The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is a win for those in the political arena looking for governing not tied to the extremist wings of either party.
Democrats should be joyous as they control two of the three houses in Washington with an opportunity to capture the third in a state where President-elect Biden was the first Democrat to win since Bill Clinton.
But here we are, nearly a week after the Biden-Harris ticket was declared the winner—by the same metric we have used in all other modern elections—and Dems are already fighting among themselves.
The battle is between the centrist and the extreme left wing parts of the party, personified by recent interviews of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Brian Lamb of Pennsylvania.
Exemplified by North Jersey’s Reps. Josh Gottheimer and Mikie Sherrill, moderate Democrats believe not only did the party lose an opportunity to expand their majority in the House but lost seats because of extreme views such as defunding the police.
As Rep. Gottheimer said Democrats win when the issues are kitchen table topics such as healthcare and the economy.
“On our side, we are not interested in socialism, or any talk of socialism. My colleagues have made it pretty clear that those words should not be uttered in the halls of the Democratic caucus. I think that it is critically important,” said Gottheimer. “It’s clear that we did very well with our message of healthcare and clear leadership on COVID.”
But the leaders must find a way to work with the left-wing activists of the party. The grassroots of the party enabled key victories in such states as Georgia and Arizona. They deserve a seat at the table and a larger voice when policy decisions are being made by the Democartic National Committee.
As for Republicans? The fact is they are being led by a man who always says the result was fixed if he lost or just walks away with carnage of lives and businesses in his wake. New Jerseyans know this first hand from the bankruptcy of his casino in Atlantic City to his running the USFL into the ground as owner of the New Jersey Generals.
Their baseless claims about a stolen election are corrosive to America, a continued attack on the institutions that have served the United States so well. As we have made the point before, the Republican Party is fully engulfed in Trumpism and it is not going away anytime soon. Just look at the action of Mitch McConnell who is more concerned about control of the Senate that he will not move on any COVID relief until after Georgia holds their Senate elections.
The veering to the extreme right—especially the use of language inciting right wing militias and hate groups like the Proud Boys—is not just bad for Republicans but for the country.
The Democracy best practiced in the U.S. has been built on a two party system that looked to work together in the best interests of the nation. The truth is that one party is now run by extremists who have a nihilist view about governing and building coalitions to better the country we all love.
If the Democratic party is not careful, this could happen to them as well.