Sunday, December 01, 2019

"Democrats cannot capture the presidency or either branch of Congress by lurching leftward"

Here is some well considered advice for the Democrat party. It explains how Donald Trump got elected, and why, if the Democrats don't change course, Trump stands a good chance of being re-elected for another term:

Commentary: The perils of mythmaking
[...] Democrats cannot capture the presidency or either branch of Congress by lurching leftward. A candidate in the AOC/BS mold would be a hero in New York, California and Massachusetts — and a disaster in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which handed Trump the presidency in 2016 and will be critical again next year.

Ed Rendell, the former governor of Pennsylvania, stressed this point to The New York Times: “The more we have presidential candidates or newly elected congresspeople talking about the Green New Deal, talking about ‘Medicare-for-all,’ talking about socialism, the more that plays into the Trump campaign’s hands.”

Christopher Borick, a political scientist at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, added: “If you want to lock up Pennsylvania for a Democrat, the more moderate Democrats are the key.”

The numbers support them. A Gallup poll in January reported that 35 percent of Americans call themselves conservatives, the same number that identify as moderates. Only 26 percent are self-described liberals, the same portion who chose that label in 2016 exit polls.

It’s true that within the Democrats’ ranks, the percentage of liberals is rising, hitting 51 percent this year according to Gallup. But pragmatists still dominate the party. Fifty-four percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents want the party to “move closer to the center” while 41 percent “would rather it shift further left.”

The same tension between purists and pragmatists is playing out in the House, where the AOC types are calling for the rapid impeachment of the president. But Democratic leaders are taking a much slower approach, with Rep. Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, insisting that impeachment must meet a “very high bar.”

“If you’re serious about removing a president from office, what you’re really doing is overturning the result of the last election,” Nadler told Roll Call in November. “You don’t want to have a situation where you tear this country apart, and for the next 30 years half the country’s saying, ‘We won the election; you stole it.’”

That’s why Democrats should be focusing on the next election, not impeachment. No president has ever been removed through impeachment (although Richard Nixon probably would have been the first, had he not resigned). The bar is and should be “very high.” [...]

Read the whole thing. It explains so much. Good advice, and like much good advice, will probably be ignored. Elections are about demographics, and numbers. If Democrats insist on letting the most leftist and shrill among them lead their party, they will lose again.

Also see:

How can Republicans defend Trump? Because of the Clintons