The civil war in the Democrat Party continues to heat up. Embattled Speaker Nancy Pelosi is indecisive and hopelessly caught in the middle.
This rift began in 2016 when the party allowed Senator Bernie Sanders to run for the Democratic nomination. Why the DNC allowed someone who caucused with them but was not a member of the party to compete for its presidential nomination triggered the problem.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews caught then-DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz flat-footed when he challenged her as to whether Bernie Sanders, an open socialist, should speak at the DNC. She said he absolutely should speak, and including open socialists was part of a “big tent” Democrat Party. Then Matthews asked her the salient question:
Matthews: What is the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist? I used to think there was a big difference. But what do you think it is?
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Wasserman-Schultz: The difference between…
Matthews: A Democrat like Hillary Clinton and a Socialist like Bernie Sanders?
Wasserman-Schultz: There’s a more important question. What’s the difference between a Democrat and a Republican?
Matthews: What’s the big difference a Democrat and a Socialist? You’re chairman of the Democratic Party. Tell me the difference between you and a Socialist.
Wasserman-Schultz: The relevant debate that we’ll be having over the course of this campaign is “What’s the difference between a Democrat and a Republican.”
Matthews: (sighs) I think there’s a huge difference.
Now Speaker Pelosi is caught in a similar conundrum and finds herself unable to denounce socialism. Fox News reports:
Fox News had requested comment several times — including multiple phone calls to Pelosi’s office -with inquiries about whether she opposed the ideology and whether she would allow any self-described socialists elected in the Democratic caucus to hold leadership positions in the House of Representatives.
During a press conference on Friday, Pelosi acknowledged that there was a “difference of opinion” among members of her caucus as a rift between moderates and progressives appears to have expanded following the 2020 election.
This battle is now out in the open for all the world to see. It broke out between socialist darling Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and embattled Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.). Lamb won his race in PA-17 against conservative firebrand Sean Parnell. The AOC-Lamb feud was defined in dueling interviews with The New York Times. And Lamb hit the nail on the head as to why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is so out of touch with most of the country:
“I respect her and how hard she works. And what she did in an extremely low-turnout Democratic primary. But the fact is that in general elections in these districts — particularly in the ones where President Trump himself campaigns over and over and over again, and attacks members within their own Republican-leaning districts, like me and Representative Slotkin and Representative Spanberger — it’s the message that matters. It’s not a question of door knocking, or Facebook. It matters what policies you stand for, and which ones you don’t.”
Even Speaker Pelosi said that a glass of water with a ‘D’ on it could win in the districts that elected the Squad. Their big hurdle is low-turnout Democrat primaries. After taking the majority in 2018, Pelosi nearly dismissed wins in these districts as less important than wins in districts like Lamb’s:
“When we won this election, it wasn’t in districts like mine or Alexandria’s,” Pelosi said. “[S]he’s a wonderful member of Congress as I think all of our colleagues will attest. But those are districts that are solidly Democratic.”
In the last several years, the key failures of Democrat leadership are the failure to realize when their left-wing goes too far and allowing socialists to run in their party elections. Now, Representative Cheri Bustos (D-Ill), who engineered the 2018 House Majority by winning purple districts, is stepping down as Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She presided over the 2020 House races as well but was hampered by the Squad’s messages. The party should have listened to Bustos ahead of 2020 when she put policies in place to stop the insurgency. They didn’t.
The Democrats have fallen prey to the strategy articulated by Democratic Socialists of America founder Michael Harrington in 1988. He intended to transform an existing party rather than establish a new one. They believed the “Future of the Party” analysis written by Data for Progress in 2018. That group is an affiliate of Tides Advocacy and tied to the Justice Democrats. It promised Medicare for All and the Green New Deal are wildly popular with people who don’t normally vote. The group predicted that pushing these policies would get those voters to the ballot box. That did not materialize.
The Democrats need a real leader, one who understands that we can have reasonable arguments about things like more government and less government. We cannot have reasoned arguments about overhauling the constitutional order and completely changing our economic system from free markets to socialism. That leader is not Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, or Chuck Schumer.
Schumer has caught the fever, vowing to change America if the Democrats’ candidates win the Georgia runoffs.
Pelosi can’t denounce socialism, and Joe Biden is a paper tiger at best. Despite Kamala Harris’s protestations that she is not a socialist on 60 Minutes, her voting record has been farther left than open socialist Bernie Sanders.
The Democrat Party has an identity crisis, and it can only break them moving forward.
WATCH: The beginning of the end