Recent developments have revealed the limits of the star power of Ocasio-Cortez and company. Republicans are ridiculing the Green New Deal and casting the Democrats as socialists. Rather than adopting sweeping reforms, House Democratic leaders are putting forward bills that make incremental changes to health care and push for the more modest goals of the Paris Climate Accords. And the idea of impeaching the President is all but dead at this point. The leading voice on impeachment, Tlaib, got just one co-sponsor for her renewed resolution.
If that wasn’t a clear enough signal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi effectively buried the notion of impeachment in recent comments. “I’ve made it really clear on impeachment,” Pelosi told CNN Wednesday. “Everybody can do whatever they want to do but that’s not a place where we are right now.”
The conclusion of the Mueller investigation presents a challenge for those Democrats who counted on it bringing down Trump. But it’s also a chance for the caucus’ moderates to refocus the conversation in Washington on a more center-left policy agenda. That certainly lacks the verve and appeal of the revolutionary changes put forth by the progressives, but it may be more doable and some would argue is more in keeping with the ballast of the party.