Fox News ran an opinion piece written by Douglas E. Schoen early Sunday. It points out how radicalized the Democrat Party has become, and it is noteworthy because Douglas Schoen is a Democrat himself. He writes (emphasis added):
As Democrats campaign for the Nov. 6 midterm elections, they have plenty of legitimate criticisms to level at President Trump and Republicans who control the House and Senate. But Democrats were hurt in recent days by amazing and disgusting comments made by Hillary Clinton and former Attorney General Eric Holder.
As a Democrat, I want my party to win as many seats as possible in the House and Senate and to capture as many governorships and other state offices as it can. But the Clinton and Holder remarks do not advance that effort – they hurt it.
Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Clinton said Tuesday that “you cannot be civil with” the Republican Party because it “wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.” She added that “if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”
But even worse than Clinton’s comments were those of Eric Holder, who said at a recent campaign event in Georgia that Democrats should abandon the advice of former first lady Michelle Obama, who said at the 2016 Democratic National Convention that her party and mine should respond positively to negative attacks from the GOP.
Mrs. Obama said that “when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.”
Holder argued just the opposite, saying: “When they go low, we kick them. That’s what this new Democratic Party is about.” He later said he wasn’t advocating violence – not literal kicking.
I beg to differ with both Clinton and Holder.
The only way the Democrats can regain the majority in either or both houses of Congress is by being civil, and pointing out the differences between Democrats and Republicans on the issues.
This is the real issue that should govern elections. Rather than the politics of popularity, one needs to consider policy points and which side offers points that are actually achievable, believable, concrete, desirable and specific. Calling President Trump and his administration names does not offer any constructive dialogue on policy matters.
Conservatives and Trump supporters know this and it is precisely because of this that Donald Trump won the White House.
While the mainstream media (and here we can include Fox News largely) tried every possible way to ridicule Donald Trump’s candidacy, the people that actually listened to what he had to say found him very impressive on policy as much as his ability to speak as the voice of the people. The recent hysteria around Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and confirmation to the Supreme Court was hysteria up front, driven by real policy fears from the deep core of liberals, as they know that this Justice is likely to form an effective wall against liberals ramming their agenda through the courts since their efforts fail legislatively so often.
Mr. Schoen continues:
As a centrist Democrat, the issue that strikes me most is the degree to which the national debt and the deficit are now out of control.
America faces uncertain and unstable times financially. Yet we are seeing a Republican-controlled Congress that has largely failed to do anything besides provide tax cuts for major corporations and the wealthiest individuals. This is by no means certain to have fundamentally altered the path of the economy or to provide economic growth.
Put another way, what the Trump administration has failed to do is to fix health care and cover pre-existing conditions more fundamentally; lead America in a fiscally responsible way; and pass tax cuts that help the average American. The Trump tax cuts have driven up the national debt and endangered funding for programs that benefit millions of people in our country.
So, here are policy points. Now we can begin to have a debate. Is Mr. Schoen right, or wrong in his information? This is far different than name-calling!
Democrats have long argued the need for a centrist agenda that focuses on:
- Providing health-care benefits – whether private or public – to all Americans to cover expansively all pre-existing conditions.
- Protecting the environment from the policies of the Trump administration that have only encouraged –and I dare say exacerbated – environmental degradation and climate change.
- Promoting a pro-growth, inclusive agenda that seeks to put working people first, and the interests of Washington insiders and economic elites second. President Trump claims that he is doing this – he calls it “draining the swamp” – but this has not happened.
There is no justification for the angry rhetoric of Clinton and Holder, which only feeds into Republican claims that Democrats are an angry mob that can’t get over Clinton’s loss to Trump two years ago.
And Holder looks particularly bad because he was once the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, yet now sounds like he is effectively advocating what appears to be either illegal activities, or metaphorical initiatives that run counter to our traditions and our politics.
Hillary Clinton has said she won’t run for office again, but Holder has said he may run for president in 2020. Whoever the Democratic candidate turns out to be needs to be a responsible and respectable opponent – not one who calls for kicking the GOP or for incivility.
We should have learned from the Senate confirmation hearing for now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that resisting for the sake of resisting doesn’t work. In fact, Democratic attacks on Kavanaugh may well have backfired, recent polls show.
The Democratic Party itself is lost now, without a message, a direction, a strategy, or agenda to confront a Republican Party that is seen as in many ways as having let the American people down.
We need change – but it must be constructive change. This Democrat believes that the comments that Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton made are wrong, counterproductive, and deserve to be rejected by the leadership of the Democratic Party.
Perhaps Fox News ran this opinion piece because Douglas Schoen is the first rational Democrat contributor to say anything in some time. However, it also appears that Mr. Schoen is a minority in his own party. It is a greatly logical approach to argue policy, as he has and as anyone who really understands American government should. But it is unclear as to whether the bulk of the Democrat Party even has reasonable people remaining.
If they do, it may well be that they are being betrayed by their party’s increasingly leftist and radical positions. The Party apparatus seems focused, but it also seems to have left people like Mr. Schoen behind.
Who knows? Maybe that will bring them into the Trump camp.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.