Establishment Democrats have already brokered their election

Establishment Democrats have already brokered their election
© Greg Nash

Backroom deals. Smokey meetings. Horse trading. Pundits have pined for a brokered convention for as long as Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Biden clarifies comments comparing African American and Latino communities Kanye West may have missed deadline to get on Wisconsin ballot by minutes: report MORE and Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure Sanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic MORE have been in Washington. Are we seeing one playing out in real time?

Just a week ago, the Democratic establishment was in total panic mode. “Democratic leaders willing to risk party damage to Stop Bernie Sanders,” a New York Times headline blared. Things were getting so desperate that superdelegates were dreaming of a “savior candidate who is not now in the race” and even contemplating putting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the top of the ticket. They must have reasoned that the remaining class of white billionaires and millionaires were simply too inexperienced.

But by the eve of Super Tuesday, the wagons had been fully circled. The establishment that the New York Times framed as having “stumbled” had found its footing. So by the time Harry Reid, the Democratic “kingmaker,” announced his support for Biden, the field had been largely cleared for a “comeback” by the two time failed candidate for the presidency.

ADVERTISEMENT

Did Biden suddenly become a greater candidate? After more than three decades running for president, he did finally win his first primary in South Carolina, a state he has been leading in the polls for more than a year. Did he stop lashing out at reporters or at voters? Did he stop promising to hike taxes on everybody or embracing radical policies such as shutting down deportations of criminal illegal aliens? Did he stop making up “ridiculous” stories about himself on the campaign trail? Did he actually realize where he was? Who he was talking to? What he was running for? Or why?

The truth is time was running out to stop Sanders in the primary. It was not because they dislike his all encompassing government plans. The party has adopted them, from health care paid by taxpayers for illegal aliens to “free” college like those promised in socialist Venezuela. The panic is the openness of his views will be too much for independents to take in November. It was time for some behind the scenes brokering.

Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar had just launched million dollar ad buys, determined to siphon off delegates in a splintered primary, what Democratic Party leaders were “increasingly anxious about.” But suddenly they were out of the race. Does anyone really believe that Buttigieg thinks Biden, a man from another era, is the right man to “build the era that must come next”? More likely, these candidates had been offered something in exchange for their endorsements, or a “quid pro quo” in Latin. Curiously, Elizabeth Warren, a comrade of Sanders, remained in the race when her pathway for delegates was far narrower than Buttigieg or Klobuchar.

This is not the first time the Democratic establishment has meddled in their own election. Biden was the obvious beneficiary when Democrats in Congress kept Sanders and his fellow senator candidates sidelined during the home stretch of Iowa with their impeachment debacle, though Biden could not be helped. Desperate, they flirted with the idea of an old white male billionaire to swoop in and save the day, and changed the debate rules to benefit Michael Bloomberg. It did not go exactly as planned.

Neither will this latest move. As a result, Democrats are more divided than ever, beholden to a radical base that seeks to tear down the foundations of this country, and the moderates in tone but not actually in policy who are stacked up against them. So angry Democrats will battle it out for the nomination. But it is not much of a showdown between two politicians with over 80 years combined in government, with little to show for it.

Republicans are now more unified than ever, behind a man who has held elected office for less than four years. With the leading national economy for the first time since 2000, the lowest unemployment in half a century, and more Americans returning to the labor force, President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE, the real outsider delivering a real comeback, truly has plenty to show for it.

Elizabeth Harrington is the national spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee. You can follow her updates on Twitter @LizRNC.