- The Washington Times - Friday, November 2, 2018

Former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell is warning his peers in the Democratic Party that President Trump’s 2020 victory is more likely if they keep veering to the left.

Calls to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a push for a single-payer health care system, and vows to impeach U.S. Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh have Mr. Rendell worried about the future of his party. He worries that current legislators have lost the ability to offer prudent and pragmatic alternatives to their Republican counterparts.

“For Democrats, one trend that has taken hold is quite alarming: our swing to the far left,” he wrote in an op-ed for The Hill on Friday. “That trend has been exemplified by almost all of our putative presidential candidates. The two clearest examples of trying to appeal to our base by being as progressive as possible were the rush to embrace a “single-payer” health care system after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) publicly endorsed it, and the stampede to call for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

Mr. Rendell, who was also the chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 presidential election, said that Democrats seem content to promise what they know to be politically unfeasible instead of adopting nuanced positions on both issues.

“One more glaring incident of our far-left overreach occurred immediately after Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation,” he continued. “Once he was confirmed, we should have let the issue drop. But too many of our most vociferous progressive candidates and progressive media outlets promised that Democrats will begin impeachment proceedings against Justice Kavanaugh if we take back the House.”

“But, of course, there is no way we would ever get 66 votes [in the Senate] to convict him and remove him from the court. So, they were guilty of making a shallow promise with no basis in reality. Democrats gave ammunition to the Republicans, ensuring their base has a reason to vote by making the treatment of Justice Kavanaugh a weapon,” Mr. Rendell wrote. “So, the moral of the story is: if we continue to tack to the far left in the 2020 election cycle, we surely will see another four years of President Trump (please, no!).”

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden was offered an acceptable “left-of-center” 2020 candidate.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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