NY Times column hits 'stubborn,' 'ruinous optimism' of Democratic leaders, says they lack sense of urgency

Author Jamelle Bouie criticized President Biden’s praising of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., at the National Prayer Breakfast and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s, D-Calif., statement from May that called for a “strong Republican Party” that “cared about a right to choose” and the environment. 

“Of course, the ideologically moderate Republican Party that Pelosi seems to want resurrected was largely dead by the time she entered national politics in the late 1970s, bludgeoned into submission with the notable help of Ronald Reagan, among other figures,” Bouie wrote. 

A New York Times columnist called out Democratic Party leadership, such as President Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for "lacking urgency" and the ability to act.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

A New York Times columnist called out Democratic Party leadership, such as President Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for “lacking urgency” and the ability to act.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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He noted historian Jefferson Cowie’s argument, who believes the “New Deal era” was a “sustained deviation from some of the main contours of American political practice, economic structure, and cultural outlook.”

“The challenge for those committed to the notion of a government that protects and expands the collective economic rights of the American people is to forge a new vision for what that might be,” Bouie said, adding that the argument could be applied to the “current generation of Democratic leaders.”

He said that Democratic leaders, such as Biden and his allies, entered politics when Republicans and Democrats were “less ideological and more geographically varied.” 

New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie said that older Democrats lack "any sense of urgency and crisis" and think American politics is "business as usual."(Chip Somodevilla/Pool via AP)

New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie said that older Democrats lack “any sense of urgency and crisis” and think American politics is “business as usual.”(Chip Somodevilla/Pool via AP) ((Chip Somodevilla/Pool via AP))

“But this, too, was a historical aberration, the result of political and social dynamics — such as the broad prosperity of the industrial economic order at home — that were already well in decline by the time that Biden, Pelosi, Feinstein and others first took office,” the New York Times columnist wrote. 

He argued that Americans can feel the shift in politics, and they want leaders that can “act and react accordingly.”

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is 88 and has faced recent reports that she's in cognitive decline.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is 88 and has faced recent reports that she’s in cognitive decline. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Bouie wrote that the “stubborn” and “ruinous” optimism of Democratic leaders ares standing in the way of this action. 

Lawmakers reportedly called into question Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s, D-Calif., ability to serve in April. She is 88 and, according to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle, many fellow U.S. Senators believe that she’s no longer mentally competent enough to hold office. 

“I have worked with her for a long time and long enough to know what she was like just a few years ago: always in command, always in charge, on top of the details, basically couldn’t resist a conversation where she was driving some bill or some idea. All of that is gone,” an anonymous lawmaker told the outlet. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that no one came to him with concerns about Feinstein

“I’ve had a good number of discussions with Senator Feinstein, but I’m keeping them to myself,” Schumer said.

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