Moderate Democrats are busy in the media delivering a message to progressives. Meanwhile, progressives are sending a message to moderates in the same manner. You can occasionally see both types of messages from different authors on the same left-wing publications from one day to the next. The funny part is, they’re both trying to deliver the same message.
Your candidate can’t win.
Moderates are pointing to polls. They’re pointing to logic. They believe Trump is polarizing enough that if the Democrats put up a “moderate” candidate like Joe Biden (though his moderate reputation doesn’t seem to match his radical views lately), they give themselves the best chance of winning the general election by appealing to the middle.
Progressives are pointing to recent history. They say they fell for that sales pitch in 2016 when Hillary Clinton was forced onto them and look how that turned out. Fool me once, they say…
Both have valid points. Biden is currently polling higher than anyone else against Trump, but polls are for suckers (see 2016) and are essentially meaningless at this early stage (see 2015 frontrunners Scott Walker and Jeb Bush). On the flip side, progressives believe their champions have more passion to inspire the middle and possibly even some Republicans who aren’t happy with Trump.
A lot of this internal strife has been prompted by the rise of Senator Elizabeth Warren. Mired in laughable obscurity in the polls following her Native American DNA test debacle and extending through most polls until the last month, the radical progressive has been throwing out socialist policy proposals like candy to the masses. And it’s working. She has now overtaken Senator Bernie Sanders in many polls to be slightly ahead of three of the five current favorites.
A former Clinton pollster is taking Warren seriously and believes she can’t beat the President:
To be victorious in 2020, the Democratic Party must focus on pushing moderate economic policies that do not involve radical wealth taxes, on fixing the health care system without adopting extreme “Medicare for All” policies, and on compromises on immigration. To be sure, I believe in the Democratic primary process and that competing ideas and challenging the status quo is what we should do in a democracy. However, looking ahead to 2020, if the main goal of the party is to beat Trump, we must advocate for center of left policies that result in steady progress for the country, while still appealing to crucial moderates and independents.
The echoes from the other wing of the party are trying to paint Biden as worse than a moderate. They’re not even sure he’s really a Democrats, at least not one by today’s standards.
Biden is willing to perform a little pseudo-wokeness on command — and to ditch supposedly cherished and considered principles to make the millennial snowflakes shut up — but he doesn’t pretend any of that matters. Liberals and progressives will have to make their peace with Biden (or not) if he becomes the nominee, which is par for the course in Democratic politics. But any talk about “pushing Biden to the left” or insisting on a progressive platform at next year’s convention is idiotic. That’s all dust in the wind in the general election, when his only pitch will be that he’s a normal adult who can beat Donald Trump.
These are both very different tunes than the ones being whistled during the 2016 Democratic nomination race. While Sanders’s fans were still very passionate, they weren’t really bashing Clinton. It was hard to remain “woke” and still attack the first major female contender for the White House for the sake of an old white guy. The two sides were generally nice to each other, especially compared to what we’ve seen in the press lately. They left the bickering to the Republicans, whether it was Chris Christie hitting Marco Rubio, Marco Rubio hitting Ted Cruz, Ted Cruz hitting John Kasich, or Donald Trump hitting everyone.
Again, look how that turned out. Democrats saw the bickering. They saw that in the end, it worked. Never-Trumpers notwithstanding, the GOP put the bickering aside when the dust settled and rallied behind the MAGA call.
Democrats are hoping for same thing for themselves, which is why the daggers are out now. They’re going to attack each other. Their fans are going to attack each other. Media personalities are going to attack each other. And whoever comes out of it with the nomination will call them all together for a group hug before taking on the President.
Maybe they’re both right. Maybe the progressives are right that a moderate can’t inspire enough people. Maybe the moderates are right that the progressives won’t get the middle. Either way, Trump looks poised to win.
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