The difficult lessons of Democrats' 2020 victory

The party's post-election squabbling is missing the point

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kamala Harris, and Joe Biden
(Image credit: Illustrated | ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, Scott Olson/Getty Images, iStock)

The presidential election was finally called for Joe Biden over the weekend, and so naturally Democrats, who also retained a House majority, are already pointing fingers about who to blame for the victory not being as big as expected. Moderates who lost, or had close races, are blaming the left, particularly the "squad" of lefty women in the House. "We pay the price for these unprofessional and unrealistic comments about a number of issues, whether it is about the police or shale gas," claimed Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Penn.) who barely won re-election.

In truth, the results of the 2020 election are a muddle, and nobody can credibly claim to have the secret ideological formula for victory. What the Democratic Party must rely on is long-term organizing, and leveraging power to deliver concrete policy wins whenever they can. Above all, they need courage.

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