Being trapped in a bubble means you don’t even know when you are hurting yourself. Such is the case for the Democrats as the party’s already tedious 2020 presidential debate process continues to unfold more like a progressive game show than a genuine effort to identify and elevate a nominee capable of giving President Trump a stiff challenge next year.
The same savvy Dem party leadership that believed having Russian collusion hysteria-monger Rachel Maddow serve as a moderator at the first set of was a terrific way to introduce its cast of contenders to the nation at large just allowed open-borders Hispanic particularist Jorge Ramos perform an inquisitional Latino Loyalty Test on its aspirants in Houston. Trump himself could not have handpicked better optics for his re-election effort.
He’s Fake News, and He’s Driving the Bus
Univision anchor Ramos is always quick to declare that he is “just a journalist” asking tough questions. Yet he himself has also stated that he is a fully committed partisan crusader against Trump and all he stands for. “It doesn’t matter who you are — a journalist, a politician or a voter — we’ll all be judged by how we responded to Donald Trump,” Ramos wrote in a Time magazine article in August 2016 as Trump was squaring off against Hillary Clinton for the presidency. “Like it or not, this election is a plebiscite on the most divisive, polarizing and disrupting figure in American politics in decades. And neutrality is not an option.”
Lest there be any misunderstanding, Ramos emphasized his point yet again later in his op-ed. “Trump has forced journalists to revisit rules of objectivity and fairness. Just providing both points of view is not enough in the current presidential campaign. If a candidate is making racist and sexist remarks, we cannot hide in the principle of neutrality. That’s a false equivalence.”
Master and Servant
So much for the frail fig leaf of objective journalism. What makes the choice of Ramos so disastrous for Dems is the incredible notion that having a moderator who is on a personal mission to “stop” Trump is somehow going to end up making its candidates look good on a national stage. This is not merely a matter of Ramos highlighting extreme beliefs on immigration, which is bad enough for a party that will struggle mightily to win over undecided voters in the heartland. It was much worse than that. A power dynamic was displayed on national television that caused irreparable damage to whoever turns out to be the 2020 Democratic Party standard-bearer.
In Houston, Ramos once again – and to no one’s surprise – came across as the activist he so clearly is. And so the whole debate descended into a dog and pony show in which an anti-Trump zealot hiding behind a construct of credentialed media gravitas grilled Dem presidential candidates as to whether or not they met his highly partisan standards.
Knowing full well that they cannot disagree with this ersatz heavyweight in any meaningful way, the various hopefuls onstage ended up delicately dancing with their interrogator, scurrying to gain his favor or at the very least not draw his wrath. The key takeaway is that all of this projects total weakness and lack of independence, the exact qualities voters are not looking for in a president.
Trump demolishing a clearly hostile Megyn Kelly with humor and poise at the very beginning of the first Republican presidential debate in the summer of 2015 propelled him on his way to capturing the White House. No Democrat seems poised for a similar moment today. Watch Joe Biden deal with a stern Ramos in this clip. He is trying to project toughness while remaining aware of the stone-cold fact that he cannot seriously challenge Ramos in any way, shape, or form:
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 13, 2019
The end of that clip is utterly damning. The former vice president of the United States and current front-runner for the Democratic nomination is backpedaling furiously as Ramos pushes him to explain why he falls so woefully short of his personal expectations on an open-borders policy for America. Biden is stuck fast because he cannot disagree with Ramos on immigration, for that would violate the progressive orthodoxy currently calling all the shots in the party. The power relationship is unmistakable. Ramos is authoritative and decisive. Biden is defensive and timid, even as he tries to appear strong. This is the literal emasculation of a top-tier presidential candidate, and it is the DNC itself that is wielding the gelding knife.
To those who would say a radical Ramos simply does not care for moderate Biden, take a look at the awful position he put progressive Pete Buttigieg in. Whether Buttigieg agrees or not with the box he was stuffed into is irrelevant. One man leads, the other follows, and it is clear as day that it is not the presidential candidate who is shaping the discussion in the following exchange:
.@jorgeramosnews: "Do you think that people who support President Trump and his immigration policies are racist?"
— ABC News (@ABC) September 13, 2019
Congratulations on your Spanish, Mr. Buttigieg. You were just maneuvered into agreeing in front of the entire nation that all Americans who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 are supporters of racism. Everything said after that was nothing but noise in the face of Ramos winning his polarizing point that anyone who opposes massive illegal immigration is a bigot.
All of this, of course, is sheer manna from Heaven for the Trump 2020 campaign. A dominant leftist establishment media figure scolding beta blue politicians for not living up to his Hispanic particularist standards is a recipe for a Mondale-scale electoral beatdown.