Not that there was an overabundance of them in the first place, but with former Vice President Joe Biden's staggering collapse in the polls, the Democrat electorate has remarkably left itself no viable political moderates to choose from in their 2020 presidential primary.
While Biden had certainly carved out a policy agenda that was left of center, he was at least arguably committed to offering a semi-convincing appeal to independents and anti-Trump Republicans. Conversely, despite the best efforts of the Democrat Media Complex, there is simply no intellectually honest way to portray any of the remaining frontrunners as even remotely centrist.
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are outed socialists with the former even being identified [warning: language] by long-time Democrat party strategists as a "communist." Though Sanders feigns objection to the label, a couple decades ago he actually embraced it.
So perhaps it is this radical nature of Sanders and Warren that prompts observers to instinctively slap the moderate label on their closest remaining competitors, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar. But being to the right of those two revolutionaries doesn't take much, and it certainly doesn't qualify one as a moderate. There is a wide swath of liberalism that spans the gulf between the socialism of Sanders/Warren and political centrism.
Thus, responsible, rational thinkers won't use Bernie as the fixed point of leftism by which they calibrate their ideological compasses. They'll look at the policy proposals of Buttigieg and Klobuchar and see where they truly fall on an objective political spectrum.
For his part, Mayor Pete has:
- Signaled his support of achieving the ultimate goal of a single-payer healthcare system.
- Scolded a pro-life Democrat that there was no room for her in their party. His abortion extremism goes so far that he not only lobbied to facilitate the practice in South Bend, but actually sought to obstruct the opening of pregnancy resource centers that offer free medical and parenting supplies to those who would otherwise be most likely to consider abortion.
- Pushed policies to grant welfare and government student aid (both financed by tax dollars) to illegal immigrants.
- Spoken out about his desire to abolish the Electoral College.
Likewise, Senator Klobuchar's public Congressional voting record quickly scuttles any argument that she's a moderate. She has:
- Publicly lobbied for government entrance into the healthcare field, a move she knows will destroy private health insurance in the country.
- Scored a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood and NARAL.
- Earned an "F" rating from the NRA for her enmity towards the 2nd Amendment.
- Never ranked below 85% rating from the left-wing Americans for Democratic Action for her commitment to liberal causes.
Klobuchar's own hometown newspaper concluded about her:
"These are the ADA scores of a very solid liberal, which is what Klobuchar always has been and still is."
And before you're tempted to ask, "Well, what about Mike Bloomberg?" let's be clear that his past affiliation with the Republican Party was one of political expediency. Attempting to follow two successful terms of Republican Rudy Giuliani in the Mayor's office, the billionaire businessman abandoned his lifelong membership in the Democrat Party to pursue what he correctly assumed would be a more navigable path to victory. In his second term, he left behind the Republican label and has been sprinting leftward ever since.
On social issues, he's earned a reputation as one of the most radically pro-abortion politicians in national politics. In his first campaign for NYC Mayor, for instance, he pledged to compel all aspiring obstetricians and gynecologists to learn how to commit abortions. His record on religious liberty issues was equally appalling. And Bloomberg takes a back seat to no one when it comes to advocating gun control or seeking massive expansion of government to combat anthropogenic climate change.
Economically, consider that in 2008, Barack Obama proposed cutting taxes to the tune of $2.9 trillion. By 2016, Hillary Clinton had abandoned that approach, moving leftward to propose tax increases of just over $1 trillion. Bloomberg in 2020? He's proposing tax increases of $5 trillion over the next decade.
So enough with the "moderate" sales pitch. In 2016, Democrats lost what was an easily winnable election largely because their nominee abandoned middle America. The rust-belt recoiled against far-left intersectionality and chose a populist message that appealed to their actual interests. When it happened, Democrats vowed not to make the same electoral mistake again in 2020.
At this point I'd have to agree that they aren't duplicating their 2016 mistake. With these remaining primary candidates, it appears they're digging even deeper.