BEDFORD, N.H. — Democratic pols and media gasbags — not to repeat myself — have finally found somebody they hate nearly as much as they hate President Trump: Bernie Sanders.
It really is amazing to watch the comfortable Democrat poobahs wring their hands in agony as they watch the Vermont senator rack up these impressive wins in the Democratic primary.
In Iowa, they refuse to even acknowledge he appears to have won the most votes. In New Hampshire, they are doing all they can to blunt his victory and crown somebody else for coming in second, third or fourth place.
Some in the media have even resorted to calling him and his exuberant followers “brown shirts.” Now that is certainly what you get with socialism, but it is amazing to hear actual card-carrying members of the American press uttering such slurs.
And it underscores just how much they hate Bernie Sanders and how entirely threatened they are by his juggernaut campaign.
Mr. Sanders is now the clear front-runner for the nomination. And, even more terrifying for party leaders, his campaign owns 100 percent of the enthusiasm in this primary.
Four years ago, these same party leaders saw Mr. Sanders surprising rise and moved swiftly to kill his campaign.
You see, the rise of Bernie Sanders is so much more of an existential threat to them than even losing an election to a Republican — even Donald Trump. The rise of Bernie Sanders means they lose control of the Democratic Party.
They would literally prefer to lose an election than to lose their grip on the party. Standing before King Solomon, they would be the ones happily agreeing to his proposal to split the baby. After all, for them, killing a baby is no big deal.
Even their own.
So long as they keep their grip on power.
But this time around, Democrats are in so much more peril. In 2016, they had a major, vetted candidate that the party establishment could instantly rally around against Mr. Sanders. This time, they don’t.
Or at least they don’t now. A few months ago, they had former Vice President Joe Biden. But in their zeal to impeach Mr. Trump, they inadvertently impeached Uncle Joe.
Now they cast their eyes to the rest of the sad lot and it is hard to settle on a viable option against Mr. Sanders.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the screechy teacher everybody hated, whose voice drips with false earnestness and condescension yet is always spouting obvious lies.
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s entire campaign has been a four-month political aneurysm. You almost feel bad for the fellow. He has been doing this his entire adult life and he is still really terrible at it. Only in Washington does a guy like Joe Biden rise to the top.
Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg bet it all on Iowa and that paid off and gave him a nice bounce in the primary here. But all I can say is, “Good luck!”
Wait until people start digging into his record as mayor of a small city in Indiana and his claim to the “moderate” mantle. It gets ugly quick.
That is the same problem for Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Sure, she sounds reasonable and seems like a serious person. But she has a considerable political record that has not yet been fully scrutinized.
And, anyway, listing your profession as “politician” hasn’t been terribly constructive lately. “Real estate developer” or “reality TV star” have much better rings to them these days.
But there is hope for Democrat honchos and leftwing media windbags. There are real signs emerging that while Mr. Sanders is racking up the wins now, it might not be enough to carry him into victory next fall.
In Iowa, Democrats were expecting a record-smashing 300,000 enthusiastic Democratic voters to show up for the caucuses last week. They fell far, far short of that expectation. Turnout was 65,000 below their record in 2008 and only slightly higher than four years ago.
Also of note, Mr. Sanders earned a little more than half the delegates in Iowa’s complex caucus system than he did four years ago. Obviously, this year saw a more crowded field, but it is worth noting.
Similarly, in New Hampshire, Mr. Sanders is on track to lose some 70,000 voters this year from his monster totals against Hillary Clinton in 2016.
So, breathe easy, Democrats.
You can tell King Solomon, “Go ahead and split that baby down the middle. And then place it on that table over there to keep it comfortable while all the blood drains out of it.”
• Charles Hurt can be reached at email@example.com or @charleshurt on Twitter.
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