In a rather surprising turn of events on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed to hold a floor vote on the Senate’s border crisis bill, which allowed it to pass to the president’s desk. While she admitted that it was a “reluctant” agreement, she still did it, drawing howls of outrage from radical Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
To be sure, the bill is not that “bad” from a left-wing perspective. It’s not like it’s wall funding or anything. It just didn’t include all of the unnecessary, activist-pandering junk the House Democrats wanted to include. It was a reasonable, bipartisan bill that will address the very problems that liberals have been screaming about for months: Namely, detention facility conditions and so on. In a sane world, Democrats would be thrilled.
As you well know, though, this is not a sane world, and Democrats don’t want to do ANYTHING that makes it appear that they are helping the Trump administration enforce immigration law. And so you have to wonder what Pelosi was thinking when she surrendered on this issue. Is she finally starting to realize that the American people are not “with” the Democrats when it comes to their extreme, open-borders approach? If so, that puts her leagues ahead of the 2020 candidates. It could also mean that she’s going to start pushing Democrats to ease away from immigration as an issue next year.
“As we pass the Senate bill, we will do so with a Battle Cry as to how we go forward to protect children in a way that truly honors their dignity and worth,” Pelosi said, using language aimed at calming her left flank.
But while Pelosi may be worried about Ocasio-Cortez and her ilk, what this really represented was a surprise victory for the moderate wing of the Democratic Party.
“A last-minute revolt by centrist lawmakers ensured defeat for Ms. Pelosi’s efforts to toughen the conditions in the Senate bill,” reported The New York Times. “The moderate Democrats balked at a funding reduction for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, leaving the House floor in chaos and emotions running high. Ms. Pelosi was left with little choice but to accept the less-restrictive Senate bill, which passed on a lopsided bipartisan vote this week and would do far less to rein in President Trump’s immigration crackdown.”
At the end of the day, Democrats won the House not because they were running on some kind of AOC-style, ultra-liberal agenda, but because they won in tight purple districts where too much movement to the left could easily throw those seats back to the GOP. Not only does this fact hinder what Democrats can do to fight Trump on immigration, it could mean that the progressive agendas that 2020 presidential candidates are running on will be DOA even if they happen to get elected.
Maybe sanity is slipping back into the Democratic Party, quietly and unobtrusively?
Time will tell.