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.

11 thoughts on “Border Crisis: Where Is the Democratic Establishment?

  1. I personally see nothing wrong with the Democrat party going a bit left.  Maybe they wouldn't be such wusses if they had some stronger held belief.

  2. We liberals always lead!

    But we always have to carry the "Centrists" and "Right-Centrists" in a righteous direction like a thoroughbred-bred in a race with Chris Christie in the saddle!!!

    I don't get why Schumer caved to Mitch – except that's what Schumer does.

    "And now for something completely different:"

     Or not.  Back to our WAAAAAY too early debates, and this idiot's opinion on a handful of the lesser lights.h

    John Hickenpoope… looper… Hickenlooper… Shouldn't give up hope.

    He should take up a CO Senate run; so when a Democrat is elected, the POTUS has, or is close to having, a Democratic Senate!

    Michael Bennett can stay in longer, since he's already a CO Senator.

    Steve Bullock can stay in since no one knows WTF he looks or sounds like yet – actually, I kind of like him, and want to see him in a debate or two.  But then?  Anything but a steep upward arrow after a few of them, mister, means that you run for Montana's Senate seat.

    Oh, and Beto, try running to take out Cornyn in TX.  Your "15 Minutes of Fame" in this presidential election is fizzling fast!

    Maybe in the future…


  3. Strategically, by passing the bill even without the controls we wanted the blame for the crisis STAYS with Trump and the GOP. IMO, McConnell wanted Dems to block aid so if/when pictures surfaced (and they are now, from the IG Office) the GOP can NOT point fingers at the Democrats and say we were playing politics with migrants lives and safety.

    This is the blame game played in the Major Leagues. I do not think Trump will use the money to ease the conditions. The outrage can only fall on the White House and that's crucial in 2020 that Democrats don't participate in preventing aid – regardless of our good intentions.

  4. " Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been all over the news "

    Seems pointless to blame the inept and overwhelming cruelty of Trump’s control of the border and immigration process on the democratic establishment. What is the point? What Trump is doing is cruel and racist, why turn it into a political hammer to use on moderate democrats? The democratic establishment is not Racist, they have little if any control of the situation, Trump is running the executive branch, these are his policies. There are only so many tee-vee shows for democrats to appear on. What exactly should the other two hundred and fifty or so other democrats do? The Energy for any movement always comes from a small faction, that’s the way it works. If you’re going to cast the party establishment aside how will any progressive movement become law?

    • uncledad: I don’t come anywhere close to blaming the inept and overwhelming cruelty of Trump’s control of the border and immigration process on the democratic establishment. I didn’t come within a thousand miles of doing that. My complaint is that the establishment and the progressive left need to be uniting in opposition to this issue. This is an opportunity for the Dems to stand up and mean something; to be the good guys together. Instead, the establishment Dems are nearly invisible compared to the lefty Dems.

  5. Does anyone care that either the Senate or the House bill will cost money?  Does anyone care that this money must be borrowed from our future, and tagged onto the sky-rocketing national debt?  Does anyone care that the root cause of the migrant problem is poorly understood and not addressed?  Does anyone  really care our fascist concentration camps are failing even to take care of the migrants basic needs?  Does anyone care that the press is prevented from doing it's job of writing about and informing us of the truth about the conditions in the camps much less looking into the operation's finances?

    Oh, and by the way, does anyone have the foggiest idea how we get the hate filled fascist types to buy into any solution that is more humane than a gas chamber or mass executions?  

    As you can see I have more questions than answers.  The answer to the problem, I fear,  will take unacceptable levels of work, planning, honest dealing, understanding, vision, and public sacrifice.   Huston, we have a problem.   

    • The answers to most your questions seems to be no? The right doesn't care about any of it, the kids are brown and besides it's all Obama's fault. Much of the left is too busy making political hay and many seem to agree with the right that it is the democratic establishment that is to blame. Still more on both sides want to use the crisis to fuel there own political pet projects, abolish ICE, decrimminalize migration on the left, census citizenship questions, eliminate asylum, etc, etc……on the right. All the while we have a President who has cut off aid to the Countries where the migrant "crisis" originates, he can't be bothered, he's too busy planning his Military Parade!

  6. Someone noted that it didn't matter *who* was nominated, because the GOP would call them *any* name that would stick, and possibly do damage. 

    If Joe Biden was nominated, he'd have "gone socialist" to win the nomination, "he *used* to be a moderate, but now he's a full-blown socialist, and it's a shame," and the news would report that this is what people are talking about and start asking questions like "how will the Biden camp handle this perception of their being socialists who drift ever-more-leftward?" Would that really happen? Key point: *ONLY* if it seemed to be moving the polls, and if it did, it would happen, because "moving the polls" is the only thing the GOP cares about. (They can't move the polls in the right direction with policy, after all!)

    I mean… worried about drifting left would be a concern if there was concern about policy changes that might have an bad effect, but worried about appearing left-leaning, when you're dealing with a messaging machine that can only tell the truth by accident, and then only if the truth is damning, is silly. 

    The concentration camps should be Trump's (7th or 8th) Katrina; we should not let rumors of detainee abuse by the Border Patrol to go uninvestigated, we should find out what resources are needed, and why, and find to our horror that they're engaged in gross negligence, or deliberate cruelty….

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