The hard-line progressive wing of the Democratic Party has become Frankenstein’s monster, turning on its creators in Democratic leadership.
“Cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war.” — William Shakespeare, from Julius Caesar
Shakespeare should have also perhaps have mentioned that the dogs of war, once unleashed, cannot be again restrained. So too it may prove for Democratic Party leadership who, having unleashed the power of the progressive hard-line on the GOP, now seem unable to control it.
Or keep indeed it from the throats of fellow Democrats.
According to Robert Greene’s seminal and slightly controversial work The 48 Laws of Power, the breaking of two laws in particular are applicable to the progressive strong-arm of the Democratic Party at this moment.
Breaking these laws means that the disparate pieces of the Democratic Party, from it left-wing flank to its last Blue-dog Democrats, may not fit together again before Election Day 2020. The pieces may never fit back together, ever again.
News pundits are fond of predicting the end of the GOP; but the Democratic Party is in just as much danger, perhaps more.
Republicans have one dragon to slay; Democrats have a whole slew of them.
The two laws of power that ultra-liberal Democrats seem determined to ignore- “Never Outshine the Master” and “Plan All the Way to the End”- are important for people who want power, and they are important for a reason.
Never Outshine the Master means that though you might think your boss wants you to impress her with ideas that are much more brilliant than hers, it is not so.
Your boss, your superiors, anyone with authority over you, all care more about appearing brilliant themselves than appreciating your brilliance. Make your boss look good, soon you might have his job. Make your boss feel threatened, you might soon be looking for a new job, no matter how brilliant you are.
Right now, the new hard-line progressives in the Democratic Party are trying to impress upper management with their wonderful new ideas on how to improve things, which they think everyone else in Congress has been too dumb or cowardly to try. Possibly even too corrupt.
Including their colleagues in the Democratic Party.
And when the progressive new guard doesn’t get the type of immediate response they believe their wonderful ideas merit, they are going over their bosses’ heads to their bosses’ bosses- the American voters.
Or rather, they are going over their bosses’ heads to people on Twitter. This is because they think that Twitter is the U.S. voting electorate. On that point they are wrong again; only about 7% of Americans are on Twitter. The rest of us don’t bother.
The new hard-line progressives in the Democratic Party don’t want compromise. They don’t want bipartisan legislation. They don’t really even want responsible legislation.
They want action. And they want it now.
Democratic leadership, from Nancy Pelosi to big party donors, just isn’t cutting it, or isn’t cutting it fast enough. Or left enough.
As a result, progressive hard-liners, those convenient dogs of war that have proven so effective against the enemy, are turning on their leadership, their financiers, the “corporate media” and would-be mentors alike.
Justice Democrat candidates like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have taken a pledge not to accept large corporate donations, and they don’t. Not directly. But they do accept financial contributions from the Democratic National Committee, which does indeed accept large corporate donations.
You see what they did there.
Far from being an oversight, or even an attempt to pull one over on the American people, this has proven part of a larger strategy. Progressives are now demanding that corporate money be removed from the Democratic Party. Big media companies need to be removed from the Democratic Primary debate process.
Never mind that these are the very people and groups of people Democrats need if they hope to reach any voters in time for election day 2020.
Just how are Democrats supposed to reach voters without the media?
Do these new hard-line progressives understand how elections work?
America isn’t a socialist country, yet. You don’t get to impose your agenda on everyone else in a democracy, no matter how convinced you are that you’re right.
Everyone in a democracy is convinced they’re right.
In a democracy, a free country with free elections, you have to convince us otherwise. Which means you have to reach us.
What the progressive hardliners seem to be willfully misunderstanding, is that not everyone is on Twitter. In fact, only 7% of Americans use the platform. Slightly more of us use Facebook; fewer of us use Instagram.
What do people on Twitter think about Donald Trump’s recent Twitter comments about Chrissy Teigen? They are appalled. Shocked.
What does your average American voter think about Donald Trump’s recent comments about Chrissy Teigen?
Who’s Chrissy Teigen?
It’s not that they are stupid, or even uninformed. Chrissy Teigen isn’t exactly a household name; John Legend isn’t either. Not knowing, or caring, about the private lives and minor feuds of celebrities and musicians is hardly the mark of an inferior mind.
However, Nancy Pelosi is bearing the brunt of it. She is the disapproving, frowning face of Democratic leadership and the old guard.
In the fight to stay relevant- to stay one step ahead of Republicans and two-steps ahead of people in her own party who want Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, freshman Congresswoman and former bartender, to wield the Speaker’s gavel in Pelosi’s place- Speaker Nancy Pelosi is caught between a rock and a hard place.
Democratic leadership can pivot from one dire end-of-Trump prediction to the next all they like: “Republicans are going to lose in North Carolina!” “The Republican Party is doomed!”.
But at the end of the day, Trump keeps getting away with it. And Democrats are paying the price as everything continues to slide off Trump while he puts all the focus back on the people in the Democratic Party making the most messes for others to clean up.
(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)