The most important division in American society is not between Republicans and Democrats. It’s within the Democratic Party itself.
As an indication of what I’m talking about, I think about an episode of the program Peaky Blinders. In that episode the hero Thomas Shelby’s sister’s boyfriend is a communist, and the hero has to figure out how to keep him alive. When the subject comes up with the police, the answer is “Normally we don’t have to worry about those people. They’re so busy killing each other that they’re just not a problem.”
The Republicans can say amen to that for our tamer version of the left:
- We’re still living down “defund the police”
- We’ve had an endless supply of articles about how privileged, racist whites just have to get used to taking a well-deserved hit, including for education.
- Virtually any statement made about “neo-liberals” is a whitewashing of Republican failures so that chosen Democrats can be blamed instead. One hopes George W. Bush is duly grateful.
- We had a chance to pass a Biden agenda, but the Democratic Party spent so much time posturing and pretending that Manchin and Sinema didn’t exist that when they finally got around to voting it was too late–inflation was THE issue and it was easy for Manchin to hide. The left wing of the party is gleefully blaming Biden, without any alternative policy or blame for Republicans.
- Democrats are actually fighting over whether Biden will be the nominee in 2024—when the real issue is the 2022 midterm election. The only result of this fight is weaking the remaining days of the Biden administration and undermining the Democrats’ message for 2022.
With friends like this who needs enemies. As in the Peaky Blinders quote, they hate each other so much that it trumps any desire to do anything good for anybody. It’s hard even to count the self-inflicted wounds.
Just think about it. That Democrats can do anything good at all—given this nonsense—means that they could perhaps do something really big if they could get organized and stop the knife stabbing. If they stopped providing amunition to Republicans, they might just be able bridge the other divisions we hear so much about.