by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The mood of left-wing Democrats might be neatly summarized by the media coverage of last weekend’s Netroots Nation conference. The progressive left seems poised to consign former President Barack Obama to the dustbin of history. Moreover, supposedly woke agitators do not seem to care how their exercise might affect black voters who comprise a crucial part of their 2020 electoral strategy.
According to Vox, “Progressive activists know their enemy in the 2020 Democratic primary: Joe Biden.” As Vox notes, “Some activists at Netroots conceded they would support Biden in a general election if they had no other choice.”
Dean Obeidallah of CNN and The Daily Beast finds this concession a sign of a pragmatism that should make President Donald Trump quake with fear, as opposed to the rock-bottom minimum expectation for a group that claims to believe the president is an existential threat to the republic. Not unlike the Hollywood types who take private jets to climate change conferences, the gap between rhetoric and action is considerable.
The left’s antipathy is not limited to Biden. At the Washington Post, David Weigel profiles “The Democrats who don’t miss Obama (or Biden).” In his day, Weigel covered any number of Tea Party conferences (often unfairly); if he noticed that Netroots is the left-wing, hall-of-funhouse-mirrors version of those events, he failed to include it in his news “analysis.”
Rather, Weigel provided a deadpan account of how “the largest annual gathering of liberal activists, which pulls everyone from electoral data gurus to disability rights activists into one loud space, had no nostalgia at all for a two-term president who, for a while, seemed to redefine the Democratic Party.”