Urbanist: Calif. Freelancers Desert Democrats
At City Journal, Erica Sandberg asks: “Are California Democrats — responsible for the state’s new anti-gig-worker law, AB5 — so out of touch that they’re not aware of the growing anger of their constituencies?” Seems so: Under the law, “hundreds of thousands of Californians,” including musicians, chefs, nurses and writers, have found “their businesses in tatters.” And it’s leaving many freelancers “so disillusioned with their representatives that they’re changing political loyalties.” Democrats in Washington, though, appear “oblivious to the reaction in California,” and they’ve passed a “national version of AB5” in the House. When Team Trump “denounced the bill,” Californians who “normally hiss at the mention of the president’s name” cheered the administration. It could portend a California GOP revolution in the making.
From the right: Moderates? What Moderates?
Pundits frequently “talk of ‘moderates’ who will rescue Democrats from . . . Bernie Sanders and his Vermont-style socialism,” Deroy Murdock notes at National Review. The problem: That “vaunted ‘moderate lane’ ” lacks any actual moderates. In fact, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden are “hard-core, big-government left-liberals,” while “Sanders’ senatorial vote record repeatedly puts him to the right of Klobuchar and Biden.” The real difference: Sanders is “grizzled and grumpy,” while Biden, Klobuchar and Buttigieg “offer a moderate demeanor.” Thus, “Democratic moderation is solely stylistic,” as every candidate wants “truckloads more government intervention.” All in all, even if “primary voters just say ‘Nyet’ to Bernie Sanders,” Democrats won’t choose a moderate nominee — because “no such creature currently is running for president.”
Knitter: Trump Rallies Are ‘Optimistic’ Fun
“I’ve been a Democrat for 20 years,” relates Karlyn Borysenko at Medium. “So how did I find myself among 11,000-plus Trump supporters” at the president’s New Hampshire rally? “It all started with knitting.” The craft community is filled with “social-justice warriors,” and “when I witnessed the amount of hate coming from the left” in this group, “I started to question everything.” And the “more voices outside the left that I listened to, the more I realized that these were not bad people.” So she decided “to see for myself.” She’d been at the same arena days before to see “all the Democratic contenders,” and “the contrast was stark”: “With Trump, there was a genuine feeling of pride in being an American. With the Democrats, they emphasized that the country was a racist place from top to bottom.” She’s leaving the party to become an independent and “sit in the middle for a while.”
Iconoclast: Imagining Bernie’s Rule
With Bernie Sanders now the Democratic front-runner, The Week’s Matthew Walther wonders what “a Sanders presidency would actually look like.” The answer: a lot like President Trump’s first term in many respects. Take staffing, where Trump’s mercurial persona and ideological heterodoxy scared away many GOP professionals. Likewise, “most of the people who are willing to implement Sanders’ agenda are not qualified to hold executive branch jobs,” while “the people who are will be just as likely as Trump’s early Cabinet appointees were to sabotage his plans from within.” Plus, Sanders’ opponents “would inhabit a fantasy world,” in which they are ruled by an “overlord” and “a would-be tyrant” — again, “very much like Trump’s” Kremlin-fevered, democracy-is-dying critics.
Libertarian: Trump the Justice Reformer
Donald Trump ran in 2016 as a crime hard-liner in the Nixon mold, Creators Syndicate’s Jacob Sullum recalls, but now the president “is running for re-election as a criminal-justice reformer.” The president’s Super Bowl ad featured “Alice Johnson, a nonviolent drug offender whose life sentence the president commuted in 2018,” and touted his support for the First Step Act. But while Trump’s right to brag, he will have to do more to win greater support among African-Americans and other impacted communities. Yet so far, his Web site is silent about “additional steps beyond the First Step Act,” such as eliminating mandatory minimums and harsh drug penalties. Committing to doing more would make his “transformation . . . more convincing and politically potent.”
— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board