Establishment Democrats are silent in the face of delusional progressives

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By AB Stoddard for Real Clear Politics

After the devastating elections in two blue states last week, it went as usual in the Democratic Party: more fighting and more denial. Most notable, however, was the silence of the segment of the party representing the majority Party: Democrats who are not progressives.

It is significant that the Democratic leadership has been quiet or excessively restrained about the political backlash they have seen coming in the polls, and which manifested itself in the government elections in Virginia, where they lost, and in New Jersey, where a surprise shocked by a Democrat in office was narrowly avoided.

But for two Twitter statements by Rep Abigail Spanberger, a swing Democrat, and longtime strategist James Carville, there was little recognition that the party’s strong left – or traditional Democrats’ refusal to speak for the center. of the electorate – has probably sent many voters back to the arms of the GOP for quite some time.

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Spanberger was quoted as saying that voters elected Biden not to be FDR but to “be normal and stop the chaos,” and Carville blamed the awakened crowd for turning off people who would otherwise vote Democrat, saying some people “have need to go to a woken up detox center or something. “

But those were the only two statements that went viral and were easy for the left to cancel.

Progressives who have never beaten a Republican, and don’t have to do it in their safe blue places, fire Democrats like Spanberger – who give the party their majority – and Carville is thrown away as a 90s throwback that doesn’t grab the present-day demands of the base.

As for President Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Assistant Majority Leader Jim Clyburn, none of them dismissed the left or its assessment of losses in the blue states. among suburban voters, rural voters, independent voters, women, Latin Americans, Asian Americans, and African Americans.

Since last Tuesday, none of them have noticed that an attempt to deflate the Minneapolis police force was turned down in the city where George Floyd was killed by a police officer; that the moderates prevailed in the runs for mayor over the progressives in Buffalo and Seattle; and that Eric Adams was officially elected mayor of New York City after defeating progressives in the Democratic primary.

The beating seemed to create enough panic that they were finally able to pass the bipartisan bill on “physical” infrastructure approved by 70% of voters on Friday night. But there was no longer an opportunity to bask in the glow of pragmatic leadership and bipartisan cooperation that produced a bill backed by 19 Republican senators, including minority leader Mitch McConnell.

Instead of a Rose Garden ceremony with GOP senators like Bill Cassidy and Rob Portman standing behind Biden in August, Democrats instead refused to pass the bill, fought for months and saw poll numbers plummet. Biden.

And President Biden, a man in the United States Senate and a skilled practitioner of the legislative process in Congress for 36 years, was complicit in allowing his party to enter the crisis. He relinquished control to the left wing, bringing the speaker and the swing district Democrats to their knees whose contests will determine the fate of their House majority next year.

Twice, in September and October, Biden toppled Pelosi and weakened by refusing to ask progressives to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, as he made his way to the Capitol on two separate visits with the entire Democratic caucus, just to go out empty-handed every time.

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Voters, particularly the independents and former Republicans who supported Biden last year, do not perceive this as a healthy exchange of views in a broad coalition or large tent. What they see is a real dysfunction and the president who empowers the left.

The party is now ready to lose power in both the House and Senate next year, whatever they do. Results in Virginia and New Jersey, where the Republican challenger scored jaw-dropping totals that nearly defeated the governor. Phil Murphy, shows that large swaths of the Democratic electorate are pissed off enough to stay at home or vote for GOP next year.

The historical average since World War II for mid-term earnings in the first term of a president for the out-of-power party is 27 seats in the House, with Democrats losing more than 50 in the 1994 mid-term and more than 60. In 2010.

They have a three-seat majority now, and could likely lose it next year from three congressional contests in Virginia alone. Even a magical favorable shift in political winds, going from a loss of 50 seats to a loss of 10, would still wipe out their control.

But what is the new strategy, plan, pivot, reinstatement of the party that will help them fend off the seats lost next year? Nothing, if you listen to the management. Passing the next social spending bill, the Build Back Better plan, is the only cure for what ails them, everyone says.

Asked what last week’s election results meant for the party, Biden said: “People need some breathing room. They are overwhelmed. … I think we just have to produce results to change their standard of living and give them a little more breathing room. “

Progressives have more to say on the subject. In a report by Politico titled “Progressives Show Their Teeth After Electoral Debacle,” they bragged that they have a preventive strategy in place to deflect blame after the loss of Terry McAuliffe.

The day after the election, a group of progressive groups released a collective statement criticizing the establishment for embracing “their only rainmaker” and in doing so by setting aside “two potentially revolutionary black women vying for the same. office “and failing” Tackling the divide-and-rule racism of the GOP and motivate people to show up. “

Not only did the groups – Sunrise Movement, Justice Democrats, United We Dream, and Battle Born Collective – blame McAuliffe for not delivering a positive message, but they said his campaign “had no rebuttal to the Republican bullshit that causes race.” .

The problem with this interpretation is that labeling mothers – many of whom have had to leave the workforce to help their children learn online, and who despair over the educational and emotional damage of school closures – as racist is a recipe. to lose power, not gaining it.

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Especially since many of them were Biden voters last year: The margin of white women in Virginia who voted for Biden fluctuated 13 percentage points compared to Republican Glenn Youngkin. Then there is New Jersey. Were the voters who rejected the Murphy progressives also racist?

Despite all their strides forward, progressives don’t seem to care about the politically consequential numbers – whether it’s the bad polls, the amount of seats the party risks losing, the number of their former voters who switch to the GOP and the 52% of voters who now want the government to do less, according to Gallup.

The map is also changing, with the GOP controlling 187 seats in the seat reorganization of the 75 Democrats, while 121 seats will be drawn by independent commissions. And the New York Times cited a 2020 Pew Research Center report Monday that showed the 19-point swing in rural America against Republicans from 1999 to 2019 is greater than the 14-point swing towards Democrats in cities. in the same period, with the periphery linked.

More retirements are expected in suburban venues where Democrats recently beat Republicans, and the GOP is now targeting 70 Democrats in office next year. If the party does not challenge the swing districts and only represents urban America, it will forever be a minority party.

The establishment and the leadership of the Democratic Party know all this. So, as progressives lash out at candidates and voters and continue to make promises to “energize” the grassroots, Democrats should keep in mind that prioritizing values ​​or ideas that voters don’t like, or approving programs they don’t want. , it cannot be called progress.

Not if the goal is to win the election.

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

AB Stoddard is associate editor of Real Clear Politics and columnist.

The views expressed by contributors and / or content partners are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Political Insider.

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