A Democratic Shift Too Far?

Picture Source: CNN.com

Picture Source: CNN.com

By moving too far to the left, are Democrats snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

In an effort to appease the most vocal activists within the Democratic Party, are its presidential candidates moving too far left to win in the general against President Trump?

It's an old adage that to get nominated you move to the edge, and to win you move to the center. But early in this cycle, there are signs that Democrats are going too far.

Consider that on Thursday night, Joe Bden changed a position he's held for 4 decades. Biden said he would no longer support the Hyde Amendment which bans the use of federal funds for abortion. His logic makes sense - he said where he views healthcare as a right, he could no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone's zip code.

His change came after his prior view was hammered by his opponents who painted his prior position in extreme terms.

Cory booker said he regarded the Hyde Amendment as an assault on African-American women.

Maybe that gave Biden a push.  Perhaps he thought he could not risk alienating voters of color with the trifecta of Anita Nill, the Crime Bill and the Hyde Amendment. 

While the new Biden position will play well in primary season, the most recent CNN polling from 2016 shows most Americans - 58% - liked his prior view. 

Abortion is not the only example of where the party risks running too far to the left.    

Impeachment is the buzzword of the day for many democratic activists, and House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler has been pushing speaker Nancy Pelosi to facilitate the launch of proceedings

But as Axios pointed out yesterday, 75% of the democratic house caucus has yet to publicly support impeachment. And where it takes 21 of the 24 House Judiciary Democrats to refer impeachment to the house floor, only 13 are so far publicly on board.    Still, 11 democratic presidential candidates have called for the impeachment of President Trump, including Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Beto O'Rourke.   

But the polling suggests this is not where a majority of Americans stand. A CNN poll conducted from May 28th to 31st found that 41 percent of Americans believe President Trump should be impeached or removed from office compared with 54 percent who said he shouldn't. Five percent had no opinion. 

Last weekend at a gathering of California Democrats, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper was booed after warning attendees that the party should not embrace socialism.  

Here again, socialism might no longer be taboo in the DNC, but among all Americans, a majority remain opposed. A Gallup Poll from April showed that while four in 10 Americans embrace some form of socialism, a market increase over the last century, still 51% believe socialism would be a bad thing for the country.  

Then there is healthcare. You can add Medicare for all to the list of issues gaining currency among democrats - impeachment, repealing the Hyde amendment, socialism, and the green new deal. But are Americans ready to replace all of private insurance? When former congressman John Delaney tried to distinguish Medicare for all from universal coverage when speaking to California democrats, he too was booed. Hearing that, rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio Cortes told Delaney, via twitter, that it was time for him to "sashay away." Congressman Delaney will join me in a moment but go to my web site now and vote.

By moving too far to the left, are Democrats snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

Are the loudest voices again drowning out reasonable ones?