“We will not be successful if we silence districts like mine,” said Tlaib, who told her colleagues something similar on a controversial phone call last week. “If I can’t speak for many of my neighbors right now, many of whom are black, I’ll be silenced. I cannot be silent. ”
“We are not interested in a unit that calls on people to sacrifice their freedom and rights longer,” said Tlaib, whose Michigan district is one of the poorest in the country. “And if we really want to unite our country, we really have to respect every single voice. We so willingly say this when we talk about Trump supporters, but we don’t willingly say this for my black and brown neighbors and of LGBTQ neighbors or marginalized people. ”
Just days after the presidential race was called, Tlaib and other progressive leaders make this clear There won’t be a honeymoon for Joe Biden. They have their own insights from the elections: top progressive groups hand out a post-election memo criticizing centrists for joining “Republican racism”.
For the liberal ranks that will increase their numbers within the Democratic caucus in 2021, the next few months will be crucial to their cause. Biden’s choices for his cabinet and The White House could determine the success of the progressives in shaping policy. Several leftist strategists and activists don’t want Biden to play well with the Senate Republicans, despite the fact that the president-elect has expressed a desire to work on the gang – and they don’t expect much from a Kumbaya moment with members of their own party at the other end of the democratic spectrum.
“If [voters] You can walk past ruined houses, school closings, and pollution to vote for Biden-Harris. When they feel like they have nothing else, they deserve to be heard, “Tlaib said, choking as she voiced her frustration towards the end of an interview this week. “I can’t believe people are asking you to be quiet.”
Tlaib would like to see a public educator and labor representative in top positions. And the congresswoman has made it clear to the president-elect of her urgency. While visiting Detroit in October, Tlaib said to Biden, “I may not be your favorite member of Congress because I’m on a different timeline, sir.”
Although the family feud has dominated most post-election headlines among the Democrats, the progressives are not allowing criticism from their centrist counterparts to hinder their drive for power in the upcoming White House in Biden.
The day before Biden was declared the winner, Senator Bernie Sanders said He will present his own 100-day agenda to the Senate. “We must do everything we can to ensure that Congress and the new president act quickly and aggressively on our country’s enormous crisis,” he said.
Arriving MP Marie Newman from Illinois was more hopeful than some of her progressive counterparts about the possibility of a stimulus package or an infrastructure plan that includes renewable energy jobs to help curb climate change.
“We have a really good family discussion,” said Newman. “A good ‘Come to Jesus’ every now and then is a good thing because we all find out what is really wrong.”
New York MP, Mondaire Jones, said he was “laser focused” on what the Justice Department looks like under Biden and warned against appointing key Republicans. Jones said Democrats should go all out in two Georgia Senate runoffs to win a majority because he wants Biden to use more “progressive thinkers” as federal judges.
And with names like John Kasich, former Republican governor of Ohio, and Democrat Rahm Emanuel floating around as possible additions to a Biden government, progressives keep a close eye. Kasich was quick to blow up Liberals, claiming they nearly cost Biden the election.
“It would indeed be quite controversial if Joe Biden, who along with Kamala Harris is nearly 5 million votes ahead of Donald Trump and Mike Pence, were to reappoint Republicans in his cabinet,” said Jones. “This isn’t even about Republicans versus Democrats. This is about getting the right Democrats in the lead. “
Progressive groups, including Justice Democrats, Sunrise Movement and Data for Progress, distribute a memo of their diagnosis of the election results and turn the moderates’ attacks on their heads.
“Republican attacks on Democrats this cycle, based on terms like Defund the Police or Socialism, have become scapegoats for representatives like Abigail Spanberger, Conor Lamb and other high-ranking Democrats,” the memo reads first was shared with POLITICO. “Not a single Democrat – progressive or otherwise – argued that these are the main issues that democrats should deal with.”
“These attacks will never go away, nor will calls for reform be made by social movements,” the memo continued. “The attacks are supposed to stir up racist resentment.”
In a controversial appeal among House Democrats last week, Spanberger, who barely stuck to her swing district in Virginia, berated liberals. “Nobody should ever say ‘Defund the Police’ again or the party would be ‘torn apart’ in 2022,” she said. Other moderated blamed the left’s demand to ban fracking for the overwhelming performance of the Democrats.
Progressive groups created their own A dire diagnosis was made in their memo, and the moderates were urged to adopt a clear economic message that was missing this year. Democrats will lose the house in 2022, they wrote, if “we abandon our progressive core base and agenda”.
Progressives said they were “afraid” of a world where Biden is making bipartisan appeals to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell with limited results.
“This approach to governance could really jeopardize party unity and mid-term 2022, as Mitch McConnell’s only goal is to get Joe Biden to swallow as many poisonous poison pills as possible that make it harder to fight in the medium term.” said Waleed Shahid, a spokesman for the Justice Democrats. If McConnell controls the Senate, Shahid said the basic question will be, “How much hardball will the Democrats play?”
Progressive lawmakers too argue that Democrats have never developed an offensive strategy against climate change and racial justice, and instead they were forced to defend their policies on republican terms.
New York MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told POLITICO in an interview shortly after the election that if they fail to establish a cohesive message on race and racism, Democrats will continue to defend on swing seats.
“It is not just a moral question how to counter racism in elections, but it is now an existential crisis for the Democratic Party,” said Ocasio-Cortez. The problem, she said, is that Democrats don’t want to talk about race. “Anti-racism does not play a role in democratic electoral strategy – zero, explicit, implicit,” she continued. “I don’t tell people to signal virtue, but there is just no plan for it.”
Ocasio-Cortez, like the moderates, was not satisfied with the party’s message on climate change, which ended with “not the Green New Deal” and “we love fracking”.
“You don’t even have to bring Green New Deal into this,” she said. “Why don’t we talk about creating 20 million jobs and installing a solar panel on every roof? We have to speak in pictures, pictures and sounds. ”
It is time, Ocasio-Cortez said, for the Democrats to “take off our gloves with the Republicans”.
“We’re always concerned with bipartisanism and how much we love working with Republicans all the time on many of these sensitive areas,” she said. “We need a non-apologetic agenda, an actual alternative and counter-message that is different from the Republican Party, rather than trying to be courteous. … I just hope very much that many people succeed in making this idea that we can win white voters for an argument of courtesy not a reliable strategy. “