The contest has become Bernie Sanders v a delusional sideshow of centrists bent on mutual annihilation
We have officially reached the Hunger Games stage of this Democratic primary season. The stage where you can grab the horse-faced lesbian weapon and hurl it at an arrogant billionaire within the first minutes of the show starting.
Its the stage where a young midwestern mayor can trash the experience of a midwestern senator, who turns right back at him and says, Are you trying to say Im dumb or are you mocking me here? So much for all that midwestern niceness.
Theres a reason why the Democratic debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday turned into such an epic Donnybrook. Its called the primary calendar, which is inexorably counting down to the Super Tuesday contests in less than two weeks.
At that point, one of the candidates on stage will emerge with a delegate lead that puts an end to all the quadrennial talk of a brokered convention. At this point, that candidate looks like Bernie Sanders.
In the meantime, his five rivals on the debate stage have engaged in an entirely delusional sideshow of mutual annihilation.
The odds will never be in their favor. They dont have the time for all the cannon fire before they lose the Nevada caucus and then watch Sanders sweep the majority of California delegates.
Instead they engaged in an entirely futile effort to knock each other out of the contest so they could confront the frontrunner alone. This is something that Mike Bloombergs advisers acknowledged is the only realistic prospect of stopping Sanders.
Which prompted Amy Klobuchar to accuse Bloomberg of telling women like her to wait her turn and step aside. If Elizabeth Warren hadnt already thrown the horse-faced line at Bloomberg, Klobuchar might have earned a few of the many gasps of shock and awe that rumbled through the audience.
Until now, each new frontrunner in this long primary contest has faded under the fire of everyone else. At various points over the last year, Kamala Harris hemmed, Elizabeth Warren wilted and Pete Buttigieg bumbled.
By the time it was Bernie Sanders turn in the barrel, it was his great good fortune that most of the fire was turned on everyone else.
Mayor Bloomberg, should you exist? asked NBCs Chuck Todd, crystallizing in one short question how ludicrous this primary contest has become. Faced with a metaphysical question about his own existence, the Democrats favorite billionaire admitted the obvious. Ive made a lot of money, and Im giving it away, he said, justifying his existence with his munificence.
On stage alongside a hostile gang of millionaires, our beleaguered billionaire found his stride by defending the otherwise defenseless figure of the American economy. Were not going to throw out capitalism, he said, sounding unscripted and unplugged for the first time. We tried that. Other countries tried that. It was called communism and it doesnt work.
For the first time during the debate, there were more gasps from the people on stage than from those in the audience.