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Friday, 14 February 2020 21:32

Democrats’ 2020 race turned tragic because they can’t face the truth about 2016

Written by Jonah Goldberg
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Things are not going swimmingly for the Democrats right now. President Trump was acquitted in his impeachment trial, and he gave a State of the Union address that made Democrats feel like the hapless Japanese military as they watched Godzilla stroll through downtown Tokyo. His polling is up to historic highs, and the economy is roaring.

Meanwhile, the only thing that could have made the Iowa caucuses more disastrous would have been an outbreak of the coronavirus. The Democratic candidate the White House fears the most, Joe Biden, appears to be tanking, and the candidate the White House most wants to run against, Bernie Sanders, appears to be pulling out in front. What’s going on?

I’m persuaded by a theory from professor of political science Seth Masket, author of the forthcoming book “Learning From Loss: The Democrats 2016-2020.” Democrats can’t figure out what to do next because they still haven’t figured out what really went wrong the last time.

Every four years, one of the parties loses the presidential race. As the party pooh-bahs and political pundits play the blame game, a rough consensus quickly emerges about why the party nominee lost.

Sometimes the most self-serving explanation wins out: It was all the candidate’s fault.

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