This morning’s editorial, “Ultra-Leftists Gain Control of Party,” starts by expressing sympathy for Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown. Brown had been considering running for president but decided last Thursday against it. According to the editorial, Brown chose not to run because extremists have taken over the party:
By all appearances, the Democratic Party has been shanghaied by far-left demagogues. They promise a “Green New Deal” Brown refused to accept. They pledge “Medicare for all” the senator understands is not realistic. They espouse a dozen other liberal positions that have gained traction among many party leaders.
Because of that, it appears Brown will never have the opportunity of taking his more reasonable, though still liberal, case to voters.
That ought to upset Democrats everywhere.
I researched this and found nothing to suggest that this was why Brown chose not to run. The Intelligencer is ascribing a motive that is simply not there. (Putting it another way: they’re lying to support their editorial.)
Why did Brown decide not to run for president?
According to what he said last week, he would be happier staying in the senate. As Politico reported:
After the announcement, many of Brown’s allies said the decision had nothing to do with the possibility of former Vice President Joe Biden entering the race.
Instead, as Brown said last week, it had to do with the fact that the senator is happy in his current role and had never coveted the idea of running for president, unlike many of his congressional colleagues.
You will find similar information at other political sites. As I previously noted, I did not find anything that suggests, as the editorial states, that Brown is not running because “ultra-leftists” have taken over the Democratic Party.
Addressing the point of the editorial, what has Brown had to say about the direction of the Democratic Party?
Does Brown think, as concern trolls like the Intelligencer suggest, that the Democratic Party is going too far left? Yesterday, Brown specifically answered that question on “Meet the Press." (The editorial writer probably missed the show because “Meet the Press” is on NBC and not Fox.)
CHUCK TODD: Do you think there's a danger of going too far to the left that it might scare voters say, in Ohio?
SEN. SHERROD BROWN: I hear the stories that are, that’s the story of the day, about Democrats moving to the left. I think the more important story is how Republicans continue to move to the right. How President Trump betrays workers and utters racist, anti-Semitic rhetoric, and nobody in their party calls him out. They don’t have divisions. They’ve all followed his racist actions and betrayal of workers. They follow it like lemmings off the cliff. That’s t the story, not some degrees of differences between and among Democrats. That’s the real story.
A final note
Along the same lines, this “radicals have taken over the Democratic Party” meme is now a regular feature on the editorial page of both Wheeling papers as is the “concern trolling” that often goes with it. Every day, at least one, but usually multiple, syndicated columnists’ rail against the newer members of the Democratic Party as though they are the only ones who count. In that regard, Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar have a special place for the reactionary, sexist and nativist writers that love to subtly and not-so-subtly play to the worst of the Republican base. Today’s morning paper, for example, featured
’Anti-Hate’ Resolution a Disgrace
by a Town Hall writer who defended Representative Steve King while attacking Omar. It also had a Mona Charen column suggesting that the
Green Deal Shows Dems Not Serious About Climate
A look at Ogden’s editorial pages in the last month certainly suggests that this “concern trolling” of the Democratic Party by Ogden is also a common practice from the paper’s syndicated right wingers. For example, in one week in mid-February, we had the following columns:
Push Back Against the Radicals
Democrat Party Being Taken Over by Extreme Left
Dems Headed for Another Loss?
All of them expressed concern about the supposed direction of the Democratic Party but does anyone think that a columnist from Town Hall (for example) would ever consider voting Democratic regardless of the Democrat's stance on climate change or health care? (Yeah, they're trolling.)
The Intelligencer editorial lied about what Senator Brown said or didn’t say while pretending that it was really concerned about the future of the Democratic Party which it wasn’t. Does anyone seriously believe that Ogden would endorse or even write nice things about Sherrod Brown if they weren't concern trolling?
All of this is certainly enough to qualify this editorial as the first entry in this year’s “Worst Editorial of 2019” category.