•   
  •   
  •   

Politics Democratic Party waging a war over its future just as Joe Biden takes helm

20:50  15 november  2020
20:50  15 november  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

‘Here we go guys!’ Joe Biden supporters await news at Wilmington tailgate gathering

  ‘Here we go guys!’ Joe Biden supporters await news at Wilmington tailgate gathering With Joe Biden on the cusp of a presidential victory Friday, his supporters gathered in his hometown of Wilmington with signs and American flags.The excitement was palpable outside the secure zone of the Chase Center, where Biden is expected to speak later in the day.

Read Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden 's speech to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, as prepared for delivery For make no mistake. United we can, and will, overcome this season of darkness in America. We will choose hope over fear, facts over fiction, fairness over

Joe Biden has an issue that hasn’t played out yet in this election: his role in the launch of the Iraq war . The Iraq war has been a prominent, even decisive issue, in some recent US presidential elections. It played a significant role in the surprise presidential primary victory won by a freshman senator from

WASHINGTON – Several elections across the country still hadn’t been decided when the blame game started.  

House Democrats were stunned by their losses after weeks of forecasting had predicted a big win on Election Day. Whispers of leadership change swirled, and House lawmakers soon moved from privately bashing one another to a public airing of grievances on social media and in the media.

It's not a new fight, the battle waged between progressives and moderates over the vision of the Democratic Party. But this time around, moderates are emboldened. After spending the past few years working in the background as progressives became a leading voice in the party, moderates came out swinging after  Election Day losses. 

Kayleigh McEnany calls celebrations for Joe Biden 'superspreader events'

  Kayleigh McEnany calls celebrations for Joe Biden 'superspreader events' White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany called celebrations that occurred for President-elect Joe Biden "superspreader events"Shortly after major news networks projected that Biden would win, backers of the Democrat took the streets around the United States in celebration, honking horns, popping champagne, and gathering at landmarks, including the White House.

Supporters of Joe Biden hold banners near the White House on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on The Democratic establishment vs. progressives turf war is alive and well. The disagreements have largely taken place on the sidelines due to the pandemic, but they offer a

JUST WATCHED. Biden 's announcement of a coronavirus task force is an acknowledgment of record new infection numbers in recent days that mean that the Many GOP leaders have declined to congratulate Biden , or even acknowledge his victory, showing Trump's still huge sway over their party .

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Moderates, who helped Democrats take the House in 2018 and saw their colleagues ousted in key districts this year, not only demanded changes within the party apparatus but loudly issued warnings that Democrats will lose power in the 2022 midterm elections should they not make changes. Progressives fiercely dismiss that notion.  

"For any organization, any team have been successful, you have to have unity," said Rep. Cindy Axne, the only Democrat to win a federal race in Iowa so far this year. (One race is yet to be called). "The No. 1 thing is you all have to be focused on the mission, and the way that you're going to go about getting there is having the same strategy to get there. When you don't have that, unity is gone and it makes it a lot more difficult. So I do have concerns." 

Biden and Harris to discuss economic plans during joint appearance in Wilmington on Monday

  Biden and Harris to discuss economic plans during joint appearance in Wilmington on Monday The Democratic duo will speak "on the economic recovery and building back better." The scale of their plans will hinge on control of the Senate.The duo will speak "on the economic recovery and building back better in the long-term," in their first speech addressing the country’s economic situation since their victory in the presidential election.

Party leaders have also taken to kneecapping up-and-coming progressives. Earlier this year, the DCCC—the When the party machine prioritizes incumbents and moderates over its principles, voters become And despite that model’s defeat in key 2016 states, its adherents, like Joe Biden

Joe Biden is set to choose a woman running mate. In the mix are Kamala Harris, Val Demings, Karen Bass, Elizabeth Warren, Susan Rice and others. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren vied with Biden in the Democratic primaries and have developed constituencies of their own within the party .

Nancy Pelosi wearing a neck tie: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a weekly news conference, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) © Jacquelyn Martin, AP House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a weekly news conference, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The bickering over incremental progress versus bold changes has taken new form. Democrats find themselves not only quarreling about the disappointing results of the election, but they already are butting heads on the path forward, leaving in the crossfire both the legislative agenda in the Biden administration and changes needed to make Democratic gains in the next election.

USA TODAY interviewed key Democratic lawmakers from different factions of the party about the path forward, what needs to change to win areas President Donald Trump turned red and the legislation that could muster support from both sides of the aisle.  

Sen. Lindsey Graham faces ethics complaint over call to top election official in Georgia about ballots

  Sen. Lindsey Graham faces ethics complaint over call to top election official in Georgia about ballots Sen. Lindsey Graham was the target of an ethics complaint after his phone call with an election official in Georgia over how the state counts ballots. Your browser does not support this video Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger accused Graham earlier this week of pressuring him to find ways to exclude or invalidate legally cast absentee ballots and reverse Trump’s loss in the state, an accusation the South Carolina Republican called "ridiculous." Graham said he had also spoken with Arizona's Republican Gov.

Joe Biden ’s record on integration and mass incarceration is worse than any other Democratic candidate’s. Whether Biden can retain that support, after voters learn more about his problematic past, could very well determine the outcome of the party ’s primary race.

Joe Biden formally accepted the nomination of his party Thursday night, arguing that America will choose hope over fear, facts over fiction and fairness over privilege as he cast President Donald Trump as a failed leader who has shirked responsibility while stoking hate and division.

Moderates emboldened in fight against progressive policies

Intraparty disputes have become almost routine, often sprung from two important developments for Democrats in the past five years: Sen. Bernie Sanders' popular presidential runs, that inspired a new generation of progressive activists, and the arrival of new progressives, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., after the 2018 midterms. 

Moderates, many from swing districts or states, often focus on local issues that don't always draw the spotlight and boast of working across the aisle to enact more incremental changes in larger policy. Progressives, on the other hand, have advocated more sweeping change, calling for Democrats to be bold on urgent issues affecting their constituents, such as climate change, access to health care and criminal justice reform.

But unlike past fights over the direction of the party, the next year marks a new moment for Democrats as they take control of the White House, forcing Biden to navigate through deeply rooted beliefs in both branches of the party. 

'That's his first love': Biden has more foreign policy experience than his 4 predecessors

  'That's his first love': Biden has more foreign policy experience than his 4 predecessors The president-elect already knows many of the players on the world stage – from Vladimir Putin to Angela Merkel to Benjamin Netanyahu.“I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy,” Bush told reporters at a joint news conference, in what turned out to be an embarrassing misconception. “I was able to get a sense of his soul.

'IT WAS A FAILURE': Furious House Democrats unload as leadership promises answers after election losses

Moderate Democrats who have seen their colleagues ousted by Republicans were quick to point fingers. They argued that Republican attacks linking members to socialism and the "defund the police" movement were a death knell, and they blamed some progressive members for loudly backing those ideas. 

Just days after the election, House Democrats huddled on a phone call that featured yelling and tears. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a moderate Democrat from Virginia who eked out a victory, told the rest of her conference that Democrats needed to learn a lesson from the losses or "we will be f---ing torn apart in 2022." 

In the days that followed, the argument moved to the pages of The New York Times, where Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democratic socialist, argued that poor outreach and digital campaigning sunk moderates in swing districts. In turn, Rep. Conor Lamb, a Pennsylvania moderate who fended off a Republican challenger, responded that unpopular progressive messaging, such as defunding the police and talk of socialism, lost Democrats seats and could lose the House majority in the future.  

Judge dismisses last election-related case pending in Arizona

  Judge dismisses last election-related case pending in Arizona A Maricopa County Superior Court judge tossed out a lawsuit on Friday, dismissing the last election-related case pending in Arizona. Your browser does not support this video © Getty Images Legal claim against Tucson police settled. Judge Margaret Mahoney did not elaborate on her reasoning for throwing out the case at the end of the hearing but said she would issue an order in writing. Whatever Mahoney decided, the case — involving only two ballots — would not have changed the outcome of the election.Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

MORE ON DEM LOSSES: House Democrats didn't see 'blue wave' to expand majority. Here's what we know.

Progressives have bristled at the blame laid at their feet.  

“We have to be very, very careful in pointing those fingers, and we need to just look at the data as it comes in,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Washington Democrat who co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus.  

Many of the accusations hurled at progressives were not supported by evidence, she argued, pointing out that incumbent Democrats who ran in swing districts and supported "Medicare for All" ended up winning their reelection bids. 

Moderates have similarly taken issue with assessments by progressives over the losses, notably after Ocasio-Cortez said some swing-district Democrats were "sitting ducks" because of poor voter outreach and digital campaigning.

They argued that progressives in very liberal districts are out of touch with voters in their areas who don't support many progressive policies but rather want a Washington that works together to enact change.  

“Obviously, we all need to sit down and have a big family meeting to get a better understanding of what these districts are like," said Axne, D-Iowa. "A lot of people make assumptions about who can win where when they have absolutely no clue what it's like here on the ground.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, one of the few remaining red-state Democrats who has been a vocal opponent of many progressive policies, said the fighting was a “shame” because “there's enough room to have every good idea put on the table.”  

Election 2020 live updates: Trump legal team distances itself from lawyer Sidney Powell, Biden taps Blinken as secretary of state

  Election 2020 live updates: Trump legal team distances itself from lawyer Sidney Powell, Biden taps Blinken as secretary of state Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis distanced themselves from Trump team lawyer Sidney Powell. Joe Biden will tap Antony Blinken as secretary of state.Be sure to refresh this page often to get the latest information on the election and the transition.

But, he said, proposals such as defunding the police are “so far out of the mainstream” – policies he and other Democrats could never support. “That’s when I said ‘Defund my butt!’,” a reference to a tweet that drew the ire of Ocasio-Cortez.

What Democrats across both spectrums say needs to change

Manchin echoed his fellow Democrats, saying the election displayed clear issues the party needs to address.  

“When you have someone with the flaws that President Trump had, after four years of us seeing those flaws, and they walk into the voting booth and they say, ‘Well, that's better than the other side, so I'll go for him anyway,’ something's wrong," Manchin said. "It should not have been a close election in any way, shape or form.” 

At the top of his list for change was Democrats making a stronger case on the economy.  

“When you don't have a message on the economy, (voters) believe that that (Democratic) brand basically is more concerned and interested in people that don't work or won't work, more so than the people that do work and will work," he said. "There's a problem.”  

More: A record number of Republican women will serve in the House after the GOP ate into Democratic majority

More: Joe Biden and Mitch McConnell are friends who have brokered deals in the Senate: Can they still work together?

Across the board, moderates stressed that the best path forward was helping Biden get a legislative agenda through Congress and compromising with Republicans. Many stressed the need for progressives to tone down their rhetoric and for swing-district Democrats to better connect with voters back home in hopes that GOP attacks aiming to tie them to far-left policy wouldn’t stick. 

Congresswoman-elect Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia, one of the only Democrats to flip a district this year, said Republican attacks tying her to Medicare for All and defunding the police did not work because she was “clear on where my feet are planted.” She doesn't support either and stressed the need for Democrats to take a district-by-district approach. 

Fact check: Joe Biden didn't have a birthday party without masks. The video is from 2019.

  Fact check: Joe Biden didn't have a birthday party without masks. The video is from 2019. A video purporting to show Joe Biden and others celebrating his birthday while not wearing masks is actually from 2019.To mark the occasion, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tweeted a video of herself next to Biden, leading a crowd in a chorus of "Happy Birthday.

Axne credited her win in Iowa to the connections she built in her district. She stressed that Democrats needed to examine voting trends among rural residents and examine why Democrats lost so many over the years. 

“We continue to ignore them. I didn't ignore them. And that's why I'm sitting here, because their voices are valuable. They deserve to be heard and they're important for this country's success,” Axne said.  

STIMULUS BEFORE BIDEN TAKES OFFICE?: Coronavirus stimulus negotiations in a 'lame duck' session likely to face more deadlock

a person standing in front of a building: New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez quickly emerged as one of the leading progressive voices in the Democratic Party. © Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez quickly emerged as one of the leading progressive voices in the Democratic Party.

Progressives have offered their own remedies. Ocasio-Cortez  argued in The Times that Democrats as a whole need to “understand that we are not the enemy. And that their base is not the enemy.”

She stressed the need for different factions of the party to work together and “use the assets from everyone at the party.” Specifically, Ocasio-Cortez highlighted the need for Democrats to invest more online in digital advertising and outreach.  

“These folks are pointing toward Republican messaging that they feel killed them, right? But why were you so vulnerable to that attack?” Ocasio-Cortez said in The Times. “If you’re not door-knocking, if you’re not on the internet, if your main points of reliance are TV and mail, then you’re not running a campaign on all cylinders. I just don’t see how anyone could be making ideological claims when they didn’t run a full-fledged campaign.” 

Progressives such as Jayapal and Rep. Mark Pocan, both of whom co-chair the progressive caucus, were more subdued about immediate changes in Democrats’ approach. Both said a deep dive into voter data would display more about what went wrong this cycle and what changes were needed, something the House Democrats' campaign arm has already promised it would do. 

But both agreed Trump is an outlier in politics that likely had a greater impact than polling could predict and his removal from the White House could change things significantly in the next cycle.  

“I do think – we all do – that the anomaly really is that Donald Trump has been historically odd to the political system,” Pocan said.  

Jayapal added that far-left ideas and organizing boosted voter turnout in critical swing states and in cities like Detroit, Philadelphia and Atlanta that led to Biden's win. 

Democrats’ losses this cycle were “tough,” she said, but she noted Republicans and Trump had been “working every day since he came into office to organize on the ground, to invest in real infrastructure, different kinds of media that reach people.” Democrats did not necessarily anticipate the kind of turnout Trump would drive, nor did they organize as consistently over the course of the year because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

How will Biden weather a fractured party? 

Biden ran as a moderate, someone known for making deals across the aisle. But since he left the Senate at the beginning of 2009, a lot has changed. Partisanship is deep-rooted, even in the Senate, which has historically been known for its members' ability to strike a deal. The number of red-state Democrats has dwindled. Only three Democratic senators represent states won by Trump in 2020.  

And while leaders on both sides of the aisle have said they hope to get bipartisan deals across the finish line, Biden could be the first president in more than 30 years to take office without control over both chambers of Congress. Democrats still have a chance to take control of Congress if they win both Senate seats in Georgia in a January runoff, though it will be a tough feat in a state turning purple with a history of backing Republicans. 

More: Joe Biden will walk into the Oval Office facing a litany of weighty issues. Here's what they are.

More: A fiercely contested presidential election reinforced the nation's divide. What's next?

"I think the country spoke pretty loudly in this last election that they want us to work together,” said Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who co-chairs the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. “I believe there was a lot of ticket-splitting and a lot of voters who said we want to turn the page on the White House, but we want a check (on a purely Democratic agenda.)” 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi downplayed concerns that her smaller majority in the House and the likelihood of the Senate remaining in Republican hands would mean a less aggressive legislative agenda.

“We still have the power of the majority, but on top of that, our leverage and our power is greatly enhanced by having a Democratic president in the White House,” Pelosi said Friday at a news conference.  

There could be room for compromise.  

Nearly every lawmaker who spoke to USA TODAY identified a coronavirus stimulus package and infrastructure as key areas where Democrats could work with Republicans. Biden’s platform called for a $2 trillion investment in infrastructure and clean energy during his first term. 

More: For Biden, unwinding the Trump presidency could be a full-time job fraught with politics

More: Now, a fast start: Joe Biden's historic victory will be followed by big problems and hard choices

Besides Senate Republicans possibly standing in the way, Biden will have to navigate the demands of progressives, some known to reject proposals backed by party leadership over concerns they did not go far enough. The Progressive Caucus, which counted close to 100 members in the last Congress, will expand its numbers in the next Congress and could flex its muscle as one of the largest voting blocs in House. 

Moderates expressed anxiety that the far-left flank of the party could make it difficult for them to get things done.  

“I am somebody who believes progress is better than purity,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla. "This whole idea that somehow focusing on what can be done is not bold is incorrect. In my opinion, bold is getting things done."

Progressives say their goals have not changed and didn’t deny there could be members who vote against legislation if it didn’t go far enough.  

“Are we always going to try to move things to be bigger and bolder? Likely,” Pocan said, arguing not many bills were likely to move through Congress because of expected Republican control of the Senate. Instead, Pocan said, most changes would occur by executive action. Other progressives were confident they would be able to move forward on legislative priorities.  

Congressman-elect Mondaire Jones said progressives could be patient, calling progressivism " long-suffering work."  

But another progressive freshman from New York, Congressman-elect Jamaal Bowman, said progressive priorities like COVID-19 relief, Medicare for All, public housing investment and the Green New Deal were “demands of the American people” that Biden needs to respond to. 

“Democrats – moderates and progressives alike – need to be ready to hold him accountable,” he said.

Biden, for his part, has struck an ambitious tone. He said Tuesday that he wanted to work with Congress “to dramatically ramp up health care protections, get America to universal coverage, and lower health care costs as soon as humanly possible.” 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Democratic Party waging a war over its future just as Joe Biden takes helm

Fact check: Joe Biden didn't have a birthday party without masks. The video is from 2019. .
A video purporting to show Joe Biden and others celebrating his birthday while not wearing masks is actually from 2019.To mark the occasion, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tweeted a video of herself next to Biden, leading a crowd in a chorus of "Happy Birthday.

usr: 1
This is interesting!