One can only imagine what is going through the mind of Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez as he strategizes for midterm elections. On the one hand he must contend with the far-left wing of the party demanding radical change while the traditional moderates cry foul at their chances to succeed in November.
It is the year of the socialist Democrat. It has become fashionable in some Democratic circles to present an alternative that could very well destroy any chance the party has of retaking the House of Representatives in the midterm elections. Even with the tag, “Democrat,” that follows the notorious word “socialism,” it is a hard sell with the American electorate.
That truism was never more apparent than last Tuesday night. Across the country, far-left progressives and democratic socialists were roundly defeated in their state primaries. Not even the campaigning by high-profile movement leaders Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could save the day.
Their star power is not the problem. National enthusiasm for such a political point of view is lacking. Their socialist views generally become somewhat popular in a downtrodden economy. The U.S. economy has posted strong unemployment numbers and sustained record growth. There is no marching in the streets demanding government bread.
The socialist Democrats should have seen the writing on the wall last month when former President Barack Obama declined to endorse Ocasio-Cortez, who is the democratic socialist candidate in New York’s 14th Congressional District.
It was a clear signal from the premier Democrat in the party that the movement has not met the standards yet to be considered mainstream. No one knows that better than 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Last Tuesday was another notch in his belt of losing causes dating back two years.
Sanders has endorsed socialist candidates in gubernatorial races in Virginia and Ohio and lost by wide margins. That also includes several House races in Iowa and New Jersey. His recent campaign partner, Ocasio-Cortez, is the darling of the movement.
After Tuesday’s bad showing for her cause across the country, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “Wins in the short term are important mile markers and necessary to building power," she wrote. "But you can’t be afraid of loss. Fear keeps people from accomplishing great things.”
Her words may have been this year’s biggest understatement. For instance, Abdul El-Sayed, an avowed populist, was defeated by more than 20 points in his bid to be the Democrat’s candidate for governor of Michigan. His platform of a $15 minimum wage, universal health care, and college tuition for free did not resonate.
Another Sanders/Ocasio-Cortez candidate, Cori Bush, was soundly defeated in Missouri by incumbent Rep. Lacy Clay. The list of other losers in the cause was extensive. Former Sanders campaign volunteer Brent Weider narrowly lost his race in Kansas for the Democratic nomination in the 3rd Congressional District.
One relatively bright spot was James Thompson, another Sanders/Ocasio-Cortez endorsement, who won his primary in Kansas’ 4th Congressional District. However, he is widely expected to be soundly beaten in the general election by Republican Rep. Ron Estes.
Finally, there was Washington State’s 30-year-old Sarah Smith, billed as an Ocasio-Cortez protégé, who was thoroughly outmaneuvered by longtime Democratic Rep. Adam Smith in the 9th Congressional District. It appears that Oscasio-Cortez’s heavily liberal enclave in New York City is a long way from the political environment in Washington State.
Therein lies the headache for DNC Chairman Perez. While he wants to remain inclusive of all political views in his "big tent" party, the road is filled with many barriers. If the Democratic Party is successfully labeled “too radical” for America, it could very well hinder any chance they have of taking control of the House.
But it is certain the socialist Democrats will not shy away from national TV shows and any microphone thrust in their face. They are the darlings of Hollywood liberals and the left-leaning media.
Dwight L. Schwab, Jr. is an award-winning national political and foreign affairs columnist and published author. He has spent over 35 years in the publishing industry. His long-running articles include many years at Examiner.com and currently Newsblaze.com. Dwight is an author of two highly acclaimed books, "Redistribution of Common Sense - Selected Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014" and "The Game Changer - America's Most Stunning Election in History." He is a native of Portland, Oregon, a journalism graduate from the University of Oregon, and a resident of the SF Bay Area. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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