Democrats' Leftward Lurch Leaving Many Behind
The Washington State Democratic Party has left its former chairman.
The former leader of the Washington State Democratic Party can barely recognize the party he helped build. Paul Barendt served as chairman longer than any in the state’s history. When he retired in 2006, he was probably the most successful chairman that the party had ever seen. The Democrats’ stranglehold on the governor’s office had stretched out to a quarter of a century. Both of Washington’s US Senate seats were occupied by Democrats. And, of great importance to Democrats, all three offices were occupied by women.
The Democratic Party is obsessed with tribalism and identity politics. Democrats count their success by the number of non-whites, non-males and non-heterosexuals they elect. When Democrats choose delegates for their national conventions, they have quotas for every race, nationality and sexual orientation imaginable.
The victims group you belong to counts far more than your competence.
And so it was quite understandable that, having achieved everything that mattered to Democrats, when Barendt retired in 2006, he foresaw nothing but blue skies from now on.
But his confidence in the future of his party and his state have been shaken by the hard left turn the Democrats have taken in the years since his retirement.
The Washington State Democratic Party has taken such a hard turn to the left, that he sees it disassociating itself from the mainstream. “A lot of my liberal friends are gleeful over (Kashama) Sawant’s victory. But I see it as a dark cloud for the party,” he said recently in an interview with Seattle Weekly.
Sawant is the unabashed socialist who recently won a seat on Seattle’s City council. Among her most prominent issues is the $15 per hour minimum wage. Her extremism, and the enthusiasm it stokes among Seattleistas, unsettles Barendt. The excitement her extremism incites has pushed Seattle’s already far left mayor Ed Murray to even further extremes. He has now embraced her idiotic minimum wage ideas and proclaimed that all city employees would henceforth earn at least $15 per hour.
This is not music to Paul Barendt’s ears. He summarized his dissatisfaction with the direction of Washington’s Democratic Party by stating, “I am not a socialist. I am a Democrat.”
The party that he once led doesn’t see it his way. The already far left Democratic Party https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=3373322#editor/target=post;postID=5600738567526062385abandoned all connection with reality and has shifted even further to the left.
And he’s not alone. During the last legislative session, two Democrats found their party’s extremism so alarming that they caucused with the Republicans. Rodney Tom (D-Medina) and Senator Tim Sheldon (D-Potlatch) saw the Democratic Party’s agenda as a threat to the state’s economic health. Rather than lend their votes to the far left’s agenda, both have worked to revitalize the state’s business climate.
The Democratic Party’s drift toward the left has left a number of prominent personalities behind. Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat. He stayed in the mainstream while the Democrats drifted left.
“I didn’t leave the Democratic Party,” he famously explained. “It left me.”
A similar sentiment was expressed by Reagan’s United Nations Ambassador, Jean Kirkpatrick.
During the Nineties, the election of Bill Clinton resulted in wave of Democrats bidding farewell to the party as it drifted leftward. Moderate Democratic Senators Ben Nighthorse Johnson of Colorado and Richard Shelby of Alabama both registered their horror at the direction of their party and abandoned the Democrats to join the Republicans.
Remarkably, another prominent Democrat may find herself left behind as the party lurches left. A story this past week on the CNN website revealed that Hillary Clinton, of all people, might find herself among her party’s detritus. While the news media have all but administered the oath of office to her, CNN found dissatisfaction with her among the Democratic Party base.
Her fatal flaw among the rank and file is that she’s considered too moderate to today’s Democratic Party.
Ruminate on that for a moment. Back when her husband was the president, she was considered far to his left. Lefties viewed her as the anchor that kept her husband from compromising with Republicans. And he was so extreme that nationwide hundreds of elected Democrats switched party affiliation.
And she is now considered too moderate for today’s Democratic Party.
Who would have guessed that Paul Barendt and Hillary Clinton would join Ronald Reagan among those exiled by the Democratic Party for the thought crime of excessive moderation?