Dan Balz is the very definition of a Villager. The only time I’ve written about him was last year when he was making the same old, tired argument that the Republicans needed to pass immigration reform in order to reach out to the Latino community. I’ve long argued that it makes no sense for the Republicans to pass immigration reform, given that their attitude is, “Once we do this for you, it’s over! Don’t expect anything else!” But people like Balz think that immigration reform is critical for the same reason that all other Villagers do: because its what “everyone else” thinks.
Well, over the weekend, I saw a new Balz article, GOP Debate Contenders Give Democrats Reason to Worry. His main claim is that Democrats are hoping that Trump becomes the nominee so they will have an easy election. While it is true that few Democrats would mind that outcome, I do not know of a single Democrat who thinks that Trump is going to be the Republican nominee. What’s more, have we heard Clinton or Sanders attacking Trump? Not at all. Everyone still thinks the eventual nominee will be Bush or Walker or maybe Rubio. But that’s the think with Villagers: they don’t let facts stand in the way of whatever narrative they’ve decided to push.
According to Blaz, in private, Democrats don’t feel as good about running against Rubio as they do about running against Trump. Oh, what a surprise! Does that mean that any Democrats are seriously worried about running against Marco Rubio? But Blaz says that Rubio “declared forcefully early in the debate that he would present the starkest future-vs.-past contrast to Clinton.” This is just repeating Rubio’s own claims. In truth, Rubio is pushing exactly the same supply side policies that every Republican since Reagan has. There is nothing new about what Rubio is pushing.
He also went on to talk about Scott Walker. But it was curious. Check this out, “He has been a divisive leader in Wisconsin, but he has the potential to unite the establishment and tea party wings of the Republican Party…” All that means is that Walker could get the Republican presidential nomination. It says nothing at all about how that might make him a particularly impressive general election candidate. So Democrats should worry why, exactly? There really is nothing behind the claim. The article reads like it was based on a press release from Reince Priebus.
But I fear the article also comes from the Clinton haters. Democrats are “nervous about Clinton.” Republicans could “mount a stiff challenge” to “a vulnerable” Clinton. Why are people nervous? How exactly is she vulnerable? Is she having an affair with her videographer? Balz doesn’t say, but it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t have any reasons at all. Partisans are always worried that the person who runs is going to turn out to be a problem. But in Clinton’s case, we have two advantages. First, her life has been so picked over that it’s hard to believe that there is any major scandal lurking. Second, we know that she will fight back at least as hard as her husband did.
It boggles my mind that people like Dan Balz get paid large amounts of money to peddle this nonsense. It’s not just that it’s wrong. It is that it is predictable. Of course some Villager was going to write a story about how Thursday’s debate spelled trouble for Hillary Clinton specifically and the Democratic Party generally. That was a given long before the debate.