The Liberal Crackup

Forget, for the moment, our long-running “Civil War on the Left” series. That civil war is essentially over, and the radical “progressive” left has won. Notice how fast the left and the media is rushing to embrace their shiny new object, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the young (and presumably wise) Latina who knocked off the incumbent number four-ranked Democratic House member Joseph Crowley (who, admittedly, I had never heard of before last week). Never mind for now Ocasio-Cortez’s radical views; her newfound celebrity status is likely to be a disaster for her personally, and probably for Democrats, too.

Time again to recall the apocryphal remark of Mark Twain that “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.” Sure enough, my sense that Democrats are going through another “McGovern Moment” that will culminate in a far left nominee and landslide loss to Trump in 2020 is gently—ever so gently—entertained in the New York Times today:

But some Democrats see the moment in even more sweeping terms, akin to the era following the Vietnam War and Watergate, when the reaction to a controversial Republican president triggered a moderate and liberal backlash. That movement delivered dozens of new seats, but it also unleashed a generational changing of the guard that jolted party leaders.

(If you click through to the complete story, this is where you cue up . . . Gary Hart! Another sign of the exhaustion of the liberal establishment. But I’ll pass over the easy laughs here.)

Meanwhile, cast your gaze over to Europe, where left-of-center parties are collapsing everywhere. A harbinger for Democrats in the U.S.? Probably, especially when you take note of the fact that the leading issue in Europe—much more so than the United States in fact—is immigration.

With that preface, take in this reporting from the Wall Street Journal yesterday:

A stricter approach to illegal migration in the Mediterranean region agreed at a summit on Friday marks a fundamental shift for the European Union, which three years ago had to deal with the arrival of more than a million people from Africa and the Middle East.

The shift, which drew protests from human-rights campaigners, envisions sending most asylum seekers who attempt to reach the bloc’s shores back to transit zones in North Africa and placing the ones who make it to EU territory in closed centers in countries such as Greece and Spain.

The deal, which still lacks many details, was reached thanks largely to frantic efforts by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is under pressure politically, and Italy’s new anti-immigrant government. French President Emmanuel Macron brokered a compromise among roughly a dozen countries willing to help Italy under the condition that migrants be detained to ensure they don’t leave for other countries. . .

The concept is inspired in part by the model long used by Australia, which turns back all migrant boats and sends them to third-country centers run by local authorities. This tough policy has prompted international outrage, said Ms. Collett. But the measures have curbed mass migration and prevented people from drowning at sea while trying to reach Australia, she added.

I think Trump ouught to say something along the lines of “The United States should adopt the immigration control practices of our major allies in Europe,” and watch liberal heads explode, since for liberals, Europe=Enlightened and Humanitarian Social Policy. Though some other time I’ll work through the argument that it is precisely high rates of low-skilled immigration here that make impossible their dream of European-style social democracy. It’s a matter of simple math, really. But for now I’ll just let this original meme do the heavy lifting. I have a flight to catch.

P.S. Trump is rising in the polls. Apparently among Hispanics. Cue liberal panic in three, two, . . .