“De Nile” is a river in Egypt, but “denial” is something U.S. Rep. Don Beyer may be afflicted with at the moment.
In comments during an Arlington County Democratic Committee campaign forum – as he is facing a primary challenge from newcomer Victoria Virasingh – Beyer was asked a particularly cogent audience question.
To paraphrase: What can Democrats do in the coming six months in an effort to extricate them from a looming disaster at the ballot box?
Beyer’s reply: Democrats actually aren’t doing so badly.
“Things are way, way better than they were [two years ago] in virtually every respect,” he said. “There’s an incredible story to be told in what Joe Biden has done. We have a long way to go, but we’re coming.”
Now, we need to cut the congressman – and we generally are fans – some slack. He was speaking before a Democratic audience (“inside the bubble,” as it were), so we’d hardly expect him to fire away at what even many Democrats are acknowledging has been inept leadership from both the president and his administration.
And, to offer perhaps another fig leaf, we’d say that Beyer, in general, has a mild disposition that tends to see the glass as half-full.
Taken at face value, though, his remarks would suggest a certain sense of delusion, of the kind when air runs out of the aforementioned “bubble”, cutting off the flow of oxygen to the brain. Figuratively speaking.
No matter how well Republicans do in November’s midterms – and never count out their incompetence; they have blown far better opportunities than this – Beyer’s seat is secure, so he can say what he wants. But a lot of congressional Democrats do not have that security, and if the party’s message to voters nationally is “you don’t know how good you’ve got it,” there’s going to potentially be a shellacking of unprecedented proportions on their horizon.
We carry water for neither party, but issue warnings when circumstances arise. As they did last year, when we warned Democrats they had veered way too far left and would pay the price, in Virginia and elsewhere.
Did they listen? They did not. Did it cost them? It did.