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The War of Democratic Succession

AMAC Exclusive – By Daniel Roman

Democratic

Nothing demonstrates the loss of confidence in Joe Biden even among Democrats better than the spate of stories over the past weekend speculating on the succession plan for Biden in general, and the “unsuitability” of Vice President Kamala Harris in particular. “Biden-successor chatter grows and Harris isn’t scaring off anyone” declared Politico, while the Washington Post ran the headline “Harris, Buttigieg under the Spotlight amid uncertainty over Biden’s future.” There was enough truth to this speculation, or at least worry over its effects, to lead to an intervention from the White House, with Press Secretary Jen Psaki issuing a rare Sunday night tweet:

Despite the surface appearance of Psaki backing the Vice President, the very fact that the White House felt the need to release such a statement confirms what the news headlines suggest – namely, that Democrats are thoroughly demoralized. That is probably due not only to Biden’s obviously failed performance as President, but also to the prospect that his two most likely replacements as party standard bearer are Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg. The rise of Harris and Buttigieg represents something as significant as Biden’s failures: the intellectual and demographic decay of the Democratic Party. The truly demoralizing fact for Democrats is that, even if they could rid themselves of Biden, their problems cannot be fixed by spending more money on bridges, community colleges, or whatever is in their “Build Back Better” bill. The troubles go far deeper, and nothing illustrates those troubles better than the personas of Harris and Buttigieg.

At its root, the Democratic Party has no roots. This is not to say there are no Democratic voters, but that Democratic politicians increasingly are creatures of power, not policy. They entered politics because they were inspired by the idea of being someone, not by doing something. The result was young men and women who from their start in politics set their sights on making their way to D.C., where they would mix with the powerful, seek media attention, and presumably use an impression of relevance to achieve actual relevance.

On the surface, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg may appear to be from different wings of the Democratic Party. The former is a woman of Asian and African American descent from California, with a left-wing reputation, and who was a local prosecutor, State Attorney General, and Senator. The latter is a Midwestern boy who went to Harvard, briefly served in the military, went to McKinsey, and then returned to South Bend to run for Mayor. Both, however, share core similarities. For both, ideology is superficial. For all of her left-wing actions and votes, Harris was never trusted by the left, and with good reason. She did not seem to care, or to really believe it. It’s all positioning. When in San Francisco, Harris championed police reform and light on crime policies. As State Attorney General, with her eyes on the Senate, she reversed course. At each stage of her career, from her first interactions with San Francisco boss and CA Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, she had her eyes set on moving up. If she was a prosecutor, it was not because she cared about crime or prosecutions or reform, but because that would help advance her one rung on the ladder of power. As Vice President, she is associated with no cause or policy, and mostly seems known for trying to dodge any involvement with the issues Biden assigns her, such as the border crisis.

Buttigieg similarly seems to have plotted his road to power meticulously, doing everything a successful millennial desperate to impress Gen X/Boomer parents of millennials would do. Harvard, McKinsey, military, small-town, vague notes of bipartisanship, Fox News appearances. The only thing he seems to have overlooked is what he would wish to do as President. Like Harris, Buttigieg never showed any interest in issues, and in office has tried to argue that any important political matters which might be associated with him, such as supply chains, are not the business of the Secretary of Transportation.

Harris and Buttigieg are not unique in their vapidity. In this they represent a wider trend. The Democrats ran dozens of candidates for president in 2020, most of whom were indistinguishable. What precisely did Michael Bennet stand for? Of the candidates, only Bernie Sanders and maybe Elizabeth Warren stood for anything ideological (along with Tulsi Gabbard in a different way) and both were 70. The cast of climbers left Joe Biden, an old-time career politician who at least knew how to say the right words, looking downright empathetic by comparison. That Democrats had no one under 78 who could even effectively fake caring about normal Americans was a massive indictment of the party. That they have found no one in the last year and are now faced with Harris and Buttigieg as their only two potential stars is another searing indictment and true reason for demoralization.

If Harris and Buttigieg run for president again, it will likely not be policy that dooms them, though it won’t help Harris, who unwisely veered much too far left in the Senate. It will be that their political careers are transparently and solely based on their own visions of personal self-aggrandizement. That alone can be forgiven when someone’s self-aggrandizement resulted in building something. Donald Trump was surely not shy about discussing his achievements, but they involved multiple global brands and businesses. Buttigieg, had he risen to McKinsey CEO or management, might have something to say. But he was an analyst, a mayor, a desk officer in the military. Voters require substance to tolerate ego.

Furthermore, the vacuum created by empty careerists like Harris and Buttigieg is directly tied to the rise of extremist ideology and policy within the Democratic Party. With a class of politicians lacking in any values or views of their own, the party has been vulnerable to infiltrators, and it is no surprise that the two most influential groups pushing Democrats in disastrous directions are non-Democrats.

On the Left, the Democrats have faced infiltration by the sort of Marxist, anti-American elements even George McGovern would have shied away from. But if Buttigieg and Harris have no commitment to American support for Israel except in terms of it being needed for their careers, then how can they lead any sort of counter-attack against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and their cronies? If neither has any real opinions on what should be taught in school, then they, like Terry McAuliffe, give off the impression that even if they don’t personally care for CRT, they care even less whether it is taught or not, or what is taught, or even if anything is taught in schools. Whatever their party’s base wants, they are perfectly happy to say. The Sanders-ite left has thus taken over the party because while the socialists actually have strong core beliefs, the likes of Harris and Buttigieg have none of their own with which to resist them. Thus we got Democrat presidential debates in which all of the candidates looked around at each other before unanimously raising their hands to pledge that their government healthcare plans would cover illegal aliens.

On the other end, Neo-Conservative former Republicans such as the Lincoln Project, who left the Republican Party largely in protest of his criticisms of the Iraq War and Bush years, have provided the new Democratic Party with their nation-building foreign policy and affection for an overbearing national security state. While AOC and the Sanders left are responsible for “Defund the Police” and extremist domestic policies, the decision to go all in on Russian/Ukraine conspiracy theories and pursue two impeachments against Donald Trump was driven by Republican defectors determined to use the Democratic Party to settle their personal scores. Once again, careerist Democratic politicians like Harris and Buttigieg went happily along for the ride. As Virginia and New Jersey showed, there is little evidence actual Democratic voters, especially Latinos or African Americans, cared in the least for this entire endeavor. It was all the Rick Wilsons, Bill Kristols, and Stu Stevens of the world.

The succession fight for Joe Biden’s vacant throne should indeed be demoralizing to Democrats because it will solve nothing for their party. The very fact that the left is now engaged in this conversation is a testament to the failure of Joe Biden’s presidency, and the two apparent candidates to replace Biden demonstrate the vacuous nature of the party. America needs a liberal party which stands for more than careerism. Otherwise, we have three more years of mediocrities fighting over the deck chairs on the Titanic.Daniel Roman is the pen name of a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

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H L Howell
15 days ago

Kamala Harris’ mother is from Indian (not native american) decent and her father is Jamaican. here’s a dollar, go buy a clue.

Mario Capparuccini
16 days ago

When you believe in nothing or no one but yourself, then you can support the butchering of unborn children for the sake of political expediency. No issue defines our society better than the 60 million plus children murdered since 1973. This is the American Holocaust.

Laynee8
17 days ago

Wow! Excellent article! Thanks, Mr. Roman!

Steve
18 days ago

When I share an article, it doesn’t share the article, but just a pitch for AMAC. ???

Becky
18 days ago

The democrat party gave up all ‘issue concerns’ back in the 80s. They decided their role would be attacking republicans and America.
They’ve worked very hard and deserve every bit of enmity and blowback they can get.
I will never get over their dumping out America’s mental institutions, then using the homeless THEY CAUSED to browbeat the GOP. May they all rot in hell.

Morbious
18 days ago
Reply to  Becky

Thats right. When chlorpromazine was discovered, politicians realized they could save oodles of money by closing down state hospitals. This was aided and abetted by postmodernist thinking at the time that claimed schizophrenia was just ‘being different’. The money saved was used to buy votes via the expansion of the welfare state to include able bodied people. Thats the irony. Schizophrenics need lifelong care. Instead they’re living under bridges.

Nick Patriot
17 days ago
Reply to  Becky

Just remember that the republicans did nothing but give us lip service. They wouldn’t support the best president in my lifetime. There’s no fight in them. The commiecrats are only doing what they told everyone they would do. Destroy America. George Bush, McConnell, Cheyney, Romney had lots to say critical of Trump but say NOTHING about the Obiden crime family.

Morbious
18 days ago

The dems are arguing over whether to destroy the country quickly or slowly. Thats all.

Becky
18 days ago
Reply to  Morbious

Pretty much..

Jim Jolly
18 days ago

Another reason for term limits so offices do not end up in a carrear. As far as Biden, Harris and Buttigieg, it is a total waste of tax dollars. Oh I forgot any thing that goes wrong, and there are many, is not their fault and can be blamed on Trump or some other unsuspecting soul or country. Pipeline cancelled, other drilling restricted and now going to China and Russia asking for help is repulsive and created. The Green Deal and 100% sticks including children is what they will stand on. Sounds weak to me and doesn’t do a thing to resolve the problems.

Texas Resister 64
18 days ago

Sanders is 80 years old; Warren is 72 or thereabouts. Mayor Pete is, what? sixteen?

Lee S McQuillen
16 days ago

Thanks for the laugh. Love the last part!

J C
16 days ago

pete and its husband just had a baby… Dr. Frankenstein just built the monster

Wanda
18 days ago

Puerto Rican is NOT AFRICAN AMERICAN…she is about as African American as one woman Democrat is Native American.

Rosalee Cavanaugh
18 days ago

Buttigieg’s name has something to do with “chickens” in Maltese which is his heritage.

Barb
18 days ago

One is just as bad as the other, only worse. Which incompetent one do you want to be your leader?
Oh, and the 3rd in line is just as bad…

Hal
18 days ago
Reply to  Barb

In any line of succession, if it’s a contemporary Democrap, it is bad.

Lynn
18 days ago

To our side, Harris and Butthead are both self serving, intellectually dishonest and plain old too lazy for their jobs. But the younger kids who are brainwashed think they are fine because they are woke.
The younger folks don’t really care who delivers the woke message to enlighten us neanderthals.

Wanda
18 days ago
Reply to  Lynn

As long as the message and end results are FREE

David Spade
18 days ago

Cat fight!

Harris and Buttigieg should be the first ones out the door. Neither are focused on anything but themselves. The American people know that, and the voters will not forget. Who really cares what happens to them, politically? Watching the Marxists Democrats fight is like going to a professional boxing match….beat each other up in prime time for entertainment purposes.

Blueknight
18 days ago

No one ever mentions (Beatlejuice’s) elephant in the room!! He is an openly gay man promoting homosexuality. Is this the kind of elected official you want representing the USA???

dJames
18 days ago

Patriots, My sincere prayer is that these fourth string demon o crats implode before we completely lose America. There is a glimmer of hope for Democracy but only if true Americans stand in mass against these Socialists.
Pray for America and Republicans to come forth with courage.

PaulE
18 days ago

Let’s just cut through all the noise here and discuss the obvious, real successor that most Democrat voters really, apparently want. That is the socialist Bernie Sanders. In 2016, Bernie was mopping the floor with Hillary in the primaries, until the Democrat Party not only put its thumb on the scale, but pressed down hard with its full hand on the scale to ensure Hillary, the anointed choice of the DNC, got the nomination. In 2020, Bernie was once again pulling away from the anointed Joe Biden in the primaries, until the DNC got Jim Clyburn to publicly give Senile Joe a leg up and the nomination. What the DNC wanted was a public face that they could sell to a gullible public as “moderate”, while still enacting openly socialist policies. I guarantee you that if you asked most Democrat voters today who they would vote for, they would say Bernie Sanders.

Fast forward to today. The DNC and the MSM are still pushing the Biden administration as being “moderate”, while virtually all the policies and personnel choices have been largely Bernie Sander’s socialist policies. There have been no policy failures. There have been no unintentional consequences. The puppet Joe Biden is doing what he is told to do and these are the logical outcomes to the socialist policies being enacted. In plain English, this is what implementation of socialist policies looks like in real life. So the issue isn’t who will take Biden’s place, but rather that whoever the DNC decides to put forward, the same socialist policies will be at the heart of everything they do. Understand this is what heading into pure socialism looks like. The puppet chosen to stand before the TV cameras and mouth the words and sign the bills isn’t as important as the policies being enacted. The Democrats could replace Biden with anyone and the socialist policies would be the exact same.

Max
18 days ago
Reply to  PaulE

How true that your comments hit on target again. Thanks, Paul E..

PaulE
18 days ago
Reply to  Max

Thank Max. Unfortunately, almost every other comment I write keeps getting censored by AMAC for no valid reason or rationale. I guess they just want a certain type of knee jerk response or limited point of view to what they put up on this site.

Morbious
18 days ago
Reply to  PaulE

The fact that you’re regularly censored is a microcosm of our situation . I see this everywhere: nice decent people who have been conditioned to believe they must be above the enemy. Happy thoughts are temporary salves that mask the problem.

Lee S McQuillen
16 days ago
Reply to  PaulE

You always have much to contribute and based on fact and observation for sure. They should not be censoring you!

Dan W.
18 days ago
Reply to  PaulE

I wonder if the Democrats are dumb enough to nominate someone outside their party like Sanders, a card carrying socialist, to lead their ticket in 2024 after what is going to be a disastrous election in 2022 ?

Perhaps, but I suspect that the results of 2022 will lead them to a candidate who isn’t on anyone’s radar screen now and may lead them to dial back on their socialist platform in 2024. Stay tuned.

Max j
18 days ago
Reply to  Dan W.

Interesting thought.

PaulE
18 days ago
Reply to  Dan W.

I’ve been thinking about that a bit and I think the folks running the DNC won’t take away the lesson we would expect them to learn from what they are about to get in 2022. Just look at how the Democrat Party and the MSM, the propaganda arm of the DNC, has responded post the recent election results. Instead of dialing back the openly socialist policies and at least pretending to be more “moderate”, they instead have put the gas pedal to the floor board in both rhetoric and actions in Congress and elsewhere. Reinserting everything they had previously removed from the reconciliation bill and adding even more new items. So my sense is the Party has gone too far down the rabbit hole of socialism to pull back now. The literal handful of old guard moderates still in the Democrat party will kicked out by 2024 one way or another.

I was also thinking that Bernie would be way too old by 2024 to run the type of campaign schedule needed to energize the troops. The DNC would look for a younger face to prop up as the new standard bearer. AOC will be 35 by October of 2024, so if they bend the rules a little, I can see her as one option. She is already tied at the hip with Bernie on many of the policy initiatives that the Biden administration has been pushing, so she seems a logical first choice. She meets all their check box criteria. AOC is young, non-white, openly socialist, can deliver her lines with the right mix of both arrogance and conviction and the MSM can paint her as the perfect choice to lead young, “progressive” voters into the future. The script almost writes itself.

Of course there will be a flurry of other Democrats running in 2024, just like there were in 2020. They all however will share one common trait: Each one will try to out do the others as being the most “progressive” and promising the most “free stuff”, that somebody else will pay for. So it just comes down to which flavor of puppet the major Democrat donors will tell the DNC to select.

Morbious
18 days ago
Reply to  PaulE

They’re doing things that cant easily be undone while they can. Losses in 22 will be a mere bump in the road for them. They’ll use the time to register illegals.

Andrew P
17 days ago
Reply to  PaulE

AOC will be 35 by the time the Electors vote and that is all that matters – although I think she will take out Chucko in a primary next year and be the new NY Senator.
Maybe Manchin, Sinema, or Gabbard will run for Prez, though.

Andrew P
17 days ago
Reply to  Dan W.

I don’t expect Biden to finish his term. Either a stroke or COVID will end it. Then Harris has to pick a new VP. Wanna bet is it Manchin or Sinema?

Andrew P
17 days ago
Reply to  PaulE

Isn’t Bernie like 90 years old?

Bob L.
18 days ago

There isn’t a single person in the democratic line of succession worthy of occupying the White House. If there’s going to be a shakeup, I fear what will result.

anna hubert
18 days ago

Democratic succession? Where are the democrats?

Vilas Gamble
18 days ago

For over fifty years I have held the opinion that no matter what Democrats say in campaigns after they get elected their policies do things to Americans instead of doing things for Americans and America. Not since JFK has a Democrat president done what President Trump did and that is “Promised made…. Promises kept”. Now as we see all that is taking place in our country, we need someone who is strong enough to buck establishment Republicans and socialist Democrats and tell Americans here is what I want to do to restore our freedoms and then do it!

Herman
18 days ago

Biden wanted to be president for a long time. Looking back, the “Deep State” or whoever is controlling the Dem party could not believe Trump won the 2016 election. All the polls showed Hillary was a “shoe in”. As you know, the Dems did every thing they could to reduce the effectiveness of the Trump administration. Right then a conspiracy was put in place to make sure Trump did not win again. The pandemic played right into their hands with un-lawful election procedures and fraud. They promised Biden he could win the election, BUT, he would have to do exactly what the Deep State, leftwing activist, and “green wing” socialist dictated. There is no way Biden as an American would consent to destroying America except for his “dream” of becoming the President of the USA. That’s my nickel’s worth today.

Lee S McQuillen
16 days ago
Reply to  Herman

Don’t forget Mrs. B’s desire to live in the White House!

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