May 3, 2019


Democrats Are Stifling Their Liberal Wing's Biggest Ideas (Perry Bacon Jr., 4/30/19, 538)

Here's a short list of the progressive wing's defeats since Democrats took control of the House in January:

The Green New Deal. Of the 235 Democratic members in the House, 91 have signed on to Ocasio-Cortez's signature resolution that calls for aggressive action to combat climate change but also includes other liberal priorities such as guaranteeing jobs for all Americans who want them. There is no indication, however, that House Democratic leaders are trying to write a version that would unify the party and be approved in a vote.

"Medicare for all." Nearly half (107) of House Democrats support the single-payer health care bill written by Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, a leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a bloc of the most liberal figures on Capitol Hill. But there is virtually no chance that Pelosi (who has not embraced the legislation) will put it up for a vote in the full House any time soon.

Primary challenges. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the House Democrats' campaign arm, confirmed last month that it would not work with any campaign consultant or firm that helped Democratic candidates mount primary challenges against the party's incumbents. Remember that influential progressives like Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Ocasio-Cortez got to Congress by first defeating Democratic incumbents. The liberal wing protested the policy, but Democratic leaders have said that it will remain in place.

A resolution condemning Ilhan Omar. Veteran House Democrats pushed for a resolution condemning Rep. Omar of Minnesota in the wake of comments she made that some in the party felt were anti-Semitic.2 Pelosi brought the resolution up for a vote, although the version that the House adopted was a broad condemnation of bigotry that addressed Islamophobia and other kinds of hate, in addition to anti-Semitism. News coverage still reflected the fact that Democrats initially came up with the resolution as a way to chastise Omar.

In all, the newly elected progressive members have made a lot of news but less legislative impact -- a fact not lost on the members themselves.

Republicans have likewise quashed Donald's extreme Right agenda except for what he can do by fiat.  the consensus that obtains for 60%+ of Americans is Republican.

Posted by at May 3, 2019 8:02 AM