As I watched six Democratic presidential candidates debate in Iowa last Tuesday, I asked myself an important question: Will one of these people be our next president? And a follow-up question: Is this the best we can do in the world’s greatest democracy? I hope not.
I watched two elderly white males, former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 78, face-off against 70-year-old Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and 37-year-old former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is a fresh face in the presidential sweepstakes. Two also-rans were on the stage, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the “moderate” in this group of “progressives,” and California billionaire Tom Steyer, who’s trying to buy his party’s presidential nomination. Another elderly white billionaire, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, 78, wasn’t in Des Moines, but he’s also spending bucket loads of his own money in an effort to buy the nomination.
Somewhat surprisingly, there were no “people of color” on stage last Tuesday even though the Democratic Party champions diversity and so-called “identity politics.” Three minority candidates — California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Texas Congressman Julian Castro — dropped out before Tuesday’s debate and are waiting in the wings for a possible vice presidential nomination. If Biden and Sanders are the party’s front-runners at this point in an endless campaign, Harris, Booker, Castro and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang should be on standby.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally delivered two articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate after an inexplicable month-long delay. Sens. Sanders, Warren and Klobuchar will be sitting silently as “impartial jurors” in a Senate trial for two or three weeks to determine whether to remove our impeached president from office. Meanwhile, as a political kabuki dance with a predetermined outcome takes place in the Senate, rival candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination will be campaigning full speed ahead in Iowa.
The forthcoming impeachment won’t be a dignified legal/judicial process; rather, it’s a political show and anyone who thinks hyper-partisan senators will be “impartial jurors” is delusional. Twenty Republican senators would have to vote to remove Trump from office, and that isn’t going to happen. As for witnesses, if Democrats call former National Security Adviser John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to testify, Republicans should call former Vice President Biden and his son Hunter to explain why Hunter earned $50,000 to $80,000 per month as a board member of a corrupt Ukrainian energy company while his father was in charge of Ukraine policy for ex-President Obama. “We did nothing wrong,” says Joe Biden. We’ll see about that if they testify.
I think Senate Republicans should treat the Trump impeachment trial exactly like Senate Democrats treated the impeachment of ex-President Bill Clinton 20 years ago. House prosecutors present their case, the president’s defense attorneys present their case, and the Senate votes. What was good enough for Bill Clinton, who lied under oath, is good enough for Donald Trump, who behaves like a rude, crude bully. The economy is good, however, so who cares if a president gropes young female interns in the Oval Office or bullies our international friends and allies?
‘Companion of the Year’
My congratulations to 28-year-old Northern Nevada sex worker (i.e. prostitute) Alice Little, who was named “Companion of the Year” by the unnamed company that operates several Lyon County brothels. In a four-column page 3 story the intrepid Reno Gazette Journal breathlessly reported that Little, who earned about $1.2 million last year, was “the most financially successful licensed prostitute in the United States.” Aren’t we proud?
Guy W. Farmer is the Appeal’s senior political columnist.