Yesterday Nancy Pelosi had to balance out her strong showing on Colbert by once again attacking the “left wing” of the Democratic Party.
NEW: Speaker Pelosi warns her party’s presidential hopefuls that ideas like Medicare For All and free college may fire up the left but won’t beat Trump.
“Remember November,” she says. “You must win the Electoral College.”https://t.co/A0BVnTxsov
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) November 2, 2019
There’s a whole thread there. It’s the usual – don’t go for Medicaid for All or anything else that might fire up the base. Remember those folks in the Midwest diners!
There are so many things wrong with that.
I would like to hear Pelosi’s basis for this. I would like to see polling data. I would like to see a strategy for getting the votes.
That she presents none of this – just her concern that the Democrats not be too lefty for the San Francisco liberal she claims to be – makes me suspicious that she is simply enunciating the deep lack of confidence that many older Democrats feel, partly justifiably. But they need to ask whether times have changed.
Her comments occasioned lively discussions on Twitter. One of the things I observed is that people worry about other people being turned off by things like M4A, even though they themselves back social justice measures. This is where I would like to see polling data. Do those imagined people exist outside of media scolds? For example,
I fear this is poison in the key states. https://t.co/KcGdnFlRgs
— Kim Masters (@kimmasters) November 3, 2019
A confounding variable, even if there were data, would be the presence of unconscious racism or sexism. Polling can fail to uncover this. And some of the “lefty” things that Pelosi and others are worried about have to do with racism and sexism, which we are not to speak of because they make people uncomfortable.
That’s a difficult conundrum. Many voters are women and people of color. Pelosi, in that Twitter thread is quoted as saying “What works in San Francisco does not necessarily work in Michigan. What works in Michigan works in San Francisco — talking about workers’ rights and sharing prosperity.”
Which workers? Ideally, all of them. But the pitch for workers that Trump has made has been to white male workers in extractive industries. The workers in San Francisco are more likely to be women of color who work in health care. Their interests are different. Workers’ rights and wages should be part of the campaign, but the specifics will touch on that unconscious racism and sexism and thus be too lefty.
Pelosi is also doubtful about a Green New Deal because it would eliminate fossil fuels. It may be the timeline that she is objecting to, or it may be displacing those Trumpian laborers; it’s not clear. But yes, we have to eliminate fossil fuels, and the faster, the better.
I keep thinking about that San Francisco-y song, “The Times, They Are A-Changing.” Yes, let’s fire up the base to get them to vote in the general election and maybe drag along those young voters who feel they and their future are being ignored. Let’s present a vision of the future that people can sign on to. Trump has trashed the government. We’ve got an opportunity to build something better than what we had before.