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Elizabeth Spiers @espiers
, 14 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
You know, @Ocasio2018 is basically the platonic ideal of what people say they want their elected officials to be: representative of her community, willing to localize her policies to fit that community at the expense of national and party support, zero baggage...
Optimistic but execution-oriented and pragmatic in her deployment of resources, willing to get her hands dirty, hard-working, uncorrupted by money, smart about optics. But there are still some people bending over backwards to suggest she's bad for Democrats.
She's only bad for Dems if you think the party and its voters are a monolith and one-size-fits all messaging works, that every race is generalizable to every other race, or I guess if you really loved Joe Crowley and thought he was the future of the party.
And I keep hearing "how will she get anything accomplished when she's so far to the left?" as if legislation (and politics in general) operates on a linear continuum where there's a left and a right and action happens at the median.
And if you're in the center, you're more likely to be effective. But there's no evidence that's the case. Or that the parties are symmetrical. Instead of thinking about it as linear, maybe think of it as three dimesional.
You can be heavily conservative on one issue and heavily liberal on another, and that doesn't make you a centrist.
An example: you could be a non-white Evangelical who's adamantly anti-choice but consistently and heavily Dem because you're more invested in other things and not analogous to a single issue abortion voter on the right.
So there is no line with a middle and no particular advantage to being a moderate once you're in office, when everything is transactional. Rand Paul is not a moderate, but is very effective. Why?
Because his native positions are starting points for negotiation and he's relatively good at that. And smart about optics, knows how to deploy resources, etc. McConnell is not a moderate either--at least by the standards Dems hold their own "moderates" to.
I don't think you can make a credible argument that he's been ineffective as a result.
Of course the party needs centrists because we need people who correctly represent districts that actually are centrist--and a lot of them are.
But the idea that Ocasio, who's already shown aptitude for skills you need to get things done in Congress, is going to be ineffective bc she's too far to the left is the opposite of what those same critics say about right.
Which is that they've been popular and effective under Trump bc they listened to the more right wing elements of their base. So there's a double standard in the analysis, too.
And again, I'm not remotely saying, boooooo, centrists. I voted for one for President. I'm saying all politics is local, and being more to the (imo, fictional) center doesn't make you a more effective legislator.
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