Democratic insiders blame progressives for them not winning elections, while progressives keep winning elections
This headline is a perfect representative of democratic establishment spin.
Progressives are losing steam on some of the issues they hold dear given opposition from centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and the White House, even as wins in Texas seem likely to grow the number of liberal “squad” numbers in the next Congress.
Liberal hallmarks like police reform and climate change are shrinking from President Biden’s priority list as the White House signals a move toward the center. Other Democrats are actively distancing themselves from their party’s left wing.
So progressives are "dragging down" the party, while also winning elections. Progressive policies are becoming less popular, while at the same time winning in places like Texas.
The complaint as always has been the Republicans are slandering neoliberal capitalists as "socialists".
"There's no question that we lost seats (in 2020) because of that," says Matt Bennett, executive vice president of the centrist Democratic group Third Way. "We know those attacks landed, and they landed hard," and similar characterizations of Democratic incumbents as "socialist" or in favor of defunding the police could cost the party even more seats this fall, he says.
Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, one of the members of the progressive "squad" in the House – delivered a fiery response to Biden's State of the Union speech Tuesday night on behalf of the Working Families Party. That move angered mainstream Democrats who don't want to have to fight both Republicans and a wing of their own party when defending their narrow and imperiled majorities this fall.
First of all, it's hilariously stupid to think that Republicans will simply stop slandering neoliberals as socialists, if all the progressives stop talking. Republicans are already lying. So why would a slightly bigger lie make them pause?
Secondly, yes, I'm sure that the neoliberals would prefer that the progressives simply go away. They would very much prefer that progressive voters in this country NOT be represented at all. If only people that hold left-wing values just Shut The F*ck Up. Unfortunately, the left-wing refuses to just curl up and die.
If all anyone did was listen to the Democratic punditocracy, they’d think that progressives were so divisive, so destructive, so marginalized that they could never appeal to Democratic primary voters in a state like Texas. Yet, when the 2022 primary season began Tuesday, Texas Democrats in three key congressional districts bet on progressives who said that health care is a human right, challenged environmental racism, championed unions, defended reproductive rights, and spoke up for trans youth.
So you would think that if progressives were responsible for all of the election ills of the Democrats, that this would be reflected in the actual elections.
|Election||Progressive Caucus||Blue Dog + Third Way/New Dem Caucus|
In fact, the only election where the corporate wing of the party clearly did better than the progressives was the huge wave election of 2018. Every other election the progressives either did far better, or did around the same.