As the Democratic Party lurches leftward and adopts a distinctly socialist stance, its political center has also shifted left.  Amazingly, this new Democratic Party considers among its centrists those figures we tend to think of as radical leftists:  Obama, Hillary, and to a lesser extent Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

Figures once considered fringe even among the left are now hailed as the voice of the party; these figures include self-proclaimed socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and radical progressive Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).  Sanders and more recently Warren have been strong proponents of single-payer and “free” college.  Thanks in large part to Bernie, much of the left, the Democrat base, thinks of itself as “Democratic Socialist.”

Here at Legal Insurrection, we’ve noted that in recent years Democrats have been consistently dropping any pretense of their socialist leanings.

This week the California Democratic Party fails to endorse in the California Senate race.

Wow indeed.  Feinstein, the state’s senior senator, is being challenged by Democrat state senator Kevin de León who is running to her left and who racked up 54% of the state convention votes.

The Orange County Register reports:

California Democrats rebuked Sen. Dianne Feinstein at their annual convention this weekend, denying her the party’s endorsement in this year’s Senate race and giving a majority of their votes to her liberal primary challenger.

Just 37 percent of delegates to the statewide convention, held this year in San Diego, backed Feinstein in her bid for a fifth full term. More than 54 percent backed state Sen. Kevin de León, who entered the race in October and has run to Feinstein’s left on health care, taxes, and immigration. Candidates needed 60 percent of the vote to win the party’s endorsement, making Feinstein the first incumbent senator in recent memory who will run in June’s primary without official backing.

“California Democrats are hungry for new leadership that will fight for California values from the front lines, not equivocate on the sidelines,” de León said Sunday morning in a statement. “We all deserve a leader who will take our climate action to Washington, and will fight each and every day to protect our human and civil rights, our immigrant families and Dreamers, champion universal healthcare and create good paying middle class jobs.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) just this week posted an attack on a Democrat running in Texas’ 7th District, citing her “Washington insider” status as a problem.

Time reports:

“Voters in Houston have organized for over a year to hold Representative Culberson accountable and win this Clinton district,” said DCCC communications director Meredith Kelly in a statement. “Unfortunately, Laura Moser’s outright disgust for life in Texas disqualifies her as a general election candidate, and would rob voters of their opportunity to flip Texas’ 7th in November.”

. . . .  Moser says the announcement caught her completely off guard.

“I did not expect this to come from my own party,” she said in an interview Friday. “I’ve been a loyal, lifelong, establishment Democrat. I’ve worked hard for every Democratic candidate since I’ve been in 5th grade.”

Establishment Democrats are learning quickly.  For example, John Podesta’s Center for American (CAP) released a “Medicare Extra for All” plan that upends Hillary’s 2016 insistence that ObamaCare just needed a tweak here and a fix there, and it would perfectly address every health care need of every American.

The CAP plan is Bernie’s single-payer proposition with the illusion of pay-fors.

The Washington Examiner reports:

A progressive think tank introduced a single-payer healthcare program through Medicare as congressional Democrats remain divided over the issue.

The progressive think tank Center for American Progress released the plan that would make Medicare available to everyone but also seeks to preserve employer coverage.

“The Affordable Care Act was an historic accomplishment and a giant step toward universal health coverage,” said Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the think tank in a statement. “The sustained political fight over the law shows that Americans want to expand coverage, not repeal it. Medicare Extra would take the next step by guaranteeing the right of all Americans to enroll in the same high-quality health care plan.”

The plan called “Medicare Extra for All” likely won’t have a chance in the GOP-controlled Congress. However, it comes at a time when Democrats are divided over how much to press for a single-payer, government-run healthcare system.

Last fall, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., released a new version of his “Medicare for All” plan. The plan got support from key 2020 Democratic hopefuls, including Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California.

However, Democratic congressional leadership did not support the bill, aiming instead to focus on messaging to preserve the Affordable Care Act amid GOP efforts to repeal the law.

The center’s system aims to strike a middle ground by preserving employer coverage and also federal employee and military coverage.

The new system, called “Medicare Extra for All,” adds an out-of-pocket limit and coverage for dental care and hearing aids, the center said in a press release.

“Medicare Extra would eliminate underinsurance, offering coverage with zero or low deductibles as well as no-cost preventive care, generic drugs and treatment for chronic disease,” the think tank added. “Premiums would be capped based on income to ensure affordability and handled automatically through the tax system.”

While employer coverage would remain, employers could sponsor Medicare Extra for all employees if they cover 70 percent of the premium.

The center aims to finance single payer through a “combination of healthcare savings and tax revenue options.”

“Developed countries are able to guarantee universal coverage while spending much less than the United States because their systems use leverage to constrain prices,” a summary of the plan said.

The CAP Medicare for all plan, unsurprisingly, does not address pesky issues like cost and implementation.  The cost will be horrific, and the implementation will require more layers of costly and restrictive big government.

The Washington Examiner continues:

Reforms include charging lower provider payment rates in noncompetitive areas where hospitals can set high prices due to low competition. It would raise provider rates in rural hospitals.

It also would charge higher taxes on richer Americans including a tax on capital gains. The plan would also get revenue through a higher federal excise tax on cigarettes and sugary drinks.

CAP did not include how much the overall plan would cost nor how much the financing options would bring in.

A major question mark surrounding other single payer plans has been cost.

Sanders’ single-payer plan during his 2016 primary campaign also offered up a series of tax increases and reforms to pay for the plan, and the campaign noted it would cost nearly $14 trillion over a decade.

But an analysis from the left-leaning think tank Urban Institute found the plan would add $18 trillion to the country’s debt over the next decade.

That’s $18 trillion on top of our current total national debt which is staggering at $20 trillion.  Remember, the national debt nearly doubled under Obama, who called President Bush’s $4 trillion national debt “unpatriotic.”

Meanwhile, Vox is thrilled by this CAP plan and gush that a “key center-left think tank now leans toward Sanders on health care.”  As strange as that sounds, CAP and its related Podesta venture ThinkProgress are considered “center-left” by the Democrat base . . . and they are scrambling to be accepted by lunging ever leftward.

Centrist establishment Democrat Senator Bill Nelson (FL), for example, is delighted to bring gun control to this year’s Senate race.

The Tampa Bay Times reports:

The debate over guns, the “me too” movement against sexual misconduct and the federal government’s handling of hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico will give Florida Democrats victories up and down the November ballot, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson predicted during a meeting with state House Democrats on Thursday.

Nelson added that two special elections in Florida this year in which Democrats flipped Republican-held seats is further proof that Democrats are poised to have a strong election year.

“You stir that all into the mix — and who knows what else is going to happen at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue between now and November — and I think there is… a movement,” Nelson told House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz. “These issues are going to help Democrats.”

There are murmurings that Nelson may face a Democratic primary challenger from his left.

Politico reported earlier this month:

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, the lone Democrat elected statewide in Florida, looks weaker than ever to many in his own party as three potential primary challengers are already weighing possible runs against the political icon next year.

Democratic concerns about 2018 — which Nelson backers dismiss as fanciful and ridiculous — can be heard among grassroots activists as well as during candid moments with Democratic insiders from Miami to Tallahassee to Washington. Nationally, Democrats are relying on Nelson to hold his own in the expensive state as they defend 23 seats in a narrowly divided Senate that Republicans barely control.

Not only are Democrats worried that the 74-year-old Nelson might be out of step with the times, they fear the low-key centrist won’t be able to fire up progressives and grassroots activists if he ends up facing Gov. Rick Scott and the tens of millions of dollars the independently wealthy Republican will spend if he runs.

.  . . . A faction of the Democratic Party — progressives like Canova who backed Clinton’s primary opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — have become increasingly vocal about the need to campaign on more liberal values.

So far, this is not a message that has worked even as Florida slides from red to purple.

Politico continues:

But they haven’t yet been successful. Sanders lost Florida to Clinton. Canova lost to Wasserman Schultz and U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, who made a big show of backing Sanders, lost his primary battle for U.S. Senate to fellow Congressman Patrick Murphy, who went on to lose to Sen. Marco Rubio last year. Keith came in third in that Democratic primary.

. . . . Though Nelson will inevitably be attacked as a liberal by Republican opponents, his progressive critics think he’s not liberal enough. Canova said he couldn’t understand why, for instance, Nelson won’t take a leadership role in big progressive causes in the state, such as opposition to the Sabal Trail gas pipeline in North Florida.

As the Democratic Party shifts toward openly being the Socialist Democratic Party, it’s hard to see how this is bad for the GOP in November or even in 2020.  The sooner they throw off all pretense, the better for America.


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