He’s not wrong. Perhaps the media is too preoccupied with the monster they have created. Perhaps the staff of many media outlets are aligned with the freshest faces in Congress. You know, the socialist, anti-Semitic ones. But you know the world is completely topsy turvy when Barack Obama and I are looking at the same situation and making a similar assessment.
Yes, it made me wonder if I had hit my head. But I have been writing about the fissure that is becoming evident in the Democratic caucus for a few weeks now. If you need a review, you can check out the background here, here, and here.
The Cliff Notes version is that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has put new rules in place that are deliberately focused on kneecapping insurgent primary candidates like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez in 2020. How this affects alliances within the existing Democrat party caucuses is truly interesting as the insurgent Justice Democrats take over the Progressive Caucus.
And former President Barack Obama is not wrong. In a speech in Berlin he noted the following:
“One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States, maybe it’s true here as well, is a certain kind of rigidity where we say, ‘Uh, I’m sorry, this is how it’s going to be,’ and then we start sometimes creating what’s called a ‘circular firing squad,’ where you start shooting at your allies because one of them is straying from purity on the issues”.
“You have to recognize that the way we’ve structured democracy requires you to take into account people who don’t agree with you and that by definition means you’re not going to get 100 percent of what you want,”
Pretty insightful from the man once dubbed President Stompyfoot. But he is absolutely correct in the assessment that the circular firing squad has started on the left. In addition to the squabbling and public fights over the DCCC’s new policy on contractors, USA Today notes:
Pelosi is leading her most diverse caucus yet.
Some liberals, such as freshmen Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., proudly embrace socialism, want sweeping action on climate change and call for a government-run health care system. Ocasio-Cortez, a social media star, said Democrats compromise too much and has called out party lawmakers who vote with Republicans.
Democrats in competitive districts run as far as they can from the socialist label. They want to focus on what they campaigned on: lowering health care costs, bolstering infrastructure and spurring jobs growth. They are willing to work with Republicans. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., who co-chairs the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, said that in divided government, “the key is actually moving the ball forward, which requires us working with both sides.”
Pelosi is trying to bridge those viewpoints. In a nod to each wing of the party, she said Democrats should fight for the “boldest common denominator.”
“While there are people who have a large number of Twitter followers, what’s important is that we have large numbers of votes on the floor of the House,” Pelosi said.
Republican’s nationwide need to be keyed into the Democrat’s internal debate. Speaker Pelosi, a San Francisco liberal in her own words, understands one very important fact. Moderates won her a majority in the House. Not insurgent socialists in deep blue districts.
Yet she attempts to whip her caucus to oppose motions to recommit and legislation that aligns with moderate or mainstream American views. The Born Alive bill is one example. Americans generally are disgusted by the expanded abortion law in New York and the comments of Governor Ralph Northam. Another is Democrats defeating a Republican Motion to Recommit that included non-binding language regarding illegal immigrants voting.
Both of these positions will be difficult to defend in moderate districts. And Republicans are becoming pretty strategic about inserting MTR’s to sharpen the picture of what exactly “moderate” Democrats are willing to go along with. This absolutely needs to continue.
And then every Republican campaign needs to use these votes as a cudgel to defeat the “moderate” meme. Members of the New Democrat Coalition are solely responsible for recruiting candidates for the 2020 cycle and you can expect to see an ongoing trend of recruiting young diverse veterans and business people to run. More Tulsi Gabbard, less Ilhan Omar.
At the end of the day, these “moderates” seem willing to let Speaker Pelosi browbeat them or Alexandria Ocasio Cortez intimidate them with her “blacklist”. Meanwhile DCCC leadership with continue their public fight with their socialist insurgency to try and seat more “moderates”.
If these candidates on the center-left can’t align their votes with the mainstream preferences of their District on abortion, immigration and other matters it needs to be capitalized on. And in November of 2020, they need to be sent home.