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Sun Aug 25, 2019, 10:16 PM

Why are establishment Dems afraid of the 'hard left'?

Written by Paul Rosenberg August 25, 2019

[link:https://www.alternet.org/2019/08/why-are-establishment-dems-afraid-of-the-hard-left/|


In my interview last week with political scientist Rachel Bitecofer, who predicted a 42-seat “blue wave” four months in advance, she also discussed the groundbreaking campaigns of Stacey Abrams and Beto O’Rourke, even though neither was elected. Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, offered a curious response on Twitter: “Stacey Abrams and Beto ran liberal campaigns, not hard left campaigns.”

As Bitecofer replied, “I don’t advocate hard left campaigns, that’s not what my research argues.” She later added that “my thesis IS the Beto/Abrams turnout model, not something else.” Ideology wasn’t the issue she focused on — mobilizing base voters was.

Tanden’s response is both curious and troubling because literally no one argues for “hard left” campaigns. As retired intelligence analyst James Scaminaci tweeted in the ensuing conversation:

“Hard Left” is Marxists, Marxist-Leninist, Trotskyists, Leninists, Stalinists, Maoists, Spartacus League, Guevaras. Bernie, AOC, DSA, Warren, FDR ain’t “hard left.” If you use “HL,” you are grossly misinformed about left-wing politics. You might have missed the Cold War.

In short, “hard left” is a bogeyman term so far as American politics is concerned — one meant to put Democrats constantly on the defensive, either cowering or fighting with each other. It recalls the worst days of McCarthyism. Which is why I responded:

More at link

Great question with even better answers.

49 replies, 1890 views

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Arrow 49 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why are establishment Dems afraid of the 'hard left'? (Original post)
JoeOtterbein Aug 2019 OP
democratisphere Aug 2019 #1
JoeOtterbein Aug 2019 #2
Greybnk48 Aug 2019 #3
demosincebirth Aug 2019 #20
OnDoutside Aug 2019 #24
UniteFightBack Aug 2019 #42
Hortensis Aug 2019 #48
Farmer-Rick Aug 2019 #37
emmaverybo Aug 2019 #4
redstatebluegirl Aug 2019 #40
ProfessorPlum Aug 2019 #41
Snake Plissken Aug 2019 #5
Sucha NastyWoman Aug 2019 #33
diva77 Aug 2019 #6
jalan48 Aug 2019 #7
msongs Aug 2019 #8
colsohlibgal Aug 2019 #9
abqtommy Aug 2019 #10
wasupaloopa Aug 2019 #14
abqtommy Aug 2019 #32
Baitball Blogger Aug 2019 #11
Midnight Writer Aug 2019 #12
grantcart Aug 2019 #13
ProfessorPlum Aug 2019 #43
Joe941 Aug 2019 #15
wasupaloopa Aug 2019 #16
pnwmom Aug 2019 #17
emmaverybo Aug 2019 #18
pnwmom Aug 2019 #19
emmaverybo Aug 2019 #21
pnwmom Aug 2019 #22
emmaverybo Aug 2019 #23
pnwmom Aug 2019 #25
emmaverybo Aug 2019 #26
pnwmom Aug 2019 #27
UniteFightBack Aug 2019 #44
emmaverybo Aug 2019 #47
JI7 Aug 2019 #31
democrank Aug 2019 #28
Kurt V. Aug 2019 #29
JI7 Aug 2019 #30
stonecutter357 Aug 2019 #34
pecosbob Aug 2019 #35
qazplm135 Aug 2019 #36
ChazII Aug 2019 #38
Proud Liberal Dem Aug 2019 #39
ananda Aug 2019 #45
UniteFightBack Aug 2019 #46
SidDithers Aug 2019 #49

Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun Aug 25, 2019, 10:32 PM

1. Hard Left, like Hard Right, are extremes.

Most people are neither, so those extreme positions or views are in the minority. No one is afraid of people with extreme positions; most of the those extreme positions will be ignored.

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Response to democratisphere (Reply #1)

Sun Aug 25, 2019, 10:38 PM

2. The hard left is a myth.

We just want what we all have worked so hard to achieve. Like Medicare for All.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Reply #2)

Sun Aug 25, 2019, 10:40 PM

3. Agree 110% n/t

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Reply #2)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 02:33 AM

20. We have to win elections first before we changes

Can be made

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Reply #2)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 02:55 AM

24. Many do, but others want to go far beyond that, and that's what scares the centre. The American

psyche is ingrained by the 40 years of the Cold War (Reds under the bed), and failure of a communist totalitarian regime. And there's no use saying that it's different to socialism, Americans don't understand that, which leaves the door open for the Republicans to give the Democratic Party a needless kicking.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Reply #2)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 10:31 AM

42. Tell that to the 2016 election. nt

 

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Reply #2)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 07:35 PM

48. We wish that were true. You know, extremists on both

right and left have been and are extensively studied by various disciplines.

Political psychologists can explain why some of the people who honestly believe they support progressivism in government hoped Republicans, who are determined to destroy progressivism, would defeat progressive Democrats, were and are even depressed when Democrats are elected. And in an era when elections are won by very thin margins, this is why we, yes, do fear what they are all too capable of doing all over again.

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Response to democratisphere (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 09:29 AM

37. There is NO Hard Left or Far Left anymore.

They called Hillary and Bill hard left.

The RepubliCONS made up the term to beat up Democratic candidates. It's a right wing talking point.

We are just all liberals with different opinions. The hate filled right and Russian Trolls use the boggy man of the hard left to divide and conquer us.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun Aug 25, 2019, 10:49 PM

4. Leading question. You assume fear. And who are the "establishment" Dems? Those whose positions are

not as left as Bernie’s?

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Response to emmaverybo (Reply #4)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 10:00 AM

40. Great question. I think it is people like me in our 60's

who have worked our butts off for the party for 40 plus years, who have voted for Democrats we didn't totally agree with because we knew the alternative stunk to high heaven. We don't have "litmus tests for any candidate". The only one I have is that I require they be a member of the Democratic party longer than a few months.

A lot of this crap is generational.

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Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #40)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 10:30 AM

41. If I may offer a definition

Establishment Democrats are the ones who don't seem to want to change our system of legalized bribery.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun Aug 25, 2019, 10:59 PM

5. If the Democrats do not win back the White House and Senate ... There won't be any left ...left

The courts will be packed with right wing filth for the next 40 years.

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Response to Snake Plissken (Reply #5)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 06:52 AM

33. That's when we will forced to go truly UNDERGROUND

These guys ain’t playin’

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun Aug 25, 2019, 11:09 PM

6. If these predictions fail to factor in election fraud, then they are nothing more than lucky

guesses. I am unable to access the full article and have not read her "methods" - but in an interview I watched, she never mentioned accounting for election fraud.

...so pontificating on the behavior of Democrats based on her "predictions" is merely pontificating IMHO.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun Aug 25, 2019, 11:15 PM

7. $$$$$$$

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun Aug 25, 2019, 11:18 PM

8. who says so and which establishment dems? nt

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun Aug 25, 2019, 11:27 PM

9. Not Sure

Was Eisenhower, Republican, hard left? He had top marginal tax rates of 70/80 percent and more. How do people today think our Interstate Highway System was funded?

From Reagan on, helped subsequently by Fox and other right wing propaganda, all of a sudden high tax rates are crazy far left ideas. So now it is commonplace for middle class people to pay a higher tax rate than Billionaires.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun Aug 25, 2019, 11:29 PM

10. As long as there's corruption in the voting process

Democratic campaigns and turnout are moot. Haven't we seen that? Aren't we concerned? We don't seem to be doing much about it.

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Response to abqtommy (Reply #10)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 12:59 AM

14. A little over dramatic

 

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Response to wasupaloopa (Reply #14)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 05:51 AM

32. Ya think tRUMP is "over dramatic"?

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun Aug 25, 2019, 11:30 PM

11. When you can unburden yourself from social causes, and even

fiduciary responsibilities, there's money to be made by cutting deals. Liberals are a burden because they remind everyone when process is being undermined. And the right wing extremists are a burden because they're only happy if the deals go one way.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun Aug 25, 2019, 11:52 PM

12. For many of us, it is from the Nixon-McCarthy election of 1972.

Nixon was a terrible candidate. But we Democrats found someone to challenge him on the far left, and Nixon walked away with 49 states.

Trump must be defeated. Decisively.

I am myself pretty "far left". But we are fighting against fascism here.

We cannot afford to embolden the American oligarchs with another term of Trump and McConnell.

The solution is, of course, to vote enthusiastically for any Democrat on the ballot. At all levels. Get the folk out, talk to your friends and family and co-workers, and give a little money if you can.

I don't agree 100% with any candidate, but this time? If they have a D after their name, they will get my vote.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 12:34 AM

13. 1972 George McGovern loses 520 to 17

Live through a crushing defeat lime that and you learn a lot about this country.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #13)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 10:34 AM

43. fortunately it is 47 years later

and the political landscape has changed quite a bit. In 1972, the country was still riding on the good policies of the New Deal, banking regulations, money didn't equal speech.

Now after 5 decades of bad supreme court decisions that opened the floodgates for corporate takeover of our government, unregulated fraud legalized in the financial sector, and environmental blight creeping back from the gutting of our environmental protections, the public is quite literally crying out for a change, and a return to FDR-like policies that made our country a better place to live, work, raise a family, and die.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 01:02 AM

15. No such thing. This is fud.

 

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 01:03 AM

16. If Bernie is the far left I am afraid if he got the nomination.

 

Everything he says he has a plan for there is no plan. Just him yelling at you about what the problem is. Then he comes up with a unrealistic solution like getting rid of all cars and planes and trains on some certain date he comes up with.

Why intelligent people don’t use critical thinking in relation to his campaign I fail to understand. I guess he is a pied piper and his followers are the children.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 01:26 AM

17. FDR wasn't a Democratic Socialist. He was a progressive Democrat and a capitalist, like Warren. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #17)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 02:01 AM

18. FDR was forced by circumstance and expediency to adopt "progressive" policies. But he was

not progressive and a closer look at his record shows racism and anti-semitism permeated his policies.

It is time that the left stop adulating FDR.

If you insist on doing so, at least provide a caveat acknowledging the lethal harm his racism and anti-semitism did during his presidency despite his policies helping white people.

Snip——————————————-

As president, Roosevelt is widely celebrated by American “progressives” for fathering the New Deal, which encompassed financial regulations, union rights and a number of social programs. While FDR’s extramarital affairs are well known, what is less known is his racist and anti-Semitic worldview and white supremacist loyalties, which contributed to the suffering and death of millions of the most vulnerable people.

https://truthout.org/articles/disrupting-the-myth-of-franklin-d-roosevelt-in-the-age-of-trump-sanders-and-clinton/


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Response to emmaverybo (Reply #18)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 02:24 AM

19. I'm not "insisting" on "adulating FDR." I'm responding to this quote in the OP:

Bernie, AOC, DSA, Warren, FDR ain’t “hard left.” If you use “HL,” you are grossly misinformed about left-wing politics. You might have missed the Cold War.


Bernie and AOC identify as Democratic socialists.

Warren doesn't, and neither did FDR.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #19)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 02:45 AM

21. Obviously, you are making a positive comparison of Warren with FDR. Otherwise why bother to

point out that, in contrast to Bernie and AOC, Warren, like FDR, does not identify as a socialist. Plenty of historical political figures did not consider themselves socialists.

I am saying that the comparison is not a favorable one.

I stand by my comment that in light of facts about FDR’s racism, it is time to retire positive references to him.




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Response to emmaverybo (Reply #21)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 02:46 AM

22. FDR was flawed. Who isn't?

And who in his era would have done a better job?

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #22)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 02:55 AM

23. He was fatally flawed. This op-Ed is not the only documented study to expose his role in the

deaths of Jews. I can’t be nonchalant about his inaction when he knew about the concentration camps. Any one who was not allied with white supremacists and not an extreme anti-Semitic whose policies reflected his ideology would have been better.

You can not have read the article or the many others about FDR and shrug your shoulders.

I will call it a night.

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Response to emmaverybo (Reply #23)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 02:58 AM

25. The OP isn't about FDR. It only has one throw-away reference to him.

I don't know what OP you're talking about, but it's not the one here.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #25)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 03:09 AM

26. I linked to an Op-Ed, which obviously you didn't read. I did not mention anything about an OP.

I remarked on a comparison you made. Enough.

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Response to emmaverybo (Reply #26)


Response to emmaverybo (Reply #23)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 10:34 AM

44. The American people wanted no part of Europe's war. The American People did not care. nt

 

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Response to UniteFightBack (Reply #44)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 07:26 PM

47. The American people did not know what FDR did at the time. And we did get involved. The article

I linked to is about FDR’s virulent anti-semitism and racism affecting many policies, not only
Europe and America. No excuses on the basis of era or The American People suffice to cover for
FDR’s active role in policies that cost not a few lives, but hundreds of thousands.

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Response to emmaverybo (Reply #21)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 05:10 AM

31. the comparison is neither consider themselves to be socialists . but would be examples of SAVING

Capitalism.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 03:20 AM

28. Recommended

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 04:34 AM

29. K&R

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 05:07 AM

30. Beto O'Rourke and Stacey Abrams got incredible Turnout which helped lower ballot democrats win

these were conservative leaning states. but a man that ran on gun control, lgbt rights, support of impeachment of Trump came within 2 points. even though he himself did not win many democrats down ballot won.

same with Stacey Abrams. a black women in the deep south AND her election was stolen by the asshole running against her.

but democrats still won down ballot including winning the seat once held by Gingrich.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 07:33 AM

34. lol establishment Dems !

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 09:04 AM

35. The left exists, just not in America.

When was the last time anyone even saw a Little Red Book? Ninety percent of Americans would not recognize the Internationale if played for them. Seventy years of red-baiting have so skewed American politics and perspective that most can't tell up from down.

Anyone that considers any of the current Democratic candidates for president to be of the far-left needs to go back to school and unlearn all the crap that's been force-fed to them for all their lives.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 09:19 AM

36. so hard left gets quotes but establishment Dems is mighty fine

lol

You missed "neoliberal" and "centrist"

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 09:44 AM

38. K&R n/t

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 09:49 AM

39. I'm frequently mystified about the double standard for the two parties

Republicans can be as spun out right-wing as they want, but Democrats are repeatedly cautioned to ignore or sideline progressives like AOC lest they become unelectable to "middle-of-the-road Americans (whom I'm not sure care as much as pundits claim they do). Republicans, however, can be as anti-immigrant, anti-POC, anti-poor, etc. and they are repeatedly elected and re-elected without consequences but the instant we have Democrats argue for universal health care, argue for sensible gun restrictions, argue for measures to help combat climate change, argue for reproductive choice and against draconian anti-choice measures, suddenly, they're getting "too extreme" and won't be elected. Although what we've seen in practice often suggests that, in their rush to avoid a HL label, many Democrats, especially in more Red States, openly denounce progressives and veer too far to the right to compensate, often with disastrous results (i.e. Claire McCaskill being my favorite example).

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 10:35 AM

45. Imo

They are the kind of people who used to be Republicans.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 10:36 AM

46. Not fear....it's ANNOYANCE. nt

 

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2019, 07:53 PM

49. Estabilishment Dems!...

Drink!

Sid

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