July 27, 2017

Bad Reviews, Dem In-Fighting Mar “A Better Deal” Rollout

Democrats must have hoped their rollout of “A Better Deal” would unify their fractured Party. Yet, much to the party’s chagrin, the opposite has happened, with the rollout becoming yet another front in the growing Democratic civil war. The flashpoint for many angry Democrats is the plan’s exclusively economic focus:

“But a number of Democrats are concerned that excluding liberal social issues — like abortion rights, immigration reform, LGBT rights and the environment — may deflate their base and sink their chances of making big gains in 2018.”

Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) went even called the potential inclusion of social issues a distraction:

“’That won’t be the focus. … They won’t be itemized issues,’ Hoyer told reporters in the Capitol. ‘Essentially what we don’t want to do is distract people … we don’t want to distract ourselves.’”

For many in the Democratic Party, the plan’s silence on social issues is a major flaw. Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) even warned that the plan could hurt Democrats’ enthusiasm if it ignored social issues:

“Yet some Democrats are warning that an economy-only approach could dampen the enthusiasm of a liberal base that’s latched on to the Democrats’ approach to the environment, immigrant rights and a host of other social issues. ‘There’s a risk in not fighting for those things,’ said Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. ‘I understand the economic populism — I’ve been a critic that we didn’t do enough [in the past], and I’m glad we’re doing something.”

Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) added that if the plan ignored immigration, it would “haunt” Democrats next year:

“Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), Capitol Hill’s staunchest immigration reform advocate, is among the critics of that approach. Noting that the number of Hispanic voters grew by 1.5 million between 2012 and 2016, Gutiérrez warned that a 2018 campaign that glosses over immigrant rights will haunt the Democrats at the polls.”

House Democrats were joined in the criticism of “A Better Deal” by editorial boards, including the San Francisco Chronicle. The Chronicle, Nancy Pelosi’s hometown paper,slammed the shallowness of “A Better Deal,” saying it needed “significantly more definition”:

“The party’s efforts to curb internecine warfare and speak to voters’ concerns are fine, as far as they go, but much of Clinton’s difficulty stemmed from her embodiment of a disdained establishment. One lesson of 2016 was that Democrats could not defeat Trump simply by accentuating his deficiencies. The challenge for the Democrats is to show a clear path that goes beyond sloganeering and convinces stressed Americans that they have a transformative, not incremental, agenda. ‘A Better Deal’ needs significantly more definition if it is to succeed.”

It’s clear after that Democrats’ rollout of “A Better Deal” was a massive failure. Pretty soon, all anyone will remember about the plan is its much maligned slogan.