Radicalism: Some prominent Democrats are warning their party about its drift toward socialist policies and its endless attacks on President Trump. Is there anyone left in the Democratic Party who will listen?
A few weeks ago, former California Gov. Jerry Brown said that his party is out of touch with the mainstream, even in liberal California.
On Thursday, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe blasted members of his own party for making “unrealistic ideological promises.”
Lack of Realism
“Ideological populism or relentless negativity are playing on Trump’s turf,” McAuliffe writes in an Op-Ed published by the Washington Post. “Resisting dishonest populism is not just a policy imperative for serious Democrats but also a political imperative for 2020.”
In particular, McAuliffe attacked two of the current fixations of a growing swath of the party: a “federal jobs guarantee” and “universal free college.”
About the former, McAuliffe says it’s “not a realistic policy.” He doesn’t explain why, but anyone who’s studied the idea realizes that the cost of this jobs guarantee to taxpayers and the economy would be enormous. Nevertheless, presidential hopefuls including Sens. Cory Booker, Kristen Gillibrand, and Bernie Sanders all support the proposal.
He also blasts calls for “universal free college.”
“Spending limited taxpayer money on a free college education for the children of rich parents badly misses the mark for most families,” he writes.
McAuliffe doesn’t bother to mention the even more radical and wildly unrealistic proposals now catching on with congressional Democrats.
That list includes the “Green New Deal” pushed by socialist celebrity Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Among its proposals is that the nation’s power grid be 100% renewable in a decade, which would amount to a horrifically large tax hike on the middle class. Even so, dozens of Democrats have endorsed the plan. And the Washington Post reports that support for it “is showing signs of becoming a liberal litmus test among Democrats.”
Nor does McAuliffe mention Democrats’ “Medicare For All” push. As we’ve pointed out, this $33 trillion government takeover of health care is to the left of even communist China. Yet it, too, is fast becoming a litmus test for Democrats. McAuliffe himself has endorsed the idea.
Will Dems Listen?
To be clear, McAuliffe — like Jerry Brown — is far from a centrist Democrat. In that same Op-Ed, he announces his own support for “comprehensive climate change legislation,” minimum wage hikes, tax increases and drug price controls.
But even he realizes that pushing truly pie-in-the-sky socialist policies won’t help the party win working class voters in 2020.
Will anyone in the party take heed of McAuliffe’s and Brown’s entreaties? Unlikely.
All the pressure on the Democratic leadership today is coming from the far left of the party, with the enthusiastic support of the mainstream media. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already proved unwilling to rein them in. The moderates who helped the party take control of the House won’t have a chance against the pressure tactics of the far left.
For our part, we hope McAuliffe is right. We hope that his party’s turn toward radicalism and “relentless negativity” backfires big time on Democrats in 2020.