by Newt Gingrich
As I watched the two-hour food fight disguised as the South Carolina Democratic Presidential debate, what really hit me was the enormous contrast between President Trump and the first lady in India this week and the Democrats’ bickering.
The visual of the presidential couple being greeted enthusiastically by more than 120,000 cheering people in India’s largest soccer stadium was so much more impactful than the shrinking respect and declining seriousness of the Democrats’ squabbling.
It may be my age or my partisan bias, but Bernie Sanders seems as he repeats his mantra again and again. At any given time, he’s attacking Israel, defending Cuban dictators, proposing to take away everyone’s private health insurance, announcing new programs which would cost $10 trillion to $70 trillion dollars, and explaining everything could be paid for by taxing the rich. In a Broadway play, you would cast Sanders as the comic interlude.
However, in the real world of the modern radical Democratic party, Sanders is the most likely person to be their presidential nominee. A number of the other candidates tried to warn last night that a Sanders radical socialist ticket would cost Democrats the House (making Republican leader Kevin McCarthy the speaker) and give Majority Leader Mitch McConnell several new Republican senators.
But, when the party activists decide that purity is more important than practicality, no rational warning of the coming disaster has any impact.
I remember in 1964 when I was a young Barry Goldwater conservative. None of us believed the warnings that Goldwater would take the GOP down to a disastrous defeat. Eight years later, in 1972, none of the radical George McGovern supporters believed their candidate would be crushed in one of the worst electoral landslides of modern time.
Sanders can cite current polls that show him doing well against President Trump as much as he likes.
Unfortunately for the Democrats, none of the current polls reflect detailed information about how radical and how unpopular his policies are. Sanders and Democratic Socialism do fine as a bumper sticker. However, when the Sanders program is explained in terms of the cost to people’s lives, it is a disaster.
Ideologically, this disaster will be compounded by the stature gap between the Democrats and the President of the United States. This was the real message of Tuesday night. The Republican president is a genuine world leader, who is heartily welcomed by the leader of the world’s most populous Democracy. The Democratic contenders are simply not ready for prime time. The leap from quarrelling on the stage in South Carolina, to landing in New Delhi in Air Force One is simply too great.
President Trump’s stature advantage is increased dramatically when First Lady Melania Trump accompanies him on world trips. The picture of the two of them at the Taj Mahal beat anything the Democrats said or did in the debate on Tuesday.
It was a good week for team Trump, and a terrible week for Team Democrat.
The elephant is happy.
The donkey is panic stricken.