Progressives have become a millstone around the neck of the Democratic Party and the establishment is none too happy about it. The two factions have been at war since before the 2020 election; it does not appear that hostilities will cease anytime soon.
But now that we are in 2022 and the midterm elections are creeping ever closer, things are about to get real. The Hill reported that “[c]entrists are warning progressives to back off with their favored rhetoric as the Democratic Party enters a challenging midterm year where it is in deep danger of losing the House and Senate majorities.”
In a recent NBC News interview, failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton cautioned that pouring energy and resources into areas that are already solidly blue is a mistake. “I think that it is a time for some careful thinking about what wins elections, and not just in deep-blue districts where a Democrat and a liberal Democrat, or so-called progressive Democrat, is going to win,” she said.
However, the Marxist crowd sees things a bit differently.
From The Hill:
Progressives are pushing back, arguing the party would be better off aggressively pursuing liberal policies and telling everyone why they’re doing it. They say Democrats face more danger by watering down their verbiage because voters will have even less of a reason to turn out and that the stronger the message, the more it will resonate.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) told The Hill that “[w]inning elections is not about looking good. It’s about being good.”
“If Democrats brought home expansive climate action, a federal minimum wage of at least $15, paid leave, police reform, and ‘Medicare for All,’ we would win in a landslide,” she continued. “The problem is that these are not getting done, year after year, even while basic necessities like housing and health care keep getting more and more expensive.”
The moderate faction is arguing that pushing for grandiose, pie-in-the-sky legislation will alienate the rest of the country, especially in less-liberal districts. Matt Bennett, co-founder of Third Way, a centrist think tank, told The Hill that going too far to the left could cost Democrats in a major way during the midterms. “There are 5 Senate races and about 40 House races where if the electorate moves as much as it did in VA and NJ, they go Republican. So yes, we are deeply concerned that this could happen again,” he observed.
“It’s imperative that Democrats in swing districts and states are defined the way Joe Biden was in 2020 — mainstream, pragmatic and focused on issues that resonate,” he added.
Nevertheless, the far-leftist crowd is still insisting on pushing big government programs. “When conservative Democrats have repeatedly ripped apart the president’s agenda while progressives fight to save it, it’s frankly bizarre to watch the media conversation focus on the risks of ‘going too far left,’” said Leah Greenberg, co-executive director of Indivisible, the left-wing organization.
“How can these conservative Democrats claim to be pragmatic while torpedoing proposals that enjoy the support of huge majorities of Americans?” she added. “Calls to avoid going ‘too far left’ only distract from the real problem we face: the risk of failing to deliver on the promises we’ve made to voters.”
Unfortunately for the Democrats, the moderate faction is correct. If progressives continue to push their radical ideas they will repel a multitude of voters who are simply not on board with their Marxist utopian ideas. While the public might agree with some of their proposals, they are not willing to go as far to the left as Bush’s ilk would like.
There is a reason why Biden became the Democratic presidential nominee in 2020. Democratic voters roundly rejected Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), everyone’s favorite socialist uncle. The bottom line is that people just aren’t buying what the far-left is selling.
Indeed, those loudly pushing ludicrous ideas like defunding the police and others were one of the reasons why Democrats didn’t pick up more seats in Congress in the 2020 election. All in all, progressives had a pretty crappy year in 2021, with most of their provisions in the Build Back Better Act being scrapped. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA- acknowledged as much late last year. But this does not mean they will stop trying, even if it means contributing to the huge losses the Democratic Party is set to take in November. Until the establishment gets the far-left faction under control, they will remain an albatross around its neck.