Democratic party far left pushes back against Warren and the ultra-radicals
The civil war in the Democratic Party is being portrayed in the media as "moderates" versus "progressives." That's nonsense. It's the squishy far left, who, like Obama, want to hide their true intentions from the American voter to "transform" the country, versus the ultra-radical left, who want to destroy America and erect in its place what can only be called a quasi-Marxist state.
It might more accurately be termed the realists versus the loons. But any way you want to portray the battle, the Elizabeth Warren faction is winning, despite some serious pushback from more realistic Democrats.
"We can't win the House back with progressives running in swing states," said former Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), a surrogate for Hillary Clinton who is leading the "Fight Back California" super PAC aimed at winning back seven House seats in the Golden State.
Interviews with Democratic strategists, donors and organizers from across the country reveal deep disagreement with Warren's premise that progressives make up the "heart and soul" of the Democratic Party.
Warren offered that synopsis during a speech at the liberal Netroots Nation conference last weekend, adding that progressives are in control of the party.
The Democrats who disagree with Warren are generally from the center of the party, and many were staunch supporters of former President Obama and Hillary Clinton.
The clash is further proof of the divide in the party after 2016's disappointment. Even as they face a Republican Party torn over how to deal with President Trump, Democrats are still trying to figure out what kind of a party they are.
The Obama and Clinton supporters say they have grown tired of having to deal with fighting over progressivism and 1990s-era battles over former President Bill Clinton's work on welfare and criminal justice reform, which were campaign issues last year and subjects of criticism by Warren just last week.
"I'm wary of pendulum politics," one former senior administration official to Obama said. "We can't whiplash the country."
Tauscher called it "a tired, old debate."
Yes, but for Warren and her crew, what's old is brand-new – if you frame the question correctly. Some Democrats have been advocating single-payer health insurance since the early 1990s, while others learned their electoral lessons when "Hillarycare" cost the Dems the House in 1994. "Radical" doesn't sell in flyover country, and if Warren succeeds in dragging her party even farther left than it is now, Republicans will end up thanking her.
Democratic strategist Jim Manley, who served as a spokesman to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), said while support has grown for many progressive issues including the single payer healthcare system, the party is in the midst of a rebuilding process and trying to figure out its next steps.
"I don't think we as a party can be casting too many people aside," Manley said. "We need to figure out how to grow and bring everybody together. I realize that's happy talk but that's the reality. When you start talking about purity tests, that's a little problematic."
Warren's remarks at the conference in Atlanta last weekend sparked an instant headline from The New York Times saying she was taking aim at moderates. And while she didn't mention either of the Clintons by name, the Times wrote: "Ms. Warren sent an unambiguous message that she believes the Clinton effort to push Democrats toward the political center should be relegated to history."
Reached for comment, Kristen Orthman, Warren's spokeswoman, pointed to a passage further down in the senator's remarks that spoke more to inclusiveness among both sides of the party.
"If we're going to be the people who lead the Democratic Party back from the wilderness and lead our country out of this dark time, then we can't waste energy arguing about whose issue matters most or who in our alliance should be voted off the island," Warren said at the conference. "We need to see each other's fights as our own. And I believe we can."
It is a singular fault among radical-left politicians that they believe that the people will vote for their radical ideas if they can convince them that what they are proposing is for their own good. The unspoken subtext there is that the people are too stupid to know what's good for themselves and need harpies like Warren to tell them.
In the hinterlands of America, where common sense wins out almost every time over ideology, people are skeptical of all political promises and base their vote on intangibles like trust and shared values. Elizabeth Warren and her radical friends will have a hard time convincing most voters that they can be trusted with power and that they share the same values.
So Republicans are cheering Warren on, hoping she can take over the party and purge it of all traces of reason and sanity.