NY Times: Democrats face a grim future, 'the red wave is coming'

AP Photo/Steve Helber

The NY Times published a piece today taking an overview of last night’s elections. What they see is a Democratic Party that is in deep trouble because last night proved conclusively that resistance politics aimed at former President Trump are no longer enough.

For five years, the party rode record-breaking turnouts to victory, fueled by voters with a passion for ousting a president they viewed as incompetent, divisive or worse. Tuesday’s results showed the limitations of such resistance politics when the object of resistance is out of power, the failure of Democrats to fulfill many of their biggest campaign promises, and the still-simmering rage over a pandemic that transformed schools into some of the country’s most divisive political battlegrounds…

“The Democrats need to take a serious look at how we chose to engage with the Trump narrative,” said Dan Sena, a Democratic strategistwho helped the party win the House in 2018.“This was an election where the Democrats did not lean into their accomplishments either in Virginia or nationally. And as we look to 2022, we’re going to have to ask some hard questions about whether that’s the right strategy.”…

“When you look over the horizon for next year, the red wave is coming,” said Corry Bliss, a top Republican strategist working for a number of congressional candidates, who added that Democrats in Washington were not “fighting about things that normal people care about.”…

“This has been a negative Trump-focused scare tactic campaign, and I think the top line is the declining salience of that,” said Tré Easton, a senior adviser for Battle Born Collective, a progressive advocacy group. “You can’t scare people into the polls. You have to give people something to vote for.”

Aside from the quotes, the NY Times‘ analysis of the Virginia race sounds a lot like Joy Reid:

By promising at nearly every campaign stop to ban critical race theory, an advanced academic concept not taught in Virginia schools, Mr. Youngkin resurrected Republican race-baiting tactics in a state that once served as the capital of the Confederacy.

This is the same mistake that got Democrats into trouble in the first place. Critical Race Theory may not be taught in schools as an academic subject but as anyone paying attention knows, CRT has become shorthand for a collection of extreme and often illiberal views that have already dominated many college campuses and which are now making their way into K-12 schools.

Case in point, consider California’s pending plans for more equitable math education. Advice that is linked in the proposal says teachers, “must identify what it means to be an antiracist math educator.” They are advised to center “ethnomathematics” which means they should, “Identify and challenge the ways that math is used to uphold capitalist, imperialist, and racist views.” This is what parents are worried about.

In July, AFT’s Randi Weingarten also claimed CRT wasn’t being taught in schools but she said that at almost the same time that the NEA was embracing CRT as an approach to teaching that needed to be defended:

At its yearly annual meeting, conducted virtually over the past few days, the NEA adopted New Business Item 39, which essentially calls for the organization to defend the teaching of critical race theory.*

“It is reasonable and appropriate for curriculum to be informed by academic frameworks for understanding and interpreting the impact of the past on current society, including critical race theory,” says the item.

Consistent with its defense of CRT, the NEA will also provide a study “that critiques empire, white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, racism, patriarchy, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, ableism, anthropocentrism, and other forms of power and oppression at the intersections of our society.” The implication is that these critiques are aspects of critical race theory, which in a weird way makes this an example of the activist left basically accepting the activist right’s new working definition of CRT as “all of the various cultural insanities.”

This is what parents are worried about. It is clearly coming to schools and in some cases elements of it are already here. The fact that the media largely refuses to acknowledge it doesn’t mean parents have been duped. On the contrary, it mostly means parents are a step ahead of the knee-jerk, left-wing media trying to obscure what is happening rather than doing its job.

When Black Lives Matter protesters started chanting “defund the police” the media rushed forward to explain and contextualize those views. Activists don’t really mean defund so much as they mean fund other priorities. They aren’t really anti-police so much as pro-reform. But not surprisingly, the same media outlets have made far less effort to understand or explain what conservatives mean when they say “Critical Race Theory.”

It’s not even that hard to figure out. Many Americans don’t agree with the views of anti-racist trainers like Robin DiAngelo and Ibram Kendi which have already been adopted on college campuses and in many corporates settings. Parents don’t want their children taught that racism is always present in everything from rational thinking and the written word to clock time. They also don’t want kids taught that white people are always privileged and minorities are always oppressed. They don’t approve of the anti-capitalist/Marxist views that many of these trainers and activists promote.

That last night was a rejection of progressive extremism might be going over the heads of everyone at MSNBC but many of the commenters at the NY Times get it. Here’s the top comment as upvoted by readers (over 1,100 votes so far):

The democrats are losing because they have allowed the progressive wing of the party to speak for everyone.

Get in touch with America or get ready for Republican rule.

The second most upvoted comment:

No. This is the fault of the progressives and Nancy Pelosi and Biden. They tied the infrastructure bill to the reconciliation bill. The country did not vote for Biden to tack left and appease Saunders or Warren or AOC. That same rebuke was seen in NYC elections. The country wants a centrist and someone who gets bipartisan deals ( even if they are not expansive).

And the third:

It is clearly a strong rejection of the progressive wing of the Democratic party. The Democratic party took a majority in the house in 2020 because Suburban districts that traditionally voted Republican voted Democratic. These voters were not endorsing European socialism or rapid decarbonization. They did not embrace Bernie Sanders. In 2022, there wasn’t a mandate change, but rather a rejection of Trump. Inflation is here – look at apartment rents which are up 10% to 20%. Unless the Democrats start focusing on the center of the US politics, they are destined to lose.

It goes on like this almost without interruption, but I like this comment from Jay in Brooklyn which says far more succinctly what I was trying to say above:

We all know the truth – it’s the ridiculous and divisive woke identity politics that 90% of the country hates, and even most minorities have no interest in.

Clearly, even a lot of left-leaning, NY Times subscribers know this truth, but that doesn’t mean you’ll hear anything about it from the dolts at MSNBC or any of the other major networks. They are going to keep calling parents racists and pretending they have no idea what they are concerned about because they are rooting for the other team.