If you didn’t watch last night’s CNN town hall with Kamala Harris, you missed out on a good bit of news. We could put up a series of posts on every extreme left position Harris took and how they would directly impact your freedoms.
In fact, maybe we should (Streiff, Andrea, Brandon, and everyone else write this down for later). But right now, I want to talk about one of my favorite subjects of late: How this impacts Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
I have no doubt that these two watched, or had staffers watch, the town hall with morbid curiosity, and I am even surer that the morbid curiosity turned into abject horror by the end of the night. These two, among a few other older Democrats, have been trying to do the very thing I said might give the Democrats a chance to win in 2020: Keep the Democrats from going too far left in response to Trump.
Pelosi negotiated her way to a challenge-free Speakership (is that a word?) for this term, but she did so with the promise that she would not run for the spot again. She has a very limited time left to keep her party under control, but folks like AOC and Kamala Harris are pushing the party very aggressively as far to the left as possible as quickly as possible.
Democrats have, up until now, played the long game with objectively admirable success. From H.W. Bush to Obama, they succeeded in inching along slowly, pushing the starting point for debate further and further left. Conservatives in Congress have, over time, felt safer in starting their negotiations nearer to the middle, and conservative voters have pulled their hair out in frustration over it.
The long game had worked… and then Trump happened.
Trump is an anomaly. He is still relatively unexplained. He shifted the narratives to the right, and while we argue over what is right and wrong about the way he does things, tax reform, judicial picks, and regulatory rollback have had a big impact on the Democrats’ efforts. The response from the Democratic base has been an extremely progressive pushback, and Pelosi and Schumer (along with their allies) have fought to moderate their base’s urges.
It looks like they are losing that fight now that AOC has become a mainstream figure and Harris openly embraced eliminating private insurance, Medicare for all, seizing guns, and other far-left positions that Democratic leadership has spent years saying were really not the goals.
That direct contradiction to the talking points is sure to have them worried at this point and will force them to make a tough choice. They will either continue to fight what’s happening or they can embrace it. But, while they and their allies are considering challenging AOC in primaries, they will find themselves challenged soon as well.
The best part? A far-left candidate still runs the risk of scaring the hell out of the electorate and forcing moderates to stick with Trump.