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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Divided Dems primed and ready to massively flunk 2018 midterm exams

It goes without saying most of the media’s fascination with the political dynamics of this year’s midterms has concentrated on the intra-party tug-of-war taking place within Republican ranks, the perpetual struggle between conservatives and establishment elites for control and power.

Let’s face it – it’s a lot more interesting to talk about the GOP because there appears to be genuine divisions Dianne Feinsteinwithin the factions and serious disagreements over policy. Although President Trump has largely governed as a conservative the recent budget, gun rights and immigration debates revealed he’s first and foremost a pragmatic populist who favors action – any action -- over ideology.

In other words, Trump won’t win any awards for his staunch defense of constitutional personal liberties or the concept of limited government. Nevertheless, the vast majority of conservatives are thankful Trump and Mike Pence are steering the executive branch ship. By and large they’ve done a good job and succeeded despite the overt attempts of the deep state to force their failure.

But what about the Democrats? With all the attention on the Republicans (as it usually is) there’s been precious little highlighting of the Democrats’ own petty catfights. Sure, the minority party suffers from a lack of a majority grip on the levers of power, but Democrats aren’t doing any better than Republicans when it comes to unity and coherent messaging.

Perhaps for that reason longtime Democrats like California Senator Dianne Feinstein could be on their way out. David Siders and Carla Marinucci of Politico reported, “In a sharp rebuke to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democratic Party has declined to endorse the state’s own senior senator in her bid for reelection.

“Riven by conflict between progressive and more moderate forces at the state party’s annual convention here, delegates favored Feinstein’s progressive rival, state Senate leader Kevin de León, over Feinstein by a vote of 54 percent to 37 percent, according to results announced Sunday.

“Neither candidate reached the 60 percent threshold required to receive the party endorsement for 2018. But the snubbing of Feinstein led de León to claim a victory for his struggling campaign.”

As well it should. In a state where the Republican Party has all-but disintegrated Democrats are battling for the remaining vestiges of the political pie among themselves, seemingly torn between old guard limousine liberals like the 84 year-old DiFi and the new generation of true believing Bernie Sanders-touting socialists like de León. Make no mistake – in Washington the differences between the two would be slim to none (because of their slave-like devotion to leftist causes) but the California type of liberal war is reverberating throughout the states.

Of course the 2016 Democrat primaries exposed the rift. Establishment Democrats cleared the way for Hillary Clinton’s coronation, leaving senile old septuagenarian Sanders as the queen’s only formal opposition – and still Hillary almost blew it. Democrats and their media friends hooted and hollered at the daily disunity in the Republican race – which was very real – but there wasn’t much harmony on their side either.

The Trump/Ted Cruz/Marco Rubio/John Kasich storyline drew a lot more media dissection than the Democrats. What’s there to say? It was fascinating. The pundits’ unending obsession with Trump continues to this day.

The Politico story hilariously described Feinstein as a “centrist” Democrat and indicated the lack of a formal endorsement from the state Democrat party likely wouldn’t make a difference in terms of the overall race, which the 4-term senator supposedly leads by a wide margin. DiFi also holds a 20-1 advantage in cash on hand (over de León) – the spoils of being a legacy Democrat in a party that honors decades of dedicated stupidity over actual accomplishment.

It’s actually comical to contemplate another six years of Feinstein doddering around the Senate committee rooms trying desperately to look liberal enough to retain favor among her increasingly radical colleagues. For the Democrats it’s a contest to see who can come across as the most offensive and outlandish to the center-right American citizenry now that clownish Al Franken’s stepped down.

Who knows, maybe de León could fill that void. In a statement, his campaign said, “California Democrats are hungry for new leadership that will fight for California values from the front lines, not equivocate on the sidelines.”

Hmmm. What exactly are California values? And has DiFi truly been on the sidelines while Trump and the Republicans ruin the country?

California values appear to include defying federal immigration laws, bloating bureaucracy, denying gun rights, punishing free speech (on the abortion issue), running up state debt, pushing for secession, encouraging leftist inspired campus protests, giving voice to radical environmentalists, investing in fashionable “green energy” boondoggles like high-speed rail, driving non-tech business out of state, taxing the producers into oblivion and paving the way for waves of illegal immigrants in the form of sanctuary cities.

Granted I haven’t followed her career all that closely but it would seem Feinstein has been about as good a friend to liberal governance as can be found in the senate. What could de León be complaining about? For his part de León teamed with Obama AG Eric Holder and California’s big public employee unions to sponsor a sanctuary city bill that would prevent local law enforcement authorities from cooperating with federal immigration officers.

(Note: The “California Values Act” was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown last October, officially making it a sanctuary state.)

Sanctuary cities literally breed trouble – and drugs. Rep. Ken Buck wrote last week in the Washington Examiner, “Americans can come to a consensus solution to this problem. We’re simply asking cities to revise policies that handcuff local officers from utilizing every tool at their disposal to rid our streets of heroin traders and the toxic substances they traffic.

“No family wants to sit around the dinner table discussing how loved ones are addicted to drugs. Government at all levels—federal, state, and local—have stepped up to fight this crisis. But we need sanctuary cities to set aside their political posturing and join the team.”

It doesn’t take a genius to figure any kind of “sanctuary” implies lawlessness; it’s protecting the guilty at the expense of innocent victims, many of whom aren’t visible in plain view (like opioid addicts). No one’s speaking for these citizens whenever a Democrat opines about “Dreamers” and “keeping families together.”

Out in the Golden State they’re all trying to out-left each other. It’s sad but hardly surprising these days.

Victor Davis Hanson wrote last week at American Greatness about the “California mind”, “Californians, both the losers and beneficiaries of these unspoken rules, have lost confidence in the equal application of the law and indeed the idea of transparent and meritocratic government.

“Cynicism is rampant. Law-abiding Californians do whatever is necessary not to come to the attention of any authorities, whose desperate need for both revenue and perceived social justice (150,000 households in a state of 40 million residents pay about 50 percent of California income tax revenue) is carnivorous.

“A cynical neighbor once summed up the counter-intuitive rules to me: if you are in a car collision, hope that you are hit by, rather than hit an illegal alien. If someone breaks into your home and you are forced to use a firearm, hope that you are wounded nonlethally in the exchange, at least more severely than is the intruder. And if you are cited by an agency, hope it is for growing an acre of marijuana rather than having a two-foot puddle on your farm classified as an inland waterway.”

Basically Hanson’s saying California’s government isn’t interested in policing the illegal population because bureaucrats know there’s no money to be had from it. Instead they cite the good citizens for the slightest infractions – or ignore them entirely when help is requested. It’s almost like anarchy reigns out west.

Yes, it is that bad; it’s what a leftist-motivated one-party rule does to a state. California’s governor’s race (Jerry Brown is term-limited out) promises to bring a new brand of liberal activist to Sacramento. Will there be anything left of California once the big government interest groups finish divvying up the state budget and distributing it to the millions of welfare recipients?

I suppose it’s possible the Democrats could implode from all their infighting – there’s only so much glory to go ‘round for doling out goodies to the takers. Even national media commentators are noticing large cracks developing in Democrats’ “unity.”

Josh Kraushaar reported at National Journal, “[D]eepening Democratic divisions underscore how difficult it will be to harness all the anti-Trump energy into pragmatic decision-making in primaries. Priorities USA, the powerhouse party super PAC, warned in a memo last week that Democrats should ‘not allow themselves to be sidetracked and distracted by Trump’s latest tweets’ in favor of a focused economic message geared for the middle class. That would require a degree of discipline that party activists haven’t yet shown.

“Democratic primary voters aren’t looking for electability; most want to be part of the #Resistance. If enthusiasm alone is enough to generate a sizable Democratic wave, it may not matter how qualified their congressional candidates are. But if there are enough suburban, independent voters up for grabs, Democrats could squander winnable seats by nominating some not-ready-for-prime-time players.”

This sounds hauntingly familiar to the establishment’s crusade to keep otherwise qualified conservatives out of Republican races because their views are too “extreme” for the elites. You know, believing in things like accountability, humility and responsibility, a balanced budget, the right to life, the sanctity of traditional marriage... All of these are dangerous ideas where the ruling class is concerned because they challenge the purported direction of the prevailing popular mood.

The establishment naturally gravitates towards those candidates who cooperate in maintaining the boggy status quo; to the extent that Bernie Sanders was a “message carrier” in the 2016 primaries (as opposed to rubber-stamp Hillary Clinton) the powers-that-be couldn’t abide by it.

It will be fascinating to see if any of these Sanders-wing radical leftists manage to win Democrat primaries against the establishment’s choice whether the national party will support them – or abandon the newcomers like Republicans all-too-often do. Of course Democrats don’t consider any of the leftists to be “extreme,” so here’s guessing the kind of blackballing that goes on in the GOP won’t transfer to the minority party.

One way or another both parties have a lot to contemplate ahead of this year’s midterms. The Republicans have their retirements and #NeverTrumpers, but the Democrats are battling over something much larger and potentially more destructive -- a fight over the soul of the party.

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