The feeding frenzy of 2020 politics began when the polls closed on election day last November, so get ready for an often nauseating daily diet of who’s up, who’s down, who’s in, who’s out, particularly from the Democrats, who it appears might field a primary competition featuring as many as 20 or 25 candidates, most of them racing to find out who can outflank the others in getting to the left, and I do mean far left, and many of them simply seeking their allotted fifteen minutes of fame. The good news about this is that there is a real possibility that the election can be about governing ideas and their consequences. And at this point the progressive left’s range of ideas include 70-90% marginal tax rates, open borders, universal single payer health care with the elimination of private insurance, free college tuition, and abortion on demand through the third trimester, among other socialist notions.
Now comes Howard Schultz, Starbucks founder and CEO, the poster boy for the American success story and a lifelong loyal Democrat, who is considering a run for President as an independent and who would be comparable to a Bill Clinton or John F. Kennedy Democrat. The response from the left was the complete and loud vilification of his intentions, with establishment liberals and their fellow travelers bashing his doubts about the efficacy of 70% tax rates and Medicare for All and asserting that his candidacy would benefit a Trump re-election.
I actually think that a Schultz candidacy, or any viable attempts by credible people like him to get a place on the policy stage, is healthy. It would have the potential to elevate the political discourse to one of ideas and away from the divisive tribal smear tactics we have endured for the past two years and, who knows, no doubt some of his views might deserve serious discussion.
But the across the board response from the Democrat establishment is indicative of its sentiments–a discussion of ideas is not welcome, including a debate in the primaries that might enable them to govern effectively if they win, and nothing is acceptable that is not totally anti-Trump. In fact, as the Wall Street Journal has suggested, they don’t want to hear anything that will interfere with “socialism by acclamation”. A sad state of affairs from the country’s oldest political party.