Politics Out-of-touch Democrats running scared of progressives

18:36  11 june  2021
18:36  11 june  2021 Source:   thehill.com

OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden suspends Arctic oil leases issued under Trump | Experts warn US needs to better prepare for hurricane season | Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps

  OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden suspends Arctic oil leases issued under Trump | Experts warn US needs to better prepare for hurricane season | Progressives set sights on Civilian Climate Corps IT'S TUESDAY EVEN THOUGH IT FEELS LIKE MONDAY! Welcome to Overnight Energy, your source for the day's energy and environment news.Please send tips and comments to Rachel Frazin at rfrazin@thehill.com . Follow her on Twitter: @RachelFrazin . Reach Zack Budryk at zbudryk@thehill.com or follow him on Twitter: @BudrykZack . Signup for our newsletter and others HERE. Today we're looking at the suspension of ANWR leases, preparedness for hurricane season (or lack thereof) and the Sunrise Movement's focus on the Civilian Climate Corps.

Joe Manchin wearing a suit and tie: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) © Getty Images Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)

Democratic senators, we are told, are "befuddled" by Joe Manchin. Alexander Bolton writes in The Hill that colleagues are "confused" and trying to figure out why the West Virginia senator is "bucking his party."

Seriously? Democrats don't understand why Manchin, who is up for reelection in 2024 in a state that went for President Trump by nearly 40 points, might object to the progressive takeover of his party? That he might find the progressive voting rights bill, the For the People Act (H.R. 1), unpalatable, or imagine that his voters would throw him out for undermining the Senate filibuster tradition?

Progressive groups are “fed up” with Biden’s infrastructure playbook

  Progressive groups are “fed up” with Biden’s infrastructure playbook Progressives want Biden to stop negotiating with Republicans and embrace budget reconciliation.Progressive groups, who cheered Biden passing his $1.9 trillion Covid-19 stimulus bill through Congress with only Democratic support early on, are growing increasingly frustrated over Biden’s prolonged infrastructure negotiations with Senate Republicans.

Have Democrats lost perspective, forgetting just how unpopular progressive policies such as open borders and defunding the police are to most Americans? That only 15 percent of Democrats self-identify as "very liberal" or progressive?

If so, they deserve to lose control of Congress in 2022. Here's a refresher course for Democrats who have climbed way out on the progressive limb and are busily sawing:

  • Democrats nominated Joe Biden to run for president in 2020 because he was not Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who represented the ultra-liberal wing of the party and was deemed unelectable. That view was widely held by Democratic strategists who recognized that energetic progressives are over-represented among their party's primary voters, just as ultra-conservatives are among GOP primary voters. Moderates, who determine elections, were not expected to turn out for Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist.
  • Biden successfully campaigned as a moderate, until it became clear that Bernie's supporters might not climb aboard the Biden express. At that time, the former vice president reached out to Sanders and formed a "unity platform" to attract progressive voters. The policy summary included combatting racial inequities and climate change, but in deference to moderates, declined to embrace the Green New Deal, "Medicare for All" or cancelling student debt, all prime ambitions for Sanders. Biden got to run as both a moderate and a progressive, keeping his party intact.
  • Even polling in which Biden gets high approval shows more voters self-identify as conservative than liberal; this is still a center-right country. Moreover, clear majorities disapprove of many items on the progressive agenda, like open borders and expanding the federal government. Furthermore, improving race relations and combatting climate change are not the issues of greatest concern to most Americans. Job creation, strengthening the economy and fixing our broken immigration system are more important.

Sen. Manchin has not only offended his Democratic colleagues by refusing to bust the filibuster (many of the same folks who just a few years ago vowed to uphold it when the GOP held the chamber); he is also breaking ranks by not supporting the monster 800-plus page voting rights bill that has been one of Democrats' top priorities for the past few years. The innocuous sounding For the People Act is an attack on states' rights in that it imposes federal control over each state's voting rules, and it is also an attack on free speech. The proposed legislation would bar people from privately donating money to favored causes; Democrats know that public shaming from the liberal media could cause donors to think twice about giving to groups opposing abortions or pushing for charter schools, for example.

Progressives relish return to in-person events

  Progressives relish return to in-person events Drained by a year of Zoom gatherings and virtual meetings, Democratic activists are starting to cram their calendars with in-person rallies, roundtables and other events to convince Washington leaders their priorities are popular on the ground.In other words, the grassroots are ready to get back to the grass.The strategizing is happening across the Democratic Party's ideological spectrum and is largely tethered to upcoming legislation, such as the pro-democracy reforms Congress will consider as Republicans in multiple states work to restrict access to the ballot box.

There's more. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the bill would "make the Federal Election Commission a partisan body, and legalize ballot harvesting, where paid political operatives can show up carrying stacks of other people's ballots."

In addition, the bill would allow voters to cast ballots without showing identification, a requirement that 72 percent of the country favors. This is a not a "For the People Act"; it is instead a "For the Democrats Act." The left has presented the legislation as countering recent GOP-led efforts to make voting more difficult, but the bill was crafted long before the 2020 election. In 2019, it was dubbed H.R.1, signaling its importance to the party.

In a recent Economist poll, only 42 percent of likely voters thought that voting should be made "easier" or "much easier." But 50 percent of those surveyed thought voting should be made tougher, or not changed. Public opinion does not support Democrats' takeover of voting regulations.

The NYC Mayor’s Race Is a Warning for Progressives

  The NYC Mayor’s Race Is a Warning for Progressives Polls suggest the left will lose out in the city arguably leading the socialist revival in the United States.The forces driving a likely moderate outcome in the June 22 Democratic primary are varied; many are specific to New York and to this election. But the race also contains major warning signs for progressives across the country. If the left loses out in the city arguably leading the socialist revival in the United States, it will be, at least in part, because of dramatic infighting fueled by rigid positions on sexual and social-justice politics, as well as the generalized failure to unify behind one candidate alluded to by Ocasio-Cortez.

In a recent op-ed, Manchin defended his record on protecting and furthering voting rights, which he did as secretary of state in West Virginia. In that post, Manchin claimed to have established "early voting for the first time in West Virginia in order to provide expanded options for those whose work or family schedule made it difficult for them to vote on Election Day."

Manchin decried the politicization of the debate over our election laws, saying that "partisan policymaking won't instill confidence in our democracy - it will destroy it." He called for a bipartisan effort to resolve disputes about voting rules and noted that the updated H.R. 1 has attracted no GOP support.

Manchin has been excoriated by progressive Democrats for opposing their juggernaut. But really, who put them in charge? Who is allowing the leftist fringe to control the agenda?

Generally, parties operate from the middle, not kowtowing to their most extreme fringe. But Democratic leaders fear the progressive left. The Justice Democrats, after all, have raised enormous amounts of money ($6.3 million in the 2020 cycle) and ousted long-time legislators, helping to elect progressives Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman, both in New York.

It has been rumored that AOC, who is shown by polling to be unpopular with a majority of Americans, might challenge Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in 2022. If the Senate majority leader takes that threat seriously, it would explain a good deal. Like why Schumer is allowing his leadership of the Senate, and his party, to be undermined by a fractious crowd that is pushing policies disliked by a majority of Americans.

It is Democrats' bad fortune that their standard-bearer in the Senate comes from New York, a state that is as out of touch with most Americans as AOC. And, for sure, out of touch with voters in West Virginia.

Liz Peek is a former partner of major bracket Wall Street firm Wertheim & Company. Follow her on Twitter @lizpeek.

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This is interesting!