Shontel Brown’s surprising win in the Ohio special election yesterday is still reverberating around Washington today. This evening the NY Times published a story headlined “In String of Wins, ‘Biden Democrats’ See a Reality Check for the Left.” The story includes pretty strong statements from Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the chair of the House Democratic Caucus. He sees the message of the Ohio race, combined with Eric Adams win in New York City, as a pretty clear signal that Democrats aren’t looking to expand the Squad.
Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, a top member of House leadership, said in an interview Wednesday that Democratic voters were clearly rejecting candidates from the party’s most strident and ideological flank.
Where some primary voters welcomed an angrier message during the Trump years, Mr. Jeffries said, there is less appetite now for revolutionary rhetoric casting the Democratic Party as a broken institution.
“The extreme left is obsessed with talking trash about mainstream Democrats on Twitter, when the majority of the electorate constitute mainstream Democrats at the polls,” Mr. Jeffries said.
Not content to stomp all over the very-online progressives who talk up these losing candidates, Rep. Jeffries goes on to say the extreme left’s days of beating up the establishment are over.
Mainstream Democrats, Mr. Jeffries said, are not “going to act like punching bags for the extreme left.”
“Let me put it this way: The majority of Democratic voters recognize that Trumpism and the radical right is the real enemy, not us,” Mr. Jeffries said. “Apparently the extreme left hasn’t figured that out.”
I wouldn’t be surprised if Jeffries got some blowback for these comments from AOC or one of the other extremists he had in mind.
For their part, the far left are clearly not listening. Here’s Cori Bush saying Turner’s loss means nothing as far as the future is concerned.
“It was one election. It is an indicator of absolutely nothing,” Missouri Rep. Cori Bush told CBSN about Nina Turner losing the #OH11 primary.
“It’s no indicator that progressives aren’t going to win at all. People tried to say that about me. I’m here.” pic.twitter.com/abN4tMFqap
— aaron navarro (@aaronlarnavarro) August 4, 2021
And here’s one of the celebrity leftists who campaigned for Turner:
After all of our blood, sweat & tears, the great Nina Turner was too deep and real for the corrupt electoral system! Let us not lose heart or hope – the peoples' struggle for dignity & freedom is unstoppable! @ninaturner
— Cornel West (@CornelWest) August 4, 2021
What you notice is that most of these folks aren’t talking about the win for the Democratic Party. The establishment Dems are correct that most of these people only see the party as their punching bag. What they talk about is “the movement.” They are a party within the party that operates on a separate agenda. But as Jeffries points out, the establishment can simply decide not to let them.
I’ll close this up with one more point. Axios spoke to Rep. Clyburn who came off the sidelines and got involved with this race solely because he was personally insulted. Here’s what he said, “I was going to stay right here in South Carolina minding my business until I got called stupid.” This is another lesson the far left needs to learn but so far hasn’t: No one has to put up with their crap and they are quickly wearing out their welcome.