Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Are “Delusional” Democrats Heading for a McGovern-like Defeat in 2020?

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The Democrats are delusional, former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska says, if they think the Mueller report will prove that President Trump is guilty of a crime, or the party’s near open socialism is required to beat Trump in 2020.

The latter delusion is so strong that party’s next presidential candidate might get a beating like the one hard-left candidate George McGovern suffered at the hands of President Nixon. That’s the opinion of Chris Matthews, the MSNBC Hardball host who toiled for years under House Speaker Tip O’Neill, the old-time Boston ward heeler.

But Thomas Edsall, writing for The New York Times, says the party’s hard-left tilt is inevitable, a result of the delusion that average Americans support radical progressivism, meaning open socialism.

Conclusion? Trump wins in 2020 and gets another four years.

Radical Positions Unnecessary
Kerrey’s fellow Democrats, the Medal of Honor recipient wrote, “are suffering from two [delusions] that are harmful,” and both are evidence the national party is unhinged.

Wrote Kerrey in the Omaha World-Herald:

The first is that Americans long for a president who will ask us to pay more for the pleasure of increasing the role of the federal government in our lives. That this is a delusion can be seen in the promises made by six successful Democratic candidates in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan: three governors and three senators. Not one of them supported the Green New Deal, a tax on wealth or “Medicare for all.”

The second Democratic delusion is that Americans were robbed of the truth when Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller and Attorney General William Barr concluded that President Trump did not collude with Russia in 2016. All evidence indicates that the full report will not change the conclusion that Donald J. Trump did not collude with Vladimir Putin to secure his victory in 2016.

Congress should forget about proving collusion and instead figure out how the Justice Department “got this one so wrong.”

Kerrey focused mostly on the Democrats’ collusion delusion, but his observation about the party’s increasing radicalism raises a question that Matthews has asked: Is the party headed for a disaster akin to 1972, when Nixon crushed McGovern with 60 percent of the popular vote and won 49 states, 520 electoral votes to 17?:

What if the Democrats nominated a candidate who supports the key progressive issues of today, getting rid of the Electoral College, increasing the size of the U.S. Supreme Court, creating a government-run, national health system, paying a significant chunk of college tuition, liberalizing abortion laws, especially late in term and presenting immigration policies that would allow interpretation as open borders, including socialists, by the way, in the Democratic coalition?”

Matthews doesn’t see a candidate who is “resisting the move to the left,” which won’t play in swing states or even some turning blue, such as Virginia and North Carolina. Matthews remembered the year his party went down in flames:

I have a strong memory of how this pattern of Democratic Party behavior worked out the last time the party went hard to the left. ... The convention was giddy with excitement even if not that well organized. I was there watching the Massachusetts delegation actually dancing in a circle. They were so happy. The Democrats lost 49 states that year to Richard Nixon who not only carried the Electoral College, losing only Massachusetts and D.C. but 60 percent of the popular vote.

The Problem? It’s a Party of the Fringes
Which raises the obvious question: Why has the party moved so far to the left?

Citing the same policies and positions as Matthews, Edsall asked why the candidates are “willing to buck political tradition and heighten the risk of defeat on Nov. 3, 2020?”

They have to, he explained with the analysis of Julie Wronski, a political scientist at the University of Mississippi. “Democrats contain much more heterogeneity across social groups than the more homogeneous white, Christian conservative Republican Party,” she says. “To the extent the Democratic Party needs to entice and accommodate African-Americans, Latinos, environmentalists, etc. as voters, their candidates need to start embracing boutique policies for these groups that may not align with a general election ‘median voter’ model of espousing moderate national policies.”

Edsall explained the party’s numbers problem using reparations and immigration enforcement.

Whites, the polls show, overwhelmingly oppose reparations for slavery, while blacks support it. Polls also show “sharp partisan divisions on the issue of reparations. Democrats supported reparations across the board: whites 37.8 to 30.5 percent; blacks 58.5 to 15.0 percent; Hispanics, 49.9 to 18.3 percent. Independents were opposed, 41.0 to 22.8 percent. Republicans were decisively in opposition, 77.1 to 8.9 percent.”

But Democrats run into a problem when the question is put to all voters. “Opposition to reparations was nearly twice as large as support, 47.1 to 26.4 percent,” he wrote.

Why support reparations? “For the Democrats running for president, African-American backing is crucial both in the primaries and in the general election.”

Another Democratic proposal, Edsall wrote, is abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement. But voters overwhelmingly oppose such an idea, which raises an obvious question: Why advocate a clearly unpopular idea?

Consensus: The radical Left controls the Democratic Party. The question is, what will that mean on November 3, 2020?

Image: TheaDesign via iStock / Getty Images Plus

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