Column: The battle within the Democratic party

From Washington, to Albany, to our five boroughs, there is an all out war among Democrats between their new relentless progressive movement and traditional mainstream.

There typically is a more liberal wing of the Democratic party, but today’s progressives or Democratic Socialists have made a sharp left turn to insanity.

Think about it, support for open borders in America, driver’s licenses and free health care for those here illegally, and no bail or jail time for those who commit crimes have become standard positions for some Democrats.

It is no longer just a wing of the party; it has elected people to office like local Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC). Our state Senate was recently taken over by Democrats bolstered by many progressives who won primaries against more moderate members, and they promptly ended bail for criminals and allowed illegal immigrants to obtain drivers licenses. And all the Democratic candidates for president recently raised their hands on their debate stage when asked if they support free health care for those here illegally with taxpayer money because it is their “right.”

Additionally, in Queens, Tiffany Caban is now within 16 votes of becoming the District Attorney where a manual recount and a court decision about affidavit ballots will decide the final outcome. The progressive upstart and AOC disciple promises to legalize prostitution and does not support any jails in Queens to help replace Rikers Island because she does not believe anyone should be locked up.

These extreme positions rile up a small but vocal and active base of support within the party for primaries and these winners sail to victory in the general election in most of New York City due to no real Republican opposition.

However, in swing districts in New York and around the country these progressive Democrats are too far left, and allow Republicans a better shot to win in the general election. And this is the cause of the battle within the party and why finally, more Democrats are speaking out against their progressive brethren.

Indeed, NYS Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs just let loose on Caban and her allies in the nasty recount battle in Queens between her and establishment candidate Melinda Katz. He said they were trying to “de-legitimatize the process.”

Even Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Frank Seddio expressed a similar sentiment blasting Caban saying, “We have a reason for why you have to be 35 to run for president and I think we should have the same thing for district attorney.”

These comments are not going to please the AOC — or “All Out Crazy” — crowd, and will just add fuel to the fire within the Democratic party. These folks, like the ones who led a rally outside of Democratic Rep. Max Rose’s Bay Ridge office a few weeks ago defending AOC’s remarks comparing border detention facilities to concentration camps and Rep. Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitic vitriol, will help Republicans win in contested races.

In Rose’s case, he defeated Republican incumbent Dan Donovan in a Brooklyn/Staten Island swing district last year by portraying himself as a common sense moderate. Now, the Brooklyn radical left want him to join them. Rose has been silent and has not supported or condemned their defense of AOC and Omar. This is perhaps why some have speculated that Linda Sarsour, a local Palestinian progressive, could challenge Rose in a Democratic primary next year. Like in the Queens DA race and AOC’s primary win against Joe Crowley, this would be another war between the Democrat establishment and their far left.

It is unfortunate that there is little opposition by Republicans to whatever Democrat is on the general election ballot in most of New York City. For example, whoever is the ultimate winner between Caban and Katz was expected to face a token Republican opponent. The Queens GOP candidate, Daniel Kogan, said he has raised no money and does not intend on running a real campaign, while Queens GOP chairwoman JoAnn Ariola-Shanks stated they are all in with him. This is a testament to the Republican dysfunction in most of the city.

Now, there is talk of replacing Kogan with a Democrat on the Republican line. The split in the Democratic party has created real opportunities for Republicans and they need to seize it. But the GOP can’t build an effective opposition party by running members of the opposition.