Dem strategist: The problem with the Democratic Party right now is ‘not bad leaders,’ it’s ‘bad followers’

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CNN took advantage of Martin Luther King Jr. Day to push for the passage of the Democratic Party’s so-called voters rights bills that would strip the states of their constitutionally guaranteed right to manage elections, featuring Democratic strategist Paul Begala, who ran interference for President Biden and his party by blaming their inability to move the legislation on “bad followers.”

Begala’s remark came in response to Arndrea Waters King, daughter-in-law to Martin Luther King Jr., pressuring Biden on the voting rights bills that amount to little more than a power grab by the left.

“What we’ve seen with President Biden is what happens when he puts his full force and power behind an issue like infrastructure,” she told Politico. “What we want to see is that same power and passion being put behind voting rights.”

CNN’s Poppy Harlow asked the former Clinton aide, “Do you think that’s fair criticism? Did President Biden put more effort into getting infrastructure passed, for example?”

“Well, he got infrastructure passed and that’s a good thing because success can breed success,” Begala replied. “He is putting the full force of the presidency behind it. I think the problem for the Democrats right now is not that they have bad leaders. They have bad followers, ok?”

Citing an essay he had read from former MLK confidant Andrew Young about mobilizing support for the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s, Begala commented on President Lyndon B. Johnson saying that he had no remaining political capital to push voting rights through Congress.

“As they left the White House, Andy Young’s words. He said, ‘I asked- softly asked Dr. King, what he thought. He said, ’I think we got to go get the president some power,'” Begala said. “And so you know what they did? They organized. These are Andy Young’s words, ‘We mobilize the churches, the universities, the labor unions, the business community, a coalition of people of goodwill.’”

The purpose of the little trip down memory lane was to rally the troops to force voting rights through before the clock runs out in November, with Democrats likely to lose control on one or both chambers of Congress.

“In other words, those of us who want to save voting rights — we need to get to work. I do think Biden is putting everything behind this. But he needs — he needs better followers, so he needs all of us in the game as well,” Begala said.

His observation that the base is at fault drew plenty of criticism, even from the left, as seen here:

Here’s a sampling of other responses to the story from Twitter:

Tom Tillison


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