A reminder from the 2020 election

Just in case anyone forgot.

It's common sense: Democratic politicians who support "radical" notions like Medicare for All, free college, or preserving a habitable planet via a Green New Deal guarantee their own defeat....
It may be common sense, but it's wrong. Every single Congressional co-sponsor of the "Medicare for All" bills in the House and Senate who were up for reelection beat their Republican opponents in 2020. And in 2018. And in 2016. And every Democrat who lost reelection to a Republican had campaigned on the "boring, moderate" platform that Shor contends is the formula for success.

In fact, you have to go back a full decade to find a single Democratic incumbent who co-sponsored a Medicare for All bill and lost their reelection bid. One lost in 2010, when 52 total House Democrats lost reelection in the Republican blowout. For the entire period from 2002 to 2020, there were two. During that time Medicare for All has had between 38 and 124 co-sponsors in the House.

And let's not forget how everyone hates socialism.

The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Social­ists of Amer­i­ca (DSA), an orga­ni­za­tion that boasts near­ly 80,000 mem­bers nation­wide, endorsed 29 can­di­dates and 11 bal­lot ini­tia­tives, win­ning 20 and 8 respec­tive­ly. There are now demo­c­ra­t­ic social­ist cau­cus­es in 15 state­hous­es, includ­ing Mon­tana.

Imagine that. People support socialism and M4A. Who would have guessed.
But how are you gonna pay for it, amirite?

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an estimate of the cost of implementing a single-payer health insurance program in the United States. The CBO’s report is more exhaustive than any other recent study on the subject and concludes that replacing our current system with a single-payer system would insure every American while reducing overall health spending in the country...
The CBO answered these questions for four different single-payer designs and found that a single-payer system would save $42 billion to $743 billion in 2030 alone.
The CBO option that most closely approximates current Medicare for All proposals is Option 3, which features low payment rates and low cost-sharing. That option produces $650 billion of savings in 2030.

If there's one thing we know for certain, the Democratic party establishment knows that you don't actually want what you think you want.
The Democratic party establishment knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that all of those election results are "misleading". The right policy to "win in politics" isn't reflected in mere election results. Nor in the polls.
If you want to know how to "win in politics" then there is only one trick that you must master:
Punch Left and Punch Down.

This is what they learned from their ass kicking in 2010.

2010_0.PNG

And this is what they learned from their ass kicking in 2016.

2016_1.PNG

And this is what they learned from their ass kicking in 2020.

"No one should say 'defund the police' ever again," Spanberger yelled on the leaked call. "Nobody should be talking about socialism."
...
She added that if progressives continue to use this rhetoric, "We will get f-----g torn apart in 2022."

Rep. Stephanie Murphy was even more direct and to the point.

“I think that the Democratic party needs to clearly push that we are not supportive of ideas like socialism or defunding the police or anti-Semitism,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., a co-chair of the House’s centrist Blue Dog Coalition.
...“This playing footsies with socialism is not going to win over most of America,” she said. “There’s no amount of lipstick that can cover up the fact that these far left ideas are costing us races.”

It's all the fault of the left! That's all you need to know.
Of course if you think about this for just one second the logic breaks down.

gravel.jpg

For starters, only conservative Democrats lost. No incumbent progressive Democrat lost. So something's wrong with this logic.
Florida voted overwhelmingly to raise the minimum wage. Even Red counties supported it.
The Florida Democratic Party rejected raising the minimum wage as too far left - thus the majority of voters in Florida are too far left for the Democratic Party. Several of Florida's conservative candidates lost.

And then, there's the much more important implication of what they're saying.

So are we supposed to believe that if Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who represents Seattle, never let the word “socialism” pass her lips again, then that would mean that some centrist Democrat from a district 3,000 miles away would have an easy path to victory in every future election?

And what exactly are centrists asking progressives to do? It sounds like they’re saying, “Republicans falsely accused me of believing what you believe, so that means you have to change your positions and believe only what I believe.” Do they want the progressives to change their beliefs on health care or economics or some other issue? Should the progressives just stop advocating for their preferred agenda at all?

That is what they are saying: the Democrats can't win as long as any progressives exist in the party. They are advocating for a purge of the left. They are advocating for a second Republican Party.
Not exactly a big tent party is it? Race and gender? Big tent.
Political ideology? Very small tent.

Share
up
21 users have voted.

Comments

up
8 users have voted.

coming around and embracing the Left. I see more of the same blame game on our horizon, punching down and left

One might think they would learn something from their failures. Apparently, they like just the way it’s gone in the past well enough to forgo any reexaminations or to make any significant changes. Cycling in and out of power suits their interests well enough.

up
11 users have voted.

“If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking” - Gen. George S. Patton

“Without a diversity of opinions, the discovery of truth is impossible.” - Alexander von Humboldt

AOC is working on her next ball gown with a message for that which will solve the whole problem.

up
11 users have voted.

"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

@Fishtroller 02
You never know. It might take TWO more ball gowns.
She better hurry, I might need M4A soon.

up
7 users have voted.

@gjohnsit

Will let you know how it works out.

So far my plan for the last ten years has been to avoid seeing doctors, so it might take awhile to give you a report.

up
5 users have voted.

"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

Pricknick's picture

@Fishtroller 02
maybe she'll shut the hell up and put her fingers to rest.

up
6 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

re: the impressive success rate for progressive candidates and the staying power of progressive incumbents...

Q - How many progressive candidates were from competitive districts?

A - Near zero, if not less.

Q - How many incumbents of any party or ideology were defeated in the last general election?

A - Ten representatives (all D) Two senators ( one D, one R) or 2.3% and 2% respectively, of each chamber.

So, that solid showing by progressives is different from that of any incumbent in a non-competitive district just how?

The so-called progressive agenda may well be popular in the blue enclaves represented by that faction of the party. If that actually represents the sentiments and interests of their constituents then their representatives may be actually doing their job. OK, fine.

However, the real test of their popularity is whether their proposals will fly in the broader world.

FWIW you should be comforted to know that Republicans fully support your wish that progressive candidates and initiatives not be suppressed within the Democratic Party. In fact, they are hoping that Democrats will run just as many AOC's, Cori Bushes & such as they can find. On issues such as Critical Race Theory, Defund the Police, Transgender Bathrooms...

"Get back to basics by unifying behind an FDR agenda for the 99%"

The FDR agenda was to placate or suppress the 95+% to preserve the position of the elite.

Screw that. You want to get serious, let's talk the Huey Long agenda:

up
2 users have voted.

@Blue Republic

Q - How many progressive candidates were from competitive districts?
A - Near zero, if not less.
Q - How many incumbents of any party or ideology were defeated in the last general election?
A - Ten representatives (all D) Two senators ( one D, one R) or 2.3% and 2% respectively, of each chamber.
So, that solid showing by progressives is different from that of any incumbent in a non-competitive district just how?
The so-called progressive agenda may well be popular in the blue enclaves represented by that faction of the party. If that actually represents the sentiments and interests of their constituents then their representatives may be actually doing their job. OK, fine.
However, the real test of their popularity is whether their proposals will fly in the broader world

If you clicked on the first link you would have found this:

Taking Lamb's challenge, we identified the 147 Congressional swing districts which flipped from Republican to Democrat in a House election in 2002 or later. We then looked at which of those Democrats won reelection the next time around, comparing the 12 Democrats from those districts who became co-sponsors of Medicare for All with the 135 "moderates" who did not support the bill.

All 12 Medicare for All sponsors won reelection, despite the fact that their seats had been held by Republicans just two years before. On the other hand, 30% (40 out of 135) of the moderates lost re-election in the next cycle.

up
3 users have voted.

@gjohnsit

The data about the fate of M4A sponsors versus non-sponsors is at least suggestive -
possibly that the issue itself does have broad appeal, maybe other things also entered in.

FWIW, we expats - even though we can't utilize the program - are obligated to pay premiums for Part A (the Dr. and drug benefit?) on turning 65 or pay a much higher premium should we ever come back to the Homeland and sign up later.

Not too fair...

Japan's system covers a whole lot more people for a much smaller portion of GDP than the US: 9% versus 16% or thereabouts. Pays 70% medical and dental with no deductible...

up
1 user has voted.
Shahryar's picture

scary things...use your imagination, I guess.

Anyway, one of them has a t-shirt on that says "not a monster". Yet you can clearly see that it's just a t-shirt and that the thing IS a monster! That'd be the Dem monster.

In a way that Magritte painting ("Ceci n'est pas une pipe") is a political statement.

up
4 users have voted.