Progressives betting the farm on identity politics for midterms
Amid all the talk of strife and bad blood in the GOP, much less attention has been paid to the brutal civil war going on in the Democratic Party.
In truth, while the GOP is at war with itself over matters of ideology, the left is in conflict over tactics. Establishment Democrats, recognizing the golden opportunity to take over Congress in the fall, want to run on an anti-Trump agenda, ginning up outrage over Trump's foibles in order to drive their voters to the polls.
But the far left doesn't see it that way. These leftists believe that the path to victory lies in pushing identity politics and the toxic agenda that comes with it.
The liberal push to remake the Democratic Party into a more progressive and diverse political organization will be tested this week in Michigan, where a coalition of grassroots groups has unified behind Abdul El-Sayed's underdog quest to become the nation's first Muslim governor. ...
The 33-year-old's bid also is more evidence of how November's elections are shaping up as a major test of identity politics as liberal activists rally behind black, Hispanic, female and other candidates who are putting a greater emphasis on reaching out to marginalized communities rather than focusing on winning over President Trump's supporters.
Many of them have refused corporate donations, refused to remain silent on race and sexism, and wrapped their arms around a liberal vision that includes Medicare for all, a higher minimum wage and tuition-free college.
Mr. Sroka said the focus on Michigan's gubernatorial race is part of a broader push to electing "strong progressive governors" who are willing to stand up to Mr. Trump.
"No. 1, these are overwhelmingly people who are unabashedly populist progressives," Mr. Sroka said. "So they are kind of fearless in their approach to politics.
"Fearless" is one word that might describe their approach to politics. I think "idiotic" is more to the point.
There is a chasm of understanding between Democrats and Republicans on racial, "gender," and sexual identity politics. But since the far left has been ascending in the Democratic Party, these issues have achieved an importance far beyond their electoral usefulness. Few Americans favor discrimination, but there are also few voters who place a priority on talking about it or doing much about it. "Tolerance" is a buzzword that means different things to different people. That's why establishment Democrats want to de-emphasize identity politics. It's a divisive issue, not a uniting one.
The radical left is hearing none of it. By playing to our differences as Americans, they may be exciting their base, but they are also alienating many voters who might ordinarily give them a shot in November. This doesn't mean that Democrats have no shot at taking the House. But the "blue wave" they speak so confidently about will almost certainly not be realized thanks to this mixed message of establishment, traditional politics and the radical identity politics favored by the left.
The latest Michigan governor's poll shows the darling of the far left, Mr. Sayed, losing badly to the traditional Democrat, Gretchen Whitmer, who gets 49% to Sayed's 19%. Perhaps the GOP should just get out of the way and let the Democrats tear each other apart. They're doing a fine job of it in Michigan.