Jake Tapper asks Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who spent Saturday with protesters fighting against the separation of children at the border, about the latest round of elections and whether the Democratic Party needs to go farther to the left, or if we are already too far to the left. Do Democrats in certain states need to pull back on the super leftist policies to hold onto their seats in certain Midwestern or more industrial states (I am looking at you, Joe Manchin)?
TAPPER: There are obviously a lot of Democrats from red states, states that Trump won who are up for re-election this year. There's going to be a lot of pressure on them, Heitcamp and Manchin from West Virginia. Should they vote the way that they need to vote to win re-election if it comes down to that or do you think they should vote the way their party wants them to vote?
DUCKWORTH: I will tell you what I've learned in my short time in the Senate, all three of them vote in whatever they need to do to take care of the people of their state. They put their constituents first and I've seen real bravery from the three of them as well. Manchin, for example, has said time and again that he will protect health care for the people of West Virginia. same with Heidi Heitcamp. They put their own states and constituents first. I ask them to vote for their constituents and they will know which way to vote then.
TAPPER: There are obviously a lot of shock waves in the Democratic party Tuesday night when 28-year-old Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez , against Joe Crowley. Is this the future of the Democratic party?
DUCKWORTH: I think it's a future of the party in the Bronx where she is. I think that we as legislators needs to listen to our constituency and get out there. I think what she did, she did the hard work and pounded the pavement and she was out there talking to everyone about constituents and I think that was a difference. She turned out voters and reflected the needs of her district.
TAPPER: Are you concerned that your party is going too far to the left to win in the mid-terms or win back the White House?
DUCKWORTH: I think that you can't win in the White House without the Midwest and I don't think that you can go too far to the left and still win the Midwest coming from a Midwestern state. You need to talk to the industrial Midwest and listen to the people there and in order to win an election nationwide.
So.....kind of discounting the win in the Bronx. But is that the best thing to do? It is clear the Democratic voters want more from their elected officials. They want a strong voice for change, not just the same old Democratic talking points.
But let's be clear, the Democratic Party isn't going that far to the left. It only seems that way to the mainstream media because they've gone above and beyond to normalize the GOP aligning themselves with Nazis, white supremacists and Russian assets. Compared to them, sure, we seem really left. But as Sean Hannity tried to demonize Alex Ocasio-Cortez right before the NY primary, is Tapper suggesting this platform will alienate the Midwest?
Hannity said, “many are hailing Cortez as a rising star on the political landscape but in reality, her views, her policy positions, are actually downright scary.” Let’s take a look at that platform that Hannity is so frightened by:
- “Medicare For All”
- “Housing As a Human Right”
- “A Federal Jobs Guarantee”
- “Gun Control / Assault Weapons Ban”
- “Criminal Justice Reform, End Private Prisons”
- “Immigration Justice / Abolish ICE”
- “Solidarity with Puerto Rico”
- “Mobilizing Against Climate Change”
- “Clean Campaign Finance”
- “Higher Education for All”
- “Women’s Rights”
- “Support LGBTQIA+”
- “Support Seniors”
- “Curb Wall Street Gambling: Restore Glass Steagall”
Yikes, that is scary!
Maybe what we need is for MORE Democratic candidates to fully embrace this instead of letting the fascists dictate the framing.