The Democratic Party's emerging radical bloc is alarming, but the leftist group's youthful intemperance could backfire and re-energize Republicans' 2020 electoral prospects.
Even before all the hanging chads and miraculously divined ballots have been examined in Florida, newly elected leftist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is already engaging in activism in the halls of Congress. On Tuesday morning, the future representative from New York joined a protest organized by the Sunrise Movement outside the offices of Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi to demand immediate action on climate change — as if the dinosaur wing of the Democratic Party weren't sufficiently extremist on environmental issues.
Ocasio-Cortez, who validates the maxim "youth is wasted on the young," is part of the Justice Democrats, which promoted leftist challengers during the 2018 Democratic primary cycle. The Sunrise Movement is demanding House support of a "Green New Deal," which contemplates forming a committee to write policies aimed at creating jobs by moving the nation off fossil fuels — as counterintuitive as that may strike you.
Waleed Shahid, the Justice Democrats' communications director, insists that the Democratic Party's leadership must get serious about the climate and the economy. "Anything less is tantamount to denying the reality of climate change," said Shahid. "The hopeful part is that we're ushering in a new generation of leaders into the Democratic Party who understand the urgency and will help build a movement to create the political will for bold action." Yes, they must get moving before any more of Al Gore's hysterical doomsday predictions fail.
The adage "with age comes wisdom" is biblically based and objectively observable — except, perhaps, in the case of Pelosi and her old-guard Democrats. They have invited all types of radicals into their coalition, so they can hardly complain when the fruit of their poisonous tree begins to blossom. Accordingly, Pelosi pretended to support this presumptuous upstart's mini-rebellion.
"We are inspired by the energy and activism of the many young activists and advocates leading the way on the climate crisis, which threatens the health, economic security and futures of all our communities," said Pelosi. "I have recommended to my House Democratic colleagues that we reinstate a select committee to address the climate crisis. ... We welcome the presence of these activists, and we strongly urge the Capitol Police to allow them to continue to organize and participate in our democracy."
Her groveling wasn't enough to pacify the implacable Justice Democrats, who tweeted: "Our response: Not good enough. Pelosi is reinstating a 2007 committee tasked with investigating the harms of climate change. We don't need more investigation. We need specific plans matching the urgency and scale mandated by the UN's IPCC report on catastrophic climate change."
The good thing about cliches is that, usually based on human experience, they're often true. So, the current plight of the Pelosi Democrats is that they have made their bed and now have to lie in it. For the next two years, they're going to be lying in the same bed as the rebels — a bed that has two left sides.
The Democrats have lived by the sword of radicalism, embracing every last crazy idea of the extreme left and incorporating it into their agenda, and may they electorally die by that sword in 2020.
Democrats used to tack to the center during general election season, knowing America has been a center-right nation. But since Obama's presidency, they've begun playing their left hand more openly. In the bluest of areas, they can afford to reveal their outright socialism, which explains Ocasio-Cortez's unapologetically socialist campaign message. In other venues, such as Arizona, their radicals have to feign centrism, which explains Kyrsten Sinema's chameleonic transformation to would-be centrist.
The developing schism in the Democratic Party is a positive sign for Republicans, who should greatly benefit from Democratic fissures, especially if they lead to the Democratic Party's moving even further to the left and exposing its radicalism.
Though the electoral demographics seem to be shifting leftward — and though our public schools, universities and dominant media culture are indoctrinating more Americans every day — it's unlikely the majority of the country will be comfortable with leftist extremism as soon as 2020.
But this is hardly something Republicans can rejoice over, because until they get their own act together, they won't be able to properly capitalize on intramural conflict among Democrats. But from my perspective, anything that awakens a complacent America to the existential dangers posed by the radical left, which increasingly controls the Democratic Party, represents cause for hope and optimism.