• Back in 2008, Rush Limbaugh conducted his “operation chaos” to prolong the Democratic nomination struggle between Hillary and Obama. Now Democrats are doing it for us for free.
(Or maybe we are seeing one of Will Rogers’s best old jokes come to life: “I’m not a member of an organized political party; I’m a Democrat.”
• The big winner of the Iowa caucus debacle may well be Michael Bloomberg. He is now reported to be increasing his TV ad buys, and is hiring more campaign workers, bringing his paid campaign staff to nearly 2000—all with employment guaranteed through November! Bloomberg’s new ads running out here in California essentially claim Obama’s endorsement, showing lots of high-def clips of Obama saying nice things about Mayor Mike. Pretty slick trick.
I still say Bloomberg is preparing to run as an independent if Bernie Sanders wins the Democratic nomination, but if Bloomberg doesn’t and merely turns his formidable campaign apparatus into an adjunct independent expenditure campaign on behalf of the eventual Democratic nominee, it raises a new issue: There are strict rules against coordination between federal candidates and independent groups. A Bloomberg independent adjunct campaign on behalf of the Democratic Party is going to be very difficult to carry off at this scale and not trip over these rules. It would provide a field day for Federal Election Commission investigations.
• Bernie Sanders raised $25 million in January:
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont raised $25 million in January, his campaign said on Thursday, a staggering sum that gives him an enviable financial advantage at a crucial moment in the Democratic primary race.
He plans to use the windfall to immediately buy $5.5 million in television and digital ads across 10 states, at a time when some of his rivals are shifting or cutting their existing ad reservations.
The $25 million haul is more money than any other candidate raised in any full quarter during 2019, including several presidential hopefuls who hold the big-dollar fund-raisers that Mr. Sanders forgoes.
• I have no idea what to make of the Democrats’ Iowa fiasco, but it is hard to resist wondering whether the fix is in by the DNC to derail Sanders now instead of at the convention. The obvious dilemma for Democrats is that they need Bernie Bros to turn out in November, and if Bernie is blocked at the convention they will lose many of those progressive voters.
The ever-sensible moderate liberal Bill Galston made this case in the Wall Street Journal a couple days ago in “Stop Bernie Sanders Now.”
Before the end of February, the leading representatives of the center-left must coalesce around the candidate who has best demonstrated the ability to unite the anti-Sanders vote and lead the party to victory in November. The alternative could be an epic disaster for Democrats and the country. . .
Good luck with that Bill. (Meanwhile, if you want to see Bill Galston’s views of me, see this short video clip from a few years back.)
Notice, by the way, with the count closing in on complete numbers that show Sanders with a lead, the DNC has called for a complete re-canvas of the entire vote. Another anti-Bernie delay?
Forget popcorn. I’m going to start investing in clown noses. (If Sanders had a sense of humor, he’d start using tracks from Insane Clown Posse at his campaign rallies.)
• One takeaway from the Democrats’ impeachment fiasco is now obvious but has been largely overlooked. They are setting up the ground for contesting the results of the election in November if Trump wins. That’s one reason for the talking point that if Trump is acquitted, he’ll “cheat” again in November.
• Here is the current status of Joe Biden according to Monty Python (55 seconds long):
Or, if you like, you can think of Biden as a deceased parrot instead. (Actually, the famous lumberjack song appended here also traces out the recent history of the Democratic Party.)
• In other news. St. Greta of Thunberg has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, because of course she has.