The so-called progressive faction of the Democratic Party isn’t faring too well these days as the moderate establishment wing still wields more influence. The socialist crowd can’t seem to score any significant victories. However, this does not mean they aren’t still fighting for prominence.
This week, a critical special election was held, and the outcome was not favorable for the far-left. Shontel Brown, the chair of the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Democratic Party and a member of the Cleveland city council, soundly defeated former state senator Nina Turner to replace Rep. Marcia Fudge, who was tapped by the Biden administration to lead the Housing and Urban Development department. The primary race was to determine which candidate would represent the 11th district, a predominantly black area.
What is notable about this particular race is that Brown, a moderate, embraced President Joe Biden rather than winking to the far-left socialist crowd. She favored bipartisan compromise in Congress, rather than staunchly advocating for far-leftist policies that would never pass both chambers of the legislature.
During her victory speech, Brown said:
“This is about making progress, and sometimes that takes compromise. Because when you demand all or nothing, usually you end up with nothing.”
Brown’s win signifies that the moderate wing is still firmly in control of the party, as they have more support of the Democratic base than the socialist faction. In a opinion piece for the Washington Post, columnist James Hohmann noted:
Biden has to be attentive to the left, given Democrats’ slim House majority. But Tuesday’s results suggest he doesn’t need to contort himself to placate the party’s progressive wing — as he’s doing with the extension of the eviction moratorium — as much as they demand or he has often deemed necessary.
Another noteworthy aspect of this race is that it further illustrates the reality that black Americans, in particular, are still staunch moderates. Despite claiming to champion the interests of the black community, the socialist movement has struggled to win over black voters who overwhelmingly backed Biden during the Democratic presidential primaries in 2020.
Speaking of the eviction moratorium, this is somehow being touted as a major victory for the Cori Bushes and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezes of the world. Politico actually portrayed this as a cause for celebration for the far-left. In their Playbook, the author stated that not only did their push for reimposing the eviction ban garner them a ‘win,’ but that “progressives in Congress are feeling more emboldened than ever before” when it comes to exerting influence on the reconciliation bill.
However, despite their optimism, the socialist crowd has little reason to start taking victory laps just yet. As Hohmann indicated, Biden and company might have to give the progressives a wink every now and again. Still, the voters have spoken, and they are not too keen on most of the radical leftist policies coming from AOC’s ilk. Indeed, as I wrote previously, initiatives like “defund the police,” and mandatory vaccines are going over about as well as Jeff Bezos walking into a Democratic Socialists of America meeting.
At this point, America isn’t quite ready to accept the authoritarianism and foolish policy proposals coming from the hard left. However, like the Little Engine that Could, the socialist wing is still pushing hard. Next on their agenda is the cancelation of student loan debt. Politico noted that “progressives are hoping to force the administration to cancel tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of debt,” despite the White House not being sure it has the authority to do so.
However, we all know that the progressive left has no problem with the government overstepping its boundaries — because they don’t believe it should have many boundaries. An aide familiar with the matter told Politico that “there are things that the Biden administration promises,” and that these are the things “that unified the party going into the election.”
The civil war occurring on the left is far from over. Whether the socialist crowd can win control of the party remains to be seen. But at this point, it seems evident that if they are to seize supremacy from the establishment, they have a high hill to climb yet.