Click to go to the Subscriber Log In Page
Go to menu with buttons for all pages on BC
Click here to go to the Home Page
Est. April 5, 2002
July 25, 2019 - Issue 799

Democrats Aid Trump Reelection

"The Democrats are seemingly caught in a cycle of
self-immolation with their core internal policy
disagreements that are likely to wipe out their midterm
gains and render them a minor Party.  Meanwhile, the
Republicans remain in lockstep behind Trump and
have a national get-out-the-vote (GOTV) strategy
they are already implementing."

Trump, with the able assistance of Democrats, is about to cruise to reelection in 2020 along with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the rest of his Senate colleagues. And the House is currently in a toss-up for control between Democrats and Republicans with current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi placing her finger in the dike to hold back the Republican onslaught for a return to domination of all three branches of the federal government.

If I were to predict the 2020 odds right now, they would be 55-45 for Trump to maintain his presidency, 60-40 for Republicans to retain the Senate, and 52-48 for the Democrats to continue holding the majority in the House. The reasons for these projections are grounded in the growing disunity within the Democratic Caucus, impending attempts at intra-group assassinations, and Trump’s fervent playing of the race card to stoke divisions between majority and minority citizens in the nation’s electorate.

The ultra-liberal firebrands of the House Democrats’ progressive wing—the Justice Democrats (JDs)—have decided that their number one priority is to force the Democratic Caucus to adopt and embrace all of their political positions: decriminalization of the undocumented entry of foreign citizens, especially those of Latinx origin and other ethnic groups of color; Medicare for All which eliminates the private insurance option; providing health care for undocumented immigrants; holding Israel accountable for its treatment of Palestinians and Muslims; and an assortment of other further left iterations of existing Democratic policies.

The JDs arrived on the scene before the 2018 midterm elections and supported a number of candidates for Congress, many in state or local office across the country (e.g., Ilhan Omar, a former Minnesota state legislator; Rashida Tlaib, a former Michigan state legislator; Ayanna Pressley, a former Boston, Massachusetts city councilwoman; and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Socialist activist in Brooklyn, New York and a former organizer for the 2016 Bernie Sanders Democratic presidential campaign.

Although, the overwhelming preponderance of JD-backed midterm Democratic nominees went down to defeat, Omar (a female Somali-American Muslim naturalized citizen), Tlaib (a Palestinian-American woman), Pressley (an African American female), and Ocasio-Cortez, a Latinx Puerto Rican woman, united to become the progressive Democrats’ farthest left advocates for Party reform. After skirmishing with Nancy Pelosi before voting for her to become Speaker, they subsequently banded together to become “the Squad.”

But the organizing maestro behind “the Squad” is Saikat Chakrabarti, a Wall Street alumnus, former Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Director of Organizing Technology for the 2016 Sanders campaign, and a founder of the Justice Democrats and the Brand New Congress organizations. He also serves as the chief of staff to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and has apparently been given the unprecedented freedom to publicly attack minority and majority House Democrats which he has done on several occasions. Some Democrats have raised questions as to who is actually in charge of her office.

Among Chakrabarti’s most recent targets are Jerry Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary Committee; Eliot Engel, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Hakeem Jeffries, chair of the House Democratic Caucus, one of two African Americans in top House leadership roles; and William Lacy Clay, member of the House Financial Services and Oversight Committees, and a ten-term Congressman. His goal, with the ostensible approval of “the Squad” is to turn the House Democratic Caucus into Democratic Socialists.

Chakrabarti was emboldened after he managed Ocasio-Cortez’s successful underdog campaign against incumbent Congressman, Joe Crowley, the perceived heir apparent to Nancy Pelosi as Democratic leader. He also contributed strategic political support to the elections of the three other members of “the Squad,” who have taken on his political persona.

The Democratic Caucus’s disagreements with “the Squad” have been tabled for now due to Trump’s virulent condemnations of the group. The entire Caucus came out to support them in a positive show of harmony. However, the fissures beneath the surface still need to be addressed if House Democrats are to retain their majority.

Internecine political warfare among Democrats is an unexpected boon to Republicans and Trump’s 2020 political campaigns despite the national angst against Trump’s racist attacks on “the Squad.” Trump has not relented in his withering and revolting criticism of these four women of color despite the behind the scenes requests from Republican Party leaders for him to do so. He is convinced that his assaults are accruing to his benefit, and he is right.

Recent on-the-ground reporting by the New York Times from Michigan, a state Trump carried by only 11,000 votes in 2016, revealed that voters view “the Squad” as the anti-American villains that Trump has painted them as and that they are even more committed to him than they were in 2016. His playing of the race card is proving to be a winning hand. Moreover, Trump’s portrayal of “the Squad” and other Democrats as extreme left-wing socialists, who are out of touch with America, is gaining traction. It is a message that is increasingly appealing to a broad cross-section of the American electorate.

The more the liberal media lambast Trump for his racism and xenophobia, the greater the support he receives for the way he is running the country. Coupled with the decline in unemployment and the continually improving economy, Trump is in the political catbird seat. Yet the political class persists in the belief that he will not be elected to a second term. The push for impeachment, on which there is a split among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, is another plus for Trump because it allows him to present himself as a victim.

Moreover, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are all over the place on this issue, with three of the five leaders in current polls (Sens. Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren) endorsing it and the other two, former Vice President Joe Biden and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, stating that they would support an impeachment inquiry and that they would abide by the decision of the House on this matter. Thus, the Democratic base, that wants impeachment, is pushing the party to the left while the remainder of the country is in the center.

The Democrats are seemingly caught in a cycle of self-immolation with their core internal policy disagreements that are likely to wipe out their midterm gains and render them a minor Party. Meanwhile, the Republicans remain in lockstep behind Trump and have a national get-out-the-vote (GOTV) strategy they are already implementing. They are also engaging in aggressive and illegal voter suppression of minorities and other members of the Democratic base in the battleground states, particularly in the three that put Trump over the top in 2016: Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

The Democrats counter to these schemes appears to be to pin their reelection hopes on the testimony of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, hoping for the political revelation of a smoking gun. Such an approach may prove foolhardy in the final analysis. They need to do the hard political work themselves.

links to all 20 parts of the opening series Columnist, Dr. Walter C. Farrell, Jr., PhD, MSPH, is a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado-Boulder and has written widely on vouchers, charter schools, and public school privatization. He has served as Professor of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as Professor of Educational Policy and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Contact Dr. Farrell. 




is published every Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1
Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion by Jamala Rogers