If you’re keeping score, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) is the 19th Democrat to officially announce that he is running for president. As with other candidates in this overcrowded field, many voters are scratching their heads over how Moulton sees a genuine pathway to the nomination for himself.
Old Guard Antipathy
The third-term congressman has stood out during his time in office only for his failed attempt to lead a young revolt against the aging Democrat establishment reclaiming leadership posts after Dems took back the House in November. Moulton earned the wrath of an entrenched Old Guard, which is not necessarily a bad thing to have on your resume in these days of rebellion against career politicians. The problem is that he was totally ineffective in his main task of blocking Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) from climbing back to her perch as House Speaker. Pelosi was openly dismissive of Moulton during the affair, and the fact that she won lends a certain amount of credence to her criticism of the 40-year-old Bay Stater.
In an interview with Rolling Stone in July, Pelosi labeled Moulton and young his ally, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), as “inconsequential.” “They don’t have a following in our caucus. None,” she harshly declared.
Other Old Guard Dems have made even more bruising comments about the would-be rebel. “I don’t think I’ve seen a more opportunistic, duplicitous person serving in the House,” a senior Democratic aide told Politico in 2017. “He doesn’t do anything around here,” the aide added.
A party critic in his home state echoes the theme of Moulton’s aspirations far out-stripping his accomplishments. “I’m disappointed but not surprised that Seth has decided again to follow his personal ambition instead of his district,” former state Sen. Barbara L’Italien told the Boston Herald in a statement upon hearing news of his announcement to run for the White House. “Seth has failed to deliver for his district, failed spectacularly in his attempts to remove Nancy Pelosi as Speaker, and I think so far failed to put forth a compelling reason why he’s qualified to be president.”
Same Tired Leftism
What may prove far more potentially crippling to Moulton’s “insurgent” campaign than the ire of more established Dems, though, is the fact that, like so many other younger candidates in the field, the military veteran doesn’t stray far from the progressive party line that passes for political orthodoxy in the Democratic Party today. As such, there is nothing to separate him from the pack.
“And he is off to the races with new green jobs and tackling climate change among other things, while images of Black Lives Matter, the Women’s March (think pink hats), striking teachers and the March for Our Lives gun-control crowd flash before us in the video, bolstered by a soundtrack of continuous, frantic crescendos,” the Boston Herald wrote in an editorial openly ridiculing Moulton after viewing his official announcement video.
Indeed, Moulton is far more stridently leftist in his stated positions than he portrays himself in his “moderate progressive” ex-military presentation. He is in favor of abolishing the Electoral College, supports statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, and wades fully into the identity politics soup with his denunciations of “white privilege” and the usual anti-racism stylings.
In an interview with The Root, Moulton decreed that radical Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) are victims of prejudice due to their race and religion. “The outright racism that they have faced just because of who they are, their religion, what they look like, what they wear is absolutely despicable,” Moulton said, not even stopping to consider that their public statements and what they stand for might be deciding factors among those who denounce the two highly controversial new congresswomen.
Moulton would like voters to believe he is an embodiment of change. But when you look at what he advocates, it is more of the same progressive policies coming from a younger voice. And that voice has not distinguished itself at all in his time on Capitol Hill.
Why is Moulton running for president? The candidate may find it very hard to come up with an answer that will resonate with the American people if he ever does make it to the debate stage.
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