Wed. May 29th, 2024

Political center revolts against fringe, as leaders rebuke Greene, protesters

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May27,2024

The political center in both parties is pushing back more against the fringes on the far right and the far left, reflecting the weariness and exasperation with the threats to boot Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) out of his job and the ongoing clashes with pro-Palestinian protesters on college campuses across the country.

The overwhelming vote in the House for a foreign package including funding for Ukraine was a rebuke to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who is now running into bipartisan opposition as she threatens to force a snap leadership election in the House.

Johnson made it clear he had run out of patience with hard-line conservative critics when he put the Ukraine funding bill on the floor and shrugged off warnings that it could cost him his job.

House Republican lawmakers said Tuesday that Greene’s efforts to pressure Johnson are falling flat with their constituents back home.

In a remarkable development, House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) announced that he and other Democrats would step in to help Johnson defeat any motion offered by conservatives to vacate his position.

“I think people are sick and tired of chaos and dysfunction. So I congratulate all of our friends on both sides of the aisle in the House for … actually doing their job instead of all of the sideshow,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate leadership team.

“Republicans are by and large tired of all the antics and the chaos, and they realize it’s a political liability,” he added.

Vin Weber, a GOP strategist and former member of the House Republican leadership: “We are seeing a very strong reaction against the political process by the fringes of both parties,” said

“Even though he’s of the other party, we’re seeing in the reaction of the Democratic leader a leader,” he said of Jeffries decision to side with Johnson against the conservative insurgents in is conference.

And he praised Johnson for standing up to the critics in his conference by pushing the foreign aid package through the House, even though doing so put his job at risk.

That bold decision was validated by the strong vote its different components received from House Republicans, including 101 GOP lawmakers who voted for Ukraine funding.

“I saw the Ukraine vote as the rebellion of the normies,” said Scott Jennings, a GOP strategists.

“I just sense that you had an overwhelming bipartisan majority in both chambers that are tired of having their lives run and ruined buy a tiny minority of the Republican conference,” he said. “None of these people get elected to go to Washington, D.C., so they can have their lives upended daily by Marjorie Taylor Greene. It’s not why they worked so hard to get to Congress or the U.S. Senate.”

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) warned last week that Greene is “dragging our brand down.”

“She – not the Democrats – are the biggest risk to us getting back to a majority,” he told CNN.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday condemned protesters at Columbia University who smashed windows and unfurled an “intifada banner” while occupying Hamilton Hall, located just of the campus’s South Lawn.

“Smashing windows with hammers and taking over university building is not free speech. It is lawlessness. And those who did it should promptly face the consequences that are not merely a slap on the wrist,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.

He was joined by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who said the images of protesters smashing glass “brought more evidence that administrators at Columbia have utterly, utterly failed to bring order to their Manhattan campus.”

Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) is helping to lead Democratic pushback against pro-Palestinian protesters, whose rhetoric has veered into antisemitism, forcing college campuses to close for the final weeks of the school year.

“It’s a great American value to protest but I don’t believe living in a pup tent for Hamas is really helpful,” Fetterman told NewsNation’s “The Hill Sunday.”

Fetterman broke with progressives in December by defending “reasonable” border security negotiations and urged fellow Democrats to acknowledge the huge flow of migrants across the southern border.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is also winning plaudits from centrists after he braved criticism from the left by landing a major deal with Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) to give President Biden broad new emergency powers to shut the border.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said this week he will sponsor a Congressional Review Act (CRA) Resolution to overturn the Biden administration’s final rules on streamlining the environmental review process to speed up the permitting of infrastructure upgrades.

Jonathan Kott, a Democratic strategist and former Manchin aide, said, “the political center is always where you win elections and how you govern.”

“The fringes are where you get Twitter followers and cable news hits,” he said. “When you actually govern responsibly and get elected, the middle is where it’s at.”

Kott said Fetterman “is speaking his mind and what he believes on a very tough issue and he should be commended for being able to not be held hostage to one side of the ideological spectrum.”

Some Democrats are growing worried that their party could lose support in November if voters associate it with the chaos on college campuses across the country or the border crisis.

“This election is going to be decided in the middle, not on the fringes,” said Jim Kessler, the executive vice president for policy at Third Way, a centrist Democratic think tank.

“John Fetterman has been fantastic not only on the college protests but also on the border and also on energy policy as well,” he said.

Fetterman expressed concern that President Biden’s pause on natural gas imports could impact Pennsylvania jobs.

But Fetterman has been most outspoken on Israel’s right to defend itself after the attacks of Oct. 7.

“I don’t know who needs to hear this but blocking a bridge or berating folks in Starbucks isn’t righteous, it just makes you an asshole. Demand Hamas to send every hostage back home and surrender,” he posted on the social media site X, responding to a video of protesters waving a Palestinian flag and yelling at patrons at a Starbucks in Ann Arbor.

Kessler, of Third Way, said Democrats have a lot to run on in 2024, such as major legislation investing in infrastructure and renewable energy technologies, but warned that pro-Palestinian protesters on the far left could spoil the election.

“What’s going on on college campuses has gone too far. A lot of it attracts media attention,” he said.

“The Biden administration has a lot to tout, including a plummeting murder rate and record gas and oil drilling and record permitting. Those can’t be state secrets. Those are popular with voters,” he added.

“We’ve seen in the past where something that happens on the left absolutely spoils Democrats’ election chances. Defund the police. Abolish ICE. Those hurt Democrats in the past. We can’t let unrest on college campuses do that to us again,” he warned.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Political center revolts against fringe, as leaders rebuke Greene, protesters”
  1. It’s about time the political center takes a stand against the extremes. Greene’s disruptive behavior only hinders progress and unity. Leaders like Johnson and Jeffries are setting a good example by standing firm against such divisive tactics.

  2. Are there any specific actions being taken to address the ongoing clashes with pro-Palestinian protesters on college campuses? How are leaders planning to intervene in this situation?

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