be the nominee, and if he stays in, he will siphon off votes in Nevada and South Carolina that would go to candidates who might put together a majority and stop Sanders.

The panic of the establishment is traceable to the new political reality.

With popular-vote victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders has largely united the left-wing of his party and displaced Biden as the front-runner and favorite for the nomination.

Meanwhile, the non-socialist wing of the party has failed to coalesce around a champion to stop Sanders and is becoming ever more splintered.

In Nevada, Sanders now has three moderate challengers.

Biden, “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg, who ran second in New Hampshire, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who ran third and took votes that might have given Buttigieg a win in the Granite State.

Biden, Buttigieg and Klobuchar are all now headed for the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 22, where Sanders is favored. And all three will be going on to South Carolina, a state into which billionaire Tom Steyer has poured millions of dollars.

Sanders, however, is not without his own problems.

Not only is he anathema to the establishment, he cannot wholly unite his party’s left-wing until his senatorial soulmate Elizabeth Warren gets out. Though she ran a poor fourth in New Hampshire, Warren is also going to Nevada to offer herself as a unity candidate.

But as Biden’s hour is up, so is hers. And if she is not out of the race before Super Tuesday on March 3, she risks being beaten in her own home state of Massachusetts.

Where does this leave the Democratic field?

Two candidacies, Warren’s and Biden’s, are in hospice care.

Two candidates, Buttigieg and Klobuchar, competing to be the moderate alternative to Sanders, are in danger of canceling each other out.

Two candidates, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, are billionaires who will be battling on Super Tuesday to crush the scourge of billionaires, Bernie Sanders.

Bloomberg, the three-term mayor of New York, upon whom the establishment has begun to look like the last best hope of stopping Sanders, has already dumped a third of a billion dollars into his campaign

His poll numbers have risen accordingly, and he is probably the strongest challenger to Sanders now, because, with his $60 billion fortune, he can sustain himself and his organization through the convention.

But would Sanders lose gracefully to a plutocrat who deployed his billions to deny him a nomination Sanders has sought for half a decade?

Would Bernie Bros, who believe they were cheated out of the nomination in 2016, accept defeat and support a billionaire they believe robbed them of a prize they thought they had won fairly?

Bloomberg is now facing more serious matters as a candidate in a party of minorities. Here is an excerpt from an audiotape of Mayor Mike at a 2015 conference in Aspen, Colorado, addressing the crime-fighting tactic of stop and frisk that he used for years as mayor.

“Ninety-five percent of your murders and murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male minorities, 15 to 25,” said Bloomberg.

“One of the unintended consequences is people say, ‘Oh, my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana that are all minorities.’ Yes, that’s true. Why? Because we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. … Why do we do it? Because that is where all the crime is. … And the way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them.”

Midweek, it was learned that Bloomberg, during the economic crisis in 2008, said that getting rid of “redlining” — a policy by which bankers routinely deny mortgages to low-income largely minority neighborhoods circled in red as risky — was to blame for the collapse.

In remarks at Georgetown University in 2008, Bloomberg said:

“It all started back when there was a lot of pressure on banks to make loans to everyone. … Redlining …was the term where banks took whole neighborhoods and said, ‘People in these neighborhoods are poor, they’re not going to be able to pay off their mortgages, tell your salesmen don’t go into those areas.'”

In presidential elections, Democratic candidates win 90-95% of the black vote. After revelations of his candid discussions of the merits of redlining and the benefits of stop and frisk, Bloomberg may have a tough time climbing that hill.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
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In a way, Donald Trump might be called The Great Uniter.

Bear with me. No Republican president in the lifetime of this writer, not even Ronald Reagan, united the party as did Trump in the week of his acquittal in the Senate and State of the Union address.

According to the Gallup Poll, 94% of Republicans approve of his handling of his presidency, in his fourth year, despite the worst press any president has ever received and the sustained hostility of our cultural elites.

Only Bush I in the first months of the 1991 Gulf War and Bush II in the first months of the 2003 Iraq War registered support like this.

Only one Republican, Sen. Mitt Romney, and only after having consulted God himself, joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi and voted with Sen. Chuck Schumer’s caucus to bring down the president.

When have Republicans ever exhibited the home-team enthusiasm they demonstrated during that State of the Union address and the post-acquittal gathering in the East Room? When have working- and middle-class voters shown such support for a Republican as they do for Trump at his mammoth rallies? Heading for November, this is a party united.

But not only is Trump the great uniter of the GOP. He is the great uniter of Democrats. Every Democrat but three in the House voted to impeach and remove him. Every Democrat in the Senate voted to convict and expel him from office and prevent his ever running again.

In Iowa and New Hampshire, evicting Trump from the Oval Office seemed the one issue that animated every candidate. Getting Trump out of the White House seems far more important to Democrats than getting U.S. troops out of the endless Middle East wars.

But while he has made more than a small contribution to our savage partisanship, is Trump really the cause of the uncivil war in America? Or is his presidency, like Gettysburg, simply the battlefield upon which America’s cultural and political war is currently engaged?

Consider. Bernie Sanders’ nationalization of health care and abolition of private health insurance for 150 million Americans is grounded in a socialism that has never been reconcilable with Trump’s belief in the superiority of the private sector, a belief reflected in Trump’s tax cuts for corporations and individuals and his deregulation policies.

Democrats’ unanimous support for “reproductive rights” is in eternal conflict with the traditionalist belief in a God-given right to life, as well as with Trump’s pledge to nominate justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade.

Still, the battles over the Supreme Court nominations of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas predated by decades the battle over Brett Kavanaugh.
Immigration may determine the destiny of the West.

Yet, Democrats believe in tearing down Trump’s wall, an end to deportations, extending welfare benefits to border-crossers and granting sanctuary from border security agents for criminals here illegally.

That Americans of European descent, 90% of the nation in 1960, close to 60% today, will, in 20 years, be less than half of the population, is for Democrats a cause of ceaseless celebration.

America, they contend, will be a far, far better place than we have ever known when a far smaller share of the population is white. The greater the racial, credal, cultural and ethnic diversity, the better the country.

Yet, Americans of European descent, headed for minority status, provide 85-90% of all Republican votes in presidential elections. What Democrats are cheering portends the demographic death of the GOP.

Republicans are a more nationalist and populist party than they were in the Bush presidencies. But the Democratic Party has become a politically correct institution where Joe Biden is forced to explain stands that he took when he was a moderate Democratic senator from Delaware.

His opposition to the forced busing of children from neighborhood schools into inner-city schools was attacked as racist. He had to apologize for his friendship with Southern senators like Jim Eastland and his role in the Clarence Thomas hearings. He has been made to confess for voting to authorize the 2003 war on Iraq.

Biden is far to the left of where he used to be as a senator. Apparently, he has not moved far enough.

Even James Carville is castigating his own party’s candidates for talking about “reparations or any kind of goofy left-wing thing out there.”

“It’s like we’re losing our damn minds,” said Carville.

Is Trump responsible for what Carville himself sees as an irrationality and irresponsibility taking on epidemic proportions inside the Democratic Party?

Or has Trump’s success maddened Democrats into manifesting who they are and what they believe, and what may yet prevent them from being taken seriously as a party that can lead the nation?

We were divided long before Trump got here, and we will remain so long after he departs.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
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By the end of February, the race for the Democratic nomination may have come down to a choice of one of three white men.

Two are well into their 70s, and either would be the oldest president ever inaugurated. The third is a 38-year-old gay in a same-sex marriage who would be our youngest president ever.

How is it possible, if not probable, that Bernie Sanders, Michael Bloomberg and Pete Buttigieg will be the last three Democrats standing?

Consider what the Iowa caucuses produced — after the Democrats figured out how to count votes.

Sanders won the popular vote on both the first and second ballots. As of Thursday, with 547 state delegates, he was only three shy of Buttigieg’s total. And the caucus yet to report is in Sanders country.

By week’s end, Sanders could be the declared winner of Iowa. And though he was denied the bounce he would have gotten if that news had been posted Monday night, Sanders raised $25 million in January and is running a clear first in the latest New Hampshire polls.

If Sanders, with cash on hand unmatched by any rival, save billionaire Bloomberg, wins the Granite State, he becomes the progressives’ champion over rival Elizabeth Warren and is in the race all the way to the convention.

Consider the prospects of Mayor Pete.

Even before the first returns were reported in Iowa, he declared his campaign “victorious” and left for New Hampshire. By Wednesday, after two-thirds of the ballots had been counted, he appeared to have won the battle for delegates.

By Thursday, in the latest polls of New Hampshire, Buttigieg had vaulted into second place. As of now, it looks like a Buttigieg-Sanders race in New Hampshire on Tuesday, with the big losers from Iowa — Warren, Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar — the big losers again.

If the trends do not change and polls do not shift over the weekend, former Vice President Joe Biden appears headed for another “gut punch” like the one he says he suffered in Iowa.

And Biden may not get up off the canvas after this one.

Thursday, the Boston Globe/Suffolk and WHDH/Emerson polls both showed Sanders beating Biden like a drum, better than two-to-one.

Moreover, Biden’s fundraising has fallen off, and it is unlikely major donors are going to send cash to a candidate who just ran fourth in Iowa and could run fourth or fifth in New Hampshire.

Buttigieg is the candidate whose stock is rising. He has surged to second place, just six points and 10 points behind Sanders in the two latest New Hampshire polls, while Biden is lagging a distant 13 and 19 points behind Sanders.

Now, consider Klobuchar. As a senator from Minnesota, she was expected to do well, indeed, her personal best, in the neighboring state of Iowa. She ran fifth. And though she has the endorsement of the leading newspaper in New Hampshire, the Union-Leader, she, too, is trailing Sanders in the latest polls by more than three-to-one.

If Klobuchar runs fifth in Iowa and third, fourth or fifth in New Hampshire, in what state does she win her first primary? And as her fundraising has never matched that of the front-runners, where does she get the money to match Sanders or Bloomberg on Super Tuesday, now just three weeks off?

Klobuchar is now in the second tier in New Hampshire, behind Sanders and Buttigieg, but right alongside Biden and Warren. A third-, fourth- or fifth-place finish would be near-fatal for them all.

As for Warren, in her battle with Sanders to emerge as the champion of the progressive wing of the party, her third-place finish in Iowa, and her expected third-place finish in New Hampshire, at best, would seem to settle that issue for this election.

Sanders beat Warren in Iowa, raised far more money in January than she did, and is now beating her two-and-three-to one in the New Hampshire polls.

So, again, the same question is raised. Is what state does Elizabeth Warren beat her progressive rival?

There are two more lingering questions.

If Biden is thrashed in New Hampshire on Tuesday, as he was in Iowa, does he remain viable in South Carolina, where he was so strong before the New Year?

Will African American voters in South Carolina stick by Biden and his claim to be “the most electable” Democrat if he has been floored twice by Sanders and by Buttigieg, and can’t seem to win within his own party?

What I wrote before Iowa seems even more true today:

“If Bernie can beat Biden two or three times in the first four primary states in February, the last remaining roadblock on Bernie’s path to the nomination could be Mike Bloomberg’s billions.”

The Socialist vs. The Billionaire. Could either really beat The Donald?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
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It has been a bad few days for the establishment, really bad.

In a 51-49 vote, the Senate refused to call witnesses in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump and agreed to end the trial Wednesday, with a near-certain majority vote to acquit the president of all charges.

As weekend polls show socialist Bernie Sanders surging into the lead for the nomination in the states of Iowa, New Hampshire and California, the sense of panic among Democratic Party elites is palpable.

Former Secretary of State and Joe Biden surrogate John Kerry was overheard Sunday at a Des Moines hotel talking of the “possibility of Bernie Sanders taking down the Democratic Party — down whole.”

Tuesday, Trump takes his nationally televised victory lap in the U.S. Capitol with his State of the Union address, as triumphant Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a humiliated Speaker Nancy Pelosi sit silently side-by-side behind him.

Democrats may declare the Trump impeachment a victory for righteousness, but the anger and outrage, the moans and groans now coming off the editorial and op-ed pages and cable TV suggest the media know otherwise.

History, we are told, will vindicate what Pelosi and the Democrats did and stain forever the Republican Party for voting to acquit.

Perhaps, but only if some future Howard Zinn is writing the history.

Reality: The impeachment of Trump was an attempted — and failed — coup that not a single Republican supported, only Democrats in the House and their Senate caucus. The impeachment of Trump was an exercise in pure partisanship and itself an abuse of power.

What was the heart of the Democrats’ case to remove Trump?

Trump failed to invite Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to the White House, and held up military aid to Kyiv for several months, to get Zelenskiy to hold a press conference to announce that Kyiv was looking into how Hunter Biden got on the board of a corrupt energy company at a retainer of $83,000 a month while his father was the chief international monitor of corruption in Ukraine.

The specific indictment: Trump’s suspension of military aid imperiled “our national security” by denying arms to an “ally” who was fighting the Russians over there, so we don’t have to fight them over here.
And what was the outcome of it all?

Zelenskiy got his meeting with the president. He got the military aid in September. He did not hold the press conference requested. He did not announce an investigation of the Bidens.
No harm, no foul.

How did President Obama handle Ukraine?

After Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea and intervened to protect pro-Russian secessionists in the Donbass, Obama’s White House restricted U.S. lethal military aid to Kyiv and provided blankets and meals ready to eat.

What punishment did House and Senate Democrats and anti-Trump media demand for the pause in sending weapons for Ukraine?

Capital punishment, a political death penalty.

Democrats demanded that a Republican Senate overturn the election of 2016, make Trump the first president ever impeached and removed, and then ensure that the American people could never vote for him again.

Nancy Pelosi’s House and the Democratic minority in the Senate were demanding that a Republican Senate do their dirty work and keep Trump off the ballot in 2020, lest he win a second term.

For four years, elements of the liberal establishment — in the media, “deep state” and major institutions — have sought to destroy Trump. First, they aimed to smear him and prevent his election, and then to overturn it as having been orchestrated by the Kremlin, and then to impeach and remove him, and then to block him from running again.

The damage they have inflicted upon our country’s institutions is serious.

U.S. intelligence agencies are being investigated by U.S. Attorney John Durham for their role in instigating an investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign. The FBI has been discredited by exposure of a conspiracy of top-level agents to spy on Trump’s campaign.

The media, by endlessly echoing unproven claims that Trump was a stooge of the Kremlin, discredited themselves to a degree unknown since the “Yellow Press” prostituted itself to get us into war with Spain. Media claims to be unbiased pursuers of truth have suffered, not only from Trump’s attacks, but from their own biased and bigoted coverage and commentary.

The NSC and State Department have been exposed as employing individuals with an exaggerated view of their role in the origination and the execution of foreign policy. Disloyalty and animosity toward the chief executive appear to permeate the upper echelons of the “deep state.”

Not in our lifetime have the institutions of government and the establishment been held in lower regard.

Almost all now concede we have become an us vs. them nation.

How we accomplish great things again, giving our seemingly unbridgeable differences, remains a mystery.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
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Can a septuagenarian socialist who just survived a heart attack and would be 80 years old in his first year in office be elected president of the United States? It’s hard to believe but not impossible.

As of today, Bernie Sanders looks like one of the better, if not best, bets for the nomination. Polls have him running first or second in the first three contests: Iowa on Monday, and then New Hampshire and Nevada.

If Bernie can best main rival Joe Biden in Iowa, he will likely thump Joe in New Hampshire. Biden’s campaign, built around “electability,” could suffer a credibility collapse before he reaches South Carolina, where Joe is banking on his African American base to rescue him if necessary and give him a send-off victory straight into Super Tuesday.

If Sanders can beat Biden two or three times in the first four primaries in February, the last remaining roadblock on Sanders’ path to the nomination could be Mike Bloomberg’s billions.

Hillary Clinton may sneer, “Nobody likes him,” but Bernie has a large, dedicated, loyal following, especially among millennials, and tens of thousands more small-dollar donors than any other Democratic candidate.

He is flush with cash. He has a radical agenda that appeals to the ideological left and the idealistic young. The rising star of the party, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is campaigning alongside him.

And, say what you will, Sanders is no trimmer or time-server. He has consistently voted his values and views. He voted no to Bush 41’s Gulf War, no to Bush 43’s Iraq War, no to NAFTA, no to GATT. In the ’80s, when President Reagan battled the Marxist Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Sanders was on the other side.

But what makes Sanders an appealing candidate for the Democratic nomination may prove poisonous to him as a party nominee in the fall.

For what does Bernie promise?

Free tuition at public colleges and forgiveness of all student debt. “Medicare for All,” a single-payer government-run health care system that would require a huge hike in middle-class taxes and abolish private health insurance for the 160 million Americans currently enrolled.

He would break up the big banks, go after Wall Street, add $60 trillion of federal spending in the next decade, and raise income, corporate, capital gains, estate and inheritance taxes.

He would expand the government’s share of the U.S. economy to levels rivaling that of France, the highest in the free world.

Bernie was first to back the Green New Deal and pledges to reach carbon neutrality in 10 years in energy and transportation. As for our oil, gas and coal producers, says Sanders, they “have evaded taxes, desecrated tribal lands, exploited workers and poisoned communities.”

How would Sanders deal with the millions of illegal migrants now within the country? He’d welcome them all in.

Bernie has proposed the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection and wants to provide a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million to 22 million illegal migrants already here. He would decriminalize border-jumping and give health and welfare benefits to the invaders.

He would decriminalize the breaching of America’s borders.

“My first executive orders,” tweeted Bernie last week, “will be to reverse every single thing President Trump has done to demonize and harm immigrants, including his racist and disgusting Muslim ban.”

Leaders of the center-left think tank Third Way warn that a Sanders nomination risks a Democratic rout of the magnitude of the 49-state losses of George McGovern in 1972 and of Walter Mondale in 1984.

Vulnerable Democrats in moderate and swing districts would have to jump ship, abandoning the ticket to survive the slaughter.

Fearful of such an outcome to a Sanders-Trump race, super PACs run by moderate Democrats have begun to dump hundreds of thousands of dollars into attack ads to blunt his momentum in Iowa.

What Socialist Jeremy Corbyn did to Britain’s Labour party — leading it to the worst defeat since the 1930s — Sanders could do to the Democratic Party, write Jon Cowan and Jim Kessler of Third Way.

In 2016, Sanders ran a surprisingly strong race for the nomination, and it was later learned that a supposedly neutral DNC had been in the tank for Hillary Clinton. The Democratic establishment, the party elite, had collaborated to put the fix in against Bernie.

Yet Sanders supported Clinton that fall. If, however, Bernie’s last chance at the nomination is aborted by an establishment piling on, party super PACs running attack ads against him, and major media taking time out from trashing Trump to break Sanders, the Democratic Party will have the devil’s time of it bringing Bernie’s backers home in the fall.

Bernie’s believers might just conclude that the real obstacle to their dream of remaking America is neither the radical right nor Donald Trump, but the elites within their own party.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
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In 1868, President Andrew Johnson was impeached for violating the Tenure of Office Act that had been enacted by Congress over his veto in 1867. Defying the law, Johnson fired Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, without getting Senate approval, as the act required him to do.

In his 1956 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, John F. Kennedy made Edmund Ross one of the Senate’s “Profiles in Courage” for his decisive and heroic vote not to convict and remove Johnson.

Repealed in 1887, the Tenure of Office Act was later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

But while the act was the lethal instrument to be used in the political assassination of a president whom the Radical Republicans meant to terminate, Stanton’s ouster was not the primary cause of their fury.

What truly enraged the Radical Republicans was Johnson’s resolve to be more magnanimous toward the defeated South than they meant to be. Johnson had in mind an earlier end to the military occupation of the South and a more rapid return of the seceded states to the Union.

The story is told in the 1942 Hollywood film “Tennessee Johnson,” starring Van Heflin, which has since gone down the memory hole along with Woodrow Wilson’s White House favorite, “Birth of a Nation.”

As historians concede, the impeachment of Johnson was about Reconstruction and who would remake the South. Would it be the Southern majority that fought and lost the war, or the victorious Yankees and the “scalawags” and “carpetbaggers” laboring alongside them?

The triumphant Radical Republicans were not about conciliation. So severe were aspects of the occupation that Gen. Robert E. Lee reportedly said if he had known what was coming, he might not have quit fighting.

So, too, the impeachment of Donald Trump is not really about his 10-week delay in shipping arms to Ukraine or his postponing of a visit by Ukraine’s president until he announced an investigation of Burisma Holdings and Joe and Hunter Biden.

Even before the 2016 election, Democrats, collaborating with a like-minded media, were using the instruments of power they possess, to first prevent and then to overturn the election results of 2016.

Russiagate, the James Comey FBI investigation, the Mueller probe — aborting a Trump presidency has always been the goal.

Saturday, White House counsel Pat Cipollone succinctly described to the Senate the bottom line:

“They’re asking you to remove President Trump from the ballot in an election that’s occurring in approximately nine months. … They’re asking you to tear up all of the ballots across this country on your own initiative, take that decision away from the American people.”

To save “our democracy,” to which they pay tireless tribute, the impeachers want to ensure that the people, in a supposedly free election in 2020, are not allowed to make the same mistake they made in 2016.

To save our democracy, the House and half the Senate want to deny the America electorate one of the most important roles the people play in this republic — the exercise of their right to choose the head of state and commander in chief of the United States.

Disqualifying presidential candidates whom populists favor but elites abhor is a quite common practice — in Third World countries.

Over the weekend, we learned that John Bolton, who has offered to testify in the Senate trial, claims in his coming book that Trump made a direct link between sending military aid to Ukraine and Ukraine’s opening an investigation of the Bidens.

This has caused some Republican senators to reconsider calling witnesses, particularly Bolton, in the impeachment trial.

If four Republicans vote for witnesses, they will be doing the work Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler and Nancy Pelosi’s House failed to do in their haste to get Trump impeached by Christmas. They will be prolonging a trial set up to burn and bury their president.

The Senate should let Trump’s defenders complete their case, as the House managers and impeachers have already done. Then allow 16 hours of questioning. Then call for the verdict.

There is no treason, no bribery and no high crime in what the House managers allege. There is nothing in the articles of impeachment voted that rises to a level to justify removing a president.

Harry Truman dropped atomic bombs on defenseless cities and sent 2 million POWs back to the tender mercies of Stalin in Operation Keelhaul after World War II.

JFK greenlighted the overthrow of an ally, President Ngo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam, in a coup that ended in the murder of Diem.

LBJ ordered the wiretapping of Martin Luther King, and his White House shared the fruits of that FBI surveillance with a friendly press.

No one was impeached.

Why? Because Truman, JFK and LBJ were establishment favorites.

For Trump, a phone call with a Ukrainian president saying, “Send us your Biden file and we will have a meeting,” is a political capital crime justifying democracy’s version of a death penalty.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
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“Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician.” So says Hillary Clinton of her former Senate colleague and 2016 rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders.

Her assessment of Sanders’ populist-socialist agenda?

“It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.”

Does that assessment still hold with Sanders now running strong in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, and having emerged, according to The New York Times, as “the dominant liberal force in the 2020 race”?

“Yes, it does,” said Clinton, who left open the possibility she might not support Sanders if he became the nominee.

In her interview with The Hollywood Reporter to promote a documentary that premieres Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival, Clinton also tore into Bernie’s backers.

“It is not only him. It’s the culture around him. It’s his leadership team. It’s his prominent supporters. It’s his online Bernie Bros and their relentless attacks on lots of his competitors, particularly the women,” said Clinton. “It should be worrisome that he has permitted this culture — not only permitted (he) seems to be very much supporting it.”

From her own words, Clinton regards Sanders as a nasty man running a misogynistic campaign and a political phony whose achievements are nonexistent and who lacks the temperament to be president.

As Clinton describes Sanders, he seems to fit nicely into her Trumpian “basket of deplorables.” Reflecting the significance of Clinton’s attack, The New York Times put it on Page 1.

This comes one week after Elizabeth Warren, at the end of the last debate, confronted Sanders, who had denied ever telling her a woman could not win the presidency.

“I think you just called me a liar on national TV,” said Warren, twice. Sanders assuredly had. He then accused Warren of lying.

This is “a part of a pattern,” says Clinton, noting that Sanders said in 2016 that she was not qualified to be president.

What is Hillary up to? She is “hellbent on stopping Sanders,” says Obama strategist David Axelrod.

The bad blood between Bernie and two leading women in the Democratic Party calls to mind the battle between Nelson Rockefeller and Barry Goldwater, which did not end well for the Republican Party in 1964.

While the eventual GOP nominee, Goldwater, lost in a 44-state landslide to Lyndon Johnson, the liberal Republican establishment that Rockefeller led would never again be able to nominate one of its own.

It is difficult to see how this acrimony inside the Democratic Party — over the character, record, ideology and alleged sexism of Sen. Bernie Sanders — ends well for the Democrats.

Already, Bernie’s backers believe the DNC “rigged” the nomination in 2016 by feigning neutrality while secretly aiding Clinton. If Sanders now fails in the first primaries and loses his last chance for the Democratic nomination because of the Clinton-Warren’s attacks, it is difficult to see how Bernie’s backers enthusiastically support Warren.

As for Bernie backing Biden, the raison d’etre of the liberal-radical wing of the party to whom Sanders is a hero is that the Democratic establishment consistently sells out progressive values.

Sanders’ crowd consists of true believers, a trademark of whom is militancy. Such folks often prefer defeat behind a principled leader to victory for a corporatist Democrat they regard as the enemy within.

Assume Bernie defeats Warren in Iowa, bests Biden in New Hampshire, and then goes on to win the nomination. Would women, a majority of whom vote Democratic, and who are indispensable to party victory, surge to the polls to install a president whom Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren describe as a sexist who ruined their own presidential hopes?

Would Democratic women come out to vote for a candidate who was responsible, in two successive presidential elections, for keeping the glass ceiling firmly intact over the heads of the Democratic Party’s leading female candidates? Bernie has made some bad enemies.

Ten days before the Iowa caucuses, the great unifier of the Democratic Party remains Donald Trump. But now, with Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina dead ahead, the Democrats’ focus is becoming: Who should replace Trump?

The rival claims of the constituent elements inside the party are rising to the fore. And what they reveal is a Democratic Party that is a coalition of groups that seem to be dividing along the lines of ideology, politics, race, class and culture.
Consider the most loyal of Democratic constituents in presidential elections: African Americans. They are 13% of the electorate but a fourth of the national Democratic vote.

Yet, of the six candidates for the nomination on stage in the last debate, not one was African American. Not one was Hispanic or Asian. Four were white men, and two were white women.

The lone outsider rising in the polls is another white man, a multibillionaire who is willing to spend a billion dollars to buy the presidential nomination of the party of the common man.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

 
Pat Buchanan
About Pat Buchanan

Patrick J. Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.

In his White House years, Mr. Buchanan wrote foreign policy speeches, and attended four summits, including Mr. Nixon’s historic opening to China in 1972, and Ronald Reagan’s Reykjavik summit in 1986 with Mikhail Gorbachev.

Mr. Buchanan has written ten books, including six straight New York Times best sellers A Republic, Not an Empire; The Death of the West; Where the Right Went Wrong; State of Emergency; Day of Reckoning and Churchill, Hitler and The Unnecessary War.

Mr. Buchanan is currently a columnist, political analyst for MSNBC, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He is married to the former Shelley Ann Scarney, who was a member of the White House Staff from 1969 to 1975.