Democrats’ circular firing squad starts early – AMAC

AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott

With Republicans poised for big gains in next week’s midterm elections, many Democrats are already pointing fingers and avoiding blame for what appears to be a catastrophic wave of election losses.

As in 2020 and 2021, the “progressive” wing of the Democratic Party is leading the charge in the blame game. Two years ago, following a disastrous performance for House Democrats, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), echoing the sentiment of other “Squad” members, said that it was really about the Democrats’ refusal to lean further into radical policies. like “Defund the Police” which cost them seats. “The conversation is a little deeper than saying anything progressive is toxic,” she said then, despite clear evidence that voters were deeply opposed to progressive policies.

Seemingly still reluctant to admit that voters rejected their far-left agenda, Progressives are again voicing their frustration that the Democratic Party has not been radical enough throughout the 2022 campaign season. Last month, the Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) pushed back against the suggestion that “Defund the Police” hurt Democrats electorally, telling CNN host Don Lemon that “there is no data that actually shows that saying “defund the police” costs actual elections. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, said Democrats hadn’t gone “big enough” in implementing price controls and other costly government programs.

Meanwhile, Democrats hoping to cultivate a “moderate” image and hide their hardline voting record have blamed progressives for not focusing on kitchen table issues like the economy and crime. Representative Elissa Slotkin, one of the most threatened Democratic incumbents this fall, subtly leaned on progressives’ obsession with policies like the Green New Deal and student debt cancellation, saying “if you can’t talk directly to people’s wallets and talk about our view of the economy, you’re only half a conversation.(Notably, though, Slotkin joined House Democrats in voting for big policies expenses that caused these wallet problems for voters.)

Even former President Obama – himself familiar with far-left politics – has stepped up criticism of progressives. “Sometimes people just don’t want to feel like they’re walking on eggshells,” Obama said in a podcast late last month, referring to Democrats’ perception of “pronoun police” more concerned with political correctness than by issues like inflation and the economy. . He went on to say that Democrats must avoid being a “buzzkill.” Former Bill Clinton adviser James Carville was even more blunt, saying progressives “are all nice people,” but “they’re very naive, and they’re all about language and identity. And that will… But they don’t win the elections.

Other Democrats facing losses in congressional races also complain that weak gubernatorial candidates are dragging them down. In New York and California in particular, Democratic operatives fear that unpopular governors Kathy Hochul and Gavin Newsom — both facing re-election this year — could result in losses in some key House races, even if Hochul and Newsom succeed. to win. Democratic strategists have also privately expressed concern that Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams — who trails Republican Gov. Brian Kemp by more than eight points in the latest RealClearPolitics polling average — is dragging Sen. Raphael Warnock in his bid for re-election.

Another favorite scapegoat for Democrats has been President Joe Biden, whose polls remain underwater with most demographics. Biden has been conspicuously absent from several key Senate campaigns, and many candidates have avoided the president altogether during his visits to their state. Several prominent Democratic strategists also lambasted Biden’s deeply divisive and angry speech earlier this week, calling a possible Republican victory a “threat to democracy.” Faiz Shakir, Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign manager, said before the speech: “I hope there are people in the White House watching, because when you think of that address he’s on the point to give tonight – hope they rewrite and focus on the cost of living David Axelrod, former chief Obama strategist tweeted that “for a matter of practical politics, I doubt that many Ds in the fringe races are eager to [Biden] be on TV tonight.

For House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and many mainstream media outlets, voters themselves deserve the most contempt for impending Democratic losses. “I can’t believe anyone would vote for these people,” she told the New York Times last month. “A vote for Republicans may well be the last you’ve ever cast,” scolded Ryan Cooper, an MSNBC columnist. Jennifer Rubin, supposedly “conservative” columnist for the Washington Post, accused anyone who votes Republican of being an “uninformed” voter and “betraying democracy.”

The one person no one on the left seems to want to blame for the impending red wave, however, is herself. Beyond blaming rival factions, there is little self-reflection going on. But given that virtually every Democrat helped implement the radical liberal agenda that has now put the party in a dire election strait, perhaps looking in the mirror is the best place to start laying blame for any loss on election day.

Andrew Abbott is the pseudonym of a writer and public affairs consultant with more than a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.  

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