Before you ask, I wasn’t the one who came up with this theory of an impending wave of despair among progressives and liberals. You can blame Alex Thompson at Politico for this one. He notes today that the hard left progressive wing of the Democratic Party was flying high a couple of months back, based largely on the strong showing Bernie Sanders delivered in the first couple of primaries this year. Then, after South Carolina, it all came crashing down. On top of that, they’ve lost some key primary fights where progressives hoped to oust some of the more moderate members of their party and things aren’t looking much better for them in several upcoming races.
Since then, not only did the “establishment” stop Sanders — it stamped out the candidacies of a string of left-wing insurgents, leaving the progressive movement reeling and in a state of despair.
Three highly-touted liberal House candidates — Jessica Cisneros in Texas, Robert Emmons in Illinois, and Morgan Harper in Ohio — lost their primary races against more moderate members of Congress. They are now playing defense as Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of the four members of the “squad,” faces a stiff primary challenge in Michigan. And Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass), who’s managed a late-career makeover into a left-wing darling, with endorsements from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and other progressive groups, is consistently outpolled by primary challenger, Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.).
Thompson goes on to note that it’s not just a case of “squad approved” challengers losing their races. The progressives are failing to get their policies pushed through in Congress where they had hoped to restructure American society as part of the various pandemic relief packages recently passed or currently under consideration. I’m not sure how true that is, however. It seems to me that Nancy Pelosi has done her best to load up each relief package with a mountain of liberal wishlist items. It’s only the fact that those efforts have been dead on arrival with the GOP majority in the Senate that’s kept them from going through.