Alt-Left
According to James Wolcott of Vanity Fair, "disillusionment with Obama’s presidency, loathing of Hillary Clinton, disgust with “identity politics,” and a craving for a climactic reckoning that will clear the stage for a bold tomorrow have created a kinship between the “alt-right” and an alt-left. They’re not kissin’ cousins, but they caterwaul some of the same tunes in different keys." The alt-left can’t match that the alt-right for strength, malignancy, or tentacled reach, but its dude-bros and “purity progressives” exert a powerful reality-distortion field online and foster factionalism on the lib-left. Its outlets are many and varied. According to Dan Gainor of FoxNews, we are living in ‘alt-left’ world. The traditional media are obsessed with tying conservatives to the “alt-right.” There have been more than 50 major news network mentions this year alone as journalists try to do what they always do — paint conservatives as racist, sexist, and a few other words that end in 'ist'. All in the name of “tolerance.” But when it comes to the left, there is no alt-left. They are not alternative. Their mainstream is radical and out of the American mainstream on almost everything. This was quite obvious as liberals bemoaned the death of Fidel Castro, a man his own daughter called “a tyrant.” The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. summed up years of devotion, recalling how, “the oppressed the world over joined Castro’s cause of fighting for freedom & liberation.” This is what we must start thinking of as the “alt-left.” “Alt,” not because they are out of the liberal mainstream. They aren’t. Alternative because they are out of the mainstream of an America where 37 percent are conservative and 35 percent are moderate. Just 24 percent are liberal. The alt-left is everything bad the left claims about the right. It is extreme and doesn’t want compromise. It wants to demonize or destroy opponents and intrude into every aspect of our lives. Media outlets that bemoan Trump turning America to the right forget the alt-left support a Socialist had running in the Democrat primary. Good, old-fashioned liberalism has been replaced by a far-more radical brand.

Tom Perez’s Little-Tent Strategy

5/2/17
from The Wall Street Journal,
4/26/17:

The head of the Democratic Party manages to get to the left of Bernie Sanders.

Nine days ago this column observed, “The party led by Bill Clinton in the 1990s has shifted leftward so rapidly that on current pace Bernie Sanders could be the Democratic establishment candidate by 2020.” Time has not been kind to this analysis. It now appears that Mr. Sanders, should he choose to compete again in Democratic presidential primaries, could end up as the conservative alternative in the race. Not so long ago, getting to the left of the Vermont socialist might have seemed like a nearly impossible feat—the political equivalent of the Triple Lindy. Your humble correspondent was also off target in thinking that the party leadership’s embrace of Mr. Sanders was a sign of how radical Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez had become. This column may have had it backwards, because Mr. Perez has lately been suggesting that Mr. Sanders is not radical enough. The DNC boss jumped off the high-dive last weekend and bounded into a dispute with a Sanders-backed mayoral candidate in Omaha, Nebraska named Heath Mello. Mr. Mello’s alleged progressive sin is that he is insufficiently pro-choice. According to The Nation, Mr. Mello used to favor pro-life policies before he became a reliable vote for Planned Parenthood in the state legislature. Mr. Perez apparently couldn’t forgive Mr. Mello’s earlier votes, or the fact that he is often described, correctly or not, as opposed to abortion. The New York Times described the Democratic fracas on Friday:

I fundamentally disagree with Heath Mello’s personal beliefs about women’s reproductive health,” Mr. Perez said. “It is a promising step that Mello now shares the Democratic Party’s position on women’s fundamental rights. Every candidate who runs as a Democrat should do the same because every woman should be able to make her own health choices. Period.” In an interview on Friday, Mr. Perez further toughened his language, saying he respected those Democrats who “have personal beliefs” against abortion rights but warning them not to pursue such policies in office. “If they try to legislate or govern that way, we will take them on,” he said. So Mr. Perez is now issuing warnings against people who vote with the party on abortion but might be thinking of stepping out of line. This demand for ideological conformity could easily lead one to believe that it was Mr. Perez who had spent a honeymoon in the Soviet Union, rather than Mr. Sanders. And the Perez purity test proved too extreme for the party’s senior elected officials in Washington. On Sunday and Monday House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said they can tolerate party members who disagree with them on abortion. Mr. Perez is not exactly pursuing a “big tent” strategy as he tries to rebuild the Democratic Party after a series of defeats in 2014 and 2016.

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