Monday, February 05, 2018


Here's a headline at The Washington Post right now:

The story's lead paragraph:
For those who think California politics is on the far-left fringe of the national spectrum, stand by. The next election season, already well underway here, will showcase a younger generation of Democrats that is more liberal and personally invested in standing up to President Trump’s Washington than those leaving office.
The key terms here are "far left" and "fringe." So what far-left, fringe-y policies are we talking about?
The prescription here for Democrats in a state where few — if any — will need to moderate their positions for the general election is simple. “You go left,” said Karen Skelton, a Democratic consultant here.

That means staking out the most liberal stance on issues such as single-payer health care in California....

Candidates will be forced to defend California’s “sanctuary state” status on immigration and push investment in the solar power and electric car industries to reach strict environmental goals. They also will have to address a sexual harassment scandal that, in Democratic consultant Bill Carrick’s description, “hangs like a black cloud” over a State Capitol where two Democratic lawmakers have resigned and another has been suspended.
So single-payer, a model adopted by countries around the world, and a signature issue of Bernie Sanders, who's one of America's most popular politicians? Sanctuary for undocumented immigrants not subject to federal warrants, a policy in place in cities all over America? Solar power and electric cars? Fighting sexual harassment?

This is "far left"? This is "fringe"?

I want to compare this with how the Post uses the term "far right." Generally speaking, the term is used for neo-Nazis and white nationalists.

This is what mainstream coverage will be like if Democrats manage to gain more power across the country, especially in Washington, over the next few years. The press often sours on Republicans (George W. Bush in his second term, Donald Trump now, governors such as Chris Christie and Sam Brownback) -- but the press doesn't want Democrats to govern as Democrats. The press would really prefer Republicans who talk moderation, even insincerely (the press would much rather have President John Kasich than any of the best-known Democratic contenders), but if a Democrat has to win, he or she should govern from the center or right-center, avoid progressive policy proposals, and generally not frighten the horses. Corporatism is better than liberalism (let's not even talk about socialism, even of the Euro variety).

Democrats may get favorable coverage on the way to winning big victories in 2018 and 2020, but they'll get terrible press as soon as they try to move the country left. Be ready for that.

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