Without even looking at progressive media this morning, I’m going to bet that these various warnings have been dismissed as fearmongering on the part of milquetoast corporatist neoliberals who fear seeing their own party get serious about redistribution. That’s why the third clip below, via the Free Beacon, of analyst Steve Kornacki running through the actual numbers is useful. It’s fine to disdain center-left media chatterboxes like Axelrod, Chris Matthews, and Anderson Cooper as establishment shills. But the fact remains that Americans range from highly leery to downright hostile to eliminating private insurance, providing illegal immigrants with health-care coverage, and reparations.
Even the left’s favorite cable news network won’t pretend otherwise.
It’s also inconveniently true, as Axelrod suggests, that centrism is more electable than leftism. Bernie fans in particular bristle at this idea since it was used to lethal effect in the 2016 primaries, only to have it turn out that centrism wasn’t all that electable in November either. But, again, the data is what it is:
"Moderates = more electable, other things held equal" is backed up by a lot of political science research.
It's not settled science, maybe things have changed, but there's a lot of empirical & theoretical evidence for it, more so than for most assumptions the news media makes. https://t.co/R0W8i0WVuk
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) July 31, 2019
The claim that moderates do better in elections is actually one of the better-substantiated findings in Americanist political science. https://t.co/W5Lyhmm4m7https://t.co/N6ssXuhsGdhttps://t.co/WH4ETO9WTWhttps://t.co/utnTlgjHAO https://t.co/3gmU0QJIEE
— Seth Masket (@smotus) July 31, 2019
Three clips here for you here, one from the Beacon and the other from Newsbusters. What detonated this cable-news truth bomb, I suspect, was Elizabeth Warren saying at one point of the debate in exasperation at the attacks by moderate candidates on progressive plans, “I don’t know why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for President of the United States just to talk about what we can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.” That’s a superb line for a candidate who’s depending on the activist class to push her over the top but it’s substantively vacuous. One reason to talk about “what we can’t do” is reflected in the two tweets above: If the party’s steering towards an electoral disaster by indulging its utopian whims, it should correct course lest the other party benefit. And as a matter of basic truthtelling, if in fact some of the left’s plans are fiscally infeasible, voters deserve to know that. You’ll see Matthews pressing Warren repeatedly in the second clip about having to raise taxes to pay for Medicare for All, to which she replies by insisting that households will save overall by not having to pay for health care anymore. In theory, right, but that claim is predicated on the federal government being able to control MFA’s costs consistently. How many adults who’ve watched and belly-laughed at Uncle Sam’s “cost control” efforts in various spheres over the years want to bet the private health insurance plans of 180 million people on the feds’ ability to do that?