At The American Conservative, James Pinkerton explains that the rise of radical democratic socialists in the Democrat Party may just be the gift Republicans need to win 2020. He writes:
Former British prime minister Harold Macmillan was once asked what could happen that might change the direction of his government. His world-weary answer: “Events, dear boy, events.”
Actually, there’s some question as to whether or not Macmillan really said those words, but there’s no question that he—and everyone else, in politics or not, who has ever had a plan—knows the feeling. As much as we hope to ride events, events have a way of riding us.
Today, unforeseen events are once again in the saddle, and the Democrats’ plan for the orderly defenestration of President Donald Trump has been disordered. They’d hoped for a campaign based on defending Obamacare (now a positive for them), prosecuting the Russia connection (such as it might prove to be), and scourging Trump himself (his aggregated approval rating, while up in recent weeks, is still well below 50 percent).
Then came…events. Events, that is, that threatened the Democrats’ ascendance.
The first event was the rise of democratic socialism, including its lefty offshoots, Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. These positions have been boosted by the hipster glamor of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, yet upon inspection, they’ve proven unpopular with those drab folks in the middle. Indeed, mindful of the danger that such radical ideas pose to the Democrats’ chances in 2020, establishmentarian Dems, urged on by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have worked assiduously and effectively to torpedo both of them.
The second event has proven, at least so far, to be less manageable. That’s the sudden prominence of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, the newbie lawmaker from Somalia by way of Minneapolis. Her words—from “it’s all about the Benjamins, baby” to “some people did something“—are now riding roughshod over Democrats’ 2020 plan.
Once again, Pelosi has been doing her best to get the party back on track. On Sunday night’s edition of 60 Minutes, the House speaker again minimized the new lefties, dismissing AOC, Omar, et al., with a terse, “That’s like five people.” Mindful of her Democratic colleagues seeking to win in red and purple districts next year, Pelosi added, “We have to hold the center…we have to…go down the mainstream.”
That’s some valiant spin, but the White House wasn’t having it. The next morning, The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman, perhaps the Fourth Estate’s leading Trumpologist, reported:
Mr. Trump’s advisers describe Ms. Omar as his ideal foil. Her remarks about the power of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, combined with her role in a progressive contingent of freshman House Democrats who have sparked intraparty battles, have been treated as a gift by Republicans.
Read more here.