We were thinking about the Bataan Death March just the other day because we thought the Democrats’ 2020 primary season was starting to resemble it.
The Death March was the forcible transfer, by the Imperial Japanese Army, of about 70,000 American and Filipino POWs on a long march where prisoners were beaten and at least 5,000 died.
All comparisons are odious, but then we looked and saw that there is already a 2020 Bataan Memorial Death March. It is a marathon through the White Sands Missile Range, in New Mexico, touted as “26 miles of high desert, 26 miles of pure perseverance.”
We do not think there is less of a point to the 2020 Democratic primaries than that.
The Bataan Death March can be said to have begun on April 9, 1942, at the conclusion of the Battle of Bataan, when the Japanese Army had battled the American and Filipino forces into surrender. The fight the Allies put up was not in vain, despite the odds, as it tied down the Japanese long enough to prevent routs elsewhere in the Pacific.
The Democratic primary season can be said to have begun last Monday, at the conclusion of the Pre-Primary Battle of The Debates, in which nothing, apparently, was resolved other than America meeting Andrew Yang, a lovable flake who will – we are going to go out on a limb – never be president. It has not put even a ding in Republican war plans which consist entirely of painting the Democratic candidate as far left.
The Bataan Death March followed the largest U.S. surrender since the Battle of Harper’s Ferry in 1862.
The Democratic primaries followed the most confusing time for Democrats since just after they realized Hillary Clinton was supposed to be the only candidate, because it was her turn, in 2016. And then the voters didn’t show up. This year, the candidate only has to not be far left.
At the outset of the Bataan Death March, the Japanese commanding general, Masaharu Homma, was initially presented with the logistical problem of moving so many wounded, sick and half-starved prisoners.
At the outset of the Democratic primary season, the normal Democrats, by which we mean those of long standing or even short standing who did not follow a man who was too far left to be in their party, were initially presented with the logistical problem of getting him and his wounded followers out of it.
The Bataan Death March began with a steely Japanese resolve to disregard the possible opinion of the non-Axis world, because they were all going to be losers.
The 2020 Democratic primary season began with the Iowa caucuses when Iowa Democratic leaders apparently decided to disregard whatever common sense was available to them and conduct horribly botched counting, possibly because they were all going to be losers anyway.
At the beginning of the Bataan Death March, there were a few instances of kindness by Japanese officers, which were quickly subsumed in general brutality.
At the beginning of the Democratic primaries, the supporters of Bernie Sanders were in no mood to offer other Democrats so much as a candy bar, let alone the benefit of the doubt. It was as though the Bataan prisoners split into two factions and began fighting each other for meager rations while their captors laughed and smoked in the shade.
The Japanese Army bothered to turn up for the Death March.
Too many Iowa voters did not for the Democratic caucuses.
The Bataan death March was a war crime.
Based on self-inflicted wounds, the Democratic primaries are beginning to look like one.
But there’s always New Hampshire tomorrow.