By COKIE ROBERTS AND STEVEN V. ROBERTS
The civil war ripping through the Republican Party is familiar by now. But a similar battle inside the Democratic Party is just starting to emerge. Orthodox liberals are trying to mimic the tea party and impose political correctness on moderate apostates.
They point to the election of two left-wing heroes in deep blue states — Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts last year, and Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio in New York last month — as a sign that the party, and the country, is heading their way.
“In our minds, Elizabeth Warren is the north star to which the entire Democratic Party can look as they seek direction,” Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee told Politico. “The wind is at our back.”
If the Democratic Party is foolish enough to listen to such nonsense, they deserve the defeats that will inevitably ensue.
The Republicans provide a stark warning of what happens when an extreme faction dominates a mainstream party. In recent years, the GOP has nominated five hardline conservatives in close Senate races who then lost in the general election.
Primary opponents and voters pulled Mitt Romney far to the right on issues like immigration and helped extinguish his chances of defeating President Obama. At least four senior Republican senators — Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Thad Cochran and John Cornyn — are being challenged as heretics in primaries next year. Their sin: They dare to talk to Democrats occasionally.
The self-delusion infecting the left is reflected in the numbers. In 2012, only 25 percent of voters identified as liberals while 35 percent called themselves conservatives (41 percent were moderates). In a recent Gallup survey, only 19 percent chose the label “economic liberal;” 41 percent picked “economic conservative”.
Or look at history. Since 1968, Democrats have nominated five northern liberals in the Warren mode (including two from her home state): Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis and John Kerry. They all lost.