Forget Electability

Jennifer Rubin looks at the latest Quinnipiac Poll and concludes Dumping the ‘electability’ canard is liberating:

If Trump were not delusional, he would be panicked by the [poll] results. He loses to not only former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), but also South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.). What’s more, in no instance does Trump get more than 42 percent of the vote. If Trump has a ceiling of 42 percent, not only could almost any of the top six or so Democrats win, but they could win by landslide proportions.


And that brings us to the “electability” fetish. The only one among the major candidates with a severe electability problem is the nearly 73-year-old, out-of-shape, unindicted co-conspirator currently residing in the White House. (And if he does lose by double digits, you can be sure a slew of Republicans will go down with him.) If electability is a non-factor for Democratic candidates, then primary voters should feel free to pick the brainiest one, the policy maven, the political veteran or anyone else they like. No one should strain to divine whom other Americans will and will not vote for. (“I’m fine with a woman, but all those other people won’t be.”)

Primary voters should pick the one who will unify their own party, drive turnout and govern effectively.

Rubin’s advice is sound – in the end, one should choose from one’s highest standards and best hopes. There’s more than enough strength among Trump’s opponents to send him to the political outer darkness to which he should be consigned.

There’s a local lesson in all this, too. The cautious, careful position these recent years would have been to ignore Trump as best one could, from a reluctance to alienate his most committed supporters. To take that position would have been a moral compromise both wrong and – one may be as certain – unnecessary.

Men and women, having as children graduated from crawling to walking, have no reason to resume their former means of locomotion.

Better still, those who spoken most forthrightly against Trump have fared better in conscience and in standing.  By contrast, those who have chosen the supposedly sensible course of quiet accommodation have done themselves no favors: publications and officials who have sought appeasement have done nothing to arrest their long, slow decline.

There need be, and so there should and will be, no yielding.

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