In my days as a professional, card-carrying-“centrist” Democrat, one of the intramural memes that made me the craziest was the assertion that anyone who didn’t favor the progressive flavor-of-the-day policy prescription or message lacked “spine.” Not brains, but spine. The planted axiom was that everyone knew this or that lefty shibboleth was correct, and so failure to pursue it could only be explained as a product of corruption or of cowardice, with the latter explanation being more charitable.
Now don’t get me wrong: there were plenty of “centrist” politicians who could have plead guilty to the charge of timidity, bred of a deeply poll-driven obsession with occupying and holding the political middle ground at all costs. But sometimes ideological or strategic differences of opinion are just that, and do not betray an overweening desire to sell out “the base” for a mess of bipartisan pottage or pundit admiration. And being “tough” or a “fighter” or “unafraid” does not necessarily dictate the most successful course of action. Even though progressives have earned the right to lead the Democratic Party, an aggressive attitude simply won’t be enough.
attacks on Nancy Pelosi for resisting demands for an immediate lurch down the path to impeachment. Does anyone who has paid attention to Pelosi’s career really believe she’s afraid of anybody or anything? Quite possibly she is wrong that impeachment might materially improve the odds that Donald Trump will serve a second term in which he can further stack the judiciary with stone ideologues and shred every constitutional and democratic norm. If she’s wrong, she’s wrong, but it’s not a matter of inadequate spine.
criticism of Joe Biden’s irrepressible faith in an honorable GOP that will spring back to life once the Evil One in the White House is gone. He’s absolutely wrong about that, of course. But it’s not because he’s soft or too nice or lacks spine. No one Biden’s age is likely to be afraid of anything other than the Grim Reaper.
Cato the Censor of pro-impeachment agitprop. But he understands why Biden’s misapprehension about Republicans is a problem, and what needs to be done about it:
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