DETROIT—SummerSlam II has descended on Detroit for a two-night run, which likely will be the last of those that we'll see in this Democratic primary season. On Tuesday night, it has been assumed by many smart people that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will tee off on each other in order to see who will be the progressive champion going forward, at least for a while. But looking at the other participants, I'm wondering if the dynamics of necessity will push the two of them into a kind of informal alliance.
Besides Sanders and Warren, opening night also will include Pete Buttigieg, Beto O'Rourke, and, most conspicuously, Amy Klobuchar, John Hickenlooper, John Delaney, and Tim Ryan. The latter four—and, to an extent, all six of them—are resolutely against what they perceive as the drift of the Democratic Party to "the far left" on issues like healthcare, immigration, and healthcare for immigrants. (Let us be clear. there is a considerable distance between what Tim Ryan perceives to be "far left" and the what is thought of as "far left" by a huge segment of his political party.) Also, all four of those candidates are denizens at the moment of the Single Digit Corral. They all need "breakout" moments. (Hickenlooper already has sniped at Warren on the electric Twitter machine, and Delaney's de facto slogan is "Real Solutions, Not Impossible Promises," so you can see where he's headed.)
So I expect them all to make a run at Sanders and Warren, particularly the latter, who on Monday released a trade policy at which they can all pick. With a crowd of desperate semi-entities to starboard, and with the continuing faith all of them have that there are white guys in diners who will decide the deal in 2020, there likely won't be a battle of left-handers between Sanders and Warren—although the trade issue could spark up a discussion of whether someone can be a True Progressive if one likes markets, as Warren says she does. If this discussion does spark up, I will be unavailable for the duration of it as I will have hit myself in the head with a folding chair.
The other theme for both nights is going to have to be Get This Crazy Motherfcker Out of the White House Now. For two weeks, El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago has been on a public hate-bender the likes of which we haven't seen since Gerald L.K. Smith hung 'em up. It has been such a manic outburst of raw, racist Id that I genuinely fear for the life of any of the Democratic candidates who use the phrase, "reaching across the aisle," in either of the two debates.
I suspect Mitch McConnell will come in for something of a hiding as well, as Republican complicity and enabling of the Crazy MF'er really ought to be an overarching theme in every Democratic campaign for any political office forever. How can anyone have been alive for the past month and not believe that this president* and the party that produced him shouldn't be a primary issue in this campaign? Not the only one, but certainly in the top two because, unless he loses, and unless he can be hung around the neck of every Republican senatorial candidate like 50 pounds of spoiled pig's feet, what the hell is the purpose of voting in 2020 at all? Because unless and until the current iteration of the Republican Party is stomped until the light goes out of its eyes, everything will keep getting worse.
Marianne Williamson also will be on stage tonight. The Field of Love will be open for business again.
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