Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is joined by Democratic Senators and supporters as he arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017,
to unveil their Medicare for All legislation to reform health care. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
I want you to read something. Just… look at this tweet, and notice how you can’t help but smile.
Of the 22 candidates in the running, 18 presidential hopefuls have now met the threshold to qualify for the first Democratic debate scheduled for late Junehttps://t.co/hkuu7stbfV
— Axios (@axios) May 9, 2019
I hope the Democrats are so eager to show the alternatives to President Donald Trump that they put all 18 on that stage. They gave their candidates two specific qualifications for making the stage in the first debate: they need at least 1% support in 3 polls from a pre-approved list of pollsters and they need campaign contributions from 65,000 unique donors, including 200 donors from 20 different states. The following 18 of 22 candidates officially qualify now:
Candidates who have qualified with 1% or more in at least 3 qualifying polls and who have 65,000 or more unique donors:
- Sen. Bernie Sanders
- Mayor Pete Buttigieg
- Sen. Kamala Harris
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren
- Beto O’Rourke
- Andrew Yang
- Former Vice President Joe Biden
- Sen. Cory Booker
- Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro
- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Candidates who have qualified with 1% or more in at least 3 qualifying polls:
- Former Rep. John Delaney
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
- Former Gov. John Hickenlooper
- Gov. Jay Inslee
- Rep. Tim Ryan
- Rep. Eric Swalwell
Candidates who have qualified with 65,000 or more unique donors:
Candidates who have not yet qualified:
At this rate, the first Democratic debate is going to be nothing short of lit, a slang term used by the youth of America to express how fun and exciting something is or will be. And, folks, this debate will be the definition of “lit.”
What makes this so beautiful is that the Democrats can’t go back and change the rules. If they do, they will look just as bad as they did when they screwed Bernie Sanders in 2016. They cannot afford that egg on their face again, because to do so would mean something worse than just keeping Sanders from winning. It would likely exempt a woman and/or person of color from getting onto the debate stage.
The Democratic Party cannot afford that. They have bought so heavily into identity politics, victimhood, and portraying themselves as champions of women and people of color that if they were to make sure, say, Beto got onto the stage and a woman like Marianne Williamson did not, they would have to contend with an already frothing base.
It’s not something they want to deal with. So, they can’t change the rules. Every single person who qualifies will have to be allowed onto the stage. Right now, that’s 18 different candidates, many of whom are openly espousing ideas they think will win but will scare the hell out of America’s moderate voter base. There is a reason that party leaders are privately cursing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez while openly smiling and standing beside her. They know that what she represents, those same ideas that scare moderates, are the ones they want to introduce after they win the White House and take back the Senate. Embracing those ideas now scares away voters who might otherwise view Trump with skepticism and be open to voting for a Democrat.
But that’s not what many of these 18 candidates are doing. They are misreading the midterm elections and they are going to regret it. When your party’s candidates are motivated by the loud, frothing few instead of the desires of the silent majority, they will screw up.
As it stands right now, this only goes to help Trump. The Democrats aren’t unified, and 18 candidates on one stage will just be a ton of far-left noise. No one is going to see the appeal in that, and what’s worse is that, as it stands right now, you have to make the debate about four hours long just to accommodate all that noise.