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Democrats have a new rock star who some think has charted a path to victory for them. If they listen to her, they’ll double down on extremist policies on race and transgender indoctrination. Republicans can only hope that’s exactly what they’ll do.
Overnight Democratic state Sen. Mallory McMorrow is the toast of leftist Twitter as well as the subject of laudatory segments on late-night comedy shows and the recipient of a congratulatory phone call from President Joe Biden. She’s also been featured in a host of flattering articles in corporate media outlets like The New York Times.
The reason for her newfound celebrity was a speech she gave on the floor of the Michigan State Senate in which she tore into a Republican colleague — state Sen. Lana Heis — for sending a fundraising email in which she referred to Democrats who backed teaching critical race theory (CRT) and transgender ideology in schools as “groomers.” The video of her remarks went viral.
McMorrow didn’t so much refute the charge as she sought to flip the narrative: “I want every child in this state to feel seen, heard and supported, not marginalized and targeted because they are not straight, white, and Christian.”
The five-minute speech is, for left-wingers, a bracing example of a Democrat fully embracing wokeness rather than downplaying or denying it. Instead of dodging charges of being tied to extreme education policies such as CRT and transgender ideology in elementary schools, McMorrow chose to tie her party to them.
Moreover, although the cultural establishment has been demonizing conservatives and Republicans as racists and bigots non-stop for many years, with the practice becoming standard political operating procedure in the Trump era, many on the left are under the delusion that their side plays nice while the right fights dirty. So in their eyes McMorrow is a rare heroine prepared to stand up to the onslaught from the right.
Doubling Down on Wokeness
Not surprisingly, this inspired some of the chattering class to proclaim McMorrow as an example to be followed. The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent thinks her speech provides proof that Democrats ought to reject the advice of more moderate members of their party.
Sargent singled out former Clinton advisor James Carville, who has said “wokeness is a problem” for Democrats, “we all know that.” Instead of distancing themselves from their party’s radicals and their race and sexual obsessions, Sargent says McMorrow shows her “takedown requires a ‘wokeness’ rethink.”
Fellow WaPo leftist Jonathan Capehart also chimed in to write that the state senator’s stand means that white Democrats shouldn’t let her “fight bigotry alone,” which is his (and the rest of the mainstream media’s) way of characterizing her defense of radical practices that would normalize allowing children to identify as the opposite sex and even receive life-altering medical treatments without informing their parents.
This all makes sense as a form of group therapy for Democrats dealing with feelings of sadness and depression as they face the prospect of a wipeout in the midterm elections because of the failures of the Biden administration at home and abroad. It’s also exactly the kind of pep talk that the leftist base wants their failing politicians to hear.
They want them to listen to members of the chattering classes who believe focusing on Jan. 6 and the so-called “insurrection” is the path to victory, or former Republican congressman turned Democrat cheerleader Joe Scarborough, who said on his MSNBC show that Democrats can win by calling rank-and-file Republicans “fascists” and “racists.”
But their problem is that Carville is right. The idea that Democrats can succeed by doubling down on unpopular and arguably insane policies and by labeling everyone who opposes them as a racist makes zero sense. The polls as well as the evidence of last fall’s election in Virginia show that Democrats are going to pay a heavy price for letting Biden and the rest of their party be hijacked by the hard left and its toxic ideas.
The “groomer” epithet to which McMorrow took umbrage is a conservative riposte to leftist critiques of a Florida law passed by Republicans which banned the promulgation of CRT and transgender doctrines in grades K-3, a law the left mislabeled as a “don’t say gay” bill. But it’s fair that those who support such indoctrination in schools, like McMorrow, be held responsible for the damage that these toxic theories are doing to children as well as the country.
McMorrow is not so much giving heart to Democrats as sending them on a suicide mission. The Times compared her to Wendy Davis, the Texas legislator who got a similar dose of 15 minutes of fame for filibustering an anti-abortion bill. Davis hasn’t won an election in a red state like Texas since her filibuster, but the Times thinks things might be different for McMorrow in a purple state like Michigan.
Yet if Democrats are to remain competitive in Michigan or anywhere other than a deep blue state, it will require them to learn the lesson of Virginia and throw off any associations with the woke. Standing up against parental rights and for idea of small children “transitioning” or inculcating racist ideas about “white privilege” in the schools may win McMorrow plaudits from Jimmy Kimmel. But at a time when voters are sick of wokeness, cancel culture, and false accusations of racism and bigotry, it is exactly the formula for a Democratic midterm wipeout.
Jonathan S. Tobin is a senior contributor to The Federalist, editor in chief of JNS.org, and a columnist for the New York Post. Follow him on Twitter at @jonathans_tobin.