If, as I wrote last week here, Joe Biden may save the Democratic party from a horrible debacle at the polls next year, Beto O’Rourke may be doing the whole process a good turn now. Biden, despite his efforts to masquerade as the vanguard of what is now called progressivism, is politically sane and, if nominated, might hold his shaggy legions back from holus-bolus embrace of the many suicide potions being offered to the Democratic contestants. To date, the most lethal intoxicants that have been extolled by some of the candidates are legalized infanticide, open borders, reparations to African and other minority Americans, nationalized health care, a fascistic and Luddite green policy, and top personal-tax rates above 70 per cent. So far, this cocktail, which is such an assault on the sanity of an electorate that it could reduce the Democrats to splinters, has scared off Michael Bloomberg, Sherrod Brown, and Hillary Clinton (though she is probably contemplating her legal future with some well-founded consternation too).
But another candidate-benefactor is also in sight, and so hyperactive and in his way irresistible that it is hard to get him out of your sight. Beto O’Rourke is stoking up one the great bonfires of modern political history; he is a phenomenon of these strange times so unique that no one could have imagined him. Even the Trump-hating media, desperate to find a Democrat who can win, in despair at the collapse of the impeachment bubble, demoralized and hung over from pelagic overconsumption of sour Kool Aid, are taking a break from their sacred mission to destroy Trump. They are not turning their swords into ploughshares, but some sort of quasi-Biblical grace of change is occurring.