MSNBC’s “The Cycle” usually plays out like a left-liberal lovefest, with the show’s co-hosts gleefully praising one another for their enlightened opinions on race, poverty and income inequality. But every now and then the program offers a rare glimpse into the conflicts within American liberalism — such as the hardcore left’s growing dissatisfaction with Hillary Clinton as their candidate for the presidency in 2016.
Host Krystal Ball aired her own frustration with Hillary about a month ago, exhorting her to cede the presidential nomination to a true progressive, Democratic Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (RELATED: The coming liberal revolt? MSNBC’s Krystal Ball urges Hillary to cede nomination to Elizabeth Warren).
But now Touré — Ball’s co-host and frequent partner in progressivism — is striking a very different tone, calling Warren too liberal to be elected and begging her to “stand down” for Hillary.
“Krystal Ball is like a sister to me,” he said. “So our ideological disagreements, which are infrequent, are couched in great respect. That said, I believe my sister is on the wrong side of the Democratic Party’s ongoing discussion about who and what it should become.”
“The current battle for the soul of the party is: Will Dems accept becoming the party of Hillary, led by a careerist centrist who coddles Wall Street?” he explained. “Or do they fight to become the party of a true liberal philosopher who’s unafraid of Wall Street, like Elizabeth Warren?”
While Touré claimed he was “thrilled” by the “rise of the populist wing of real liberalism,” he reluctantly concluded that a Warren candidacy would effectively give the presidency to Republicans.
“I remember when Dems nominated true liberals and the smartest guys in the party, and the resulting years of losses,” he lamented. “In those years, the conservative revolution reshaped America, and Dems were too weak to stop it.”
“So I’m not ashamed to say I’m willing to sacrifice some of what I believe in as a liberal to get behind a moderate Dem that’s electable,” he declared, “and you should be too.”
Perhaps keen to make sure his message sunk in, Touré took a gratuitous swipe at the Massachusetts senator. “Warren is a true liberal,” he asserted. “But she’s also an inexperienced national candidate, who fits neatly into the classic caricature of Dems as effete, latte-sipping, Volvo-driving Ivy Leaguers.” Ouch.
“Liberalism is about dreaming big and wanting to change the world and helping the downtrodden, and I love that about liberalism,” Touré said. “But American political change is always incremental — never radical — and the closer your candidate is to the ideological edge of either party — the more radical change they propose is — the riskier they are.”
Touré’s political pragmatism is good news for Hillary Clinton — a sign that far-left progressives are willing to sign on to her “centrist” platform if it means winning elections. But will enough true believers agree, or will a still-simmering progressive rebellion rise to a boil as the Democratic primaries take shape over the next two years?
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