February 19, 2019
When it comes to painting themselves as extremists, Democrats don't need any help. The last several months have done quite a good job of showing the world how many light years away the party is from mainstream. So why, after weeks of parading around their socialist, infanticide, green deal, open borders agenda, are Democrats so sensitive about being called radical?
Ask the New York Times. The paper is making quite a stink about the GOP's messaging in the wake of some of the Left's most fanatical ideas to date. If you're a liberal in the 116th Congress, according to the NYT, "you're either a socialist, a baby killer, or an anti-Semite. That, at least, is what Republicans want voters to think, as they seek to demonize Democrats well in advance of the 2020 elections by painting them as left-wing crazies who will destroy the American economy, murder newborn babies and turn a blind eye to bigotry against Jews. It's an "unusually aggressive assault," argues the NYT, and its intent is to "strangle the new Democratic majority in its infancy."
President Trump started it, in the NYT's view, when he decided to use his State of the Union "to rail against 'new calls to adopt socialism in our country' and mischaracterize legislation backed by Democrats in New York and Virginia as allowing 'a baby to be ripped from the mother's womb moments before birth.'" We'll let the "mischaracterized" nonsense go for now since it's already died the death of a thousand fact-checkers. What has not been mischaracterized, however, is the Left's complete abandonment of anything resembling moderation.
In two years, Americans have watched the Democratic Party walk away from 77 percent of the American people on abortion, 75 percent of voters with socialism, and 75 percent of the country on ICE. So the only people putting an extremist label on Democrats are... Democrats! They only thing they object to is being outed for what those labels really mean.
Thanks to liberals like Governors Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) and Ralph Northam (D-Va.), Americans finally understand -- through cheering legislators and lit-up buildings -- that late-term abortion isn't just a "choice." It's the most gruesome form of unborn (and born) baby killing. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (D-N.Y.) "everything should be free!" agenda had its appeal too until history started dredging up reminders about the murderous nightmares of socialism, whose regimes brought nothing but "poverty, misery, inequality, and tyranny."
"Democrats have handed Republicans this messaging on a silver platter," said Andy Surabian, a Republican strategist. And most of those Democrats don't understand just how potent that messaging is. "...I just expect a lot of this to be thrown over the transom," Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told reporters. That, too, is another gross underestimation of the American voter. If Democrats learned anything from 2016, it should have been how much their social overreach has cost them.
In the meantime, if today's Democrats don't like being called "extremist," maybe they should stop acting like it. That's the irony of a party that wants to empower people to ignore the labels and define themselves. In the end, even they can't outrun their actions, which ultimately define who they are.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.