Calling out bad Democrats and illiberal liberals is fine. Confusing imperfect allies with actual enemies is just mystifying and inexcusable.
Such has been and continues to be the case with some on the left.
Despite the stranglehold that Republicans have at every level of government, some on the left are doubling-down on the inexplicable idea that the way to reform the Democratic Party is not by joining it in order to move it to the left from the inside, but instead to remain outside of it and demanding purity and fealty first before they will grace the Party with their ideas, their efforts, and their votes.
That makes absolutely no sense to me.
For the record, I’m a life-long liberal. Until 2015, I was registered Non-Partisan. I registered as a Democrat that year solely for the purpose of voting for Sanders in the closed PA Democratic primary.
Let me be clear. I believe it’s fine – and necessary – to call out “bad” Democrats. I’ve been doing it for most of my life. There’s plenty of recent evidence in this blog site. Just search for words like ‘liberal’ and ‘Democrats’. You’ll see.
But to my fellow lefties who can’t seem to hate Democrats enough, let me say that for you to go on demanding from the outside that the Democratic Party change to your liking while also criticizing the idea that liberals and progressives should join the Party in order to actually change it from within is not only illogical, it puts you into a category of people who can’t seem to tell the difference between an imperfect friend and an actual enemy.
Democrats are not the enemy. No, they are not perfect. No one is, but they are the only major Party that represents progressive and liberal ideas and policies. No, not enough and not strongly enough for some, including me, but they do represent them.
When it comes to discerning friend from foe, don’t take my word or the word of someone on Facebook. Look up your favorite antagonist at GovTrack.us to see what bills they sponsor and support, how they vote, and where they are on the ideological spectrum.
Here’s the chart for recent Angry Buster target, Cory Booker.
That grey dot on the extreme left is you-know-who. That’s right, no one is left of Sanders.
That doesn’t make everyone else in blue an enemy.
So, I ask anyone who thinks they can change the Democratic Party from the outside these questions.
What if all the “calling out” actually did force out present-day bad Democrats, what then? Let’s say you get your wish. Who replaces them if not members of the Party?
And, seriously, do you expect all the rank-and-file members and all the leaders to simply throw up their hands, fall to their knees, and exclaim, “Hallelujah, you are right! We are evil and wrong and bad. We abdicate! The Party is yours! Thank you for saving us!”
It just makes no logical sense to go on believing that somehow the Democratic Party will change if only enough people outside of the Party screech long enough and loud enough about how terrible the Democrats are.
I’ll add this. It requires an ego that rivals Trump’s to think that all that screeching will eventually convince enough people to also join up in throwing away their votes in battleground states because that “sends a message” to Democrats to be more like them, or else.
I have bad news for those folks.
No political party cares what 1% of the total electorate thinks.
The Democrats aren’t trying to figure out how to win 100% of the 1% who voted for Stein. They’re trying to figure out how to win more of the overall electorate in districts and states where it matters.
So, here’s my advice to the Greens, liberals, and angry Busters who hate Democrats and the Democratic Party:
If you want the Democratic Party to change, become part of it; otherwise, you’re leaving the Party to those who are part of it, and they’re going to go on without you and your ideas.