by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Laura Barron-Lopez of the Washington Examiner uses the recent mayor’s race in Omaha, Neb., to delve into larger issues involving today’s Democratic Party politics. In that race, national Democrats denounced one of their own candidates because of his pro-life views.
The rift in the party on abortion rights was exposed on the national stage. Perez drew a red line, declaring it “non-negotiable” that “every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health.” This prompted a backlash from party leaders including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who, although she is herself fervently pro-abortion rights, has also repeatedly rejected it as a litmus test. Democrats cannot win majorities if they exclude pro-life candidates, she said. …
… The absence of coordination and loyalty to the party in Omaha is a clear example of what can go wrong for Democrats in 2018. It encapsulates the near impossibility of a consistent and unifying message from Democrats. These competing ideological forces could prevent the party from securing one of their greatest congressional victories since 2006, when they seized control of both houses of Congress.
Democrats want to compete everywhere. They don’t want to scoot into a majority by a tiny margin. They want to barrel their way back with a vengeance, signaling to President Trump that his time in Washington will be brief, and that Republicans made a grave mistake by accepting him as one of their own.
But to have any chance of doing that, Democrats need to look at their own problems first. Despite denials by party leaders, Democrats haven’t healed from their contentious primary between Clinton and Sanders. There is infighting.