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[National Review] Progressive Activists Are Poised to Hurt Democrats’ Chances in 2020

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Os Trigonum, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum It. Deserves. Its. Own. Thread.
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    Progressive activists are "ashamed to be American" and risk dragging the Democratic Party down with them:

    "Political identity is a social tool used to navigate status hierarchies and form in-groups, and progressives living in metropolitan areas therefore develop a politics designed primarily to impress other progressives. A competition to signal far-left identity emerges, familiar to anyone who attended college in the Northeast. Because so many progressives are shaped in this crucible, they hold a distorted idea of what policies the rest of the country will accept."

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/01/2020-election-democrat-candidates-progressive-activists/

    Progressive Activists Are Poised to Hurt Democrats’ Chances in 2020
    By NICHOLAS PHILLIPS
    January 2, 2019 6:30 AM
    Their identity politics includes every demographic group except working-class whites.

    On December 4, Kirsten Gillibrand joined the pageant of presidential hopefuls jockeying for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Not formally, but in the way these things are often done now — with a bold statement, calculated to go viral, that would energize supporters and attract mainstream attention. That statement, on Twitter, was liked over 32,000 times:

    The tweet instantly became controversial. Was she saying that men wouldn’t be included in her view of the future? Van Jones asked her if she could understand how people might hear it that way. “Yes, and they just don’t get it,” Gillibrand replied unhelpfully. And what to make of the appearance of the word “intersectionality”? The tweet immediately felt like a cultural touchstone — a statement that signaled a shift in what is expected of a candidate seeking the leadership of the Democratic party.

    The shift that Gillibrand’s tweet signaled is the rise of a class of progressive activists who now hold unprecedented power on the American left. Their power is not in numbers, which are few. It comes instead from a monopoly on legitimacy. They are kingmakers, holding the moral authority to anoint Democratic leadership. They are the arbiters of good and evil, the marshals of the social-media messaging war that prospective candidates are desperate to win. They are why Gillibrand, a former pro-gun immigration hawk, felt that she could whip up excitement by invoking a term that remains almost wholly unknown outside progressive academia. They also might be killing the Democratic party’s chance to win the presidency.

    Who is this class of people? Earlier this year, More in Common, a civil-society research initiative, released “Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape.” The report is an extensive survey of American “core values” and discovered distinct ideological clusters within the electorate. The views of one cluster on the left wing of the electorate are sharply differentiated from the rest of the survey pool. This group is christened “Progressive Activists” and described as “younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.” They make up 8 percent of the population and their demographics are predictable: disproportionately white, educated, and wealthy. They are more than twice as likely as other Americans to report that politics is a “hobby.”

    Their views cut sharply against the grain of popular consensus. Seventy-eight percent of Americans describe themselves as “proud to be an American,” whereas 69 percent of Progressive Activists report that they are “ashamed to be an American.” Seventy-three percent of Americans value the American Dream, but only 44 percent of Progressive Activists do. Eighty percent of Americans agree that political correctness is a problem, a view that only 30 percent of Progressive Activists hold. On substantive policy matters, too, the views of Progressive Activists differ from those of the majority. They are the group least likely to identify “jobs and the economy” as a highly important political issue; the rest of the electorate identify it as more important than any issue except “poor leadership.” Americans are evenly divided on whether immigration is good for the country — but 99 percent of Progressive Activists believe that it is.

    Progressive Activists are not representative of the American electorate, but they have been remarkably successful at turning their policy priorities into litmus tests for national Democratic figures. Last year, “abolish ICE” (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) was an obscure Twitter hashtag confined to the far Left. But activist groups applied pressure to Democratic candidates to support the campaign, which got sign-ons from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Elizabeth Warren. Data for Progress, a far-left think tank, insisted that the issue was a political winner.

    But Republicans, sensing that the “abolish ICE” position was out of step with the electorate, were only too happy to signal-boost the campaign. Donald Trump quickly began using “abolish ICE” activism as a talking point at rallies to skewer “radical left Dems,” and congressional Republicans offered to schedule an immediate vote on a Democratic “abolish ICE” bill, predicting disaster. As quickly as Republicans seized on the issue, Democrats backed off. Their midterm candidates stopped talking about it, while GOP candidates did the opposite and mounted attack ads. Gillibrand and Warren walked back their support, the latter explaining that she only meant that ICE should be “reformed.” In the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, the issue is dead.

    This month, a new prospective litmus test emerged on the activist left: the Green New Deal, described by its supporters as an ambitious government-led plan to meet 100 percent of the country’s energy needs with renewables in ten years and to provide a jobs guarantee to anyone who wants to work on the transition. Like “abolish ICE,” the Green New Deal has been memed into existence by activists who can marshal their large social-media audience. Like “abolish ICE,” the Green New Deal has attracted the support of Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive Democratic leaders. Data for Progress insists that this issue, too, is a political winner. Indeed, the Green New Deal currently attracts broad support in polls — but those same polls show that 80 percent of voters have no idea what it is, and none of its supporters have attempted to describe what the plan would look like.

    In this, it may mirror “Medicare for all,” another progressive article of faith whose strong support in polls tends to collapse when voters learn about the implementation details. Americans support the concept but don’t know much about it — half of them believe, incorrectly, that they would be able to keep their existing plan if the U.S. adopted a single-payer system. This voter confusion is understandable, since Democratic politicians use “Medicare for all” as a check-the-box slogan to appeal to progressives — meanwhile, progressive heroes such as Andrew Gillum and Ayanna Pressley refuse to take questions about it. In the absence of a definitive policy proposal, “Medicare for all” functions as little more than an empty vessel for voter frustrations, easily cracked by Republican counter-arguments. In a 2017 poll, opposition to “Medicare for all” leapt from 40 percent to 60 percent when respondents were told that the plan would require Americans to pay more in taxes. This proved too much to conquer even for Vermont: The state abandoned a “Medicare for all” initiative when it was found to require increases in state payroll and income taxes.

    The Green New Deal and “Medicare for all” may end up being more successful than “abolish ICE”— the country is moving to the left on economics — but their support is meaningless until they can be translated from abstract concepts to concrete, feasible policy proposals. Otherwise, they will add to the pile of aborted memes that cost Democrats support in winnable districts.
    more at the link

     
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  2. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    Naw. Not unless the candidate doesn’t gets support from a wide net like Obama did. Biden might get some progressive purist backlash that could hurt the party but even then, after the nomination is secured, most progressives will almost all support him.

    Who can do damage though is actually the media. If they try to project stupid infighting before it even happens to build palace intrigue it could suppress a lot of voters, and create a good deal of whataboutism.

    Hopefully with Warren coming out of the gate early it gives a horse for the progressives to back so Bernie doesn’t feel he needs to run. If he puts his support behind her or another couple candidates, I think it would really help the party unite. There’s just something about that guys diehard supporters that create a good deal of nonsense.

    Also - nobody is running on “abolish ice”. Not sure how many times it was mentioned in this article but it was a lot. The moment those words came out of progressive knee jerk Dems, they sealed their political fates for ads to be generated for years. That’s why no serious Dem uttered those words. Reform yes... abolish no.
     
  3. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    Trump Is Poised to Hurt Republicans’ Chances in 2020.
     
  4. jcf

    jcf Member
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    The article states that AOC, KG and Warren all uttered the words (which got sign-ons from") "abolish ICE." Is the article inaccurate or did those individuals simply change their message when they saw how it was received?
     
  5. jcf

    jcf Member
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    I checked there are videos all over the internet where at least AOC was calling to abolish ICE. Here is a NY Times article re: same:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/04/opinion/sunday/abolish-ice-ocasio-cortez-democrats.html

    In June, when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Latina organizer, unseated Joe Crowley, one of the most powerful Democratic incumbents in the country, many analysts were shocked. But maybe they shouldn’t have been.

    Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s victory came after she criticized Mr. Crowley regularly on the campaign trail for voting to establish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in 2002. She called for the agency to be abolished. And as she zeroed in on the brutality of immigration enforcement, she became a leader in the movement to abolish ICE, going so far as to spend the last few days of her campaign at the border bearing witness to the viciousness of America’s immigration system.

    (more at link)

    I haven't googled the others. But there is a fair amount of revisionistic history here unless you are saying these folks are "progressive knee jerk Dems"
     
  6. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    I missed the part where AOC is running for President.

    If Warren uttered those words and becomes the nominee she will regret it because it will be on a loop for 6 months.

    Abolishing ICE just isn’t where the electorate is at in this day and age. Someone running for President has to know that or they shouldn’t be running or won’t last long.
     
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  7. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

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    Maybe, maybe no.
     
  8. jcf

    jcf Member
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    I kept looking it up, and all of them said it including Warren. But, truthfully, it could be a matter of semantics. There were a LOT of people saying abolish ICE, but they were also saying replace it with something better. So, there are a lot of potential Presidential candidates who said "abolish ICE" but they weren't saying "let there be a vacuum" and let's have no law enforcement. They were saying start from scratch because they viewed ICE as institutionally flawed.

    Problem is if it takes more than a sentence, it doesn't have the same force as "they said abolish ICE."
     
  9. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    lol concern trolling by the right wingers at the National.Review.

    Let me respond in kind . The Repubs are hurting their chances by not having candidates who eschew racism, who do not support redistribution of wealth from the 1%, are not pushing Medicare for All and who don't demand an end to stupid wars that only benefit the military industrial complex.
     
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  10. Pole

    Pole Houston Rockets--Tilman Fertitta's latest mess.

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    I could never vote to abolish ICE.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    Every Democrat agrees for the most part that ICE is being abused by an executive branch that uses it for political stunts. Of course someone like Warren and co will say what nearly every objective Democrat will say which is a nuanced answer about the change they would oversee if they had control of this agency.

    There’s a big difference between that and just saying “abolish ICE” which is what is portrayed on the right about Democrats. Maybe AOC is not experienced enough to give a nuanced and smart answer instead of a poster board rally cry.

    If any Dem nominee runs on abolishing ICE in this poster board Trumpy type of way like I said before, they won’t be a serious candidate. Warren is too smart to do something that stupid. Apparently you can only run on something that niave and ignorant if you are running as a Republican. (We are going to build a wall ... and whose gonna pay for it??)
     
  12. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum It. Deserves. Its. Own. Thread.
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    Warren didn't utter the word "abolish"

     
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  13. jcf

    jcf Member
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    Really if you google any of these potential candidates and "abolish ICE", you will find they said it, and CNN and many non-Fox outlets lauded the non-nuanced view. If you read deeper into the quote, then you see that they were actually saying abolish ICE and replace it with something else without the institutional flaws.

    But, I don't think one can say that only AOC said it. Many said it when it seemed like a popular take. What they really meant may be more nuanced but that won't stop the political blowback for the soundbite.
     
  14. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    I agree with the sound bite blowback which is kind of my point. That bite will be played on a loop for 6 months before the election. FoxNews and right talk radio have signaled loudly that immigration (racism and fear of the other) is the hill they are going to die on the next 10 years when they freaked out when Trump wasn’t going to blow up the government over wall funding in a spending bill.

    There’s certainly a difference in the Nuanced view and the AOC view which at least CNN and MSNBC will cover fully depending on who is on the talking head panel, and let’s face it.... if you’re watching FoxNews you were never voting for Elizabeth Warren to begin with. They will say whatever they want anyways.

    So yeah if Warren just bluntly said it in a way it can be weaponized she’s kinda screwed as a candidate at least with Midwest voters who have a very ignorant view of what the border is really like and what the real challenges & solutions are with immigration.

    I like Warren on the issues even the freedom Caucasus said years ago she’s right about (banking and finance, consumer protection). She’s going to make that her central message and she’s going to do well in the primaries with her controlling her message to her strong points. She’s good there. Where she has a weakness that will haunt her is her controlling what other people talk about with her when she’s not able to control the message (her heritage, etc). If she wants to win she’s got to find a way to plant those viral nuggets better to get water cooler talk better aligned to things that present her as a character those ignorant folks want to hang out with. That’s kind of how voters vote in the end... how your personality fits their perceived culture.

    -GWB got elected because he’s someone you’d like to have a beer with
    -Trump got elected because he’s the type of guy internet trolls inspire to be and represents the old person on Facebook who retweet’s right wing memes every 30 seconds
    -Clinton got elected because he smooth taking good ole Arkansas boy.
     
    #14 dobro1229, Jan 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
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