When the People Who Think Twitter is Real Life Take Over the Democratic Party
HR.1/S.1, the Democrats’ “For the People Act,” was always a messaging piece of legislation. It was never meant to be passed. HR.1 rarely passes regardless of which party authors it. The legislation has, in modern times, become a way for a party to highlight its core views on a big issue and it typically dies in the Senate.
But Democrats are increasingly held hostage by the wing of the party that believes Twitter is real life. As I mentioned yesterday, the data overwhelmingly shows Twitter skews very progressive. Anyone who read the obituaries of the Harris and Warren campaigns in 2020 will note Harris lost, in part, because her team became obsessed with leftwing-oriented criticisms from Twitter and kept pivoting. Warren lost by trying to win the daily Twitter fight. It led her down absurd paths like a DNA test that blew up in her face. She won the Twitter fight and lost the election.
Now the same forces seem intent on dismantling the Biden Administration.
First, the party bought into the For the People Act rhetoric. The GOP is dismantling democracy. The federal government should fund campaigns to get money out of politics. Etc. etc. etc. The progressive base fully believes it. News anchors roared that the GOP couldn’t even debate saving democracy or protecting the right to vote.
Most Americans tuned it out. They do not care. To the extent they do, they support photo ID to vote, but the Democrats insisted that hurts black people. Black people support photo ID. White Democrats in Washington and progressive enclaves do not because they are paternalistic towards black Americans and don’t seem to realize black people are capable of getting a driver’s license.
Here’s the thing, though — the For the People Act was a messaging piece of legislation and the Democrats’ hardcore base of Twitterati forgot that or never knew that and demanded it get passed. Then two Democrats refused while even more, protected by the Manchin and Sinema spotlights, also opposed it privately.
Now, after Schumer forced a vote in the Senate, Raphael Warnock in Georgia and Mark Kelly in Arizona are getting attacked by the GOP in a major ad campaign for voting for welfare for politicians — a key aspect of the For the People Act is that the feds will send your tax dollars to fund politicians campaigns.
The base, demoralized, then saw Republicans take over the infrastructure plan and, in so doing, gut its Green New Deal and “infrastructure is unicorn farts” framework in which anything and everything could be infrastructure, including subsidized sexual fetishes and childcare.
So what’s the next step?
Gun control to solve the crime problem. Democrats have convinced themselves, again largely due to their Twitterati, that the solution to the crime wave is to call it “gun violence” and make it even harder to buy guns at a time they continue to defund the police.
A record number of Americans are buying guns — non-white citizens and women are rushing to protect themselves because police are leaving their jobs, a crime wave is upon us, and Democrats keep gutting police budgets while saying they are not doing it.
Having President Biden come out, declare gun violence the problem, and propose a gun control solution that will die in the Senate like everything else may rally the base, but it will demoralize the President’s base too. Maybe it will get them enraged enough to overwhelm elections with sustained, angry momentum. But I doubt it. I doubt it because it signals a tone-deafness on the problem that will provoke a backlash from Americans who are not hyper-partisan.
In the last forty-eight hours, news anchors have started talking about gun violence as the President rolls out his agenda to combat it. It is striking how quickly the press gravitated to the talking point. It is also striking they think anyone with half a brain really will believe guns are the problem right now, not a crime wave that people like Keisha Crimewave Bottoms, Mayor of Atlanta, is blaming on Republicans reopening America too soon.
Only a party captured by Twitter could be so out of touch with reality. Americans are buying guns at record rates not to commit a crime, but to protect themselves from criminals. Saying there is a gun violence problem instead of a crime problem deflects from the sticky questions of which party’s policies sparked it. But it also is disconnected from reality.
It is also destined to go nowhere in the Senate and mobilize a slew of new gun owners against the Democrats. After all, it is hard to still claim people buy guns without background checks when literally millions of voters just bought their first guns and were required to have gun background checks.
Oh, did I mention the whole plan will die in the Senate anyway while the Democrat base, like with the For the People Act, goes hysterical about it all online and off, alienating more Americans?
This is not a smart move. It is a move best explained by a Democratic Party captured by an out-of-touch elite who think Twitter is reality.
It also probably explains why Joe Biden finally wants Kamala Harris to go to the border — better to have another Kamala Harris fueled PR disaster than have people focus on the impotence of the Biden presidency.
Lastly, while the press will try to reconcile the two, it is really freaking hard for the President to say you need nukes to take on the government and also claim a mob of Americans nearly destroyed democracy on January 6th. In placating his Twitterati, he gave the GOP a great new talking point.