NATIONAL HARBOR. MD: This afternoon the liveliest panel was the one moderated by Matt Schlapp. On the panel were Bill Press of The Bill Press Show; Charlie Hurt of The Washington Times and Tom Bevan of Real Clear Politics. Quite the fireworks. Schlapp complained at one point that he has lost control. He hadn’t really—but it was entertaining.
Bill Press kicked it off by explaining that the Democrat party has realigned because of Bernie in 2016. Press claimed to be an original “Bernie Bro” and said the campaign started in his dining room.
The Tea Party Movement
Charlie Hurt went back to 2009, saying that the Tea Party movement was painful and that it cost Republican seats in the short term. In the longer term, it has been great for the party, dragging the party back to its roots in liberty. He likened it to the insurrection within the Democrat party, but the latter movement is towards something not within the bounds of the Constitution. He struggled with what to call it, eventually settling on socialism.
Tom Bevan also thought that there has been a realignment—but he pointed to 2016 where Trump picked up the working class that used to vote Democrat. One is tempted to call them the same type of people who Ronald Reagan appealed to.
Bevan called 2016 a great sorting. Looking back to 2008, he said that people finally got fed up with the political system. Not with a party, but with the system itself.
Hurt expanded on that theme, railing against the national debt.
Beven noted that fiscal responsibility was the cornerstone of the Tea Party movement. Hurt said that nobody in D.C. has a leg to stand on–they’ve all overspent. Press agreed, but he wanted to place all the blame on Republicans. The audience voiced their disagreement.
Schlapp turned the conversation to prospects for 2020. All agreed that there was a large field of Democrat candidates. Hurt quipped that it worked so well for Republicans in 2016. Bevan, the Bernie supporter, didn’t commit to Bernie in 2020, preferring to wait and see.
Hurt likened 2020 to 2004, when Democrats just hated George W. Bush. They flirted with “crazies” like Howard Dean but settled on “the safe guy from central casting,” John Kerry.
He thinks the same thing may happen this time. They’ll flirt with the likes of Bernie and AOC, he opined, but will actually nominate some safe guy. He didn’t say it, but it could be Joe Biden.
Bevin said that if Biden got in, he would be nominated and that he would get elected.
Time will tell. In the meantime, it will continue to be entertaining.