There is a sea change taking place in the Democratic Party right now. The last generation of politicians were obsessed with West Wing-style civility, and because of it, optics became the main thrust of Democratic politics over the last few decades. With the rise of progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, policy has ascended on the left, and a new generation is itching for a fight. This is embodied in Tlaib’s enthusiastic comment from last night that exposed many a fault line in the Democratic Party.
Trump won because he convinced people that he will fight for them. Democrats did not convince folks that they will go to the mat for their political priorities, and passion like this is a welcome development on the left. It's authentic and it's based off of real, coherent anger, as Tlaib wrote in the Detroit Free Press today:
We already have overwhelming evidence that the president has committed impeachable offenses, including, just to name a few: obstructing justice; violating the emoluments clause; abusing the pardon power; directing or seeking to direct law enforcement to prosecute political adversaries for improper purposes; advocating illegal violence and undermining equal protection of the laws; ordering the cruel and unconstitutional imprisonment of children and their families at the southern border; and conspiring to illegally influence the 2016 election through a series of hush money payments.
That said, plenty of centrists are pulling the standard “won't someone please think of the children!!!” routine, and are ignoring the substance of Tlaib's argument to focus on her curse word. Here is New Yorker columnist and chief civility scold, Jonathan Chait, summarizing the Very Serious People's concerns with this kind of brashness.
As anyone who is familiar with liberal Twitter knows, it didn't take long for a dunk contest to form above this tweet. Here are some of the best tweets going after civility scolds like Chait and other enablers in major media.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.