In one of the most incisive left-leaning commentaries we’ve seen in a while, media analyst Jeff Greenfield wrote a powerful essay in Politico last week warning Democrats that they needed to get clear of “magical thinking” if they wanted to have any chance of taking back power in Washington. Keep in mind, this was written by a liberal who makes no effort at all to hide his political persuasions. This is a critique of the left by someone ON the left, and these critiques are growing more and more common as liberals who still retain something resembling a brain watch their party drown in what can only be described as abject nonsense.
Before Greenfield gets into “magical thinking” – the idea that one of these days, Robert Mueller is going to ride in on a white horse and SAVE AMERICA – he shakes his head pitiably at a couple of recent stories of people on the left confirming the worst of what conservative American thinks about Democrats.
“The most recent—and most harmful—came from John Paul Stevens, the retired Supreme Court Justice, who wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times in which he called for an outright repeal of the Second Amendment,” Greenfield writes. “The key to any chance of enacting useful laws is to argue that they can co-exist within the current understanding of the Second Amendment and that they are not a backdoor effort to confiscate weapons. Justice Stevens, by contrast, seems to validate the central message of the NRA and its acolytes: ‘Don’t believe the sweet words; they are out to get your weapons!’”
Greenfield also takes to task a Planned Parenthood staffer who wrote on Twitter that it was time for Disney to create a Princess who’d had an abortion.
“Yes, it’s just a tweet by a local chapter, probably written by a young staffer, but what made it so inexplicable was that, whatever the author’s intent, it read like a provocation by a voice who assumed that every American embraced these hotly contested ideas,” he writes. “To someone at all uneasy about the cultural upheavals of the past decade, the tweet was evidence that their opinions are considered illegitimate, unreasonable, beyond the pale.”
You can be a cynic and characterize Greenfield’s exasperation like this: He’s telling liberals to shut up before they give away the whole game. And yeah, there’s a part of us that thinks that’s exactly what he’s doing, although we’re willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he might not KNOW that’s what he’s doing. Liberal Democrats depend heavily on a nation of “useful idiots” – people who really think that the left’s agenda is not as crazy as those nutty right-wingers make it sound. We know better, but Greenfield may not.
Whether it’s accidentally exposing the true aims of that agenda to the public or going WAY overboard on the hopes that Mueller is going to put Trump behind bars, there can be no doubt that the Democrats are coming increasingly unhinged from mainstream public opinion. And, as Greenfield fears, it may keep them from realizing that big blue wave in November.