MIRS subscription newsletter in Lansing asked last week whether longtime Democratic political guru James CARVILLE is right in arguing that “wokeness” is hurting the Democratic cause – and, if not corrected, will it kill his party in 2022?
Could it be that even some progressive-leaning voters believe “it’s gone too far” when Dr. SEUSS books are recalled for being politically incorrect and the 1940s song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is labelled an invitation to date rape?
Carville, who also suggests some progressive activists need to go to a “woke detox center,” is not the only Democrat sounding the alarm. In reaction to election losses earlier this month, some moderate U.S. House Democrats lay the blame at the feet of alleged “too far left’ colleagues. Progressive calls for “defund the police” and “LGBTQ bathroom rights” are specifically pointed out as “political poison.” Let’s try to answer this question:
Question 1): Political consultant James Carville blames the Democratic Party’s recent election woes on what he calls “this stupid wokeness.” Is his analysis correct? If so, how can Democrats fix the problem without alienating a significant portion of their voting base?
Answer 1): Yes, the Left is coming across as anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-free speech, anti-liberty, pro-globalist, pro-lockdown, pro-socialist, pro-COVID-19 hysteria, pro-climate hysteria, pro-mask and pro-gender-bending. As John Feehery has pointed out in an article in The Hill, “The Democrats have become very easy to run against.”
Feehery contends that explains why Republicans will win all across the board a year from now. All the GOP has to say is “We are not them!” and they will have a very good election. Feehery says the GOP can simply point out: “We are not crazy. We are not socialist. We are not hysterical. We are pro-family, pro-freedom, pro-economic growth, pro-getting people back to work. Case closed.”
Feehery may be ‘pushing the envelope’ a little too far. A lot can happen between now and November, 2022. Democrats may realize they are in dire straits unless they get their ‘progressives’ under control and fix their messaging. If they don’t, though, they’re in big-time trouble.
Question 2):. Southeast Michigan businessman Kevin Rinke launched his gubernatorial campaign in earnest last week and claims he has millions of dollars to spend. Nonetheless, former Detroit Police Chief James CRAIG still has the inside track for winning the GOP nomination, right?
Answer 2): No, not by any means. Democrats are insisting that “As of Rinke’s launch day, Craig is still the favorite.” They argue that “Craig is the frontrunner by default at this point.” Well, yes, because Craig is the GOP nominee the Democrats want.
The Republican argument goes like this: “Craig does have advantages. He has the experience of having operated a government organization — the Detroit Police Department — and he has a lot of establishment support. Kevin Rinke personally is not recently so well known, although his family auto dealer name has been a fixture in Metro Detroit for decades.We’ll have to wait and see how he does as a candidate. What we don’t want to see happen is a fringe candidate getting the nomination. If that happens, we could blow one of the best opportunities we’ve had in a long time.”
Well, yes, the way is opening for a ‘fringe candidate’ because Craig has been a flop so far as a potential nominee. He’s obviously not ready for prime time, and his campaign manager, John Yob (who, remember, managed Rick Snyder’s gubernatorial effort a dozen years ago), has just been fired or quit, because he realizes Craig is a loser, and other people behind the Craig candidacy refuse to acknowledge that he’s a dud.
The dozen declared GOP gubernatorial candidates (most will never file) lack experience in elected office and still have much to prove. Craig and Rinke and the entire Republican field are a collective conundrum. Is Rinke the new Rick Snyder? That is really the question that should be on everyone’s mind in the Republican camp.
Snyder was another successful businessman/political newcomer who ran for governor, starting a dozen years ago. In 2010, he won the GOP nomination against four other candidates who were better-known (at least in the beginning), all of them elected officials, spending $6 million of his own wealth (Rinke has said he’ll spend at least $10 million).
Rinke’s family has a history of business achievement, but an unanswered question is how much of the dealership success is because of Rinke himself as opposed to others in the family. He’s not a “self-made man,” like Snyder or George Romney. But his appearance on WKAR.org’s “Off the Record” last week-end gives people a sense that he’s not a right-wing ‘crazy” and could capture the type of Republican voter in a GOP primary that Snyder did in 2010. Remember — it’s a first-past-the-post primary where a plurality prevails. Snyder won with only 36% in 2010, but it was still 10% ahead of the runner-up.
T. Colligan says
Liberalism is a mental disorder.
While it’s sane to keep dumping middle class money into the laps of the rich? We, the middle class are the economy not the rich. Giving big corporations and the .01 incredible tax breaks that we pay for is the basis for the Republican political philosophy. Doing something for other than the rich is called a “mental disorder”. Keeping the covid pandemic going by denigrating mask wearing or getting vaccinated keeps the economy from growing and ups the chaos. More chaos the easier for a minority to take over the government. Worked for Lenin, Hitler and Mussolini and Trump is following the path they set out.
Ed Haynor says
Jesus was a liberal. So, who really has a mental disorder?
John c. Stewart says
Wow-Monday morning: 12 Republican candidates for Governor. Yob gone from the Craig campaign. I agree -Rinke-NOT a “self-made man” like George Romney/Rick Snyder. Rinke calls Whitmer a “Yugo”. Th FAILURE TO FOCUS ON SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES: i.e. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. COMEBACK TIME for MODERATELY-CONSERVATIVE BILL BALLENGER TO RUN FOR GOVERNOR.
Robert Nelson says
Gag me with a spoon. Ballenger for Governor? Whitmer would mop the floor with him, assuming he could beat the crazy car dealer.
dan murphy says
Ideological based thought impedes the the” Reasoning” process and ability when it comes to rational decision making. The “woke driven” Progressive Left will invariably reject Mr. Carville’s rational and reasoned approach.
TIMOTHY K SULLIVAN says
Well said, Bill. Pertaining to item #1, Kevin Drum (of The Nation) said much the same thing July 3, 2021 in an article entitled: IF YOU HATE THE CULTURE WARS, BLAME LIBERALS. Specifically, he stated: “I’ve made this point many times before, and I want to make it again more loudly and more plainly today. It is not conservatives who have turned American politics into a culture war battle. It is liberals. And this shouldn’t come as a surprise: Almost by definition, liberals are the ones pushing for change while conservatives are merely responding to whatever liberals do. More specifically, progressives have been bragging publicly about pushing the Democratic Party leftward since at least 2004—and they’ve succeeded.
Now, I’m personally happy about most of this. But that doesn’t blind me to the fact that “personally happy” means nothing in politics. What matters is what the median voter feels, and Democrats have been moving further and further away from the median voter for years.” He continues: “Here’s the nickel summary of all this:
• Since 1994, Democrats have moved left far more than Republicans have moved right.
• This has produced lots of safe states in liberal places like California and Massachusetts but has steadily pulled Democrats farther and farther away from median states like Iowa and Ohio.
• Recently, white academic theories of racism—and probably the whole woke movement in general—have turned off many moderate Black and Hispanic voters.¹ Ditto for liberal dismissal of crime and safety issues. Hispanics in particular moved in Trump’s direction despite—or maybe because of—his position on immigration and the wall.
• Democrats will remain on an electoral knife edge forever unless they can pull themselves back toward the center.
This is obviously not a popular proposal among the white activist class. But a dispassionate look at voting patterns hardly allows any other conclusion. Moving to the left may help galvanize the progressive base—which is good!—but if it’s not done with empathy and tact it risks outrunning the vast middle part of the country, which progressive activists seem completely uninterested in talking to.
It is well within our power to break our two-decade 50-50 deadlock and become routine winners in national politics. All it takes is a moderation of our positions from “pretty far left” to “pretty liberal.” That’s all. But who’s got the courage to say so?”
Finally, he concludes: “¹And for God’s sake, please don’t insult my intelligence by pretending that wokeness and cancel culture are all just figments of the conservative imagination. Sure, they overreact to this stuff, but it really exists, it really is a liberal invention, and it really does make even moderate conservatives feel like their entire lives are being held up to a spotlight and found wanting.”
And when Kevin Drum is telling the Left they’ve gone too far, maybe they should listen. Terry McAuliffe didn’t and he lost. Phil Murphy didn’t, but he needed to spend roughly $19,000,000 that his GOP opponent to barely win re-election in New Jersey (rough figures from NJ.com). You cannot always count on being able to financially carpet bomb your opponents into submission.
And as for item #2, Mr. Rinke best hope that Rick Snyder has not soured Michiganders on outsider businessmen trying to “save” the state.
David Richards says
The Republicans have done a good job of demonizing the Democrats based on minimal evidence. They have successfully painted mainstream Dems with what comes from the fringe of the party, while diverting attention from the craziness of the actual Republican leadership and its current mainstream, not just its edges. I am a Democrat, know a lot of Democrats who are office holders, and don’t know any who want to or propose to ‘defund the police”, have any interest in socialism, or encourage looting. On the other hand, we have Republicans at the highest level who support insurrectionists, ignore attempts to overturn an election, think the climate change threat is a conspiracy of tens of thousands of scientists around the world, and that having to wear a mask in public places during a pandemic is a major violation of your freedoms (I remember quite well when young Americans could be forced to go to war across the ocean, to kill or be killed, on penalty of imprisonment, so I have to laugh at the claims of mask oppression). Carville is right, but the problem is more one of perception and communication than reality.
William S. Bishop says
In the same way that Trump hijacked the Republican Party with his lewd as well as dictatorial manner, the Democratic Party has been hijacked by the crazies, those who Dave Chappell labels “the alphabet people”. I include Progressives when I mention the word “crazies”, because progressives are nothing more than socialists in disguise. As for the “woke”, the argument could be made there is no more retarded group of people in our country than the so called “woke”. They are totally ignorant of US history and are hell bent on our never learning about our roots by tearing down our statutes, removing our history books, and generally acting like a bunch of spoiled children….which they are. Personally, I ache for the return of compulsory military training for every boy and girl in the country…..and yes, the Peace Corps is fine too. Anything to stem the tide of our national slide toward total decadence…..