A week after voters delivered crushing defeats to Democrats across the country, worried party leaders in Washington are assuring Americans they are not part of a satanic conspiracy.
Democrats expected the 2020 election to boost their congressional House majority, take the United States Senate and flip several state legislatures, including Texas.
Instead, Republicans maintained their Senate majority, cut deeply into Democrats’ House majority, and defended every state legislature, sending Democrats into despair and blaming their party’s socialist wing for scaring voters.
“We’re not some demonic cult like we’re portrayed to be,” said Alabama Senator Doug Jones, who lost his re-election race to Republican former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville. “I was fighting the same battle that Jaime Harrison was fighting, that Mike Espy was fighting, that Cal Cunningham was fighting, that Steve Bullock was fighting. And Democrats have not been able to fully counter the Republican narrative.”
Harrison, Espy, Cunningham, and Bullock were all losing Democrat senate nominees, with Cunningham and Bullock starting out as strong favorites before watching their bids collapse.
An election in which record-smashing turnout defeated an incumbent president, but delivered resounding wins to Republicans has Democrats worried its affluent socialist wing is alienating a majority of the country.
“I’ve watched the last three elections: 2016, ‘18 and ‘20. We truly should have been in the majority and it didn’t happen,” said West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, who had to distance himself from his party to win re-election. “Whatever our message is, it hasn’t worked. And I would hope that our leadership from the top to bottom understands that. It has not worked. And if we’re going down that path again, we’re in trouble.”
Democrat infighting reached a boiling point in a conference call among House Democrats, in which Virginia Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger blamed the losses and her near-defeat on liberal messages of “defund the police.”
“The number one concern in things that people brought to me in my [district] that I barely re-won, was defunding the police,” said Spanberger. “And I’ve heard from colleagues who have said “Oh, it’s the language of the streets. We should respect that. We’re in Congress. We are professionals. We are supposed to talk about things in the way where we mean what we’re talking about. If we don’t mean we should defund the police, we shouldn’t say that.”
“And we need to not ever use the words ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again. Because while people think it doesn’t matter, it does matter. And we lost good members because of it,” said Spanberger.
That drew an angry response from democratic socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who portrays herself as an expert in winning elections despite the fact she only narrowly won her low-turnout 2018 New York City primary race when her opponent blew off fundraising and events and an outside PAC spent $2.7 million supporting her.
“You can’t just tell the Black, Brown, & youth organizers riding in to save us every election to be quiet or not have their reps champion them when they need us,” Ocasio-Cortez claimed on Twitter. “Or wonder why they don’t show up for midterms when they’re scolded for existing. Esp when they’re delivering victories.”
Despite Ocasio-Cortez’s claim minority and youth did not “turn out for the midterms,” youth turnout as a share of the vote was statistically the same in 2010, when Republicans had record wins, as in 2018 when Democrats had record wins. The difference was the issue of “socialism” which drove all other voters against them.
While Ocasio-Cortez claims to be a political expert and guru who can guide her party to massive majorities, she now appears to be looking for an exit strategy as 2020 redistricting gives New York Democrats an excuse to get rid of her. New York is losing a congressional district and Democrats tired of losing are reportedly planning to split up her district and force her to run against a more electable Democrat colleague.
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