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Home / US / Democratic moderates fear that the "socialist left" will ruin the party: they want to keep this appearance

Democratic moderates fear that the "socialist left" will ruin the party: they want to keep this appearance



No political organization in recent history of the world has had a gift to escape the defeat of victory such as the Democratic Party. This is the party that has lost three out of the last five presidential elections, even though it received only once fewer votes than the opposition. Although the Democrats have nominally broad majority support positions across a wide range of issues, the party was in its worst nationwide position since the early 1930s, following the heavy losses of the Midterms in 2010 and 2014.

For much of the twentieth century Democrats saw themselves as the party of permanent hegemony on Capitol Hill, no matter who was in the White House: between the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 and the election of Newt Gingrich From 1

994, the party held a majority in the House for 58 of 62 years, and a Senate majority for 52 out of 62. Sam Rayburn, a Democrat from one East Texas district who is now (of course) solidly republican, was a House Speaker for more than 17 years Record that will never be broken for sure. This story has almost become a curse from the past that haunts the democratic present; it is like a lost paradise, and every few years a new Messiah appears to tell the faithful that he knows the true path that will lead them back. Or it's like the idyllic Alice in Wonderland garden that Alice knows she can reach if she can squeeze through the door.

There is no garden, no way and no door. This mythical certainty that their kingdom will come again – as recently expressed in the mantra "Demographics Fate" – has prevented Democrats from realizing the true nature of their predicament. For the past three decades, the party has been virtually wiped out in numerous states between the coasts where it was once competitive (or even dominant). It now has a legislative majority in just 14 states. You can cut through the history of American party politics in all kinds of boring ways, but there is no clear precedent for such an imbalance. Moreover, there is no precedent in the United States or elsewhere for a situation in which a party represents the majority vote and usually receives more votes, but has finally been excluded from power.

Oh, wait, you say: Blue Wave arriving! Yes, anyway. The democrats, with the powerful unifying power of a massively unqualified and uniquely divisive president in mind, could actually win a majority in the House of Representatives this fall. (The Senate remains unlikely.) But I do not feel like putting the ranch on that score, right? What's even more impressive than the democratic record of losing viable elections is the party's ability to blame anyone whenever it happens. It was the Russians. It was Ralph Nader. It was the Swift Boat advertisement. It was liberal complacency. It was annoying. It was all the nastiness the Republicans said. It is the unfortunate fact that voters do not like us so much, which is definitely not our fault.

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In recent weeks, since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's surprising first victory against the Republican Joe Crowley, DN.Y., we've seen a remarkable demonstration of inner-party, malicious worry-trolling – an area in which the Democrats have a high standard. Various "mainstream" or "moderate" figures in or around the party are already trying to predict the hypothetical November defeat in advance for the insurgent "socialist" faction associated with Ocasio-Cortez and Sen accuse. Bernie Sanders. My brave analysis: That does not speak for great confidence.

To be fair, Democrats from all factions and ideologies have come together this week by lobbying former FBI director James Comey for a lifelong Republican, at least until he worked for President Donald Trump. shut up and leave, after we have advised Democratic voters unsolicited:

Sir, no – not the socialist left! As many people noted, the guy who single-handedly stood in the 2016 presidential election may not see himself as a source of political wisdom. But at least Comey's tweet seemed to be straightforward, in keeping with his grandiose view of himself as a white knight who embodies all the honorable tendencies of America in an extremely large white man.

Joe Lieberman, however, the former Connecticut Senator and 2000 Democratic vice-presidential candidate, is just a hideous little garden gnome who is constantly in danger of being bullied by the Schnauzer family. He does indeed seem to have gone through the same process of physical and intellectual shrinkage as Rudy Giuliani: was this a trade offered by a wicked magician who conveys immortality at the expense of soul, stature, and spine?

Lieberman was Pure Trolling, in a particularly tasteless manner, wrote on July 17, a Wall Street Journal, the Red-baited Ocasio-Cortez with an extraordinary array of lies and urged Crowley, the 10-incumbent, she in the Democratic June presidential election defeated, to run in the fall against them on a third line. Since the Journal article is behind a paywall, here's a taste:

Because the policy that advocates Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is so far from the mainstream, her November election would make it harder for Congress to stop fighting and solve problems. Thanks to a small percentage of the primary vote, everyone in the 14th congressional district of New York loses a very effective representative in Washington.

Fortunately, Joe Crowley and voters in his district can prevent this damage. On election day, his name will appear on the ballot as a candidate for the Working Families Party. But for Mr. Crowley to have the chance to be re-elected, he has to decide if he wants to remain an active candidate. I hope he does.

Wife. Ocasio-Cortez is a proud member of the Democratic Socialists of America whose platform, like them, is more socialist than democratic. Their dreams of new federal spending would bankrupt the country or require very large tax hikes, even for the working class. Their approach involves government ownership of many private companies, which would deplete the economy and save millions of jobs.

First of all, Lieberman certainly knows that Crowley will not do that – he's a decent guy and a party supporter, and the PR damage would be huge – and Crowley would get worse the second time around. (I live in the 14th district, I doubt Lieberman has been here for 30 years, except on the Cross-Bronx Expressway.) Second, the real point here might be to remind journalists not so subtly that Lieberman himself has dropped the Democratic Party after its own major defeat in 2006 and backed John McCain in 2008 against Barack Obama. Whose interests does he serve by encouraging Democrats to sabotage a young, progressive man in the pages of Big Capital's House organ Woman of Color

None of this makes it clear why powerful people like Comey and Lieberman are so worried about a small one Insurrection within the Democratic Party, which is nowhere near as "mainstream" as they claim and also far from organizing a coup and hanging portraits of Trotsky and Che at DNC ​​Headquarters. The Socialist-Dread syndrome also appears to have fueled the recent gathering of "moderate" Democrats in Columbus, Ohio, under the auspices of the Third Way think tank, reports Alex Seitz-Wald of NBC News (a former (19659003) Multiple Participant they feared that single-person medical care and the abolition of ICE and other Bernie-fied policy proposals by the "angry left" would alienate voters' voters and jeopardize the Party's prospects of victory Discussion point, though it has been the democratic basic attitude for decades. (19659003) I was impressed by the comments of former Delaware Governor Jack Markell, who admitted that democratic moderates are ideologically defensive: "The only one narrative, which has been articulated in the Democratic Party in the last two years is The left, "he said to Seitz-Wald. "I think we need a debate within the party. To be honest, it would have been better to start the conversation earlier."

Markell is absolutely right: A debate is overdue. But a debate about what? The problem for Democratic moderates is precisely that they will not clearly define or explain their positions, except in tangled, granular, political terms, in large part because their ideas are widely discredited and massively unpopular ] Representative Illinois' Cheri Bustos told reporters in Columbus that they want "a quiet majority that only wants normalcy, who wants to see people go to Washington to fight for them in a bourgeois way and get things done." There are a lot of people who just do not like protests and do not like screaming and screaming. "As Seitz-Forest observed, Bustos sounded more like a Republican Nixon Republican than a traditional Democrat, but in any case that's a statement about Messaging and style that deliberately avoids any discussion of ideology or specific policy proposals.

At the Democratic Congress In 2016, I tried to find a single elected official or candidate who told me directly that the deregulation of the financial markets and free trade agreements, as well as the Bill Clinton years' welfare and mass casualty policies, are generally good Ideas were whatever bumps we might have encountered along the way. Nobody would do it – but I do not think none of them believed that. The participants in the Third Way Conference were well aware that middle-ground Democrats need big, new ideas to successfully compete with Medicare for all, a minimum wage of $ 15, a debt-free college, and the other dangerous ones Pinko proposals almost unanimously supported in the Democratic Party before Reagan. Here is what they came up with: A private, employer-financed universal pension plan to complement social security. OK, I just spit, but that probably will not suck the wind out of the red sails of Bernie's fleet and sweep Mitch Landrieu (or whomever) into the White House.

I am not saying that so-called moderate or mainstream Democrats have no ideas worth discussing or no legitimate ideology. I say with Jack Markell that it has been a long time since they tell us clearly what they believe and defend it emphatically. Because there is a widespread feeling that the Democratic Party has a hidden agenda or obscure motives under its flimsy, corporate, coalition-building exterior, and that was infinitely more harmful than any amount of socialist zeal. On the right, it has fueled the perception that the Democrats are a group of conspiratorial rogues who want to restrict the freedoms of others – and so have driven the Conservatives to the polls. On the left, it has fueled the perception that the party is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Goldman Sachs and his ilk – driving progressive apathy. (If no stereotype is fair, none of them are completely wrong.)

This quantum ideological uncertainty has driven people crazy about Hillary Clinton, I think, and fueled the Trumpian narrative that it was fraudulent or dishonest. (Which was hilarious in this context.) She seemed impossible to find, first attacking Bernie Sanders as a wild-eyed radical, then gradually embracing the "progressive" label and finally running on a platform that contained most of the ideas he had. She seemed offended by the suggestion that her Goldman Sachs speeches were causing some political problem or requiring some explanation.

Clinton's political flexibility or malleability should be – according to the conventional democratic book – a source of strength, a sign that she was a sober, pragmatic decision-maker who was not guided by doctrine. In the midst of the reverse magnetic field of the 2016 election, against an opponent who kept repeating the same powerful (though insignificant and insincere) sentences, it just looked like mendacity.

Like their entire generation of Democrats, Clinton had been programmed to the cellular level with the early '90s believing that ideology itself was dangerous and toxic and likely suburban voters who wanted only civility and decency and problem-solving scare off. Well, people, I'm not a liberal or a conservative. I'm more of a republic advisor! This evasion or denial of ideology – the ideology of non-ideology – had perverse consequences: it elected two Democratic presidents each for two terms, but left their party without roots and in ruins, seemingly defenseless a troubled radical minority with a decaying Relationship to reality (but no lack of ardent ideology)

It is tempting to say that a ghost haunts the Democratic Party and that it is the specter of socialism, blah blah blah. But that is largely untrue: the ghost is imaginary and so socialism is quite imaginary. Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and their loose line of allies across the country are a modest contingent within the party. Only a handful of them will win elections this year and, in any case, they are closer to being left populists of the time, with a superimposition of multiculturalism and intersectionality in the 21st century, as you know: [19659003]

Hubert Humphrey, Hillary Clinton's youth premier democratic moderator, would hardly mind the Ocasio-Cortez platform, apart from the labeling on the package. (As soon as the Lucky Warrior found out what ICE and Super PACs were and what they had done to America, he went out and rang in their neighborhood.) Humphrey was not afraid of open and often heated ideological conflicts. This has been a cornerstone of democratic discourse for decades, and that is precisely what has reintroduced the "democratic-socialist" uprising since 2016.

Those who end such internal conflicts and clean up Democratic Party-abandoned activists on the premise that it was The only way to win elections in a "centrist", anti-ideological nation has never had the consequences faced with their historical mistake. They've lost repeatedly and on a grand scale, insisting that every time they really win – or win in another, better world – – and that everything else went awry. They are the ones who have committed themselves to an inflexible, dogmatic ideology that does not correspond to political reality. They are surprised and outraged that, if they want to continue their defeats, they will have to fight for it.


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