Moderate Democrats are pushing back against popular far-left proposals like the Green New Deal, Medicare-for-all and liberal tax plans — fearing they will backfire in the 2020 election.
The centrists' move has been strengthened by the entrance into the White House race of moderate presidential candidates like former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke, and the expected announcements of former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., The Washington Post reported.
Because of that, the policies now taking center stage are public options or marginal Medicare expansions, market-based solutions to climate change, closing tax loopholes, and expanding tax breaks for the middle class, the Post reported.
"There was a clear story coming out of the midterms, and it is like it never happened," Jane Hartley, a former U.S. ambassador to France who helped raise millions to support 31 Democratic House candidates, told the Post.
"We have to look at how we won. The Democrats have to put together a coalition, and it's a coalition that includes suburban voters."
President Donald Trump has already suggested he will capitalize on the prominence of the Democrats' progressive policy ideas.
"If they beat me with the Green New Deal, I deserve to lose," Trump said at a recent fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the Post reported. "What they want to do to the country would be horrible. We have to win."
Biden's probable entrance into the race could offer the strongest counterweight to the liberal surge, the Post reported.
"Show me the really left-left-left-left-wingers who beat a Republican," he said last week, the Post reported. "The fact of the matter is the vast majority of the members of the Democratic Party are still basically liberal-moderate Democrats in the traditional sense."
Larry Summers, who served as treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton and a top economic adviser in the Obama administration, told the Post the Democratic Party has been down a radical path before — to no good end.
"There is a bit in the air that is worryingly reminiscent of 1972, when Democrats were rightly enraged with a corrupt and malign president were disillusioned by their previous unsuccessful establishment presidential candidate, gravitated to radical redistribution economic policy, focused on turning out their activists, and failed to focus on the middle," Summers told the Post.
"The result was the political catastrophe of Richard Nixon's re-election."
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