At The Liberal Patriot, Peter Juul advises Democrats to listen carefully to the wise words of South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn:
"If there’s any one person responsible for defeating President Trump and putting Joe Biden in the White House, it’s Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina. His endorsement of Biden ahead of his state’s pivotal Democratic presidential primary propelled Biden to a decisive victory in that contest. On the strength of his performance in South Carolina, Biden went on to win the Democratic nomination and then the presidency. Given that Biden was likely the only one of some twenty Democratic presidential hopefuls capable of besting Trump at the ballot box, it’s hardly an exaggeration to say that Clyburn’s intervention spared the country the disaster of a second Trump term.
When Clyburn speaks about politics, then, Democrats ought to listen. That makes his rare endorsement of a mainstream center-left candidate in a special election in Cleveland to fill the House seat vacated by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge all the more noteworthy. In an interview with the New York Times explaining his decision to intervene in this race, Clyburn made his logic clear:
"What I try to do is demonstrate by precept and example how we are to proceed as a party. When I spoke out against sloganeering, like ‘Burn, baby, burn’ in the 1960s and ‘defund the police,’ which I think is cutting the throats of the party, I know exactly where my constituents are. They are against that, and I’m against that."...
The trouble for Democrats in 2020 wasn’t that they embraced the left’s unpopular and unwise rhetoric. For the most part, Democrats from candidate Biden on down didn’t advocate such positions. But by and large, they failed to actively disassociate themselves from extreme stances they didn’t agree with. That created the false impression that Democrats as a whole supported these views, or at least cultivated a sense that they tolerated them more than most voters were comfortable with – and that sense, as Spanberger and others noted, lent credence to Republican attack ads.
Clyburn’s intervention in the Ohio special election – and, crucially, how he’s explained it – suggests that on a certain level Democratic political leaders realize that association with the catchphrases and policy positions of the progressive left drags down the party as a whole. It’s just a first step, but it’s a step in the right direction. The more Democratic candidates and party leaders actively oppose what Clyburn aptly calls “sloganeering” from the left, the better off they’ll be come election day."
Sounds like common sense to me. If you want the Democratic brand to have maximum appeal, this is what you have to do. It is not enough to merely fail to endorse nutty stuff. You have to actively oppose it.
Read Juul's entire piece at The Liberal Patriot!