Friday, February 24, 2017

How far left are the Democrats going?

The Democratic National Committee is meeting this week to choose a new leader, and the likely election of either of the two leading candidates, Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison and former Obama labor secretary Tom Perez, would confirm "another hard-left turn" for the party, as Investors Business Daily writes.
Both far-left lawyers who have little respect for the Constitution and have advocated a range of extreme-left views completely out of touch with the mainstream of American thinking. In short, great candidates to head today's leftward-surging Democratic Party.
... The battle for the DNC is emblematic of what's going on across the Democratic Party, both in Congress and in the states. Moderates are purged, conservative Democrats are nonexistent, and the party's leaders seem intent on turning it into a party of hard socialism as quickly as possible.
... Heck, even Bill Clinton, a moderate-progressive president who actually reached out to the opposing party to get things done, looks plainly uncomfortable among this generation of hyper-ideological party leaders.
Investors notes Obama's "legacy" of "political defeat," in Congress and the states, and notes that the Democrats "seem eager to move even further" in the direction of "Obama-style progressivism."
Contrasted with the Democrats' move to "double-down on Obama's policy mistakes," the Trump "economic agenda" is getting a "thumbs up" from business, investors, and consumers.  Another recent Investors editorial observes that "[o]utside the beltway, it's morning in America again":
  • "Nearly double the share" of business executives are optimistic about the economy than "just one year ago. And it's the highest level since this survey began seven years ago."
  • Another survey found that "optimism among small businesses ... is the highest it's been in more than 12 years."
  • "The Dow immediately spiked after the November election and has climbed more than 13% since."
  • An index of individual optimism is "the highest it's been since October 2004."
As Investors writes, all that optimism is bound to provide "an immediate jolt" to investment, job creation, and consumer spending, adding that:
These results also highlight the glaring disconnect between elite opinion and the views of Main Street. While media pundits, fat-cat corporate CEOs and urban liberals are wailing and gnashing their teeth over Trump's election, the general public understands that his victory provides genuine hope that the economic malaise Obama inflicted on the country will soon be over.
The Never-Trumpers can't bring themselves to admit any of this, for obvious reasons. But if there's bigger news since Trump's surprise November victory than the dramatic increase in hope across the land, we'd like to see it.
Continuing with commentary at Investors.com, Douglas MacKinnon adds another reason why Democrats are "petrified of Donald Trump":
Not because they buy into the hate-filled rhetoric of the far left, but rather because they realize he is baiting the Democratic Party and its allies into showing they are the party of intolerance and that his populist message is reaching a larger and larger audience.  A message that will continue to peel away blue-collar Democrats and union voters to the point where the midterm election is going to be a nightmare for the Democrats.
While the liberal left has warned of primary threats to more moderate Democrats, its reliance on identity politics is failing:
Identity politics has become the coin of the realm within the Democratic base and particularly with the activists, and it is out of step with the mainstream of America, and that is why Donald Trump was able to blow a hole in it and reject that way of thinking.
The Washington Post, in a moment of self-reflection, writes that demographics and identity politics are not likely to succeed for the Democrats in the near future, either.  The Post notes that reliance on targeted demographics and "unwavering ideologies" is not going to help Democrats "dig themselves out of a big hole."
In the face of failing post-Obama identity politics, the Democrats are going with hard-left national leadership to match the hard-left intolerance of their radical rank and file, even as everyday Americans see a chance to better their lives with the boom in Trump-era economic optimism.
If the Trump agenda can turn that economic optimism into economic growth, the Democrats could be lost in the hard-left wilderness, as Victor Davis Hanson, writing at National Review, observes:
If Trump's agenda hits 3 percent GDP growth or above by 2018, then his critics – progressive shock troops, Democratic grandees, mainstream media, Never Trump Republicans – will either shift strategies or face prolonged irrelevance.




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