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Sun Aug 25, 2019, 10:16 PM

Why are establishment Dems afraid of the 'hard left'? [View all]

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.

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