Despite having control of the White House and Congress, some Democrats do not feel comfortable about their position heading into the 2022 midterm elections.
In fact, one House Democrat is already warning that defeat lays ahead for the Democratic Party if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders allow the party’s progressive members to steer the party further to the left beyond what most Americans find palatable.
In a thoughtful interview with liberal think tank NDN, Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) said this week that Democrats cannot “get caught with our pants down again” in 2022.
Despite winning the White House, Peters suggested that Democrats must examine why they lost many seats in the House, explaining that Republicans successfully campaigned against Democrats by pointing out the party’s growing affinity for socialism, defunding the police, and progressive immigration policy.
“We were defined by Republicans in ways that were pretty effective around a couple of issues,” Peters said.
“One was that we were open borders … I think really Democrats are for fixing the immigration laws and then enforcing them,” Peters continued. “You heard that we were for defunding the police. I think part of that was that we never came up with a deal to show what we were for.”
“We also want to concentrate on this attack that we’re socialists, and I think it’s on us to show how markets and capitalism can be put to work for everybody,” Peters explained.
Peters is a vice chairman for the New Democrats Coalition, a congressional caucus of moderate Democrats.
While some Democrats continue to push their party further to the left, other Democrats know exactly why 2020 was not necessarily a longterm win for Democrats, despite now having control of the White House and Congress.
In a Democratic Party conference call after the 2020 election, Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), a moderate Democrat, blasted far-left policies, attributing Democrats’ failure to deliver on the promised “blue wave” to some Democrats supporting deeply unpopular policies like “defund the police.”
“We need to be pretty clear,” Spanberger reportedly said on the call, “It was a failure. It was not a success. We lost incredible members of Congress.”
“We have to commit to not saying the words ‘defund the police’ ever again,” she said. “We need to not ever use the words socialist or socialism ever again.”
“If we run this race again we will get f***ing torn apart again in 2022,” Spanberger predicted.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the No. 3 House Democrat, agrees with Spanberger’s analysis.
Clyburn has said that if Democrats “are going to run on Medicare for All, defund the police, socialized medicine, we’re not going to win” future elections.
Author: Chris Enloe