The nomination of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez represents a problem that perhaps both the Republicans and the Democrats aren’t quite ready to handle.
As a website that has promoted conservative activism and challenged our own party as well as the other side, it doesn’t take much to look at what’s happening in liberal bases like New York and not compare it to what happened in 2010 and 2012 in conservative bases.
Both parties underestimated what happened then, and it appears likely that both parties will underestimate what’s happening now.
Last week, I wrote in an op-ed for CNN that Ocasio-Cortez represents the Democratic base overcorrecting ahead of 2018 and 2020, and it will backfire on them. Here’s the relevant bit:
CNN’s most recent poll has Democrats up eight points over Republicans, and nearly half of that lead falls within the margin of error. It’s also, as CNN points out, nowhere close to the lead Democrats had in 2006, when they had a 14-point advantage over the GOP and eventually took the House.
Last December, Democrats had a 13-point edge in the polling average compiled by RealClearPolitics. That average now shows only a six-point advantage for Democrats.
Many of the polls showing a shrinking advantage were taken during the peak of the child separation crisis at the border. Media coverage was maxed out across networks and local media, and the Democrats did not appear capable of capitalizing.
Don’t be alarmed if you think I’m giving Democrats advice that might help them. They’re not going to listen to me. I’m not on their team.
But, Republicans who think nominating a democratic socialist is the nail in the coffin for Democrats are going to find themselves disappointed. Going further Left is their answer to Trump, who to them represents as far right as it gets – to the point of fascism. Rather than providing a moderate tone to combat Trump, they are going to get as far away from him as possible, and it will attract followers.
There are parallels here, and conservatives will be making a mistake to ignore them. It started with Bernie Sanders, but it’s looking like he’s falling out of style, and Ocasio-Cortez is picking up where he left off.
What she represents will gain a following, and it will gain momentum. If the Tea Party taught us anything, and if Donald Trump’s election proved anything, it’s that insurgency and populism are a deadly combination in politics, and they can and will upset the status quo.
In the long run, as I wrote at CNN, I think embracing full socialism is going to eventually crush the Democrats, and perhaps as soon as 2020, but in the immediate future, the insurgency will prove a headache for both parties, and it will frustrate the agendas of Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and any other power broker in Washington D.C.
Frankly, if their ideology were less dangerous, I might find the political war funny.