December 18, 2020
Author: Chilton Williamson
The Democratic response to the result of the 2020 election—the defeat of the man who for every Democrat, liberal, progressive, and revolutionary in America had been Public Enemy Number One these four years past—has been an amazingly cheerless one. Journalists, including those in the conservative media, had predicted that, should Joe Biden win, massive manifestations of public jubilation would break out all over the country; that college and university campuses would indulge in riotous celebration; even that Mayor De Blasio of New York City might order a ticker-tape parade up Broadway.
In the event, none of these festivities took place. Most astonishingly of all, Hillary Clinton did not book the Javits Center as the venue for a party with thousands of celebrity guests to celebrate with her the defeat of the man she is still claiming usurped her electoral victory in 2016, and her desk in the Oval Office. Indeed La Clinton has commented scarcely at all in public since November the third. Major Democratic politicians are maintaining an equal public reserve, and even keeping silent. What could be the explanation for this lack of excitement? The sole sensible answer is the obvious one. The Democratic Party was never enthusiastic about Joe Biden for President–this year especially–and even less so about Kamala Harris’ candidacy. It is hard, indeed, not to conclude from her rapid eclipse in the primaries that Democrats actually and actively dislike the woman. (After all, who doesn’t? Kamala Harris is easily one of most unlikeable people in American politics today.) Even the fact that Biden is not Trump, and Harris not Melania, fails to lift the sodden gray overcast that has settled upon the party since Election Day.
At the start of the current political season, when the Democrats were confidently expecting a blue wave that would wash President Trump and hundreds—if not thousands—of Republican politicians out of office at every level of government and all across the country, their so-called moderate wing looked forward to returning America to her rightful owners and operators, the established elite of wealthy and highly-trained liberals that owned and governed it from the beginning of the 20thcentury until twenty-sixteen. In other words, they expected that the coming election would return the country to its “normal” condition–as Biden is explicitly promising to do–beginning next January 20th. Meanwhile, their progressive—their outspokenly socialist—wing expected that the freshened enthusiasm of its members, youthful and otherwise, would appeal to the nation at large, and thus prevail over the intraparty capitalist enemy. That did not happen–the opposite, in fact; and so they, too, are unhappy. Still, the established Democracy has won the election to find a physically decrepit and mentally vacant septuagenarian at the head of their party and of the federal government; a man likely unable to resist, in the long term, the pressure sure to be exerted upon him by the progressives who lost in the primaries owing to the unpopularity of their programs and policies, which they will continue to demand the new Donkey administration embrace anyway. In marked and splendid contrast, the Republicans have so far enjoyed a hugely successful election (the Georgia reruns on January 5 could significantly qualify their success); one that expanded their popular vote, broadened their base by establishing a new appeal to ethnic minorities, carried all the state legislatures at stake this year—and lost only at the very top of the ticket, though that loss was admittedly a tremendous one.
Nevertheless, Donald Trump may well be the Comeback Ogre in four years. Even should he not be, his party has a far larger and stronger contingent of plausible and appealing substitutes to replace him with than the Democrats have at hand to replace Kamala Harris, when the time comes. For now, the Donkeys, together with the rest of the country, face the certain—perhaps immanent—prospect of watching a Democratic president waste away, visibly and audibly, in office at a particularly perilous period in American history.
So is not wonderful that the Democratic Party has not hired the Javits Center to celebrate two glass ceilings being smashed simultaneously; one by the oldest President ever inaugurated, the other by the first woman of color elected to the Vice-Presidency, where she will serve, until called upon otherwise, as the nation’s insurance policy on the poor old gentleman in the Oval Office.