Over the next six months, Democratic voters will be asked again and again whether their party’s candidates should hew to the center or move to the left.
How voters answer that question will help shape the strategic plans of the dozen or more Democrats jockeying to beat President Trump in 2020.
.. “Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” Perez said in a statement. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”
.. Does the path to victory lie in mobilizing the liberal base — by taking explicitly left-wing stands on immigration, as well as gun rights, universal health care, the minimum wage, racial justice and so on?
.. Or is the widespread hatred of Donald Trump — at least among Democrats — sufficient to turn out progressive and minority voters, which would make undecideds the constituency that must be more actively wooed?
.. “Democrats Can Run the Conor Lamb Strategy Over and Over” read the headline of an article by Jonathan Chait in New York magazine:
There are a lot of Conor Lambs out there. Very early in the election cycle, Democrats recruited candidates with nontraditional backgrounds, especially in the military, who would appeal to voters in red districts.
.. No way, Bob Mosher argued in a Rolling Stone essay, “Why Democrats Should Worry About Conor Lamb’s Victory.”
“The real message of Lamb’s campaign basically boiled down to this: ‘Look at what a fine young normal white fellow I am!’ ” Mosher wrote. The “clamor for centrism,” according to Mosher, risks
deflating the Resistance, turning off nonwhite voters, and dampening the turnout that Democrats should be able to expect in November, given the level of Trump animus across the country.
.. The evidence suggests that the balance of power among these voters is shifting to the left.
.. In 1976, conservative Democrats were a significant force within the party, making up 27 percent of its supporters. By 1992, their share fell to 24 percent, still a factor to be reckoned with, providing a crucial source of support to Bill Clinton.
“For all of you who think that the Democrats have found a new way to win here by having these cookie cutter white guys run as quasi-moderate liberal conservatives, moderate Democrat conservatives, that isn’t gonna fly party-wide. The leftist radicals that run this party are not gonna let these guys get away with this ’cause they’re not gonna let their liberalism be watered down.”
.. The left is doctrinaire. The left is in your face. The left is not into deceit and compromise the way this guy’s talking about.” Well, from The Politico, the headline: “Democrats’ Civil War Flares After Lamb’s Upset Win.” Do I need to go any further? The headline alone establishes my point yesterday.
.. “Conservative Democrats argue the party needs to embrace his centrist message in other battleground races.” Liberals in the party say BS. “Conor Lamb’s triumph in Trump country is being heralded by conservative Democrats –” There’s no such thing by the way. Not really.
A conservative Democrat is not a Democrat or he’s a liar. There is no such thing as a conservative De.
.. Joe Manchin, they’re not conservative Democrats. There’s no such thing as a conservative Democrat.
In fact, you know what the role of the Never Trumpers is? What do you think the role of David Brooks and David Frum and all these other clowns, the Mona Charens, what do you think their role really is? What do they do? They go on TV and they are heralded as what? Conservatives. Intellectual conservatives. Smart conservatives, right? These are the educated, these are the non-Klan member conservatives, right? These are the mainstream think tank intellectual leading conservative.
.. And what do they do? They don’t just bash Trump. They bash other conservatives. The reason why they’re on PBS and the reason why Mona got her Washington Post Style section story after CPAC, the purpose they serve is that they go on mass media as conservatives criticizing conservative policy, criticizing other conservatives. And that gives it even more credibility than when the left does it.
Never Trumpers are not embarrassed to be conservatives except when Trump’s name enters the discussion. Then they become embarrassed to be conservatives, and then they embark on a strategy designed to keep whatever stench they think attaches to Trump off of them. It is not to advance conservatism. And that’s the problem most people have with the Never Trumpers on the conservative side. They’re not really trying to advance conservatism because Trump’s doing that, and they still disagree with it, and they’re trying to undermine it.
.. One or two of them that are pro-life and gun. That does not make you a conservative. How do they vote on Big Government? How do they vote on spending? How do they vote on all of these traditional things? How they vote on abortion?
.. I guarantee you that when the pedal meets the road, when the rubber meets the road, pedal hits the metal, these people are voting Democrat.
.. This guy is telling the Democrats, stop this radical leftist dumb stuff and let’s go sound like Trump, let’s go sound like moderates, let’s go sound like conservatives, and that’s how we win.
.. Radical, leftist, extremist socialism is going to be what defines this party, as far as they are concerned.
He ticked off what he said were his achievements — some coming just in recent days — on a laundry list of issues like North Korea, trade and the economy
.. He spoke admiringly of foreign laws imposing the death penalty on drug dealers, and seemed to brush aside the notion of due process as he spoke of American officers grabbing gang members “by the neck” and throwing them in the paddy wagon.
.. He pummeled his favorite targets: Democrats and the “fake” news media. And, always the showman, he dropped a bit of news, revealing the slogan for his 2020 re-election campaign:
Keep America Great. With an exclamation mark, he said.
.. While he will argue that he has done much to restore the country to greatness, he will have to make a case that there is enough left undone that he should be given another term to finish the job.
.. He said he would welcome a battle against another television celebrity who has been a fantasy candidate for Democrats: Oprah Winfrey. But if she runs, he warned a bit ominously, “I know her weakness.”
“Wouldn’t we love to run against Oprah?” he asked. “I would love it. I would love it. That would be a painful experience for her.”.. dismissing Mr. Lamb as “Lamb the Sham.”.. He embellished his derisive “Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd” nickname for the “Meet the Press” host by calling him a “sleeping son of a bitch.” He said “Pocahontas” — his name for Senator Elizabeth Warren