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Some see the expulsion of three far lefties from San Francisco’s school board as bad news for Democrats. On the contrary, it is good tidings for Democrats. It could also be good for Republicans, and it is definitely good for the country.
Why this sunny interpretation? Start with the Democrats.
Liberal cities from Seattle to Minneapolis to New York have been replacing the far-left activists with pragmatic progressives focused on crime, education and the local economy. This does not reflect any dramatic rightward turn in these electorates but frustration with a radicalized minority that had taken over the government levers when normal liberals were engaged elsewhere. Bill Maher, the liberalish political commentator on HBO, summed up the situation nicely. The left, he said, “is now made up of a small contingent who’ve gone mental and a large contingent who refuse to call them out for it.”
But that large contingent is finally finding its voice. Democrats in Seattle and Minneapolis quashed efforts to defund their police forces by large margins, and New Yorkers now have a former police captain as mayor.
An extraordinary show of moderate force took place in Buffalo when voters reelected Byron Brown as mayor. Brown had lost the Democratic primary to an avowed socialist but won through a write-in campaign.
In San Francisco, the dismissed school board members had tried to end the merit-based system of admitting students to the city’s academically elite public high school. One of the sacked officeholders, Alison Collins, had tweeted that Asian Americans employed “white supremacist thinking to assimilate and ‘get ahead.’” Who could be surprised that the city’s large Chinese community turned out in large numbers?
The board members tried to take the names of Abraham Lincoln, Paul Revere and other famous Americans off 44 schools for their imperfections, alleged and real. Meanwhile, they didn’t bother to insist that the schools reopen for in-class learning.
The less power the looney left wields, the less power the lunatic right will. If Democrats manage to get the woke brigade off their backs, their candidates can win over purplish electorates. And that might force the Republican Party to peel off its feral right wingers and favor candidates who can compete in the states and districts that ultimately determine who has real power.
Case in point was the governor’s race in Virginia. Glenn Youngkin cleverly portrayed himself as an old-fashioned, nonscary Republican to that generally Democratic state’s moderate voters. His culture-warring may have crossed the line into boobery, but he did distance himself from the toxic former President Donald Trump. Should that become a model for Republicans in other swing states, the party’s cowardly and unprincipled leaders might be shown the door.
You do see more Republican voices rising up to vocally refute the deranged theories that Trump actually won the 2020 election. And a handful are even defending Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, Republicans serving on the committee examining the Jan. 6 outrage at the Capitol.
But the Republican National Committee’s recent censure of these two exemplary conservatives shows how steep the climb back to respectability will be. That party luminaries still refuse to acknowledge Trump’s loss in 2020 continues to amaze.
As for Democrats, their far left is small in numbers but seems bigger because of its social media megaphone. Happily for Democrats, their mainstream members seem done letting the radicals commandeer the playlist.
The San Francisco school board purge could have been expected by anyone who hadn’t turned liberalism into a caricature. If this and other alleged “surprises” represent a large Democratic contingent willing to call out the woke left for its authoritarian nonsense, then good for everyone.