If we learned anything last night in New Hampshire it's that Bernie Sanders fills affluent white twenty somethings with a zeal not seen in that demographic since George McGovern ran for the presidency in 1972.
Of course McGovern got beat like a gong by Dick Nixon and carried only one state, Massachusetts. As soon as that election was over, just to prove he could hold a grudge even after winning a monumental landslide, Nixon ordered the Boston Navy Yard permanently closed.
Yes, it is a cautionary tale and one which should be heeded by democrats from the east to west coasts. Idealism is a fine and wonderful thing, but all the youthful enthusiasm in the world won't win national elections. Especially when your guy is an avowed socialist and over 50% of the United States electorate is on record as saying they'll never vote for a socialist.
Indeed, all that government financed single pay health care stuff may work in Denmark and Sweden, but the last anyone saw, Youngstown, OH and Ocala, FL aren't located in Scandinavia. Not to mention that the next House of Representatives will still be riddled with tea party beasts who would prefer to see the poor and uninsurable die in the streets rather than even consider funding such a program.
But, perhaps we are getting ahead of ourselves. Despite all the media hysteria New Hampshire isn't the end of the road for Hillary Rodham Clinton. There are 48 states left to cover in this marathon and Senator Sanders has yet to prove he can appeal to African-American and Hispanic voters in places like South Carolina, Texas, and California where they'll go to the polls in large numbers. Unless, of course, they've already been disenfranchised by state legislatures who are working as busy as termites on meth to undo the voting rights of everyone darker than a couple of shades of pale.
That brings us to the republicans where the vulgar savagery of Donald Trump carried the day convincingly. For the first time in history a major candidate for the highest office of the land publicly called one of his chief rivals, a "pussy." The mob was so enamored with his language that a little over 35% of New Hampshire republicans went out and voted for the despicable neo-fascist.
If there was a winner on the GOP side, besides El Donald, it would have to be John Kasich, who placed second with 15.7%. The Ohio governor is the quintessential moderate--at least among the ugly crowd running for the republican nomination--who was recently endorsed by the New York Times. That might be the last good news Kasich gets in a while, because this traveling freak show now turns south and west where endorsements by publications like the Times are generally considered the kiss of death.
The candidate from Alberta, Ted Cruz quickly discovered not everyone in the party wants to jump in the nearest river in order to be saved by--not necessarily in this order--Jesus Christ and himself. He came in third with a paltry 11.7%. Cruz, being Cruz, quickly described receiving a little over one in every ten ballots cast as a moral victory.
The two big losers of the day were Marco Rubio and Chris Christie. After spending a huge amount of time and cash in New Hampshire, Christie could do no better than 6th place with 7.4%. Earlier today reports were swirling on the internet he will drop out of the race either this afternoon, or tomorrow.
Before leaving, however, Governor Christie might well have delivered what could be a fatal torpedo to the hull of the S.S. Rubio. During the republican debate Saturday night, Christie hammered the senator from Florida and Rubio's response to the attack was appallingly incompetent. In fact it was such a debacle, today, after a horrendous 5th place performance, Senator Rubio apologized to supporters for his by rote debate performance and promised them it wouldn't happen again.
Jeb Bush finished 4th, slightly ahead of Rubio and vowed to carry on--probably because he started out with more money on hand than your average NFL owner and still has plenty to burn. Well that and there is the whole family pride thing.
Finally we come to Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson. Put together they got fewer votes than even Chris Christie. They are done. There is simply no other way to describe it.
So there we have it. Mrs. Clinton was thoroughly thumped, but the Sanders' campaign has yet to show whether it has legs, or is sufficiently deep and organized enough to compete in the multiple state frenzy known as Super Tuesday.
And when it comes to the GOP we are seeing what appears to be the beginnings of The Lava Lamp Effect, first witnessed four years ago. Only now it is in reverse. During the 2012 race it seemed like every couple of weeks the right wing of the party embraced a new glowing hot shot to challenge Mitt Romney. Each one would rise in the clear goo, but after a few moments sink back to the bottom. In the end, Romney withstood the different candidates du jour and won the nomination.
After his showing in Iowa the republican establishment became all giddy at the prospect of Marco Rubio making a real charge. Now, a scant week later, thanks to Rubio tanking in New Hampshire, there is John Kasich. The question is who will be next and how long can he stay afloat in the face of the Trump/Cruz madness.
If there is actually a GOP establishment left out there, they'd better coalesce around someone in a hurry. If they don't, the party that was once Lincoln's will be saddled with either an obscene racist, xenophobe, or a man so arrogant and loathsome a large portion of his republican colleagues in congress utterly despise him.
Such is the current state of American politics.
Ladies and Gentlemen, for obvious reasons, the bar is now open.
sic vita est