In a pointed op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on November 10, Cenk Uygur, CEO of “The Young Turks” makes the case that the Democratic Party is being led by the conventional wing of that party into election ruin and that it’s time to let the progressives take over. I believe that this is both right and wrong.
Uygur is right in that the current mainstream leadership of the Democratic Party—Schumer, Pelosi and Perez–have led the party to a disastrous place losing ground to the GOP in the House and Senate even while winning the presidency. The message to one and all should be clear. The country favors the Republicans, just not Donald Trump. In other words, the Dems were lucky they got the presidency this time—by a hair—after a major loss in 2016. They simply have got to stop nominating candidates who cannot win or who barely win when they should have romped. The Dems were sure they were going to pick up many seats in the Senate and take over the majority in the upper house. Wrong! Chances are they might get to 50-50 and hold the edge as Vice President Harris presides over the Senate to break ties, but it’s far more likely that the GOP and Mitch McConnell will continue to hold the edge in the Senate (I doubt Dems can win both runoffs in Georgia) and remain in a position to block the Biden agenda unless the President-elect is very adept at negotiating with Uncle Mitch.
Uygur insists that the solution for the Dems is leadership by the progressive wing of the party. Boy, is that wrong!
Most of America wants no part of the AOC-Bernie agenda of a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, wide-open immigration and free everything.
What the Democrats need is a young Biden, someone who really can sprint to the podium and then say the same things Joe does. I don’t think that it’s Vice President-elect Harris either. Her time may come, but now is not her moment to lead the party. The Castro brothers, Mayor Pete, Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker are more what I have in mind. We need right minded moderates who can thread the needle between extreme progressive politics and Trumpism. The eye on that needle seems pretty wide to me, but somehow the Dems cannot produce a small enough camel to slip through it.
There is a lot of running room between the Bernie Bros and Rand Paul. There is more than enough room for a moderate Democrat, strong on national defense, rational on taxes, and pro-enough on business to lead the country while nullifying the worst of Trumpism, nativism, racism and xenophobia. We can talk to the Russians without giving in to them. We can make it clear to the Chinese that Taiwan will be defended at all costs and that we will partner with our Asian allies to oppose Chinese hegemony in the Pacific. We can develop a real health care system without giving everything away by striking a balance between government-sponsored and private insurance in an environment of competitive pricing and value-based care.
There is room for a modern Democrat who is less than 70-years old. Now let’s go find him—or her while Donald is still in the sand traps in Florida or in court in New York.