The transformation of the Democratic Party into a vehicle of the ruling establishment is hitting hyper-drive. A party dominated at the grassroots level by ideological progressives is so transfixed on wielding the levers of power no matter the cost that it continues to trade in political expediency to a degree rarely seen in American politics. In 2020, that meant acquiescing to a deeply unwanted Joe Biden as presidential standard-bearer. In Utah during 2022, it means rallying around Bill Kristol’s 2016 Never Trump single-state saboteur and ex-CIA agent Evan McMullin rather than field a candidate of its own to oppose incumbent Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in his re-election bid.
The strategy is apparent enough. A Democrat has an especially tough road to victory in Utah, although the state becomes less rock-ribbed red with every passing year. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is living proof that one does not need to be a staunch conservative to win an election in the Beehive State. The state’s current crop of elected officials, including Lee, are considered underwhelming amid grassroots Republicans nationwide. In March, Republican Gov. Spencer Cox angered conservatives by vetoing a bill to protect female athletes from having to compete against biological men.
But rather than present a candidate who will push the party’s ideas forward and plant seeds that may one day bloom into electoral success, even if falling short in November, Utah Democrats have been cajoled into backing the neoconservative former CIA spook who ran a sham campaign for the presidency in 2016 designed to deny Republican Donald Trump the state of Utah in order to help establishment Democrat Hillary Clinton win the White House.
Machination Instead of Argument
If issues matter, the move is indefensible. There is little reason for any Democrat to be attracted to McMullin’s staid, unimaginative middle-of-the-road campaign “priorities.” Liberty Nation doesn’t take a stand on whether voters should support or oppose specific candidates, but politicking to deny candidates from any party a free and fair campaign may raise concern among conservative voters.
The driving reason to get behind him appears to be a Machiavellian maneuver to prevent Senate Republicans from capturing the seat. McMullin has pledged not to caucus with either party. However, were he to actually fulfill that promise he would be guaranteeing his own exclusion from plum committee seats and thus the ability to accomplish much of anything in the upper chamber. This is a big reason why stated “independent” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders caucuses with Democrats.
If elected, McMullin would fit in perfectly with numerous Republican establishment senators, making him far more likely to opt for that side of the aisle if he does go back on his highly dubious pledge.
Yang Hits Rock Bottom
In 2019, Andrew Yang positioned himself as the “guy who transcends political labels,” which apparently meant opposing the Swamp, not joining up with it. That moment appears to be over. In an April 25 post on his website, Yang called McMullin a “true patriot” and “the genuine article” as he praised the Utahn’s canned 2016 presidential run.
“I’m all for Evan,” he has tweeted out, declaring that “McMullin’s candidacy is an historic opportunity on several levels.”
Thus we see one-time alleged Uniparty toppler Yang joining hands with the Never Trumpers at The Bulwark, which touts Bill Kristol as its “editor-at-large.” DC lifer Mona Charen saluted Utah Democrats in an April 26 Bulwark piece. “Fighting Republican authoritarianism means sometimes delaying political gratification,” the subhead tellingly reads.
Progressives have given themselves over to the Swamp and the ruling status quo in the belief that an acceptable amount of power may be doled out to them. Two years after reluctantly lining up behind the train wreck that is Joe Biden, leftist Democrats are not expressing regret. Far from it. They fully embraced the most severe administration power grabs during the coronavirus pandemic. Any traditional concerns for “civil liberties” were nowhere to be found.
Progressives are also especially prone to swoon over attempts to fight “disinformation” produced by the “enemies of democracy,” which happen to be anyone sincerely opposed to the entrenched political elites represented by Biden. Progressives are enamored with the power flex behind it all. This is the tie that binds the political left to the ruling establishment. In the end, it is not a matter of sacrificing ideology for access to power. For the left, the will to power is at the very core of ideological belief.