As frustrating as centrists can be sometimes, I disagree. Like it or not, we still very much need them in our party, and if we want to be able to make any kind of progress at all, we very much need Democrat majorities whenever we can get them. Even if it means having someone like Joe Lieberman getting the public option removed from the ACA or someone like Joe Manchin voting to confirm Kavanaugh, it’s still better to have Liebermans and Manchins in their seats as Democrats than to have those seats taken by Republicans.
There’s two main reasons why we need centrists. The first is that levels of support for progressivism varies a lot by geography. While it would be nice to be able to get a Democrat majority consisting only of progressives as far left as AOC, that just isn’t possible. Places like West Virginia are kinda ass-backwards compared to NYC, and will (for the foreseeable future) never vote for a progressive, so it’s not useful to even consider that as a fantasy.
The second reason is, as much as it pains me to say it, that R or D next to someone’s name is sometimes more important than that person’s actual positions on issues. The key to remember is that having a majority in the House or Senate for your party is huge. Look at how much people hate McConnell for blocking things and never bringing them to a vote. The only reason he can do that is because Republicans have the majority in the Senate.
The other big deal with having a majority is that committees are extremely powerful, and a majority in either House or Senate means majorities in every committee. If Democrats had a majority in the Senate during the whole Kavanaugh confirmation, they could have killed the confirmation just with the judicial committee’s vote. As long as most Democrats are to the left of Republicans, it’s okay to have a few centrists in seats. The most damage they can do is either limited to the particular committees they get assigned to, or in matters that get voted on by the entire chamber, they might sometimes vote with Republicans, which is still better than giving the seat to a Republican since the key thing about a centrist is that they sometimes vote with Republicans.
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