Sunday, March 8, 2020

Centrists Flirt With Democrats, and the Party Rebuffs Them

What is happening in Allegheny and Lancaster counties, and countless other counties across the country, shouldn’t surprise anyone. It has been reflected in every single Democratic debate of this presidential cycle.

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PITTSBURGH—There is a battle going on here within the Allegheny County Democratic Committee, a formidable force of centrist, conservative, and liberal Democrats whose backgrounds range from union halls in the city to the businessmen and women who have spread out into the leafy suburbs that hug the city limits.

A key figure in the battle is committeewoman Heather Kass, who is running for the state House. Several years ago, Kass posted on social media criticism of Obamacare and the distribution of free Narcan for addicts—and insinuated support for President Donald Trump.  Fortunately for Kass, she received 49 votes from the committee to secure its endorsement. Her opponent, liberal activist Jess Benham, received just 19.

That’s when things got interesting. Darrin Kelly, an influential local labor leader, issued a statement blasting Kass’s previous statements. The party hierarchy followed that up by saying her social media history was disqualifying............Now accusations of disloyalty and closet Trumpism are being tossed around by the liberal wing of the party. The factions that once worked together well enough to enjoy a healthy coalition are splintering............Places such as Allegheny and Lancaster counties have made strides in elections with Democratic candidates who ran and won as centrists. Once they are elected, however, local party apparatuses start to demand more fidelity to liberalism...........

It also found that Republicans tend to be less fractured. They have their differences, but in the end, they conform around conservatism.  Democrats are more fractured. Survey results strikingly reflected what happened in Allegheny and Lancaster counties. As Gallup said, “Even though liberalism has been on the rise among Democrats, it is not yet the clear majority position, perhaps leading to the strong intraparty clashes.”.........To Read More....

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