James Carville blames ‘stupid wokeness’ for Dems’ weak showing

James Carville blames 'stupid wokeness' for Dems' weak showing

​Longtime Democratic strategist James Carville blamed “stupid wokeness” for his party’s disastrous Election Day showing in Virginia and New Jersey.

Carville appeared on PBS NewsHour on Wednesday and was asked how Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in a gubernatorial race in Virginia — a state President Biden won a year before by 10 percentage points.

“​Well, what went wrong is this stupid wokeness,” said Carville, who was Bill Clinton’s campaign manager​ in 1992.

“Don’t just look at Virginia and New Jersey,” he added of the Garden State, where Democratic incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy barely eked out a second term.

“Look at Long Island, look at Buffalo, look at Minneapolis. Even look at Seattle, Wash. I mean, this defund the police lunacy, this take Abraham Lincoln’s name off of schools, that — people see that​,” he continued. 

Carville, known as the “Ragin’ Cajun,” said such policies have a “suppressive effect” across the country, and he suggested that progressive Democrats “need to go to a woke detox center.”

James Carville appeared on PBS NewsHour
James Carville called for the Democratic party to put a stop to “this left-wing nonsense.”

“​They’re expressing language that people just don’t use. And there’s a backlash and a frustration at tha​t,” Carville said. ​

Youngkin, a first-time politician, managed a delicate balancing act in Virginia, keeping former President Trump at arm’s length while still courting his supporters.

​He also made himself attractive to suburban voters in northern Virginia, following a playbook that concentrated on championing parents’ rights to have a say in their children’s education — from speaking out against vaccine and mask mandates to opposition to the teaching of critical race theory. ​

“S​uburbanites in northern Virginia, suburbanites in northern New Jersey pulled away a little bit. Youngkin never ran any ads against Biden. And I think what he did is just let the Democrats pull the pin and watch the grenade go off on them​,” Carville said. ​

Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin
Glenn Youngkin managed to keep Trump at an arm’s length while still courting his supporters.
REUTERS/ Jonathan Ernst

Youngkin had been behind in the polls but began gaining ground just days before the election — with a Fox News survey released last Thursday showing him with an eight percentage point lead over McAuliffe. 

Weeks earlier, McAuliffe was ahead by as many as 11 percentage points. 

McAuliffe conceded defeat on Wednesday afternoon as Murphy claimed a narrow win over Republican Jack Ciattarelli in their race that was decided by just about 35,000 votes out of more than 2.4 million cast.

Biden won New Jersey in 2021 by 16 percentage points.

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin
Glenn Youngkin at one point trailed by as many as 11 percentage points.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The races in Virginia and New Jersey stunned Democrats as they look forward to the 2022 midterms with dread amid fears they’re likely to lose their control of the House and Senate. 

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said the races should serve as a “wake-up call.”

“I just saw it to confirm that we have a divided country … I hope it’s a wake-up call for all of us,” Manchin ​told Fox News’ Bret Baier on Wednesday.​ “I’m concerned. I’ve been talking about our debt, I’ve been talking about inflation, [and] I’ve been talking about the [economic] fallout we may have [from the spending bills].”

T​he moderate Democrat is a key vote in the 50-50 divided Senate and has opposed some of the progressive policies in Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending plan along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).​

Sen. Joe Manchin
Sen. Joe Manchin said the results should be a “wake-up call for all of us.”
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Manchin said he just can’t get behind the progressive philosophy. “This is a shame when we start this war of words​.​ … We can have a difference of opinion – the rhetoric around here has gotten so harsh and so toxic that you can’t agree to disagree anymore. You can’t sit down and say, ‘OK, I disagree with you.”

“What scares the bejesus out of me – I don’t hear people saying, ‘This is good for our country.’ It’s more or less on both sides – It’s better for my party, this is better for the 2022 elections.”

C​arville predicted that all is not lost for Democrats but pleaded with them to begin talking “about things that are relevant to people” and “get rid of this left-wing nonsense, this claptrap I hear.”

​”B​ut we have got to stop. We have got to get off of this. These people have got to understand they’re not popular around the country. People don’t like them. And they’re voting because that’s the only way that they can express themselves and how much they disagree with this​,” Carville said, adding later that, ​”People don’t want to ride in the car with you. They don’t want to ride next to you in the subway.​”​

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