Moderate Democrats are not staying idle while Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) declares that progressives have taken control of the party. The moderates are pushing back and are in deep disagreement with Warren’s premise that progressives make up the “heart and soul” of the Democratic Party.
Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), who is leading the “Fight Back California” super PAC, said, “We can’t win the House back with progressives running in swing states.” The super PAC is focused on winning back seven House seats in the Golden State.
Warren delivered her premise about Progressives in a speech at the liberal Netroots Nation Conference last weekend. She said that progressives were in “control” of the party. Those who disagree with her are typically in the center of the party, and many were strong supporters of both Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton.
The divide between Moderates and Progressives was at the core of their disappointing loss in the 2016 presidential election. Even while the Republican Party is embroiled in controversy with President Trump, the Democratic Party can’t seem to identify who they really are.
“I’m wary of pendulum politics,” one former senior administration official to Obama said. “We can’t whiplash the country.”
Tauscher called it “a tired, old debate.” And then she added, “And it’s certainly not going to help us win. Our party should be looking to expand the tent. If we divide ourselves, we’re doing our opponents’ jobs for them.”
Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist who served then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), said, “I don’t think we as a party can be casting too many people aside. We need to figure out how to grow and bring everybody together. I realize that’s happy talk, but that’s the reality. When you start talking about purity tests, that’s a little problematic.”
When Elizabeth Warren made her remarks at the conference in Atlanta last weekend, they were immediately followed by a headline in The New York Times that said she was aiming for moderates. The article said, “Ms. Warren sent an unambiguous message that she believes the Clinton effort to push Democrats toward the political center should be relegated to history.”
When Warren’s office was asked for a comment, her spokesperson pointed them to a later part of the same speech where the senator spoke of party unity.
“If we’re going to be the people who lead the Democratic Party back from the wilderness and lead our country out of this dark time, then we can’t waste energy arguing about whose issue matters most or who in our alliance should be voted off the island,” Warren said at the conference. “We need to see each other’s fights as our own. And I believe we can.”
Another Democratic strategist, Brad Bannon, said that Warren is right about who is at the epicenter of the party. “They are the dominant voice in the party,” Bannon said. He also said that Warren would inherit the Bernie Sanders vote if she chooses to run for the presidency in 2020.
“And I think a candidate who is willing to speak their mind and talks like Warren does has a better chance than a centrist who is calculating about everything he or she says. I don’t think the electorate wants someone calculating. … They had cool and calculated with Hillary Clinton,” Bannon added.
Do you think that Elizabeth Warren is right about the Democratic Party? Do you think she can win the nomination in 2020?
Credit: The Hill