Thursday, February 25, 2016

Middle Finger Surprise

This election season has been unusual, to say the least. The rise - and staying power - of anti-establishment candidates on both sides has surprised political 'experts' and casual observers alike. Could we be in for one more HUGE surprise?

From the American Thinker:
Most will agree that this has been an election season unlike any other. The standard rules have been tossed aside. Reaching for a wrecking ball has replaced reaching across the aisle. Political incorrectness has replaced genuflection before the party elders. What else explains Donald Trump galloping toward the Republican nomination while the Republican chosen son and brother, Jeb Bush, quit the race before even leaving the starting gate?

On the other side of the proverbial aisle that only the establishment brags about reaching across is a self-described socialist, Bernie Sanders, who honeymooned in the Soviet Union and lived as a hobo until age 40. He is mounting a formidable challenge to the anointed candidate of the Democrat crony establishment, Hillary Clinton.

Will the establishments sit back and allow outsiders, such as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, to waltz in and grab the nomination? Will they permit we the people to override we the donors in choosing our next president?

(There is speculation that the Republican establishment is) scheming and plotting in their now smoke-free rooms over how to pull the rug out from Trump and hand the nomination to Rubio or Kasich.

The Democrat establishment has superdelegates doing their dirty work. Despite barely winning two contests and getting shellacked in New Hampshire, Clinton now has 502 delegates compared to Sanders’s 70. That’s like giving Hillary a 20-yard head start in a 100-yard dash.

Suppose both establishments rig the nominating process, pushing Trump and Sanders to the side, deliberately ignoring their respective voter bases. Imagine the outrage, or better yet revolution, among a large swath of voters, fed up with business-as-usual establishment shenanigans.
Here's where the article leads us into FantasyLand. The author imagines a scenario where the outcome of such shenanigans is a Trump/Sanders ticket.

Yes, you read that right. An independent candidacy featuring Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders running together on the same ticket. 
Crazy? Probably. Impossible? Hardly.

How different are the two candidates? Policy wise, quite different. But this isn’t an election respecting the usual political boundaries of political philosophy and policy. Instead it’s contest between establishment and anti-establishment. The establishment candidates are, or were, Bush, Rubio, Kasich, and Clinton. The anti-establishment candidates are Trump, Carson, Cruz, and Sanders.

How similar are Donald and Bernie? Consider this exchange with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski last week.

“I wanted to describe a candidate to you,” she began. “The candidate is considered a political outsider by all the pundits. He’s tapping into the anger of the voters, delivers a populist message. He believes everyone in the country should have healthcare, he advocates for hedge fund managers to pay higher taxes, he’s drawing thousands of people at his rallies and bringing in a lot of new voters to the political process, and he’s not beholden to any super PAC. Who am I describing?” she asked.
Trump took the bait and answered, “You’re describing Donald Trump.” Wrong answer – you’re fired! She was describing Bernie Sanders.

Twin sons of different mothers? Both pariahs of their establishments. Why not join forces? In broad strokes, they are more alike than different. The policy differences can be negotiated between the two candidates in the ultimate sequel to “The Art of the Deal.”

If both party establishments gave their respective voters the big middle finger, the voters just might give both middle fingers back to the establishments, supporting a Trump/Sanders ticket.

Improbable? Absolutely. So was the idea, a year or two ago, of Donald Trump leading the Republican field and an avowed socialist beating the anointed one in almost every key demographic.

If anything, it’s something to ponder. And the fact that I would even put forth such a scenario is a sign of the desperation of the establishments. In their minds, desperate times call for desperate measures. Thwarting the will of their voters in the pursuit of continued power and money would not be a surprise. And neither would be a third party response.

Could such a ticket win? Who knows? If half of each party’s voters are fed up enough to vote for such a ticket, the plurality might be enough to win.
I'm doubtful that such a ticket will ever come to pass. But it sure would be fun to watch it happen.

Hey Political Establishment - This One's for YOU!!!


Old NFO said...

I really don't want a redo of 'interesting times'... Done that before, now I'm too damn old!

CenTexTim said...

Hey, what do you want - an interesting life, or a boring one...? :-)