On Democratic timidity

Without suggesting that the Democrats run Alexandra Ocasio-Cortezes in every district, Eric Loomis has theories about why party satraps are panicking:

They are scared of the grassroots taking over. They are scared of a left version of the Tea Party. They are scared of their now nearly two generations of received wisdom in the aftermath of McGovern’s loss (and then the disastrous campaigns of Mondale and Dukakis) being thrown out the window, long past their sell-by date. They are scared of bold policy proposals that challenge their carefully considered moderate stance that appeals to potential Wall Street donors.

Also up for ridicule: former Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson’s dismissal of the Abolish ICE movement.

CE is not necessary for federal law enforcement. It’s only been around for 15 years and it’s not as if we didn’t have a semi-militarized border before that. He says elections have consequences, but that’s precisely what the Abolish ICE movement is working for–getting politicians to say that we need to abolish the agency and make that policy a consequence of the 2020 elections and a rallying point in 2018. Johnson talks about how Abolish ICE is destroying the chance for bipartisan immigration reform. What planet is he on? How is that possibly going to happen? What is the constituency for that in the Republican Party? The prospects for a bipartisan immigration bill is not Democrats outraged that ICE is separating babies from their parents. It died many times before on the shoals of Republican racism an[d] now that ethnic cleansing is the official policy of the administration and congressional Republicans, there is no room for compromise.

In a few hours Donald Trump will announce, with the subtlety of a game show host, his newest nominee to the Supreme Court. When Donald Trump returns to Mar-a-Lago in 2020 or 2024 – a property inching below sea level, thanks to his administration’s public postures – the rest of us must deal with a Court on which John Roberts becomes the swing vote by default. The idea isn’t to encourage Ocasio-Cortezes in every district – the idea is to encourage bold leftism that forces voters to consider tossing decades of received thinking. A living wage and Medicare for all were concepts so outré that noted socialist Harry Truman supported them, but don’t tell Bret Stephens, mysteriously employed by the NYT and one of MSNBC weekday afternoon Cassandras. Now that voters have gotten a taste of him it’s possible that Doug Jones can campaign on healthcare for everyone in Alabama; I’ve no idea how the policy polls up there. The only way to find out is to stop acting like we’re Mike Dukakis.

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