Democrats can still beat Trump -- but they 'cannot afford' another Iowa-style disaster: Ex-Republican
Iowa Democratic Caucus

Tom Nichols, a former Republican who is a professor at the Naval War College, has written an op-ed for The Atlantic warning Democrats that they are in real danger of blowing the 2020 election to President Donald Trump if they suffer another humiliating debacle like the one they suffered during the Iowa caucus on Monday.

The optics of the Democratic Party blowing its first 2020 caucus are devastating at a time when the party is arguing that Trump is too incompetent and corrupt to be trusted with another four years in power.

"The process -- and I am now the last to repeat what millions have already said -- was an embarrassment," he writes. "We have run out of metaphors (dumpster fire, circus, rodeo, other words unprintable in this magazine) for a Rube Goldberg scheme using an app poorly designed by younger people that was not understood by older people. If the Democrats are making the argument that they can be better guardians of the American electoral process after Trump’s chicanery, this was not the way to start."

Nichols also doesn't think much of the two candidates who emerged on top in Iowa: Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), as he finds the former lacking in experience and the latter too radical to win in a general election.

"The Democratic wave in 2018 suggested that the party, when faced with a menace on the scale of Trump, could regroup, and I was pleasantly surprised at how moderate candidates led the way to recapture the House," he concludes. "After the mess in Iowa, I am again hoping to be proved wrong. The national Democrats need to forget about Iowa, refocus, and become more serious about the only issue that matters—beating Trump. The president is sitting on a pile of cash and a machine fueled by absolute party discipline. If the Democrats are going to beat him, they cannot afford another night like Monday."

Read the whole essay here.