Friday, July 19, 2019

Pelosi's triangulation is really self-strangulation

Article in The Nation. Excerpts:

"It's folly to seek the middle ground while fighting Trump."

"The moderate Democrats are right to think that Pelosi is on their side in the battle against the Squad."

"The war between Nancy Pelosi and the Squad boils down to one-word: triangulation. In the tradition of Bill Clinton, Pelosi and moderate Democrats are positioning themselves as the vital center between the radical right (Donald Trump) and the radical left (the Squad). Triangulation explains not just Democratic infighting but also Pelosi’s decision to dampen down impeachment fervor and to slow-walk (and sometimes stall) investigations into Trump and his administration. [...] The prospect of a rising left scares old-school Democrats."

"Pelosi’s triangulation policy has been a disaster. Whatever merits, dubious or real, triangulation might have had in the 1990s, the policy makes little sense when Democrats confront an extremist like Trump, who needs to be fought by a united party. With triangulation, Pelosi often ends up making unnecessary concessions. As The Intercept reports, even House minority leader Chuck Schumer, hardly famous for his fighting spirit, was surprised by how much ground Pelosi ceded on the immigration bill. Moreover, the idea that moderate Democrats are somehow closer to average voters doesn’t bear scrutiny. As Eric Levitz points out in New York magazine, the Blue Dog brigade has worked to slow down or sabotage policy goals that have overwhelming popular appeal: notably, the minimum wage increase and lower prices for prescription drugs."

"Pelosi often acts as if Trump were merely annoying (and perhaps a useful foil), while the Squad are the true enemies. Unless she ends her feud with the congressional left, Democrats will be marching into battle with a commander who is only halfheartedly challenging the most dangerous president in modern American history."

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