Read My Guest Column at The Weekly Dish
I wrote about Democrats' "Blood and Teeth" problem: progressives who would rather lose gloriously than win.
Andrew Sullivan is off this week recovering from hip surgery, and he kindly invited me to pinch hit for him over at his Substack newsletter, The Weekly Dish. If you don’t already subscribe to Andrew’s newsletter, I encourage you to go read it.
I wrote about a problem that I’ve described to you in a few different ways but haven’t addressed head-on.
A lot of progressives seem to get more emotional satisfaction from glorious losses than impure wins, and it’s screwing up the party’s decision-making.
I see this in Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s State of the Union response speech this week, which urged policies that would raise gasoline prices; in comments from the national director of the Working Families Party about how it would be desirable to have a “smaller but more progressive” Democratic caucus in the House (that would have to be a minority caucus); and in liberal adoration of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissents.
You may have noticed Elizabeth Warren supporters during the 2020 primary adopting “blood and teeth” as a slogan, or even putting blood and tooth emojis in their Twitter display names. This is in veneration of Warren’s comments in 2010 about her effort to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: “My first choice is a strong consumer agency… My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.”
Of course, Warren won that fight, so she indeed got her first choice (at least until the Supreme Court stymied her). Yet her fans still focus on her second choice: a loss that simply gives the other side hell. It’s a Trumpian “but he fights!” for leftists.
Fortunately, Biden mostly knows better than this.
Go check out the piece for my practical advice for Biden on how to avoid this trap — and my description about how Mitch McConnell is working hard to stop Republicans from falling into a similar one.
There will still be Mayonnaise Clinic this week, but I’m taking one more day to answer a question that’s related to Democrats’ affinity for this blood-and-teeth, lose gloriously type of fighting — why do grassroots donors keep wasting tens of millions of dollars on no-hope campaigns like Amy McGrath’s run against Mitch McConnell, and what should they do with their money if they actually care about winning? So keep a look out for that in your inbox tomorrow.