The Supreme Court recently voted 5-4 not to intervene and block the implementation of Texas’ anti-abortion law SB8, which bans all abortions past six weeks and offers monetary incentives for citizens who report anyone “aiding and abetting” an abortion.
Predictably, liberals took to Twitter and expressed their frustration at anyone whose support they feel Hillary Clinton was entitled to in 2016, and once again blamed Jill Stein voters and ‘Bernie or Busters’ for the current conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
The only thing more tiresome than listening to these complaints is responding to them, but it is worth reminding everyone that the Democrats ran exactly the campaign they wanted to in 2016. They knowingly and willingly shunned the working class, and instead attempted to woo moderate Republican suburbanites into Hillary’s camp. This strategy was articulated out loud and on camera by Chuck Schumer, who proclaimed with great confidence that “for every blue collar Democrat we will lose in Western PA, we will pick up two, three moderate Republicans in the suburbs of Philadelphia.”
What this means is that the Democrats consciously chose to give up on blue collar voters, because they thought they could replace them with upper-middle class suburban whites (President Obama spending his final weeks in office pushing the TPP is a perfect encapsulation of their plan in action). Swapping out the working class for their professional managerial class counterparts was of course particularly tempting for centrist Democrats, because the latter group’s policy priorities are much more compatible with the party’s elite donor base.
And so, the Democratic Party deliberately alienated the Left in 2016. They never liked them much to begin with, and they saw that election as a golden opportunity to replace them with moderate Republicans, a more natural constituency for their neoliberal agenda. It was their calculation, their gamble, and ultimately, their mistake.
That high profile liberals pile on the Left every time a SCOTUS decision goes against them only exposes the contradiction within the Democratic Party that makes true “party unity” impossible. Centrist liberals want to welcome these moderate conservatives into their coalition, but still feel entitled to the votes of Leftists and working class voters who aren’t interested in sharing a political party with comfy suburbanites who are indifferent to their plight.
This is a circle that can’t be squared, which is part of why Democrats have trouble winning elections in the first place, and also why the party proves itself so impotent in its efforts to combat the Right. The only answer to laws like SB 8 is a united Left in which all of its siloed factions (reproductive rights advocates, climate advocates, labor advocates, etc) agree upon one platform that satisfies the needs and demands of everyone involved.
Without a mass movement based on true solidarity and empathy, the Right will win every time. Relitigating 2016 won’t change this basic truth.
We discuss the Texas anti-abortion law, the liberals’ blame game, and what’s needed for a viable Left response, in episode 119 of the Due Dissidence podcast. Click the player below to hear our full conversation, and subscribe to the Due Dissidence podcast on Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or any major podcast player.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons