There may be some of you who read the headline above and say the answer to why Democrats persist with discredited allegations against President Trump is obvious: They hate him with every fiber of their being, consider his election illegitimate, and believe he represents a clear and present danger to our constitutional republic.
But it actually goes way beyond that.
The bottom line of the Dems’ refusal to let go of the Mueller report and its disastrous implications for them and their handmaidens in the elite media is not their unbridled hatred for the 45th president. It is their realization that they cannot beat him on the issues. Thus, their only path to victory must be a drumbeat of scurrilous allegations, throwing enough dirt against the wall and hoping something, anything, will stick.
Sure, these Trump-deranged politicos hate the president every bit as much as they did from the moment he descended the Trump Tower escalator and proceeded to send shockwaves through the political establishment by lapping the GOP field and vanquishing Hillary Clinton. And, yes, despite their shameless attacks on the president, they need to save face after the humiliation of Mueller’s exoneration. But what really matters to them, now that impeachment is all but off the table, is the 2020 election.
The Democrats realize that if they have to face Trump head-to-head on the playing field of issues, they cannot win. What James Carville famously stated in steering Bill Clinton to victory 27 years ago remains true to this day. It’s still the economy, stupid. And the economy is roaring, as is an employment outlook so promising that there are now more jobs available than workers to fill them, accompanied by record low unemployment among the Democrats’ most cherished voters — blacks, Hispanics, and women. Consumer and business confidence have soared since Trump’s election. These are the fundamentals of most every presidential election.
But that is only half the picture. Consider all the water that has passed under the dam since Democrats won the House last November. In dramatically misinterpreting their mandate, Democrats were emboldened not only to ramp up their microscopic examination of every phase of Trump’s life but also to advance radical proposals that draw a sharp contrast to the president’s policies.
No matter who the Democratic nominee, he or she will be forced to defend the indefensible. The Green New Deal, which, as introduced by 29-year-old pied piper Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, would involve a government takeover of the entire economy, is such an electoral disaster that six senators running for president who co-sponsored the GND resolution refused to vote for it! It went down to defeat 57-0, with 43 Democrat abstentions, an unambiguous admission that this near-communist manifesto is a poison pill for their chances in 2020. But rest assured that Trump will nevertheless force the eventual Democrat nominee to defend the GND, or to renounce it at the risk of alienating the party’s left-wing base. Describing it as simply “aspirational” will not liberate the nominee from the responsibility to defend its merits. No wonder Trump repeatedly says that he hopes the Democrats keep talking about the Green New Deal. And if they don’t, he will.
But even if the Democratic nominee somehow manages to wriggle off the hook on the GND, how will he/she respond to accelerating calls in the party for reparations for the descendants of slaves? How about their demands to eliminate the Electoral College? Or packing the Supreme Court, or lowering the voting age to 16, as proposed by their leader, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi? How will he/she defend confiscatory tax rates for billionaires when it’s clear that such a craven policy would hardly make a dent in the spiraling national debt?
The size and radicalism of the Democratic field have assured that these and every other wacky socialist idea under the sun has been, or will be, supported by one or more of the candidates. And heaven forbid the nominee distance himself/herself from the historically progressive platform sure to emerge from the Democratic National Convention, no matter the nominee.
You might believe the Democrats can win with their widespread support of a Medicare-for-all scheme, which would eliminate private health insurance. After all, health care was their most useful issue in the midterm elections, and they might have gotten their hopes up that Trump would mishandle the issue when he recently renewed his call for the repeal of Obamacare. But those hopes were likely dashed when the president, undoubtedly urged on by congressional Republicans, then announced on Twitter that health care changes would not occur until after the 2020 election. And while midterm elections generally don’t go well for first-term presidents and single issues like health care can dominate, the dynamic is entirely different for presidential elections, which almost always pivot on the record of the incumbent.
Incumbency and a strong economy are hard to beat, even with Trump’s bombastic personality. Bill Clinton was hardly the most popular president in American history, but he was easily reelected because of a strong economy. The same thing with George W. Bush. Barack Obama presided over a low-growth economy but scored a decisive victory in his reelection campaign. Indeed, the built-in advantages of being an incumbent go beyond just the economy. In all of American history, only five sitting presidents have failed to win reelection. The most recent were George H.W. Bush in 1992 and Jimmy Carter in 1980.
You might believe Democrats can win on Trump’s personality alone, but if that were true, they would have won in 2016 with Hillary Clinton, who despite her shortcomings makes this Democratic field look like a collection of rank amateurs.
Despite the elite media’s refusal to report on the remarkable successes of Trump in delivering on so many of his bold promises and presiding over a resurgent economy, the president sits in a strong position for reelection, his prospects only strengthened by a weak, scattered, and radical field of Democratic candidates.
You can bet the farm that Democrats indeed do realize that the only way to beat Trump – absent a sharp downward turn in the economy – is to keep up their machine-gun fire of accusations and insinuations about the president, hoping one of their shots will hit the target. If not, they are likely to make Trump’s comfortable 14% margin over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Electoral College look like a squeaker.