Border Crisis: Where Is the Democratic Establishment?

Greg Sargent notes that the portion of the Democratic Party most visibly making a Big Bleeping Deal over the atrocities on the border is the left-leaning part of the party.

Our national debate over the horrific treatment of migrants is becoming deeply confused. Because the most prominent progressive House members have taken the lead in spotlighting these emerging conditions — for which they deserve credit — this story is increasingly coming across in media coverage as pitting only the left of the Democratic Party against President Trump’s cruelties.

And, thinking about it, he’s right. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been all over the news about what she witnessed at a border station in El Paso, along with several other congressional Democrats. Last week presidential hopefuls Liz Warren, Julian Castro, Beto O’Rourke, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg — plus John Hickenlooper, who should give up hope — went to a privately run shelter in Homestead, Florida to call attention to conditions there. And of course, the candidates have reason to try to get publicity for themselves. But where is the rest of the party on this issue?

Right now, Democrats are consumed in a searing internal debate over whether some immigration positions of some presidential candidates are pulling the party too far left. These include things such as “decriminalizing migration” by downgrading the seriousness of illegal border crossing.

Yes, boys and girls, back in Washington they are fretting that doing the right thing may pull them too far to the left.

Some are warning that Democrats are veering away from the strategy that enabled them to win the House by triumphing in very tough districts, including ones carried by Trump.

A variation on a theme. The worry is that by showing compassion to migrant children (which amounts to “moving left”) Dems will lose in red districts.

In truth, Sargent writes, this is an issue that ought to be uniting all factions of the Democratic Party. Instead, we saw them splinter over a $4.6 billion emergency spending bill. House progressives, plus Nancy Pelosi, wanted a bill that provided better safeguards for children and restrictions on what Trump could do with the money. The “moderates,” including Chuck Schumer, passed the bill Trump and McConnell wanted.

In other news: The House Ways and Means Committee finally filed suit to obtain Trump’s tax returns. They should have done this months ago. The legal maneuvering to stall the suit might not be resolved until after the 2020 general election.