The Democratic party's national chairman, Tom Perez, along with his co-chair, Keith Ellison, and Bernie Sanders are touring red states with the intent of energizing the base in those states. The Dems obviously believe that after the Obama years, they simply aren't left wing enough. That's why they are now led by a chairman who contends that Donald Trump didn't win the election, a co-chair, who in addition to being far-left, is also anti-Israel and fundamentally an anti-Semite, and a Senator and hard core socialist who never saw a taxation and income redistribution scheme he didn't like.
The Democrats have made a fascinating transition over the Obama years—from a party that was certainly progressive, but had some degree of moderation, to a party that is increasingly hard left. They have become the party of identity politics; a party that criticizes many aspects of government and yet ironically are champions of even bigger, more intrusive government; a party that believes that higher and higher taxes are required to service the siren call for federal spending; a party whose base clearly despises a significant segment of the people who oppose their positions, subscribing, I think, to Hillary Clinton's characterization of them as "deplorables;" a party that sees "racism or misogyny or xenophobia" behind any opinion or action that calls their own world view into question; a party that increasingly believes that open borders are desirable; a party that prefers to ignore the threat of Islamic terrorism to Western institutions; a party that has descending into crazy conspiracy theories in which the Russians worked with Donald Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton, and of course, the party that is so intent on opposing the Trump administration that it sometimes votes against its best interests and long-tern strategy (the opposition to Justice Neil Gorsuch comes to mind).
But Perez, Ellison and Sanders are off on their excellent adventure. They'll say all the right things to energize the base, but the real question is, will they energize anyone else?
John Daniel Davidson comments:
Party leaders have concluded, quite incorrectly, that if they want to be competitive at the state and national levels they must adopt the economic socialism of Sanders and the identity politics of Ellison, an African American and one of only two Muslims in the House.Of course, the Democrats' trained hamsters in the mainstream media spend relatively little time discussing the long term impact of the Democrats' lurch to the left, except of course, to praise it without equivocation. They refuse to explore Sanders' and Ellison's "unsettling" views. The trained hamsters are an arm of the Democratic party, and yet, the Dems can't seem to win at the local, state or congressional level. That will change, it always does, but winning should have been a slam dunk with the media solidly in their corner. That might say more about the genral public's acceptance of their current lurch to left than many Democrats want to admit.
But Ellison is also a fervent progressive and a radical leftist. Besides being the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and an early endorser of Sanders, he has some rather disturbing ideas about Israel and Jewish people, an abiding affection for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and a host of other deeply unsettling views.
Again from Davidson:
... for all the changes afoot in the GOP, the real transformation in American politics is happening on the Left, where progressive zealots have taken over the Democratic Party and all but named Bernie Sanders [and Elizabeth Warren] their quixotic leader.Every time the Dems smile and arrogantly use the term "while privilege" or refer to our leaders as "old white men," they sink ever-deeper into a hole they just keep on digging. Every time they suggest that Hillary lost because of misogyny, they keep on digging. Every time they blame the Russians, they keep digging. Every time they allow anger and disappointment about the past election to shape their party's positions, attitudes, and strategy, they keep digging. I just hope as they dig deeper, the walls of the hole don't collapse around them.
The irony is that those who lionize Sanders still don’t seem all that concerned about the things he cares about. Asked about the unity tour earlier this month, Sanders said, “It’s absolutely absurd that the Democratic Party has turned its back on working people in literally half the country.”
Sanders is right on that count. Working-class Democrats voted for Trump last year in all the places Clinton needed them to vote for her. Sanders’ concern about his party’s alienation of these voters is justified. The problem is, he’s now the de facto leader of a party that has embraced his socialism but written off the white working class, which it needs to win national elections.