Sad But True: Democrats Have Their Own Tea Party Problem

Democrats have their own extreme side, and I have encountered it quite a bit in the last year. The major difference with the Tea Party, though, is the Extreme Left (as I will call them) does not generally reach out and try to convert people; they throw out a few “insults” and run off. This is costing Democrats in a significant way.

One of the first observations one can typically make of Republicans, in a non-Trump year, is they will hold their noses and vote Republican no matter what. I can remember holding mine to vote Romney. And I do know people who voted Trump, despite feeling physically ill. The Extreme Left will write someone in, vote third party, or stay home. They demand a level of ideological purity that really cannot exist.

I am not referring to Sanders’ supporters, or at least not the majority of them. Rather, I’m referring to a fringe group who considered Clinton so far to the right, “She was just a Republican.” Even though she definitely was not.


They would rather burn the DNC to the ground than settle for her in any way, even if Bernie himself endorsed her, because fuck compromise, amirite?

To see just how far the Democratic Party has moved to the left, compare Barack Obama with Bill Clinton. In 1992, Mr. Clinton ran as a centrist New Democrat. In several respects he governed as one as well. He endorsed a sentencing policy of “three strikes and you’re out,” and he proposed adding 100,000 police officers to the streets.

In contrast, President Obama’s former attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., criticized what he called “widespread incarceration” and championed the first decrease in the federal prison population in more than three decades. Mr. Obama, meanwhile, has chosen to focus on police abuses.

One of the crowning legislative achievements under Mr. Clinton was welfare reform. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, loosened welfare-to-work requirements. Mr. Obama is more liberal than Mr. Clinton was on gay rights, religious liberties, abortion rights, drug legalization and climate change. He has focused far more attention on income inequality than did Mr. Clinton, who stressed opportunity and mobility. While Mr. Clinton ended one entitlement program, Mr. Obama is the first president to essentially nationalize health care.

Mr. Clinton lowered the capital-gains tax rate; Mr. Obama has proposed raising it. Mr. Clinton cut spending and produced a surplus. Under Mr. Obama, spending and the deficit reached record levels. In foreign policy, Mr. Obama has shown himself to be far more critical of traditional allies and more supine toward our adversaries than Mr. Clinton was.

Another bellwether: Hillary Rodham Clinton, is decidedly more liberal than she and her husband once were on illegal immigration, gay marriage and incarceration. She has called to “end the era of mass incarceration” and spoken about the importance of “toppling” the wealthiest 1 percent. (NYT)

The Extreme Left hurts its own cause with attitudes like, “It’s not my job to educate you” but then dismissing everyone who does not align completely with them as neoliberals, which I think is supposed to be an insult sort like how smug libertarians toss around the term “statists.”

They do not want to be exposed to opposing views or challenged by other thinkers, and this creates an echo chamber. They take politically correct to an extreme that repels instead of moderates. And I believe that is the core of their movement or issue truly. They take their views to such extremes, they alienate people rather than gently coerce them.

If they cannot get moderate liberals on their side, how in the world will they ever convince more traditional Republicans? To me at least, it is just as much an internal battle as an external one. They are losing both. So when we are faced with “You’re just a bunch of neoliberals; I’m outta here!” What do we do? Can we do anything? Perhaps nothing can be done in that instance, but overall, how can we as a party reach out and work with the group that we have the majority of views in common with? (I’m asking, because I honestly do not know.)

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5 Comments

  • 13 senate democrats just voted against an amendment that would allow the US to import prescription drugs from lower cost countries. It would have passed. Some republicans were on board. According to Open Secrets 12 of 13 have taken hundred of thousands of dollars from big pharma in campaign donations. the 1 had no data posted.

    The “Tea Party Left” is a reaction to politicians that sell out their base over and over again. I apologize for the smug jerks and woo peddlers on the hard left. I don’t apologize for the need for them. It is an outgrowth of not being represented.

      • The bill was to import from Canada. They have safety standards. He’s just a Faux-gressive who received $385,678 from 2010 to 2016 from the pharmaceutical industry. Maybe his heart was in the right place, or maybe that money bought access to his ear so he can parrot some industry tripe about “safety”. I’m sure he will be doing something high profile and ultimately pointless in the near future to repair his “good name”.

        I hope others remember that when he had a shot to help the average American afford medication right now, he chose to listen to his donors.

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