If They Act Like a Republican, What’s the Point of a Democrat?

No matter how many times they lose, Democrats still run right.

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Claire McCaskill, via Jeff Roberson, AP File

In the months leading up to the election, no one worked harder to oust President Trump than progressive leaders like Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. There’s in fact an argument to be made that they actually worked harder than Joe Biden himself, and salvaged which was — other than the defeat of Donald Trump — a pretty terrible night for the Democratic party. But of course, the response to the left’s drive, and the tireless efforts to get out the vote on behalf of Joe Biden were met with exactly the type of response one would expect from corporate Democratic politicians and pundits.

As one might have predicted, it didn’t take long for people like former Senator Claire McCaskill to begin punching left in an effort to turn the party even further to the right.

When addressing where she thought the Democratic party went wrong, McCaskill stated:

“It’s hard to pinpoint, I think it began around cultural issues. The Republican party very adopted cultural issues as part of their main theme, whether you’re talking guns, or issues surrounding the right to abortion in this country, or things like gay marriage and the right for transsexuals and, and other people who we as a party have tried to “look after” and make sure that they’re treated fairly. As we circle those issues we left some voters behind, and Republicans dove in with a vengeance and grabbed those voters and you’ve seen this shift. You saw it in the south, I’ve seen it in the rural areas of my state. So we’ve got to get back to the meat and potatoes issues. We’ve got to get back to the issues where we are taking care of their families. And we also need to stop acting like we’re smarter than everybody else, because we’re not!”

If they act like a Republican, what’s the point of a Democrat?

Why do we listen to people like Claire McCaskill, who lost, while an incredible progressive like Cori Bush just became her congresswoman? Why do we listen to Democrats who voted with Donald Trump and the Republicans 46% of the time while they were in office, out-raised their Republican opponent by 4 to 1, and still didn’t get re-elected?

While I do agree that Democrats should focus attention on the meat and potato issues the American people are dealing with, her interpretation of what that means — I would venture to guess — is vastly different from mine.

It should not be lost on anyone who happened to stumble across McCaskill’s comments that she is essentially arguing for Democrats to abandon perhaps the only thing they have going for them — their overall stance that people have the right to an abortion, and everyone should be able to get married — and run even further to the right. While my idea of appealing to the meat and potatoes issues would be for the Democratic party to ardently support a drastic minimum wage increase and Medicare for all without abandoning the social issues we care about, for Claire McCaskill it’s likely more along the lines of reiterating Republican talking points when it comes to tax cuts.

Personally, what I found most telling of all was McCaskill’s mention of abortion, and the reprehensible idea that the supposed party of the “left” should begin to waver on this issue. Even if principles alone weren’t enough to convince a Democratic politician that they should not back away from abortion rights, polling seems to indicate its a bad political move as well. According to Gallup, 53% of Americans feel abortions should be legal under most or some circumstances, 25% feel it should be legal under all circumstances, and 21% feel it should be illegal under all circumstances.

Nearly 80% of Americans support abortion rights, but Claire McCaskill’s idea of a winning strategy is to abandon them to appeal to the 20% who don’t.

This is why Democrats don’t win. When Democrats like McCaskill continuously spite their base, turn their backs, and take us for granted all for the sake of trying to appear like a good, solid moderate for right wing voters who wouldn’t dream of voting for them anyways, am I supposed to be upset that they lose? When Democrats can’t even bother fighting to improve the material condition of their constituents, should I be impressed when they come out of the woodwork every couple of years to tell us to vote for them anyways?

The thing that really gets me when considering all of this, is the relentless calls for “unity” directed at the left. Claire McCaskill is just one of many Democrats who have relentlessly attacked the left since the election took place, but somehow we’re still considered the divisive ones?

I have no interest in uniting with a right wing that feels they have the right to control a woman’s reproductive rights. I have no interest in uniting with a corporate democrat who fought harder against the left than they ever did against Republicans. I have no interest in being told to “vote blue no matter who” for a politician who would rather extend the olive branch to Mitch McConnell as opposed to Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. We have nothing to gain from having people like Claire McCaskill continuing to hold influence within the Democratic party, and the sooner we realize that, the better.

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Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

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