The Democrats seeking their party’s nomination to take on President Donald Trump in 2020 have created somewhat of a clown-car atmosphere, with the field eclipsing two-dozen declared candidates at times. Currently, the number stands at a “manageable” 19 individuals to be vetted by Democrat voters.
As befits the clown-car analogy, though, that number could go up or down at any given moment. It dropped to 17 when Beto O’Rourke pulled the plug on his lackluster campaign, but quickly popped back up to 18 when former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick launched his candidacy. Patrick apparently felt Democrat voters lacked sufficient choice with “only” 17 candidates.
Anti-gun New York City billionaire Michael Bloomberg became number 19 yesterday by filing an FEC form showing his intent to run, and perennial presidential wannabe Hillary Clinton is still being discussed as a potential late arrival on the scene.
It has been difficult to predict which candidates are poised to throw in the towel, even when it seems patently obvious to even casual observers that certain campaigns are simply destined to fail.
Usually, if someone consistently polls in the single digits, or has trouble raising funds, it might be a sign that candidate will drop out. But it is important to remember that many of the Democrats are currently running a vanity project as much as a legitimate campaign. They simply crave attention.
The old joke that the most dangerous place in the world is the space between a politician and a microphone comes to mind.
All that said, we have noticed one possible trend when it comes to candidates about to drop from the race. Some form of push for confiscating firearms from American citizens.
It all started with California Representative Eric Swalwell, who was one of the first declared candidates, and one of the first to quit. To be fair, his support for confiscating firearms came even before he launched his futile campaign for the Democrat nomination, and that position seemed to be the only thing we ever heard from him regarding what he hoped to do as POTUS.
O’Rourke, on the other hand, had a number of policies he promoted, both during his failed effort to unseat Texas Senator Ted Cruz and his failed campaign to be the Democrat nominee. His campaign for President never gained traction, and he should have known he was destined for another failure long before he dropped out on November 1.
Abandoning his campaign came after O’Rourke apparently decided the primary theme of his drive for the White House, like Swalwell’s, would be firearm confiscation. He pushed the scheme again and again, and was even criticized by some of his fellow candidates and gun-ban proponents for articulating such an extreme position.
And then he dropped out.
So, with two advocates of confiscation now out of the race, are there signs others that share their zeal for disarming Americans will follow? Perhaps.
This week, California Senator Kamala Harris reiterated to NBC News’ Harry Smith her support for the “mandatory buyback” of AR-15s and similar semi-automatics. “Mandatory buyback,” of course, is the euphemism adopted by the pro-confiscation crowd because they know how much the majority of Americans loathe the idea of the government seizing private property from its citizens.
Smith pushed, although rather gently, for Harris to consider what would be done if only some of the millions of Americans who own AR-15s and other so-called “assault weapons” agreed to turn in their property. The candidate mentioned that she would “have an incentive for people to turn them in.”
An “incentive”? Is this a new euphemism for the threat of door-to-door seizures?
After all, the first “incentive,” presumably, is the promise of money for those that turn in their guns. Smith was basically asking what would happen if that “incentive” did not work.
Swalwell famously “joked” about using the threat of nuclear warfare on American gun owners as his “incentive.” O’Rourke said during one debate that those that did not abide by the “mandatory buyback” would have their affected firearms taken. He added, during a later interview, that “there have to be consequences” regarding compliance with his gun ban, and those that did not comply would have a “visit by law enforcement.”
Is this the direction Harris is heading when she talks about “an incentive”? Is the “incentive” that Americans should turn in their guns to avoid a visit from the police? Unfortunately, Smith did not press further, as his interview seemed more a very friendly discussion, rather than a reporter properly vetting a candidate.
We also saw no clarification in the fifth Democrat debate that took place in Atlanta on November 20. In fact, firearms weren’t really brought up by any of the candidates or moderators. Perhaps all parties involved feel the candidates have shown to be sufficiently anti-gun, and it could be seen as damaging to the party to have a fight over who wants to say they support confiscating private property, who wants to simply imply it, and who wants to put it off for another time.
Nonetheless, the moribund Harris campaign seems ready to collapse, as she is stuck in the bottom tier of candidates, consistently registering in the low-to-mid-single digits in poll after poll. Perhaps she has finally realized her future is not as the Democrat nominee for President in 2020, and she is slowly rolling out the Swalwell/O’Rourke exit strategy of openly pushing gun confiscation.