Maureen Dowd:  Let’s Debate: Are Democrats Doomed?

Dear Commons Community,

New York Times’ columnist, Maureen Dowd today raises the question as to whether Donald Trump has changed the political game forever, and if so, are the Democrats doomed in 2020.  She bases her concerns on the Democrat Presidential debate last Thursday where no candidate really won or jumped out of the pack although many observers felt that Elizabeth Warren distanced herself from the others.  Here is an excerpt from Dowd’s column.

“Donald Trump has fundamentally altered the way we experience politics. 

We’ve been trying to figure out for three years if he is a mad aberration, doomed to fade, or if he is rewiring the game in some permanent way.

Watching that depressing debate, one must conclude that the rewiring is well underway.

Trump is one of the phoniest people ever to walk the earth. Maybe that’s why he was uniquely suited to tear through the phony conventions and bloated world of consultants that made up politics as usual.

There were a lot of good politicians on the debate stage in Houston. But the night rang hollow as they clung to the old conventions — the overcoached performances, the canned lines, the pandering, the well-worn childhood anecdotes meant to project “relatability.”

Tactics superseded passion and vision. Everyone seemed one tick off. Unlike with Barack Obama in 2008, none made you feel like you wanted to pump your fist in the air and march into the future behind them.

“Being a good politician doesn’t matter anymore,” lamented one freaked-out congressional Democrat afterward. “It’s like being a great used car salesman. We need a Holden Caulfield to call out all the phonies.”

It’s a paradox wrapped in an oxymoron about a moron: Trump’s faux-thenticity somehow makes the Democratic candidates seem more packaged, more stuck in politician-speak.”

Dowd has a point but I think that the problem with the debate on Thursday was that there were too many candidates.  It was difficult for a candidate to jump to the head of the pack. As I said earlier, many felt that Warren was a few steps ahead of the others.


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