New York Times columnist and NeverTrump “conservative” David Brooks spends a lot more of his newspaper ink bashing President Trump than he does talking about the leftward swing of the Democratic Party, but he managed to finally notice the socialist takeover on PBS last Friday when surveying the party’s chances in 2020. Host Judy Woodruff asked Brooks and liberal Mark Shields what they thought about little-known presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, at which point Brooks noted how the Democrats were in danger of leaving moderates behind.
“He’s coming down on the progressive end of the spectrum, I think that’s fair to say, David,” Woodruff said of Buttigieg. “He talked about the Green New Deal. He talked a little bit about taxing the rich, which has obviously come up among the Democrats, Medicare for all, how to deal with health care. Where do you see the Democratic field sort of shaking out in that way? I mean, is it shaking in a direction that helps the party, or not?”
“It’s somewhere to the left of Che Guevara, I guess,” Brooks said, drawing laughter from the host and Shields. “As Donald Trump makes it extremely hard to think about supporting somebody like that, I find the Democrats have done an outstanding job of making it hard for a lot of moderates to support anything. Personally, the idea that I could ever support a candidate who was in support of the Green New Deal, that will never happen. That could never happen.
“The Green New Deal concentrates power in the hands of the Washington elite in a way nothing has done since World War II,” Brooks continued. “It would literally have Washington planners taking over the energy business, taking over the transportation business, so no planes are possible or necessary, taking over health care. It really is a centralization of power in a way we haven’t seen and doesn’t exist in Scandinavia. It used to be Democrats wanted to shift the tax code, shift the regulations in order to steer the market in a more humane direction, and I get that.”
At that point, Shields jumped in to defend the Democrats, whom he said were not all on board with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ridiculous program.
“I think David has set up a straw man as far as the New Green Deal is concerned,” he said. “It is not something that has been endorsed by the Democratic Party or anything of the sort. It’s gotten a lot of attention, and a lot of publicity and a lot of buzz, but it is not the Democratic platform by any means.”
Well, if anyone is being disingenuous in this conversation, it’s Shields, who knows damn well that most of the prominent Democratic contenders for president have come out in favor of Ocasio-Cortez’s “moonshot.” Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar have all signaled their support for the Green New Deal to one degree or another. If it isn’t part of the Democratic platform right now, it surely will be by the time the 2020 convention rolls around, even if someone “moderate” like Biden captures the nomination.
In any event, perception is reality when it comes to politics, and no one can argue that the perception is that the Democratic Party is on the kind of leftward swing that we haven’t seen in many a decade, if ever. If it is significant enough to distract a fake conservative like Brooks from his anti-Trump agenda, Democrats may soon find that it is also significant enough to keep moderate Democrats home on election day. Home…or in the voting booth, pulling the lever for DJT.