‘Netroots Nation’ Explodes: The Radical Left Has Troubles, Too

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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As John McCain might say, there seem to be a lot of “crazies” in Phoenix of late. It must be the heat. But, to be fair, most of the bad actors I’m about to tell you about probably aren’t from Arizona. (And it’s  a dry heat.) Whatever the case may be, their radicalism was on full display during Netroots nation this week, when former Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley and socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders were both shouted down.

When I say “shouted down,” I want you to get the full picture of what happened. This is from CNN:

“Black lives matter! Black lives matter!” they shouted toward O’Malley, and began a call-and-repeat rallying cry that activists have been using in the wake of the death of 28-year-old Sandra Bland, who died in police custody last week. “If I die in police in custody!” one of the chants went, “Burn everything down! That’s the only way mother******* like you listen!”

After O’Malley tried to appease the radical crowd by saying “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter” (a perfectly rational thing for someone to say), he — again, according to CNNwas forced to apologize for that, too. (I suppose we are left to conclude that white lives don’t matter?)

… Okay, maybe Martin O’Malley isn’t liberal enough for the fine folks of Netroots Nation. I’m willing to believe he was a lousy governor of my home state of Maryland. And maybe Martin O’Malley does need to check his white privilege? But surely the Netroots Nation crowd would love them some Bernie Sanders? They’d never accuse him of trying to “whitesplain” to them, right?

Wrong. According to the Washington Post’s James Hohmann, “The self-identified democratic socialist was caught off guard here Saturday when African-American and Latino activists jeered him at Netroots Nation.”

So what has Bernie ever done for African-Americans? “Sanders aides’ point out that he attended the March on Washington, endorsed Jesse Jackson Jr.’s 1988 presidential campaign and has a 100 percent rating from the NAACP.”

He might as well go ahead and get fitted for his Klan robe now, I guess?

* * *

This is interesting because, or the last decade, or so, Democrats have mostly avoided these kinds of public spats. But, as the Godfather taught us, “This thing’s gotta happen every five years or so–ten years–helps to get rid of the bad blood.” There’s probably some benefit to having these public fights every so often. But there’s also a point of diminishing returns, as Republicans are starting to accept.

Still, this was likely unavoidable. You can only sublimate your destructive urges for so long. Eventually, people get tired of going along to get along. And the liberal base has probably grown too big to satisfy all the stakeholders. It’s hard to keep winning forever. It’s hard to keep everyone happy indefinitely. This is why it’s nearly impossible for sports dynasties to go on forever. Some players get fat and happy. Other players feel like they’ve been taken advantage of, and now, they want to get paid…

There’s an old saying that “Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line,” but in recent years, we have witnessed the opposite. The trouble is that it’s pretty much impossible for radical leftists to suppress their radical leftism. Sooner or later, one suspected, the tables could turn. And, it seems, it finally has.

(Now, let’s be honest: The media won’t hype stories of radical liberals shouting down their fellow liberal Democrats the way they would if something of this magnitude happened at, say, CPAC. But masking a problem doesn’t prevent it from metastasizing.)

What if this is the beginning of another role reversal? After a decade of infighting, Republicans might discover they actually like winning. Meanwhile, liberal activists representing special interest groups might decide that winning is pointless if they don’t personally benefit. In recent years, we’ve witnessed a very disciplined Democratic coalition win victories over a divided and chaotic Republican Party.

How long can that last?